September 23 – Stamford Bridge 1066 event

An unexpected ending to the day

Hello from 1066 – A Medieval Mosaic

We left Bilborough Travel Lodge about 10 to go to Stamford Bridge. A nice easy trip. When we arrived at the Old Railway Station there were tents set up with Battlefields Trust, a man dressed as a monk talking about language and writing and archaeology stands. There was a whole Viking village with men, ladies and children all dressed in costume with tents, cooking fires, nalebinding, stone carving, leather marking etc. During the day there were exhibitions of weaponry and fighting including one with armed children fighting against unarmed Vikings. Highly entertaining.

We also found three geocaches. One close to the hall and one each side of the aqueduct bridge. We talked to many people about the mosaic and we bought a novel about the twenty years preceding 1066 including the Battles of Fulford and Stamford. Inside the hall was Chas Jones with his Battle of Fulford tapestry and Tina Green’s Battle Tapestry. The Stamford Bridge tapestry was there with three of the tapestry workers working on individual panels. This tapestry is not complete yet as there are at least four incomplete 4-foot panels and none have their border characters are on yet. Heather Cawte, the secretary, says that it may take another two years to completely finish. She was a nice lady who has been following our blog and travels for several months now and she told us about other tapestries that we should visit. They intend to keep all the panels of the tapestry separate for ease of framing and displaying. They also have small pieces of finished tapestry and postcards etc for sale.

We talked to a young lady called Jane Batchelor who is walking 2500 miles from Scotland through the United Kingdom following history. So she came here today for the Vikings. We had a lot in common considering we also did a long walking trip back in 1979 when we walked 1000 miles in three months from Folkestone to Lands End to Bristol and up through Wales. Jane’s theme is ‘Walking the Timeline of Britain’ 5000 years, 2500 miles, one woman.

Later in the afternoon, we thought we would drive on to find a few geocaches on our way back to the hotel. However, when we started the car it was making a terrible noise and sounded undrivable. We asked a few people still around the site and one guy recommended we ring our insurance company which we did. Luckily we had cover for the RAC to come to our aid. The RAC turned up within quite a short time and decided that the bearings of the airconditioning had gone which was stopping the belt which drives various things including the power steering. He called it a catastrophic failure but thought it could be fixed. At least the car wasn’t a lost cause but there was nothing he could do for us. We were quite confused as we have to be in Northleach, Gloucestershire for a house sit starting early Monday morning. He said that our car, Mike and I could be transported to Oxford under our insurance too. About 7 pm, a car carrier arrived to take us to Leicester Forest Services but agreed to stop at the hotel first to pick up the rest of our stuff. We dashed into the hotel explaining we had to leave early and grabbed all our gear. Luckily most of it was in the car already. At Leicester Forest Services, the car was moved to a new carrier and a different driver took us to Oxford. We had no way of organising accommodation for the night as it was too late. So we asked the driver if he would drop us at Chas’s house in Bletchingdon. We would have been there tomorrow night anyway. We got there about 11 and Mike quickly climbed up and emptied the entire car onto the footpath. The driver then took the car to Belsyre Garage in Oxford and dropped it off.

A bizarre ending to a great day.