I'm not superstitious about Friday 13th because I passed my driving test on a Friday 13th and I was never in the Knights Templar ;) so it's as good a day as any to get back to my Blog after Leeds and Leonard Cohan and all that.
If you've never been to Leed's Royal Armouries you're missing one of the best musuems in Britain. You see armour is not just a load of weaponry. There's armour from all over the world there, ancient stuff from China and Japan. Darth Vadarish things and wicked looking wicker, bejeweled bosses, acid etched cuirasses. And have you ever seen the inside of a shield -- fabulously decorated with tapestry and leather. The elephant armour -- that's HUGE.
Did you know they used to make armour for six year old boys so that they would grow able to bear the weight of the full armoured suit needed for jousting? Then there's the famous horned helmet of course. There are gattlin guns and swords and pikes... It's not that I like weapons -- far from it -- but when you see ingenious and beautiful sword sticks, umbrella guns, and jewel encrusted scabbards from Turkey, you just have to admire the craft.
Of course jousting was a sport and it is amazing how closely the design of modern protective gear follows the old craft of protecting with armour. If you've ever worn knee pads or a helmet you owe something to those men who designed armour.
This time they had a Hobbits Swords display, Anduril, Sting, Glamdring :) Wonderful workmanship from Weta. Of course John Howe LOTRs artist, is an armour expert!
They are talks and demos and video, falconry and lots of hands-on stuff to do and see there.
But our favourite display is a tableau depicting the Battle of Pavia 1525 -- when pike men and arquebussiers beat mounted men in full armour. It was the beginning of the end for Knights in Armour -- alas it was not the end of war.