Photo gallery: Nordic warriors set fire to a ship at Sheringham’s first Viking festival

The Vikings spar with each other in Sheringham for the Viking Festival. Picture: Denise Bradley

The Vikings spar with each other in Sheringham for the Viking Festival. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: copyright: Archant 2014

It isn't every day you see a Viking on the beach. But if you happened to venture onto Sheringham's seafront on Sunday afternoon that's exactly what you would have found.

The Vikings arrive in Sheringham for the Viking Festival. Picture: Denise Bradley

The Vikings arrive in Sheringham for the Viking Festival. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: copyright: Archant 2014

It isn't every day you see a Viking on the beach.

But if you happened to venture onto Sheringham's seafront on Sunday afternoon that's exactly what you would have found.

And the town was filled with sword-brandishing rebels as part of weekend-long festival to celebrate Sheringham's Nordic history — complete with a burning replica longboat.

The warlords on the beach were in fact members of the Wuffa Saxon and Viking Re-enactment Society who terrified visitors with their dramatic fight display.


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Viking chief Ald Helm, otherwise known as David Bracey, has been dressing up as his Nordic counterpart for the past 15 years.

His character in the re-enactment was a trader who has travelled to British shores to find mercenaries for protection.

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And although Vikings at a similar festival in York were celebrating Ragnarok — the end of the Nordic calendar, Mr Bracey offered reassurance.

He said: 'Apparently there are some people who said it was supposed to be the end of the world, but we do not believe that.'

The festival was organised by local artist and sign writer Colin Seal, 70, who wants to make it a yearly event.

Mr Seal said: 'We thought it would be nice to do something in the winter and as the festival develops we will get bigger ever year.'

The idea stemmed from Sheringham's name which is of Scandinavian origin and means the Ham of Scira's people.

It is thought Scira was a Viking warlord who was given the land where Sheringham lies today as a reward for his performance in battle.

And to celebrate this history, the weekend's activities included sword and shield-making workshops, Viking theatre groups, a torch-lit parade and a boat-burning finale on the beach.

The Viking re-enactment group roared as they threw burning torches into the boat to signify a warrior's burial ceremony.

Joolz Bailey, 39, of Little Plumstead, attended as her character Lady Aelfina, a member of neighbouring re-enactment group Ordgar.

She said: 'It is great fun — I love bringing history to life.'

Richard Pain, 31, at the evening event with his wife Janette, 25, and their two children, said: 'It is really good for the children and something they can interact with, even at a young age. Next year, Mr Seal hopes to organise a light show as well.

Are you celebrating a special event? Let us know by emailing newsdesk@archant.co.uk.

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