King of Norway awards Wirral's Viking expert for 'outstanding' contribution

Wirral Globe: Steve Harding Steve Harding

Viking expert Steve Harding consolidated his personal links with Scandinavia this week when he was received by King Harald at Oslo’s Royal Palace.

The Wirral professor recently received the award of Knight of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit in recognition of his “outstanding” contribution towards the understanding of the Vikings in north west England.

He made the trip to Norway to thank King Harald for the accolade.

Steve is professor of applied biochemistry at Nottingham University and with colleagues at Leicester University he was responsible for a genetic survey of Wirral and West Lancashire and has been heavily involved with the area’s Viking heritage.

He has been involved in building links between schools in Wirral and Norway, establishing the Vikings in Wirral schools website with the Wirral Learning Grid and the peninsula’s ambassador Mike McCartney.

With colleagues and enthusiasts he initiated the reconstruction of the Viking cross at Neston and over the last dozen years he has given talks on Wirral’s Viking legacy.

Steve is the author of many books and publications.

The latest – Vikingblod, written in Norwegian - traces the Scandinavian links with Wirral and the north west from the Vikings to the present day.

He has frequently appeared on television promoting Wirral’s Viking links – the latest being the acclaimed BBC series The Great British Story.

*Steve will give a talk on Men and Women in Viking Wirral at Bebington Library this Thursday, at 2.30pm.

He will included findings from a genetic survey to discover who else was in Wirral – apart from the Vikings – a millennium ago.

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