Aberdeen ,

Friendly Vikings visit city primary schools

Loud but friendly Vikings from Shetland have visited pupils at three primary schools in Aberdeen to give the pupils a lesson on Viking history and to talk about their Up Helly Aa festival.

Led by Chief Guizer Brian Halcrow, the 25-strong Viking Jarl squad, in full battle dress, visited Danestone School, Forehill School and Heathryburn School today (Friday 28 April).

The Jarl squad is from the South Mainland Up Helly Aa – the newest of the Shetland Up Helly Aa festivals – and the only one which includes female Guizers.

Established in 2010, the South Mainland Up Helly Aa, has a Jarl squad which consists of the Guizer Jarl (the chief Guizer) and a squad of men, women and children. Each Guizer Jarl also chooses and portrays a figure, either mythical or factual from Viking history each year ahead of the festival.

George Roberts, head teacher, Danestone School, said: “This is a great opportunity to let our pupils to meet real Vikings. We are so grateful to Ulf and his squad for coming to Aberdeen and their heritage and festival with us.

“We have a number of pupils and staff with Shetland connections who are very proud of their heritage and are delighted by the jarl squad visit.”

Guizer Jarl-Brian Halcrow said: “It is a great honour for our squad to be given the opportunity to share our Up Helly Aa festival with Aberdeen schools. It’s the highlight of our Scottish tour.”

The Jarl squad stopped off in Aberdeen on their way to the Spirit of Speyside Festival.