Medieval clashes fire up Twin River Guard

Francesca MannGeraldton Guardian
VideoPerth medieval fighting group Grey Company have travelled to the quiet South West town of Balingup to compete for battleground glory.

When the weekend rolls around, some people like to kick back and relax but for a small group of Geraldton residents it’s the perfect opportunity to slip into medieval clothing and “fight to the death”.

Seven members of Geraldton’s battle re-enactment group Twin River Guard travelled more than 640km last month for the annual Balingup Medieval Carnivale, held on August 25 and 26.

This was the ninth year members of the Twin River Guard attended the two-day event but the first time they had a marquee showcasing the group.

Twin River Guard member Karl ‘Einar Firebeard’ Edwards donned his Viking attire for the Balingup Medieval Carnivale recently.
Camera IconTwin River Guard member Karl ‘Einar Firebeard’ Edwards donned his Viking attire for the Balingup Medieval Carnivale recently. Credit: Gillian of Dragancaor Creative

During the weekend, some of the group’s members also had the chance to engage in combat, re-enacting historical events and “fighting” in a melee.

Twin River Guard member Karl Edwards, also known as Einar Firebeard, was the last man standing in a brutal battle of 15 fighters, aptly named the Circle of Death.

“I’ve also got the nickname of The Chivalrous because when I play as a Viking, I’m not,” he said.

“You’re not supposed to kill the guy next to you but I did.

“Then I killed the guy next to him.

“There were three of us left, each standing in a corner, and I said ‘you two fight and I’ll take on the winner’ but when they were fighting, I came up behind one and stabbed him in the back.”

In one battle, 30 people hit the field in full plate armour.

Twin River Guard member Karl "Einar Firebeard" Edwards, left, appeared in a cutthroat fighting performance with Perth group The Grey Company at the Balingup Medieval Carnivale on August 25 and 26.
Camera IconTwin River Guard member Karl "Einar Firebeard" Edwards, left, appeared in a cutthroat fighting performance with Perth group The Grey Company at the Balingup Medieval Carnivale on August 25 and 26. Credit: Gillian of Dragancaor Creative

Although re-enacting history can be an expensive hobby, with some armour costing more than $5000, Mr Edwards said it was lots of fun.

“To be able to fight in a melee that big was absolutely awesome,” he said. “It’s a chance to re-live history without dying.

“You can play video games but it’s not the same as steel on steel and hitting your adversary’s armour.

“There’s something primeval about it. I don’t like exercise but I get a very good workout.”

Mr Edwards said new members were welcome and not everyone had to take part in combat.

To find out more, visit the Twin River Guard Facebook group.

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