By day he’s a genial supply teacher but at weekends Michael Kay is transformed into one of history’s most fearsome pirates.
Michael, of Fartown, dons the costumes of many historical figures for his re-enactment company.
And one of his favourites is that of Bartholomew Roberts, alias notorious pirate Black Bart.
The swashbuckling educationalist runs SellSword Entertainment which staged a re-enactment over the weekend.
Re-enactors transported visitors back to three bygone eras when they gathered at Birkby Rose Cricket Club for an historic Persian, medieval and pirate fair.
Michael said he loved his double life and added: “It’s educational entertainment. As well as having fun, the audience gets immersed in history.
“It’s valuable knowledge that I can take back into school.”
The Through the Ages fair featured Eran Ud Turan, which re-enacts scenes from Persia, Central Asia and India from the third to eighth century.
The event, on Saturday and Sunday, included martial arts and cookery from the Middle Ages, courtesy of the Clarence Household, and hawk husbandry from Amy Wallace of Feathers and Flight Historical Falconry.
The fair included ‘Shoot A Knight’ live target archery, reputed to be the only game in Britain were contestants can legally shoot at a live human target, in this case ‘knight’ Paul Whitehead.
The event also featured Time Wanderers who play historical figures from the Golden Age of Piracy.
SellSword, which Michael runs with fellow re-enactor Mel McKinlay, of Rotherham, runs educational re-enactment fairs across the North of England.
Michael said: “There was a really good turnout and the misty weather added a really authentic background. It was a massive success and we can’t wait to do another one.”
The next Through the Ages fair takes place at Greenhead Park in June.
More details will be announced closer to the event.
A bit about Bartholomew Roberts
Born John Roberts, in Pembrokeshire, Wales, in 1682, Roberts is regarded as the most successful pirate of the Golden Age of Piracy (1650-1730).
Roberts, known as ‘Black Bart’, raided ships off the Americas and West Africa between 1719 and 1722, taking 470 prizes.
He was killed in battle off the coast of Africa in 1722.