It turned out a dreich start to the day but spirits were high with the South Mainland Up-Helly-A’ squad as they headed north to Lerwick.
The first part of the day saw visits to the Anderson High School ASN department, Peerie Foxes nursery and the Sound Primary School.
Coming down Hill Lane to visit the Peerie Foxes, on schedule, Jarl Scott Lobban, portraying Harald Fairhair, and his squad of 48 comprising 24 men, 12 women, six bairns and six musicians quickly put some colour into a damp day.
The outfit comprised steel helmets, light wooden shields, axes, blue kirtles and brown tweed cloaks. The suit looked superb and a lot of work had obviously been put into the various elements.
Out of the rain and snuggly packed into the nursery, squad member Teresa Wadley said so far the day had gone according to plan after they’d had a fine breakfast at the Ness Boating Club.
Asked if she’d used her axe yet, she laughed it was “early yet” and that she might have another answer in 12 hours time.
At the Peerie Foxes and with everyone singing the Up-Helly-A’ song the nursery was then presented with a miniature shield to commemorate the whirlwind visit.
After a word of thanks the Jarl and his squad were off on their busy schedule, but he did have time for a quick word. He said: “Everything was going great so far”. And he remains optimistic that the day would dry up in time for a spectacular burning and night.
• A full report of SMUHA will appear in next Friday’s Shetland Times