Jarl Böðvar Bjarki has been leading his band of merry men through the streets and venues of Scalloway, Burra and Trondra.
Peter Tait, of Trondra, is at the helm as Guizer Jarl as the Trondra squad go through the traditional routine of visits and celebrations. Peter, a director of construction firm DITT, is a long-serving member of the squad.
The traditional “rounds” saw the squad starting at the Scalloway Boating Club this morning and they have been visiting the playgroups and schools in Scalloway, and Tingwall and the Walter and Joan Gray Eventide Home in Scalloway. There will be more visits this afternoon.
The torch light-up and procession begins at 7pm with the galley and squads travelling to the burning site at the Scalloway Boating Club. The Jarl’s Squad begin the evening’s cicuit of visits to local halls at the Bridge-End Hall and finish at the Scalloway Boating Club.
Peter’s squad goes forth today in a striking purple and black themed suit. The galley, named Fyeal in last night’s naming ceremony, is coloured with purple and cream stripes.
Peter’s historical persona, Böðvar Bjarki is the source of a bear theme throughout the squad. The colourful character was researched and suggested by fellow squad member and Viking-age scholar Andrew Jennings.
Bjarki, also known outside of Denmark as Beowulf, was son of Bjorn and a fearsome warrior. He rose to become King Hrólf’s right-hand man during a period of stability in Danish Viking history, though he himself was wild and the subject of many colourful tales.
Andrew identified Bjarki’s as an interesting story that hadn’t been told before in the Scalloway festival, and one that lent itself to the bear theme.
For more background about the squad’s outfits and the Jarl Squad programme, see today’s paper.