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Medieval & Renaissance Culture/Craft Expo 2018


Saturday July 7 2018, 9am - 4pm - this is the first Saturday of the July school holidays


Albany Village Hall, corner Albany Highway and Library Lane, Albany


Us, demonstrating what we do, to the public, in a dedicated forum, to try and get new members.


This will require massive buy-in from everyone to be a goer. I have already spoken to a number of people (both in our Barony, and in other groups) about it, and I believe we can probably pull it off.


We have permission to hire Albany Village Hall for Friday 6 July in the evening, and all day and evening Saturday 7 July - which will allow us time to set up and pack down either side.

The venue comes with brand new trestle tables and chairs, a large kitchen area, heating, a secondary room that could be used for time outs or getting ready for our group, and toilet block.


The aim is to get people through the door, so we want to keep the entry fee low. Based on our biennial miniatures' club shows, I would suggest a cost of $5 for adults, $2-3 for senior citizens, and $1 for children.

We can then make more money for the group by selling things - snacks, bought-in items, kitsets we've made, or having individuals act as vendors but paying for their display space by returning a small portion of what they earn to the club (e.g. 5%, or nothing if they make less than $50 - see section below on Merchants).

Hire cost for the venue is $500, with a $350 bond. If we want to go ahead, we will need to pay the venue hire by the end of this year.

Other costs I would anticipate but have not yet scoped would include a significant advertising budget - we really want to get people to come. I think we should aim to get at least 400 people through the door that day.

Also an outlay for anything we are buying in to onsell, or anything we are putting together as a group to onsell.

What we might do

Massive disclaimer (read this first):

These are just some ideas, not definite things. We don't have to do any or all of them. Also, you may have ideas on what we could do that I haven't included here - we should definitely add those ideas to the list.

Where I have put people's names beside something, it's just because I would view them as being a strong candidate for being involved with a specific task. Again, these people don't have to do those things (unless they want to - in which case, great!), they might not be able to be involved or might have different preferences for where and how they would like to be involved. But for the purposes of getting some ideas on, um, paper?, I have included some people where it seems like they might be included.

For things where we might want to sell stuff, I've indicated "Barony Initiative"where I think it's somethingn we may want to do as a group, or "Merchant"where I think it's something a specific person may want to do as an individual.

We will also want to invite other groups to take part (probably for a table hire fee). I've listed some that we may want to include below, but this is not in any way a complete list.

On stage: rotating displays, 1/2 hourly, including (but not limited to):

- Dance - 15th/16th century, Middle Eastern

- Sword fighting

- Talks (cassoni, physics, something else?)

- Dress a lady

- Dress a knight

- Other groups taking part

Displays: many. As many as possible. All with displays in addition to the ideas I've listed here.

Mixture of free and cheap activities to encourage people to take part.

Calligraphy & Illumination - Svartr + support

  • Make a quill ($2? Barony initiative)
  • Make ink (demo) free
  • Write your name with a quill & medieval ink (on vellum?) free
  • Illuminate a letter (on vellum?) $2-5 (Barony initiative)

-> See if Auckland library would be willing to sponsor, or set up a display with part of their manuscript collection

Bookbinding - Vanessa + support

  • demo of various bits of equipment/process, alternating with classe* sell kits
  • sell class (~$5)
  • sell finished books

Vanessa as Merchant? Could be a combo of Merchant and bought-in books

Talk to a Tailor - Chantelle, Michaela, Alyenora, Al, Dave

  • Style books on hand: men's, women's, children's, different periods, different regions for people to flick through
  • If royalty free images, can sell mini look books, either as a Barony initiative or merchant activity - perhaps pay Michaela to put these together
  • Tailors can give advice on what styles suit different figures, what's easy or cheap to make 
  • Sign up (and pay) for Garb Day classes - Barony Initiative
  • Garb for sale (Chantelle as Merchant?)

Photo Booth

  • Dress up in garb and take a picture!
  • May need to pay someone to make easy-to-put-on kids' stuff'
  • This was really a hit when I went anywhere in England, particularly with the adults. I think we should make the most of this, if we can.

Textiles - Nicola, Amalie, ???

  • Embroidery kits for sale (Barony Initiative or Merchant)
  •  Have a go at tablet weaving
  •  Sell basic inkle looms & cards (Barony Initiative)
  •  Try spinning - free
  •  Try bobbin lace (if we have anyone free to teach) - free
  •  Fingerloop weaving - free
  •  Making cord in pairs - free

Face Painting - $2

Merchant or Barony Initiative - Agate, Candace, Michaela, or bring in a pro if needed

Roaming juggler/classes/acrobat - Inigo

Lotions, Potions, & Brews?

Games Station?


  • Hold swords
  • Try poses
  • Sign up (& pay) for workshop/classes

Archery - Nora, Ian, Phil

  • Try drawing different weights of bows
  •  Discussion of types of bows
  •  Fletch an arrow (if able to do for $5)
  •  Sign up for archery
  •  Have a go at stringing a bow

Music - Wendy, Nadia, Yvonne if back, Alyenora, Ian, Elizabeth

  • Try a trombone
  • try a thingummy, the one that's like the start of bagpipes and sounds awful
  • have antibacterial wipes on hand to enable this
  • Have a go harp & hammer dulcimer


  • Bernard has suggested that he and some friends may be willing to come up and run a shoot-a-knight activity, where people attempt to shoot the knight with a bow and arrow
  • It's likely to be wet, so an alternative "whack-a-knight" with a sword or some such may be better


  • Baking, teas, coffees, drinks, toasted sandwiches, hotdogs, pizza
  • This is a great money maker, but we may not have the people to run it - could look at outsourcing opportunity to another club?


Rather than having merchants pay for space, since most of the time, our "merchants" - people like Vanessa, Ed, Chantelle - will be involved on a club stall, instead have a token cost of 5% of what they make, for anything they make over $50, capped to a maximum 5% return of $1000 (if they reach this, they have made $20000).

We can investigate hiring eftpos machines for the club to use for door sales (entirely necessary) and sign ups, but could also give merchants the option of hiring one for their own use through the club, if this is cost-effective and logistically achievable.

Other Clubs

We won't be able to fill the space by ourselves, although some of our activities take up quite a bit of space. By inviting other clubs to have tables also, we can get some great cross-pollination going (hopefully), a wider spread with the advertising, and more people through the door.

Suggestions for who to invite:

  • Auckland Sword & Shield
  • Affetto
  • Weavers, spinners guilds
  • Lacemakers guild
  • LARPers
  • Argent Lords
  • Jousters
  • Potters
  • Woodworkers
  • Steampunk groups

Follow up activities

We won't make this a success if we don't have anything for people to go to aftewards - again, this is a critical bit that requires mass buy-in to make the thing a success.

We need to have at least a few things lined up that people can sign up (and PAY) for on the day. These are some suggestions.

  • Specific workshops for dance and rapier, or sign up for the next set of classes
  • Archery day
  • A Family Feast on the final Saturday of the school holidays
  • A series of garb classes
  • Allcomers feast a couple of months later, with options to sign up to learn to cook a specific dish, take part in feast prep, learn to serve a feast
  • Labour weekend at the Braithwaytes could be advertised, pending the Braithwayte's willingness to do so

Things I am particularly keen to see happen are the Family Feast, Garb Classes, and Allcomers Feast. I am willing to cook one the feasts, preferably the Allcomers feast, but would need stewards for both events, willing to take on the entire stewarding side.

I am willing to "steward" the garb classes. The aim with the garb classes would be that someone attending these could go away and make something, then wear it to the Allcomers feast a few months later.

Proposed garb class format would be:

1st class - a month out from the demo - we provide linen (included into overall class price) and run you through how to make a chemise/shirt appropriate to chosen style; have machines available on the day (use a school technology suite); run through appropriate fabrics and quantities for outer layers of whichever period each person prefers

2nd class - a few weeks later - cut out a cheap fabric pattern for your chosen outer layer, have this fitted for you, and end up with a pattern to take away; also cut out/make a start on your outer garb, with fabric you've bought in the meantime

3rd class - a few weeks later - catch up/help for those that need further guidance; cut out headwear/go through assembly of it; discuss accessories