These signs were the inspiration of Wirral-born University Professor Harding and are believed to be the first of their kind in England to feature Old Norse and English.
Wirral has strong historical links with the Vikings so when these local road signs needed to be replaced, it was decided this visual display was a suitable way to celebrate Wirral’s past, particularly as Thingwall was the centre of Wirral’s Viking settlement. In fact Thingwall was the seat of Viking power. ‘Thing’ meaning assembly was the place the Vikings went to discuss law and policy as well as celebrate.
Headmistress Miss Cronin ensured the school got involved with the project, with some pupils making and wearing very authentic Viking dress for the day. She said such a celebration right on our doorstep helps bring history to life for primary school children. Whilst designing the clothes and making Viking jewellery they were fully engaged in their history lesson and learning about their ancestors.
As for Professor Harding, he has now done so much work on Wirral’s Viking history that King Harald V recently appointed him a Knight of the 1st Class of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit, the highest honour for a foreign national who is not a head of state for ‘outstanding service in the interests of Norway’ – wonderful news for Professor Harding and wonderful news for Wirral too.