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A Strithjarl’s Musings - Thorgrim Broad-Shield.

A Strithjarl’s Musings

Thorgrim Broad-Shield

Well hi there, I’m Christof, better known as Thorgrim the Strithjarl (war chief) of Unknown Vikings.

I got into this hobby nearly a decade ago now when I had worked in retail in Chester, I had noticed the Roman tour guides wandering about and thought “man that looks fun, wandering round with a sword yelling at people...LEGALLY! I gotta get into that!” and as was my luck they weren’t looking for new staff at the time but a friend of mine told me there was a few re-enactment societies in the area and I should look into them. A week later I had joined the umbrella Chester Living History Society which had a few different time periods within it. They had a multi-period event coming up in Ellesmere Port boat museum within the month and I had no clue what period I wanted to portray, so long story short I ended up filling out the numbers for the 17C civil war lot which got me duelling with folk and I was absolutely hooked.

Fast Forward a year or so and I had started to help run some Civil War tours in Chester, wandering round as a dashing Cavalier and blabbering to folk who’d listen to me info dump on their poor ears. However something was missing, it was all good fun but I felt something more was needed and that 17c just wasn’t doing it for me (don’t get me wrong I’ll still dabble from time to time but my heart wasn't in it) and so I decided to dip my toe into another era, one I had not considered but was beginning to flourish in Chester...VIKING!

Fast forward again to 5 months later and I had joined a bunch of folks wanting to really push Chester’s Norse history to the forefront, a facet to the city that is rarely considered in any tour pamphlet or local card-carrying guide. This needed amending so we set up the society outside St Johns Church and began to grow in numbers, experience and popularity. I took on the name Thorgrim after seeing the name in the Laxdale Saga, Yngvarson as my surname (was originally planning to be Yngvar myself but decided Thorgrim had more of a ring to it) and the nick name Broad-Shield came by chance really as my first ever shield was absolutely huge.

The rest as they say is history, here I am a fair few years later having popped up the ranks to what I do now, encouraging the fighters in the group to push themselves, encouraging children to viciously attack us and then giggling as we hand these hyperactive, bloodthirsty, balls of sheer malice back to their parents and helping train new members in the subtle art of not getting their faces hammered off. It is so much more than just the gratuitous acts of senseless violence though, it’s the camaraderie with what is effectively a giant family (I suppose I would be the relative you daren’t invite to polite functions) we are always, ALWAYS learning new things off each other and I cannot stress enough just how good it feels to be a part of something like this.

These are my inane ramblings and I hope you have enjoyed feeding them into yer peepers.


Oh and as a side note, remember folks, get your kids into re-enactment and they’ll NEVER have money for drugs. You're welcome.


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