11:32 am 10 April 2022
11:34 am 10 April 2022
Crowds flocked to the North Norfolk coast this weekend as the Sheringham Viking Festival made a welcome return.
The Scira Viking Festival was back in full force on Saturday, having been canceled last year amid the coronavirus pandemic.
First held in 2014, the annual event is a celebration of Sheringham’s Viking heritage.
The day started with entertaining battle re-enactments at Beeston Commonand culminated with a stunning boat burning ceremony on the beach.
It usually takes place mid-term in February, but has been moved this year to make the show as special as possible.
Colin Seal, the festival’s founder and one of the volunteer organisers, said the latest edition turned out to be a resounding success.
“The whole day has been brilliant,” said Mr. Seal, a talented local artist.
“We took a bit of a gamble to do it in April but, personally, I think it worked out better.
“Usually when we burn the boat on the beach it’s dark and no one can see each other. But this time the light was perfect, with the sun setting.”
Sheringham’s name evolved from Old Norse and is thought to mean ‘home of the people of Scira’.
It is believed that Scira was a Viking warlord.
“The whole scene was about saying goodbye to Scira and sending her in flames to Valhalla,” Mr. Seal added.
Over the past eight years, the Viking Festival has gone from strength to strength, to the point where it now attracts hundreds of visitors to North Norfolk.
On Saturday, the promenade was lined with spectators desperate to catch a glimpse of the magnificent final.
After a year’s hiatus, Mr Seal admitted it had been difficult to get things going again, but he was delighted with the finished product.
“Trying to get things done was a bit like driving your favorite car after sitting it in the garage for two years,” he added.
“But from where it started to where it’s going, the festival has really become something special.
“It’s about entertainment, of course, but also about theater and education.
“The organizers will meet and analyze, but I think the consensus is that we will probably do it again around Easter next year.”