Thursday, July 29, 2010

Tollerton village event 2010

Our local show came rund again in June. We opted for an earlier dateline this year, and went for 937AD. This was the year of the battle of Brunanburh, a pivotal battle. The English are lead by Aethelstan, grandson of Alfred the Great, with his half brother, Edmund. His troops are all from England, basically south of the Trent. This is effectively Wessex & Mercia fighting side by side to form a national English army) Against them is the great Northern army, comprised of Vikings, Britons & Celts. The site of the battle is unknown, with loads of suggested places being named. One of the possible sites is in the East Midlands. This battle is a key moment in the emergence of an English nation-state. It is a great victory for Aethelstan, but there are heavy casulties on both sides.
Bearing in mind that Tollerton lies within the area known as the Danelaw, and the Vikings were only pushed out of Nottingham some 20 years earlier, we envisaged men from the local fyrd loyal to Aethelstan mustering & marching off to join him, but having to pass through an area whose population still had a significant Viking bias.  
Our first arena display showed the arms & armour of the time, with some single combat and fighting in 'circles' ( a kind of melee) to show how the weapons were used. The local ATC sent some volunteers into the ring to be drilled Anglo-Saxon style. 
In our second display we had a young nobleman dropping behind his warband to sample the local ale. The local ladies kidnapped him & held him to ransom. A botched rescue led to a standoff, and a fight ensued....

After this we settled down to relax on the wic, having eaten earlier. We passed the mead horn round & enjoyed the sunshine before packing up.

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