BRADFORD on Avon was the place to be this weekend as thousands poured into the town for the English Civil War Society's re-enactment. 

17th century Britain was brought to life for the two-day extravaganza which ran from 10am-5pm, focusing on the fierce battles of 1643 between the Parliamentarians and the Royalists.

More than 500 society members were involved in total, including for the bridge skirmish, artillery and infantry displays in Victory Field, a living history village at the Tithe and Barton Farm and a full-scale battle at Poulton Field. 

Chief organiser, Cllr Laurie Brown, said: “It has been over a year of intense work but to see it all come together like this is magnificent.

“It is a first to have three different sites used which is paying off and to see everyone loving it is so rewarding and I cannot wait for it to start all over again for tomorrow.”

At the living history village, the largest the society has ever put together, those present were treated to what market life was like back in the 1600's. 

Cook Steve Rutherford, one of many tasked with feeding much of the gentry, said: “The food back then was quite spicy and flavoursome and there are a lot of hungry mouths to feed.

“We have Turkish beef, Saracens stew, medieval dishes and more for people to enjoy.”

The weird and wonderful day culminated in an epic battle in Poulton Field, where society members were cheered on by the feverishly excited crowd who were baying for more. 

Steve Andrews, 52, and his son Thor Iossboerg, 9, of Winsley Road, were enthralled by the day’s events.

“It has been fantastic. The display on the bridge was great and probably as realistic as it can get. It is just amazing to see,” said Thor.

Society member and commentator for the military displays and the Poulton Field battle, Tony Cullen, added: "It is a beautiful day which helps and it is a real treat for us to come to a gorgeous town like this. To see this many people turn out for this is just phenomenal.”

Now the society members will get a well earned rest before tomorrow's finale which should be just as spectacular. 

Cllr Mike Roberts said: “That bridge skirmish was just superb. The numbers here today are enormous, which is great for the local economy too.

“It should be a brilliant weekend and one that brings this wonderful community together.”