Jorvik Viking Festival

Hundreds of Viking re-enactors from all over the country take part in a march through the centre of York before fighting a battle during the finale of a living history display in the city. The battle saw hundreds of Viking warriors take to the field recreating the Battle of Stainmore which saw the betrayal and demise of Viking king, Eric Bloodaxe.

The battle was the culmination of a week of family friendly activities in York based around the Jorvik Viking Centre Viking Festival. The activities included Viking encampments, archaeological discoveries, crafting, sword combat sessions and the final battle which all aimed to show the Norse heritage of the region and the connection to York.

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Clifford’s Tower

English Heritage re-enactors prepare to leave Clifford’s Tower in York on foot and horseback as they follow the 300-mile route of King Harold to the site of the Battle of Hastings. The journey marks the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings in 1066 where the forces of King Harold and Duke William of Normandy met in battle on October 14, 1066 on the outskirts of Hastings. William won the battle and was crowned king on Christmas day 1066. The battle marked the beginning of the Norman conquest of England.

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Images copyright Ian Forsyth

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Huntington Road

Following the heavy flooding caused as water spilled over the banks and flood defences along the River Ouse and River Foss in York and flooded homes and business premises on 27 December which forced the evacuation of residents and which I photographed here I went back to Huntingdon Road in the city early this morning as the waters from the River Foss subsided to document some of what was left behind.

As rapidly as the flood water came it drained away this morning as the nearby pumping station was now functioning properly after repairs yesterday and behind the water is now left a clean-up for those affected that is sure to take many months to complete. It was quite something to witness as the street slowly began to come back to life and the residents slowly returned to their homes and got on with the miserable business of sorting out the damage. Whilst hopefully avoiding the cliche if I can it was indeed a fine example of Yorkshire spirit.

Offers of help shouted by passing friends or neighbours to homeowners. The offer to put people up or bring them some food. A woman pouring out cups of tea for anyone who wanted one and using probably the biggest tea-pot in the city brought a bit of much needed morale. The daily milk delivery had been made and left, propped up on sand bags on many of the doorsteps for their owners to collect so at least they might start their own clean-up with a cup of tea.

People walked dogs and ran or cycled along the street something that only yesterday wouldn’t have been anywhere close to possible.

A man fed the swans in the now sedate looking River Foss.

But I also spoke to a business owner who was worried that their life-long business might have ended today with the retreating waters as the insurance cover may not provide adequate protection to replace all the damaged equipment. I spoke to home owners who were devastated with the prospects of many months ahead of them of drying out and cleaning up the mud and silt left by the retreating water. I also spoke to a couple leaning out of their bedroom window who told me that someone had come and used the cover of the flood chaos and broken into a property a couple of doors down from them and burgled it as it had been left empty over Christmas. What kind of low-life wanker would do that?

But the overriding thing I witnessed was the community within the street come together.

I also saw photographers, reporters and news crews acting in an extremely professional manner and delicately and respectfully approaching those affected to try and get interviews and pictures. Something that understandably probably wasn’t the highest thing on their list of priorities this morning when they returned to their homes but it’s something that is hugely important in order to tell the story of this tragic event here in York and everywhere else that has suffered from the recent extreme weather. So as a photographer, and if I may be bold enough to speak for the wider media, thank you for your patience at a difficult time and I wish you well.

And as the council street cleaners made their way up and down the streets hoovering up the mud and as some kind of normality returned on Huntingdon Road spare a thought for those that had played such an important part in protecting those residents of York – the Mountain Rescue Teams, the soldiers from 2 Lancs, the RAF boys who dropped the spare parts in yesterday by Chinook, the Police, Fire crews and RNLI, the Council and Environmental Agency staff and volunteers and anyone else involved because their work continues as they prepare for the next storm, named ‘Storm Frank‘, which is approaching over the next couple of days and which could bring further flooding in many parts and which could also result, for some at least, especially in Cumbria and Scotland, in a miserable start to the new year.

Lets hope not.

 

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Images copyright Ian Forsyth 2015

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York Flooding

The River’s Ouse and Foss in York flooded riverside homes and business premises after heavy rain caused severe flooding in parts of the city on 27 December and which forced the evacuation of residents and visitors from homes and hotels. Heavy rain over the Christmas period has caused severe flooding in northern England with homes and businesses in Yorkshire and Lancashire evacuated as water levels continue to rise in many parts.

Emergency services including the Police, Fire Brigade, Mountain Rescue Teams, paramedics and soldiers from the 2 Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment assisted with the evacuation across the city.

I covered the floods on assignment for Getty Images and spent the day documenting the effects of the flooding on the city and the people who lived there…

 

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A story about unprecedented flooding affecting so many parts of the country was always going to bring high media interest and some of the pictures I shot appeared across various publications and websites around the world. Some of those publications I’m aware of are – in no particular order ; The Guardian, The Scotsman, The Belfast Telegraph, New York Times, International Business Times, BBC News, SKY News, Wales on Line, Irish Times, New York Daily News, Daily Express, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, Buzzfeed, Bloomberg, MSN News, Mashable, Eco Blog, WVTM Alabama, Mail on Line, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, The Sun and ABC news.

A selection of how the pictures were used in print or online is below: Click the first pictures to open a gallery slideshow…

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Images copyright Ian Forsyth / Getty Images

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Next sale…

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I visited the annual Poultry sales at York Auction Centre first thing this morning to shoot some pictures as they took delivery of the turkeys, geese and other poultry from various farmers and suppliers in the area who bring them in to be sold off at auction to butchers, wholesalers and other members of the public in the run up to Christmas…

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Steaming

The world record breaking Class 4 locomotive ‘Mallard’ was pulled, under steam, by her sister locomotive ‘Union of South Africa’ earlier today as they made the journey from National Railway Museum in York to their other site, the National Railway Museum in Shildon (called Locomotive) in County Durham.

The journey to Shildon comes in advance of the final reunion of all six of the surviving A4 locomotives; Mallard, Union of South Africa, Dominion of Canada, Bittern, Sir Nigel Gresley and Dwight D Eisenhower as part of the Mallard 75 – The Great Goodbye commemorations held by the museums.

On the third of July 1938 Mallard became the world’s fastest steam locomotive recording a speed of 126mph on the East Coast main line.

Here’s a few from a wet and wild day today…

Mallard arrives at NRM Shildon

Mallard arrives at NRM Shildon

Mallard arrives at NRM Shildon

Mallard arrives at NRM Shildon

Mallard arrives at NRM Shildon

Mallard arrives at NRM Shildon

 

Images copyright Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

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