Elegantly dressed Cavaliers in wigs challenged the ladies to the best costumes recently on Civil War Day at Mullion School.

There were, however, plenty of serious Puritans also, as year eight made a great effort with their outfits from the 17th century.

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They also worked hard, too, on their calligraphy, using phrases from 17th century English and difficult italic pens to produce letters to the King, complaining about the hardships caused by the war.

Visiting experts from the Star Gun Company, Colin and Sally Herriott, showed artefacts and reconstructed weapons used in the English Civil War period and clothes which told the wealth and status of the wearer.

Karen Lockley-Brown, of Second Wave Dance, aided by Richard on violin, demonstrated five diverse dances, beginning with the simple yet renowned Cornish Serpent Dance which is still danced today on Mazey Day in Penzance and at traditional dance gatherings.

Other dances were a mix of courtly dances which the wealthy would take part in, and social dances, the only opportunity for ordinary people in the 1640s to get to be close to a potential partner and hold hands.

“Resident cavalier” Ben Merritt, these day’s working as the school’s drama teacher, led a session where pupils explored their 17th century identity and motives for supporting the King or Parliament, awarding points for pupils working together.

Overseeing the day this year was a figure resembling Roundhead commander Oliver Cromwell, aka headteacher Mike Sandford, who in his last Civil War Day (due to retirement), was decked out with breeches, helmet, and the full gear of the New Model Army.

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The winners of competitions were: best costumes, Hannah Portas, Kian Axtell, |Georgia Gregory-Morris, Oliver Smith, Rosie Dorrell, Rory Teale, Jodie Owens and Owen Williams; calligraphy, Meg Parker, Phoebe Bravery, Tilly Alfrey-Cryan, and Izzi Roberts. The best calligraphy overall was by Kiran Tripconey.

A special award was given to Emily Aston for her significant contribution to Civil War Day. Not only did she don a flamboyant Cavalier outfit but had also spent days making her own musket, which was judged by Colin Herriott of the Star Gun Company to be the best gun he had seen made in 30 years of re-enactments.

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The day ended with a cannon firing from the school field and the Serpent Dance.