AS a town councillor, David Eggleton always does his best to represent Henley but his latest initiative takes some beating
AS a town councillor, David Eggleton always does his best to represent Henley but his latest initiative takes some beating.
Last week, he dressed up as a Cavalier for a group of 25 visitors on an official visit to the town.
David had the outfit made by Meredith Towne, a historic costume designer from Balderton in Nottinghamshire. It cost him £1,500.
He says: “It was made for me and was done to museum standards. It was all researched — the doublet, the breeches, the boots, everything.”
The costume includes a hat decorated with ostrich feathers and a sword.
David says it represents something that would have been worn in the mid-1600s, when Henley was involved in the Civil War.
One battle between the Cavaliers and Roundheads took place in Duck Street, now Duke Street, in 1643 and the cannon fire damaged Henley Bridge so badly that it had to be replaced.
Among the combatants was Prince Rupert, who fought for his uncle Charles I. Rupert House School in Bell Street is named after him.
David met the visitors at the Argyll pub in Market Place, which is popular with tourists as it was the location for an episode of Midsomer Murders.
He then took them along Duke Street and Friday Street to explain some of the area’s history. David will be wearing the outfit again at July’s Thames Traditional Boat Festival in Henley, where he has been booked to appear.
“I’ll have artefacts as well by then so I can talk about them as well,” he says.
He isn’t concerned about the cost of his transformation, saying: “They will take it back or put it in a museum!” Unbeknown to many people, David is actually used to donning costumes as he is also a part-time actor.
He has appeared on TV and in films as an extra many times over the last three decades. His roles have included policeman, soldier and security guard.
Strangley, Midsomer Murders is one of the few shows in which he hasn’t appeared!