Crowds delight at morning visits from Lerwick Jarl’s Squad

Guizer Jarl Richard Moar and his 2024 Lerwick Jarl’s Squad made a big impression as they made their way through the streets of the town this morning (Tuesday).

Replete in striking light blue cloaks and silver helmets, with impressively intricate leather breastplates, they set off from Islesburgh just after 8.15am as spectators stretched and strained for their first sight.

After a brief stop-off at the Galley Shed to pick up their galley, Ethena, jarl King Harald Olafsson and his squad headed down to the Toll Clock Shopping Centre.

There they gave an expectant crowd the first taste of their squad song, a cover of Tenpole Tudor’s Swords of a Thousand Men – with their own updated Viking lyrics.

The squad then marched to the Lerwick Legion where they stopped for refreshments before heading in ower to the Market Cross and to the proclamation.

The Guizer Jarl paid tribute to his billhead painter Jennifer Christie, and to the work she had put in to delivering his headpiece.

Rounding off their morning duties was the visit to the Bressay ferry terminal for their iconic squad photos in front of the harbour.

With the wind at a minimum, and the sun shining behind them, they were treated to a perfect day for the shot.

Finally they headed up towards the Lerwick Town Hall for the civic reception, which gave them a chance for a much-needed rest before their afternoon visits.

The official Lerwick Up-Helly-A’ programme is available in print at newsagents and shops today, with the digital version available to purchase online from


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  • Susan Squires

    • January 31st, 2024 9:34

    I love reading these bits from Shetland, my brother lives in Toft and it makes me feel closer to him, thank you


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