Up Helly Aa at Sumburgh Head
by Kirsty Halcrow -
The Visitor Centre at Sumburgh Head Lighthouse will open during the Up Helly Aa celebrations on 27 and 28 January from 10am to 4pm each day, to enable visitors to see the exhibitions and enjoy a series of special events in the education room.
Morgan Downie, the Sumburgh Head artist in residence for January, will be present to read new works and from his earlier collection stone and sea, at 2.00pm on the Tuesday afternoon, followed by a reading of new works with a question and answer session on Wednesday at 1.00pm.
The Wednesday reading will be followed by Brian Johnson, ex lighthouse technician and current Retained Lighthouse Keeper for the Northern Lighthouse Board. Brian will show his own photographs from the history of Sumburgh Head on Wednesday at 2.00pm, and talk about his experiences in a question and answer session on the lighthouse service.
Brian has been responsible for the restoration of the Diesel Kelvin engines that power the foghorn, which has not been sounded for 27 years. He has recently carried out pressure tests in anticipation for the foghorn's re-activation in 2015. His original images of lighthouse history will be seen at their best on the new wide screen and projection facility in the Education Room.
The Gift Shop will also be open for tea, coffee, hot chocolate, cold drinks and snacks.
Admission prices to the Visitor Centre displays on marine and wildlife, the Engine Room, Smiddy and Radar Hut have been kept at 2014 rates. The Season Ticket allows for free access for the rest of the 2015 season, from April to September. Further details of events will be announced on the Sumburgh Head website and Facebook pages.