22nd May 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Times Past

, by , in Features

25 Years Ago

A unique combination of wind, water and diesel could bring a constant supply of electricity to Foula. The ambitious plans are still only on the drawing board, but they have been accepted in Foula. Any problems with the scheme going ahead now look likely to be financial rather than technical.

The plans, drawn up by a Newcastle-based company, International Research and Development, with advice from the Hydro-Board and the SIC, involve a wind generator, combined with hydro power and a back-up diesel generator.

The mainstay of the plan would be the wind generator which would work in combination with hydro power. While the windmill was producing electricy, a small surplus of power from it would be used to pump water up to Ouvrafandel Loch.

Mrs Barbara Gear, secretary of a steering group set up on the island to look at ways of providing a public supply of electricity, said: “There’s an optimistic atmosphere here about the scheme. It appears to us that in practical terms it could work. We think we could keep it going.”

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Scalloway emerged this week as front-runner in the contest for the siting of the planned fisheries training centre.

The SIC’s development committee on Tuesday opted for Scalloway rather than Whalsay. But Mr Henry Stewart, Whalsay’s councillor, claimed that a majority of Shetland fishermen would prefer Whalsay and he hopes that when the full council makes the final decision the development committee’s recommendation will be overturned.

Councillors eventually voted 10-5 in favour of Scalloway. “I think there will be a different decision at the full council,” the disappointed Mr Stewart said.

50 Years Ago

The County Council are to provide a Highland Transport Inquiry with details of bus services in landward areas of the county, drawing particular attention to those areas without a service.

Councillors in various parts of Shetland gave details of services in their own areas, and after discussion the sub-committee agreed to refer to refer to the Councy Council to consider the matter.

The problem was that as people got better off they got more and more cars, and it became less and less profitable for the country buses to carry on.

Piracy was another problem facing the bus operators. People were running vans and what-have-you all over the place carrying passengers when they should not be doing so.

Various councillors made statements about the position in their own areas, and all seemed to be satisfied about the services provided. It was disclosed that the only two areas without a service meantime were East Burrafirth, Aith and Lunnasting and Nesting.

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Capital expenditure amounting to about £90,000 was authorised at a meeting of the County Council on Tuesday.

The list included: £10,400 to meet the cost of acquiring items of plant for the Roads Department; £430 to purchase a second-hand Dodge diesel truck and a portable air compressor for the Roads Department; £2915 to meet the cost of adapting the property at 4 Market Street for use as the county treasurer’s department; £13,175 to meet the cost of building six two-apartment houses at Scalloway; £62,899 to meet the cost of phase II of the Sumburgh water scheme.

100 Years Ago

Motor Boat’s Venturous Voyage – 600 Miles in an Open Craft – To navigate the stormy waters of the North Sea from Yarmouth to Lerwick, a distance of 600 miles, in a small open motor boat at the beginning of winter, is a feat that requires no small amount of skill and courage. This was the feat performed by Captain H.A. Saunders and his friend Mr E.S. Wolfe, who arrived in the motor boat Shikari on Saturday afternoon last.

The Shikari is a vessel of 7.3 tonnage. She is 33 feet in length and 7 feet 6 inches beam, and is fitted with a Kelvin 4-cylinder motor engine of 13 horse power. Her speed is eight knots an hour. She was disposed of by her owner Mr Wolfe to Mr T. Brown, fishcurer, Lerwick. Mr Brown’s intention is to fit her out as a haddock boat.

The Shikari, with Captain Saunders and Mr Wolfe on board as the sole crew, left Yarmouth on Tuesday 5th October, in a N.W. wind. In the Wash they encountered a heavy swell, which forced them to run into the land as far as Hunstanton and beat about all night, to get her out of the heavy seas. In the morning the weather cleared up and they proceeded, but still in hard weather, to Bridlington, in Yorkshire, where they stayed the night, having been 32 hours without a rest. The next day saw the Shikari as far as the Tyne, but a thick fog came on and they steered for the Farne Islands, off Northum­berland. At midnight the fog lifted and Lungstone Light, ten miles off on the port beam, was sighted, and a course was set for Montrose. By mid-day a strong S.W. wind had raised a heavy sea and the vessel made bad weather of it, but by 5 p.m. on Friday Montrose was sighted. Then the voyagers steered along the coast through the night, and at six o’clock on Saturday morning they put into Peterhead.

They were feeling very much exhausted. The seas had been heavy and the wind strong, and the vessel required their constant care. When Peterhead was reached they had been 49 hours without sleep. A rest during the day and night revived them. The day following the Shikari went round to Fraserburgh in a strong wind from the west. They were forced to shelter there till Wednesday morning, a gale preventing egress.

Even when they left Fraserburgh the weather was unfavourable. The wind went into the N.N.E. and increased to half a gale, and there were numerous squalls. The adventurers tried to run into Banff Harbour, but the surf broke so far outside the harbour that the Shikari was half full of water, and it was found to be impossible to enter. So the course was changed and the motor boat proceeded steadily along the coast. Owing to the risk it was decided to take a pilot and a man off a passing fishing boat was got, who took the Shikari safely into Whitehills Harbour, near Banff. There they remained storm-stayed through Thursday and Thursday night, leaving in moderate weather at ten o’clock on Friday morning. A visit lasting about two hours was paid to Banff, and the vessel proceeded in fine weather, making Wick in the evening. The weather remaining fine enabled them to come on to Orkney, but the cold was most intense and uncomfortable. Between Orkney and Fair Isle, which was sighted at daybreak, there was an awkward ocean swell. Sumburgh Roost, however dangerous it might be in bad weather, was found to be nothing on a fine day with a good motor, and on Saturday at 4.30 p.m. Lerwick was safely reached, after a varied and eventful voyage.