Grymm Tooms Travelling Museum
Broadlands Blasts From The Past- 5th - 7th August



Friday: We got to Broadlands in the mid-afternoon which was just as well, as once we got there we did not have a clue where we were supposed to be. As it turned out we had, what appeared to be, most of a field to play with although Howard wanted us to form a horseshoe flanked by the Arctic Explorers and Tarin’s Medieval Games and Activities…taking into account that the Diehards were set up behind us it felt as though we were preparing for an attack from disgruntled and dispossessed natives.

Saturday: Once sorted I set off to find the Hoplites to say hi. We first met this group about 10 years ago not long after they had started and now they seem to have a small village to lug along with them, including a shelter made from a ships sail. One new addition that got my attention was the yurt for the Scythian contingent. I used to have my doubts about yurts but once I had a look inside a friend’s one I was converted – they are fabulous! The inside of Andy and Elaine’s yurt (or ger) has been set up with furs, travel boxes and a beautiful wooden carving of a wondrous stag in the Scythian style carved by Elaine.

While I had time I also pop over to the Wyoming Wild Bunch and said “howdee” to some of our friends there, including Chris who has made a rapid recovery from his stroke a year ago. Tucked away in amongst the trees were the Bushwhackers, who portray a part of the American Civil War that was brutal in the only way that a civil war can be.

I met a very interesting gent who was a curio collector. While we chatted he took an odd little item from his pocket: a disc with what looked like a crossbow point welded to it. The wording showed that it had been issued by the London Colonial Office and stamped with 64 on both sides. It looked a bit like a large version of one of those old invoice spikes but I had no idea what it was. I gave up on guessing and was told that it was a whale research tag, issued in the days when the only retrieval of data involved killing the whale – these days they use GPS.

What started out as a very nice evening turned into heavy downpour. So far we have had rain at almost every event but, once the rain had passed, we were in for a great sunset and I was rewarded with a few common pipistrelles feeding overhead.

Sunday: Well, thankfully the rain had passed for good and we had a great day. I met some interesting folks again, one visitor who saw my tribal items told me that he had found a load of stuff in an attic. My initial enthusiasm was dampened when he told me that he had burned most of it! I told him that some Pacific tribal items can sell for over £500. I suspect that he headed straight home to salvage what remained.

I met a fascinating ex-army man who on seeing the cane toad told me that while serving in the Caribbean he had played football with them, by which he meant filling the toad with air and…well, I’m sure you get the picture.

As the day drew to a close I kept seeing the Bushwhackers leaving their woodland hide out, pushing their belongings ahead of them in barrows as though fleeing a spud famine. I finished the day discussing ancient epics such as ‘Gilgamesh’, ‘The Iliad’ and Xenophon’s ‘Anabasis’, more popularly known as ‘The Persian Expedition’. This involved a bunch of Greeks going to Persia and backing the wrong side. Their journey out of Asia Minor is an incredible one and would make a great movie…possibly. And so, our penultimate event came to a close with the luxury of dry canvas!

This is Prof. Grymm…getting the ger outta here!