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Images of the Viking Age - Goole - 975 AD

The Original Flyer
The year is 975. The place is just downstream from the Village of Goole, at the mouth of the Ouse on the Humber estuary. Merchants, traders and artisans have been meeting here in high summer for a seasonal trading camp for many years. The City of Jorvik is perhaps at its height as a commercial centre, some of the traders at the camp will be on their way there with goods from the continent. Craftsmen are drawn for this 'first look' at the new items, pick up imported raw materials, and to sell their own skills. Local farmers will be there to barter early farm produce with both.

The rule of the last of the Viking kings of York, Erik Bloodaxe, ended in 945, and for the life of most of the people gathered at the camp, the region has had an English king. The court is far away however, and for practical purposes control of the area has been in the hands of a series of Anglo-Scandinavian earls and archbishops centred in Jorvik. The last few decades have been ones of relative peace, long enough for most of the old hostilities between the native Anglo-Saxons and invading Norse to have subsided. The two groups have become neighbours, sharing farm life and marriages. The last few summers however have seen the return of Viking raids from Denmark, the first precursors of the invasions to come under the leadership of Svien Forkbeard. Old memories are being stirred, and suspicion growing between the two communities.

Organizer's Note

Welcome to the initial event of the 'DARK AGES RE-CREATION and EXPERIMENTAL GROUP'. I have had a number of inquiries about the suitability of individual pieces of equipment. Remember that this is still a 'work in progress'. Hopefully we can work out over the weekend just how 'strict' we want to be inside the historic camp. I will have a limited amount of 'spares' (including clothing) to loan out, and there will be a set of cooking irons available at the 'community bake oven'. I hope that a number of people have brought period tools and trade goods with them. My hope is that we can create a 'village' economy, where what we each produce during the day will be traded amongst the group. Reproduction silver ($5) and copper ($1) coins are available to assist in this.

A word on the event token. It is a reproduction of a cast pewter pendant from the Coppergate dig at York, dated to the 10th century. The original runic inscription has been changed to read DAREG AT GOOLE.

Darrell - ' Ketil Einarsson'

A Commentary:

The date for this event was Summer 1995. This shows how your memory plays tricks on you, and also how far back the genesis of DARC really goes. In June of 1995, AG Smith (with his wife Susan Gold), David Robertson, Vandy Simpson and myself drove out to Newfoundland. The purpose was to take part in the launching of Paul Compton's Viking Saga. This is a 45 ft replica of the Skuldav 5 knarr hull from Roskilder, Denmark. The Viking Saga was the first Longship to be lauched from Canadian shores in a thousand years. Paul had heard of the work on the orginal Norse Encampment (Orangeville, 1993 - 94) and had gotten my address from Parks Canada at L'Anse aux Meadows NHSC. The result was an invitation to come and provide some Norse colour and historic background for the launch.

Obviously the enthusiasm of that orginal trip was the spark that lead to this very first historic camp. A group of us had been discussing the concept of a narrow focus group with historic camp rules for several years.

'Goole - 975' was a small event, with four of us camped along the small creek at the rear of Vinderhiema. It was cruical, in so much as it provided a test of such things as the posted camp rules, equipment and long duration 'role playing'.
      Updated: 4 Dec, 2007
Text © Darrell Markewitz, 2006
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