Over the weekend of the 19th and 20th September we held our Battle Re-enactment show in Stamford Bridge.
Blissfully the weather came out to perfect timing for the outside event, with both days being warm, sunny and just delightful to be in. Unfortunately for the re-enactors it’s not the best weather for running around big a field dressed in heavy woollen clothes and wearing chainmail, helmets, fur cloaks and wielding a shield, axe, spear and sword. However, as seasoned performers they didn’t let that stop them from putting on an excellent performance for the crowds who came to visit.
Around 400 people attended over the two days and with lots of living history tents on the ‘main street’ and with the other society’s marquees (English Companions, East Riding Archaeological Society, Battlefields Trust and BOSBHS) they had plenty to do and see. Many dark age groups around the country sent members to participate in this show, both as Vikings and Saxons, and the main battle for control of the ‘bridge’ is the highlight of each day.
The atmosphere of the show is always easy going and relaxed, with a loose timetable including a Viking King’s Court, where justice is meted out Hardrada style, Saxon and Viking storytellers telling tales of god and heroes to enthralled children (and adults!). A BBQ and bar offers visitors the chance of food and drink, especially welcome on a warm late summers day!
This year also saw the official launch of the Stamford Bridge Tapestry, A real Viking, Gunnar, and Fulford Societies’ Chas Jones, were both special guests. Together they launched the start of the actual work on the linen, and wished the project well and reiterated how important this was to the ‘full’ story of 1066. The society really hopes to have it completed for next year’s 950th anniversary, when together with the Fulford Tapestry and the copy of the Bayeux Tapestry in Reading, they can be displayed as one. Definately a world’s first! (if anyone has pictures that were taken at the Tapestry launch can you get in touch, I didn't get a chance to take any for our files...)
The Spear Pie competition on Sunday was judged by Gunnar from Iceland and our friendly local butcher, there were 5 entries and according to the judges they were all yummy and very well presented (see pix below). Th winner was Jenny, who made quite delicious Spear shape pies,well done and enjoy the Cup! Next year you will have to up the stakes....
Thanks to all the society members who came along and supported the event, you will be rewarded in heaven, or maybe at the next christmas social! We could not do the show with you and your time and efforts. Also thanks to the other societies and groups who came and of course to the Viking and Saxon reenactors who make the shoe come 'alive' it was a brilliant weekend.
So the event is over for another year, but we don’t stop there, we are now to begin the organising of next years show which is set to rival the 1966 anniversary, and should prove to be the biggest and best best show since the real battle that took place here in Stamford Bridge on September 25th, 1066. Make a date in your diary...
Chris Rock, Chairman BOSBHS