Why it's all Greek to Paul!

PUBLISHED: 17:30 31 October 2006 | UPDATED: 14:52 12 May 2010

Paul Allen, who hopes to row 2,500km in an ancient Greek warship - Pic: Daniel Wilson
1992DW41

Paul Allen, who hopes to row 2,500km in an ancient Greek warship - Pic: Daniel Wilson 1992DW41

A HISTORICAL re-enactor hopes to set sail on a Greek mythological ship and follow in the footsteps of Jason and the Argonauts. Paul Allen, of Chishill Road, Heydon, who has a passion for Egyptian, Viking, Norman, Saxon and Greek history hopes to row from

A HISTORICAL re-enactor hopes to set sail on a Greek mythological ship and follow in the footsteps of Jason and the Argonauts.

Paul Allen, of Chishill Road, Heydon, who has a passion for Egyptian, Viking, Norman, Saxon and Greek history hopes to row from Volos, situated north of Athens to Colchis in the Black Sea, on an ancient Greek war ship.

Shipbuilders at the port of Volos have created a new version of the legendary ship which Jason set sail on to reclaim the Golden Fleece back in the 14th century.

If Paul is selected for the two-and-a-half-month challenge which is expected to take place next year, he will be one of 50 rowers who will have to take the oars 10-15 hours per day to complete the 2,500km voyage.

"It would be a challenge but one I would look forward to. I have had experience rowing Viking long ships before," he said.

The former drama teacher has been taking part in historical re-enactments for over 10 years.

The first re-enactment society he joined was a Viking one but for the past five years he has run his own group which re-enacts the Viking and Anglo Saxon period of British history called Gesithas.

It involves craft work, cookery and combat with steel weapons.

Paul said: "It's fascinating because people can use steel weapons and reconstruct the style of fighting."

He also re-enactments historical periods at festivals, schools and his work was picked up on by television researchers.

As a result he has appeared in The Detectives, Time Team and Art Attack.

He said: "Art Attack was good to be on because I was recreating a big picture of gladiators in an arena with real life gladiators."

Some of the events Paul has been involved with this year include the Ancient Greek Festival in Watford, an archaeological festival in Poland and a re-enactment to celebrate the 2000th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.

Paul was one of 2,000 re-enactors who took part in the battle, wearing armour which weighed three stone.

He said: "The best part were those few scenes where you're galloping up a hill on a horse."

Paul also works within education development and is currently sourcing Ancient Greek equipment for the British Museum.

His museum work has also taken him to Sweden, Norway and Poland.

In the future Paul said he wants to get involved with other types of combat including gladiator fighting.

- For more details or to join Paul Allen's re-enactment group visit the website at www.gesithas.co.uk


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