AN EXCITING VENTURE
We began to display our sauces ready for our first encounter with the grand re-enactment society, not knowing what to expect. Our stall was placed near the entrance where we could see the huge crowds gathering outside waiting to come in. They appeared a little bewildered at the information regarding Roman quisine and banquets. I had placed our posters there to attract attention as they walked in. Anne had certainly given us a good trading position for the weekend. As suggested, we had taken sixty jars of each of our seven varieties of sauces , a total of 420 jars. We thought this number would be ample for our first event.
As more and more people walked around the stalls, the place seemed to come alive with all the chattering and bartering amongst stallholders and their customers. Some of the public were also dressed in Roman and Medieval costumes while others wore 16th to 18th century costumes. We could see that many of the public were regular visitors at these events and took it very seriously. We had placed a few open jars on our stall for people to taste as we had at the museums, hoping it would prove as successful. To our delight, we watched their expressions beginning with apprehension followed by comments of, ” Wow ! that tastes wonderful and so different, what’s in it?” . There are many herbs and spices added to give that unique flavour,” I replied .
Throughout the day after people had tasted the varying flavours. Some wanted the Medieval, others wanted the Roman or Saxon sauces. During the lunch break I was amazed to see people using it with the meal they had purchased, a modern day sausage roll or hamburger. Many who had already purchased our sauces came back the following day for several more to take back to their friends and family who were unable to attend the event. Then there were the customers who had read the information about the Romans food at the entrance. They asked the usual question about the dormice. Of course I assured them that it was not one of the ingredients in our product.
During the first day, I took a walk around some of the stalls to introduce myself, leaving John to continue serving on our stall. I aimed for the traders I had first noticed setting up their stall. They were Jim Newboult and his wife Emma who made and sold wonderful replica vessels ranging from the Roman times to Medieval and later. Jim had in fact demonstrated his work on the television series, “Time Team” and his replicas are so authentic that they are sometimes commissioned for period films. I have bought several pieces from Jim myself; I was always fascinated to watch him stack his pottery so high. It was amazing that none of them came tumbling down as some of them were huge examples he made of Roman amphorae,mortaria, flagons ,dishes pitchers and cauldrons. There were beautiful delft plates, mugs candle sticks and many other items from other historical periods of times gone by. He certainly had the knack of stacking his wares.
Jim Newboult .
Delft Ware Porringer 16th/Early 17th century.
Medieval Green Glazed Jug Replica.
Stay tuned for more exciting re enactment details. ( Part Three.)