1961 - Jarl Gilbert 'Bertie' Henderson

The 1961 Festival took place on 24th January

This year's Guizer Jarl was Gilbert (Bertie) Henderson from Skylah.

Galley Name:- NOÖRD

Gilbert's Jarl Squad

  • Basil Willie Tulloch (Gronadjeld) [Former Jarl]
  • Robert Anderson (Midfield) [Future Jarl]
  • Danny Anderson (Midfield)
  • Magnie Henderson (Mursetter)



Squad List


Black cloaks lined with red, and white tunics bearing a raven. All wore winged helmets.


This was a hilariously funny show. A dentist and assistant attended to several patients, some of whom got extractions and fillings and other fittings for dentures.


After unfruitful attempts by local council to procure electric power for the island of Yell from British sources they decided to ask Kruschev for his help. He immediately consented and sent over 4 electricians who erected poles, laid cables, and within a few minutes had supplied the islanders their needs.


This squad was composed of a questionmaster, scoremaster and team of radio personalities. The questionmaster asked amusing and witty questions concerning local topics which were suitably answered by the team.



Shetland Times Articles:

Cullivoe celebrated its fourth Up-Helly-Aa on 24th January.

The weather conditions were splendid - dry with a breeze of wind. The Guizer Jarl was Mr Bertie Henderson who performed his duties excellently.

The boat was kindly gifted by Mr Laurence Nisbet, Mid Yell, and converted into the longship "NOÖRD". At 7.25 lighting-up took place at Burnside, and the procession of guizers headed off at 7.30 p.m. singing the "Up-Helly-Aa" song, and watched by hundreds of spectators along the route. On reaching the burning site near the hall, the torch-bearers circled the longship singing the "Galley Song". After the usual cheers, the torches were thrown in and the "Norseman's Home" sung.

The hall was then opened and after the crowd had been seated, the Jarl and his squad marched up the hall to music of the Up-Helly-Aa song. After the Jarl had given his humerous and witty speech, each squad then gave its perfomence. A very enjoyable dance followed during which tea was twice served. A few songs were also rendered during the evening.

Telegrams / Messages:

  • 'Hope it is a big night. Sorry to be missing it ' - Nan

  • 'Hope the galley burns bright, sorry we cannot be with you tonight' - Alex and Charlie, Baltasound

  • 'May your galley burn bright' - James, Joan and Joy

  • 'Best wishes for a successful night. See and don't make the turning movement at the top of Greenbank road' - Robbie, Jessamine and family

  • 'Best wishes for a successful night ' - Muriel and Henry

  • 'Wishing you all a good night' - Bena, Dodoe and Bertha

  • 'My very nest wishes for a successful Up-Hely-Aa' - Alma Hislop