SMUHA came early in the Ness as excited bairns were treated to their own procession and galley burning on Friday afternoon.
It was a special part of the big day for Guizer Jarl Lesley Simpson, who swapped her head teacher’s hat for a helmet, axe and shield when she visited her school children at Dunrossness primary.
Pupils were joined by Cunningsburgh schoolbairns too and the heartwarming spectacle had proud parents lined up on the roadside, cameras at the ready.
A fire engine lead the way followed by the impressive junior galley, with flashes of green.
Children proudly sported their handmade helmets and impressive colourful torches, cheering all the way up the hill from the school, up onto the main road and along to the burning site next to the Boddam sports field.
Along the way the squad musicians kept everyone entertained, with sing-alongs ranging from “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah”, to Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds and “I Wish It Could be SMUHA Everyday” (better than Wizzard’s I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday, this reporter would argue).
Towering school caretaker John Mackenzie, was really getting into the spirit of the occasion and was roaring away at the children, who gave as good as they got.
A samba-style drum performance from the kids and speeches by junior Jarl Emily Black, and Lesley preceded the galley burning.
All the children with homemade torches rushed to the galley to throw in their paper flames, before the real torches sent fire licking at the galley head.
Then, SIC councillor Allison Duncan held a flaming torch aloft, after the flare struck up and the torchbearers were engulfed by smoke.
Lesley was all smiles as the embers from the galley danced in the air.
“It’s been a fabulous day, a brilliant, brilliant day,” she said.
“We’ve had an absolute ball.”
She said it was a special event for the schoolchildren and was good way of involving the kids from both areas.
Lesley was dancing away in the procession, and looking ahead to the adult version she was certainly excited about it.
Junior Jarl Emily Black said the burning event “was really good” and said it had been an exciting afternoon.
Asked what she thought of Lesley and her squad’s outfits, she replied.
“They look really nice.”