With Britain now having left the European Union, the development of Wirral’s special links with Norway will become more important than ever.

Last week Professor Steve Harding – Wirral born and bred and a Knight of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit – gave a presentation on how we can build on our cultural and heritage links to an enthusiastic audience at the Prenton Literary & Debating Society.

Steve, who holds a joint professorship between the Universities of Nottingham and Oslo, emphasized the strength of these links.

In particular, he covered: Place names – with special emphasis on the importance of Thingwall, the site of Wirral’s Viking parliament of Assembly.

Language – with examples of Old Norse dialect words surviving through the centuries, history, archaeology.

DNA – the successful Wirral and West Lancashire Viking DNA project, and even football with Tranmere’s unique Norwegian Viking name, and looked at economic and further cultural possibilities.

Wirral Globe: Steve flying the flag for building Wirral’s links with NorwaySteve flying the flag for building Wirral’s links with Norway

Steve said: “An infrastructure is already in place through our links with Trondheim with the annual St. Olav’s Day walk – now in its 13th year - and Oslo through the Meols boat project, Schools links and the Wirral Viking Trail launched last year. 

"Discussions are now in place for a special Viking trail at Thingwall – with a focus on Schools.”

"The potential of our links has also been recognised in Norway and a book by a well-known TV/Radio personality Gry Blekastad Almås will be published shortly (in Norwegian) and will feature Wirral.

"I think she fell in love with our peninsula when she visited last year."