29th September 2016
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Veteran visitor had role in vital war operation

Anyone passing the Albert Dock in Lerwick on Wednesday afternoon was in for a treat as the vintage Norwegian fishing boat Arnefjord (built 1917) started up her engine to cross the dock. Behind is the magnificent old Danish sailing vessel Georg Stage (built 1935). Photo: John Coutts

Anyone passing the Albert Dock in Lerwick on Wednesday afternoon was in for a treat as the vintage Norwegian fishing boat Arnefjord (built 1917) started up her engine to cross the dock. Behind is the magnificent old Danish sailing vessel Georg Stage (built 1935). Photo: John Coutts

She is almost a century old, and if this rather impressive Norwegian boat could talk she would probably regale you for hours with tales of her lifetime’s service.

Thankfully Morten Neset, skipper of 1917-built Arnefjord, is more than happy to talk on her behalf. He has plenty of praise for the aged but well-respected vessel.

The 65-year-old eye doctor from Bergen sailed her across the North Sea to celebrate her key role in Shetland Bus.

Long ago she was used to transport people from Lerwick to Lunna, where Lunna House was used as the base for the wartime operation. She was also sent out west to Foula during her travels.

This week’s journey marked the 75th anniversary since her last visit.

The diesel-powered vessel, which still uses her original 20 horsepower engine, takes her name from her home port in Norway. The one-cylinder power unit emits a faintly amusing “bong-bong” sound that drew attention from crowds as she came into berth at Lerwick Harbour.

Now Dr Neset, whose grandfather Markus first owned the boat which was originally used for transferring hardware (she was also used for postal services), is eager to hear more information from anyone who might remember the Arnefjord.

 

In the intervening years since she was involved in the war effort the Arnefjord has led a comparatively peaceful life. Dr Neset had her fully restored around a decade ago and is delighted with the end result.

He said: “This sailor is getting old and the boat is very old, but we are still in working condition. Both of us.”

Read the full story in tomorrow’s Shetland Times.

AboutRyan 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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