‘We provide a show for the whole family’
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.