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Viking trades still alive today

PUBLISHED: 12:05 28 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:53 30 June 2010

HEMSBY's Viking past is set to be celebrated with a special festival next month - but some traditions introduced by our Scandinavian cousins survive today.

HEMSBY's Viking past is set to be celebrated with a special festival next month - but some traditions introduced by our Scandinavian cousins survive today.

One such craft is silversmithing and visitors to the festival between June 18 and June 20 will have the chance to view jewellery created by Martham woman Ann Reeve.

Ann, 68, of Station Road, has been busy producing 12 pendants and brooches, which are similar to the jewellery worn by the Nordic invaders and will go on display in the window at Seadells shop in Beach Road, Hemsby while the festival is taking place.

Her interest in silversmithing stems from her younger years when she was fascinated by stones and she became even more interested in making jewellery when she spent time working for a family friend in his jewellers shop in Great Yarmouth.

The grandmother has been making jewellery for the last 10 years and still attends silversmithing adult education classes at Wensum Lodge to refine her skills.

Since she has been training, she has used her skills to make jewellery for her family, including an 18 carat gold necklace for her granddaughter Hannah Reeve, three.

Her latest project arose following a meeting with festival organiser Simon Middleton through her involvement with Hemsby Tourist Association.

Mr Middleton suggested she produced the display as it would tie in nicely with the festival's theme.

To research it, Mrs Reeve looked up templates of Viking artefacts on internet search engine Google and then laid down a sheet on which she could hammer and bend the silver into the required shape.

She said: “I just thought, as I have got a shop here why don't I do a display and that can be my contribution to that weekend. It is all part of our rebranding and creating a higher profile for Hemsby.”

Norwich based Mr Middleton, known as the Brand Strategy Guru, has led the re-invention of the resort as a former Viking settlement.

The festival will feature displays by Viking re-enactment groups, demonstrations of Viking lifestyle, coin striking, metalwork and even Viking surgery. Children will be able to get their faces painted with battle wound scars.

Events will include archery demonstrations and several full on Viking battles involving dozens of warriors in full Viking gear.

There will also be a Viking letter hunt with a souvenir medallion for all those who complete it and Scandinavian crafts with a chance to buy Viking paraphernalia such as toy swords, clothing and shields.

On the Saturday evening, Abba tribute band Abba's Angels will play and to round off the night there will be a torchlight procession from the camp down to the beach where a Viking longboat will be burned in a spectacular ceremony.

The Sunday will see a similar programme to Saturday.

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