Greetings to you all!
After a smooth transition from my august predecessor, Dame Lyonet, I am looking forward to serving yourselves and the thrones over the next couple of years. It is an honour to be joining the array of talented and busy Principality Officers and seneschals we have here, and I am looking forward to seeing how this office can support their endeavours.
While we are heading into longer nights, my thoughts are looking ahead to when the light returns and the lands warm up again ready for our events in 2023. It has been pleasing to see events being added to the calendar, well into the new year.
ID Coronet News
I am pleased to see we have a Spring Coronet Tournament on the books at a new and promising event site in Norwich, East Anglia. What is even more pleasing is that there are already plans for the November 2023 Coronet. With longer-term notice of events, especially for Tournaments, participants and attendees are better able to plan time-off, obtain cheaper (relatively….) travel arrangements, and plan financially.
Events are pre-occupying my mind in other ways, particularly while we weather the economic storms ahead. COVID has not gone away, lurking at our doors, and I am looking at ways our event organisers can improve on accessibility, as well as addressing the concerns surrounding the speed with which events book out on a first-come-first-served basis. Conversations to this end are already in full swing, and I am interested to hear of your experiences and suggestions that we can make things more accessible and equitable.
The future of The Big Summer Event
Lockdowns laid bare a lot of issues with holding a large summer camping event (at Raglan or elsewhere), namely the short-termism, cost issues and organisational flaws, as well as the need for a reserve venue twice now. I am wary of bringing premature news to you all, though I will say that I am in touch with CADW in order to ascertain future options. Suffice to say, that is all the news there is in regard to Raglan Castle. I am aware of rumours and strongly-held views as to using that site but unless the information has come from myself as Seneschal, such commentary is just that.
What is happening is that the “Raglan” Committee is being formed, drawn from volunteers. This is planned to be a Brains Trust and is NOT the organising committee, but a great asset of advice and experience to support and advise the Event Steward and their team. I am continuing to look for volunteers to join this group, the likely format will be a channel on the Principality Discord. Please email me at – Seneschal@insulaedraconis.org
Call for a volunteer to be the Big Summer Event Steward
We are looking for someone to helm and build an event team for next year. You will be officially a deputy Seneschal in charge of the event, supported by the Principality. We have also commissioned a toolkit from the Practical Drachenwald team designed by Yannick of Normandy, which will support you in the planning, documentation, budgeting and communications for the event. With full support of my office, you will also be able to draw upon the “Raglan” Committee’s knowledge, and the feedback from previous events. Please email me with a brief outline of your experience by 30 th October – Seneschal@insulaedraconis.org
Our numbers are steadily growing, and it is a joy to watch new groups and subgroups developing across the Isles. This is in turn causing pressures on events, and I am taking notes of the great examples of trying out new event ideas by the Barony of Eplaheimr in particular. Lockdown provided a pause to review and rethink evetn formats and take a hard look at how we organise, and who for.
We have an opportunity to explore new ideas, new venues, address accessibility issues, preserve the best of our online output, and so on. At the end of the day, a weekend event is practicably only the Saturday for SCA activity for example, and we faced issues with illnesses at events prior to COVID. As a contractor, I lost two weeks of income due to a particularly violent event-crud a few years back. Some sites are too small, or only enjoyable by the able- bodied. So, over the coming months, I will be discussing these issues with yourselves and in conference with the Seneschals of these Isles.
Hunting Unic… sorry, Event Sites
An initial effort to help address this is a crowd-sourcing of the site inforation you might have lurking on your computer, or at the back of your mind. Previously, I set up a Google form for the Shire of Flintheath, requesting people to add information as they found it, either online or from prior information. This was a reasonable success, netting over 40 potential sites, from village halls to scout camps to castle ruins.
Thus, a Principality-level version has been created. As such, I am asking you to rack your brains, run your searches and help the Seneschals in their quest for sites large and small. Please visit - https://forms.gle/sZ1EFgLeEDiBXmRo8
Well, must stop there for this month. There’s quite the in-tray!