ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Viking Longship, "Hugin," Brought the Vikings Again to England.

Updated on November 17, 2010

Hugin joins legend of Hengist amd Horsa in Kent.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Hugin heads for England        Credit home13.inet.tele.dkMarvellous idea of Hengist and Hora   (copyright) cit.edu.auViking Beach BroadstairsHugin in her permanent berth:  Pegwell Bay, near Ramsgate, Kent.Hugin looking small and dejected refitting at Neilsen's Yard
Hugin heads for England        Credit home13.inet.tele.dk
Hugin heads for England Credit home13.inet.tele.dk
Marvellous idea of Hengist and Hora   (copyright) cit.edu.au
Marvellous idea of Hengist and Hora (copyright) cit.edu.au
Viking Beach Broadstairs
Viking Beach Broadstairs
Hugin in her permanent berth:  Pegwell Bay, near Ramsgate, Kent.
Hugin in her permanent berth: Pegwell Bay, near Ramsgate, Kent.
Hugin looking small and dejected refitting at Neilsen's Yard
Hugin looking small and dejected refitting at Neilsen's Yard

And the 60th. anniversary of the Vikings arrival!

1560-Year Anniversary of the arrival of Hengist and Horsa

And the 60th. Anniversary of the latest arrival of Vikings on Britain’s coast!

Not the original warriors, of course, they arrived to sack, pillage and rape soon after the Romans ceased to defend our shores.

Hengist and Horsa are recorded as coming here in 449, if they even existed at all outside of legend. Hengist means “stallion,” and Horst, “horse,” both in German: there is still much controversy and disagreement among historians about the infamous pair of “brothers” who have been recorded as founding Kent.

But there is no doubt that in 1949, 53 Danish, modern-day Viking seafarers, came again to our coasts in the “Hugin,” a replica of a Viking long-ship, built in Denmark, to commemorate the 1500th. Anniversary of Hengist and Horsa‘s arrival in Kent all those centuries ago. The Hugin came across the old way, too, rowed and sailed by its small crew, who took turns at the long oars, or slept roughly, lying on the deck beneath the gunwales.

Hugin’s first - and last - port of call was my birthplace, Broadstairs in Thanet, Kent, a place that has had its share of foreign invaders over the centuries: the Romans, Vikings and Normans. (not to mention the Yankees!).  The reason I don’t doubt this momentous day, was that I had the honour of accompanying my grandfather, Dr. Alex Mercer, then the leading functionary of the local angling club, to pilot Hugin in the last several hundred yards to her mooring some yards off shore in what was then the “Main Bay,” (Later renamed “Viking Bay” in honour of the Hugin and her hardy crew).

The day was a daze to the then 10-year-old schoolboy, who was told to “Keep owt o’ ruddy way” by the dour Lancashire doctor. I remember huge, surrealistic giants leaning down from the high poop deck, if that’s the word, (well, they'd have to do it somewhere, wouldn't they?),waving short swords and wearing strange helmets. I noticed 5'7" grandfather was rather more reserved in how he addressed them.

The beach was packed with celebrants like sardines. A special platform had been erected for the council poobahs, I remember Victor Hornby was one, maybe the mayor - it is a long time ago. The “invaders” had brought samples of Danish bacon and butter, etc., as their was a drive on at that time to introduce Scandinavian products to the UK. I don’t know how they were kept fresh on the trip, perhaps in a large ice chest, unless they were just mock-ups of the real products.

Broadstairs was Hugin’s last port of call, but she doesn’t rest there. She can be seen just south down the coast past Ramsgate by Pegwell Bay where she lies on wooden piles and gazes across the deeps that she circumnavigated 60 years ago. She has also been moved at least once for refurbishment in order to preserve her for posterity and perhaps another invasion of grinning giants in our future.

Note: the Vikings left their genetic imprint in Thanet and elsewhere in the red hair and robust physiques of many of today’s residents. There may even be a couple of local maidens who can trace their kid’s DNA back just 60 years on dad's side.

 

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Mr. Angel Diaz 

      8 years ago

      In Nov. 2009 I went to an auction in New Jersey, USA, & I placed a bid on a small Viking ship. After I won it, I carefully cleaned off the dust of 60 yrs. & noticed that it read the "HUGIN, true copy size 1/100." I then went to the internet & read the proud history of this historic ship. I am honored to have it displayed in my home. One day I will travel with my family to see it in person. If anyone knows who was the manufacturer of this small metal ship, please email me at angelo.diaz@juno.com. Thank you.

      Angel Diaz

    • profile image

      diogenes 

      8 years ago

      Ladies winkle; men catch pungers (on the rocks at Stone gap, Broadstairs). I didn't know there were rocks at Pegwell, I thought it was all sandy mud. I remember something about some winkles being poisonous - the round topped ones?

    • Amanda Severn profile image

      Amanda Severn 

      8 years ago from UK

      We were frequent visitors to Kent because my grandparents lived in Westgate. We went winkling on the rocks in Pegwell Bay on many occassions!

    • profile image

      Diogenes 

      8 years ago

      I have never forgotten that day either Amanda. You must have been driving around the coast. I have spoken to people from many countries who have seen it.

      Bob

    • Amanda Severn profile image

      Amanda Severn 

      8 years ago from UK

      I remember seeing that viking ship when I was a little girl, and imagining that it was one of the original longboats from centuries long gone. I was quite disappointed when my Dad told me the real story! I had a postcard of it as a bookmark for years.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)