New Members’ Handbook
The Living History Exhibit
"The LHE exists to represent and demonstrate to the public snapshots of daily life, activities and crafts from Regia Anglorum's period of interest"
"The LHE consists of a number of authentic tents, work shelters and fire covers. These are used as a 'vehicle' to display these activities"
"The LHE is under the overall control of the Living History Exhibit Coordinator. Activities are organised under the umbrella of the various wics ."
A wic may be one or more local groups organised to share cookery and other daily tasks in order to free members to demonstrate crafts and to talk to the public."
LHE Regulations 2002
What is the LHE?
The LHE is the part of the society's display where the public can get the most detailed look at our presentation of the period. Therefore, there is a greater responsibility laid upon LHE participants to " Get it Right!"
The LHE is open to the public over a number of hours, usually from 10 am to 5 pm. In order for the LHE to be open at the start of public hours, it must be fully authentic 30 minutes before first admission.
Many wics operate authenticity guidelines over and above the minimum laid down by national officers. Any person attached to that wic must adhere to such guidelines.
The LHE is an excellent place to learn new skills, and you are encouraged to take up this opportunity. WATCH LISTEN AND LEARN! Many crafts will have a co-ordinator, one of whose duties is to advise new starters in the craft. Our craft workers are normally more than happy to explain their craft to you: it makes a change from answering the same stupid questions from the public. Above all don't be afraid to ask.
Once you begin to be active on the LHE you will acquire, or be lent an amount of authentic equipment and materials. These are your responsibility - don't leave them lying around - particularly if they are sharp, hot or poisonous. You should never leave a wic unattended. If you have to then all fires must be extinguished and all dangerous items should be kept out of public reach, preferably in a tent.
The LHE is always roped off from the public. Do not allow public to cross the rope under any circumstances. All activities on the LHE should take place within the roped off area.
If your local group is not part of an existing wic, you should either negotiate directly with a wic that you would like to be attached to, or apply to the LHE co-ordinator to be attached to one.
What do you need?
Good quality clothing appropriate to the period being represented at the event. It has to stand up to close inspection by the public.
You will need:
- An authentic bowl, cup, spoon and (sheathed) knife if you wish to eat authentically on site.
- A bag or box to keep you essential items in, so that they can be stored safely on site.
- Authentic equipment for your craft.
Some of these can be borrowed from another member, group or wic.
You will need an authentic name that you can easily remember.
Authenticity on the LHE comes under much higher scrutiny than in any other place within the society. Please be as careful as possible. This is not just visible authenticity but also authentic behaviour. Remember when the public are on site you are expected to maintain an authentic role. A helpful and cheerful attitude will get you a long way. Remember your character's position in the society and behave appropriately, but fairly, towards other members.
While it can be appropriate to come out of character to discuss a particular issue with a member of the public, don't get caught by talking about Star Trek, Computers, Manchester United or Coronation Street and the like on the LHE.
The Wic System
Some groups, usually those close to each other geographically, may join together on the LHE to share such tasks as cooking, talking to the public and demonstrating crafts. If your group is part of a Wic, you will be expected to share in the duties, such as fetching wood, washing up and generally making yourself useful.
If you are at a show without other members of your group, you may be able to join in with a Wic, or another group. Ask!
Every person present on the LHE is responsible for their own safety. Be aware of potential hazards to both yourself and the public: fires burn, knives are sharp etc. Make sure you know where the nearest fire extinguisher and first aid kit is located.
Live and Learn
Your first show will be bewildering. Everyone else will seem to know what they are doing. Don't feel 'left out'. Watch what people are doing, listen to them talking to the public and if you want to know something - ask! We all started like this!
If you are asked a question by a member of the public to which you don't know the answer FOR SURE, say so and direct them to a more experienced Regia member.
You have probably joined Regia to learn a skill as well as to have fun. Look at what is on offer. Ask around to find someone who is willing to teach you. Above all, don't become discouraged!
Some of the civilian membership of Regia have expressed a wish to have some system of recognition for their crafts and skills. Such a system is being developed by the LHE Co-ordinator, and will be published as soon as possible.