AGM report March 8th 2017

At the Battle of Stamford Bridge Heritage Society AGM last night March 8th, a new committee to oversee and determine the direction of the society for the foreseeable future was appointed.

As most people will know by now I have stepped down as the current Chairman of the society after serving since its inception, to pursue other projects, both professional and personal. I will however, still be a member and so will continue to play an active part in the events and projects I am interested in.

The new 7 person committee will meet next week to organise itself and arrange the specific areas they want to be involved in, since Toms passing the original Committee had shrank from five permanent members to two, not enough to really run the society as envisaged. I think the new members, who have all played a pivotal part in the society already,  have the expertise and knowledge to see us through the next phase of the development of the society, and I wish them all the best and good luck in that.

It was also agreed by the members present to vote to keep the current annual subscription of £10 per person as a permanent amount, this goes a long way to pay for some of the expenses we need to cover to be safe and legal, especially in attending outdoor events and dealing with the general public. Anyone not present at the AGM can you please arrange to make your new annual subscription at the next meeting. (see below)

Next Meeting & Dates for 2017/18
The following dates are the provisional meeting dates for the society 2017/18 season, at the Cricket Club in Stamford Bridge. However these cannot be finalised until Kirsty can confirm her diary.


April 12th / May 10th / June 14th / July 12th / August 9th / September 13th / October 11th / November 8th / December 13th
January 10th / February 14th / March 14th

Battle Show 2017
Decision is required asap on the next Battle Re-enactment show, as there have already been enquiries from both trade and the public about the place and date. The new committee will make this a priority decision as time is short to begin making arrangements depending upon the size and format.

Society Boat
The society has been offered the opportunity to buy its very own river boat. An inflatable, rigid type,it comes with its own petrol outboard engine, oars and vests. We have agreed to go ahead and buy it and plans are already taking shape about how we can utilise this great piece of kit for use on the river for research and locating the Roman and Saxon crossing points on the Derwent river in Stamford Bridge. Perhaps we can have a naming competition for it!

Coin Competition
The winner of the 950th coin design competition was announced at the AGM. A first production coin was brought by Brian and Maxine, and it looks and feels superb. The overall winner and the class runners up will all receive a copy with a certificate, with the arrangements for a presentation to be made with the school directly. Society members and the general public will also have the opportunity to buy one as a keepsake and commemoration for our efforts in 2016. Cost is £5 per coin which comes in an attractive presentation case, we have already began to take orders, - so get yours in now, this will be a limited production run and when they've gone, they've gone!

From todays date the Contact email for all BOSBHS enquiries is:

AGM meeting MARCH 8th 2017.


The next society meeting is the AGM on March 8th, 2017, (NOT March 15th, as provisionally mentioned at he last meeting), at the Sports Pavilion, Low Catton Road, Stamford Bridge.

It will be an important meeting to discuss and arrange the future of the society and how it can move forward for the next 5 years. Subs will also be due at the meeting, but, we need to decide whether we continue with the fee of £10 that was raised for the 2016 season, or whether we reduce back to £5 as originally planned. Please tell any members not present at the society meeting in February that they need to attend if possible, as members need to be present if they want a say in the future of the society and the decision making process.

Below is a transcript of the Chairmans Comment from the January Monthly Bulletin for those who may have not seen it yet.

As we begin 2017 I have been giving some thoughts to the year ahead, even though we normally have the BOSBHS year commence in March with the AGM. After the tremendous 2016 anniversary year last year and the positive feedback we received I foresee 2017 as a year of consolidation and of laying new plans for the coming years.

Now more than ever, the members of BOSBHS have to play their part, as I have decided to step down from the Chairman’s position and offer the future of the society into the hands the members. I will still be a member of the society and be active but will play no part in organising and arranging events or decisions of the committee, that is now for the society to do. My decision was actually made before 2016, but I felt it inappropriate to give it up considering the untimely passing of Tom and the plans for the anniversary year we had ahead. My reasons are personal, as there are projects and professional decisions I have deferred for the sake of the society, but, now require my attention and need to be implemented.

I will fulfil the obligations to the already ongoing projects I have initiated or been involved in, ie, tapestry, window, archaeology, etc

For the Society to continue the following is necessary:

A new committee to made up of new members offering experience and fresh ideas to take the society into the next 5 years. The new committee places should be as follows:

- Chairman
- Vice Chair
- Secretary
- Treasurer
- Membership & Fundraising
- Events & Publicity

I still believe BOSBHS should consider a bi-annual show event at Stamford Bridge. Maybe every other year a new show at Fulford could be organised, thereby still giving the Viking Societies and the public an event to attend, but allowing more time to be organised. This is only possible with closer ties to Chas Jones and Fulford, but by getting together with BOSBHS to help with the organising, it would allow the focus to be on Fulford and thus share the publicity. I see the two battles near to York as a singular event unique in 1066 and needs exploiting, it will also allow access to Fulford Historical Society and Parish Council to be more involved. Further talks with them are obviously needed, but the decision on the 2017 show needs to be made soon as time soon flies....

BOSBHS needs an integral, forward looking, 5 year plan, including archaeological, establishment of a new meeting place for the society, new projects for the village, signage, information boards, education and school visits, a living history sub-group, new heritage conservation and metal detecting liaison project and the most essential - funding. Heritage Lottery Funding application being the main aim for 2017, another reason I feel for this year to be one of consolidation and building on what has been learned. Stamford Bridge and its society members should take stewardship of the BOSBHS, it has made great strides in the last six years and will continue to do so under the direction of a new, strong and imaginative committee. 

I am giving the society this advanced information in the hope that by the March AGM anyone within (or without) the society with the inclination or desire to be a committee member can think it over. I won’t be putting myself up for consideration in the committee elections. The committee has over the last couple of years seen a reduction in its members and thus needs new blood and new people to make it a proper working group. I know in the past the committee has been quite loose and decisions were left to one or two on many occasions, but for the society to continue and abide by its own constitution it really does need full membership to take the decision making a step further, otherwise it becomes stale and a dictatorship, - which is not what our original community vision was for the society.
Chris Rock, January 11th

The following PROVISIONAL monthly meeting dates for 2017/18 are as follows. These will not be finalised until March, when a new promotional leaflet with the dates is printed.

March 8th (AGM)
April 12th
May 10th
June 14th
July 12th
August 9th
September 13th
October 11th
November 8th
December 13th.

January 10th
February 14th
March 14th.

2017 Hello to a new year...

As we say farewell to 2016 and hello to 2017 the BOSBHS have earned a great big pat on the back. 2016 was a memorable year, for many reasons. Tom’s untimely passing early on cast a dark shadow not only over our society but others too, but as reality sunk in, the society rallied round and with support and advice from friends, family, and members we managed to overcome the all the problems we faced.

It was a busy year for us, in between attending the shows and fayres, walks and talks, we organised a fantastic fundraiser ceildh, a popular village summer fete, and of course the 950th Anniversary Battle Weekend, which was a huge success. The BOSBHS Tapestry group re-organised and motivated themselves and have produced some wonderful embroidery, even Charles and Camilla were impressed by the standard of skill. Hopefully, 2017 should see an almost complete 12m tapestry by the end of the year.

We also spread ourselves far and wide, with invites from both Hastings and Waltham Abbey to attend their anniversary events. Yes, it’s been a sad, mad, happy and fulfilling 2016! Well done, and thank you to all those who supported and helped us achieve it.

So what’s in store for 2017? Well, there’s still lots to do….

We need now to consolidate what we have achieved over the last 5 years. We have proved our capabilities when we put our minds to it, and our long term goal of a 1066 Museum/visitor/resource centre in Stamford Bridge is still our central aim, but we need to look in depth at funding options for all our future projects, as it all takes money as well as passion!

The 1066-2016 new stained glass window design for the church is still ongoing, having been initialised in 2016 as a permanent reminder of our efforts in the anniversary year. With new housing in Stamford Bridge coming on line in 2017 we also need to invest in new members for the society, both to keep the momentum going and have fresh ideas and skills from new faces. There’s new archeological projects in the pipeline too which will hopefully answer some of the questions about the battle and the village which we need to know.

Anybody wishing to join or attend please come to one of our meetings, the next one is January 11th 7.30pm at the Cricket Club. Jim Ainsworth is our guest speaker and he will be delivering a talk about the ‘Two airfields of Pocklington’, something I will be particularly interested in hearing about. Non-members are welcome to attend too. Happy New Year from all at BOSBHS.

For more details contact Chris Rock, email

Xmas social meal dec 14

We have decided that this year we would have a festive social meal rather than a meeting at the Cricket club as per previous years, so Michelle has provisionally booked 25 people for Dec 14th at 7.30 at 3 Cups, Stamford Bridge.

We will bring menus to the next meeting, as they need all courses booked by Dec 1st.  So far about 23 members have agreed to come along, this leaves 2 spare places for anyone who would like to attend, but I am sure the 3 Cups will accommodate more if required.

We will also need to tell Kirsty we wont be needing the room at the club for that evening. But that can be done at the next meeting on November 9th, when we have a society speaker, Jenny Ashby, talking about early Yorkshire, Deira.

We can now look forward to next year and plan for the events coming up, and also concentrate on the projects we have put on hold because of the 2016 anniversary events. There is still a lot to look forward to in 2017 and now that we have earned some real prestige from our battle show we can hopefully make the future brighter for the society.

The monthly society newsletter is going to get a make over and be issued just before each monthly meeting, this will a more rounded feature and will include new articles and threads from other society members.


A successful show to celebrate 950th Anniversary

Well one week after the mother of all events, (in Stamford Bridge anyway), I have finally found the time to write up a post on the fantastic and hugely successful Battle Weekend Show on 24/25th September 2016.

We can't go on without first thanking the weather, any outside event is so dependent on the weather, it can make or break it. We were lucky AGAIN! this is the 5th battle show and we had blue sky and sun most of the time, had it been the same weather as the monday after we would have had a different story, so once again THANK YOU mr weather...
Deputy Lord Lieutenant of East riding, Charles Forbes Adam offically opens the show and gets his very own honour guard... alright for some!
The two day event has took over 10 months to plan, with the last three months taking most of the time and stress to actually work out all the finite details. I think what we achieved in such a busy and at times a difficult year has been amazing and the team, despite some differences in what we wanted to achieve has pulled it off. It has been a very, very steep learning curve..
Thanks to Charles who enjoyed it immensely and took an active interest in our efforts and the history behind the battle...
However, I want to thank all those involved from inside the Society who, wrote, called, cajoled, persueded, and sometimes begged to get things organised, returned, ordered, built, and all the rest of the behind the scenes work that takes so much time, especially if you are also working during the week.. Well done to all.
Archbishop of York safe behind a wall of vikings. A big thank you to him for taking the time to attend and look around the event. Picture courtesy of York Press.
There has been great feed back form all involved, from the vikings who came to retell to story of the battle, to traders and other heritage societies and of course to the residents of Stamford Bridge and all the visitors from far and wide who travelled to our event. 

The BOSBHS wreath laid on the 25th Sept 2016, exactly 950 years from the day of the battle itself, thanks to Fran Wakefield, the village Rector for a service and speech and to Caroline Fox, Vice Chair, East Riding of Yorkshire Council for a speech and a wreath at the memorial.
We decided to go with this venue and format about 6 months ago, we took a huge gamble financially and in aiming to put on an extra special event to commemorate the 950th anniversary year. We also had Tom in mind throughout the planning and then the actual weekend, and I can safely say he would have been very, very proud of what we did and how we did it.
A very proud key society member, Steve, stands in front of the replica viking boat, all ready to burn. She was gone within the hour but so worth it! The children from Stamford Bridge school added to the colour by designing and painting their own shields...

A part of what we discussed a year ago all came to fruitition and by the end of the Sunday night when the boat burning was in full flow, the sun was setting and the fabulous fireworks were exploding over head there was more than one tear in the eye...

Here's some reviews and public feedback:

BBC Look North, click here to link and see a short film:   video

"Thank you for terrific event at the weekend that you and your team organised.
It was well worth the trip from Dorset and we were able to combine the occasion with meeting some dear friends and went with them to the event. We all enjoyed the whole affair. The camp, the stands and the re enactment were all excellent. My particular favourite moment was the address by the Archbishop. His improvisation with the re enactors was delightful. I participated in the 900th anniversary at Hastings, the events 50 years on are much more colourful. I don't intend going to Hastings this year. Good luck for the future."

"I just want to write a few words to “Congratulate” you and your team of volunteers on a well managed weekend. Spectacular in every way, and as a resident of Fox Glade an incredible sight to witness. Your management of all potential sensitivities as far as Fox Glade residents were concerned is to be congratulated as there were no issues.With best wishes for the future of B.O.S.B. Society. I was pleased in a small way to have supported Tom and your team, have moved on to a bigger and better event, and what a tribute to you all and in memory of Tom. Well done and many thanks for a super weekend."

"Just to say thanks for having us along for the 950th anniversary of the battle. I thought the marque we had was just the right size and I think it worked really well. All of the authors really enjoyed the days they were there. I also thought the whole event was even better than last year and the new location is perfect. So, congratulations to the organizers - so, that'll be you then. I hope the weekend was a success for the society. My only disappointment was that I couldn't find anybody selling spear pies!"

"...Wonderful, our family learned so much - it was truly like stepping back in time, many thanks to all for a very special day"

"..the Re-enactment was great, I came with my husband, daughter and baby on Saturday and my youngest daughter came with her 4 boys on Sunday (you may have noticed a family with a helmet with horns - we knew it wasn't authentic but it did come from an EH shop!)"

"Splendid, hard-working re-enactors at the Stamford Bridge 950th weekend"

"Thank You for having us at your wonderful 950th commemoration event  . A great success..."

"So friendly - everyone was so very happy to chat - we had a brilliant time"

"Really good pics"

"Well done to all. Xx"

"Great job everyone. Really enjoyed the event, was in any case well worth the trip over from Netherlands!"

"Twas a good day"

"...A big thankyou to the society and its volunteers for making this into such an enjoyable event. The 'camp' was fascinating, and folk were so ready to explain things, and despite 60 years of study, I learnt new things.   It was also good to meet old friends, plus those I only knew as contributors to one of the magazines.
A thoroughly enjoyable day, thank you!"

"What a fantastic weekend! The BOSBHS team must be so pleased that all their hard work paid off so handsomely."
I want to Thank all the following who in some way and capacity added to the production and organising of the show, a special thanks to the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu who attended on Saturday and gave a speech to all and then toured the show field, and enjoyed a portion of fish and chips too!

Rosti, Severfield UK, Morrisons, Tesco, Sainsburys, Co-operative, The 3 Cups inn, East Riding of Yorkshire Council, especially the press and events teams, Willow Gifts and Post Office, Stamdford Bridge, Rockinghorse Shop, Fangfoss, Kay West, Mrs Gilbertson, Mrs Herbert, Mr Cockerill and Ardent Fireworks, Pocklington who ended the show with a totally surprising and fantastic fireworks display... if i have forgot anyone - please forgive me.

Chris Rock Chairman BOSBHS

A note to all those so called "Yorkshire" companies whom we contacted many months before the show and asked for support and help (by either a small financial donation or material help). They either refused or didn't bother replying to our request, you should be ashamed that such an important and Yorkshire historic event was considered unwarranted for your support; our core mission as a society is to tell Yorkshire's part of the story of that one crucial year in 1066. It was a missed opportunity for you to fly the flag both for your company, your county and your heritage... I won't list you as you will know who you are.