Shetland Times Articles:
"Dey been mony a waar Up Helly Aa night", that seemed to be the collective view of the weather last Friday night in Cullivoe. However just as the light up started the wind seemed to increase until it was a brisk force 6 and right into the faces of the guizers as they made their way from the Hall to the burning site at Stonganess near the marina.
The procession was big and very impressive with 126 adult torch carriers, 20 child guizers and 16 in the Jarl squad all led by Campbell Dickie, Einar Rognvaldsson (Torf Einar). Such was the strength of the wind that not all the torches made it, some of the heads came off and the roadside was strewn with torch heads still burning. The galley was launched into the voe and the torches thrown in. One felt for the men in wet suits who controlled things in the water.
After the burning everyone made their way to the hall and the school to see the squads perform. And they were in for a treat. On entering the hall one was immediately struck by the stunningly beautiful artwork, the work of Ingrid Dickie, the Jarl's wife. The back of the stage was one huge mural.
It showed a Viking scene on a beach with galleys coming in and a dominant Chief with a passing resemblance to the Guizer Jarl. The sea and the longships were full of movement and the location had an authentic look about it, it could have been the beach of Whallery with the Holm of Gloup in the background.
If that was not enough Ingrid produced another lovely piece of art that was the billhead. The bill was beautiful never mind all the clever verses, puns and innuendo, all good fun.
The format at Cullivoe is rather different from the norm in that the squads all perform their acts before the dance starts.
When the Jarl and his squad arrived in the hall we could get a good view, for the first time. of their suits. The suits were not as ornate as many in the past but they were none the worse for that.
The most striking feature was the chain mail tunics. They wore blue cloaks and knee length lacing boots, winged helmets and they carried spears and shields. The colours were mainly silver, grey and black and well as the blue. It all had a touch of class about it.
However the real stars of the squad were the five Viking Princesses, daughters of Campbell and Ingrid, they are Alannah, Leanne, Connie, Bethany they looked fantastic and they had the youngest one of the family, Heidi, who is 9 months old in tow in her own little longship.
The Squad all looked fresh and ready to go after a hectic day of visiting and engagements, they had been to the school not only visiting but being fed as well. They had also visited many older folk who were not going to be out at night. They were accompanied by musicians, Calum Watt, Ryan Couper, Andy Stevens and Kevin Brown. Official photographer was Gary Sandison.