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Hundreds of people are expected to flock to Formby's annual Viking and Medieval Market Day


Hundreds of people are expected to flock to the 5th annual Viking and Medieval Market Day hosted by The Fornebei Herfolk (Formby Viking Club), on Saturday 23rd September at the activity centre and grounds of the Gild Hall on Church Road in Formby from 10am till 5pm. Admission is £1 per person (accompanied under 16s free).

Jarl Herjan (Leo the Leader) and Forni Hamingja (Tony the Lucky) have been out exploring Wales and the NW encouraging other living history groups to come and join the fun in Formby. The recent events in Gwerch Castle (Abergele) and Conwy Castle attracted record crowds and there is another event on Saturday 7th October in Warrington which has live bands and an animatronic 40 foot dragon as well as all the traditional living history and market stalls.

TV Historian Mark Olly has worked alongside Formby Vikings for 5 years and the VMM event is ever more popular and new stalls and activities are included.

Staunch favourites ‘Talonted Feathers- Birds of Prey’ and the authentic Long Ship will be present.

The arena will feature combat displays with several sessions of ‘have a go’ for children. There will be storytelling and music as well. Formby Scouts are providing refreshments.

The Medieval Market Stalls will be in the hall and feature arts/crafts and gifts for all. There will be several exhibitions of Viking Living History and activities.

Live demonstrations of The Formby Viking Game based on Hnefatafl with World Champion, Formby’s own Leo Kolassa and we hope 3 times ex-champ Tim Millar on hand to demonstrate. There is a new game, ‘The Wall of Asgard’ which has proved to be very popular and prizes are on offer for beating record heights and scores.

There has been a recent archaeological exploration in Formby looking for relics from the incursion and settlement dating back to 902AD.

Formby Vikings have just launched their website, www.formbyvikings.co.uk and have a Facebook page too. A monthly meet and greet session starts on the 1st Thursday of each month from October, hosted in Wetherspoons in Formby Village 7-10pm with a chance to join in playing traditional games and learn some history and try some craft activities.

The website will feature historical information and a gallery of past events as well as rules for the games and some music clips. Formby Vikings have acquired an authentic handmade replica 5th Century Trossingen Lyre and a Kantele and other historical instruments which they will be playing at future events.

Schools that cover the Vikings in their topics may be interested in getting in touch for educational visits. These may incur some costs but all funds raised are kept to grow the resources of the Viking Club which is a Not for Profit Organisation. Please email formbyvikings@outlook.com

Formby Viking/Medieval Market Day is on Saturday 23rd September 10am to 5pm at the Formby Gild Hall Activity Centre and Grounds (at the back of the Gild Hall on Church Road, Formby.) Admission £1 on the gate (Under 16s are free).


Top photo description: ​This photo is of the replica Viking Longship from last years event which will be present again this year along with a smaller vessel on the day.


Fornebei Herfolk was formed by our Jarl (Lord) and Crew leader of the Longship that brought us here, Herjan Leo Kolassa a Rus Viking from the Ukraine. He gathered worthy warriors and sheild maidens all with specific skills and we settled here Byr (the place) of Forni (Home) as we called it around 907AD. Interstingly when we left Oslo, we sailed for Fornebu so we do feel at home here.


We had been rudely thrown out of Dubhlin (Black Pool as we called it, the water was so dark) and we hope Citric and the others make it over to join us or land at the Isle we saw enroute.


We did see a landing point that we would have called Blackpool, as it looked like home but, it wasn’t easy to land our ship, so we continued along the coast and when we saw the Point, we came ashore and claimed our land.


We sailed up the Alt and made as though we were two armies coming in at Dangus Lane (Deansgate lane) and the local settlers (all 52 of them) agreed to our parley of peace. We had our Hrafn placed on watch around Meols Lane. We call it Melr meaning sand dunes. We had heard of the warrior queen Ethelfreda who ruled the Willaston (Wirral) and allowed our kin, Ingamund land at his Meols, he even has a Ping Vollr – assembly field (now called Thingwall akin to Tynwald on the Isle of Man) and we must go and meet and drink mead with him. In our language which for you is similar to German, we called it Fingwalle it reminded us of where we meet in Scandinavia at Thingvoll.


We soon developed trade with our weaving and braiding and jewellery making as well as leather work and warrior training, we use a game called Hnefatafl to teach young warriors tactics and stealth, similar to how we gained our home here. The game is uneven the Hnafa (king) has his 12 Valkyries to protect him, they would traditionally have been dressed in brown leather and very fierce, prepared for Valhalla they would kill mercilessly and die in valour protecting Odin. The carls or opposing warriors have no leader and appear to encircle and join exit points but are weak in tactics, they must use their strength in numbers to prevail. If Odin can gain access to one of his safe places he wins, if 4 carls can suppound him he will surely perish.


Our annual Mikeli Dainas is on 23rd September from 10am to 5pm as we harvest and make bread and mead, we see the days grow shorter and must prepare for the long Winter. We still use our upturned longship as our great hall. The Miķeļi's house was considered to be on the pine forest's sandy soils so we use the Gild Hall, we may stay now we have made friends and even grown accustomed to your shrimps and asparagus.


We will have our warriors demonstrating battle, birds of prey, 2 long ships and many traders as well as the Tafl tournament. Our shield maidens will adorn you and make you battle ready with face painting, we hear your fierce Pokemon are popular.


Admission to the Jumis is just 1 Gelt (One Pound).


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