Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find the answers to many frequently asked questions regarding tentage and venue options; site visits; risk assessment; insurance; CRB clearance; bookings, fees and costs; references offered.

Tentage for outdoor venues

huge well furnished and richly dressed tent

For medieval and early Tudor events our huge well furnished and richly dressed tent with its framed awning together measure an impressive 10.8 x 11.3 metres.

We are able to provide an accurate diagram to assist with orientation and placement if required.

You can see from both scale and elaborate interior that this will all take a considerable amount of time to set up, fit out and decorate!

Tent Norton interior

Thus at least seven hours are needed to erect completely, with a similar amount of time required to decamp: it is therefore not practical to offer this tent in full rig for single days, nor even where access times at either end of a longer event may be limited.

However, it is possible to put up the tent on its own – with plenty of hangings and lower-key set dressing – to provide an attractive large covered space to welcome an audience in for storytelling, table games or other non-fiery demonstrations or presentations.

Tent Norton interior

Alternatively, we have a smaller elaborately painted booth that requires barely a 5 x 4 metres pitch at its most compact.

This framed booth is correct for medieval and early Tudor periods but its ‘Gothick’ style is also appropriate for our Regency and earlier Victorian events (though also only for those where a fire is not needed)

Stall at Braintree closed

Canvas guyed awning

For single day events or in later periods we use either one or two plain canvas guyed awnings each seperately needing a groundspace of 5 x 5 metres These can give an area open all the way to the back wall or otherwise have the addition of a simple linen curtained backdrop compartment fitted.

A solo awning is shown here in WW2 Home Front guise.

It is also possible to join two awnings together, with or without their curtaining installed, which will need a groundspace of 5 metres deep by 8 metres across.

We have recently designed an additional linking central section to provide a 12 x 5 metre gallery style display space. This would be especially suitable for housing a range of different neighbouring activities and/or adding a domestic living history ‘room’ setting.

These awnings, in whichever configuration, offer sufficient height to use small altar fires safely so that they are suitable for our full range of presentations and demonstrations.

Canvas guyed awnings

None of THE ABOVE tentage is suitable for use on hard standing, all require conventional pegging into soft ground and guying.

Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura

Our tented Camera Obscura obviously requires sufficient light to function. It has a footprint of 3.2 metres diameter (additional guys may possibly be necessary in really adverse conditions) It will always require headroom of 2.5 metres.

For outside events the Camera Obscura is usually conventionally pegged on soft standing though it is also possible to site on hard standing outside so long as weather conditions are not extreme.

We will thus also be able to site indoors so long as the venue is well lit and sufficient headroom is available e.g.under high ceilings or in a stair well.

In each case these tentage measurements generally include all guys and pegs; most demonstrations or presentations (with the exception of some of our wider ranging Games shows) can also be entirely contained within the area given.

Site visits

Most queries can be addressed by our extensive check-list that we can go through together while on the ‘phone, or by email (and our recourse to satellite pictures!)

If your site or event are exceptionally complicated I may then need to discuss making a site visit.

Indoor events

Whether at a heritage venue, in modern surroundings or on stage I can provide extensive hangings; set dressing; replica furniture and artifacts to create a period atmosphere.

While historic costume can provide an immediate and enjoyable ‘hook’ for an audience I am equally happy to give lectures and after dinner talks in contemporary (evening) dress where this is more suitable.

Risk Assessment

Our general Risk Assessment covers all our standard activities, including fire management and for hot wax Chandlery; further specific concerns should be considered at the earliest possible stage.

An email or hard copy general Risk Assessment can be sent on request and in any case always accompanies booking paperwork sent to you.

Insurance

We carry professional public liability insurance in the sum of £5 million that is specifically written for live interpretation, performance and historical demonstration, storytelling and schools work. We also have product liability insurance at the same amount to cover any of our own historical replica articles supplied for handling or sale.

I will forward a copy of my insurance document on request in advance of a booking; again, this always accompanies booking paperwork.

(DBS) Disclosures

It has not, until recently, been possible for self employed contractors to directly access their own disclosure certificate;  however, under the slightly different rules in force in Scotland we are now able to do so (with the resulting document valid for the whole of the UK).  We thus make a new application for a Basic Disclosure Certificate via Disclosures Scotland – for both my partner and myself – each year, near the beginning of the main Summer season .

If you would prefer to apply for a disclosure either more frequently or specifically for your venue and event I am obviously happy to complete any relevant paperwork you supply.  I can also forward the original documents that you will need to process your application (I usually do so by registered or recorded delivery and would ask that you return documents in a similarly secure manner)

As the amount of time taken in completing enquiries does seem to vary a great deal in England & Wales I would suggest that where you require disclosure certificates that your application is also made via Disclosures Scotland who are usually able to return a Basic Disclosure within 7-10 days.

Bookings, Fees & Costs

I will keep your provisional booking under consideration for two weeks, undertaking to contact you immediately should an alternate offer be made within that period. Once an agreement has been made and I have issued a booking form we do have a contract. In the event of your cancellation a charge will be made (Full contractual terms do appear on the reverse of/accompanying your booking form)

The particular fee quoted for your event will depend on factors such as event duration, length of day, number of sessions undertaken, type of tentage required, provision of workshop materials, etc, etc.

We do additionally require reimbursement of travelling expenses and the cost of B&B accommodation where necessary. I invoice following a purchase order or otherwise at – or immediately after – an event and accept payment by either BACS or cheque (or if it works for you, PayPal).

Routine in day ‘show and tell’ items with articles for children (and adults) to handle, explore and try on are offered without further charge. I can also supply either general or themed competition/quiz sheets within my standard fee.

I am equally able to make a quotation to develop and assist in longer term commissions or project work.

I can also arrange for the commission and purchase of historical replicas and materials for you either for stand alone display pieces or for use in handling sets.

References & Accreditation

I am more than happy for you to contact directly any of the clients that I have featured here on this website, or to put you in touch with other previous employers if you would like to take up either informal or written references.

I am accredited to the Tabulae professional register.