It was ‘joust’ such a perfect day

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The brave swordplay and lance skills of knights made youngsters’ day in the grounds of Linlithgow Palace last weekend.

Hundreds of families marched up the hill to the town’s popular tourist attraction on Sunday to witness the spectacle of Historic Environment Scotland’s Spectacular Jousting event.

From 1.30pm the atmosphere was electric as courageous combatants charged full pelt at each other on horseback to win the favour of the crowd and the glory of being top knight for a day.

That honour belonged to the young Sir Archibald, who eventually triumphed over the evil, growling Sir Checkmate – who cemented his baddie credentials by being bad to the poor squires who were only trying to help bring him his lance.

There were cheers aplenty for acts of derring-do and boos too for Sir Checkmate’s cowardly, although, admittedly, on occasion pretty impressive, actions. He really needs to look up the meaning of chivalry in the dictionary.

As the crowds lined the slopes or got down close to the action at the ropes, the quartet of knights had at each other mounted and on foot with a variety of sharp and nasty weapons or displayed their horsemanship and accuracy chopping away at targets.

The sun did but make one fleeting guest appearance on the day, but at least the rain stayed away until the very end of the event and allowed visitors, many who ventured from foreign shores or distant lands like Grangemouth, to enjoy the historical action.