Wednesday July 11th, 2018

Longshed News Update – July 2018

The Longshed on Woodbridge waterfront is humming with activity…

  • New stairs were fitted on 12 July to give access to the mezzanine. 
  • Holes will be cut through the floor for the lift to be installed, office walls have been built plastered and painted.
  • On the ground floor, the formwork for the Skiffs has progressed and the Anglo-Saxon longboat Sae Wylfing has had a stronger deck fitted to take the hundreds of visiting feet that clamber aboard at the various events that it visits.
  • The wonderful workshop volunteers have produced a range of benches, fitted out tool racks and installed machines to begin to provide the working facilities that can be used by community groups for various tasks.

and whilst all this is going on – casual visitors wander into the Longshed and begin to ask questions. There is universal approval of all that is happening …  it does slow down progress … but – we don’t mind!

Sae Wylfing has been out and about …

In May, besides being seen on the waterfront in Woodbridge, it visited Haughley Park, and then together with the National Trust arranged a joint display at the Suffolk Show. The weather was so hot at times that eggs could be cooked on the warrior’s steel helmets.   In June the boat was at the Rendlesham Show, Woodbridge Regatta, St Gregory’s Church at Rendlesham and West Stow’s Dragonfest.

The re-enactors are looking forward to joining in the fun when Sae Wylfing goes to Folk East at Glemham Hall, 17-19 August.

The Anglo-Saxon Ship Reconstruction

Perhaps the most important developments which are in the pipeline concern the building of the full-size reconstruction of the Sutton Hoo ship. It is being organised by a group called The Ship’s Company.

Currently they have three core objectives during this year:

  • In September, they will ‘loft’ the ship. This means drawing it accurately full-size on boards set out on the floor of the shed. This will be a spectacular exercise. There will be ongoing news about this, we’ll keep you posted. It will be the biggest technical picture ever drawn in Suffolk … probably!
  • In October, an invitation-only Symposium will be held. Experts and academics from the UK and abroad will examine the ship building proposals by checking the lofting. They will assess it critically.
  • Following this there will be a consultation period. The feedback will be absorbed before irreversible commitments are made on the reconstruction itself, hopefully in November. If you have knowledge of the ship, the history or craft construction, you may wish to have input into this process.  What things could the experts discuss? What issues do you think the symposium and the ship could be used to address? The Ship’s Company invites your suggestions – see email address below.

And here’s a chance to be involved in this fascinating project: The Ship’s Company is also looking for a volunteer to assist with some administration!  Email: if you are interested in this, or any other aspect of the Ship’s Company and the ship reconstruction.

There is a wealth of wider information at these websites, as well as links to a short video of the opening and some of the activities in the Longshed:




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