[Ravensfort] An Open Invitation....

Shanahan ms_shanahan at yahoo.com
Mon Apr 2 19:45:11 PDT 2012

Oyez!  Oyez!  Oyez!
Once again, the Board of the Sam Houston Folk Festival has requested that 
Raven’s Fort rebuild their rendition of Hugh’s Town!  

Last year, the Board Chairman, Dr. Patrick Nolan, did his own research to prove 
the 1160’s ancestry of General Houston and, despite the misgivings of several of 
his Board members, he contacted Raven’s Fort to introduce that facet of the 
Houston history To the Festival.  We all know that his gamble paid off and the 
attendees were enchanted!
          This year we, and the Museum, suffered a staggering blow.  Dr Nolan, 
our benefactor, suffered a massive heart attack and died.  But his plans for 
Hugh’s Town lived on.  We had made such a positive impression on the Board 
members that they were “overjoyed when you contacted us.”  That made my job much 
easier… in that respect.
          First and foremost:  they have moved us.  We are no longer inside the 
white picket fence near the front on the Festival. A team of knowledgeable 
Raven’s Forter’s walked the Site before the 1st meeting, looking for the things 
necessary for safety of the fighters.  Then, we met with Mrs. Ruth Samuell to 
see the Board’s suggested parcel.  As HE Brian and Don Charles discovered, the 
area was perfect -- all level, grassy land under a canopy of many, big trees.  
Though it is all the way across the Festival site, there is a parking lot only 
yards away, in which we will have 3 spaces assigned to us for loading/unloading 
and shuttling use, and there will be port-a-potties fairly close.  The Board’s 
reason for the move was that we were such a popular attraction, that we formed a 
‘road-block’ near the front of the Festival grounds.  With our new placement, 
they hope we will draw the attendees all the way through the Festival just to 
see us…. And on the way back, maybe they’ll spend some more money.
          Second:  Hugh’s Town will be more of a true, historical re-enactment 
than we usually do when doing a ‘Demo’.  The village, itself, is a trading 
village built up around the castle fortifications Sir Hugh had made.  This year, 
it will focus more on what was done in 1160 AD in western Scotland.  And each of 
our people will have an 1160 Hugh’s Town personae to be for the Festival.  

        This was the time of Richard the Lion-hearted, and Templars, and the 
Robin Hood mythos.  The garb was simple in lines:  t-tunics and leggings, 
tunics, & long robes for the lords; t-tunics, shifts, coathardies with or 
without sideless surcotes for the ladies. All women, outside, wore head 
coverings!  A coif, cap, wimple, a veil… they just did.  And NO kilts, not even 
the Great kilts… that was the Highlanders.  Hugh’s Town was in the Lowlands.  Of 
course, fighting garb is fighting garb.
          I’m still brainstorming the kinds of things we can have under the A&S 
pavilion.  And will be talking more … via the Raven’s Fort list and on 
FaceBook.  Things like the kinds of foods they ate, the things they made for 
trade, their daily life, how they made cloth and much more. 

          Now, don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten the SCA part of the Demo.  No, 
there will be a pavilion with the Hospitaler’s table and the albums and handouts 
and always someone to man it, to talk of who we are and what we do.  We just 
won’t be doing that in Hugh’s Town proper… much.  

          Third:  At the 1st meeting, there had been some talk of having a stage 
near Hugh’s Town with performing acts… acts, which we would need to tone our 
noise down to accommodate.  That, as you can imagine did not sit well with the 
fighters.  I explained our problems to the Director, and, at the 2nd meeting, 
she had an answer for us.  We were not to worry and to conduct our fights as 
usual.  Vivat!
          Fourth:  Concerning the fighting, there was talk among the Marshals 
and their deputies of going to some form of regulated, timed fighting for this 
year and posting a sign with the times for all to see.  At the 2nd meeting of 
the Board, that is exactly what they decided they wanted from all performers 
(that’s how they have classified Hugh’s Town).  Double Vivat!!!
          The Festival runs the last weekend in April; Friday April 27, 9am to 
4pm and Saturday April 28, 10am to 7pm.  So mark your calendars now.  Please 
come and join us.  If you have any questions, please email me at 
ms_shanahan at yahoo.com.
That is all I have to report for the February and March meetings.  We have our 
land and the basic idea of what they want and a time frame.  So now we can see 
about making the miracles that we are so good at doing.  Hugh’s Town, here we 
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