Sunday, 23 February 2014

North Mavine Up Helly Aa 2014

As I was travelling up north for work I passed this colourful chap near Swinister...

The sheep has been there for some time, but not usually so well dressed. It was enough to remind me that the day was North Mavine Up Helly Aa! Being a fine day a plan came to mind involving a fish supper at Frankies followed by watching the procession near Urrafirth. 

The boss agreed and so after work and our fish supper we found ourselves sitting for an hour and a half in the car, on an empty road, in the dark with rain lashing against the windows playing 'I Spy' and 'Guess what animal I am'. Beren also pee'd himself! We were early, very early!

Thankfully the rain stopped as we occasionally heard the odd sound of a brass band over the noise of the wind and saw a line of torches heading down the road.

It was pretty wild and windy outside the car, but no-one minded as the procession, led by a colourful galley, headed to the burning site. At least the wind was in the right direction blowing the sparks away from us.

The galley was filled with burning torches and set a drift, but with the wind the torches were close to spent and the galley took and age to get going.

Kenny Williamson the Guiser Jarl did his stuff along with the rest of his squad...

And all the while the wind tried to fan the flames and get the galley burning. It took along time, but by the time we were driving past some time later it was actually properly a fire. I didn't stop to get any photos of that, but here's one as the crowd waited...

Here's a short video of some of the procession, not a bad way to spend a Friday evening.

Next week we plan to go to Bressay Up Helly Aa and hope the weather will be a bit milder...

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