Showing posts from July, 2023


Sorry regular readers, comments and the contact form have temporarily been turned off. Why? A YouTube 'content creator' has put a direct link in his description to my post about Newark Upon Trent.  Why has he done that? Because I posted a picture of an information panel from Newark Castle, which features an image of a man of African descent. An information panel that I did not write or have any hand in creating. The man pictured is an actor, portraying a man called John Americanus, who fought for the King at Newark. John's role in the defence of Newark is well documented. And yes, John was of African descent. If you would like more evidence of people of African origin living and fighting in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms might I suggest you look here . So now my inbox is filling up with thinly veiled racist comments, accusing me of being 'woke'. If you mean 'educated, caring, compassionate and generally a decent human being', feel free to call me 'woke&#

The Crown Jewels

Readers familiar with Radio 4's Front Row will be wondering if KeepYourPowderDry is muscling in on Samira Ahmed's post-Archers slot on the nation's airwaves. Fear not. But this is a first for KeepYourPowderDry...a theatrical review. A trip down to that there London saw KeepYourPowderDry visit the Garrick Theatre, for the self styled 'riotous new comedy' set around Captain Blood's attempt to steal the crown jewels. Written by Simon Nye (Men Behaving Badly), and directed by Sean Foley (Upstart Crow); the Crown Jewels stars Al Murray as King Charles II. He’s joined by a star-studded cast: Carrie Hope Fletcher, Mel Giedroyc, Neil Morrissey, Joe Thomas, Aidan McArdle, and Tanvi Virmani. Not Al Murray Based upon the somewhat incredulous story of Captain Blood's attempted theft of the crown jewels, the script allows the cast enough leeway to exploit their talents as stand up comedians. (I'm trying really hard not to give any spoilers here, can you tell?)  At ti

Storming of Cirencester, 2nd February 1643

Cirencester, a town I knew quite well, having lived there for a short period of time in the early 90s. Little did I know at the time that the town had a role in the Civil War (the Roman connection, along with 'quaintness' were Ciren's indelible marks at the time). Cirencester changed hands a number of times during the Civil War due to it's strategic positioning on the approach to the West Country. Originally held by the Royalists it was taken by Parliamentarian forces in 1642. The most significant engagement took place on the 2nd February 1643 when Prince Rupert took the town. Rupert marched from Oxford and camped overnight at Cirencester Park. He attacked the next day at noon, the bloody battle lasting four hours. In the initial assault he bombarded the town from Ceciley Hill, and attacked and took the heavily defended Giffard's House. Rupert's army found that the buildings outside the town walls were still intact so were able to use the cover that they aff

Battle of Stow-On-The-Wold, 21st March 1646

The battle of Stow-On-The Wold saw the King's last field army capitulate to the New Model Army, effectively ending the First Civil War. Sir Jacob Astley left Oxford in December 1645 to rally troops in the midlands to the King's cause; unfortunately, a lack of money and widespread flooding hampered his task. Early in 1646, Chester fell to Parliament, and Astley found himself at Worcester; the Parliamentarian Colonels Birch and Morgan were manoeuvring their separate forces forcing his route, and Brereton was advancing south from Cheshire closing the door on Astley's escape north. Another Parliamentarian force, under Fleetwood, was waiting near Stow blocking Astley's road to Oxford. Somehow Astley managed to outmanoeuvre Morgan and cross the Avon. Morgan would harry Astley's rear-guard delaying his progress, giving time for Birch and Brereton to catch up. Astley was able to make it to the fields north of Stow, where he would make a stand. Unfortunately for Astley, all

The Isle of Man

Now known as the preserve of motorbikes, during the Civil Wars the island was notionally for the King thanks to the Lord of Man, although he didn't always get his own way. The Isle of Man was the personal fiefdom of James Stanley, 7th Earl of Derby, and Lord of Man. Yes that James Stanley/Derby, the one who would await his execution in the Old Man and Scythe pub in Bolton for his command of the Royalist forces who committed a number of atrocities when Bolton fell, and whose wife famously held Lathom House. Derby. Portrait at the National Portrait Gallery Known on the Island as Yn Stanlagh Mooar, he wasn't too popular with the general population treating them harshly and levying high tithes. So unhappy with his treatment of them, the locals rose up against his imposition of tithes in 1643, led by local firebrand Illiam Dhone. Derby rarely visited Man, his most notable visit being after Marston Moor when fled England. After which he would offer asylum to royalist fugitives.   Six


Without giving too much away, I found myself in need of some rat markers to go alongside my rat catcher and plague doctors...  Hunting for 15mm rats on Google got me nowhere really, it was only when I used the term 'skaven'* that I actually started getting somewhere.  Eventually discounting numerous anthropomorphic rats with shields and unfeasibly large swords I found some rat swarms on Etsy. These are 3D resin prints, and three bases came in at £2.50. Spot the cartwheel When they eventually arrived, one base was pure rats, one had a skeleton on it and another a shield. Not really what I wanted but I could disguise the inappropriate bits under foliage. Members of the National Fancy Rat Society look away now, my rats have more in common with the film Ratatouille than real life. They'll do nicely. But why do I need rat markers...?   All in good time  * something to do with Warhammer I believe If you enjoyed reading this, or any of the other posts, please consider  supporting