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.
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'
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'.