Lerwick Harbour is participating in a Faroese nautical celebration of the centenary of a milestone in the history of Shetland’s near-neighbour.

A fleet of five traditional sailing vessels, the ‘Faroese Flag Flotilla’, is in port (Thursday 13 and Friday 14 June), homeward-bound after a voyage to Denmark to commemorate 100 years since the first raising of the Faroese national flag in Copenhagen in June, 1919.

The wooden ships, including the oldest, the smacks Westward Ho and Johanna built in England in 1884, helped transform the Faroe Islands from a farming society to a fishing-based economy.

They were welcomed to Lerwick with a water cannon salute from the Port Authority’s vessel, Kebister, and the Faroese flag flying at Victoria Pier. The Authority presented the flotilla’s crews with gifts from the port to mark their visit.

The boats are open to the public today between 2pm - 6pm and Friday 14 June between 3pm - 6pm, for an insight into Faroe and a taste of island products. The programme also includes a civic reception by Shetland Islands Council.

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