Viking Ships & Boats.
You cannot talk about Vikings without mentioning boats as the word 'viking' is a verb meaning to go raiding in a boat or ship. As such we should think of Vikings simply as pirates without ascribing any nationality to them. The iconic image of the Viking boat is the sleek dragon headed "longship" but many other types of sailing vessel were in production; from broad robust "knarrs" carrying tons of cargo all around the known world, smaller "byrdings" moving goods about locally to little fishing boats, faerings and dug out canoes serving ordinary families. Being largely dependant upon the power of the wind for propulsion made waterways the motorways of their day. At a time when all places of note were accessible by water, not having a boat of your own must have been an isolating experience.
From its headquarters near Canterbury Regia Anglorum operates various replica Viking boats which members of the Skip Felagr have occasional chances to get involved with in relation to film/TV work or when Regia bring them to major events like the Military Odyssey show in Kent. In a professional capacity and with the help of the Skip Felagr, one of our members was commissioned to organise the construction of a replica faering based loosely on the Scottish Aardnamurchan find with the commissioning project going on to win a 2013 national social impact award. For a period of three years leading up to its maiden voyage to the Wirral in July 2014 we were also in contact with the Norwegian Draken Harald Harfagre project and were part of events celebrating this huge longship's visit to our part of the world.
We operate under the name Skip Felagr or 'ship fellowship' and have periodic involvement with other people's replica Viking boats, yet our long term goal has always been to build a boat of our own to keep on the Wirral. Something with public/media/marketing appeal we can use regularly at our varied educational events around the local and wider community to attract and grow interest in our important Viking heritage. To that end we have been very fortunate, in the Spring of 2017, to secure through the Burbo Bank Extension Community Fund, a generous amount of funding to build our own small working/fishing/trade boat. At this point, as our plans are still being finalised, we don't want to say anything more than that 2017 should hopefully be an exciting year for us, with 2018 seeing the addition of a valuable new piece of equipment to the group with all the possibilities that will bring for us and our clients.