Sunday 3 November 2013

Midsummer Madness

The high latitude of Unst leads to long hours of daylight in the summer months – a period known locally as the “simmer dim”. Traditionally this period led to a certain amount of celebration and fun for those at Saxa Vord – every year there would be some form of midsummer activity, usually remembered by those who took part, long after they've left the islands. During my tour the activities included golf matches, sailing races and a Gala Day. Tales of Barbecues, Raft Races, Chariot Races and Sports Days abound and I would appreciate it if anyone has pictures of similar events they would be prepared to share – (replacing the AT with the usual symbol).
I have attached a few pictures from the late 70’s/early 80’s below and, at the end of this section put three links to other midsummer festivities covered previously in the blog.

Midsummer 1978
The 3 pictures here feature a Chariot Race and have come from Caroline & Maddy Madison. (Left click on pictures to enlarge):

Midsummer 1980
The next sequence of pictures is from George Keith and features another Chariot Race. There is also a shot of a rather dangerous looking egg-throwing competition at Burrafirth and an Officers’ Mess Barbecue on Balta.

Midsummer 1983
The main event in 1983 appears to have been a Raft Race at Norwick – these pictures have come from Stewart Dorward:

As mentioned earlier a few links to other sections featuring midsummer events:

Another Raft Race -
Another Chariot Race -

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