22nd September 2018
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Mareel will change the lives of young Shetlanders, says HIE chairman

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The controversial Mareel music and cinema venue is a development of national importance destined to change the lives of young Shetlanders, some of the top business brains in the Highlands and Islands said today.

The £12 million centre received a boost to its battered image from members of a group from the government agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise during a two-day tour of community projects they are involved in funding in Shetland.

Mareel has benefited from a special grant of £960,000 from HIE, which is substantially more than the £600,000 that the HIE’s team in Shetland has been allocated to dish out this year to assist smaller projects.

While acknowledging the construction problems which have led to a year-long delay and no firm opening date, HIE chairman Willy Roe said today he was confident the obstacles would be overcome and the venue would kick-start the growth and development of an industry in music-making, film production and the use of digital technologies, leading to the export nationally and internationally of those skills and their creations.

Mr Roe said: “It’s an immensely ambitious project. It’s fantastic to see the Shetland Islands community taking on board something as future-oriented as this.”

He believed it would give Shetland “a real cutting edge” in being an exporter of creativity as well as supplying services and entertainment for local people through its cinema and concerts.

Its impact will be such that it will “change the lives of very many young people in Shetland” who are unable to access the range of music, film and sound and vision experiences available to their peers in big towns and cities down south.

Mr Roe has chaired HIE for seven years and is a specialist in economic development, lifelong learning and multimedia technology. He lives in Wester Ross near the Plockton School of Traditional Music, a national centre of excellence which was recently saved from closure after a national outcry.

HIE has also supported the Sabhal Mòr Ostaig arts and broadcasting centre for Gaelic in Skye and the An Lanntair arts centre in Stornoway, which he said had changed mindsets and provided opportunities for people of all ages.

Mr Roe said creative industries were one of the fastest-growing industries across the world and to invest in it was one of the very best ways of helping economic development, creating jobs and developing creative talent.

HIE chief executive Alex Paterson said Mareel would be an asset of national or even international importance, bringing lots of opportunities and benefits to Shetland which might not otherwise have happened.

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71 comments

  1. Jethro Tulloch

    The man is spot on.

    Reply
  2. I don’t think the Mareel will be of any benefit to the young people in Shetland.
    I beleive it will be a burden and a noose round their necks for future years ahead.

    Reply
  3. Tom Williamson

    ‘Mr Roe has chaired HIE for seven years and is a specialist in economic development, lifelong learning and multimedia technology. He lives in Wester Ross near the Plockton School of Traditional Music, a national centre of excellence which was recently saved from closure after a national outcry.’

    Good enough for me, the man obviously knows what he’s on about. Let’s knuckle down and ge the thing finished & open. I’ll probably just use it for the cinema, but even that is a major boost.

    It may well be that Shetland Arts has the last laugh when it does open and the public can see first hand what can be done there.

    Reply
  4. Ian Tinkler

    Mareel, this project was a profligate waste of money, it will, without subsidy fail. The arts are important but this Mareel project is way over the top. The business plan for Mareel has more to do with bar profits than the arts. Young Shetlanders need far more than the arts, science based projects offer far more that is pertinent to survival in the real world. Shetland may have many geographic disadvantages but in the creative sciences, computer science, software development, IT and allied technologies it has massive advantages over centres of high population density. Creative skills require peace and tranquillity; software development does not need much more than a good clean environment, peace and quiet and a good fibre optic broadband link. How about ensuring that Science based brains become mandatory, say at least, 50% when SIC and the SCT try and make decisions on projects. That way the famous Shetland White Elephant could be put to death, once and for all. Just look at the monies utterly wasted in the past. An IT and computer science centre rather like the Fisheries College is where young Shetlanders will gain a future. Let’s start with a few good cyber cafes with fibre optic links spread around the Isles. Distance apart, no problem. Just see software talent evolve and software engineers start to come to Shetland, some already have.

    Reply
  5. Robert Sim

    Ian Tinkler’s claim that a science/ICT-orientated future is the way for Shetland has some force; but, as is often the way, he overstates his case; and he completely loses my sympathy when he says that “Young Shetlanders need far more than the arts, science based projects offer far more that is pertinent to survival in the real world.” It is never a good idea to set up a false opposition in order to strengthen your case. The arts in all forms are in fact an integral part of human life and essential to our mental health – very pertinent to living in the “…real world”. That is not even to touch on the flourishing economic side of Shetland artistic life, here and beyond these islands. Music is the obvious example; but Shetland writing in all forms is also a healthy area. Ian Tinkler’s comments sent me back to ‘Hard Times’ and Gradgrind’s declaration of his similar-sounding philosophy:

    “Now, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them. This is the principle on which I bring up my own children, and this is the principle on which I bring up these children. Stick to Facts, sir!”

    Reply
  6. ian tinkler

    Robert, I wrote facts, sir. As a science trained person I simple do not understand your meaning of “Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them. This is the principle on which I bring up my own children, and this is the principle on which I bring up these children.” Perhaps for us simple soul who graduated in science based subjects you could explain your meaning, in simple English, of your, quoted ambiguous nonsense. I do not do pretentious language . I stated “Young Shetlanders need far more than the arts” Is this not true? , science based projects, do not exclude art. Computer sciences can be an art form and much is highly creative. Perhaps “Mareel” could harbour “a Cyber cafe”. That would be a useful start and may increase the daytime use of the facility. It would serve a far better purpose than a bar, plenty of those in Lerwick already.

    Reply
  7. Jethro Tulloch

    During the Second World War, Winston Churchill’s finance minister said Britain should cut arts funding to support the war effort. Churchill’s response: “Then what are we fighting for?”

    Plenty of people moaned about the Tesco coming here. The carpark is, however, almost always busy.

    Reply
  8. Robert Lowes

    A shame that Ian Tinkler dismisses the words of Charles Dickens as “ambiguous nonsense” and “pretentious language”. In fact, Mr Tinker’s arguments rather remind me of the words of another of Dickens most famous characters, who when presented with an idea he didn’t like would loudly exclaim “Bah Humbug”. Scrooge, of course had the good sense to realise he was wrong and repented his ways. There I fear, the similarity ends.

    Reply
  9. Robert Sim

    Hello, Ian, and sorry if I upset or offended you – especially as I agree with your views elsewhere, e.g. on the proposed windfarm. However I have to point out that when you say: “I stated “Young Shetlanders need far more than the arts” Is this not true?” you are putting a different spin on your previous post to which I was replying. In that post, you said that: “science based projects offer far more that is pertinent to survival in the real world”. That suggests that the sciences are superior to the arts, not just different to them. In plain English, what I was saying was that the arts have just as much to offer young – and old – people as the sciences. The arts are vital for our mental health and they also contribute to the economy, e.g. by Shetland musicians selling albums worldwide.

    But I very much support your suggestion that the arts and the sciences can and should creatively combine; and I am sure that will happen in Mareel. To bring in more writers, the poet John Donne used contemporary scientific knowledge in his poems in the 16th century; while the Scottish poet Edwin Morgan does this in modern times. You might want to have a look at Morgan’s ‘Spacepoem 3’ at this location: http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/resources/e/edwinmorganpoems/poemtranscripts.asp?strReferringChannel=resources&strReferringPageID=tcm:4-630661-64.

    Reply
  10. Ian Tinkler

    Robert Lowes, Charles Dickens has no relevance whatsoever to “Mareel” how does quoting Dickens, have the remotest relevance to this debate. There is nothing quite like quoting long dead authors to show absolutely no riposte to someone else’s argument. Try and explain what Charles Dickens has in any way to do with “The Mareel” arts centre? I challenge you, if you cannot. I will dismiss the use of this quotation, in this context I stated, pretentious, arrant, arrogant nonsense. More pertinent, I must emphasize again, “Young Shetlanders need far more than the arts”. Science based projects, do not exclude art. The arts and science are not mutually exclusive; and the arts certainly do not need a “Mareel” to flourish. My point is made for me by Shetlands past and its history great artistic success. I cannot think of a single work of art or artist who was ever inspired by an “Arts Centre”. Great art does not need such idiotic projects; only arty types on committees need such creations, their castles in the air, their own little empires…

    Reply
  11. Jethro Tulloch

    Mr Tinkler, When you say that you cannot think of a single work of art inspired by an arts centre, what about Florence and the renaissance?
    Do “arty types” not produce art, whether sat on a committee or not?
    I do not think you have a full grasp of what this “idiotic” project actually consists of, sir.

    Reply
  12. John Kryton

    I think if Ian Tinkler had been known to Dickens, he would have been the inspiration for this quote.

    Oh the nerves, the nerves; the mysteries of this machine called man! Oh the little that unhinges it, poor creatures that we are!

    Reply
  13. Colin Hunter

    Art versus science? A bit of a one sided fight I would have thought, having an engineering background (science based) myself. But when I think of all the scientific inovations which have been made over the years which have then been embraced by artists and turned into art forms in their own right, the list is long indeed. When people say the word “Artist” It’s very likely that the first thing you think of is a painter, one of the “Old Masters” perhaps, producing wonderful, lasting, images from actually very little. Making their own “paints” from naturally occurring substances and pigments. They couldn’t just pop down to the local “Art Shop” for another tube of indogo or vermillion or whatever. The fact that these people were able to do that means that, even they, were using scientific processes.
    The development of photography into film and then digital media have given artists a much wider spectrum of scientific aparatus with which to produce images, both static and moving.
    Musical instruments, at least acoustic ones, haven’t changed much for many, many years, but again, science, in the form, of electronics, for amplification, recording, mixing and sampling have enabled artists develop new ideas and also provided a complete new genre of instruments.
    There is no doubt that, in this digital age, science and the arts are inexticably linked, except perhaps in its purest, classical forms, Symphony Orchestras and Ballet for instance, and even then there is doubtless some influence. New synthetic materials for strings for instance. The cats of this earth may now sleep easily!
    That, however, is not the argument here. It is whether or not Shetland needs, wants or can even afford the looming monstrosity at Hays Dock which is the subject of this discussion. There is doubtless a vociferous minority who “want” it and will wax lyrical about how it will be a centre of excellence, working wonders to promote Shetland as a “happening” place. Pardon me, but I though we were doing pretty good already. Our wonderful musicians at any rate.
    Unfortunately “The Arts” encompasses more than that and Shetland Arts Trust has been responsible for some completely crackpot, lamebrained ideas lately. The “Mirrie Dancers” faux pas for one, closely followed by The “Hansel of Light” project, the idiocy of which has to be read to be believed. http://www.shetlandarts.org/events/hansel-of-light/ and also http://www.shetlandarts.org/images/2009/06/hansel-of-light-project.pdf . If this is the kind of thing that Mareel is going to encourage. I truly despair! Wasn’t overly impressed by that Morgan chappies “poetry” either!

    Reply
  14. Iain MacGregor

    Why such apparent hatred Mr Tinkler, for creative people who practice and creative people who support the arts?

    Why are you so displeased that Creative Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and others have invested six million pounds in Shetland’s creative future by helping build Mareel?

    Are you being small-minded, Mr Tinkler? Or just blinkered?

    Reply
  15. Ian Tinkler

    Robert, in most we agree. My concerns with Mareel are its sheer size and expense. I cannot help but feel something for half the cost would have been adequate. The £6million saved could be put towards an “Arts Trust” providing free music lessons to gifted children. Scholarships and bursaries for talented youths and apprenticeships towards craft skills, in instrument making and repair… No argument could justify a multiplex cinema in Lerwick; there simply will not be enough demand. A bar to create profit, absolutely not necessary, in an arts centre, a Cyber café and creative computer centre, a far better option
    Jethro, The renaissance created Florence as a centre for art, not the reverse. Winston Churchill was supportive of the arts and artists not art centers.

    Reply
  16. Robert Sim

    “…pretentious, arrant, arrogant nonsense…”? Now you are going over the top, Ian. I quoted Gradgrind in ‘Hard Times’ to show that you were adopting a Gradgrind-like mentality, i.e. that the arts have no usefulness or worth in the world. Now you are shifting the ground of your argument in your post to Robert Lowes and suggesting you were only discussing Mareel. But you weren’t: you were speaking disparagingly at that point about the arts in general; and that was perhaps very revealing. Its ironic, by the way, that Mareel is the most practically-run project in this authority. Despite all the mud slung at it, no one has been able to give any real reason, based on actual current evidence, why it should it be ditched.

    Reply
  17. Robert Lowes

    Ian Tinker still seems sadly oblivious to the wisdom of greater men than he or I. As to his challenge to explain what Charles Dickens has to do with Mareel, I simply invite Mr Tinkler to re-read the passage from ‘Hard Times’ as quoted by Robert Sim in relation to Mr Tinkler’s own narrow dogma, and leave him with this quote by Oscar Wilde: “What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing”.

    Reply
  18. Ian Tinkler

    No Robert, read my letter, it starts “Mareel, this project was a profligate waste of money, it will, without subsidy fail. The arts are important but this Mareel project is way over the top”
    I can see no reason for you quoting Dickens to use such a quote in this context is ““…pretentious, arrant, arrogant nonsense”…It is in your own imagination if you believe I feel that the arts have no usefulness or worth. That is something I never stated or implied. I make absolutely no secret of the fact that I believe science based facilities are very sadly lacking in Shetland and scientific logic is certainly not the hallmark of Shetland Island Council, hence my quote to “How about ensuring that Science based brains become mandatory, say at least, 50% when SIC and the SCT try and make decisions on projects. That way the famous Shetland White Elephant could be put to death, once and for all”. I feel some of our comments are “crossing in the post” and as such comments are open to ambiguous understanding. My letter stating “My concerns with Mareel are its sheer size and expense. I cannot help but feel something for half the cost would have been adequate. The £6million saved could be put towards an “Arts Trust” providing free music lessons to gifted children. Scholarships and bursaries for talented youths and apprenticeships towards craft skills, in instrument making and repair… No argument could justify a multiplex cinema in Lerwick; there simply will not be enough demand. A bar to create profit, absolutely not necessary, in an arts centre, a Cyber café and creative computer centre, a far better option”. I hope summarizes my view, without ambiguity

    Reply
  19. Peter Marwick

    Robert Sim: “Despite all the mud slung at it, no one has been able to give any real reason, based on actual current evidence, why it should it be ditched.”

    Here’s a real reason based on current evidence – it cost the people of Shetland £6m they can ill afford. It shouldn’t be ditched because of this, the money is gone, but some would say that’s a reason it should never have happened in the first place. Of course, some will disagree due to the ‘benefits’ they claim it will bring. Personally, I’d have preferred to keep free music tuition for Shetland’s children, but each has their own opinion.

    My main concern about it would be the ongoing funding, if the business plan doesn’t turn out to be as robust as is claimed. Clearly, there is no ‘actual current evidence’ on whether it will fail or not, how could there be?

    I’ve yet to see a formal, binding committment from the SIC and Shetland Arts that no funding will be given or accepted should Mareel be unable to fund themselves in future. Given the ‘robustness’ of the plan, why are both parties unwilling to give this assurance?

    Reply
  20. Robert Lowes

    Ian, the idea that the money that formed the initial investment from the SIC could have been put to better use in providing free music tuition, etc, is a fallacy. That money came from the Capital Projects budget, which is completely separate to and cannot be swapped with other budgets in other departments. Its exactly the same fallacy that The Flea was bandying about by claiming the money would have been better spent on provision of care for the elderly – it couldn’t, as that again would be a completely separate budget.

    You claim that you’re concerned about Mareel’s sheer size. Well, having been inside, it is very clear that the space is used extremely efficiently for all the types of function that Mareel will cater for. Perhaps you mean that you think Mareel is too big for Shetland? Well, people said exactly the same thing about the Clickamin for Centre during its construction. I would suggest that you ask Shetland Arts for a guided tour inside Mareel to see for himself, rather than voice pronouncements from without.

    As to your claim that a multiplex cinema cannot be justified in Lerwick because there won’t be enough demand, that is pure supposition on your part and spurious at that. It is perfectly feasible that small digital cinemas are viable in small locations due to the much smaller running costs that come with not having to pay the huge amounts required to ship dozens of large film canisters across the country every year.

    You also claim that a bar to make profit is absolutely not necessary. Yet many similar arts centres and digital cinemas across the country operate bars. Many cinemas also sell popcorn and soft drinks for profit too. Would you care to explain why one is acceptable and the other not? The brilliant Shetland Museum & Archives across the road rom Mareel also operates a bar & restaurant for profit – and very pleasant it is too. However, I’ve yet to fight my way through hordes of protesters complaining that the ability to have a pint therein is impeding that building’s ability to function as a wonderful museum. Nor does it seem to have driven half the Lerwick pubs and restaurants out of business. Similarly, the Recreation Trust often have a bar set up for profit at the Clickamin during various events held there, yet no-one bats an eyelid. Can you please explain why those should be acceptable, yet the idea of a bar area operating within Mareel appalls you so?

    Reply
  21. Ian Tinkler

    It matters not where the money comes from. The result is the same. No free music lessons, a £12million arts centre. That really says it all. All other arguments look a bit lame alongside those facts.

    Reply
  22. Iain MacGregor

    Sorry Mr Tinkler, but rules imoposed by HM Treasury have governed all public expenditure since the reign of Queen Victoria and will not allow your suggestion.

    New build is classed as Capital cost, service and running costs are classed as Revenue cost.

    The non-negotiable rule is, revenue costs cannot be met from capital funds.

    Therfore, monies allocated to capital, like building Mareel, cannot be spent on music lessons.

    – And cyber cafes have been a bit passe for some years, I’m afraid. A decent cellphone and a good coffee machine have long since replaced them, Mr Tinkler.

    Reply
  23. Robert Lowes

    Of course it matters where the money comes from. And those are not facts, they’re your own supposition, which is again, wrong. The SIC’s investment into Mareel came from Capital Projects. fund to build things with. That is not a fund for running services. Sticking rigidly to a flawed and demonstrably incorrect argument – indeed, one that is the basis of your entire argument – merely serves to illustrate that you have no idea what you’re talking about.

    As you seem unable to answer my questions – notably why Mareel should be pilloried for having a bar when other, similar buildings do so without so much as a raised eyebrow – do we take it that you cannot answer? Or that you cannot? Could it be, perhaps that you’re choosing to ignore certain truths in favour of your own, warped perspective?

    It betrays a certain lack of logic, no? It’s the equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears while chanting “La la la I’m not going to listen to you”.

    Please, Ian, for the sake of us all – don’t enter politics.

    Reply
  24. Robert Lowes

    The second paragraph of my last comment should of course have read: Do we take it that you cannot answer? Or that you will not?

    Reply
  25. Gordon Harmer

    Good morning Mr Tinkler bless your heart and soul,
    I see you’v gone and dug yourself into another massive hole,
    You’v used the same old rhetoric to try and make a point,
    Why don’t you rent your land to Viking and roll your self a joint,
    You could then afford to chill a bit and go off on a trip,
    Away to never never land where chanting la la la is hip,
    Where rhetoric and poppy cock go hand in hand together,
    Where science, art and fairy tales dictate the daily weather,
    Where wind mills and Mareels are banished by elf and safety rules,
    Where Tinkler Bell presides over charlatans and fools.

    Reply
  26. Ian Tinkler

    Wow, boys, we are getting a bit agitated, a few home truths a bit difficult to swallow? Never mind with a bit of luck your £12 million White Elephant will get its roof waterproofed before it and we all die of old age, and of course the bar as well! Next step politics. No free music lessons, a £12million arts centre. Have to see what I can do.

    Reply
  27. Robert Lowes

    I’m not sure the Monster Raving Looney Party have ever fielded a candidate for Shetland Ian, but you should fit right in.

    Reply
  28. John Tulloch

    I don’t share Ian’s view on this, however, I do see where he’s coming from. At the end of the day, he’s entitled to debate and in any case, it’s nowhere near as loopy as imagining that humans can control the earth’s climate using carbon dioxide as a thermostat.

    As far as the Monster Raving Looney Party is concerned, casual observers could be forgiven for thinking that, until recently, they have been in charge at the Town Hall.

    Reply
  29. Gordon Harmer

    John it would be fine if Ian did debate but he does not, he uses rhetoric as a matter of fact and never answers questions put to him, never climes down when proved wrong (as he has been on many subjects and occasions).
    And like you he forgets who voted the Councillors in, we did so we are to blame if they don’t do exactly as we think they should. By voting them in we give them a mandate to run this group of islands as they think is best for us. Slagging them of and calling them names is juvenile, the grown up thing to do is vote them out at the next council elections or better still those who have so much to say about them should stand for election themselves. The council have many critics in these columns but I bet there are very few of them who have the strength of character or commitment to stand for election or the guts to say I am the nutter for voting them in, in the first place.

    Reply
  30. John Tulloch

    Gordon,

    It sounds as if you were one of those who did vote them in.

    I don’t live in Shetland at the moment so I didn’t actually get to vote anyone in, however, the futures of my relatives living there and possibly myself, depend on what the present incumbents are doing and, at least, until the arrival of the new Chief Executive it wasn’t, frankly, a “pretty picture”.

    Democracy, isn’t a one-off event in which you vote and then have to shut up until you vote for someone else at the next election, it’s an ongoing process of feedback from the electorate to those elected (that’s why we’re having a discussion now). This helps politicians gauge the success of their present actions and whether a change of behaviour will be needed to secure the future votes of those they would fain forget are their employers.

    Good people need to stand to give voters a decent choice.

    Personally, I wouldn’t rule out standing, if and when I’m in a position to do so, however, I do dislike the way politics works, with cliques of people trading each others’ votes and the weakest suffering, as shown recently in the schools decisions, in which it was attempted to follow the Scalloway secondary closure by making the North Isles primary kids lose out – that was a stinker!.

    Irrespective of whether I stand for future election, I reserve the right to criticise those currently in office, in the terms they deserve, at any time and my last comment was chosen in that vein, while trying to remain succinct.

    Reply
  31. Ian Tinkler

    I once campaigned with late “David Sutch” of the Monster Raving Looney Party in a famous by election Brecon and Radnor in 1984. We did rather better than the recent liberal effort. There we had a fun party, honest and without pomposity. Compared with the some of the self serving, big spending, ovine idiots we have in the town Hall at present, it would be a privilege to do the same again. Just look at SIC decisions, Smyril, Viking, and now Mareel. What is the overspend on Mareel already? How much illusionary profit lost due to delayed opening? Who allowed such an idiotic design, not only ugly but not even watertight? Great selection of contractors, two bankrupt so far! Bring on the Monster Raving Looney Party; they could not be any more stupid.

    Reply
  32. Gordon Harmer

    John, criticise, yes nothing wrong with that what I said was it is juvenile when slagging off and name calling are used in the name of criticism. Criticism in the right context can be constructive and if councillors read these columns they may take note and actually listen. But name calling and slagging off will solidify their resolve and they may bash on with bad decisions regardless. I will say judging you according to your views you are more than a casual observer, therefore if and when you are in a position to stand for election, follow the example of Billy Fox and go for it. Oh and by the way at the last council election I was not on the voters roll as it was not long after my return to Shetland so I voted for no one. One final comment, good people can and do make bad decisions which means we could have a chamber full of good people who are still criticised.

    Reply
  33. Ian Tinkler

    “Criticize, yes nothing wrong with that what I said was it is juvenile when slagging off and name calling!!” “Tinkler Bell presides over charlatans and fools”. How very adult Gordon.” “Never argue with an idiot”, now who is name “calling? Gordon. “(You) produce rhetoric and fiction to make political compost” and slagging off whom, Mr. Harmer? These are all your words, talk about pure hypocrisy. Enough said?

    Reply
  34. Gordon Harmer

    Jings Ian you are even more of a diddly donk than I gave you credit for, I was speaking about our councillors not you. You are fair game and its open season on you as you are the most venomous contribute’r of juvenile playground name calling I have ever come across. I like to think that when I apply a name to you there is a bit of satire or even humour attached to it nothing I use is as venomous as the words used by you to berate our council or members of Viking Energy.
    You obviously don’t know the meaning of the word hypocrisy or you would never have used it above. “Fingers in ears” la la la la la la la la.

    Reply
  35. Robert Lowes

    “I once campaigned with late “David Sutch” of the Monster Raving Looney Party in a famous by election Brecon and Radnor in 1984.”

    And suddenly everything makes sense.

    Reply
  36. Tim Parkinson

    On the “bar in an arts centre” debate; Can anybody deny the link between the creation of art and the consumption by the artist of intoxicants or mind altering substances? Absynthe with the colourists? Alcohol with Dylan Thomas and countless other poets and playwrights? not to mention opium and laudenam with the romantics etc?

    There is a long tradition of a drink at the interval in theatre and opera, not to mention the provision of drinks at the launch of Art exhibitions……Jackson Pollock might have been OCD without his Tipple.

    So why surprise at a bar in an arts centre?

    Why thats almost like wanting a church but no charity and forgiveness allowed in it!….oh…er..hang on a minute…..!!??

    Reply
  37. John Tulloch

    Judging by some of today’s creations, I’d say the tradiiton is alive and kicking – and that goes for those who exhibit them as well!

    Reply
  38. Lindsay Wiseman

    GROW UP GORDON YOU’RE JUST MAKING A FOOL OF YOURSELF WITH ALL YOUR SLAGGING AND NAME CALLING ETC. PEOPLE HAVE A RIGHT TO EXPRESS THEIR OPINIONS WITHOUT ANYONE TRYING TO MAKE THEM SOUND STUPID.

    Reply
  39. ian tinkler

    This Raving Lunny understands at last, suddenly everything makes sense. Now I know the inspiration for Maree. Well explained , Tim, with your comment, “On the “bar in an arts centre” debate; Can anybody deny the link between the creation of art and the consumption by the artist of intoxicants or mind altering substances? Absinthe with the colourists? Alcohol with Dylan Thomas and countless other poets and playwrights? not to mention opium and laudanum with the romantics etc?.”.
    Robert Lowes, I understand at last, Shetland Arts mind set, suddenly everything makes sense.. Where is the blow?

    Reply
  40. Colin Hunter

    Probably the only way to get through some of the drivel that’s going to be pride of place would be to get totally smashed beforehand so that you can be on the same wavelength as the plank who wrote it! So yes! I’ll change my mind! perhaps the place does need a bar after all!

    Reply
  41. ian tinkler

    Colin, We agree with each other at last!! Get smashed together one day at Mareel, if they ever get it built.

    Reply
  42. Gordon Harmer

    Grow up yourself Lindsay, I don’t have to try and make any one sound stupid especially the ones who make a remarkably good job of it themselves. Anyway anyone who slags off and name calls councillors and or company directors in public on a public forum like this must suffer the consequences of getting name called back in public. You have no room to speak as you have had a go at me in the past with childish jibes about my alleged relations so you are no better than I am. In fact you are worse as you used lies to try and embarrass me publicly but keep trying as one day you will say something intelligent and relevant that is the truth. You write on here publicly you must expect the same back if someone disagrees with what you say I except that so feel free. Oh and by the way writing in capitals does not make the rubbish you write sound any more intellectual or forceful it just draws attention to someone else making themselves sound stupid.

    Reply
  43. Robert Lowes

    an, you’ve still to provide an adequate and coherent reason as to why you feel a bar area within Mareel is so objectionable? As I noted before, the Shetland Museum & Archives operates a bar for profit, which would appear to do excellent business and is no doubt a useful extra revenue stream. The presence of a bar within the building doesn’t seem to hamper their operations as a museum either. Why should Mareel be any different?

    Reply
  44. John Kryton

    Lindsay Wiseman you are one unwise lady, if you cant see when two people are winding each other up. You must see it, Ian publishes comments to draw criticism and comment, and people like Gordon Harmer and others including myself bite every time, he’s a professional wind up merchant . Take it for what it is lady and always remember if you publish some thing on here you leaving yourself wide open for some one of an opposite persuasion to come back at you how ever they please. Just for the record on name calling after your last comment if you lived here in Aberdeen you would be called a havering bam.

    John Kryton,

    Aberdeen.

    Reply
  45. Ian Tinkler

    Robert, A bar in an arts centre is an irrelevance, an amenity maybe but should not be a major part of the business plan. The money to provide and install a bar could be far better spent, perhaps on something artistic, useful and educational. Iain MacGregor may find cyber cafes have a bit passé. But a decent cell phone and a good coffee machine are not much use without a decent broadband connection and that requires fiber optic links. That is where a cyber café would be useful. Somehow I am not surprised Iain was ignorant about that. A great deal of creative art is now computer driven and a state of the art broadband connection would be far more useful and relevant in an arts center than any bar. Creative graphics software needs something a bit more powerfull than a smartphone. How about a few High resolution monitors, say 50inch screens, and a bit of Lara Croft.

    Reply
  46. Iain MacGregor

    Ian, I believe Mareel’s equipped with wifi and fibre optic also is in there, though the conveyancing fibre optic hasn’t reached Lerwick, but if the building is ready for it already, they must have been planning well ahead, so give them some credit for that. Don’t forget that as a place of entertainment it would be expected to have a icence for alcohol sales and to profit from them as most places lof entertainment do. Artists create and yes, they use computers sometimes to create their art, so of course it is has to be a part of the digital creative economy, so somebody is thinking well ahead of you on that one. Mareel’s been in planning for twenty years or more, not just the last 12 months and greater minds than yours or mine have been focused on it. Let them get on with it and let us see what they can do with it. Then, if they fail, by all means come back to uswith all the reasons you always knew would make it fail. I won’t hold my breath on that one though. They seem determined that it will succeed.

    Reply
  47. ian tinkler

    Good points Iain, but no high end graphics have been planed. Fibre optic broadband should have been in Shetland years ago. It could and would be far more useful than any multiplex cinema. Your great minds planing Mareel may be twenty years out of date. As I said arts and science should be combined here. As far as I can see, no specialist high end graphics computers and allied equipment has been planned or budgeted for. I hope I am wrong. High end digital audio using fibre optic is already in many homes it is ultra high speed broadband Shetland needs, cyber cafes first, then domestically. I am sorry but this could be more useful than any arts centre. Ideally they should be combined.

    Reply
  48. Iain MacGregor

    You can’t go much higher than high definition equipment used for editing movies, Ian. Isn’t the Fetlar film Between Weathers to be post-produced there? They have been talking about that for months. And I hear there will be some pretty startling digital graphics displays about the place as well. Have you approached Shetkland Arts about your concerns? Or are you just an all-time pessimist unable to give credit where credit is due.Will we see you making use of Mareel’s facilities when it opens, Ian, or will you deprive yourself of that pleasure?

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  49. ian tinkler

    If you can not stream high resolution digital from overseas using fibre optic ultra high speed broadband, software development, is seriously stuffed. That is a simple matter of fact. If you wish to develop young talent ultra high speed broadband should and must be your first priority. Pretty startling digital graphics displays are available on DVD now, their development depends on software engineers passing data at ultra high speed . We do not appear to be even planing for this as a priority!!! Shetland is digitally in the dark ages without it. Capital spending on multiplex cinemas is an idiotic waste of resource in this day and age. Use Sky TV at home and save a fortune. Get something of use that is education and help develop young talent. Not sit youngsters in cinemas watching films that will be on TV next month anyway!!!

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  50. John Robertson

    Sky is only cheaper if you already have a subscription otherwise you would have to factor in the monthly cost and the cost of each pay per view rental. The quickest you will see a theatrically released film on DVD or pay per view is about 12 weeks at the moment, unless it has a limited theatrical run where you might see it 3-4 weeks later.

    Personally I prefer to see films on the big screen the scale and the impact of a film can be lost when it is viewed on a TV.

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  51. ian tinkler

    John, try freeview. You could save the cost of a multiplex. How may tens of thousands of pounds for the scale and the impact of a film in a cinema. How can you justify that?

    Reply
  52. A visit to the Mareel webpage may clarify some of the above misapprehensions about Mareel’s facilities – http://www.shetlandarts.org/venues/mareel

    Reply
  53. John Robertson

    So if I don’t want to pay for sky my other option is a freeview box which won’t show the films I want to see for a couple of years after they come out. Not much of an option is it.

    Reply
  54. Ian Tinkler

    John, Do you truly believe £12million investment so you can see a film a couple of years earlier than otherwise, is a good investment and use of public funds? If Sky is too expensive for you how many times will you be able to afford multiplex tickets? Not a good outlook for Mareel is it or is it much of an much of an option for the rest of us Mareel would not be profitable under these circumstances…

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  55. Robert Lowes

    The idea that watching a movie on the small screen is just as good as the cinema is a fallacy. Yes, you can do so if you wish, but the experience is never going to be the same. Laurence of Arabia on the telly (even if it is in HD) will never be as good as in a cinema, in the dark, surrounded by your fellow humans. It’s a bit like only ever listening to your favourite band on CD and never sampling the atmosphere of a live gig. The experience is just never as good. And there’s clearly a demand for first release movies among Shetland audiences. The Garrison showings of The Kings Speech earlier in the year were full houses and hugely successful. You can now choose to buy the film on pay per view or Blu Ray if you so wish, but it won’t ever be as magical an experience as seeing it on a really big screen.

    Bryan Peterson makes an excellent point too. Mareel is not just about music, nor film. It is also going to be an invaluable educational resource. It will become as landmark a building for the future of Shetland culture as the Museum and Archives is for the past. It is, after all, out culture that makes us unique. We could of course, spend a lot of money building an IT industry and the infrastructure required to sustain it, but then of course, we’d merely be competing with the rest of the world on the same sort of things that everyone can offer, rather than the things that only Shetland can offer.

    That really would be a senseless waste of money.

    Reply
  56. Colin Hunter

    It doesn’t matter much to me what size of screen I watch movies on, IF I watch them at all, because I find most of them to be a disappointment in one way or another. How many times have you picked up the TV or Radio Times and turned to the Movie reviews, or whatever they call it, and thought, “Oh that one sounds great, I’ll definitely be watching that” only to discover that it’s a pile of unwatchable drivel which only the most anal of film buffs could derive any enjoyment at all from? And it seems that the more awards and Oscars etc they win, the worse they are! Then I’ll be flicking through the channels late at night before bedtime and find a movie just starting and decide to watch it. After enjoying it immensely I look at the TV times and discover that it was rated at one star and was “totally missable”!
    The great thing about the Telly, be it Sky, Freesat, Freeview or any of the numerous internet based providers like “Love Film” is that if you don’t like what’s on, you just press the button and find a re-run of “Taggart” or “Rebus” that you know you’ll enjoy watching. I doubt it will be a cold day in hell before I darken the door of Mareel or any other “Pickter hoose” so I can watch a movie just because it’s “new”. It’s a bit like people always wanting the latest gadget, like the iphone for instance, just so they can say, I saw that movie before you, or my mobile is better than yours etc…. I haven’t seen Schindlers List yet but I’ve heard it’s good, so at least I have something to look forward to when I finally get round to watching the DVD I bought 3 months ago!
    In reply to Bryan Peterson, my visit to your web-page did little to dispel my doubts, being mostly corporate spin and flim flam. Somebody somewhere’s “Wish list”. Many a better night has been held in the “Lounge” in the past, and probably will be in the future.

    Reply
  57. Neil Williamson

    Mareel, good for the younger persons? Good when they are shutting the schools?
    Another fine Waste of ever precious money.
    Well done.

    Reply
  58. ian tinkler

    “We could of course, spend a lot of money building an IT industry and the infrastructure required to sustain it, but then of course, we’d merely be competing with the rest of the world”. Do you want your own planet , Robert?. We are part of the world in case you had not noticed.Robert Lowes, that has to be the most inane comment in this arqument so far!!!
    If you wish to live in the past do not take the rest of us with you. Revel in Dickens and past arts if you must, but let Shetlanders have a future, in the real world.

    Reply
  59. John Robertson

    Ian, don’t worry I can afford tickets for Mareel.

    Colin, Schindlers List excellent film.

    Reply
  60. ian tinkler

    John, I can not afford fibre optic broadband in Clousta, if it ever gets here. Not many could. How about a Cyber cafe in Mareel and all the leisure centres. That way Mareel would serve a modern progressive purpose, not just become a “Museum and Archives for the past.” to quote Mr. Lowes.

    Reply
  61. John Kryton

    I don’t think Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was thinking of a building like Mareel when he came away with this quote

    Ah, to build, to build! That is the noblest art of all the arts. Painting and sculpture are but images, are merely shadows cast by outward things on stone or canvas, having in themselves no separate existence. Architecture, existing in itself, and not in seeming a something it is not, surpasses them as substance shadow.

    A more appropriate quote would have been. Architecture is the art of how to waste space.

    While not totally against a centre for the arts, I believe the building its self is an architectural disaster it resembles a massive zit on the end of a young persons nose.

    It would be tidy to be able to have a night out at the theatre, enjoy a bit of Gilbert and Sullivan with a g&t before going in and another in the interval. But it would be an all together better experience if the theatre was in a building which was pleasing to the eye.

    By the way does any one know if the Mareel is just for young folk or will us old folk get the use of it and will they bring up theatre company’s and put on productions of Gilbert and Sullivan and the like?

    Reply
  62. Robert Lowes

    Selectively misquoting is a poor show in an argument you’ve lost several times over, Ian. I did not describe Mareel as “a Museum and Archives for the Past” as your latest erroneous claim purports. I clearly stated “It (Mareel) will become as landmark a building for the FUTURE of Shetland culture as the Museum and Archives is for the past.” Perhaps you yourself need some IT lessons, since you’re seemingly unable to use cut and paste?

    Yes, I live in the real world, Ian. One not obfuscated by the ranting from the Clousta pulpit. Your idea that Shetland could somehow re-invigorate itself with a cyber cafe in Mareel and the various leisure centres is on a hiding to nothing. Training in the sciences and information technology is laudable, but what then? You’d have to be able to harness them with something like a science park. which we don’t have, and even if we did, any IT company setting up in Shetland today is merely going to be competing with other IT companies around the world who will be able to offer the same services more cheaply and on a far greater scale.

    It has previously been identified that the creative industries are going to become an increasingly important sector for the UK. Mareel will be at the forefront of that revolution. Rather than waste money on Mr Tinkler’s outdated and ill-informed and nebulous pipe-dream and try (and fail) to take on the emerging IT and science escorts in India and Chine, we in Shetland would be better off bringing Shetland’s creative and cultural future to the rest of the world.

    By the way, Ian. The keyboard shortcut is CTRL+C to copy and CTRL+V to paste. Unfortunately for you though, I don’t think Microsoft have a keyboard common that turns bullshit into reasoned thought.

    Reply
  63. James Stewart

    John, I presume the Garrison Theatre will still be used for theatre-based productions?

    Reply
  64. Ian Tinkler

    Mr. Lowes, to quote you “I don’t think Microsoft have a keyboard command that turns b***** into reasoned thought”, what a powerful and reasoned argument from you, I feel the points I raised, are well emphasised by your lack of intelligent repost and degeneration into puerile comment. I am not surprised at that, but at least you have stopped quoting Dickens at me, which is a relief. I repeat my original statement and ask for your reasoned response. “Mareel, this project was a profligate waste of money, it will, without subsidy fail. The arts are important but this Mareel project is way over the top.” Contrary to your statement, Robert, that my argument is lost several times over, the argument goes on. It can only be reasonably settled when Mareel has either failed or succeeded. Only a total and arrogant fool could claim otherwise. I would be sad if my thoughts were to be proved right, but at this time “The Mareel White Elephant” is somewhat floundering. To correct my miss quote ““It (Mareel) will become as landmark a building for the FUTURE of Shetland culture as the Museum and Archives is for the past” I fear Mareel will become monument to the stupidity and profligate waste of public funds by a pretentious few. “A landmark building to the future!” what on the earth does that mean?

    Reply
  65. Jeff Cuttell

    I am sat in the Mareel cafe atm. It’s a weekday afternoon and the place is full of people, young and old (age profile skewed to the young I’d say). I don’t live here, but to me Mareel is brilliant. I don’t know how the finances are playing out now, but I think shetlanders of all ages have something to be proud of.

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  66. Ian Tinkler

    July 14, 2011. – Ian Tinkler. “I fear Mareel will become monument to the stupidity and profligate waste of public funds by a pretentious few. Robert Lowes-“A landmark building to the future!” “Mareel will change the lives of young Shetlanders”, says HIE chairman. Now just who was right here. Any lives had meaningful change? Of course apart from employees of Shetland arts with their bottomless begging bowl. (Maybe the cafe is OK, Should be at £14 million or so)

    Reply
  67. Marvin Jamieson

    Many lives have had meaningful change – just look at the last four days of amazing music. Just call along anytime form opening time ’till closing time. No longer are my kids complaining of having “nothing to do”, they can hang out, exchange tunes, philosophies, learn valuable social skills, not to mention the massive difference it has already made to the education of many.

    I wasn’t a Mareel supporter, frankly I didn’t care and couldn’t understand why a shed cost so much, but now, having only small dealings with a small part of it, it is clear what a fantastic investment it was for Shetland as a whole.

    Thank god there are still a few out there who genuinely care for the future of the islands and that the council realised what a wise investment this was. Well done.

    Reply
  68. ian tinkler

    Marvin, perhaps they should have tried that in school. Whoops, most junior highs closing, no music tutors in schools, no more free tuition. What a bargain for £14 million gone and Mareel dept. growing daily. Now try naming a meaningful life changed to date, note café prattle but real advancement and substantive life improvement…

    Reply
  69. David Seymour

    I very much enjoyed watching the internet broadcasts of the Schools Music Festival concerts from Mareel. According to the onscreen statistics there were over 600 participants during the four days. Quite a feat and congratulations to everyone involved, particularly the young musicians themselves.

    There is a huge amount of music activity in Shetland schools – including after school groups, instrumental tuition and concerts, all of which supplement the curriculum, and the Music Festival clearly evidences that.

    Mr Tinkler’s claims that there are “no music tutors in schools” is completely false. Shetland still has very good provision for instrumental tuition – around the equivalent of 15 full time tutor posts I believe, a minimal reduction due to two recent retirements.

    Mr Tinkler’s claim that there is “no more free tuition” is also erroneous. Each child is entitled to one free year at primary level. Pupils eligible for support such as free school dinners don’t pay either and the SIC subsidise the cost of tuition for those who do pay.

    In terms of “real advancement and substantive life improvement” I consider the fact that local musicians can now study to BA level in Mareel to be just one example of that.

    Reply
  70. Ian Tinkler

    “In terms of “real advancement and substantive life improvement” I consider the fact that local musicians can now study to BA level in Mareel to be just one example of that”. It does not take £14million of scarce and precious public funds to enable a BA course to be set up. Especially as that course is already available elswhere and has been for years. As Mareel is now substantivelly insolvent how much longer befor it is forced to close? Then what of our local BA students then?

    Reply
  71. David Seymour

    Your debating tactics are quite tedious Mr Tinkler. You have been posting regular fabrications regarding Mareel and you are quite simply wrong on two of your most regular claims (no music tutors in schools and no free tuition). Instead of admitting your errors you come back with more screwed ‘facts’.

    You asked for “a meaningful life changed to date, note café prattle but real advancement and substantive life improvement…” and I provided but one example. Of course it doesn’t take £14 million for a BA course to be set up, and I really don’t take kindly to you trying to bend what I said to suit your own agenda. This is a multi use venue and to attribute the full cost of the building to a single use is quite frankly ridiculous.

    To my knowledge there are 3 full time music related courses available in Mareel, together with a range of evening classes. Add to that the auditorium, recording studio, multimedia production facilities, rehearsal spaces, 2 cinema screens and the cafe bar and I think Mareel represents good value for money.

    There are indeed BA level courses available elsewhere, but perhaps you can explain how musicians based in Shetland could study at college and university levels before Mareel and Shetland College offered these programmes?

    I don’t know where you’ve plucked £14 million from, but it is misleading to continually insinuate that this money would simply have been available to divert into whatever local initiative you believe is more worthwhile than Mareel.

    I’ll happily engage you on the facts Mr Tinkler, but I have no interest in debating with someone who perpetuates fallacies in order to support their own entrenched opinion. You seem to be an intelligent person, so perhaps we can forgo the bending of truths and factual inaccuracies and discuss Mareel and music education rationally and transparently.

    Reply

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