Cullivoe Up-Helly-A’ gets off to a roaring start

Cullivoe Guizer Jarl Brian Spence said he is “truly honoured” to be leading this year’s fire festival.

The festivities got under way yesterday for the jarl’s squad to get around the whole of Yell. Their visit included leaving Yell for the first time to visit Mossbank Primary School, where Mr Spence is a teacher.

This morning (Friday) they had breakfast at Cullivoe Hall before accompanying the galley to Moarfield Garage to meet the school and pre-school bairns.

The squad then escorted the galley full of pupils to the school.

During the day the jarl’s squad will visit residents of Cullivoe and then, after eating at the hall, will gather to start the procession at 7.30pm.

There will then be an evening of acts, music and dancing.

Guizer Jarl Brian Spence. Photo: Dave Donaldson

Mr Spence, who has chosen to represent Haursi Heđinn, said: “It is difficult to put into words how proud I am to be Guizer Jarl.

“Some of my earliest memories are of vikings coming to the Cullivoe school, and I am truly honoured for my name to be added to the list of jarl’s at our festival.

“Owing to a quirk of circumstances (in the form of a global pandemic) I take up this mantle 10 years after my brother, Davey, and 60 years after our father, Bruce.”

The Jarl’s Squad marching in Cullivoe. Photo: Dave Donaldson

The Guizer Jarl thanked a host of supporters, including his family – wife Helena, four-year-old daughter Lucia, and son David, who is 21-months-old.

Thanks also went to the galley builders, “whose efforts and workmanship making Lastdrager were amazing to behold”.

He added: “This festival means the world to me. I hope you all have a brilliant weekend.”


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