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Sheringham gets ready for weekend ‘invasion’ by Vikings

06:30 20 February 2014

Townsfolk get into the spirit of this weekend

Townsfolk get into the spirit of this weekend's inaugural Viking festival at Sheringham. Photo: Karen Bethell


Marauding townsfolk and terrifying traders will be celebrating Sheringham’s Norse heritage this weekend, at the first ever Scira Viking Festival in the town.

Scira Viking Festival Programme:

Saturday, February 22:

10am-4pm, Crafts at Oddfellows Hall, pole lathe woodcarving at The Courtyard, Station Road, costume-making workshops at the Courtyard and at the Funky Mackerel cafe, on the east promenade.

10am-2pm, Shield and sword-making workshops at the Lobster Pub, High Street.

3pm, Sheringham Little Theatre drama performance at the Town Clock.

4pm, Sheringham Little Theatre performance at Oddfellows Hall.

Local bands will be playing at The Crown Pub in the evening

Sunday, February 23:

10am-4pm, Crafts at Oddfellows Hall.

1pm and 3pm, Wuffa living history group Viking re-enactment in the high street.

4pm, Wuffa re-enactment at Oddfellows Hall.

5.30pm, Torchlit parade leads of from High Street.

6pm, Boat-burning ceremony outside Ellie’s cafe on the seafront.

The new two-day event will be launched from a wooden longship at 10am on Saturday - and will end with a traditional boat burning on the seafront.

It is the idea of local artist and signwriter Colin Seal and his grandson Ian Davis, because of Viking links with the original settlement of Upper Sheringham.

Activities include shield and sword-making workshops, a Viking-themed craft fair, and a parade through the town led by firebearers carrying flaming wooden torches.

Entertainment will be provided by members of Suffolk-based re-enactment group Wuffa and young people from Sheringham Little Theatre’s outreach drama groups, with the Crown pub hosting an evening of music from local bands on Saturday.

Three-year-old Rosie Pitcher sporting a costume complete with horned helmet for Sheringham's inaugural Viking festival. Photo: Karen BethellThree-year-old Rosie Pitcher sporting a costume complete with horned helmet for Sheringham's inaugural Viking festival. Photo: Karen Bethell

The festival centrepiece – a wooden Viking longboat complete with dragon figurehead - is currently “docked” in the Lobster pub gardens.

It will be displayed in the town centre before being set alight out at sea in a traditional Norse boat-burning ceremony.

Staff from town shops and businesses will be donning Viking dress, with traders at the Funky Mackerel cafe and the Courtyard shopping arcade teaming up to join in the fun by running pole lathe woodturning demonstrations and costume-making workshops.

Julie Elvin, who owns Courtyard dress shop North Norfolk Formal Wear has been selling hand-made Viking costumes in the run up to the event.

She hoped the festival would prove a hit with local people and visitors alike.

“We always get involved with other Sheringham events, so we were really happy to support the Viking festival as these things are a great way of promoting the town,” she said. For more information, visit the Scira Viking Festival facebook page or phone 07879 681227.

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