Since the very beginning, members of Valhalla have been at the forefront of developing European-style re-enactment in North America .
In October 1999 Guthroth was contacted by SCA members in the US asking about attendance at Hastings 2000. Despite reservations from some arrangements were made to make this happen, and a number of people - including Duke Arthur of Lockhaven and Duke Henrik of Havn - took part.
Email proved very useful in maintaing contact with this small group of enthusiasts, and in November 2001, Guthroth was invited to Estrella war to meet veterans of Hastings 2000 again and give a talk on the subject of UK-style re-enactment and rebated steel combat to a largely SCA audience. Amongst the people he met that weekend was Halvgrim, an SCA members from Missouri. They only spoke for a few minutes, but the meeting was to have great consequences.
Following his return from the US, Guthroth started a prolonged email correspondance with Halvgrim and others about how UK-style re-enactment could be brought to the US. Discussions centered about a possible steel-combat training weekend somewhere in the central US, and Halvgrim found a site not far from the location of the 'Lilies war' - a major SCA event.
The event - Lilies War Training (Kansas City) - was set for June 2003 and was announced in October 2002. The interest generated led to the creation of a dedicated yahoo email list The-Vikings-List" which was created in early December 2002, and it provided the main channel of communication for the planned training weekend.
Guthroth, Gunnar and Thorolf all traveled to Kansas City for the weekend of the 14th/15th June and trained a large number of people as is evident in this photo.
Soon after this event applications to eatablish Vikings Lethangs were received from Torvik (Toronto) Norsa (Missouri) and Helluland (Texas). With these applications The Vikings NA effectively came into being.
As soon as the Kansas City event was behind us, we started planning for 2004, however before the end of the year more goups joined The Vikings, - Sudhere, Havn and Glomesdal.
2004 was a very busy year with four trips by Valhalla members to North America.
The first was a second Vikings training event/Althing in San Antonio. This was held on a private site in Texas called Savernake. By this time we had trained folk scattered across the US and Canada, and there was a growing number of requests to start official Vikings Lethangs, so, working within guidelines established by the UK society, it was decided that we should appoint a small number of NA based training officers to carry on in our absence. This time it was Guthroth and Gunnar who made the trip, and duly appointed 6 trainee Vikings training officers - RTF's.
In February, Gunnar was back again, this time in his role as a Jomsviking Training officer, at a training event ahead of Viking Invasion I in Waco. This took place in April and was attended by a large number of UK Jomsviking members, supported by some from NA. Gunnar was back again, and with plans laid for Viking Invasion II in 2005, the event was becoming a regular feature on the NA re-enactment scene.
The following months saw a great deal of planning for another major gathering, this time the Torvik Vapnartak in Toronto. Again, Guthroth was travelling, and this time Knut, Ed, Lance and Mia were part of the trip. Also travelling was Magnus of Ouskejarr - The Vikings national training officer.
Part of this trip was to complete the training of two of the RTF's appointed in January 2004, and Tump and Halvgrim duly qualified as RTT's of The Vikings.
2005 started with Gunnar again going to Waco for the pre-Viking Invasion training and then to the Viking Invasion II event in April.
In May by Guthroth and Trix flying to Oklahoma city for a weekend mainly devoted to authenticity standards and discussions.
September 2005 saw the most ambitious gathering yet, with Valhalla travelling in some numbers to support the TFBO event at Binder lake. This time, Guthroth and Gunnar were joined by Lance, Ed, Mia and Alex from Valhalla, plus Magnus of Ouskejarr and Valgerd Toe-breaker, Sigurd the archer and Katla of the Manareafan.
What 2006 will bring is uncertain at the moment, but many of our friends from North America will be travelling for the major Hastings 2006 event at Battle Abbey in October.
Whatever happens, we remain commited to helping our many friends in the US and Canada.
and Other Links
Peter James 31st December 2005
Guthroth Of Colanhomm