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Community / Most northerly fire festival defies teeth of the gale

THE MOST northerly Up Helly Aa is underway today (Saturday) in the most testing conditions.

Guizer Jarl Andrew Thomson and his squad of 17 adults and seven bairns are braving gales and rain to make their rounds in the north of Unst for the Norik Up Helly Aa.

Andrew is portraying viking Torjan Trollabru, who put into Norwick in bad weather during a trip to the westard from Norway.

Norvik Guizer Jarl Andrew Tomson: Photo: Desley Ritch.

Trollabru found his galley ebbed up when he went to set sail again the next day and deciding Norwick was a “bonny place” decided to put down roots there.

The jarl squad are clad in faux leather armour with brown kirtles and I celandic sheep cloaks that will be put to good service today.

The artfully decorated galley Doris will be burned later tonight with the procession leaving the Flogie Road at 7.30pm.

The Alan Nicolson dance band will provide entertainment at the Haroldswick Hall from 8pm.

Norwick Up Helly Aa is the smallest fire festival in Shetland and also the only one to be held on a Saturday.

Scottish Parliament election, 6 May 2021