10th April 2020
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Cullivoe Up-Helly-A’ festivities under way

The 61st Cullivoe Up-Helly-A’ began in earnest on Friday morning with the Jarl’s Squad ready for a full day of activities.

Beginning with a breakfast at the Cullivoe hall, specially prepared by Michael Henderson and Andrew Nisbet, the Jarl’s Squad have a busy day ahead of them.

Cullivoe jarl Craig Dickie with his wife Becky and daughters Jessica, Monica and Rosie.

Guizer Jarl this year is 35-year-old Craig Dickie, portraying Viking warrior Sweyn Asleifsson. His 18-strong squad included his three daughters, Jessica, 14, Monica, 11, and Rosie, 10, as well as his father Hubert, who was jarl in 1977, and his brother Campbell, jarl in 2011.

Friday’s festivities include visits to see the bairns at Cullivoe Primary School and Cullivoe residents.

This followed an all-day tour of the isle yesterday, visiting schools and care homes, including in Burravoe and Mid Yell. 

All these events build up to the procession, set to start from Cullivoe hall at 7.30pm, when the galley Hjalmundal will be carried down to the burning site at the Cullivoe marina along with 130 guizers.

Hjalmundal is the Viking name for Helmsdale – the village where the jarl’s wife Becky, comes from. It is also where Sweyn Asleifsson, the Viking represented by Craig, launched a devastating revenge attack.

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