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Lerwick Up Helly Aa


peeriebryan
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Female squad members in Lerwick Up Helly Aa (2022 poll)  

26 members have voted

  1. 1. In principle, should women be allowed to participate in Lerwick Up Helly-Aa as squad members?

    • Yes
      11
    • No
      15
  2. 2. Is logistics (already high numbers of guizers, waiting lists for squads etc) a valid reason not to allow women to participate in Lerwick Up Helly-Aa as squad members?

    • Yes
      15
    • No
      11
  3. 3. The current ‘male only’ squad member demographic of Lerwick Up Helly-Aa is….

    • Sexist
      8
    • Traditional
      18


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Although Lerwick Up Helly Aa is a great spectical to see, this is the first year I have seen it since they changed the mixture from parrifin to what ever they are using today. Up Helly Aa always had a distinct spell, one that always brought back memories, however this year, I was choked with the smokey fumes and afterwards at the Legion all you could smell on people was the stench of the smoke from the torches (myself included). I had to get my coat dry cleaned, all of the other clothes went straight into the wash. Why the change to the mixture??? It cant be to make the torches last any longer as quite a few were almost burned through by the time they got into the park.

 

Bring back that old Up Helly Aa smell.

 

I did enjoy the evening none the less.

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I think the change came about as the fuel used previously became illegal to use, EM or someone else may be able to correct me if wrong or give more info.

 

I too was disappointed again this year, I don't think i've had a torch in the last 3/4 year which has still been alight by the time i've entered the park. This year the smoke was ridiculous and to the point my eyes were watering so much i could hardly see where i was going, also, the 'spunks' coming off the torches this year seemed ridiculous. I've spoken to a few people who are not going to watch next year because of what i've mentioned above.

 

I know the torch boys have been working extremely hard over the last years to find fuel or a mix which works, it must be difficult and i take nothing away from what they do, hopefully next year they'll nail it.

 

Apart from this it seemed busier than i can remember, especially through the morning and through the halls at night. I thought the Jarl squad looked amazing, the helmet and shield were works of art and obviously a lot of time went into making them. What's your guys thoughts on this year?

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Was certainly a mediocre show from the laptop mainly because of the poor light from the torches. You could hardly make out anything at all until the burning. It should not be too difficult to provide some battery illuminations to show off the galley during the procession. Also a camera situated looking south from the War Memorial during light up would be much better than the distant shadows. Some decent music dubbed on would be great.

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I think the change came about as the fuel used previously became illegal to use, ... I don't think i've had a torch in the last 3/4 year which has still been alight by the time i've entered the park.

There have been two important changes since the "good old torch days."

 

The particular fuel stopped being available so alternative similar kerosenes have had to be substituted, as well as trying fuel cocktails, to try and recreate the original burn characteristics.

 

The other change was in the hessian. The torches used to include old pre-used bags. Due to the changes in modern agriculture, these are similarly unavailable. The hessian in the old bags was fluffier due to wear and tear, so the torch wicking behaviour was different to today's which use brand new hessian. I am of the opinion that it is the use of new hessian which is reducing the burn duration rather than the fuel mix, but I'm certainly not a hydrocarbon expert. It is theoretically feasible that the new bags could be pre-aged in some way (like stone washed jeans), but it would be an enormous amount of work.

 

... also, the 'spunks' coming off the torches this year seemed ridiculous.

Indeed :?. I was closing the south end of the turning movement. With the wind from the north it felt like standing on the wrong side of a jet engine.

 

I know the torch boys have been working extremely hard over the last years to find fuel or a mix which works, it must be difficult and i take nothing away from what they do, hopefully next year they'll nail it.

This is certainly so. They do lots of testing through the year.

 

What's your guys thoughts on this year?

Loved it.

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