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Knights looking for a fight site.

MEMBERS of a medieval re-enactment group say their broadswords are going rusty as they have nowhere to do battle.

The Collegiate of Knights Templar Medieval Re-Enactment Society (Pembrokeshire branch) is led by 69-year-old retired valuer George Wright of Tenby.

In his "Templar life", he adopts the persona of Geffroi de Charney, a member of the fearsome christian warriors the Knights Templar, who was burned alive in 1314 after being denounced as a heretic.

But in his role as "preceptor" of the 30 strong re-enactment group, he says the active members are champing at the bit for a pitched (mock) battle.

He said: "We have been trying for many years to have re-enactments in Wales but our greatest problems have been with civil servants.

"There are a number of sites in Wales where actual battles have taken place but getting permission to hold re-enactments on the sites or re-enactments at castle sites is not easy.

"We have 'adopted' two castles in West Wales, where we hold week-end training sessions, but to try to organise a performance on a battle site, would, I think, be very difficult."

Mr Wright added that the adopted castles, at Cardigan and Newcastle Emlyn were too far away for many of his group, who are based in the Pembroke and Tenby areas.

He said: "No disrespect to them they are good castles but we would like somewhere in Tenby."

The Knights Templar, a Christian military order, shrouded in mystery and intrigue, were rumoured to be the guardians of the Holy Grail, as highlighted in Dan Brown's best-selling book, the Da Vinci Code Mr Wright said: "We have insurance covering people for up to pounds 5m but still we have problem with officials giving us clearance.

"Our ambition would be to have a medieval battle with 400 people per side but there seems little chance of that.

"We're all getting a little frustrated as a broadsword and mail can cost over pounds 1,000... it's going to waste."

A spokesman for Pembrokeshire County Council said: "We do not own any castles."


BATTLE READY: George Wright and members of the Collegiate of Knights Templar Medieval Re-Enactment Society
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Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 30, 2009
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