FOR some time, I‘ve been very interested in looking out for news regarding the arrival of the Viking Longboat, and any subsequent events arranged as a result of the time the Longboat was in the vicinity.
I don't know whether it arrived on schedule but, via the local news papers, I did note its arrival in Birkenhead, albeit dis-masted.
But there was little else reported.
Your article on the repair of the mast of Draken Herald was very interesting but I'm very disappointed that Wirral in general was not more informed of the events regarding the Darken Herald, as I feel that tourism in the Wirral could have greatly benefited form any Viking type events coinciding with the arrival and departure of the Longboat.
I think we missed a real opportunity.
As Wirral has so very many connections with a Viking heritage, I think, similar to York, Wirral could have followed the examples of the Isle of Man, and even Amlwch, and arranged a number of events, especially just after the Open, to develop a Viking link, with events that the public and tourists could have enjoyed.
I know it can’t be as big and grand as Up Helly Aah, in Lerwick Shetland, but the event there is the biggest free show on in the country and brings in an incredible number of ex-pats and visitors every year, and is a real boost to the local retailers and hoteliers.
Just after Draken Harald arrived, Liverpool had the giants, and, to promote tourism in Wirral, what did our authorities do?
Other than the Open – nothing!
Our council and tourist authorities must have been still enjoying a drink in Hoylake or on holiday or asleep.
But thank you for the article and pass my comments on to any one who you feel may read them.
Bob Leadbetter by email.