Society: The History of Wychwood Warriors

This is a space for people to try and collect different records of the history of the Wychwood Warriors. From what Shelagh can remember, Wychwood is just over twenty years old (so it now has members who weren't born when Wychwood was founded).

Shelagh's Memories of the Founding

Having been asked on a number of occasions just when Wychwood WAS founded, I've put my thinking cap on and tried to sort it out in my head…

Oct 1986: I matriculate and discover Oxford is sadly lacking any kind of re-enactment

1987 some time: Lindsay and I buy two pickaxe handles and start swordfighting in Keble College Gardens

1987-1988: various people join me to hold Sunday battle practices in New College gardens. We even buy some swords and start getting a few helmets, shields etc.

Spring/Summer 1988: Ken suggests that we incorporate as a university society and get money out of the Clubs Committee for equipment, so we do that. Ken is the first Treasurer, I am the first President. We unanimously agree that the outgoing committee should choose the incoming committee and elections are not to be held.

Summer/Autumn 1988: Tracey Flint comes up with the name Wychwood Warriors and introduces the concept of kit-making (along with generally pointing out to us what a re-enactment society is supposed to do, like have weapons and armour, do shows and so on!!! Those at Hastings 2006 should remember meeting Tracey. She was more than a little important).

Oct 1988: Wychwood attends its first Freshers' Fair as an official society

Dec 1988 (ish): first Wychwood Feast in New College undercroft

The feast must have been in 1988 because it was winter at the start of my third year: I remember roasting too many chickens in the kitchen of a tatty old rented house off the Iffley Road (and discovering that we'd underdone them only after they'd mainly been eaten, at which point we decided to stay quiet and hope for the best - luckily there were no complaints of food poisoning!). And I'm sure that was the first term of official WW, and people like Roger Bush joined, and I think Mark Bagley and Tablet may have joined that term too (not sure about the exact order).

So it depends when you count it. If my recollections are anything like correct, Wychwood first began in late 1987, but took on the name and formal existence at the beginning of term in October 1988.

Anybody got any written records to confirm or deny any of this?

Regards to you all,



At some point, Wychwood Warriors and The Vikings! merged to create Hwicce. Hwicce was founded by members of Wychwood who joined The Vikings! and wanted their own group. It used to be the group that members of Wychwood would join when they wanted to do re-enactment beyond Wychwood.
But then the two groups drifted apart, and they're currently mainly based around Milton Keynes. They're very friendly tho, and we met up with them again at Hastings 2006.
A brief history of Hwicce can be found on their website.

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