19th March 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Times Past

, by , in Features

25 Years Ago

Shetland stood alone in its fight over the rental for Sullom Voe terminal, SIC convener Mr A. I. Tulloch said this week, after the oil industry appeared to reject an attempt to hold negotiations on the issue.

Last month the SIC only renewed the the industry’s temporary licence to operate the terminal until February, rather than for a full year, in the hope, Mr Tulloch said, of persuading the industry “to come forward with serious proposals”.

While the industry argues that the terminal’s rental should be based on the “bare rental value”, without a £1,200 million terminal, and have offered £300,000 a year, the council has claimed back rent totalling over £250 million and wants the annual rent set at around £97 million.

The council has started a legal action in the Court of Session but this is unlikely to be heard before 1987.

But in a statement last week the industry made no mention of Mr Tulloch’s invitation for fresh negotiations. “The SIC originally paid a price of around £3m for the terminal site,” the BP statement from London pointed out, “and the industry’s view, as reflected in discussions with the SIC, is that an agreed rental should be based on the bare land value of the site. Industry has lodged its initial defences to the SIC summons and is currently preparing for the next stage of the SIC’s action.”

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Following this year’s successful tourist season Shetland Tourist Organisation are planning the biggest promotion drive ever staged by a local industry to ensure that the 1986 season is even better.

At the centre of the new promotion drive is a new “Shetland Bus” – a specially designed exhibition vehicle chartered by the STO for the campaign. This will be visiting Edinburgh, Newcastle, York, Croydon, Milton Keynes, Coventry, Manchester, Bolton, Preston and Glasgow in March.

At six of the locations during the two-week campaign special shows will also be held. The Shetland Experience will feature slides and commentary from Bobby Tulloch and music from Trevor Hunter and other local musicians.

50 Years Ago

After the schools re-opened, there was still one in four of the boy school-leavers at summer who hadn’t found a job, and one in six of the girls was also unemployed.

These facts were given at a meeting of the Youth Employment Sub-Committee on Monday night. Altogether, 53 boys and 49 girls left school at summer. Of these, 30 boys and 35 girls were in work or had gone to other schools, including the Nautical College, pre-nursing college, homecraft school, etc.

Of the remainder, nine boys and six girls were not seeking employment, leaving 14 boys and eight girls unemployed and registered for work.

The latest available figures for juvenile employment in the county are for 11th July, the time when seasonal employment in the county was probably at its highest.

These show that 27.9 per cent of boys and 17.1 per cent of girls under 18 were unemployed – an overall average of 22.7 per cent. Taking the north and outer isles as a single group the percentage was 33.7, or nearly one in three.

There is no real unemployment among young people in the Lerwick and Scalloway areas; the problem remains in the more remote districts.

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The heroic action of fourteen-year-old Elsie Smith, of Yell, who swam twenty-five yards in almost pitch darkness to rescue an old dog at Burravoe recently, may be rewarded by a medal or citation from the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

At the local branch’s Annual General Meeting on Thursday it was agreed unanimously that a report should be sent to the head office in Edinburgh. Guest speaker at the meeting, Lt. Col. Winn, O.B.E., the assistant secretary of the Scottish Society, said he was sure his committee would look favourably on any report.

100 Years Ago

NO. 2001 – This week the two thousand and first issue of “The Shetland Times” is presented to our readers, an event which we think might be marked by a very brief historical reference to the journal. This journal first saw the light in June, 1872, being published at that time in the Auld Kirk, now the Masonic Hall. A remarkable change has come over the general condition of the people since that date. Thirty-eight years ago the majority of our male population were engaged at the Greenland and Davis Straits whale fishing and the Faroe and Iceland cod fishing, while fishermen who remained at home prosecuted their calling at the “haaf” in sixerns. There were no curing stations at Lerwick or Bressay, nor did Shetland take any prominent part in the great herring fishing, while the earnings of women-folks were extremely small. Gradually both the whale fishing and the cod fishing dwindled away till only some half-a-dozen vessels prosecute the former, while no Shetland smacks now follow the fortunes of the cod fishing on the Faroe Bank or at Iceland, and the sixern has all but disappeared. In place of these fishings we now have the great summer herring fishing with its hundreds of steamers crowding our harbours and bringing in their wake thousands of fishworkers. The earnings both of men and women, but especially the latter, have greatly increased, and taken all over, there has been a general advance in the prosperity and well-being of the islands. It is a pleasant thing to be able to record the general improvement in the condition of the people which has taken place during these years.

And now for a very brief word about the paper itself. We are glad to be able to say that it has made fair and steady progress with the times, and kept abreast of the changes which have taken place from year to year. The progress from the small beginnings with the hand-press in the “Auld Kirk” to the modernly-equipped office which now turns out a paper more than double the original size, is an indication of our endeavour to keep pace with the modern requirements of an advancing community. In this, our two thousand and first issue, we would seek to return thanks to our numerous readers and contributors both at home and abroad for their loyal and consistent support during all those years. We would also return thanks to the large number of advertisers who have patronised the “Shetland Times” so steadily in the past. We can assure readers and others that it will be our earnest endeavour to merit a continuance of that support which they have given us, and nothing, so far as we are able, shall be wanting to keep this journal in touch with the progress and advancement of the islands, and maintain the principles of Liberalism which have been consistently advocated by it since its establishment.