Reopening of the Beacon Museum in Whitehaven

Professor Boffin, the local Cumbrian professor of Fun Science, was at the opening of the new Sellafield Gallery as part of the new revamped Beacon Museum in Whitehaven at the end of May. However, if you look at the local media you wouldn’t realise it, as they were all squawking on about that Professor Brian Cox bloke off the telly. He did a couple of talks about particle physics and stuff, but who wants to hear all that guff from some boring bloke with shiny teeth off the telly, when you could be learning about Fun Science you can do … Continue reading

Vikings Invade Lindisfarne Priory

A Lake District resident followed us (not intentionally) to Lindisfarne in 2011, where we were re-enacting a Viking Raid on the Holy Island in 794. This time the Vikings were defeated and the monks got their treasure back. He wrote a very nice blog post about the battle. You can see me in the 5th photo down, in the red with my back to the camera 🙂

The Making of the Lindisfarne Gospels

Update: We repeated the Lindisfarne Gospels event in August 2014 and got some much better pictures. You can see them on our Facebook Page here. (Don’t forget to like the page.) In the summer of 2013 I was asked by Russ Scott of Traders, Invaders and Raiders to collaborate on an event he was putting on for English Heritage. This resulted in the biggest, and most enjoyable, project so far for SV Educational Services. To coincide with the display of the Lindisfarne Gospels in Durham this summer, the event was entitled The Making of the Gospels and was to be held at Lindisfarne Priory itself. … Continue reading

Warwick Bridge School

A longboat up the Eden at Warwick Bridge Written by Miss P. Newman in the Focus on Eden parish magazine. Copied here with kind permission. In February Warwick Bridge School had a visitor for two days – Bjarni the Viking. He described how he had come, in his longship, from Seascale and then up the River Eden. A trader, he brought with him a wonderful array of goods for the children to feel and touch. Skins of deer, boar, fox and squirrel, horn spoons, turned bowls, pottery beakers and traded jewellery beads. An iron tripod, hanging pot, wooden pegged bench … Continue reading

Greengate Junior School

I recently visited Greengate Junior School in Barrow-in-Furness for their Viking day. It was a large group of year 6 pupils, nearly 60 in all. I managed, however, with the aid of the wonderful staff at the school. The group was about two thirds boys, so the teachers were expecting the visit to be boisterous. The children were great, in fact. I started off with stories about my life as a Viking warrior, and got a volunteer up to demonstrate the chainmail armour. He was stood in it for quite a while as I used him to demonstrate the various weapons on. … Continue reading

School Visits vs. School Visitors – Which is Best?

I suppose the proper answer is, it depends. School visits can be expensive and time consuming to organise. You might have to get cover for teachers and assistants away on the visit. Also, you have to justify whether the children will actually learn much from their visit. Bringing in an unknown visitor can be a lot cheaper, but is sometimes a riskier proposition.   On the plus side, you will often be visiting a venue that is well known and has a good reputation for being geared towards school visits. However, time spent travelling to and from the venue can … Continue reading

Stone Axe, Blood Axe, Conquest

SV Educational Services (previously trading as Midgard Living History) were invited to the VIP opening of the new Stone Axe, Blood Axe, Conquest Gallery at the Dock Museum in Barrow in Furness on Friday 8th Feb 2013. This new addition to the museum has been purpose built to house the Furness Viking Hoard and tell the archaeological story of the Furness Peninsula in Cumbria.   As well as the museum staff there was the mayor and other civic dignitaries, and representatives of all the companies and organisations that have contributed to the museum acquiring the hoard and building the new gallery. SV … Continue reading

Sponsored Viking Longboat Row

At Easter 2011 a metal detectorist discovered an amazing treasure under a rock in Furness, Cumbria. The 92 silver coins and artifacts – among them ingots and one near-complete silver bracelet – have been examined by the British Museum. It is thought that the silver was put into the ground sometime around 955 AD when the Viking invaders had established footholds in the north of England.   Barrow Dock Museum raised £49,500 in just six months to buy the Hoard, but needed an additional £10,000 or so to build a Viking gallery in order to display it. On Saturday 28th July 2012 … Continue reading

A Word of Warning to Re-enactors

On Saturday 29th September 2012 I, with some other reenactors, took part in an event for the Viking day in the Church Square, St. Helens. I had a great time showing Viking games to the public, being thrashed all day by children at 9 Men’s Morris. It was fun. When the day was over and I had packed up my tent and equipment into the car, we (I was with my sister-in-law Rachel, who had been demonstrating tablet weaving and embroidery) set off to our next appointment in North Wales. On the way I stopped in the Tesco Extra in … Continue reading

The Battle of Hastings 1066

The annual re-enactment of the 1066 Battle of Hastings occurred on the weekend of the 15th and 16th October 2011. With over 200 living history (LH) structures in the Saxon and Norman encampments, plus over 700 warriors, including a dozen cavalry and 20 archers on the field, the battle itself was a spectacular event on both days. Just so you know, I’m not going to comment upon the history of this battle, just about the fun weekend I had. I’m sure that everybody knows about what happened in 1066, and I don’t need to regurgitate it here. So, Herlid (the Cumbria group of The Vikings!) … Continue reading