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Patrick Brett




Location: Cornwall UK
Joined: 15 Apr 2016

Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri 15 Apr, 2016 4:38 am    Post subject: New member bio and dagger info request         Reply with quote

Hey everyone, I'm a complete newb on this forum so thought I'd start out with a quick who I am before I delve deeper into asking for some specific information about one of my weapons.

I am a 49 year old Reenactor who has been trying desperately with little or no money to upgrade all of my kit to make it more authentic, sadly I have only managed reasonably authentic but that's my problem not yours.

I first joined the Medieval Combat Society (MCS) in the winter of 1988 and the next 3 decades are a blur of Tournaments, Marches, Small Fighting Shows, Large Battles at Tewkesbury, Castles, Camp Fires and lots and lots of mead and other assorted alcoholic drinks.

Here I am at one of my earlier shows we did in Reims France for a festival the city of Reims were holding some time in the early 90's



As you can clearly see my kits leaves a lot to be desired but in essence I had pretty much all I needed to get the job done, it was a few months after that show that I was rummaging through some stuff in an old curiosity shop in Greenwich which is sadly no longer there and managed to find myself a nice looking dagger (question to follow) that has been at my side for the rest of my re-enactment life, I did buy a Ballock (proper spelling?) dagger handle to fit to the dagger but as yet have not gotten round to fitting it (more specific question to follow).

Some time during my first year I purchased a blunted sword from a nice chap (name withheld for reasons I will soon disclose) at the Tewkesbury Battle which was being held at the Worcester Race course that year and it served me well enough for about 6 months, then it met up with the weapons of a new member at the time who made his own weapons and armour, a very talented Roger Lankford (Roger of Lancaster) who a few years later started the 'Lancaster Armouries' company to sell his weapons and armour world wide. A few really nice fights with Roger later and my sword that used to ring like a bell wend 'ding, ding, dung, twang' and the last 8 inches of the blade took a day trip across the field and landed next to some members of the public, thankfully nobody got hurt! It was during my sulking session in the pub that Roger took pity on me and sold me the 16 year old sword (Beauty is her name) that he was wielding at the time for a very good price and i have never regretted that incident for one second since that day. I did try to find the sword maker of the first sword that i bought but he had kind of vanished and only re-appeared a few years ago (to my knowledge) after spending some time learning how to make swords properly so that his weapons no longer break as my one did however by the time I found him again it was almost a decade later so I couldn't even begin to think about how to talk to him about the broken sword so I didn't bother.

For almost 20 years the MCS and I had a lovely time but a few erratic house moves, college to study Computers and finally university got in the way of that so I took a few years break to study Computer Science and Cybernetics at Reading, I did get back into fighting with the MCS for a few years after my uni course went south due to a lack of funds but that only lasted for a year or so until I was forced to move home again.

About 10 years ago I met my other half on Myspace (yes I know, I'm a saddo) and whithin the space of a few months of chatting and PM's we decided it would be better for her to move in with my in my flat in London, the reason we got on so well is because she also loves weapons and armour and as you can see by these pictures our collection grew a little when it was combined...



Since this picture was taken we have added in an old Indian reproduction cutlass cavalry sword to the mix but it's far too rusty to bother taking a picture of, one day I'll clean it up but I highly suspect it;s not worth the time!

Our collection isn't just limited to bladed weapons either...



This is her collection of Knives, there's nothing special but it made her happy for them to be mounted on the wall...



Here is the state of my current kit which includes Beauty (still fighting fit at the ripe old age of 42 this year) and my dagger (not visible in the pic) during a show we (the MCS) did in 2007 at Charlton House which was my home town after I had a short break from fighting and was trying to get back into the swing of things...



You can just make out the handle and pommel of the dagger in question in the picture below...



Pose for the camera...



Sadly I have had to leave the MCS shortly after this due to a personality clash with a few of the new administration team and then I moved to Cornwall and have yet to find a society close enough to me that I can join, I have found a couple but they are based too far up country for my current budget to allow attendance.

I have recently become a fan of wood carving and I have always loved the camping life but recently I chose to get into reconditioning old tools and equipment which includes but is not limited to axes, here's one of my favourite ones and below that is a beautiful Hewing Side Axe which I traded to a chap in Wales for a Robin Wood Carving Axe..

A rather nice 2.5lb axe head made by Elwell which I am going to make and fit a handle to pretty soon...



A stunning Brades & Co. Hewing Side Axe...



and this is how it looked when I got it (sorry for the poor quality pic I had to use my phone)...



Here's how it finally looks now it's been properly cleaned and hung by the new owner...



While it is not technically classed as a weapon some would call it such so maybe I should include it here in my post but this is the kit that I shave with when I am at home...



and when I'm camping I take my trusty WW2 Safety Razor with me...



Anyway, that's a very brief history of my weapons acquisition time-line.

Now to my questions and a request for specific information...

The dagger I bought to use for eating and other general things (NOT fighting I should point out) which had been on my hip for the better part of 3 decades is a slender 8" diamond shaped blade with a leather stacked handle and a aluminium pommel with a trapped brass nut holding it all together.

This is the best picture I currently have of the Dagger's Pommel...



I have tried in the past to remove the pommel so that I can turn it into a short Ballock Dagger in an effort to make it more authentic (well more that it is) but I didn't want to break it taking the pommel off so only gingerly tried to twist the pommel which was clamped in some large vice-grips while the blade was firmly but carefully clamped in a mechanics vice, suffice it to say that the pommel didn't even budge and I got too scared to put any more pressure on it.

Is there something other than just brute force and a wish that I can use to get the pommel off?

Also I don't know exactly what kind of dagger this is nor do I have any idea about the age of it or whether or not it's worth more as it is than it would be as a Ballock Dagger, would it be worth my while selling this to a collector and buying a re-enactment style Ballock Dagger?

The blade is marked with the words "Sheffield Steel" I think but I can't actually lay my hands on the dagger right now as it's packed away with the rest of my Medieval Kit until I can organise a use for it.

Sorry for the rather long and detailed post but I figured I'd say hello properly and get some of the basinc questions out of the way so you all now know what my collection consists of, any information you kind ladies and gentlemen can provide me with about that dagger will be much appreciated.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Life's a beach until you get sand in your pants!
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Niels Just Rasmussen




Location: NykÝbing Falster, Denmark
Joined: 03 Sep 2014

Spotlight topics: 15
Posts: 800

PostPosted: Sun 24 Apr, 2016 5:05 am    Post subject: Re: New member bio and dagger info request         Reply with quote

Patrick Brett wrote:
Now to my questions and a request for specific information...

The dagger I bought to use for eating and other general things (NOT fighting I should point out) which had been on my hip for the better part of 3 decades is a slender 8" diamond shaped blade with a leather stacked handle and a aluminium pommel with a trapped brass nut holding it all together.

This is the best picture I currently have of the Dagger's Pommel...



I have tried in the past to remove the pommel so that I can turn it into a short Ballock Dagger in an effort to make it more authentic (well more that it is) but I didn't want to break it taking the pommel off so only gingerly tried to twist the pommel which was clamped in some large vice-grips while the blade was firmly but carefully clamped in a mechanics vice, suffice it to say that the pommel didn't even budge and I got too scared to put any more pressure on it.

Is there something other than just brute force and a wish that I can use to get the pommel off?

Also I don't know exactly what kind of dagger this is nor do I have any idea about the age of it or whether or not it's worth more as it is than it would be as a Ballock Dagger, would it be worth my while selling this to a collector and buying a re-enactment style Ballock Dagger?

The blade is marked with the words "Sheffield Steel" I think but I can't actually lay my hands on the dagger right now as it's packed away with the rest of my Medieval Kit until I can organise a use for it.

Sorry for the rather long and detailed post but I figured I'd say hello properly and get some of the basinc questions out of the way so you all now know what my collection consists of, any information you kind ladies and gentlemen can provide me with about that dagger will be much appreciated.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.


If you have a eating knife you had been holding on to for that long I would think for sentimental reasons it should stay at your hip the way it is and then get another knife/dagger for whatever specific purpose you have in mind.
1) So you want to upgrade to a fighting dagger? - narrow bladed bollock or rondel? [As basically most men carried when fighting in plate].
2) Or do you just want to have an eating knife, that is a bollock design?
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