Society Training Weekend 2018

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Moor House Adventure Centre

March 30th - April 2nd 2018

The timetable is here [1]

The 2018 society training weekend will be held at the Moor House Adventure Center, Houghton-le-Spring DH4 6QY

Moor House.JPG

To get to the venue make your way to the A1(M) and take the A690 East towards Sunderland from junction 62. The venue is only about 1.5 miles from the A1(M) so getting there is very simple. Even the approach road is a dual carriageway. Take care on the final track into the venue as its fairly narrow and has speed bumps (that are not obvious).

Moor House Location 3.jpg

Moor House Adventure Centre is a scout camp that used to be the Northern training centre for scout leaders. As such it has a large camping field, a second field for our combat training and other areas. We hope to have use of a dedicated archery range, although this is set up for sharps rather than our type of training.

The following plan of the centre shows where everything is located.

Moor House Site Plan 2.jpg

The area outlined in red is the camping area. Please set up sensibly with tents 6ft apart in streets ; do not pitch in the middle of no-where in no discernible pattern. Do not leave great tracts of space between your tents. Whilst the area is large it will be full if we get a large turnout.

The area outlined in blue is the combat training areas :- • there are 3 separate areas • large central field for general combat training • smaller area near main building can be for display and/or one to one training • area to west is currently a go-kart track which we are told will be returned to a field by the time we attend • the archery ranges are to the south of the training fields.

The area outlined in green can be used for outdoor crafts and acting. The marquees are also in this area ; see under locations below.

The entire site is outlined in yellow ; we have use of the woods inside the site boundary for warriors playtime.

The area outlined in pink is a semi-hardstanding area to be used for caravans, motorhomes and event control etc. Note that caravans and motorhomes must be pre-registered to be allocated a pitch. Cars towing caravans must be returned to the car park once unhitched etc. This area will also have concession stands if there are any.

On Friday cars can be taken down the main access path to unload but must not leave the track. Cars arriving after 9:00am Saturday and any time Sunday cannot pass the entrance area and kit will have to be carried into the campsite. After unloading cars must be returned to the car park at the entrance. There is restricted space so cars will need to be double or treble parked. Once you have parked up then it is unlikely that you will get your car back out without problems. If you must have access to your car then it can be parked outside of the centre near the main road but this is a 2 to 3 minute walk away from the centre. Cars will be allowed down the access road on Sunday evening after 5:00pm and all day Monday to load.

Internally we have the use of almost all of the buildings. There is a large hall where we will have indoor small scale crafts, and convert the space to the lecture theatre for evening use. We have the use of a decent size dining room which can be used for impromptu meetings, and probably a crash space between training. There is a small room for meetings of up to say 10 people. We also have use of two large marquees that are permanently in place ; these can be used at different times for outdoor crafts, authenticity kit checks and if the weather is wet also for acting.

There is a very limited amount of indoor accommodation available which will be restricted to those needing it most ; eg families with babies etc. The accommodation will cost £15.00 per bed for the weekend. You must pay for all the beds in one room if you do not wish to share. This accommodation is the usual scout style bunk beds in shared rooms. Note that all accommodation is on the first floor and accessed by staircases. There is no lift. There are communal shared toilets etc. ; rooms are not ensuite. This accommodation will be advertised on vMail and anyone wanting indoor accommodation should respond to the vMail post. Camping indoors in the dining room and main hall are not permitted under fire regulations.

The camping field has water points along the access road. There is a toilet block at the entrance end of the camping field. There will not be any portaloos ; everyone must use the on site toilet block. There are also showers in the toilet block but we cannot guarantee the water temperature and they are somewhat rustic. Dogs are allowed on site with the usual caveats of keeping them under control and cleaning up after them. Open fires set on fire boxes to usual society regulations are allowed but fire wood will not be provided. Barbecues are permitted providing that they are on stands and not set on the ground.

We hope to arrange a catering van for onsite food ; as an alternative we are also looking at having caterers in the kitchen. Those wanting to cater for themselves can use the centre's kitchen providing that it is not being used by caterers. There are food shops including supermarkets and some takeaways in the shopping centre marked in yellow on the area plan about 2.5 miles away on the west side of the A1(M). This is best accessed by going down Carville High Street. There are some shops in Carville, but not many. There is a Sainsbury Local supermarket in Belmont/Carville if you don't want to use the shopping centre. This is marked on the area plan.

Note that there is no bar on site and there will not be a beer tent. If you want to drink alcohol then you will have to bring your own with you. The nearest pub is probably The Belmont, which is about 2 miles from the site at the south end of Carville high street. The Belmont is marked on the area plan.

For Saturday evening we have booked two guest speakers -

• Andrew Nicholson - the lead archaeologist in the team that excavated the Galloway Hoard in 2014 who will give a talk on the hoard

• Emma Durband - a human biologist who will give a talk on typical sharp force trauma that would result from weapons in our period

>>> Note that this second talk is not for the feint hearted and certainly not suitable for children so has been scheduled for later in the evening <<<

For people interested and who might want something to do whilst others train.... Durham City centre is only about 5 miles to the east. There is a park and ride scheme that operates from a large car park adjacent the A1 to avoid needing to try and park in the city ; which can be difficult. Durham City still has a medieval street layout and cars are not allowed in quite a lot of it. Durham Cathedral is a world heritage site and the most original Norman cathedral in the UK. The cathedral museum located in the undercroft has the tablet braided Bishop's vestments that were given to St. Cuthberts tomb by Athelstan after he won at Brunanburgh. In respect of Brunanbugh the latest evidence is that the battle took place at the crossing of the river Brownie defended by an old Roman Fort, with the site being only 8 miles from Durham.


The timetable is here [2]


Training - Saturday, Sunday & Monday

  • 09:00am - 10:00am Meetings & kit checks
  • 10:00am - 11:15am Morning session 1
  • 11:30am - 1:00pm Morning session 2
  • 1:00pm - 2:00pm Lunch break
  • 2:00pm - 3:15pm Afternoon session 1
  • 3:30pm - 4:30pm Afternoon session 2


  • Combat - Training Field as shown on map
  • LHE - Main building main hall
  • Authenticity Kit check - if dry adjacent to, and if wet inside Marquee 1
  • Acting - if dry adjacent to, and if wet inside Marquee 2
  • Admin Meetings - small - TV room, large - dining room
  • Children's activities - probably dining room

Saturday - Main Hall

  • 6:00pm Andrew Nicholson - The Galloway Hoard
  • 7:00pm Althing
  • 8:00pm Emma Durband - Sharp force trauma

Second lecture may be slightly later if Althing over-runs

More details to follow as they are confirmed. See vMail for developing training session times etc. including available crafts courses.