Goodbye to the road, but not to the Sutton Hoo Roadshow!

The Sutton Hoo replica helmet displayed outside an East of England Co-op

With the site’s re-opening now just around the corner, our tour of Suffolk with the Sutton Hoo Roadshow is coming to a close.

We took a short break from the Roadshows over December and early January, but once all the merriments of the festive season were over, we were ready to get back out onto the road.

Our second season of Roadshows kicked off with a spot in Leiston East of England Co-op. Replicas of the magnificent helmet, golden buckle and glittering shoulder clasp were brought back out of storage in Tranmer House and once again positioned pride of place on our Roadshow stand for all to see.

The following week, we took up residence by the sea, at Brightlingsea Co-op. The mid-January chill we felt at first soon thawed when we spoke to the warm people who stopped by during their weekly shop to hear about Sutton Hoo.

Suffolk map showing all of the locations the Sutton Hoo roadshow visited
Suffolk map showing all of the locations the Sutton Hoo roadshow visited
Suffolk map showing all of the locations the Sutton Hoo roadshow visited

After visits to Framlingham, Lowestoft and Southwold, January was over and we launched into February, one of our busiest months to date.

Chantry Co-op saw a number of in-depth, interesting conversations with our visitors. One couple we spoke to were on holiday in Suffolk and had planned to visit the site before realising we were closed, but were able to come along to the Roadshow instead. We were really pleased to be able to still offer them a taste of the Sutton Hoo experience despite being closed.

February half-term was then packed full to bursting with Roadshows. Our excellent volunteers managed to visit Shotley, Combs Ford, Beccles, Southwold, Newmarket and Woodbridge all in one week!

Several children from the local primary school visited us at Combs Ford East of England Co-op. They had recently started an Anglo-Saxons project at school and were already very knowledgeable on the story of Sutton Hoo. Their faces lit up when they laid eyes on the golden buckle and they revelled in the chance to transform into an Anglo-Saxon warrior for themselves by trying on the helmet.

As February drew to a close, so did our time spent in East of England Co-ops. After touring 12 Co-ops over the past few months, the Roadshow concluded its supermarket reign in Elmswell. Thank you to all of the East of England Co-operatives for having us and to anyone who’s visited us, whether you’ve come especially or simply stopped mid-shop for a chat!

Volunteers pack away the Sutton Hoo replicas at the end of a Roadshow
Volunteers pack away the Sutton Hoo replicas at the end of a Roadshow
Volunteers pack away the Sutton Hoo replicas at the end of a Roadshow

March marks our final month of Roadshows. We’re now in the middle of touring libraries and community centres in and around Ipswich.

As April approaches, our six-month tour of Suffolk will draw to an end, but the Roadshow won’t be over just yet. Our fantastic replicas will come home to Sutton Hoo and will remain on display with the Roadshow stand in the Court, where our volunteers will be on hand to answer any questions you may have – be it about the history of the site, the project or anything else related to Sutton Hoo.

After 90 roadshows, including 18 informal talks and 26 children’s craft sessions, all that’s left for the Roadshow is a spectacular homecoming. We’ve had over 2,000 visitors to the Roadshow and have loved speaking to every single one of you.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Sutton Hoo!