The years that passed 2018-2019


It was a short season where I was not involved – back to work again. Just in time for the market I was back up to speed. With a developed concept in cooperation with Medborgarskolan we would continue working with skilled craftsmen from near and far: iron-working, coin minting, leather working, tanning, textile working, cooking.

Old men like Karl-Fredrik were back during the summer, manning the customs shed, armed with knowledge about payment, coins, weights and of course law and order.

The Lawman's house was as usual manned by Olof doing coin minting and metal casting. Manal was doing with textile working, along with Flor during the season with her broad knowledge of everything from food, cultivation, and textile working. A valuable addition to the educational activities.

Sadly our economist Gertrud left us and her earthly life by midsummer, and our new Therese had to tackle the economy in earnest, which she managed very well. During this year Jhonny was the man who developed in a fantastic way, taking care of all the children, games and activities in our new playground and activity area.

Ung i sommar (summer working youth) became a valuable addition to the recurring daily activities and theatrical situations in our historic environments. Volunteers poured in from all over the world and with out new crafting house and volunteer house we have created opportunities to accommodate them in a good way.

This season the Vellinge municipality had rented all our holiday cottages to accommodate newly arrived refugees. The need was great so were happy to help, and had the old hostel, SVEG house and white house renovated and rebuilt our old administration office into apartments. In total we now had 26 cottages and apartments at our disposal.

Our environments were now roughly 20 years and and started showing signs of needing renovation. During this season we have gone over them all.

The Viking market was a success as usual and we now also had the Family week, Children's week and Harvest feast which were successes locally and increased our visitor numbers substantially.

In the middle of all this I turned 70 years old.

This was also a successful year in the sign of the Vikings. The Destination Viking Association project Follow the Vikings lead to many exciting journeys retracing the steps of the Vikings, but a tragedy also struck. My good friend the the chairman of DVA, Jimmy Moncrieff from Shetland, suddenly passed away which also meant that I as the vice chair had to take over leadership of the Destination Viking Association.

The Viking concept became increasingly popular and we were figuratively drowned by various cinematic projects who wanted to visit Foteviken to use our fantastic historic environments for the dramatic Viking scenes they wanted to produce.

This year I was also given plenty of opportunities to travel. To South Africa with experimental archaeology in collaboration with EXARC. To India to study old crafts. To the US to follow up last year's museum visits at the largest living history museums, but also to study more traditional museums in New York and Washington. The year was ended with an exciting trip to Asia and New Zealand involving maritime studies of how the Polynesians sailed and spread with their simple boats in the region.


Would this year be calmer for me and the rest of the staff? The cottages continued to be rented by the municipality and we continued with renovations and development of the area. Museum activities were planned and involved a very broad crafts programme in collaboration with Medborgarskolan. The activity programme included week-long events like the Viking week, Children's week and Family week, which drew more local visitors and drew us ever closer to the magical number of 600 000 visitors.

The skilled volunteers, village community, and summer workers contributed to this professional presentation and our educational activities. The cultivations we started in earnest the previous years became an important component in the food and cooking concept. Linen we planted the previous year could now be used in the process to turn linen into thread and weaving. The bees living by the linen cultures were producing an rich supply of honey, which became one of the local products we could sell under our own brand in the museum shop.

We applied for a money grant to continue developing the Foteviken Culture Centre. The museum was an important actor here, but there was so much more we could do. Collaboration between the various organisations surrounding the museum was a crucial component, along with collaboration with Medborgarskolan. There was a collaboration between the Scanian Institute of Crafts, Höllviken Community Centre, The Söderslätt Experimental Group and the music association Vinyl which focused on 1960s music and top lists. During the autumn there were premiere performances with three Ukulele bands playing 60s music in the community centre which were sold out.

The association SVEG worked as a support for the museum and focused on marine archaeology and experimental archaeology. The Village community became its own separate association instead, Fotevikens Byalag. This contributed to a positive development of the participation of volunteers in the historic environments of the museum. It also lead to a lessened administrative burden on the museum staff.

Mikael Risén joined to start up this new activity, which was later taken over by Per Wildenstam as project coordinator. Monetary grants from the Leader project enabled further development of this concept, allowing collaboration involving events, food, conferences, team building and more. As the holiday cottages return to being summer residents during the 2020 season we can easily provide 27 cottages with 40 single rooms and a shared bath.

The season and year was ended with a large investment at the community centre. The outdoor area was rebuilt into an open-air restaurant with room for 150 visitors with a bar, stage and serving. Why? Became the kitchen master Christian Enehov entered the picture with a long experience and a Texas smoker of the larger kind. Here, with our Myron Mixon smoker as the heart, the new restaurant Smokey BBQ & Pickles will offer a broad assortment of American BBQ and pickles with brisket, pulled pork, short ribs and more.

Next to this we converted the old Cog ship exhibition hall into Smokey's Skafferi, where we can sell ours and other exciting thematic products, offer takeaway along with an indoor serving area with tables and chairs for eating.

The community centre was also involved in this development and the rustic Viking themed environment here was toned down a bit. The walls were painted in discrete white and white cloths were hung from the ceiling, which could be taken down if so desired. The furniture was expanded with white and black chairs that could turn the hall into a somewhat more glamorous-looking feast hall for candelabra dinners and weddings. We also moved the entrance of the community centre to allow it to continue being used for private parties with their own drinks without being mixed up with the beer and wine serving licenses of the Smokey restaurant.

On the 2nd of January 2020 Skafferiet was opened early to warm up and prepare, allowing us to be fully ready when we open for the season by the Easter.

Merry Christmas and a happy new year,

Björn and the staff