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Join the Regiment

So, you've decided that you're interested in joining but aren't sure what re-enacting the Civil War with Overton's entails. Here's a quick guide that should hopefully answer most of your questions, but you are always welcome to get in touch, we're always happy to answer whatever questions you may have about the Regiment or re-enacting.

What are the roles available?

When you join the regiment, you can choose to be a civilian or a soldier.  Civilians put on a display for the public, who come round the 'living history' encampment during the day and get a chance to ask questions about what life was like in the 17th century.  For example, we have a working forge where you can see how weapons, tools, jewellery and other valuable objects were made during the English Civil War. 

If you want to be a soldier, you can start out as a musketeer or a pikeman.  Soldiers will form part of a group which marches out onto the battlefield and fights with the enemy.  Usually there will be two battles over the course of a weekend (one on each day); soldiers might also take part in drill displays for the public, and for training. 

How much does it cost?

When you decide to join, the initial cost is £35 for a single, annual membership of ECWS and the regiment itself, or £55 for a family membership.  You’ll also need 17th-century clothing and equipment to take part, but don’t worry – the regiment has plenty of spares, so you won’t need to buy anything up front.  For the first year or two, you can expect to be able to borrow all the kit you need from our stores. 

The total cost of a soldier’s kit is about £200 for the basics.  To be a musketeer, you’ll also need to apply for a shotgun license so you can use black powder to fire blank rounds on the battlefield – this can cost up to £100.  But don’t panic!  The regiment has stocks and spares, and as long-time members of the society we’ll always be able to find you a good deal.  We can also purchase kit on your behalf on a long-term repayment basis, so you can spread the cost over a couple of years. 

How many events do I have to do?

As many or as few as you like.  There are about three or four large events across the country every year, with the season starting in May and running to early September.  As well as this, there are normally a few smaller events like displays at museums, these may take place as early as February or as late as December. We also have regular kit maintenance workshops that can also double as a social event. 

We all work together to help each other get to events.  With members from across the country we often car share on journeys to events, and there will always be members willing to give lifts to and from railway stations if you don’t drive. 

Sounds great! How do I join?

Get in touch with our membership secretary, Faye Best.  She’ll answer any questions, and let you know where our next event is; you will be invited to come along as our guest, meet the members of the group, and see if it’s for you. Whether joining by yourself or as a family you will be made very welcome. 

Overtons Blacksmith.jpg
Overtons Regiment Ladies Living History Crafts Stitch Oakwell Hall
Overtons Regiment Musketeer Loading Musketl.jpg
Overtons Regiment Pikeman National Civil War Centre Newark
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