CHILDREN delved into their Viking past at workshops conducted by radio and TV archaeologist Julian Richards.

The hall at St John's Church in Fortuneswell, Portland, became a boatyard where, guided by their Viking Jarl, Julian, the youngsters planked and painted the frame of a 12ft long Norse vessel complete with a dragon head at the prow and a snake-like creature for the stern post.

In memory of Eric Bloodaxe, they also made bloodied' axes and decorated shields on which they inscribed their names in runic script.

The event was organised by Revd David Botterill and his wife, Janet, who said: "This has been a great experience for all who attended and the boat will be given to a junior school to help with a project and the £270 we raised will go towards the church bell fund."