GUIZER Jarl Colin Laurenson is portraying a Viking with a particular liking for Norwick at Shetland’s most northerly Up Helly Aa this year.
The descendants of Olaf Bergirisk are still supposed to live in the North of Unst to this day.
Bergirisk was part of the crew of Grimur Kamben (portrayed last year by Guizer Jarl Aaron Priest), a warrior and adventurer from the west of Norway who set foot in the Faroe Islands around the year 825.
On a trip north from Ireland via the Western Isles Kamben’s ship stopped in Norwick for some fishing and feasting. Bergirisk took such a shine to the place that he jumped ship – or perhaps it was the thought of the onward journey to Faroe that put him off.
The Jarl’s Squad paid a visit to Haroldswick Hall on Thursday night before today’s main event.
Norwick provides a truly spectacular backdrop for the procession of the guizer jarl and his squad and other guizers, who make their way down the old Floggie road to the burning site at the head of Norwick beach.
Evening celebrations will begin early with the Jarl’s Squad and approximately 200 other ‘guizers’ lighting their torches and getting underway.
The procession concludes with the burning of the galley, where the traditional Up Helly Aa songs will be sung and the galley is set alight.
Celebrations in the Haroldswick Hall will go on until late tonight where all 12 or so squads perform their acts on stage.
The committee have said that informality, camaraderie and, above all, a sense of fun were its founding principles, and these continue to the present day.
This story will be updated with new photos throughout the weekend.
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 350 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 by monthly subscription.
Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.Support Shetland News