19th September 2018
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Bell outlines urgent repairs needed at Lerwick Town Hall

The convener of Shetland Islands Council has stressed the urgent need for wide-ranging £1.7 million repairs to Lerwick Town Hall.

But Malcolm Bell has insisted the authority will do all it can to minimise the cost to the public purse when the badly-needed work takes place over two years.

Town hall caretaker points out the damage to the iconic stained glass windows. Photo: Dave Donaldson

Town hall caretaker Billy Sandilands points out the damage to the iconic stained glass windows. Photo: Dave Donaldson

Inside the building plaster has been coming away from the stonework surrounding the iconic stained glass windows. On the outside parts of the crumbling stonework were said to almost have the consistency of a Crunchie bar.

The deterioration has led to worrying signs of wear and tear on the large upstairs windows, with cracks appearing and a loss of pigment affecting the looks of the glass.

The authority has a video image of one window bowing under the strain of strong winter winds.

South-facing windows are badly affected. Their outer sides have been covered up with perspex to help protect them from the elements.

Halfway down the stairs the stone surrounding the window there has been turning black with mould, and the water coming through has pulled some of the paint off the glass.

Crumbling plaster around one of the upstairs windows. Photos: Dave Donaldson

Crumbling plaster around one of the upstairs windows. Photos: Dave Donaldson

Some incoming water has even reached through to the housing of a fish-eye light in the ground-floor chamber, where council meetings are commonly held.

In the recent past bins have had to be laid out to catch the incoming drips.

The problems have been highlighted by a team of specialists who carried out a recent annual inspection.

A meeting of the town hall consultative committee is due to take place soon to discuss the damage.

A presentation is likely to be brought in time to Lerwick Community Council, which also sits in the hall that is under so much threat.

• For full story see The Shetland Times on Friday.

About Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor has worked as a reporter since 1995, and has been at The Shetland Times since 2007, covering a wide variety of news topics. Before then he reported for other newspapers in the Highlands, where he was raised, and in Fife, where he began his career with DC Thomson. He also has experience in broadcast journalism with Grampian Television. He has lived in Shetland since 2002, where he harbours an unhealthy interest in old cars and motorbikes.

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2 comments

  1. Chris Johnston

    So, while spending freely during the recent past, Council ignored the Town Hall. Now that Council is on an austerity regime, it wants taxpayers to pay more because it let Town Hall decay. Surely there is a more logical way to govern.

    Reply
  2. Alvin Leong

    The council already has the new White House, why waste more money on the old Town Hall?

    Reply

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