In Memoriam

Thorhild Skarthisdottir

Jude Bloomfield
1955 – 2015

If you have been following us on Facebook, you’ll know that we recently lost our beloved Jude – aka Thorhild – who covered the north of England for Viking School Visits.  She was was taken from us suddenly after falling ill over the weekend of 6/7th June.  She brought the joy of learning to thousands of children over her 10+ years as a school visitor and even more as a dedicated re-enactor, demonstrating Living History at historical sites and events up and down the country.  In addition to her Viking life, she was a keen morris dancer, a musician, singer, and most of all she was one of my best friends.  She will be greatly missed here on Midgard, and we can only hope that she is lighting the halls of Valhalla, continuing the good fight every day and feasting with the Gods every night.

I hope you will join me in raising a drinking horn of mead to a great friend with a true warrior spirit: Jude Bloomfield.

Viking School Visitor Thorhild Skarthisdottir (aka Jude Bloomfield), ready for battle

Viking School Visitor Thorhild Skarthisdottir (aka Jude Bloomfield), ready for battle

Born and bred on the Yorkshire coast Jude always felt a strong affinity to the folk who came across the sea & founded so many settlements in the north of England over a thousand years ago. Jude was a respected re-enactor with ten years experience as a Viking school visitor.

As Thorhild, she participated in events for clients such as English Heritage, The National Trust, and the Royal Armouries, gave talks for hobby clubs, provided historical education days for local authorities and was a regular volunteer interpreter at Ryedale Folk Museum in Hutton le Hole.

Jude was into her second decade of re-enacting the ‘Dark Age’ period through living history and with a life long interest in studying history, provided in-depth knowledge and expertise.

She worked in theatres and theatrical costumiers and also interpreted various roles herself. Through Thorhild’s Stitchery she made a variety of clothing and accessories for re-enactors, museums and community projects using fabrics and materials that passed stringent authenticity standards using patterns and decorative styles close to original sources. Recently she collaborated with photographer Alex O’Neill & her clothes featured in his Lindisfarne Heritage project.

With a background combining theatre production and nine years in primary education, Thorhild provided an unforgettable experience, encouraging children to investigate history further, and providing a unique opportunity to bring history to life.

Her other interests included Morris dancing, walking and singing.