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Woodbridge: Replica boat fit for king arrives in town ahead of riverside celebration

13:15 28 August 2014

Boarding Party. Photo by Janice Poulson, Woodbridge Camera Club

Boarding Party. Photo by Janice Poulson, Woodbridge Camera Club

Janice Poulson

Woden warriors and well-wishers gathered to welcome a unique visitor to a riverside town.

A 13-metre long replica of the Sutton Hoo burial ship will be a feature of this year's Maritime Woodbridge event. Photo by Cliff Hoppitt, Wuffing EducationA 13-metre long replica of the Sutton Hoo burial ship will be a feature of this year's Maritime Woodbridge event. Photo by Cliff Hoppitt, Wuffing Education

The 40ft wooden Anglo-Saxon replica craft Sae Wylfing (or Sea-wolf Cub) arrived in Woodbridge ahead of a maritime celebration.

Owner John Gifford travelled by road from Southampton to deliver her into the care of the Woodbridge Riverside Trust – a voluntary group which set up the Whisstocks Project to regenerate the old boatyard near the Tide Mill.

Anglo-Saxons from re-enactment groups Ealdfaeder and Wulfheodenas walked through town – once known as Woden’s burgh – on their way to mark the craft’s arrival.

Mr Gifford handed over the longboat to Peter Clay, chairman of the Trust, which hopes to make it available to organisers of community events in East Anglia, and is keen for the boat to visit schools along with re-enactors to bring Anglo-Saxon culture to life for young people hearing about Sutton Hoo and the ship burial of the king for the first time.

The scaled-down replica of the famous burial ship unearthed on the banks of the Deben will be one of the attractions at Maritime Woodbridge on September 13 and 14, alongside Thames Barges and traditional boats, including three once owned by Arthur Ransome, of Swallows and Amazons fame.

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