Sae Wylfing is a most unusual craft that attracts attention from all who see the boat.
Her annual programme and TALK activities are on this page.
She can be use in a variety of different ways.
Currently she is usually displayed on land only.
When she is set up on land for public events she arrives on her own trailer.
Access to the display site must have no restricting tight corners.
She needs about 50ft in length and room for the towing vehicle to be removed or connected. She can be moved around by hand on hard surfaces, but needs two or three people to do this.
When in position her cover can be removed and the trailer covered. Strong wooden steps are placed alongside to make access possible.
The number of people entering the craft should total about 6 children to avoid overloading on the trailer. The craft has public liability insurance but visitors are informed that they are making their own choice to enter and exit the boat.
At public events there will be information leaflets available giving outline information about: the boat. The Woodbridge Riverside Trust and other groups associated with the boat such as Ealdfaeder the Saxon re-enactment group that usually accompanies her.
Activities and display.
Depending on the location and purpose of the event the boat may have interesting and informative activities associated with it.Children can access the boat.They can be photographed with re-enactors if they are present.Plastic or wooden swords, shields and helmets in child sizes are usually available.
There may be activities outside the boat for which small charges may be made, such as, striking coins using the die of a Merovingian coin found with the Sutton Hoo ship burial. Demonstrations of craft skills, spinning. weaving, hand-grinding grain, leatherwork, cooking, woodworking, may be given.
There may be Lego ship models on display, Lego models & Sutton Hoo helmet masks for sale.
Amongst the people concerned with arranging and running the boat there will be those have in-depth knowledge of Anglo-Saxon life and culture and also those who know the outline history of the Sutton Hoo discoveries, the Sutton Hoo ship and its construction.
This is what she looks like when she is empty and on the water
The longboat immediately brings to life the Anglo-Saxons. Much is known about the Romans who came before them and the Vikings who came afterwards, but little is understood by the general public of the people who were dominant in Britain for about 4-500 years and who gave their name the south-eastern part of the country and even the country itself. The story can be told in a most memorable fashion using this craft as the centre of interest, by the people who know most about it today; those who can dress Anglo-Saxon, eat Anglo-Saxon and speak Anglo-Saxon. The story is not of Dark Ages, but of colourful people, family oriented with music and storytelling and the most wonderful skills in producing art with intricate craft skills.
When children are given the opportunity to freely ask questions they explore outside the boxes.
This is an extract from a recent report of a public event:
'We engaged in conversations: about the buoyancy properties of salt water versus fresh water, the position of the “steorbord”, whether the original ship sailed and, if not, how had it received damage severe enough to require patching? Was the helmet reconstruction in the British Museum accurate or do the pieces ﬁt together in another fashion? Why were there coins from 32 different Merovingian mints? Why was pattern welding employed in the manufacture of swords? Could I see a pattern welded sword?'
We are prepared to respond to this kind of probing by bringing our expertise into schools. We think that this is the real value of the longboat and if you agree we could visit you and help to handle all those tricky questions. If you want to know more, please contact us and we will discuss how we can deliver what you want, in your school.
Guy helped by Ian, telling the Anglo-Saxon story of the Battle of Brunanburh.
Archant Newspapers 'Coastal Scene' reporting on a Woodbridge event that is part of the National Heritage Open Days said:
'For many the star attraction at the Maritime Woodbridge event was the 45ft long
replica of the famous burial ship found at nearby Sutton Hoo.
The boat was a hit with families and children.
There was a great amount of interest.'
The list below is only an outline and other dates will be added. To be confirmed (TBC)
If you miss some events you can still make contact with the Sae Wylfers
who will be pleased to explain their activities to you.
Try helping at a single event to find out how interesting and entertaining this can be.
19 February TALK Coddenham History Society, Saxon Shipbuild 19.30
23 February - Planning and Information meeting. Longshed 10.30 Everyone Welcome.
25 April Trinity Park. Schools Day
29 April TALK Martlesham 7.30
2 May Lunch TALK Christchurch Hall, Tacket St, Ipswich
4 - 5 & 6 May Woodbridge Waterfront, Beowulf Festival
18 - 19 May Haughley Park. Weird & Wonderful Wood
15 May TALK U3A Stowmarket
29 - 30 May Trinity Park Suffolk Show
8 June Rendlesham Show
21 - 23 June Suffolk Weekend Waterfront/Longshed (Longest day)
16 -18 August Glemham Hall, Folk East (TBC)
21 September TALK Scandinavian Ships, Southwold Arts Centre
25 September TALK Ipswich Institute
September Woodbridge Waterfront Shuck Festival (TBC)
14 November Lunch TALK Ipswich Arts Association
11 December TALK Suffolk Industrial Archaeology Society. Ipswich Transport Museum
Most longship visits will be land based, but the boat has been on the water in 2017 & 2018 & 2019
The annual programme is in continuous development and the boat becomes more and more popular. It is in such demand now that we could take it to a different event almost every weekend during the summer months. The effort of taking it to so many events would be very great and so we have to 'ration' ourselves. We can probably do up to about 2 events per month. The ongoing plan for 2019 is still developing. If you have plans for the boat to be at your event, do not delay in contacting us as we are sometimes booking a year in advance.
We could go to more events if we had more volunteer helpers, so please contact us. We have a very interesting job waiting for you.
... And there's more! ... more ways to use the boat ...
Talk to us
We are flexible and inventive. We can work with you in many ways.
Here is an example of a model of the boat that we worked up for our local cub group to make. These are the patterns taken from the drawings. The cubs drew around the patterns and cut out their own cardboard shapes to assemble their own ship model. The warrior is to the same scale as the ship to give them an ideal of its dimensions. The accompanying illustrated talk together with this practical activity would be ideal for year 5 - 6 pupils in school.
The model is nearly a metre long.
We make news for you when we visit your school; news for the school publications, news for the local press. We can show you
authentic costume and talk about many aspects of Anglo-Saxon life. On the left Guy is explaining the meaning of Runes and how to write them.
Schools can join to have a combined event.
Discussions are always under way about a number of events that the boat will attend. These events are confirmed but others are in planning and the list will be extended. We have educational events booked following our great success at schools in Woodbridge and at the Schools event at Suffolk Showground in 2015 & 2016 We can also undertake photographic and film work. Planning is under way for the whole of 2017 activities, please come and join us.
The support team is not always the same people for every event. Some people are interested in re-enacting and demonstrating practical skills, some in relating academic history, others are happy meeting the general public or helping to sell our merchandising range. We value those who just want to support, to help to deliver, help set up, drive, maintain, clear up and bring the teas and ice creams. There are many and varied tasks. If you want to join us we can send you illustrated descriptions of the roles that you can try out. You do not have to dress as an Anglo-Saxon. You do not need to be a history expert. You just need to join in and talk to people.
What are we doing?
We are taking the Woodbridge Riverside Trust's community activities out to the wider public to raise awareness of the current developments around the waterfront site in Woodbridge. It is interesting to go to new locations and if you want to be involved, please contact us. We particularly appreciate getting the word out to young people about this project that is going places.
If you are arranging a Maritime event in 2017 we would like to hear from you as we should be ready to go afloat this year.
Anglo-Saxon warriors at Weird & Wonderful Wood, Haughley Park
Maritime Ipswich Event