New Vikings will be added to the Long Boat on the Anton River by Town Mills

ANDOVER is about to welcome eight new Vikings to The Viking Longboat in the River Anton by Town Mills.

The Viking Rowboat was commissioned by Test Valley Borough Council to mark the Test Valley in Bloom millennium celebrations and commemorate the story of Olaf the Viking, whose invasion of the south coast played a significant role in the Andover story.

Now, 22 years later, the council has commissioned a refurbishment at local metalwork shop Hurstbourne Forge to install new Viking figurines, a mast and a sail. The rowboat will also receive a new coat of paint.

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The new silhouette-style Vikings are to be crafted in Corten steel and are based on historical figures from coins and artifacts.

The scaffolding around the room has now been installed and work should be complete by mid-August.

A consultation with the public by community partnership Andover Vision last summer saw residents giving a big thumbs up to maintaining the Viking Rowboat – and wanting to see it refurbished.

The area surrounding Town Mills was also transformed in 2020 with new walkways, as well as the creation of the new Riverfront Park and improved Pocket Park.

Test Valley Borough Council leader Councilor Phil North said: “I am delighted to see yet another improvement in this area. Andover’s Town Mills has become a fixture in the city since its transformation work began two years ago.

“The Viking Longboat is a much loved landmark in downtown Andover and I’m thrilled that we can revitalize it for visitors to enjoy for many years to come.”

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