Junior Guizer Jarl - Grant Polson

Magnus Erlandsson

1998 Junior Guizer Jarl, Grant Polson.

Grant has chosen to portray the esteemed Earl Magnus, later canonised Saint Magnus, and commemorated by St. Magnus Cathedral, Orkney, and St. Magnus Bay, Shetland.

Magnus was son of Earl Erland of Orkney and Shetland, who had ruled the islands jointly with his brother Paul. They had fought at the great battle of Stamford Bridge with King Harald the Headstrong in 1066 and both survived the Norwegian army's defeat.

Magnus co-ruled the Northern Islands, as his father before him, but with his cousin Hakon. As throughout the Orkneyinga Saga, jealousy and feuding were commonplace, and thus Hakon felt that the joint rulership cease. Attacks and skirmishes ensued. A battle in Orkney was imminent when the noblemen of the isles, friends to both Earls, arranged a meeting between Hakon and Magnus.

The meeting to confirm the peace and goodwill between them was to take place on Egilsay in spring during Holy Week. But Earl Hakon was treacherous, and the peace meeting, betrayal, murder and martyrdom of Saint Magnus is fully described in the Orkneyinga Saga.

The rocky overgrown place where Earl Magnus was killed in April 1117 turned into a green field. His mother, Thora, pleaded for her son to be buried at Christ Kirk where a bright heavenly light was often seen over the grave. Ailing people kept vigil at the grave and recovered their health. Legend has it that those most deeply involved in the betrayal, died cruel and violent deaths. The stone Minster later built by his nephew Rognvald in Kirkwall is where Earl Magnus was finally interred. He was canonised in 1135 following numerous miracles attributed to him.

Grant has aptly named his galley after his great-grandmother's house in Yell - "Vigga" ('The way to the wetland').


1998 Junior Jarl Squad.
Guizers will muster on the Lower Hillhead at 5.15pm and the light-up signalled by a MAROON, will be 5.30pm precisely. The route will be along the Lower Hillhead, down King Erik Street and around the South Playing Field. After the guizers have circled the inside of the north field the last rites will take place in the centre of the park. "The Feast, the Dance, the Song" for the Junior guizers and their friends will be in the High School on Monday, 3rd February, where they will be visited by the Senior Jarl and some of his men.

The galley will be on view at the Anderson High School car park from 9.30 to 11.00am before the Junior Jarl and his Squad, along with the galley and Lerwick Pipe Band, march north along Commercial Street to the foot of Harbour Street starting from the Post Office at approx. 11.15am (weather permitting), then proceeding to Sound Primary School. The galley will be on view at Islesburgh Community Centre until about 3.00pm.


1. Junior Jarl's Squad (15)
2. The Flower Pot Men (5)
3. T.I.B. (Teenagers In Black) (7)
4. The Mask Way Out West (2)
5. Star Wars (4)
6. Soldier, Soldier (5)
7. Sex Pistols (4)
8. Animals (4)
9. The Rap Pac (5)
10. Cadets (5)
11. Gangsters (7)
12. Men In Black (4)
13. The Auld Firm (7)
14. Pinky and Perky (2)
15. Shetland Spice Girls (6)
16. Resident Evil (6)


1956 Odin - John Halcrow
1957 Thor - Alexander Scott
1958 Baldur - Gordon Smith
1959 Sleipner - Bobby Robertson
1960 Loki - Ian Campbell
1961 Valkyrie - Douglas Dalziel
1962 Valhalla - Andrew Johnston
1963 Hvitdraga - Roger Thomason
1964 Heimdal - Angus Stevenson
1965 Ellidi - John Williamson
1966 Iduna - Brydon Peterson
1967 Niord - Robert Leask
1968 Mjolnir - Alex Simpson
1969 Freya - Edward Sim
1970 Geirhilda - David Summers
1971 Aegir - Robert Simpson
1972 Verdandi - Gary Nicolson
1973 Varanger - Magnus Leask
1974 Helgi - Michael Johnston
1975 Sol - Terry Strachan
1976 Tyr - George Leask
1977 Hugin - Melvyn Leask
1978 Munin - Ian Isbister
1979 Virna - Ian Mann
1980 Circa - Robert Leask
1981 Floka-Vardi -Mark Sandison
1982 Oseberg - Steven Johnson
1983 Helluland - Alan Pottinger
1984 Gokstad - Campbell Jamieson
1985 Ikigait - Iain Johnston
1986 Dynröst - Victor Sandison
1987 Skraeling - Grant Wiseman
1988 Skerdoya - Michael Grant
1989 Sjørøver - Bryan Goodlad
1990 Synnive - Bryan Peterson
1991 Brenning - Robert Geddes
1992 Kolvarøv - Gary Robertson
1993 Runa - Tom Ward
1994 Asgard - Luke Hunter
1995 Sjøfuglen - Gary Manson
1996 Sønja - Steven Henderson
1997 Helga - John Bulter

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