Saturday 2 March 2024
 4.9°C   E Gentle Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Fire Festival 2013 / A double helping of Up Helly Aa

Jarl Hrollaug Rognvaldsson with his galley burning - Photo: Garry Sandison

ON YELL it takes two days to complete the annual fire festivities, as Guizer Jarl Hrollaug Rognvaldsson and his squad of 10 Vikings discovered.

Starting in the south of the island last Thursday morning, Michael Nisbet and his merry men set off from Burravoe and gradually worked their way north visiting schools and care centres along the way.

Parents Linsey and Andrew cooked up a feed of lasagne to keep the squad and their families hale and hearty overnight before they continued in Cullivoe on Friday.

Dressed in dark green kirtles with a reindeer skin over their back and wingless helmets on their heads, the squad visited the children at Cullivoe school on Friday even though it was a day off.

Rognvaldsson is a less well known Viking, chosen after consulting Andrew Jennnings of the Centre for Nordic Studies, which is based at the NAFC Marine Centre where Nisbet works as an IT technician.

“I asked him for a Viking that was less well known, and he was the first one Andrew came up with,” he said.

Rognvaldsson was one of the sons of Rognvald, Earl of Shetland and Orkney, who was deemed too soft-hearted to take over the running of the isles when his father hot-footed it back to Norway.

So the young Viking headed in the opposite direction, ending up in Iceland where he is still remembered in stories over 1,000 years later.

Nisbet himself is half Orkney, his mother hailing from the isle of Westray where folk are colloquially know as “aaks”, which provided the name for his galley, Aak.

He follows in the footsteps of his Yell father who was Guizer Jarl 28 years ago, and maintained the family tradition of wielding a spiked shield.

Catching up with the jarl, he was having a great time despite nursing a cold and feeling the strain of sleepless nights.

“Adrenaline and Fireball” were keeping him going, he said, as he cleared his throat ready for another rendition of the squad song – a re-written rendition of Hom Bru’s “Smugglers”, now called “Vikings”.

       

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.

 

Newsletters

Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.