Joining Wessex Medieval Alliance means that you want to take an active part in re-enactment with us. You are committing to attending events (ideally a minimum of 6 per year) and to working towards a good standard of kit. You certainly do not need a full suit of plate armour, medieval tent and related to start the hobby! (But if you do have these things, fantastic.) In return we offer training, friendship, access to a number of invite-only events and certain insurance (LINK).
We welcome dual-membership, i.e.: you are welcome to join Wessex Medieval Alliance while retaining any membership you have with other re-enactment groups. We ask only that in cases where you find yourself attending an event where both groups are present, that you declare for one or the other prior to arrival (this means you are therefore subject to the rules of the appropriate group over the weekend) by emailing our Membership Secretary.
The group has the following levels of membership. Annual membership fees for all levels except Associate are currently set at:
- £25 for individual (or single parent and their children)
- £40 for family (limited to two adults and their children)
Please note that we do not offer a student / unemployed discount.
Membership runs annually from 1st January each year. If you join on or after 1st July in any given year then a 50% discount is applicable for the remainder of that calendar year. Your membership must not lapse and you must renew by the end of each calendar year (reminders will be sent). You may not attend an event as a member of WMA if your membership has lapsed. This is to ensure that you remain insured at events, and to comply with UK legislation in relation to owning and transporting certain melee weapons, eg: the ban on Samurai Swords, 2008 requires owners of curved bladed weapons (not just Samurai swords) to be a member of an insured group.
In the case of an Associate Member, providing you notify of us about your intention to travel to an event before setting out we will extend the membership cover for you when transporting weapons to and from events for no extra charge. Associates must still pay a per-event fee upon arrival at an event (details below).
You can pay more than one year of membership in one go; this is encouraged as it avoids accidentally letting your membership lapse and being unable to attend events. Setting up a Standing Order to automatically pay your membership is possible. We can provide you with bank account details upon request.
Other family members can attend as members of the public, but if they want to get involved then they will need their own membership (which would start at Associate)
Associates join us to find out what medieval re-enactment is all about. If you are new to re-enactment then this is the membership level for you. You are under no commitments, and just pay a flat fee of £5 per event you attend, for a maximum of four events, at which time you will have the opportunity to become a probationary member by paying the yearly membership fee (your membership fee will be offset by the amount paid to attend prior events).
We provide training, purchase advice, and loan equipment whenever possible. On the battlefield your rank will be bill-man (note both men and women may hold this, and any other rank: we do not discriminate on gender) or archer, irrespective of whether you use a sword or a pole weapon. Off the battlefield you will be expected to help around camp in the same way as all other members are.
When you decide that re-enactment is the hobby for you then you will advance to Probationary Member for a full year (time attending events as an Associate will count towards your probationary period). During this time you should work on your kit, knowledge (e.g.: combat training and relevant 15th Century history) and attend as many events as you can. You will need to have attended at least a further four events over the coming year (else your probationary period will be automatically extended until you have attended sufficient events). If you do not attend events while on your probationary year then the Founding Members reserve the right to cease your membership; your membership fee is not refundable (by joining Wessex Medieval Alliance you agree to this condition).
At the end of the year the Senior Members will decide whether to promote you to full member. Providing you have attended events and have taken an active part in re-enactment with the group then there is unlikely to be a reason that full membership will not be conferred. If in the unfortunate event that your membership is not confirmed then you shall immediately cease to be a member and your membership.
At the discretion of the Founding Members experienced re-enactors who join us may immediately become Full Members without going through Associate and Probationary Membership.
Congratulations on becoming a Full Member! At this level of membership you have demonstrated a commitment to re-enactment as a hobby and we welcome you on board. A Full Member should think of themselves of somewhat of an ambassador for medieval re-enactment: you will most likely be asked numerous questions by the public and should know (or be able to deduce) most of the answers, hence a good general knowledge of European medieval history, and specifically England in the 14th and 15th centuries is important. As a combatant you will be experienced in your chosen disciplines, yet eager to continue to learn more. As a member of the medieval camp you will be engaged in interesting pursuits, which may include medieval cooking, board games (such as Alea Evangelii), weaving, armour construction or anything else that you can think of.
Any Full Member, of any rank may be deemed a Senior Member if they take on extra responsibility for running the group. Current posts are:
- Group Secretary
- Group Recruitment Officer
- Group Captain of Non-Combatants
- Battlefield Commander (we have several people)
- Battlefield Sergeant (we have several people)
- Captain of Archers
- First Aid Officer (this requires qualification by a suitable body such as St. Johns Ambulance and appropriate insurance)
The Founding Members are responsible for periodically appointing Senior Members. Any Member or Senior Member may volunteer (or nominate another) for any post by talking to one of the Founding Members at any show.
Please note that those under the age of 18 may not join independently. They may join as part of a family membership and remain the responsibility of their parent / guardian at all times. Most events require individuals to be 18 (sometimes 17) to take part in combat. We are happy to provide training to children from ages 13 and up with written permission of their parent / guardian who must attend all such training sessions and events in person.