‘Men in Tights’ lead the way in museum’s Up-Helly-A’ exhibition

Here come the Men in Tights…

A range of Up-Helly-A’-themed events is being organised by Shetland Amenity Trust to coincide with the fiery Viking season.

Exhibitions, talks, music and craft activities are lined up at Shetland Museum in Lerwick.

“Tennis Girls” (1922) is one of the images from the Men in Tights exhibition at the Shetland Museum and Archives.

A photographic exhibition, “Men in Tights” is in  Da Gadderie and runs until 22nd February.

The display focuses on Up-Helly-A’ squads from the early twentieth century. It highlights suits from 1905 to 1923.

Many squads made use of a favourite Up-Helly-A’ disguise that is still going strong today – men dressed as women, hence the name of the exhibition.

For those curious to find out how Up-Helly-A’ started and learn how it has evolved, Trevor Jamieson will be leading his “Origins of Up-Helly-A’” talk on Sunday 26th and Monday 27th January.

For families, Bookbug sessions and craft activities are lined up, too.

On Up-Helly-A’ day the junior galley will be positioned at Hay’s Dock during the day and the museum will be visited by the Jarl’s Squad in the afternoon.

Further afield, Old Scatness Broch and Iron Age Village will be opening its doors on Wednesday 29th January offering people a rare chance to visit out of season. There will be guided tours all day uncovering the myth and legend of this tentative Unesco World Heritage site.

Shetland Amenity Trust chairwoman Ruth Mackenzie said: “We’re delighted to have so much on offer during the popular Up-Helly-A’ week and we’re looking forward to welcoming people to come along and enjoy the excitement.”


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