‘We pro­vide a show for the whole fam­ily’

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Uk&World Update -

Odele

Wy­att (34) and her hus­band, Martin (36), from El­ton, have been in the group since it be­gan.

Their three chil­dren, aged three, six, and eight, love be­ing a part of the group too.

She said: “We go to shows in a huge field and they get up when the sun comes up, they play in the field all day and at night they sit round the camp­fire with us.

“They’ve been do­ing it since they were in nap­pies. I car­ried them through preg­nancy do­ing the Vik­ings and when they were born they came to the shows at a few weeks old.” She says the events are very pop­u­lar with chil­dren and adults alike. “We pro­vide a show for the whole fam­ily, from lit­tle ones all the way up to the adults,” she said. “We don’t do it for profit. We don’t charge a vast fee to do a show, we do it be­cause we love teach­ing peo­ple about the his­tory, how they used to live, how they used to eat, how they used to live as a fam­ily.

“We just love teach­ing peo­ple about Vik­ings. This is what we call our silly sea­son – ev­ery other week­end we’re away, ev­ery week­end we’re do­ing a show, left, right and cen­tre, we do shows all over the coun­try.

“It brings it to life for chil­dren, it’s bet­ter than read­ing about it in a book.

“With our shows, you can see us cook­ing, sewing, you can touch the equip­ment, you can get dressed up in the ar­mour, you can watch the bat­tle dis­plays, you can feel the at­mos­phere and the ten­sion.

“It’s just ba­si­cally a whole fam­ily thing that we do purely for fun. We’re a bunch of very dif­fer­ent peo­ple from all dif­fer­ent walks of life.”

Odele is pas­sion­ate about teach­ing peo­ple how the Vik­ings re­ally lived. “When you say Vik­ings, you think ‘rape and pil­lage’ – they weren’t like that, they were very fam­ily-ori­ented,” she said.

“They were traders. They did do the rape and pil­lage, I’m not say­ing they didn’t. They were a bit like the Mafia, they would go to an area and they would of­fer pro­tec­tion. If you turned round and said no, they would take ev­ery­thing.

“They liked their bling, they liked to wash and they liked to look smart. They were quite of­ten pre­ferred to the Saxon men be­cause they smelt a bit bet­ter.”

She says the group has gone from strength to strength.

“When we first started we had an army blan­ket and two plas­tic tents and we used to go to other peo­ple’s shows to sup­port them. Now we do around 22 to 25 shows a year,” she said.

Odele and her hus­band are both dis­abled, but other group mem­bers help them out.

“It’s hard work but we do it be­cause we love it,” she said. “It’s some­thing that gets us out and makes us do things.

“It makes it all worth­while, to have a child re­mem­ber some­thing you’ve told them and smile and be happy and re­mem­ber the day.”

LIV­ING HIS­TORY: Odele as Olath.

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