Gun Blast to Mark 30th Anniversary
Hurst Castle will come alive with the sound of gunfire on Saturday 24th September, as it welcomes the Lord Mayor of London’s ceremonial bodyguard, The Company of the Pikemen and Musketeers to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Friends of Hurst Castle.
The Company of the Pikemen and Musketeers will perform a demonstration of 17th century pike and musket drills at 3pm, which will include trooping the colour, repelling a cavalry charge and forming a battelle with the sound of musket fire, all in uniform identical to that worn by the Honourable Artillery Company in the reign of Charles I.
The event will mark the 30th anniversary of Friends of Hurst Castle, a local voluntary group, established in 1986 to support the running of the castle, in co-operation with Milford-on-Sea based company, Hurst Castle Services, who manages the castle on behalf of English Heritage.
Roger Walker, Chairman of the Friends of Hurst Castle said: “For Friends of Hurst Castle it has always been about supporting a local historical site to ensure its future for the next generation to enjoy.
“It’s an absolute honour to have the Company of the Pikemen and Musketeers to mark our 30th anniversary and we hope locals and tourists will join us to support this day and to witness the castle at its very best.”
Jason Crane, owner of Hurst Castle Services, who manages the castle on behalf of English Heritage said: “Without Friends of Hurst Castle’s support over the last 30 years, the castle wouldn’t be what it is today. This occasion is to celebrate the tremendous work they do both financially and physically and should be a great day out for the whole family to enjoy.”
The castle will open at its normal time of 10.30am on Saturday 24th September, with the first ferry leaving Keyhaven at 10am and then every 20 minutes after. Normal admission prices to the castle will apply on the day; £4.80 for an adult, £4.50 for a senior and £3 for a child. There will be no extra charge for the ceremonial parade by The Company of the Pikemen and Musketeers at 3pm, which will last approximately 30 minutes.
Notes to editors
The Company of the Pikemen and Musketeers are a ceremonial unit for the Honourable Artillery Company and one of only six royally warranted bodies in the UK.
It was first formed in 1925 to take part in the first Royal Tournament at the Royal Agricultural Hall. The first ‘outing’ was deemed to be such a success that the demonstration team was kept together and developed and has been providing colour and pageantry at events ever since.
In 1955 HM The Queen granted the Company a Royal Warrant authorising it to parade and tasked it to provide a ceremonial bodyguard for the Lord Mayor of the City of London.
Only veteran members of the HAC who have proven efficient service in the HAC’s Territorial Army regiment are eligible to join the Company of the Pikemen and Musketeers.
Further information from Rachel Lewis