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Paul Allen: jousting accident




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Published on Oct 17, 2007

Latest on Paul Allen:

A professional jouster died while filming for TV's 'Time Team', after a splinter from a lance pierced his brain.

Paul Allen, 54, was killed when a splinter went through the eye hole of his helmet, penetrating his eye and brain, while he filmed a stunt for the Channel 4 show in September 2007 and a coroner ruled yesterday the death was the result of failure to wear a correct helmet and ensuring his shield was appropriately assembled.

Adam Plant, Mr. Allen's opponent, said he was happy with the preparations for the scene for the show -presented by former 'Blackadder' star Tony Robinson -- explaining: "We both set off to meet near the filming crew and I was to hit his shield in the middle."

However, US jousting expert Mike Loades said the victim was holding his shield at the wrong angle, which led to his death.

He explained: "The key to jousting is the correct body equipment. If the armour is right, then any other mistakes will be relatively harmless."

Mr. Allen's widow Sharon Allen, 51 -- who also takes part in re-enactments -- said if her husband "could have written his script, this would have been his chosen end".

Mr. Allen -- a former teacher, from Hayden, Cambridgeshire -- died on September 20, 2007 at University Hospital Coventry and Warwick, a week after the incident.
On the

20th September 2007

Paul Allen,

who had been a member of the Hoplite Association since 2003, an active member of numerous other societies, a 'professional' historical performer for schools, museums and historic sites and someone who was very well known amongst the cyberspace world of reenactment discussion groups passed away.

Tragically this was caused by an accident whilst filming for the Channel 4 'Time Team' programme, and was the result of a freak accident whilst doing a jousting demonstration. The specific details are, perhaps, less important here than the fact that it was quick, he would not have suffered and that he was doing the thing he enjoyed most. re-enacting the past.

For those who are not re-enactors this might be difficult to understand, but the relationships you form with people are very similar to those formed within families. For short, intense periods of time we live and exist so closely with each other that you could describe every little hair on someone's arm, and Paul had a few of those...and not just on his arms! We learn both good points and bad, and those certainly were not exclusive to Paul, and we argue and make up constantly. Just like families do all the time. The passing of one of your 'family' always hits you hard.

Everyone will have their own memories and they are unlikely to fade as the one thing everyone would agree on was that Paul was certainly no wallflower and would make his points with a certain amount of gusto and his own, inimitable flair. He also had strong opinions which he would rigorously defend. We have no doubt that since that terrible day he has been trawling around heaven looking for veterans of the Greek Persian wars trying to substantiate his theories.. and that is a thought that makes us smile.

As a born again Christian and devoted husband to an equally devoted Sharon our hearts go out to her. Nothing can take away the pain, but unlike many who walk this life he has left behind a footprint that is unlikely to fade.

Filmed by Mike Crowe:


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