Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sutton Courtenay Show

On 17th May 2009, the Vikings returned to Sutton Courtenay in Oxfordshire, 1,000 years since their last visit. Well, sort of. Regia Anglorum, our national group, had been asked to put on a display as part of the village show on the Sunday. However, on the Saturday, one of the replica viking longships was rowed 12 miles up the Thames from Oxford to Sutton Courtenay. They docked in the grounds of a house, part of which is a 12th century hall. Our campsite was within these gardens, giving us a lovely view of the old building. On the Sunday, we set up an arena for the warriors to do battle in, whilst I got on with the business of setting up a woad vat. The group had had some cloth woven to an authentic spec for our period, & Steve wanted to dye his in woad. We have a fair sized cauldron which we use for this, but even so it was a bit like fitting a quart into a pint pot. This meant that we had to keep turning & moving the cloth to minimise any blotchiness. Once we had achieved a good blue, we continued dyeing various linen caps, wimples,a piece of silk, skeins of yarn & even a bone whistle (just to see what happened). We even over-dyed a old brown tunic, and got an interesting sea green colour. Once the bath was exhausted, we allowed it to cool, ready for packing up at the end of the show.  It was a pleasant, relaxed show in a lovely setting where we were made to feel most welcome.

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