21st May 2018
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WATCH: Hillswick peat caster’s efforts are watched all over the world

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When Esmé Wilcock decided to take a video of her smartly-dressed dad cutting peats little did she know it would go viral – pulling in views from across the globe.

Ms Wilcock from Hillswick posted the footage of Bruce, 71, on Facebook with hundreds sharing her post.

“I am amazed at the response. I didn’t expect it all,” she said.

“I had videoed him cutting the peats more as a living memory for myself than anything else.

“I have videoed and photographed him doing it the last few years. I thought it would be nice to share to let other people watch and never gave it another thought until I picked up my phone…

“There was a massive amount of notifications, and that’s when I realised that I maybe wasn’t the only one that found it interesting.”

Mr Wilcock, a master blacksmith, has lived in Shetland since 1975 and was the farrier in the isles.

Known for his style, he makes his own clothes and boots and has even made his own tushkar to cut the peats.

A striking figure in tweed with a matching deerstalker, Mr Wilcock stacks the peats on the bank.

“The videos have been shared all over the world,” Ms Wilcock said.

“They seem to evoke so many memories in people of smelling the peat fires, and a huge curiosity of what he is actually doing as well as such amazing appreciation of someone as old/young as him doing such a manually hard job, and no he doesn’t need gloves his hands are like leather.”

• For the full story see this week’s Shetland Times.

About Adam Guest

Reporter for The Shetland Times. I have also worked as a senior news reporter at The Press and Journal, The Barnsley Chronicle and as a freelance reporter for The Doncaster Free Press. Alongside news reporting I specialise in music and sports journalism. Pork pie lover.

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