It was an offer that I could not refuse.
It was all so Anglo-Saxon, recounting tales of battles past at the end of a long march, the ‘fyrd’ sitting together, drinking together and sharing stories of that day’s march from Rochester.
Thirty miles they had marched with the final twenty miles set for today, 13th October,to their camp at Caldbec Hill. As events unfolded, it would prove to be the day before the Battle of Senlac Hill against the Norman horde.
But this was not 950 years ago but last night and I was privileged to be asked to talk to Peter Wheeler’s YOMP1066 on their journey from Stamford Bridge to Caldbec Hill.
Today they will plant an apple tree that they hope will last for 50 years when it will truly be ‘the old hoar apple tree’ on Caldbec Hill and the Anglo-Saxon rallying point for the 1000th Anniversary of the Battle of Hastings 1066.
I stood and talked of all things Harold and as my Saxon Times alter ego, Brother Eadwine of Canterbury, I gave them foresight of things to come, of battle news and sadly the demise of the King. What happened to the King’s body remains a mystery despite the best efforts of the Saxon Times reporters to discover the truth – maybe Lady Gytha is a Peace Weaver after all.
There was of course a cautionary warning that the expected reinforcements for the loyal fyrd had regrettably been delayed – the latest report was that they were lost in the Forest of the Andreasweald after leaving Tonbridge.
It is rumoured that they had received false instructions from Norman sympathisers, collectively known as English Heritage, no doubt hoping for some recognition from Duke William himself.
It was all good fun and I was home for supper.