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Hoarseman heads home to rest

From The Shetland Times, 30th January, 1998

"AN absolutely great day" was how Jarl Thorbjorn of Wast Burrafirt described this year's Up-Helly-A' as he took a breather the following afternoon.

During the day the visits to the schools had been a high point, at night it had been the procession. "Going up the ranks is something only a chosen few ever get to do," said the Jarl (Colin Summers).

After a day and night's singing, roaring and general carousing it was perhaps not surprising that he was a trifle hoarse. But he said he had sung as loudly as he could and given his all in every single one of the 11 halls.

Carrying all the gear had, meanwhile, taken its toll. "Today I feel like a bus has run me over and then for good measure reversed back over me."

But knowing that he was heading out again for more with the rest of the squad kept the Jarl going and he thanked them for all the work they had put in this year.

He said his children had also enjoyed the festival which was "a night they'll never forget". Ritchie, his youngest, was still going around the house in his kirtle.

And he added that riding throught the streets had been quite an experience. "The ex-jarls told me: "You're up there - take your chance and look all around you because you'll never forget it." So that's what I did."

© All text copyright, The Shetland Times Ltd, 1997.
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