A Day of Family Fun at Paragon CC, or A Medieval Tale
Our tale begins at Paragon Customer Communications in Peterborough, where we lay our scene.
Formerly known as DST Systems, the Peterborough branch of Paragon CC is the largest direct marketing house in the UK. 2017 marked its 30th anniversary, and they decided to celebrate the occasion with a company fun day on a medieval theme.
Dave Honour, our impromptu Lord Chamberlain, otherwise known as Paragon’s Commercial Manager, found the perfect venue at the Black Horse in Elton. With its one acre of garden and two acres of car park, and decades of experience in hosting large events, the Black Horse was the ideal choice.
And who was to be the Master of the Revels? Mark Bailey, the proprietor of the Black Horse, recommended Ace Tones Entertainments, as having an excellent reputation for customer service.
In March 2018, Dave Honour and Paragon’s’ party committee met with Ace Tones’ event management team. Ace Tones had already selected from their panoply of games and props, everything that was reminiscent of castles, jousts and tournaments. From these, the party committee picked their list of entertainments.
The Black Horse was tasked with putting together a medievally inspired menu for the event. And so the two suppliers set to work to prepare for the big day.
On the morning of the fete, the Ace Tones event team and three lorries full of equipment arrived at the Black Horse. Their well laid plan was swiftly put into action by the well trained event staff – the power generators installed, the cables distributed, the stalls and games set into position; and that wonderful piece of 20th century heraldry, the public address system was set up and tested.
At two of the clock in the afternoon, the guests started to arrive in their horseless carriages, all dressed up for the occasion. And what a sight to behold! Knights and ladies in crinolines were mingling with villains and men of the cloth. We also spotted a jouster, a pirate (of the Caribbean, of course!) and even Robin Hood was captured in a photo.
The brave were doing battle – axe throwing, crossbow archery and pole joust. And there were prizes to be won for those who could hook a duck, or indeed, whack a skull!
The bouncy castle was the children’s fiefdom in the early hours of the fete, later to be besieged and conquered by grown-ups.
The Black Horse laid out a truly medieval feast: whole pig and chicken, roast on a wood burning barbeque, strings of sausages made by an traditional recipe, pork pies and cold meats, as well as freshly cooked vegetarian dishes were served by attendants clothed in medieval costume. The drink flowed freely, strong mead along with whole yards of ale being served all day at the tapster’s bar in the garden.
The party carried on late into the evening. The guests had to leave eventually, before the carriages turned into pumpkins. The medieval scene had to be dismantled quickly, during the night, so that the Black Horse could return to business as usual, without losing any of its working hours the following day. Lots of happy memories and fun photos remain.
“The service we received was outstanding” says Clare Fish, Senior Print Output Developer at Paragon. “The whole day was a really big hit. The archery and axe throwing went down really well. Great job guys! Would highly recommend. We will definitely be in touch next year.” And so it was, as the summer of 2018 saw another event, organised by the Black Horse and Ace Tones for Paragon Communications. Many happy returns, everyone!