23rd November 2017

Craft fair committee pays tribute to former chairman Gidney

This year’s craft fair brought in a high amount of visitors that caused difficulty in finding a car parking space, even with the benefit of using the parking at the new Anderson High School. Photo: Dave Donaldson

Tributes were paid to a former chairman of Shetland Arts and Crafts Association as hundreds visited the Christmas Craft Fair in Lerwick this weekend.

Ian Gidney from Sandness, who was involved when the organisation started in 1995 and elected chairman in 2000, died in a motorcycle accident in June.

Mr Gidney ran the Journeyman Leather belt-making company with his partner Jo Tonkinson, and his products were among those featured at the fair this year.

Artist Anne Barron works on a commission at the show. Photo: Dave Donaldson

The event, staged at the Clickmin Centre with many stands in both the main hall and the bowls hall, drew customers in search of a variety of items.

Among the crafts available were textiles, cards, woodcraft, knitwear, soap products, leatherwork, paintings, pottery, jewellery and more.

The association committee stated: “It is with heavy hearts that we launch the 2017 annual craft fair … at the start of the summer we lost our chairman, our friend Ian Gidney, and to all of those that knew him and loved him – he is irreplacable.

“Ian was there right from the start of Shetland Arts and Crafts and we are enormously proud of everything that he achieved.

“He was always the first to arrive and the last to leave. He always knew the right thing to say, he was there when you needed him, whatever time of day or night – and so we will always miss him, more than words can ever say.

“Ian was steadfast in his love and devotion to his family, with his partner Jo and son Robert he built a life filled with adventure, fun and happiness.

“Ian took fashion cues from no-one, he had a particular look that was all his own. His well-grounded feet were most usually encased in mucky work boots and these boots will be very hard to fill.

“We will all remember him as an exemplary chairman who was quietly passionate abut the growing craft industry in Shetland and who worked tirelessly to promote it and keep it going.”

About Jim Tait

Jim Tait is news editor at The Shetland Times.

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