Gallery 4

The picture shows the Major resplendent in his new coat and Volunteer Alex Clark resplendent in his full volunteer uniform taking a little refreshment. Doubtless Volunteer Clark is raising his tankard to the illustrious memory of Sir Richard Arkwright and the health of His Britannic Majesty King George the Third.

 

The Volunteers marched north to garrison Sir Richard Arkwright’s Cromford Mills on Sunday 27th March. They were representing Captain Peter Arkwright’s Company of Volunteers who mustered in and around the Mills during the Napoleonic Wars. It was an excellent day. A full platoon of volunteers including two recent recruits paraded for duty and had a very enjoyable time “living their history with a smile.” The public were invited to take part in the day as much as possible and did so with great enthusiasm. Every question asked was answered. No person who wanted a go lacked for instruction in Pike Drill and the demonstration purposes musket which legally be held by anyone was well to the fore. Sgt Liscombe had produced some Irish soda bread which was partaken off with ham and cheese. Liquid refreshment was also taken. Representatives of local community groups, the national press, and even some old friends from the Charles Edward Stuart Society were all welcomed during the day.

Sgt Liscombe explaining the finer points of the Charge Pikes position to Volunteer Neil Bricknell. Volunteer Bricknell, a former serving NCO in the British Army, has joined the Volunteers as the Major’s one-eyed Butler Reuben “Our Nel” Dredge. Not a moment too soon I might add as for at least a year our CO has endured a “Butlerless Hell” where he could only gaze with envy at the Colonel of the Regiment Sir Michael Haynes's gentleman’s gentleman Beau Grate and gnash his teeth in frustration. Dredge – a distant relation of Vice Admiral Lord Nelson many times removed – is already making his arrangements to campaign in style. He is a valued addition to our ranks!

The Volunteers at Pike Drill with members of the public. Prominent as a Marker is Volunteer David Higginbotham who has joined our ranks as a French Émigré who lends money to distressed gentlemen. His financial accumen and leading role in the Arkwright Bank at Wirksworth have led to his appointment as Paymaster. David is an experienced re-enactor who is happy to be involved in our few but enjoyable local events as his commitments allow. We welcome him to our ranks.

In this picture we see the Sergeant and Major posing for another photographer. In the background Acting Corporal Paul Curtis is seen chatting happily with the public and answering their questions. There is nothing aloof or elitist about the Loyal Volunteers. They are at their happiest living their history with a smile and gaining the interest and enthusiasm of young and old. The public seem to respond well to this engaging, informative, and friendly approach and we intend to build on it during the year.

 

Here the Major and Sergeant are seen advancing confidently into the future with the acting Corporal grinning like a Cheshire cat in the background! All are wishing to express their thanks to the Arkwright Society who allowed us to bring a little of the Mill's history to life. We look forward to returning there in May!