AMATEUR swashbucklers from across Oxfordshire got their first taste of swordplay in a four-day fencing course which began yesterday.

The first-time fencers cut their teeth in the class at Radley College, near Abingdon, being run by Oxford Fencing Club.

Among the novices was Headington School teaching assistant Kate Hart, who was achieving a life's ambition.

She said: "It was amazing.

"I don't know why but it's something I have always fancied doing because it looked like fun and it's something a bit different.

"Now I've finally done it. It wasn't scary and the teacher was fantastic, breaking everything down then building it back up really well."

Ms Hart, who lives in Headington, will spend another three days learning the centuries-old art of swordplay with her fellow fencers.

The course costs £100. Find out more about upcoming courses and other club activities at