The Shetland Times Shetland News, Sport, Jobs, Properties, Shop Sat, 21 Jul 2018 11:15:41 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 Blue green algae found in Tingwall Sat, 21 Jul 2018 11:15:41 +0000 Another loch has been found to contain blue green algae, this time the Loch of Griesta in Tingwall.

Notices will be posted next to the loch warning against contact with the algal scum.

The SIC’s environmental health department received notification of the discovery from the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency. Adjoining landowners NHS Shetland and Shetland Angling Association have been made aware of the situation.

There is no adverse effect on water supplies at this stage. Blue green algae has effected a number of lochs this year, including in Voe and Twatt.

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Unusual catch added to NAFC’s ‘discovery zone’ Sat, 21 Jul 2018 11:05:13 +0000 A new addition to the NAFC Marine Centre’s “discovery zone” last week was a bluemouth, caught be a sea angler and handed in by Kevin Tulloch.

The large specimen was caught east of Muckle Flugga by an angler on the Yell-based boat Compass Rose.

Bluemouth (also known as bluemouth rockfish or blackbelly rosefish) are found in both the eastern and western Atlantic Ocean.

In the east their range extends from Iceland and northern-Norway to South Africa.

Bluemouth are most commonly found in depths from 150 to 600 metres on the continental shelf and upper continental slope, where they tend to inhabit areas of soft sediment.

Bluemouth vary from reddish-pink to orange in colour, with a pale underside. The roof of the mouth and gill chambers are bluish-black in colour (see picture), hence the name “bluemouth”.

Their diet is varied and includes crustaceans, echinoderms, cephalopods and fish, though larger fish tend to feed predominantly on fish.

Bluemouth belong to the family Sebastidae which also includes the Norway haddock (Sebastes norvegicus) and other species of redfish.

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Talking Sport … with Jim Tait Fri, 20 Jul 2018 11:46:41 +0000 After being tasked with compiling a feature to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the senior football inter-county, it was a pleasure to speak to several of those with first-hand knowledge of the history of the Milne Cup competition.

Geordie Hunter goes the furthest back, having made his debut in the 1953 game. On that occasion a top-notch Shetland team came away from Kirkwall with a 3-1 win courtesy of goals by Sammy Johnson, John “Pisco” Leask and Jim Black.

Hunter also played in the legendary 9-7 victory in Orkney 10 years later when, according to Orkney veteran Eric Hutchison, every shot that Bert Sinclair hit seemed to end up in the back of the net.

Sinclair himself has an amazing memory, and has kept records of some of his incredible achievements. His eight goals in one junior inter-county match and 11 in the next three successive senior counties have already been documented, but his scoring spree in the late 1950s and early 60s is something else.

From 1957 to 1964 he played in just over 200 matches, at junior and senior level including representative games, and I can only find two occasions on which he failed to find the net. If anyone anywhere in the country has a record to beat that I’d be delighted to hear from them.

Sinclair also speaks of his greatest disappointment, being dropped from the county side in 1964, apparently for missing training when he had pretty valid reasons for not turning up.

Another who experienced the highs and lows was Derrick Bradley, who as manager led Shetland to an unprecedented 12 wins in 13 matches, the only blip being a 0-0 draw in Orkney.

Then he was unceremoniously ousted, apparently because a few of the players had had enough of him. Bradley retains some bitterness, but it doesn’t stop him wishing the current side all the best for next weekend.

Len Laurenson and John Johnston recount what it was like to play for both Shetland and Orkney, while James Johnston, Shetland’s equal most-capped player, reflects on 17 caps and how he went out on a high.

But the final word should go to two Orkney men, Hutchison and Morgan Harcus, both of whom are still avid fans of the annual event. As well as the fierce rivalry and hotly contested games, they mention the friendships they formed with their opponents.

That is probably what makes this contest so special. As Harcus says, they like to hate Shetland for an hour and a half, but the rest of the time it is completely different.

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Did the best team really win the World Cup? That question has been asked the length and breadth of the country after France’s 4-2 victory over Croatia on Sunday.

Personally I thought the Croats were very unlucky. The free kick from which the French opened the scoring should never have been given, while the penalty decision to make it 2-1 was debatable. There may just have been enough hand-to-ball movement for the spot kick to have been awarded, but it took several viewings by the referee through VAR before he was convinced.

Although £80 richer as a result of The Shetland Times predictor competition, partly as a result of the scoring exploits of Antoine Griezmann, I was disappointed that it wasn’t a Belgium versus Croatia final. A new name on the Jules Rimet Trophy would only have been good for the game overall.

France were ultimately the strongest team in the competition – they improved and became more resilient as the event wore on – but they were definitely not the most attractive. There was something almost German-like about the winners with their dogged organisation and ability to counter-attack with deadly efficiency.

As for England, I would say far too much has been made of a “new dawn” under manager Gareth Southgate. The English did get further than most people expected, but they came up well short on two occasions against the Belgians and only stuttered past Tunisia and Colombia. Two of the victories, it should be remembered, were against a shambolic Panama and a Sweden team which appeared to have no interest in winning other than by penalties.

After England’s exit Graeme Le Saux – now there’s a twit if ever there was one – was going on about Southgate’s “emotional intelligence” whatever that is.

A group of players came together and played as a team, it has been suggested by both Southgate and the media. But is that the first time in the history of football that this has happened to an English team? I don’t think so.

It happened at the World Cups of 1966, 1970, 1990 and 1998, and also at the European Championship in 1996. I’m sure the players who took part, for instance Bobby Charlton, Terry Butcher or Paul Gascoigne, would stress the team ethic involved.

Speaking of Charlton, the referee for Sunday’s final, Argentinian Nestor Pitana, had the kind of comb-over which the great man himself would have been proud of.

There were many who doubted the wisdom of granting the staging of this year’s event to Russia. But all in all it was a very satisfactory tournament. The organisation was good, the stadiums were tremendous, there was plenty of excitement and some great individual performances, and the introduction of VAR provided several talking points.

My team of the tournament, with a token Englishman in the mix, is: Thibaut Courtois (Belgium); Benjamin Pavard (France), Raphaël Varane (France), Diego Godín (Uruguay), Ivan Strinic (Croatia); Ivan Perisic (Croatia), Luka Modric (Croatia), Jordan Henderson (England), Eden Hazard (Belgium); Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Edinson Cavani (Uruguay).

If anyone questions the omission of Kylian Mbappe, I would say the young French player has been somewhat over-hyped. He certainly has pace in abundance, and a touch of skill, but is also petulant in a way that would suggest he is more of a successor to the diving Neymar than the much more honest Lionel Messi.

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Several metro stations in Paris have apparently been temporarily renamed in honour of France becoming world champions.

Among them are Notre-Dame des Champs, which became “Notre Didier Deschamps” and Victor Hugo which was adapted to “Victor Hugo Lloris”.

England quickly cottoned on to the idea as well, with the Southgate tube stop in London being enlarged to “Gareth Southgate”.

Maybe if Shetland wins the Milne Cup 100th centenary match next weekend the top thoroughfare in Scalloway could be changed to “Kevin Main Street”?

Or did the county manager not name enough village players in his squad for that to happen?

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New bus and ferry timetable changes approved Fri, 20 Jul 2018 10:33:08 +0000 Council efforts to deal with concerns raised by Sullom Voe workers about a new bus timetable structure have paid off, members of Shetland’s transport body have been told.

Friday’s ZetTrans meeting heard changes to one of the ferry runs from Toft could be made, with plans to run the 0630 service at 0635 instead.

Lead officer Michael Craigie said the seemingly minor alteration would help prevent night shift terminal workers living in the North Isles from having to wait an extra hour before catching the ferry to Yell.

The partnership unanimously backed bus and ferry timetable alterations, which are being introduced following the introduction of the asymmetric school timetable in May. The school changes have meant a longer school day Monday to Thursday and a shorter one on Friday.

The bus timetable changes are designed to accommodate youngsters who wish to attend the new school despite not living in the Anderson High School catchment area.

They will cost a combined £47,000 a year, with the extra costs being met by the council’s children’s services department.

The meeting heard there had been an increase in placing requests from the North and South Mainland to the new high school since it opened.

South Mainland councillor Robbie McGregor said the last minute alterations were a good example of “local democracy at work”.

He added: “I’m delighted this result has been achieved. It’s very important these guys after a long shift aren’t left hanging around.”

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Cruise ship passengers voice anger at delay Wed, 18 Jul 2018 15:14:52 +0000 Shetland’s reputation as a dream cruise ship destination is said to be at risk after passengers on a luxury vessel were kept on board for over three hours after berthing at Lerwick Harbour.

The Shetland Times has received calls from several disgruntled passengers on board the Marella Discovery concerned by the lengthy delay, which has been claimed to be a “border control” hold-up.

Holiday makers were due to be coming off the boat from 8am on Wednesday, but were still being kept on board well after eleven o’clock, with little explanation being given.

One angered visitor highlighted the “debacle” of “some pedantic little jobsworth in your border force”.

Another said that the ship’s captain had handed over the same paperwork given at other ports, only to be told more information was required.

Harbour master and depute chief executive at Lerwick Port Authority Calum Grains said the hold-up had not been caused by LPA.

The Shetland Times have contacted Peterson SBS, who are serving as agents for the vessel, but have so far not had any response.

Shetland Tourism Association chairwoman Emma Miller said she was disappointed to hear the news.

However, tour operator Tui apologised for the delay and said it would hold back the vessel’s departure from Lerwick to compensate.

• See Friday’s Shetland Times for more reaction

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Unst spaceport still on course despite green light for Sutherland Mon, 16 Jul 2018 14:18:13 +0000 “Nothing has changed” in the race to bring a spaceport to Unst.

That was the message delivered by Shetland Space Centre director Frank Strang following news that Sutherland looked set to become the first site in the UK to house a vertical satellite launch base.

Social media speculation suggested that plans to bring a launch site to Lamba Ness in Unst had hit a brick wall after the Sutherland bid was granted funding from the UK government.

But Mr Strang quashed those claims, saying that the Sutherland bid had been awarded money from a fund which Shetland Space Centre had not applied for.

Speaking from the Farnborough Airshow on Monday, Mr Strang said the Shetland Space Centre continued to pursue a launch licence for Unst, backed by industry heavyweights and the UK Space Agency (UKSA).

“Shetland will have a strong and established position in the UK Space Industry by 2020, of that we are 100 per cent confident”, he said.

Mr Strang’s comments followed confirmation that Sutherland, in the Scottish Highlands, would house a spaceport from which micro-satellites could be launched.

The UK Space Agency is to give Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) £2.5 million towards developing the site in the A’Mhoine Peninsula.

HIE will work alongside American aerospace firm Lockheed Martin with an aim of having launches begin early in the 2020s. A planning application is expected to be submitted to the Highland Council next year.

Sutherland was one of three potential spaceport locations which submitted outline business cases to the board of HIE earlier this year. The others were at Scolpaig in North Uist, and Unst.

All three were assessed by independent consultants with specialist knowledge of the space sector and each one met key criteria.

However, the business case for Sutherland was said to be stronger overall, including being successfully awarded UKSA funding for its proposals in collaboration with potential launch operators.

HIE chief executive Charlotte Wright said the Sutherland project could act as a catalyst “to stimulate further space-related investment” across the Highlands and Islands.

“The international space sector is set to grow very significantly in the coming years, and we want to ensure that our businesses are ready to reap the economic benefits that will be generated,” she said.

It is understood that funding will be available for further spaceports with the government viewing the Sutherland project as the first step on the way to a national space programme.

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Jam-packed UnstFest begins Sun, 15 Jul 2018 10:58:28 +0000 UnstFest 2018 is well under way with a jam-packed calendar of events for this, the festival’s tenth year.

Plenty of youngsters headed out onto the water on Saturday for the yoal regatta with many taking up the chance to sail like a Viking aboard the Dim Riv.

Hungry visitors and rowers enjoyed burgers and candyfloss with rock and roll and country numbers served up by David Sandison & The Tennessee Wannabees at Haroldswick Hall.

An insight into traditional Viking culture with demonstrations and games is planned on Sunday at the Viking longhouse at Brookpoint.

Pool parties, a raft race, guided walks, flamenco classes, a half marathon and an array of live music are packed into the busy schedule.

UnstFest runs from 14th to 22nd of July.

• More in Friday’s Shetland Times.


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Dangerous driving appeal Sat, 14 Jul 2018 07:41:38 +0000 Police are looking for more information after an alleged incident of dangerous driving in Lerwick.

Officers say a car was seen being driven erratically and at excessive speeds around Lerwick, nearly causing a collision with pedestrians.

Police said the incident occurred in Ladies Drive and the town centre during Friday evening involving a black Ford Fiesta hatchback.

The vehicle was later found crashed and abandoned in Ladies Drive at about 11.45pm.

Officers are keen to speak to anyone with information, especially people who may have seen the crash in Ladies Drive.

Blue-green algae warning Fri, 13 Jul 2018 17:52:27 +0000 Warnings are being issued to stay away from blue-green algae that has been found at a loch in Twatt.

Shetland Islands Council said environmental health had been told by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency that the algae was in Collaster Loch.

Notices are to be posted in local shops and next to the loch warning that contact with algal scum should be avoided.

The council said adjoining landowners have been advised as have NHS Shetland.

It added at this stage there is no adverse effect on water supplies.

For further information contact environmental health on 01595 745250.

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Thousands of properties without power and traffic disruption following power cut Fri, 13 Jul 2018 11:28:02 +0000 More than 4,500 properties were left without power on Friday morning with a main road through Lerwick closed outside Lerwick Power Station.

Traffic has been diverted through the old north road linking back towards the North Road with police stopping vehicles on the A970.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks were made aware of a power cut at 9.40am affecting areas including Sandness, Walls, Scalloway, Sandwick, Cunningsburgh and Gulberwick.

SSEN said 4,537 properties were affected, with the problem coming from damage to high voltage overhead line. It hoped to restore power to all customers by 2pm.

At 12.25pm there were about 1,700 properties without power.

SSE said the road was expected to be open by about 12.45pm, with repairs being carrid out on overhead lines.



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