Scalloway Fire Festival 2012
The 2012 Scalloway Fire Festival took place on Friday 13th January with Guizer Jarl Simon Mullay, representing Jarl Sigurd the Stout (Sigurd Hlodversson). The Jarl's Squad comprised 50 members including 19 bairns. This year's galley was named Svart Fredag (Black Friday).
About the Jarl's Saga:
Sigurd Hlodversson the Stout, Jarl of Orkney and Shetland 980-1014. Sigurd the Stout was the son of Hlodver Jarl of Orkney & Shetland, his mother was Eithne, the daughter of King Kjarval of Ossary in Ireland. When he became Jarl in 980 he was fortunate to have few relatives who could make a claim to Earldom and according to the Orkneyinga Saga was a great chieftain who ruled over several dominions. Little is known of his first wife who bore him four sons Hundi, Sumarlidi (Somerled), Brusi, and Einar.
Between 980 and 989 he had to defend Caithness against the Scots and fought many battles to gain control of a large part of north Scotland as far south as the Moray Firth and west to the north Hebrides. With the support of Jarl Gilli who controlled the southern Hebrides they gained control of the whole west coast of Scotland and the Isle of Man, and they also made plundering raids to Ireland. Sigurd the Stout had a banner finely embroidered with a raven that when it fluttered in the breeze the raven seemed to be flying ahead. The banner was claimed to bring victory to the man it was carried before but death to the man who carried it. During one battle against Jarl Finnleik in Caithness three standard bearers were killed before the battle was won.
In 995 Sigurd was preparing three ships at Osmundwall (now Kirk Hope) in the south of Hoy for an expedition to cross the Pentland Firth when Olaf Trygvesson sailed in with five ships. Olaf would soon be King of Norway and had been converted to Christianity. He sent a messenger asking Sigurd to come over to his ship. Olaf said to Sigurd "I want you and all your subjects to be baptized and if you refuse I will have you killed on this spot and I will ravage these islands with fire and steel." Sigurd seeing that he was outnumbered agreed and was baptised and soon after the Earldom embraced the faith. Olaf then sailed east for Norway to become king and took Sigurd's son Hundi back as a hostage, but he did not live long and after his death Sigurd refused to pay homage to King Olaf Trygvesson and returned to his old religion.
In 997 Sigurd married his second wife Plantula the daughter of Malcolm Canmore, King of the Scots and they had one son Thorfinn. The marriage was in all probability of mutual benefit uniting the Earldom and Scotland against any common enemies and strengthened Sigurd's position against any hostile moves against him by King Olaf of Norway.
In Ireland at the end of the 10th century King Brian Boru had gained control of the south of Ireland and by 1002 had successfully taken control of Viking Dublin, and was recognised as the High King of Ireland. King Sigtrygg of Dublin became a vassal King Brian and was married to his sister. In 1013 King Sigtrygg sought help the length and breadth of western Viking world to defeat the Irish and not only take back control of Dublin but to win crown of Ireland for Sigurd the Stout. Brodir from the Isle of Man, and Vikings from as far away as Normandy, Norway and Iceland were called to support their fellow Scandinavians in Dublin and they all agreed to meet the following spring in Ireland.
They met at Clontarf outside Dublin on Good Friday 1014 to face the Irish army. They landed from their ships a force of 10,000 and lined up with King Sytrygg's army on the left flank protecting Dublin, Brodir of Man with his forces on the right flank and Sigurd with his army with the raven banner before them in the centre. Facing them was an army of 20,000 from Ireland but the two highest of commanders were missing. King Sigtrygg was inside the protection of Dublin and King Brian Boru who would not take up arms on Good Friday was in a nearby wood praying, protected by a ring of shields.
The Battle of Clontarf started in the morning and when the armies clashed, both made assaults into each other's lines, and in the afternoon the Irish made a fierce assault on the centre of the Viking shield wall. They succeeded breaking through and fought the Vikings up to Sigurd's ranks and as one standard bearer alter another fell, Sigurd finally ordered Hrafn the Red to carry it but he replied "bear thy own devil thyself". Sigurd observing that "a beggar should carry his own bundle" ripped the banner from its staff and wrapped it around his body and soon after this Sigurd the Stout was killed by a spear. The Irish went right through the Viking line and regrouped between them and the beach blocking the retreat to their ships. With the battle now lost the Vikings retreated in all directions pursued by the Irish. One group led by Brodir of Man attacked and broke through the shield wall protecting King Brian Boru and killed him but they were later captured and killed by the Irish.
The result was in a sense a victory and a loss on both sides. King Brian Boru, his son and grandson were all killed and on the Viking side Sigurd and Brodir also perished and thousands were killed on both sides. In legend. King Brian was held to have saved Ireland by this victory but it is hard to say from what. King Sigtrygg survived and ruled Dublin for another 20 years as the Scandinavian markets were too useful to the Irish to be eradicated.
After the death of Sigurd the Stout the Earldom was divided between his three eldest sons and Thorfinn was sent to Scotland to be brought up at the court of his grandfather Malcolm Canmore, King of Scots. He later succeeded his brothers and ruled the Earldom from Birsay on the west mainland ot Orkney where he built a church, established a Bishop, and firmly established Christianity throughout the Earldom. During his reign the Earldom reached the zenith of its power tor which he was remembered as Earl Thorfinn the Mighty.
Text from the 2012 programme by Charlie Grant.
Jarl's Squad Members
Simon Mullay (Guizer Jarl), Sam Mullay, Rebekah Mullay, Maurice Mullay, Robert Balfour, Brian Hunter, Paul Hunter, Emma Hunter, Marcus Mullay, Harry Irvine, Matthew Irvine, Jemma Irvine, Jessica Irvine, Peter Brown, David Brown, Maurice Jamieson, Mark Leask, Megan Leask, Nathan Leask, James Leask, Ross Leask, Ryan Leask, Robert Peterson, Ian Peterson, Michael Irvine, David Irvine, Adam Williamson, Leyla Williamson, Robbie Morrison, Graeme Davie, Liam Davie, Peter Robertson, Ross Inkster, Liam Inkster, Anya Inkster, Ray Dawson, Calum Scott, Magnus Scott, Olivia Scott, Joe Robertson, Gary Irvine, Ella Irvine, Jamie Irvine, Colin Burgess, Graham Irvine, Arnold Leask, Martin Gilbertson, Lionel Tulloch, Colin Halcrow, Steven Tough. The Jarl's Squad Musicians were: Neil Donald, Stewart Grains, Jonny Polson.
Jarl's Squad Programme
08.00am Assemble at Scalloway Boating Club
09.00am Visit NAFC Marine Centre
09.45am Galley Procession from Port Arthur to 'Da Waterfront'
10.15am Galley Display & Photographs at 'Da Waterfront'
10.35am Jarl's Squad visits Scalloway Playgroup
10.45am Jarl's Squad visits Walter and Joan Gray Home
11.15am Jarl's Squad visits Scalloway Primary School
12.00noon Jarl's Squad visits Tingwall Primary School
12.30pm Lunch at Tingwall Hall
1.15pm Jarl's Squad visits Royal British Legion, Scalloway
2.00pm Jarl's Squad visits Hamnavoe Primary School
2.30pm Jarl's Squad entertains Senior Citizens at Scalloway Boating Club
6.45pm Jarl's Squad marches up the Ranks for Procession at Lovers Loan
7.00pm Light up - Jarl's Squad & squads proceed through Main Street to Port Arthur
8.00pm Burning of the Galley
List of Squads:
1. Sigurd Hlodversson (The Stout), 2. Kiln Bar(e)d Pantomime, 3. Sari-Sari Nights, 4. Sonic at the Olympics, 5. A Royal Entry, 6. Boots Bar, 7. Reeling in the Years, 8. Scalloway, the Opera, 9. What a Bunch of Flappers, 10. Room with a View, 11. Simon Stars, 12. Strictly Come Scalloway.
1. Bridge End Hall, 2. Hamnavoe Hall, 3. Scalloway Boating Club, 4. Scalloway Hall, 5. Scalloway Legion, 6. Tingwall Hall.
During the Day
This years galley Svart Fredag (Black Friday) was taken from the galley shed in the early hours to the NAFC Marince centre, where she joined the Jarl's Squad. After a visit to the NAFC Marine centre (followed by breakfast there), the Galley and Jarl's Squad marched to Da Waterfront for a photo session. The Jarl's Squad then began their programme of visitations for the day.
Jarl's Squad marching to Da Waterfront & Singing at Scalloway School.
Jarl's Squad singing own song at Scalloway School & entering Tingwall Hall.
Jarl's Squad singing at Tingwall Hall.
This years galley was named Svart Fredag (Black Friday).
Evening Procession and Burning of the Galley
The Jarl's Squad and guizers mustered at the Scalloway British Legion from around 6pm onwards, where the galley was also stationed. At 6:45pm the Jarls Squad lit torches and marched up the ranks along Lovers Loan. The Jarl and bairns were in the galley going up the ranks. At 7pm the guizer squads light-up commenced and the procession moved off (accompanied by the Lerwick Brass Band and the Lerwick Royal British Legion Pipe Band), and marched through Scalloway to the burning site at the Scalloway Boating Club. The evening weather was perfect with no wind at all, adding to what was an excellent 2012 fire festival.
Youtube videos of the procession & burning.