21st September 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Times Past

, by , in Features

25 Years Ago

“There’s nothing to match it” – that’s Charles Fordyce’s comment on Shetland’s newest nightspot, “Nightmagic”.

In fact, Nightmagic is the result of £130,000 spent on a venue which has seen hundreds pass through its doors in the not so distant past – the main dance hall at the former Jubilee 77.

Charles Fordyce is justifiably proud of this new development. So much so that he’s convinced Nightmagic is “the best night-spot in the North of Scotland”.

“It’s not a nightclub, but a disco that’ll appeal to all tastes,” says manager Ian Preacher. The music, for example, stretches from Glen Miller to Simple Minds. “We’re doing something no-one else is in Shetland.”

Messrs Fordyce and Preacher spent months planning the new venue. They sought advice and ideas from similar businesses in the south. They brought in an Aberdeen artist to festoon the hall with fluorescent paintings of anything from guitarists to gangsters. They spoke to every lighting expert they could find and spent £80,000 on an amazing variety of lights.

So seriously do they take the lighting – Charles Fordyce reckons that Nightmagic lighting set-up is on par with the best in the country – that as well as a resident DJ, Colin McLean, there’s a resident lighting man, Andrew Preacher.

The new-look hall is just the first step in creating a new look Jubilee 77. They have plans to do up the unused room next to the main hall and turn it into a steak-bar. “People will even be able to get a meal at the end of the night,” Charles Fordyce explains.

And the presently unused lounge bar is to get the same treatment – Charles Fordyce envisages the disco, steak-bar and lounge providing complementary services. “Not everyone likes discos, and a lot of people like something to eat on a night out. There will be something for everyone here.”

50 Years Ago

There is no prospect of a major road scheme being tackled in the next three years, because departmental funds for such projects have been allocated that far ahead – one of the major projects Zetland County Council has in mind is the Burra-Trondra road-bridge scheme.

Reference to two other major schemes was made at Tuesday’s Roads Committee meeting, when it was agreed to ask the county convener and the roads surveyor to take up the question of a new road from Dale of Walls to near Sandness at Departmental level, to see if it can be achieved without in any way endangering the Burra scheme.

As instructed, Mr J.P. Moar, the surveyor, reported on the estimated cost of the Dale of Walls to Sandness construction scheme, and the proposed reconstruction of the Dale of Walls road.

Mr Moar reported that the proposed roadway commenced at a point on the unclassified branch road to Netherdale, Walls, and ran in a north-easterly direction along the south side of the Burn of Dale, past Gravins, thence by the bridge over the burn, then past the crofts of Middale and Upper-dale, thence along the east side of East Dalsa Water to the south side of Stanevastoe Loch to join the existing county highway to Sandness at a point some three miles to the south of Sandness.

The road would serve four crofts which at present had no road connection. The proposed specification was an 11ft wide road with eight passing places per mile. The length of construction was 2.7 miles, and the cost, including bridges, culverts etc., was £23,000.

100 Years Ago

The Health of Nesting Parishes – At last meeting of the Mainland District Committee, the annual report upon the health and sanitary conditions of the combined parishes of Nesting, Lunnasting, Whalsay, and Skerries, was submitted by Dr Edward Burgess, Whalsay, medical officer of health for the districts.

In his report Dr Burgess notes that during the past year or two much improvement has been made in the sanitary conditions of the dwelling houses and surroundings, and all are now in a fairly satisfactory state. At the end of January and the first few days of February, 1910, he granted certificates for the closing of Livister and Brough public schools, Whalsay, on account of bronchial and catarrhal epidemic affections, and Bretabister school, North Nesting, was also closed on account of influenza prevalent in the district.

Among other things, the doctor points out that there is no hospital for infections or other diseases in the district; no available means for the removal of an infectious case; when an infectious disease occurs every possible precaution is taken and every available means used for the isolation of the patient. There are no premises with the necessary apparatus for the destruction or disinfection of infected articles, but all suspected articles are usually burned outside in an isolated spot, and disinfectants freely used. One case of erysipelas, complicated by premature parturition, occurred in August, but every possible precaution was taken to prevent the spread of infection and none were infected. No other infectious diseases under the Notification Act occurred. The most prevalent diseases during the year were catarrhal and lung affections, rheumatism, cardiac and stomachic affections. No special measure has been adopted for the administrative control of pulmonary phthisis, but whenever phthisis is suspected every means is taken for the isolation of the patient, if possible, and attention is paid to the ventilation and disinfection of the room occupied.

There were 44 births in the district during 1910 – 27 males and 17 females – and there were 36 deaths – 16 males and 20 females – the birth rate being 17.741 and the death rate 14.516 per 1000 of population. The ages of death were – 4 infantile; 3 from 4 to 6 years; 1 under 20 years; 1 under 30 years; 6 under 40 years; 5 under 60 years; 1 under 70 years; 7 under 80 years; 7 under 90 years; 1 over 90 years – being 96 years of age. The causes of death were – 4 infantile debility; 4 diseases of respiratory organs; 4 cardiac disease; 2 kidney disease; 2 peritonitis; 2 carcinoma; 1 abdominal tumour; 1 apoplexy; 1 imbecile debility; 3 other causes; 10 senile decay; 1erysipelas, etc; and 1 accidental drowning.

: : : : : : : :   North Roe – Not often do we have anything of importance to report from this district. From other districts we often see “wedding bells,” but we are evidently not of the marrying sort. However, we do have something of that nature to report now. Mr Robert Tulloch, seaman, was married in Lerwick to Miss Bertha Irvine, Westsandwick. Country friends nearly always suffer a little disappointment when weddings take place in Lerwick, but we soon got over that when we were invited to a “Hame-fare” that proved to be as good as any wedding. All the young people in the place assembled at Sandvoe (the home of the bridegroom’s mother), and after partaking of the good things provided, listening to the reading of the numerous telegrams received by the happy couple on the evening of their wedding and viewing the many and useful presents, dancing was commenced and kept up with great spirit until the “wee sma’ ‘oors,” when we reluctantly left for home, wishing the couple long life and prosperity.