Peerie Vikings in museum procession

The Shetland Library’s Bookbug special Up-Helly-A’ extravaganza was held again at the Shetland Museum‘s auditorium with 160 children of all ages attending.

The Bookbug session's peerie Vikings, led by guitarist Trevor Jamieson circle the galley. Photo: Stephen Gordon
The Bookbug session’s peerie Vikings, led by guitarist Trevor Jamieson circle the galley. Photo: Stephen Gordon

This year it was decided to have just the one session, rather than the two held last year, “as this was more practical” said Morag Nicolson, of Shetland Library.

Library staff were there, dressed up in Up-Helly-A’ garb, horned helmets and cloaks,  some children got into the mood wearing knitted versions of helmets.

After the familiar Book Bug songs and “Old Man Olaf had a farm” those present were told of a national campaign that every child is entitled to a library membership. Ms Nicolson also thanked the Shetland Museum for hosting the event as there was no way the library could have coped with the amount of visitors.

She then read from a book entitled Hiccup the Seasick Viking, but only half of it – you have to come and borrow the book to find out what happens to him when he goes to sea.

Then after water and biscuits, song sheets were distributed and Trevor Jamieson of the museum and local band The North Ness Boys then sang the Up-Helly-Aa Song. He then led the “peerie Vikings” out of the auditorium, and after picking up their torches (kitchen roll holders) proceeded  across the foyer and into Da Gadderie where the current exhibition is commemorating the first 60 years of the Lerwick Junior Up- Helly-A’.

Children and parents, even grandparents then circled the replica galley, and launched their torches into the galley.

Then there’s three cheers for Up_Helly-A’ “Just like the real thing!”. It seems Up-Helly-A’ starts early in more ways than one – this is pre-nursery!.

Museum attendant Steven Christie reckoned it was even “better than the real thing”. Well you could say that’s Up-Helly-A’ under the belt already!


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