A Victorian Weekend at Tyntesfield with The Bluejackets

May 2015

Over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend I was at Tyntesfield House, a National Trust property near Bristol, with The Blue Jackets, portraying the late 19th Century Britiah Navy.

Tyntesfield House was used as a setting for an episode of Doctor Who ("Hide"), which was screened on 20 April 2013 with Matt Smith as The Doctor.

In addition to The Bluejackets I spent time working with one of my other groups - the 1879 Group. 

Also at Tyntesfield over the long weekend were the 19th Regiment of Foot group (The Green Howards), who portrayed the Crimean period, and Number 1 Depot Company.

I arrived at Tyntesfield on Friday evening, after a long, slow journey down the M5.  We erected the tent, finishing just as it was getting dark.  The family (Mom, Dad, Grandma, James and Graham) headed off to a Travelodge at nearby Portishead while I remained on site.

The various groups took it in turns to put on displays in the main arena.  There was a "school for soldiers" for younger members of the public where potential sailors and soldiers could practice drill, marching and the use of (foam) cutlasses.  In addition there was a combined display in the main arena at the end of each day.

The encampments were also open to members of the public to look at the Living History displays and talk to the re-enactors.


James and Graham were portraying Marines, and took part in arena displays by demonstrating the use of Boarding Pikes.  I portrayed a member of the Royal Marines Light Infantry.

The Bluejackets demonstrated the use of a 2lb Boat Gun (cannon).


The Bluejacket's mascot (Monkey) was also there!

On Sunday I split my time between The Bluejackets and the 1879 group, taking part in both arena displays.
On Sunday morning, before the site opened to the public, we were given a guided tour of Tyntesfield House by the Curator.

As always, the Living History displays proved a popular attraction.

Members of the public took the opportunity to chat with the re-enactors and find out about life in the past.