Vikings! Of Middle England

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Vikings Of Middle England
Founded 1991
Location Leicester, United Kingdom
Period Early Middle Ages


Speciality Combat reenactment, Living History, Special Effects, Education
Number of members 70-100



Website http://www.vikingsofmiddleengland.co.uk/

Vikings of Middle England (also known as Tÿrslið) is a UK (Leicester) based, non-commercial, non-political organisation founded in 1991 with the aim of reenacting, with live steel combat (including special effects) and living history, the 'Dark Age' period between 793 AD and 1100 AD. The organisation once owned a scale replica Longship called Ratatosk,[1] but it was sold to a member society of Regia Anglorum who are based nearer the coast so she could be sailed more often. Tÿrslið's aim is to entertain and educate an audience using a mix of drama, historical context, demonstration and audience participation.[2]

Vikings of Middle England perform at events throughout the UK, including at places of historical interest such as Rockingham Castle,[3] carnivals,[4] festivals[5] and local events,[6] and also at other visitor attractions such as Conkers.[7]

Vikings of Middle England also provide displays and resources for education, at schools and for seminars. The organisation has lent expertise[8] and kit to researchers for books,[9][10][11] websites[12] and conferences while also publishing articles on their website suitable for UK Key Stage 2 pupils.

Organisation[edit]

Vikings of Middle England's membership is mostly based in the city of Leicester. However, some members hail from the surrounding East Midlands[13] and further afield.

The group is led by the Jarl and the Thegns' who make up the executive committee. Due to the number of members and the wide range of Viking Age personas portrayed, the group is split into several administrative sections called Houses. Each house represents a facet of Viking Age Great Britain. For example, House Norvegre Haseti portrays just the Norse Gaels, where House Conroi Du Faucon portrays Normans, amongst others.

In addition to administrative organisation, there is a rank and reward system. New members start in the group as a Thrall or Slave and work their way up to Landsman, a wealthy landowner, through time served in the group, attitude to activities and gathering of authentic kit.

For the combat element, there is an appointed Training Officer called the Stallari who manages the live, un-choreographed fight system for safety, competitiveness and showmanship. Combat is thoroughly trained with members practising in a variety of Viking Age weapons such as Seax, Spear, Axe and Sword.

Notable Members, Achievements and Performances[edit]

  • Named in the 'Top Ten Re-Enactments for Family' by BBC CountryFile Magazine.[14]
  • Starred in the Kerry Food's 'Walls! Bring it On Britain!' advertising campaign in 2010.[15]
  • Dr. Gareth Williams, Curator of Early Medieval Coins at the British Museum[16] is a former member.
  • The author Tim Moore spent time with Vikings Of Middle England for his book I Believe In Yesterday.
  • Performed in BBC's 'Blood of the Vikings' mini series (2001).
  • Performed in 'Weapons that Made Britain' Shield episode (Lion TV for Channel 4, 2004).
  • Performed in 'Warrior Queen — Boudica' (Indigo Films for History Channel, 2005).
  • Performed in the music video for 'Assessment' by the Beta Band.
  • Performed in 'Born of Hope' (Actors at Work Production).[17]

Reviews[edit]

  • The Mercian Revolt: The Vikings of Middle England at Rockingham Castle., Skirmish Magazine, Issue 85
  • Medieval Outlaws, Knights and Combat, Skirmish Magazine, Issue 81

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Viking boat sets up home in garden of Hesketh Bank family"
  2. ^ "Official Website"
  3. ^ "Watch out for the Vikings at Rockingham Castle, Rutland & Stamford Mercury, 10th August 2011"
  4. ^ "Viking invaders to swap longboats for narrowboats, Burton Mail, 16th March 2011"
  5. ^ "Woodbridge Maritime Festival 2010"
  6. ^ "'Wonderful opportunity' to unite for Our Leicester Day", Leicester Mercury, 7 September 2011
  7. ^ "Vikings at Conkers!"
  8. ^ "Vikings raid the Record Office!, Leicestershire Museums, 6th July 2011"
  9. ^ "Coinage and History in the North Sea World, C. 500-1250: Essays in Honour of Marion Archibald (Northern World), Williams, G & Cook, B. Brill London 2005"
  10. ^ "Soldier Grant, R. Kindersley Dorling 2009 London, p.330 (credits) "
  11. ^ "History of Britain and Ireland, Grant, R. Kindersley Dorling 2011 London, p398 (credits)"
  12. ^ "In the Footsteps of Ivarr the Boneless" by Mick Baker, drawn from the Channel 4 series and a feature by Geoffrey van Leeuwen, 30 November 2003
  13. ^ "Town Couple are Vikings, Loughborough Echo, January 15th 2009"
  14. ^ [1] Accessed April 2011
  15. ^ "Bring it On Vikings", YouTube
  16. ^ [2], [3] Accessed 30 November 2011.
  17. ^ "BOH Newsletter March 2009"