Everything you need to know about Sheringham Scira Viking Festival
PUBLISHED: 17:13 17 February 2019 | UPDATED: 17:39 17 February 2019
A 28ft longboat sailed into Sheringham at the weekend, marking the launch of the town's annual Scira Viking Festival.
The wooden ship, which is now ‘moored’ near the town clock, was built by West Runton carpenter Brian Howe and his son Henri.
Featuring a dragon-like figurehead with mythical creatures and Norse themed decorations on the bow, the boat also includes a mast and sail, as well as more than 30 hand-painted Viking shields emblazoned with the names of the town businesses sponsoring the festival.
Weighing in at around 500lb, it has been painstakingly painted over hundreds of hours by a team of volunteers led by artist Jill Brammer, Viking Festival founder Colin Seal and former TV and film set designer Chris Neville.
Sheringham Museum trustee Mr Neville, who took over as organiser of the festival after Mr Seal decided to take a step back after running the event for five years, worked with his partner Ms Brammer to come up with the boat design.
“The longest part of the process was the painting, which was done over a period of several months,” he said.
The longboat will stay in the town centre until the main festival day on Saturday, when it will be carried to the seafront ready to be burnt on the beach in a spectacular closing ceremony.
A family week leading up to the finale got off to a successful start, Mr Neville said, with dozens of youngsters, parents and grandparents taking part in a series of craft workshops at the museum.
“We were very pleased,” he added. “There were lots of happy, smiling faces and a lot of people bought passes for the week so they could come back every day.”
The workshops, at which families can make Viking-themed crafts ranging from tee shirts, to axes, will run until Thursday, with other events being hosted by the museum including talks, a colouring competition and a Viking-style yarn-making demonstration.
Festival day on Saturday will kick off at 10.30am, when re-enactors will be demonstrating Norse skills including axe-throwing and weaving at a Viking Village set up on the Leas clifftop gardens.
Warriors will march to the beach for morning and afternoon battles on the sand, before joining a torchlit procession through the town setting off at 5.15pm.
The grand finale, which will take place on the beach below the Leas, will feature music and fire-performers from Norwich-based group Unhinged Circus, with the Viking honour guard arriving at 5.45 for the boat-burning.
For a full programme, and updates, visit the Sheringham Carnival Facebook page.
Workshops, which run until Thursday and can be booked by phoning the museum on 01263 824482 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org are as follows:
Monday, February 18: Make a Viking pendant from polymer clay.
Sessions run at 10am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm. £4 per item.
Tuesday: Design and print a Viking tee shirt or tote bag.
Sessions run at 10am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm. £5.50 per item.
Wednesday: Make a Viking axe.
Sessions run at 10.30am and midday. £4 per axe.
Thursday: Festival prize colouring competions.
Drop-in session from 10am-4pm. Free with museum entry price.