#DotheAethel goes up a gear with Mercedes prize for best pose

A social media campaign encouraging people to #DotheAethel has gone up a gear this week with Mercedes Benz of Tamworth offering a fantastic prize for the best picture shared on Facebook.

People who #DotheAethel between now and the end of Tamworth’s activity-packed ‘Aethelfest’ weekend on Sunday, July 15, can be in with a chance of winning a stunning Mercedes C-Class AMG Line Cabriolet to drive for a weekend.

The #DotheAethel campaign has been launched by Tamworth Borough Council to mark the 1,100th anniversary of the death of Lady of the Mercians, Aethelflaed, who took her last breath in Tamworth on June 12, 918.

A number of events are taking place to celebrate the life of Aethelflaed, including the creation of a new six-metre sculpture, affectionately named ‘Our Aethel’, which was installed on a roundabout outside Tamworth Railway Station on Sunday, May 20.

#DotheAethel asks people to mimic the iconic pose of the statue and share their pictures on Twitter and Facebook tagging @VisitTamworth with the hashtag #DotheAethel. To be in with the chance of winning the Mercedes prize, you must also tag the Mercedes-Benz of Tamworth page on Facebook (@MercedesTamworth).

Poses can be as interesting and imaginative as you like, including props, lots of people or unusual events and impressive locations. Judges from Tamworth Borough Council and Mercedes Benz will choose the best pose after the July 15 closing date.

All those who have previously taken part in #DotheAethel can re-share or tag their images with the Mercedes Benz of Tamworth link to enter the competition.

The aim of #DotheAethel is to raise awareness of Aethelflaed and the important, yet little known, part she played in the making of England as we know it today. Already it has attracted a celebrity chef and award-winning author, as well as several businesses and organisations across the region.

We’ve also had people taking part as far afield as Edinburgh Castle, the Eiffel Tower and even the other side of the world in Freemantle, Western Australia.

The prize offer from Mercedes-Benz of Tamworth, which is sponsoring a number of Tamworth Borough Council events this year, should help drive the campaign even further.      

Craig Gibson, General Manager of Mercedes-Benz of Tamworth said: “Everyone here at LSH Auto and Mercedes-Benz of Tamworth loves the #DotheAethel campaign and how it’s raising awareness of this important and influential woman in the history of Tamworth, and England as a whole.

“We’re delighted to be involved in the campaign and to offer a prize for the best picture; we’re looking forward to seeing what interesting #DotheAethel poses people come up with over the coming weeks.”

The installation of the Aethelflaed statue is just one element of a packed programme of events taking place to mark the anniversary this year, including the creation of the town’s biggest ever piece of community art - Mercian Mosaic, an Anglo-Saxon-themed family fun day, a major commemorative church service with VIPs from across the country – including Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, talks, a special guided walk, a commemorative ale and an academic conference weekend drawing academics and delegates from all over the world.

Daughter of King Alfred the Great, Aethelflaed (also known by the Victorian spelling of Ethelfleda) is a key figure in the history and making of England. She ruled Mercia with her husband (also known as Ethelred) and together they led the battle to defend the ancient kingdom against Viking invaders.

This involved a major programme of building and fortification, creating defensive and strategic burhs (fortified towns) throughout Mercia, including Tamworth, the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Mercia, where she spent much of her time in later life.

After her husband’s death in 911, Aethelflaed became the sole ruler of Mercia and continued her campaign to further defend and expand her kingdom. She was a formidable warrior and was thought of as ‘queen’ by many of her subjects. She leaves a legacy as one of the most powerful female rulers of the time.

For more information about the programme of events and full instructions on how to #DotheAethel, please visit www.aethelflaed.co.uk.