Vikings lighten up stormy day

By Christine McKay -
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Dannevirke's Ward St became a Viking enclave as members of the Jomsborg lag 
from New Plymouth and Wellington re-enacted Viking battles
Dannevirke's Ward St became a Viking enclave as members of the Jomsborg lag from New Plymouth and Wellington re-enacted Viking battles

The Vikings came and they battled ... the wind.

With the wind blowing down Dannevirke's High St Viking maidens Amy Walsworth and Emily Perrin of Wellington were using their battle shields to protect their fire as 40 stallholders set up for the National Viking Day market.

The maidens, members of Jomsborg lag, a mobile Viking army, were determined to have their cooking pot bubbling away before the chicken went on the spit.

Ruahine Maori Warden, Charmaine Kupa, was enjoying morning tea at the Pania Kingi's fried bread van on High St during the Viking day market on Friday.
Ruahine Maori Warden, Charmaine Kupa, was enjoying morning tea at the Pania Kingi's fried bread van on High St during the Viking day market on Friday.

And although the Viking battles are re-enactments, that doesn't mean they're without mishap, John Coutts told the Dannevirke News.

"One of our members Mike Ker was wounded in a battle in Poland recently," he said.

"He took a spear to his knee, but it wasn't until he returned to New Zealand he discovered the damage was worse than originally thought. He needed surgery on his leg and had eight pins inserted."

But the Viking army isn't deterred and regularly take part in the re-enactment circuit in New Zealand, John said.

"I think we add to the flavour of a day like this," he said in Dannevirke on Friday.

And despite early wind, then some rain, more than 40 stalls were set up on High St, offering bargains to shoppers.

Dannevirke's High St was decorated with life size Vikings, axes and shields, adding to the atmosphere.
Dannevirke's High St was decorated with life size Vikings, axes and shields, adding to the atmosphere.

"I'm rapt with how things have gone," Lianne Simpkin, the Tararua District Council's economic development manager said.

"We had a big crew from the Chamber of Commerce on the street early in the morning setting up and with all the flags it looks fantastic."

Mrs Simpkin said the Jomsborg lag breathed life into the market day.

"It's the work of a Chamber of Commerce who wants to help retailers grow," she said.

High St retailers Paul Brook of PaperPlus and Suresh Patel of Shires Fruit and Vege Market were kept busy all day as bargain hunters swarmed into their businesses.

"Holding a sale in store, rather than having a stall outside works well for us, it's really going off," Mr Brook said.

And as Ruahine Maori Warden Charmaine Kupa tucked into her fried bread, she declared it was "ataahua" - lovely.

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