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Plea for hockey sponsorship after ‘jinxed’ team hit by more disruption

February 27, 2024 | 10.04am

Shetland Hockey has made a plea for local sponsorship in their bid to retain the Scottish District Cup, after their travel plans were disrupted yet again.

The players have had to personally pay for ferry travel next month and an overnight stay in Aberdeen after their quarter-final game was postponed at the last minute this weekend.

And with NorthLink working to a dry-dock schedule, the team have to travel two days before their next game – and sleep in pods, with no cabins available.

They had been due to face Glasgow Academicals in the last eight on Sunday, but the game was postponed due to a frozen pitch.

Shetland have not played a single minute in the competition since lifting the trophy last May.

And coach Derek Leask said it felt like the team was “a bit jinxed” after their success in 2023.

Their game has been moved to Sunday, 24th March, with the blues having to sail down on the Friday night and stay a day in Aberdeen because of the NorthLink dry-dock schedule.

“This is all personally funded by the players themselves,” he said.

“We have great support from our current sponsors but with all this expense and inconvenience to our preparation we’d welcome any other assistance from Shetland companies out there looking to help a local team retain a Scottish national cup”.

Anyone interested in sponsoring the team can contact them at shetlandhockey@hotmail.com

Talent competition set to return

February 26, 2024 | 4.35pm

Entries are being sought for this year’s Shetland’s Got Talent show, which raises funds for Cancer Research UK.

Singers, dancers and entertainers will battle it out for the top £250 prize on Saturday, 20th April.

And Shetland’s Relay for Life committee, which organises the event, is on the hunt for the next crop of isles’ talent.

Judges Morag Mouat, Jenny Teale and Bryan Peterson are returning, and are said to have agreed to be “open”, “honest”, and – for the right donation – “completely bribable”.

Relay for Life Shetland chairwoman Kerry Llewellyn said Shetland’s Got Talent was “always a great night of entertainment”, adding: “We have so much fun putting the event on.”

Tickets for the event go on sale on Friday, 1st March, and give audience members the chance to boo the judges and help raise much-needed funds for Cancer Research UK.

Anyone looking to enter is asked to email shetlandaccounts@yahoo.com for an entry form.

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WATCH: More from Cullivoe Up-Helly-A’a

February 23, 2024 | 8.46pm

The Guizer Jarl Brian Spence certainly enjoyed his night.

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WATCH: Cullivoe Up-Helly-A’ procession

February 23, 2024 | 8.36pm

The Cullivoe Up-Helly-A’ procession attracted huge crowds tonight.

WATCH: Cullivoe Up-Helly-A’ gets off to a roaring start

February 23, 2024 | 10.42am

Cullivoe Guizer Jarl Brian Spence said he is “truly honoured” to be leading this year’s fire festival.

The festivities got under way yesterday for the jarl’s squad to get around the whole of Yell. Their visit included leaving Yell for the first time to visit Mossbank Primary School, where Mr Spence is a teacher.

This morning (Friday) they had breakfast at Cullivoe Hall before accompanying the galley to Moarfield Garage to meet the school and pre-school bairns.

The squad then escorted the galley full of pupils to the school.

During the day the jarl’s squad will visit residents of Cullivoe and then, after eating at the hall, will gather to start the procession at 7.30pm.

There will then be an evening of acts, music and dancing.

Guizer Jarl Brian Spence. Photo: Dave Donaldson

Mr Spence, who has chosen to represent Haursi Heđinn, said: “It is difficult to put into words how proud I am to be Guizer Jarl.

“Some of my earliest memories are of vikings coming to the Cullivoe school, and I am truly honoured for my name to be added to the list of jarl’s at our festival.

“Owing to a quirk of circumstances (in the form of a global pandemic) I take up this mantle 10 years after my brother, Davey, and 60 years after our father, Bruce.”

The Jarl’s Squad marching in Cullivoe. Photo: Dave Donaldson

The Guizer Jarl thanked a host of supporters, including his family – wife Helena, four-year-old daughter Lucia, and son David, who is 21-months-old.

Thanks also went to the galley builders, “whose efforts and workmanship making Lastdrager were amazing to behold”.

He added: “This festival means the world to me. I hope you all have a brilliant weekend.”

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Fire festival fun under way in North Isles

February 22, 2024 | 9.36pm

Two Up-Helly-A’s are now under way in the North Isles.

Squads taking part in Cullivoe Up-Helly-A’ and Norick Up-Helly-A have already been visiting various locations in their areas prior to their own big days – taking place on Friday and Saturday.

Keep up to date on their progress with The Shetland Times website and social medial channels over the weekend.

Scalloway Fire Festival kicks off Up-Helly-A’ season

January 12, 2024 | 9.29am

The Scalloway Fire Festival got underway this morning, kicking off the season of Up-Helly-A’s across the isles over the coming weeks and months.

This year’s jarl, John Robert Umphray, leads the event portraying the historical character Harald Ericsson, better known as Harald Greycloak, who reigned as king of Norway from 961 to 970.

The vikings gathered at Scalloway Boating Club, visited the NAFC marine centre to prepare for the galley procession from Port Arthur to Da Waterfront.

They will visit local primary schools in Scalloway, Burra and Tingwall, and the Walter and Joan Graycare home in Scalloway.

John Robert is joined in the squad by his two sons, Lewis and Mackie, his father Allan and his brother Steven, with his bairns, and his uncle Charlie.

The squad is 45 in number with 29 adults and 16 children.

John Robert has been part of the Scalloway Fire Festival for 29 years. He was out the first time with his uncle Ian Umphray when Brian Watt was jarl in 1988.

In 1993 he was in the jarl’s squad again with Alan Shewan as jarl.

Asked what he was looking foward to the most today, John Robert said: “I’m looking forward to the procession, that’s the big thing, but really the whole day.”

The light up is at 7pm and the squads will proceed through Main Street to Port Arthur where the burning of the galley takes place at 8pm.

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Happy New Year

January 1, 2024 | 12.00am

Here’s wishing a very happy New Year to all our readers, contributors and advertisers.

We would like to wish you all the very best for 2024.

WATCH: Yell duck race billed as top event

December 31, 2023 | 2.25pm

Yell’s annual duck race has raised an impressive £500 for the RNLI.

The long-running event has been held annually since the 1980s, and comes as a regular day of fun between Christmas and New Year.

This year’s event was held yesterday [Saturday], two days later than originally planned, because of the weather.

The day sees two races take place – one with yellow plastic ducks, and a home-made race, where people are able to make their own ducks.

The “duck,” which should resemble the bird it is supposed to represent, has to fit inside a one foot square box.

Adult winner of the first yellow race was Aaron Smith, while Carrie Petrie triumphed in the children’s section, followed by the Taylor family in second place, and Amelia Laurenson in third.

The adult home-made race was won by Danna Jamieson, while Danny Petrie, Jody Saunders and Molly Strachan took first, second and third in the children’s section.

After the races everyone gathers for the afternoon in the boating club for soup and sandwiches.

On the crest of a wave at Boddam

December 30, 2023 | 9.00am

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Surfers Joe Morton and Scott Riise were having a surf at Boddam on Thursday.

Santa flies in for festive visit

December 24, 2023 | 11.13am

Santa Claus has flown in to Shetland for his annual Christmas visit, spreading cheer from the coastguard rescue helicopter.

He could be seen waving to folk up and down the isles before he gets ready to make his rounds later tonight.

If you saw Santa Claus in the helicopter, comment with your photos below on social media or send them in to editorial@shetlandtimes.co.uk


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