We recently undertook one of our most delicate operations to date: the transport of a replica Viking ship worth £30,000 to an event celebrating 1,000 years of King Canute, from whom we take our name.

The full-sized replica formed the centrepiece of the Canute 1,000 Spring Thing, an annual celebration of Viking history hosted by The Friends of Thynghowe and partnered by the nationally-acclaimed re-enactment organisation Regia Anglorum and the Forestry Commission.

The Viking Ship, Bear, is a testament to the way Vikings were able to conquer lands by sailing and rowing across the seas and river systems, and the River Trent provided a highway for the Vikings to overwhelm local resistance and take control of Sherwood Forest.

Transporting the Bear along the M25

We despatched a trailer from their depot in Purfleet, Essex to collect the ship from a boatyard in Herne Bay, Kent, for delivery to the event at Sherwood Pines Forest Park in Nottinghamshire.

The unusual consignment then made its way along the M25 and over the Dartford Bridge towards the A1M, drawing interest from commuters as it passed along the motorway, and despite the driver having to carefully control the swaying ship, it reached its destination in great time.

Offloading The Bear at the venue presented another challenge, as originally it was hoped it could be done with a standard crane, but the ship’s bulk called for more specialist equipment.

Canute Viking Boat

Unloading the Canute Viking Boat

We used a Hiab roller crane to offload the ship and lay it on its port side, allowing visitors to explore both the hull and the interior which would not normally be entirely visible when in the water.

David Emslie, Group Director at Canute, said: “It isn’t every day we get asked to transport a replica Viking ship, so there was some careful planning involved in the transport and loading. But we have always enjoyed a challenge, and we had all the specialist equipment we needed to make sure the delivery went smoothly.

“The reaction from the public at the Spring Thing event was tremendous; no one had seen a Viking ship come into the forest previously and everyone was busy taking photos. The Friends of Thynghowe were delighted with how smoothly the operation went and it helped to make the event a great success.”

Celebrating King Canute and The Canute Group

2016 marks the 1,000th year since King Canute sat on the throne of England. It also marks the start of our 40th year of trading as the Canute Group and we will continue to celebrate the King and the Group over the course of the next year. For more information on how you can get involved or unusual consignments we can help you with please email enquiries@canutegroup.com or call us on 01708 867001.