Events York 2013 Osgathorpe

Our return journey from Hauksby in April of 2013 did not go quite to plan. A series of mishaps led the minibus into trouble, but fortunately Wychwood being Wychwood, it has become an immortal tale!

A Norse Saga

Bright was the day and high our hearts as we started on our long journey away from our home of Hauksby. Our cart stopped at the church of Breedon hill to survey it for it's cultural interest, and by no means for looting. As we resumed our journey, our roads were obscured, no doubt by works of the dark elves seeking to lead us astray. And as such we found ourselves on the little known horse track which was known to the local populace as the Lane of Dawson. Bravely we ventured forth, assured that our Wyrd would take us to where we needed to go. Alas, as we travelled onwards, around an unexpected corner we were assaulted by the Ice Giants who clearly still have this land in their grip. They filled our road with large patches of ice, and so we wondered if we were strong enough to travel onwards. And so the brave Alfrich ran ahead, nimbly across the ice to see how far it stretched, and when he returned he spoke thusly: 'The road beyond is clear of the ice'. And so Ingibjorg who steered our wagon sped on, leading us up the road as it ran up the hill, defying the work of the thurses. Alas, we had not counted on their evil ingenuity, and our conveyance became locked in the ice.

And so we found ourselves trapped in the ice, assured that our doom had come to us. It was then that I suggested we launch our assault on the evil that surrounded us, using the weaponry we had at our disposal. With our swords and axes we assaulted the ice, the mighty Thorulf transforming into a fierce berserker who launched into battlesong as he attacked the ice. But we were not the only ones led astray: two local elders had come up in the tracks behind us, and upon seeing our predicament attempted to flee the fury of the ice giants. Or possibly they tried to flee us. As it was, their own cart was trapped in the mud and ice as they attempted to turn away, and so we paused from our own assault and instead ascended upon them, brandishing our weaponry. And lo, before our joined assault the forces of ice and darkness were defeated, and we managed to free the elders from their plight.

And whence the elders had went their way, we once again resumed our attack on ice, and with our combined might managed to defeat all of it. But still, we were trapped by the spirits of the swamp who held one of the wheels in their grip. And so the mighty Guthrun spread forth her magical cloaks to defeat the evil spirits, and the wheel was freed from their grip. And so we returned, as Ingibjorg skillfully steered our wagon in a reverse direction, until we once again were free of the befuddling influence of evil spirits and found our way again.

Alwin the Verbose (Jacco Verstad)

An Anglo-Saxon Chronicle

Her in this year did Aelfric the preost-monk fram Haukesby pull an wagon of pagan warriors, frisians and half-believing saxons all the wey to Oxenford for voluntary baptism by him sylf. On thaet weg was there a great snow drift brought upon them by the almighty. Halting and trapping the way of that halig preost and the unbelieving horde of Wychwood. With the help of the halig gast he called down on his divine father to show him the weg forward and seeing a clear path by his great sight and nimble steps he encouraged the horde to return safety aet Osgarsthorpe with haste. The pagans, burdened down by their lack of faith were unable to break free of the smothering ice giants sent upon them which gripped at their wagon and tore at their fet and cloaks. But Aelfric turned with a shout for divine assistance and cweth 'Father mine give pity on your humble and right living preost and on the pagans who surround me, especially that most faithful member of your flock, baby Loaf, and pardon the resolute heathen Thorulf, and grant us free passage by your halig might'. And he so obtained divine assistance through his great humility. Hwaet! Lo and behold! The sun shone soon out its beams at once and just as the Thaw gripped the ice so Thor that idol of yfel retreated from the hearts of those pagans. So soon thereafter did the ice flee in fear from holy Aelfric's sight. The axes swayed through the last of them as through butter and the whole party were saved by their great power and faith in their preost. known to us all as halig Aelfric.

Stephen Hodgson (Aelfric the preost-monk)


To the tune of "Song of the Shield Wall"

Hasten O Wychwood, homeward from Hauksby,
White minibus on the snow covered road.
Strong-hafted axe and the new swords of iron
Are needed along with the cloaks we have sewed

Draw up the axes O vehicle companions
Later when we drive into a snow drift,
We'll hack our way out sacrificing our clothing,
Cloaks which allowed us our long-bus to shift

Hasten o warriors, out of the bus now,
Break up the layers of hard-frozen snow.
Chop with your axes and work with your swords till
All of the four wheels can be freely moved.

Mud and melting ice are soaking our shoes and
Our muscles are aching, but don't give up yet.
Our reward will be plenty when we arrive home,
We'll take a hot shower and sleep in warm bed.

Hasten now backwards, strong men of Wychwood,
A silver vehicle is coming behind.
They saw our disaster and tried to turn back, but
Grip on the ice sheets they could neither find.

Strange they will find our kit and our weapons,
Decent old couple sitting in their car,
We'll grant them some help and we'll put them back on road
because polite Saxons and Vikings we are.

Hasten to Oxford, glorious heroes,
The road is now clear and your work is well done,
But before the sun sets a coach will leave Oxford,
A coach that Kate's desperate to get on.

Speed through the village, off to the highway,
And never look back to these snow-covered roads,
And cursed be Dawson's Lane for six years and one day
For trapping our bus and destroying our clothes.

Guðrun (Vanessa Robinson) and Lilla Németh (Thorolf the Roadworker)

To the tune of "The Wychwood Host"

We're driving home from Breedon Church
Hurrah! Hurrah!
We're driving home from Breedon Church
Hurrah! Hurrah!
We're driving home from Breedon Church
We hit the snow and stop with a lurch,
And we dig, dig, dig, dig
We are the Wychwood bus

Guðrun (Vanessa Robinson)

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