Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Lerwick Up Helly Aa 2013

It started out a bit of a damp day for Stevie Grant as Guiser Jarl Gamle Eriksson and his Jarl squad, but regardless the band struck up and they began their day with the procession through the town. I saw them come past our offices into Toll Clock and their uniforms looked great.

Here's some footage of the days procession courtesy of The Shetland Times




Here are some more photos from the Shetland News of the day and night.

I was daft enough to arrange a meeting on the morning so I missed the procession through the street and the squad at the ferry terminal where I could have met Beren and his nursery, but I took the afternoon off to help my friend with his boat and got a few of the galley and bill and by that time it was a pretty fine day for January...

Krisara...



Great shield and caricature...


And I always love to see the galley head...


I did take a photo of the tail, but, well, it's just a tail, well made, but just a tail!

There were a good few people about even by this time looking at the bill and shop displays...



But the night procession is what I really love. As the time approached the wind began to build and the rain began to lash. Beren kept wanting to leave to get to Lerwick, but we kept putting him off. Who wants to stand in the wind and rain longer than necessary. When we did set of we thought  we must be mad, but on arriving there we obviously weren't the only ones. 

Standing under our favourite spot where the TV crew film we waited with water running of us, all the time persuading Beren to keep in our shelter, but with him taking no notice. We did worry that they'd be able to have all torches lit with the wind, but when the lights went off and we could see the glow up past the town hall we were looking forward to the torch lit procession.

I got practically no photos of the squad coming past due to the driving rain and hoped they'd come back again as usual so I could get some with the rain at my back but no such luck.

 So here's my few photos...


 

Then as if by magic after they started to go round to the park the rain eased and then stopped, by then Beren and Clare were soaked and cold sat on their high wall vantage point, but they braved the last while until the burning. If we had a flask and sarnies it would be like one of our usual picnics!

Squads amassed ready for the burning...


Three cheers for the Guiser Jarl...


Three cheers for Up Helly Aa...


And then they were off throwing the torches into her belly with sparks and flames flying...




We usually wait to see the galley burn right down, but this year we needed to get off with Beren being very cold, damp and tired. Anyway with the wind the aft of the galley was pretty untouched unlike everything down wind with sparks flying down the street past the houses as we walked back to the car.

 

We got home, put the kettle on and listened to the wind rise and the rain lash on the windows, but atleast it had come fair for the burning.

So now it's finger crossed for fair weather for the rest of the country Up Helly Aas!

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