Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson joins the fun at Formby V

Formby Viking Medieval Market organisers with Viking maiden Pauline Clarke and 12th Century Welsh Mercenary Rick Manning.


Sefton Central Labour MP BIll Esterson joined the latest Viking invasion of Formby on Saturday as he attended the town's Viking Festival.

Vikings, medieval warriors and maidens set up camp at the Gild Hall.

As well as setting up a traditional market, visitors had the chance to see living history exhibitions, craft work exhibitions, falconry and even hand to hand combat displays.

The Vikings moored their transport - two authentic longboats - on Church Road.

Traditional story-tellers and authors kept the crowds entertained, while visitors also had the chance to pit their wits against each other as they competed in the traditional Viking game Hnefatafl tournament.

Organisers Leo Kolassa, Tony Higginson  and TV Viking expert Mark Olly said they were delighted by the event, which they hope to make an annual celebration of Formby's Viking heritage.

Leo said: "We have all worked extremely hard to get this off the ground, but we are really pleased by the result of all the hard work.

"We came together to set this up because Formby is synonymous with the Vikings. Our town was one of the early settlements and Formby is even cited in the Domesday Book. We wanted to celebrate that.

"I had spoken to Sean Brady, who back at the turn of the millennium instigated a  similar successful Viking event that took place in Formby and this inspired me to want to do it again but make it an annual tradition!

"I'd like to thank Tony for his boundless energy and hardwork, and Mark for dreaming big and delivering bigger. It's been fantastic. There's been a real buzz in the run up to this and it's worked out even better than I hoped.

"Thank you to everyone who came along and supported what we hope will be the beginning of an annual community event."

Tony said it was great to see the whole community come together to share the town's rich history.

He said: "Throughout the day we had hundreds and hundreds of people coming along to join in the fun. 

"We had people of all ages coming along and enjoying the fantastic entertainment, including the battling knights and the live band who performed in the Gild Hall.

"It was a great day and one that we definitely plan to bring back again next year."

Bill Esterson said he was delighted to support the historic community event.

Bill said: "Saturday's Formby Viking and Medieval Market was a brilliant event. In the time that I was there, there were hundreds and hundreds of people coming and enjoying a community event that celebrates Formby's historic links with the Vikings.

"There were lots to see and do for people of all ages.

"But it was more than just fun. Having spoken to the organisers, together with Sean Brady, there are plans to build on this year's Viking event and capitalise on Formby's Viking heritage as part of a marketing strategy to boost the Village and our local businesses.

"I look forward to doing all I can to support the initiative and I'd like to heartily congratulate Leo, Tony and Mark for staging a brilliant community event."

Formby Labour Action Team's Tom Donnelly added: "I really enjoyed attending the Viking and Medieval Market day in Formby. It was a fantastic event which offered something for everyone.  It was great to see people of all ages coming together to celebrate and learn about Formby’s history.  These kinds of events are just what we need in our town."





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