Updated: Aug 16, 2021
Welcome to Unknown Vikings Living History Society (UVLHS).
Recreate a flavor of life 1100 years ago in the Chester area. A time period a lot of people in the area know nothing of or even that Vikings were here – hence our name!
It is not simply dry history that we spout at people, we play about with it – a lot like Horrible Histories. We enjoy becoming our characters for the duration of the show, some of our members are shy and introverted in their real lives and at work, but put them in kit and watch them go.
As Thorgrim says, “You can’t get away with shouting at random kids any other time!”
Please be aware
We do not expect UVLHS to be first and foremost in any of your lives. This is a hobby, it is supposed to be fun, you do it when you can and when you want.
Other things in your life are more important
Family life, work life, health, both physical and mental.
(Change order to suit your tastes, but there we are)
IF ANY OF THE ABOVE CLASH WITH DOING A SHOW DO NOT WORRY ABOUT IT. TELL US! (even if you are hungover its absolutely acceptable.)
Do not feel that just because we dress up and beat each other up, even boss each other around, it does not mean that we are not here if you need an ear or a drink on other matters not related to Vikings, re-enactment, or history. We are a team and we are friends as well as comrades in arms.
So onto the good stuff!
We cover from 902AD, the first recorded settlement of the Norse in the Wirral and Chester area, until around 1072 with the surrender of Chester to William the Conqueror after the Harrowing of the North.
As the Norse traveled far and wide, raiding, capturing, trading, we allow and encourage our members to show a wide range of cultures from the time period – so if you are strongly proud of your Welsh or Saxon heritage, you can research and be a 10th century Welsh or Saxon. A lot of our members portray Hiberno-Norse characters which originate in Ireland.
There are certain social levels we portray, as you may have seen from our displays or social media but do not feel pressured or rushed into buying all the shiny stuff straight away, no matter how tempting.
We have all new members begin as a Thrall (Slave), with basic plain linen tunic and trousers or dress for the women, as this is cheapest, and lets you decide if it is really for you.
The best advice when you join is keep your ears and eyes open. If you are asked something by a member of the public that you do not know an answer to then say you will find someone to answer it, or that “You are not permitted to speak.” PLEASE DO NOT MAKE SOMETHING UP.
During this time a Bondi (Freeman) or Hersir (Senior Member) will be your “master” and you will be expected to fetch them food or drink, and to play at serving them for the show – don’t worry, in return they will look after you, advise you, and answer any and all questions you have. You can always direct the public hounding you to hound them instead which is always more fun.
All freemen and Hersir’s look after their slaves very well, as Halvdan hates the paper work when they are injured and killed…
We like to see ourselves as fairly relaxed, so if we insist on certain standards for kit, for example real wool for your dress or tunics, then please take note. We are not being pedantic, real wool does not burn or catch light easily and we are around open fires at virtually every show. Experienced members have seen what happens when polyester or cotton meets sparks from such a fire. The weapons we used are blunted and unsharpened for display purposes, but are still metal, are still heavy, and still hurt. Be careful if asked to handle anything, and try and keep the public from handling anything freely – take the lead from your master in this.
BULLYING OF ANY KIND BASED ON RACE, BELIEFS, POLITCS, SEXUAL ORIENTATION OR IDENTIFICATION WILL NOT BE TOLERATED AND YOU WILL BE TOLD TO LEAVE.
In this group we are adults of varied backgrounds, opinions and beliefs and so expect a level of banter, but if you feel a line has been crossed, see a senior member of the group and report it. Do not let it sit and fester as we will not allow any member to feel unwelcome or uncomfortable.
Annual fees for 2021 are £30 per person, and this covers your insurance for doing shows at St Johns, Chester, shows elsewhere, and talks in village halls and WI meetings etc with UVLHS, with full Public Liability Insurance and Personal Injury cover. Please bear in mind St Johns alone gives us 7 shows a year, and we ask no other fees from you so we like to think it’s a bargain for good food, good company and learning the history of the region.
So if you’re interested then please send us a message on any of our social medias.
Hope to see you at the camp!