EXPLOSIVE canon fire heralded two days of thrills and spills, education and have-a-go fun at the Loxwood Joust spectacular Medieval Festival.
Central was the fast-paced jousting tournament where the tale of gallant Sir Thomas and dastardly Sir Percy unfolded to the crowd.
Showing off their skills at quintain and target practice, the knights rode against each other to claim the title Lord of Loxwood where the crowd decided in favour of the mystery knight – eventually revealed as the Lady Adrianne.
A War of the Roses battlefield skirmish saw the Lancastrians defeat the Yorkists undeterred by archers, cannon fire and underhand tactics on the field.
In the children’s kingdom, little knights and princesses used their ‘groats’ to have a go at archery, learn a few juggling tricks and to ‘pelt the peasant’ in support of the Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice.
They relished tales of Sussex dragon-lore, got up close to birds of prey and learned about the battle of Agincourt, the life of a medieval housewife and gory tales from the masked executioner.
On the woodland stage, entertainment came from the internationally-acclaimed award-winning Mediaeval Baebes, the Chiddingly Mummers and the Portcullis Minstrels.
Organiser Maurice Bacon said: “Seeing the children having so much fun as little knights and princesses was wonderful and makes all the planning worthwhile”.
See the Midhurst and Petworth Observer, out this week (Thursday, August 8), for all the pictures