Want to join?
You do not need any particular craft skills to join us and participate in village life, you can learn them on the job. The ability to fetch and carry is appreciated and a willingness to muck in goes a long way. However at the end of the day it is amazing how interesting the public can find watching people going about their normal everyday routines. You will be asked questions, you won’t know everything, admit that and point the questioner towards someone who might be able to answer the question.
Drawn by the clash of steel, thrilled by thought of wielding the mighty Dane Axe? Then come and fight with us! Over the course of its history The Vikings have developed a set of combat rules that allow for full contact freestyle combat with real (but blunt) metal weapons in a safe manner.
All our warriors must wear a minimum amount of safety equipment (gloves and helmet) and all the weapons we use must meet strict criteria in terms of materials and edge dimensions. In addition all weapons are checked for safety before any combat. Before participating in a public display all our warriors must pass a basic safety assessment (to make sure they will not injure themselves as much as injure any one else). To protect the public all combat takes place in a designated area, with the warriors and public separated by at least a 6 foot gap which is constantly patrolled by marshals. Because of this emphasis on safety we have an excellent track record of injury free displays.
Once you have passed your basic combat, display and formation tests you are free to train in advanced combat techniques and with more difficult weapons (such as the dane axe or two handed spear). Don’t worry however, the basic tests are so straight forward that most people can pass them in the first few months of joining.
We also have assessments for archers. Again we have strict rules governing the strength of bows and the construction of arrows that can be used against live targets (such as blunt rubber tips to arrows and more fletchings than normal to slow the arrow so that the target has a chance to block it), and any archer taking the field must wear a helmet. However the archers form an important part of the fighting line, harrying the opponent and picking off any warrior daft enough to leave the safety of the shield wall.
Children are welcome. There are plenty of things that can keep them occupied, authentic games, KiddieVike, story telling and depending on age fire watching and food preparation. Also there are plenty of opportunities for good old fashioned play with other kids. As they get older they can start to participate in battlefield support activities (such as water carrying) and eventually at 16 they can take to the field (as long as they have an appropriate responsible adult with them).
Worried about how much it will cost? We can let you borrow enough gear to train and pass your basic test. The first training session is free, there after we ask for a small contribution to the cost of hiring the location (currently £2 a session). Membership of our parent group The Vikings is around £20 a year and means you will be covered by our public liability insurance at shows. You will probably need to borrow some gear during your first season of displays, but most people are able to obtain one suitable set of gear and clothes by the end of their first year. More expensive stuff can be saved up for later. Even members who have been doing this for over 20 years are still collecting kit. Also have a go at making your own, you never know, you may discover a new hobby or even a new business venture.
At some events we are lucky enough to have access to proper working showers and flush toilets, but don’t expect them at every one. If you absolutely need to have a shower every day then this probably isn’t the hobby for you.