Unearthing a Viking legacy
IT’S Oslo, and although the snow still covered the mountains as we banked against the clouds, the city was baking in a surprisingly warm sunshine.
After 20 minutes on the fastest connecting rail service in the world, it was T-shirt weather on the harbour – but we were on our own with the casual wear.
We had arrived in a land of tall, beautiful people dressed to the nines, and the most elegantly dressed gentlemen I have ever seen – linen suits, pointed brogues and a most confident air. We were playing four nights at the famous Dubliner Bar in downtown Oslo, gracing the same stage as the likes of Manchester’s Mike McGoldrick and the original Dubliners themselves.
Two things stick in my memory from that first promenade around the waterfront: random Anthony Gormley figures walking up the side of buildings and fieldfares; I don’t know why I was so surprised by the latter because they live there, but what threw me was that I usually see them with their cousins, the redwings, flocking around Peak District hedgerows in the winter.
They migrate to us for a berry-fest and leave behind the Scandinavian winters for a few months.
With four gigs and five days to go, I was already a happy man but then we hit pay-dirt – the Viking longships – and although you’ll have to migrate yourselves to the Laughing Badger Facebook page to see more pictures, the amazing carving seen here was buried for a millennium.
There are three ships in the museum and each one was used for a Viking burial more than 1,000 years ago.
All are remarkably preserved due to being covered in a blue clay. That and a great deal of careful conservation since being unearthed at the turn of the 20th century.
Like many historical finds each ship was discovered by a mixture of
The Laughing Badger Gallery, 99 Platt Street, Padfield, Glossop
●● An intricate carving on a Viking longboat