Kingdom Arms by Robin of Thornwood Calligraphy by Robin of Thornwood Populous Badge by Robin of Thornwood

The Fourth Year

August Purgatorio Coronation Festival
August 16-17, 1969

From The Page, August, 1969 (funky spacing and typos left in the text):


will be held Saturday and Sunday, August 16th and 17th, in the Girl's Camp Area of the Redwood Regional Park.

The next two pageswillprovideinformation on how to get there, what to bring,etc. If you have any questions, callthe Autocrats Sir Siegfried andLady Ardis (their presentMajesties) at ...

In the history of the Kingdom of the West, this will be only our second overnight festival tournament, and, as such, is planned to be a bit different from any past tournament and especially different from a crown tournament where our attention is focused on the important business of choosing the next king.

To this end, we will divide the field into three main areas. First, centrally, and still most important will be the Field of Honor. We are making it a bit small this time, although hopefully not small enough to be a real inconvenience to teh fighters. This is because: (1) we had to. The only area we could find which combined all the other features we wanted did not have a field quite as big as we often have. And (2) we wanted to. This will enable those of us who don't fight but who really love the fighting to really see what's going on out there. At a crown tourney, we wouldn't have asked the fighters to be inconvenienced even this much for our pleasure but at a festival, we thought it might be worth it. (If it is too awful, gentlemen, please inform us, the Earl Marshall, or the Seneschal that it may never happen again.)

The second area is the Shelter, a three sided stone building with a fireplace. Therein and thereabout we can have singing, belly dancing, medieval dancing, perhaps a children's play, and other frivolities. These can go on all day without interrupting or interfering with the fighting. Then, in the evening when it is too dark to fight, we can build a cheery fire and revel there. So please bring your talents, musical instruments, or dancing bears.

The last major area I'll call the Plain. This is the area by the bridge and the first area you will see when you arrive. There we can have melees, horseback combat and such delights as defending the bridge. All those activities which require lots of space.

And all these things can happen at once, if we want, without interfering with each other. So come prepared for all the fighting and all the fun anyone could ask for.

Other things to come prepared for are: sunburn, poison oak, posssible evening chill and the other usual problems of camping out in California. There are several shade trees and many of you have pavilions but bring the suntan lotion anyway. The poison oak is around, rather than in the area where the tournament will take place but still... (I recomment Antivy, available in drugstores--it works for me.) And it it can get chilly in the evening so bring wraps. And dark-- don't forget lights and flashlights.

Other things you may want: mirrors for the ladies as there are none in miles, sleeping bags and pavilions of course, bandaids, pins and needles, cushions and tourney chests, ice, cooking utensils, and don't forget the dancing bear. We will bring two 16 quart pots to heat water--if you have one, you might bring it also. There are many fireplaces and stone barbeque things and there are water fountains AND toilets in the immediate area. Also many picnic tables.

The ground is rather hard so nails might be better as pavilion stakes than those wooden ones. And you may want your air mattress, if you have one. A metal pipe, cut at an angle, works rather well as a portable hole for your banner pole or the house of Dunharrow makes banner supports, we understand. (phone number)

If you arrive and have forgotten something without which you cannot live, there is a shopping center less than two miles from the parking lot. Of course the parking lot is a half mile uphill walk from the tournament site.


Of course we'll run shuttle vehicles to ferry things in an out. Not, however, one minute earlier than 9:30 (official starting time for the tourney is noon) so don't arise at the crack of dawn. We've got two whole days. The shuttle vechicles will officially close down again at 2:00 so if you arrive after that and just can't carry whatever it is down the hill, you'll have to send someone down to find the Autocrats and ask for a special shuttle. And for goodness sake if you must arrive at 5:00 in the morning when everyone knows only madmen are about, don't set up your pavilion right where something else is supposed to be. Chew your fingernails and wait to ask an Autocrat.

A map is below--notice that the tournament will take place only about 15 minutes drive from Berkeley or Oakland so if you want to go home for the night, you probably can.

(Directions and map left out)

From the History (by Wilhelm):

Held in the Girl’s Camp, Redwood Regional Park, Oakland, California. Sir Bela of Eastmarch and Karina of the Far West were Tourneymasters. Siegfried and Ardis held court. King Siegfried gave Awards of Arms to Alison of Hightower, Melissa Wordsmith, Astrid of Hawk Ridge, Dorothea of Paravel (Dorothea of Caer Myrdden), and Hugh ap Llewellyn. Then Henrik and Leanne were crowned. King Henrik named Siegfried Duke. King Henrik abolished the office of Tourneymaster and reinstituted the office of Supreme Autocrat by appointing Sir Stefan de Lorraine for October.

Henrik of Havn
Vert, on a pellet a horse's head
couped Or above a coronet showing
three Latin crosses Or.
Leanne of Maywood
Azure, a Unicorn countertrippant
argent, armed, crined and pizzled
and cullioned Or.
Arms drawn by Nicholas Bawcock of Petersfield, used with permission
Arms colored by Aja du Jardin

“Oh, so that’s what happened to the post of Tourneymaster. I'd forgotten all about it. I wonder what the reasons behind the actions were? The memory has completely escaped me. I do know that I was the chief deputy seneschal of the kingdom by this time and Jon De Cles was getting ready to hand the reins of the kingdom over to me and move on to be Steward of the Society only. Fate intervened, but that's a subject for a later communique.
     “I do remember that the tournament earned its name of Purgatorio and we had to bring water into the site. No memory at all of what took place. Things like Arts competitions and Queens Champion lists were some years in the future, yet.” – Stefan de Lorraine, who was dealing with home and work issues and rescuing a cat from the neighborhood urchins at the time.

“Second overnight event, if I remember correctly. Nice weather but really hot. This was when David Bradley christened the event 'Purgatorio' , good fighting - an abduction occurred. Was this the event where David (Sir Ardral), Sir Kerry the Roc and one other fighter attacked Henrik while screaming their battle cry- 'Rubber Duckie' ?” – James Greyhelm

“I thought the camp was in the south end of Tilden Park, near the little railroad, not in Redwood Regional Park as someone said. I believe it was called either "Girls' Camp" or "Boys' Camp" (I forget which. I think the East Bay Regional Parks have one of each by those names and we used both at different times.)” – Robert of Dunharrow

Description of this event, © Copyright 1980 by William R. Keyes (Wilhelm von Schlüssel)
This is from The History of the West Kingdom, Volume 1 (the only volume produced). When reading this text, please keep in mind the following disclaimer:

Disclaimer: This history may have errors in it, as much of the detail is “remembered” history, or as one of the cover pages of the original type-written manuscript states “The material within is derived from the information printed in The Crown Prints and in The Page, and from the memories of the participants.” The original document was typed on onion-skin paper, with hand-written notes (often in the margins). All attempts have been made to reconcile the notes with the original document.

Annotations, when they are added, are from The Annotated History of the West, Volume 1, which is the same text as Master Wilhelm's mentioned above, with commentary from members of the SCA who were active at the time of the event, and are added to help clarify questions and expand on what happened and why. This volume is copyright © Ken Mayer (Hirsch von Henford).

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The West Kingdom History Website was created by and is maintained by Hirsch von Henford (mka Ken Mayer).