Monday, 23 September 2013

Weaponry Research for the Writer...

If you want to see old weaponry on display, and in context, then you will get a lot out of the Royal Armouries in Leeds. But don't expect to see everything in one visit, so be prepared.

It's a National Museum, so it costs nothing to go in- though they welcome donations- and there are additional activities inside, and in the jousting yard, that you pay for, but the rest is FREE.

There are five floors with different displays, as well as an outdoor area for specific displays (they run on set days/weekends, and times, you also need to pay for these).

They have an inexpensive guidebook which it it worth buying, but if you don't there is a sheet to help you find your way around- it's essential to get the best out of your time there.

A few things to bear in mind; you can take pictures, but many areas you can't use the flash on your camera, so check for the unobtrusive warning notices.

If you have a problem with heights, stay away from the window alcoves as can almost see straight down, because of the building design. (I feel wobbly just thinking about it).

This is sunlight falling on the floor from the floor to ceiling windows in the self defence section. It also gives you some idea of the lighting without the camera flash...

                                            A selection of Cannon in the ground                                               floor area of the Hall of Steel...

Looking up at the weapon array in the Hall of Steel. Each section is covered with a selection of arms. You can climb the stairs that surrounds this area and look through the windows as you climb.

                                  This is a pair of flintlock pocket                                         pistols- French, from about 1780.

(They triggered the arrival of another new character for me to discover...)

This is a detail from the large display, including a Civil War Cavalryman on horse.

(In the War section there was a full size display of soldiers from various time periods including this Parliamentarian.)

I have to say I was quite pleased it was just a model, as the fully armed cavalryman looked very intimidating...

There is also a library on the ground floor for researchers, but that wasn't open when we went at the weekend, and you can't just turn up to use it when it is open, booking is required.

Now, I've saved my favourite for my last picture - duelling pistols.

Many historical romance writers will be familiar with the name, Manton. Well in one of the display cabinets among a variety of duelling pistols- and a fully equipped box- was a Manton.

Now it's a good quality version, and could have been used for duelling, but that wasn't its sole purpose; but even so, it was in its own way beautiful -but still deadly.

(This photo has been created by taking the Manton pistol image out of the display cabinet picture I took- big thanks to my son Dane for his editing skills to create the picture for me so you could see it properly.)

                                       A gentleman's Manton                                               flintlock pistol.

Hope you've enjoyed looking at my pictures from my visit to the Royal Armouries.

If you want to copy any of them, please credit the source, myself/blog link, and the Royal Armouries who allow visitors to take photos.

The Best Laid Plans...

When you think everything is going along nicely, you can guarantee something comes along to muck it all up!

I've started back to writing the novella, but it's hard work at the moment, as I desperately need quiet without any interruptions to get my mind into the historic time period, but unplanned changes to my sons timetables is giving me 'quiet time' issues...

It doesn't help when I'm writing anything else either! :)

Today has been the first day for months where everyone is out at the same time.

So I'm blogging and then getting back to the novella.

And finally, my next post is definitely my trip to the Royal Armouries in Leeds. 

I'm off to put it together now...

Monday, 9 September 2013

Normal Routine is Resuming Slowly...

I always thought the six weeks school holiday was enough of a break from my term-time routine, but this has been the first summer since my sons started college, so I wasn't prepared for the 10+ weeks of having them around.

First my brain went onto go slow before finally grinding to a halt, only to perk back up at five and a half weeks ready for the new term...I will have to retrain my brain. :D

So today the first of the three went back to college; two more still to go.

My immediate plan is to get into a new routine to get as much writing time as possible, which is almost guaranteed to be disrupted for the first week or two...

Anyway, I will be sorting out the remainder of my holiday photos, so you will soon see some of the interesting things I saw in the Royal Armouries (Leeds) last month.

It's a fantastic place to visit, free entry- though they welcome donations- and you won't be disappointed in the variety.

More in my next post, but meanwhile here's a picture to start with...

Hall of Steel seen through the viewing mirror