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Love can find you in many places. At work, in a bar – or perhaps when you are dressed as a bloodthirsty gladiator.

Re-enactment – getting dressed as civilians and soldiers from the past – is more often associated with metal polish and facial hair than matchmaking.

But some people have found their partners through the smoke of a (risk-assessed) battle or in a shared appreciation of a really good axe.

Peter and Ellie Taylor's wedding

Ellie Taylor

Peter Taylor, from York, said: “The joke I always say is ‘I killed her father first and then he introduced us’.

“I was at a re-enactment of the battle of Stamford Bridge in 2019 as a Viking and after ‘killing’ this bloke, we went off for a break and his daughter, Ellie, was there with him.

“His whole family were involved and Ellie had been re-enacting since she was 11.

“I wasn’t expecting to find romance but we hit it off right away.”

Peter and Ellie Taylor

Ellie Taylor

Peter, 32, runs a mead business – which came in handy when the couple had a Viking-style wedding at Whitby Abbey this summer.

He has no doubts that both having the same hobby has many advantages. “For one thing, you don’t have to worry about explaining where you are going on weekends,” he said.

“And it’s great as she understands that armour does belong in the lounge and doesn’t have to be tidied away as soon as you get back from a long weekend.

“But it’s really about sharing those moments, like being cuddled up in the tent watching the rain come down. Those are memories you never forget.”

Alan Larsen at Waterloo

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Rosie Sales, 40, from Countesthorpe in Leicestershire, can boast of one of the most dramatic settings ever for a marriage proposal from her partner, Alan Larsen, 62.

“It was at the 200th anniversary commemoration of the Battle of Waterloo in 2015,” she said.

“Alan was the Duke of Wellington, though he didn’t propose during the battle. He waited until we were in the beer tent.”

Rosie Sales and Alan Larsen

Rosie Sales

The couple own horses and met at a banquet for historical cavalry re-enactors.

“I was dressed for the 17th Century and he was Napoleonic era Royal Dragoons,” she said. “We got chatting, I liked his voice and, of course, he looked very smart.”

Rosie said she could not imagine what it would be like to have a relationship with somebody who was not into re-enacting.

“I guess it might be difficult for them to understand where you were going, why you were doing it,” she said.

Alisa Vanlint

Alisa Vanlint

Alisa Vanlint, 52, who lives in Portsmouth, said she was “totally set on being single” before she met Simon, now 58, in 2001.

In an interesting twist on the usual romantic stories, it was cold steel which brought them together.

“At the time I took the role of a female gladiator and was asked to go to a Roman event at Dover,” she said. “I saw this man dressed as an Optio [Roman army officer] and there was instantly something there.

“I thought ‘Wow, I like this guy’ but I didn’t say anything.

“After seeing him at some other shows, I was wondering if I should make a move and all my friends were ‘Go on.”

Alisa Vanlint

Alisa Vanlint

Things must have worked out as Simon proposed in a museum in Chester in 2003.

Their wedding was, of course, in full Roman costume. Alisa said: “The vicar was so excited. He had never done anything like it before and kept asking questions and asking for pictures.”

Their partnership was truly a meeting of kindred spirits.

“Our house is all decorated in the Roman style,” she said. “We are both retired now but I still do lots of re-enacting, from Romans to World War Two.

“All day, every day it feels like I am making or repairing something. Even though Simon doesn’t do as much as me now, he understands and waves me off each weekend.”

Sara Fox

Sara Fox

Sara Fox, 58, who lives in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, met husband Mark, 56, at a Roman event in York in 2011.

“I liked the look of him – some people just carry the kit well,” she said. “I’d been in a relationship with a 15th Century re-enactor so I knew what I was getting into.”

So committed are they to recreating the past, they now run a company which provides horses and costumes for historical events and filming.

“It means we have a lot of stuff. Some parts of the house look like an explosion in a fabric shop,” she said.

“We have other jobs as well – I work as a theatre lighting technician – but since we have to go here, there and everywhere at weekends, it can be incredibly busy.

“But it calms down during the winter and we get some time to ourselves.”

Jonathan Titterton and Marianne Partridge

Jonathan Titterton

It was through his interest in recreating life as a rebellious Jacobite that Jonathan Titterton found his perfect match.

Jonathan, 31, from Loughborough, said: “I was looking to expand my kit, particularly the ‘Great Kilt’ they wore.

“As luck would have it someone was selling theirs and I decided to go and have a look. I immediately thought: ‘She is gorgeous’ so I turned on the charm.”

Jonathan is now the partner and full-time carer of Marianne Partridge, 26, who is registered blind. He feels the fact they are both re-enactors means they can appreciate each other more.

“She is practically my mental double anyway,” he said. “We finish each other’s words and sentences.

“We take pride in what we do – Marianne holds our group’s record for an arrow shot by a blind person.”

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Source: BBC

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