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Wirhalh Skip Felagr brings

Wirrals exciting Hiberno Norse

viking history vividly to life

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See the lives of Viking women

and how they helped shape

the viking age

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Witness viking life as it

really was in Wirrals

ancient past

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See how Wirral was

fought over by vikings

and saxons

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See how the Vikings

controlled parts of Wirral

through fear & taxes

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See how the Hiberno Norse

arrival brought both

men and women to Wirral

Wirhalh Skip Felagr

Wirhalh Skip Felagr – The Wirral Ship Fellowship - Wirral Vikings,

is Merseyside's leading Viking, Saxon and Norman re-enactment group

Wirhalh Skip Felagr focuses primarily upon the Hiberno Norse Vikings who settled the Wirral in 902AD.

We also portray other cultures from Bearduheards first viking encounter in Portland in the time of King Beorhtric (r. 786-802), to the beginnings of the Viking raids that include Lindisfarne in 793AD and beyond the Norman Conquest in 1066AD.

Welcome to the Viking age.

Established in 1998 the Wirhalh Skip Felagr (The Wirral Ship Fellowship - Wirral Vikings) is Merseyside's leading early medieval Living History group.

Wirhalh Skip Felagr focus on providing Viking Reenactment & Living History displays for Wirral, N. Wales, Liverpool & Chester.

As a volunteer run, heritage education group the Skip Felagr aim primarily to engage people with the archaeology of the Hiberno Norse who settled the Wirral from 902AD, but we can cover all aspects of the Viking period from 793AD to 1066AD.

Our Services

Wirhalh Skip Felagr offers the following services

  • Early medieval living history
    Period crafts and/or combat displays for all types of events.

  • Costumed historical interpretation
    For Museums and the wider heritage industry.

  • Educational visits
    Historical activities for schools, libraries etc.

  • Talks and lectures
    On Viking / Saxon life and history.

  • Practical demonstrations/workshops
    Traditional skills displays and courses.

  • Costumed performers,
    Background extras and props for film / TV / publicity / media / news work.

Education and Entertainment through re-enactment

I’ve seen quite a few living history groups in action, but I have never seen one get children so involved, or be so keen, not just to re-enact fights, but to talk about everything from food, to medicine, to coins, to burials.

Penny Alexander, on-line blog. May 2013.

Bringing Viking Age Wirral to life

Those years were a turbulent time in the British Isles as the land was divided into many small kingdoms occupied by both native people and numerous invaders and settlers.

Their different communities were rich and varied but each impacted on one another, with Anglo Scandinavian societies emerging all around the country.

Through our popular public events the Skip Felagr recreate in extraordinary and entertaining detail all aspects of their lives - and deaths.

view our displays

Inspiring the next generation of archaeologists and historians

Our living history events demonstrating early medieval social customs and period crafts

Period crafts such as bone carving, wood work, herb lore or textile working offer the public an intimate and engaging insight into the often overlooked challenges of everyday life more than a thousand years ago.

In contrast our violent combat displays dramatically portray the less commonplace but ever popular aspects of the conflicts between the Vikings and their Anglo Saxon neighbours.

view education

Re-creating an authentic insight into the past

As a research driven organisation we strive to give an authentic view of our past that accurately reflects the latest archaeological finds and theories.

We are an audience focused group that endeavours to promote our local heritage in an entertaining, hands on way which is accessible to all ages and abilities.

We enjoy balancing these two goals and get great satisfaction in educating people about the history of Viking age Wirral.

view media work


Ashton Park
Westbourne Rd, West Kirby, CH48 4DQ
6th May 2024
Upholland 2024
Beacon Country Park, Beacon Lane, WN8 7RU
20th - 21st July 2024
National Waterways Museum
South Pier Rd, Ellesmere Port Boat Museum, CH65 4FW
Sun 4th August 2024
Upton Viking Festival
Warwick Park, Upton, Wirral
17th - 18th August 2024
Introducing Wirhalh Skip Felagr
An Introduction
Introductory leaflet for Wirhalh Skip Felagr giving a brief outline of the group.
Click image to download pdf file.
Activities Guide
Introduction to Wirhalh Skip Felagrs events, activities and educational displays.
Click image to download pdf file.
Crafts Leaflet
Wirhalh Skip Felagr's craft displays and craft days.
Click image to download pdf file.
Brunanburh Leaflet
Introduction to the Battle of Brunanburh.
Click image to download pdf file.
Viking Presentations
by Dave Capener
Author of 'Brunanburh and the Routes to Dingesmere'
Aethelflad Remembered
Viking Seige of Chester
Brunanburh, Why the Wirral?
Viking Weapons

Extremely impressive and knowledgeable

I would highly recommend The Wirhalh Skip Felagr, their enthusiasm, knowledge and organisation are extremely impressive and made for a very enjoyable day.

All of our visitors were totally engaged with the many and varied activities and displays on offer. A perfect addition to our Festival of British Archaeology events.

Emma Walmsley, Liverpool Maritime Museums

Information about WSF

Wirhalh Skip Felagrs leaflets about our events, displays and activities

Introducing WSF

Introductory leaflet for Wirhalh Skip Felagr giving a brief outline of the group.

view pdf

Activities Guide

Introduction to Wirhalh Skip Felagrs events, activities and educational displays.

view pdf

Crafts Leaflet

Wirhalh Skip Felagr's craft displays and craft days.

view pdf

Brunanburh Leaflet

Introduction to the Battle of Brunanburh.

view pdf

Our members

Steve Banks
Group Leader & Authenticity Officer
WSF Group Leader & Authenticity Officer Steve Banks - Steve is a walking encyclopedia of knowledge on Viking life and has a unique talent to put across any facts in an interesting and fun way. As well a being Group Leader Steve is also responsible for the safety and training of all combatants participating in any form of battle re-enactment. Steves viking name is Stain... er Svein.
Victoria Banks
Wic Coordinator
WSF Wic Coordinator Victoria Banks - The power behind the throne. As we all know, behind every good man is a good woman and Viki is our group leader's most capable other half who runs our wic (a period term for settlement or encampment). She takes on all those often under appreciated little chores required to ensure the Skip Felagr are all where they're supposed to be, arrive when they're supposed to be there, are all doing what they're meant to be doing once they get there, as well as getting fed and watered as and when they get hungry and thirsty. A thankless task but without her organisational skills we would be lost.
Andy Quick
Publicity Officer
WSF Publicity Officer Andy Quick - Andy is the designer of most of our publicity material and promotional items. When not contacting the press with our latest events and exploits he can be found tending to his land given to him by Jarl Svein with his Soay sheep and Eels. Andvari (his Norse alter ego) still thinks his Jarl was having a laugh gifting him land that is mostly under water twice a day.
Dave Capener
Military Officer & Deputy Publicity Officer
WSF Military Officer & Deputy Publicity Officer Dave Capener - Unapologetically a fan of the Anglo Saxons even within a Viking group, Dave's a keen local history enthusiast, lecturer and a published author on the Battle of Brunanburgh where a large Viking alliance was defeated by his beloved Saxons in 937AD
John Donovan
John Donovan - One of our longest serving members who took a recent career break to return to university as a mature student to take a qualification in archaeology just for fun.
Ele Phelps
Ele Phelps - Ele is our longest serving group member (although she does not look that old)! Ele was raised into the world of Viking re-enactment as it was her father who founded the Skip Felagr in 1998, and so a Viking way of life comes entirely naturally to her. As well as being a great help to Vicki in all Wic tasks Ele can often be found playing Wic adoptive mother to our gaggle of 'authentic' viking children.
Jesse Phelps
Jesse Phelps - It's said we all have hidden talents and that life's challenge is to find them. When Jesse joined us he instantly showed us his passion and skill for detailed wood working. Jesse and Ellie have returned to the WSF fold after a period of time living and working in the fair isles of Orkney. (Lucky things)!
Rick Cutts
Rick Cutts - Rick is a dedicated Viking reenactor belonging to two major reenactment societies. When not on the battlefield protecting his lord he can be seen in his other guise as a Brother trying to convert the Pagan Vikings.
Jacob Quick
Jacob Quick - Jacob, like his father Andy, has thrown himself into all we do and is now proudly our youngest (and keenest) battlefield member. An avid fencer he now uses the same skills to make the adult warriors look like amateurs during battles.
Paul Williams
Paul Williams - Paul is another member who has whole heartedly and enthusiastically thrown himself into all we do. He is keen to learn blacksmithing and is building his own smithy in his spare time.
Josh Campbell
Josh Campbell - Josh is a sixth form student who only recently joined the group, after seeing many, many shows in past years. He has a keen interest in norse mythos, runes and combat.
Averil Fountain
Averil Fountain - Averil is a recent newcomer to re-enactment and is thoroughly enjoying being part of the group. It is a complete change from her day job. She has always loved learning about history, as well as sewing and making things. She is currently learning the basics of leathercraft. She never thought 6 months ago she might be making her own Viking turnshoes!
Lesley Dawson Heath
Lesley Dawson Heath - Ive been a reenactor for many years, but I'm new to the wonderful world of Viking reenactment. Ive spun my own wool and taught spinning for around 30 years, I do tablet weaving and have recently started to weave my own fabric. I'm a singer/songwriter/guitarist in modern times, so I've been practicing furiously on my hand made lyre, so I can sing in Icelandic and bore the pants off you all.
Russ Heath
Russ Heath - My favourite form of living history is playing a character for the public. My character is Hross Skelmersson. In the summer is a trader mainly in pelts and amber but also anything else he gets his hands on. In the winter he traps eels and hunts geese on the marshes. He'll fight if he has to but is no warrior. He is widely travelled and dreams of owning his own ship.
Jen Hill
Jen Hill - Bio coming soon
Paul Cottrell
Paul Cottrell - Always had a interest In Viking’s since being a kid and living in Germany for 14 years on and off. Although new to the re-enactment world, he felt at home in the full kit, and is looking forward to learning more about their way of life and crafts.
Shaun Jenkinson
Shaun is new to the reenactment scene and is chomping at the bit to get started, after a disappointing first season, which has been hampered by Covid. His interest has been piqued by a recent visit to the Orkney Islands, where the rich tapestry of archaeology and Viking history has inspired him to learn more about the period. He is keeen to grasp his responsibilities as a thrall and is looking forwards earning his freedom by serving his Jarl to the best of his abilities
Sprocket Wilton
Sprocket (not his real name) is new to re-enactment but has thrown himself into it with gusto. He is thoroughly enjoying battle training and is looking forward to learning a craft, metal or leather work is his preferred choice, but he will eventually go with the craft whose instructor is the most patient.
Conor Stewart
Bio coming soon.
Juliet Stephenson
Bio coming soon.
Phil Stephenson
Bio coming soon.
Sam Williamson
Sam is a keen historical martial arts practitioner who developed a fascination with viking age weaponry and single combat such as the Holmgang. He joined WSF hoping to find like minded people to train with and has been working closely with Dave to bring these lost arts back to life. When not practicing in the arena or standing in the shield wall, Sam can usually be found sleeping in the armoury. With martial prowess as his chosen profession he hopes to rise up the ranks to become a Huscarl in his Jarl's retinue
John Nolan
John first saw the group at Jorvik Viking festival as a tourist on holiday at York. After joining he spent a lot of time shadowing and helping the group members at shows portraying a thrall (slave). Showing great interest in the period, he wishes to learn some of the musical instruments of the time and especially now as a Freeman, learn a craft at some point.
Josh Vella
Josh is a student who is new to the group that found the hobby after spending a little too much on an outfit for a friend’s themed wedding, soon discovering that he enjoys making his own clothing more than what was expected. He cannot wait to dive into more combat training and to start delving into some crafts with wood, with a keen interest to look into how and what the Vikings farmed, fished and possible would have foraged.
Tyler Vella
Bio coming soon.
Liam Taylor
Bio coming soon.
Debbie Dunn
Bio coming soon.
Bleddyn Ap Madoc
Bleddyn Ap Madoc is a member of the Wirhalh Skip Felagr from across the border. He can be seen fighting in his traditional Welsh clothing.
Mark Smallwood
Bio coming soon.
Jimmy Johnson
Jimmy Johnson - The Welsh Viking - Once he became a post-grad archaeology student elsewhere in the country and took up freelance work teaching about the Vikings we have seen less of Jimmy than we used to but he's regularly welcomed back to the group when he's home in the North West.
Jonathan Breeze
Ædwine ‘Brezki’ of Bebington
Summoned from the Welsh Marches to aid in Æthelflæd’s reconstruction of Chester, Ædwine moved to Bebington to select and cut lumber for the work. He fell on difficult times, had to sell the tools of his trade, and now finds himself in debt bondage to Jarl Svein - where he is now learning the trade of pottery in order to supply his masters household and the various traders with whom he networks.
He can often be found in the village answering to the name ‘Brezki’, either up to his elbows in mud and processing the raw materials - which can be found in great abundance in his adopted home, or helping out with whatever tasks the master requires.

Do say: Ere Ædwine, there’s some lovely filth down ere!

Don’t say: What’s that Saxon doing hanging round with a bunch of Norse incomers?
Vara Hrolfswiffe
Warwick Wright
Tony Alexander
Saz Sindarin
Alia Banks
Alia Banks - Daughter of our group leader and Wic Mother, Steve and Vicki, who having been born and raised into the world of Viking re-enactment takes it all in her stride and can ofter be found with the boys on the weapons display explaining the weapons to members of the public.
Ant Butcher
Friends of Group
Ulf ‘Saurr Slyngva’ Thorirrson, a small land owner in Thorirs Croft. With links to the North West he was rumoured to be a member of a 3 man hit squad against the native Anglo Saxons.
An ex professional soldier who will still put his skills out for hire. Someone who doesn’t mix his words, ulf is a straight talker of few words.
Strong links with the north west settlers, it is not uncommon to see his shield among a sea of black and white.
When not using the tools of his previous trade, ulf is often found hunting and maintaining the land of his farm passed down from his father.
Adrian Smith
Friends of Group
Adrian Smith - Ady is a great friend of the group and can be found as a guest at most of our events.
Friends of Group
Pete - Pete is a great friend of the group and can be found as a guest at most of our events.
Friends of Group
Kay - Kay is a great friend of the group and can be found as a guest at most of our events.
In Memoriam
Kim Siddorn

Kim Siddorn - Founder and Eolder of Regia Anglorum, 10.12.1941 – 25.12.2015
In Memoriam
Stig Lockett
Stig Lockett - Warrior, Archer, Bard, and extremely talented Craftsman. Beloved husband of Mandy. We knew him simply as our friend and brother in arms.
In Memoriam
Simon Meaton
Simon Meaton - WSF group member
In Memoriam
Jake was Jessie and Ele's owners, (As lets face it our dogs are in charge). He could often be seen on our wic guarding all the Vikings from the local Saxons. He will be missed by all.
In Memoriam
Mylo was Rick & Bobbis owners, His snuugles, love and happy smiles where famous. He will be missed dearly.

a word from our clients

" "I just wanted to say huge thank you for your support with the Bootle Children's Literary Festival today. Everyone was stunning! The ladies made woven bracelets and chatted to children while the warriors escorted our dragon and posed for photos. Everyone was so wonderful with the children who will be taking away memories they will treasure forever. "
" You were all awesome...we've had so many amazing comments & feedback. Truly great to work with you & thank you for all your hard work, enthusiasm & much-needed humour! Hope you all got home safely. Thank you again. "
" Hello, I've just returned from Brimstage and just wanted to say how impressed I was with your troop. I found it hugely informative and interesting and I thought everyone communicated so well, especially with the children, in getting over Viking life. My family have had a fantastic day and it is down to the Wirhalh Skip Felagr's professionalism, knowledge and friendliness. Many thanks. "
" Working with the group has been a pleasure. It’s an exceptional educational offering. All aspects of Viking and Anglo Saxon life are made real from the everyday homestead, clothing and diets, to how society was structured and the myths and legends that supported it, how coins were minted and why, as well as the obvious weaponry and warfare. We really look forward to working with them again in the future” "
" I am writing this as huge thanks for what you brought to our Brunanburh presentation night that also raised significant funds for The Open Door Centre and the excellent work they do in supporting younger folks mental health!
The evening event that was centred around Dr Clare Downham's and Dave (Capener's) presentations went really well and was very well received by the Wirral Residents who attended! But, folks also commented upon how the Skip Felgars, coming in costume and full regalia, really enhanced the feel of the night!
The clothing and weaponry gave folks learning about Viking Wirral something to contextualise what they were learning about - and your friendliness and your willingness to let folks hold weapons and wear helmets also was something that some of us will remember as something we'd always wanted and never had the chance to do before!!
if we plan any further events, we'd love you to return in costume again, if possible please!
A great evening was had by all, and a big thanks for both the presentation Dave and the presence of such a genial "Warband!!"
Thanks again! "
" Wirhahl Skip Felagr have made a significant contribution to events and educational activities in Merseyside.
I have benefited from the group's collaboration with the University of Liverpool, sharing their expertise and enthusiasm at events.
The group also provided images for the 'Viking Age in the North West' iPhone app which made a big contribution to its visual effectiveness.
A couple of my students are also actively involved in the group and this has provided an excellent opportunity for hands on learning.
I have also noted the boost they have given to events at the Museum of Liverpool, Upton Viking Festival and the volunteer work they are currently doing at Finds Processing Days with Wirral Archaeology.
I am looking forward to working with the group in future, especially at the forthcoming Viking Congress hosted at Liverpool and Bangor in 2021. "
"On behalf of Wirral Archaeology,
We have had a partnership with WSF for the last three years. They have been invaluable to us and assisted us with delivering presentations on the battle of Brunanburh, delivering educational lessons and assisting us with the processing of artefacts from archaeological projects that we have undertaken. We will be supporting each other at several impending events.
WSF are much more than an re-enactment group. Some of their members are serious researchers and they work with us to conduct research into the period known as the Viking age. We work with several high profile academics who also value WSF because of their valuable assistance.
They are dedicated and professional and are respected by WA and our associates. Their members have wide ranging skills which they have used to assist us and they are playing an important role in researching the Viking history of the Wirral. "
"We would happily recommend Wirralh Skip Felagr as a partner for your Viking re-enactment needs. We found Their attention to detail and historical accuracy was exemplary and they bought along many crafts from weaving to butter making – a real education. From battle re-enactments to special warrior shows for the kids, we were delighted with the service they offered. Not only this, but on event close, they packed everything away and tidied their area to a point in which we would have never known they were there! "
"Excellent organisation informing people about the Vikings"
"A big thanks to all of you for your fantastic work at the weekend and for another great day's demonstrations. On a personal level you were all so organised and easy to work with you made my job an absolute breeze... I would highly recommend The Wirhalh Skip Felagr, their enthusiasm, knowledge and organisation are extremely impressive and made for a very enjoyable day. All of our visitors were totally engaged with the many and varied activities and displays on offer. A perfect addition to our Festival of British Archaeology events and I hope to see you again in the future."
"We learnt more talking to you for ten minutes than we did from watching the entire film."
"Thanks for going the extra mile to accommodate us at such short notice"
"Wirhalh Skip Felagr are a pleasure to work with and provide an excellent living history event tailored to suit the venue"
"Wow that's well mint!" (in the ever changing world of youth slang high praise indeed!) "
"Thank you ever so much for the excellent Viking re-enactment you did at the Museum of Liverpool. Your group was a real spectable in the atrium of the museum. The Young Archaeologists Club loved meeting you, and it was a very popular event with the public. I really appreciate your giving your time - it was brilliant to have such knowledgeable people on hand engaging the public with local archaeology. "
"We were very happy with everything your organisation provided for Priory Tales. You were excellent, flexible and engaged with the audience in a professional way. I would highly recommend you for quality and value for money"
"For nearly two decades the Wirhalh Skip Felagr have superbly brought to life the great Viking age of Wirral and the North West through their expert displays and interaction with the public and schools. They combine historical accuracy - with no detail missed - with enthusiasm and entertainment helping youngsters and oldsters alike to learn about our great heritage. The most recent example I experienced at a private function was a superb re-enactment of the deal between Queen Aethelflaed and Ingimund which gave the green light to the first settlements; an intriguing and highly entertaining comedic interpretation of the classical story introducing Ingimund's Irish wife. We are very fortunate indeed to have the Skip Felagr."
"The whole day at Coronation Park was great, the Wirhalh Skip Felagr were punctual, cheerful and enthusiastic, chatting engagingly with all ages who approached them. There was something for everyone to be interested in so the range of crafts and artefacts as a whole made the display a hit and the Vikings really added a special touch to our day in the park... As a first time event manager the group were great to deal with so please pass on my personal thanks to all of them... The Vikings were such a brilliant bunch who were great to have as part of an event and lovely people to chat to. They know so much and have a brilliant way with the kids."
"The Skip Felagr got stuck in from the start, weren't put off by our small visitor numbers giving it their very best. I'd recommend the Wirhalh Skip Felagr, they were friendly and engaging, taking the time to speak to each child and engage those who may have been quieter. I was really pleased with the session they provided, as were the visitors! The value for money was fantastic, they were very understanding that we were a charity project with a small budget. They fitted their work around our needs completely. Fantastic! "
"Amazing, our young daughter and our teenage son both interested in the same thing at the same time, plus it was something educational! That's got to be a rare form of family entertainment."
"The WSF are good at engaging the public in discussion, add interest to the range of events at our fair and draw in more visitors"
"More informative than my trip to the Jorvik centre."
"Such an approachable and public orientated group"
" This is a very big thank you for acting so quickly to secure us some Viking reenactors for the official opening of West Kirby Museum when we were let down by other people with less than 24hrs notice. You kept people entertained and informed all day and we hope we may see you again among the Vikings coming to the Earth Fest in September when the Museum will be open again."
"This is so interesting, does your organisation have a branch in California I could join, and if not how do I set up a group back home in America?"
"The Wirhalh Skip Felagr invaded Ashton Park during the bank holiday and put on a fine show for the public"
"Fascinating! Thank you so much, I'll never think of the Vikings in the same way again"
"Sorry to have hogged so much of your time, but I'm a real history geek and it's been great to pick your brains and learn so much more about a period I love "
"I’ve seen a few living history groups in action, but I have never seen one get children so involved, or be so keen, not just to re-enact fights, but to talk about everything from food, to medicine, to coins, to burials."
"I loved it on Viking day!"
"I liked the bit where we smelled the pottage, it was a great day."
"I liked it when he showed us his battling skills."
"Viking day was very fun and awesome!"
"I wouldn't like to be a Viking because they are mean to animals and eat pottage but it was a good day!"
"I loved making rope" "
"Our Viking day was fantastic! The children were enthralled by our Viking visitor who arrived early, was all set up well before the first bell, was extremely knowledgeable, held the children's attention all day and answered all of the children's questions. The children really enjoyed getting to touch all the artefacts and learned so much in one day we will definitely be inviting you back next year!"
"Steve's subject knowledge is amazing and he could answer all the children's questions. The day was really informative and entertaining - the kids loved it!"
"It's been a positive experience where from the beginning the communication was great. Steve tailored the experience to my class and they got so much from it. His knowledge was incredible and it really enthused the children as they loved seeing all the artefact replicas. He came very prepared and it was brilliant to see all he had... The corn mill Steve brought with him was fantastic as was everything else... There is not one aspect I could fault having really brought the topic to life with subject knowledge and enthusiasm. The children enjoyed it and learnt a lot in a fun, hands on way. Would most certainly recommend this memorable and educational experience."
"Many thanks again to you and your Viking group for the fantastic contribution in helping make our day a huge success"
"I know that all of the children who came over to see you really enjoyed their time with you and all my dealings with you in advance of you coming were great."
"Hello WSF from the USA! I just wanted to send you a quick note to thank you for your informative site. When school starts me and some bright teens will be meeting for a small writers workshop where for our first project the theme is going to be Viking and Norse history. I've been scouring the web for references for an inspiration list I'm making for the kids and that's how I stumbled onto your web site."
"I wish I had discovered your web site sooner!"
"All the people involved were polite, professional and fun. It was a wonderful effort and I would happily invite you to be part of anything I was doing with church. I thought the way the Vikings conducted themselves and engaged with the public was terrific, Well done."
"Why had I never heard about any of these fascinating aspects of the history of my local area before, and why aren't other people doing more to promote them?"