Sheringham Viking Festival ends with boat burning


Published:
11:32 am 10 April 2022



Update:
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.


The Boat Fire finale at the Sheringham Viking Festival
– Credit: Brittany Woodman

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.


Joanne Burrill prepares to shoot an arrow at Beeston's Common Viking Reenactment in Sheringham

Joanne Burrill prepares to shoot an arrow at Beeston’s Common Viking Reenactment in Sheringham
– Credit: Ella Wilkinson

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.


Artist Colin Seal, whose team painted a series of murals on Shannocks Hot,

Colin Seal, founder of the Sheringham Viking Festival
– Credit: Archant

“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 Boat Burning Ceremony at Sheringham Viking Festival 2022

The Boat Burning Ceremony at Sheringham Viking Festival 2022
– Credit: Brittany Woodman

“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.


A scene from the parade at the 2022 Sheringham Viking Festival

A scene from the parade at the 2022 Sheringham Viking Festival
– Credit: Brittany Woodman

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.


The boat burning ceremony takes place on Sheringham Beach

The boat burning ceremony takes place on Sheringham Beach
– Credit: Brittany Woodman

“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.”


Two men role playing a Viking battle at Beeston Common

Two men role playing a Viking battle at Beeston Common
– Credit: Ella Wilkinson


Flames rise during the closing ceremony of the Sheringham Viking Festival

Flames rise during the closing ceremony of the Sheringham Viking Festival
– Credit: Brittany Woodman


Valkenwolf's Amber Frettingham at the Viking re-enactment at Beeston Common in Sheringham

Valkenwolf’s Amber Frettingham at the Viking re-enactment at Beeston Common in Sheringham
– Credit: Ella Wilkinson


Flaming arrows are fired as part of the boat burning ceremony at the Sheringham Viking Festival

Flaming arrows are fired as part of the boat burning ceremony at the Sheringham Viking Festival
– Credit: Brittany Woodman


A group of Vikings at the Beeston Common re-enactment in Sheringham

A group of Vikings at the Beeston Common re-enactment in Sheringham
– Credit: Ella Wilkinson


Jim Evans blows his Viking horn during the re-enactment of Beeston Common in Sheringham

Jim Evans blows his Viking horn during the re-enactment of Beeston Common in Sheringham
– Credit: Ella Wilkinson

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