Clan’s bid to bring Vik­ing

A GROUP of pas­sion­ate re-en­ac­tors from Peter­bor­ough help to bring his­tory to life around the coun­try. JENNY COR­NISH meets Clan Wulfhar and finds there’s more to Vik­ings than meets the eye.

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Uk&World Update -

IF you think the Vik­ings were just all about pil­lag­ing and wear­ing horned hel­mets – think again.

Clan Wulfhar, a Peter­bor­ough­based re-en­act­ment group, is on a mis­sion to ed­u­cate both chil­dren and adults about the true Vik­ing way of life.

The group trav­els all around the coun­try vis­it­ing schools, fetes and fairs, aim­ing to set straight some of the myths.

Chris­tine Yates (40), a shop worker from Bret­ton, set up Clan Wulfhar in 2003 with her hus­band Paul (45).

She said: “We go to schools and put on events for the gen­eral pub­lic to show them the life and times of the Vik­ings, the foods they ate, what they wore, and – what peo­ple seem to en­joy most – what the fights were all about.”

Ap­par­ently the Vik­ings got a bit of a bad press, due to the first records of them in this coun­try be­ing writ­ten by monks who had been on the sharp end of a raid.

How­ever, Chris­tine, oth­er­wise known as Hauk Wulfhar, ad­mits the Vik­ings were no an­gels. “They were the first pro­tec­tion rack­e­teers,” she said. “They would walk into a vil­lage and say ‘you’re not very well pro­tected’ and of­fer pro­tec­tion.”

She and her hus­band have been do­ing re-en­act­ments for around 20 years, since a friend of Paul’s sug­gested he try it out.

“My hus­band’s been fight­ing since 1977, do­ing var­i­ous mar­tial arts,” Chris­tine said. “A friend of his had got into the Vik­ings and he went along. I started go­ing out with him and it went on from there.

“If some­one had come up to me 20 years ago and said ‘you’re go­ing to get into the Vik­ings and run a reen­act­ment group’, I’d have laughed at them.”

Clan Wulfhar now has 31 mem­bers of all ages and from all walks of life, and do shows all over the coun­try.

The group is set up as a Trelle­borg – a Vik­ing train­ing camp. Events in­clude demon­stra­tions of Vik­ing com­bat, and a “liv­ing his­tory” dis­play, which in­cludes a va­ri­ety of Dark Age tents, a cook­ing area, and an ar­moury.

Chris­tine says the shows go down re­ally well with chil­dren. “The Vik­ings have been in the na­tional cur­ricu­lum for quite a while now,” she said.

“The chil­dren get to see and hear and touch and they un­der­stand it a lot bet­ter than if they went to a mu­seum.”

The com­bat is taken se­ri­ously – it’s classed as a form of mar­tial arts and mem­bers have to train ev­ery week to make sure they can fight safely.

They do a lot of re­search to make sure the group is his­tor­i­cally ac­cu­rate and all the weapons are spe­cially made by an ar­mourer, and talk­ing to peo­ple and ed­u­cat­ing peo­ple.”

Clan Wulfhar is at the Chat­teris His­toric Fes­ti­val from to­mor­row un­til Sun­day and at var­i­ous other events through­out the sum­mer.

For more in­for­ma­tion or for book­ings call 01733 700214, e-mail clan.wulfhar@ntl­ or visit www.peter­bor­ough-vik­

based on mu­seum pieces.

The cou­ple’s three chil­dren, Con­nor (12) and seven-year-old twins Lach­lan and Rose are en­thu­si­as­tic mem­bers of the group and Chris­tine says the whole fam­ily ben­e­fits from the hobby. “It keeps you fit, it gets you out, we get to go camp­ing in some re­ally nice places,” she

said. “It gets you out VIK­ING FAM­ILY YATES: From left, Rose Yates, Lach­lan Yates, Paul Yates, Chris­tine Yate

and Con­nor Yates

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