The Shetland Times Live


In this week’s Shetland Times

1 hour 18 min ago

In today’s (Friday, 17th September) edition of The Shetland Times:

  • A 43-year-old father hospitalised with Covid has urged everyone who can to get vaccinated – after he originally chose not to have the vaccine.
  • Charity fundraiser Karen Penny said it was “wonderful” to be back in the isles to complete her 11,000 mile coastal trek of Britain, almost 20 months after she was last in Shetland.
  • One councillor has said islanders should be prioritised when making ferry bookings at short notice, while there are hopes freight issues could be resolved with a new ferry.
  • Shetland Charitable Trust has said it will increase its spending by £3 million next year after an unexpected rise in its investments.
  • ARTS – Shetland Arts literature festival, Wordplay, gets underway.
  • SPORT – Match reports from the hockey league, junior inter-county football and Scalloway’s win over Stromness.

No injuries following Black Gaet crash

September 15, 2021 | 8.10pm

Two cars crashed this evening at Shetland’s infamous Black Gaet junction, with no reported injuries.

Police confirmed the reports of a two car collision in a statement.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We received report of a two-car crash at the Black Gaet junction of the A970 and B9073 in Shetland around 5.15pm on Wednesday, 15th September.

“No-one has been injured.”

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Shetland Covid cases on the rise

September 15, 2021 | 2.40pm

Shetland has recorded a further 13 cases of Covid-19, the latest NHS Scotland figures show, over three times the number reported yesterday.

Just four cases were recorded yesterday.

The seven day rolling total for Shetland cases between the 6th and 12th September is 63.

Across Scotland 4,917 new cases were confirmed today, Wednesday, 15th September. There were 30 reported deaths, 91 people remained in intensive care and 1,079 people remain hospitalised



Surprise at long wait for Aberdeen court date

September 15, 2021 | 2.14pm

A man who pleaded not guilty to assault charges will have to wait until April 2023 to go on trial in Aberdeen.

Defence agent Tommy Allan tendered the plea on behalf of 47-year-old William Alexander Mays at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday.

But there was surprise in the court room when Sheriff Ian Cruickshank said the earliest available date provided by Aberdeen Sheriff Court for the trial was 17th April 2024.

The Scottish Court and Tribunals Service later clarified this was an error – and Mays would go on trial in April 2023 instead.

The offences relate to incidents between May and October 2018 – meaning it will be almost five years between the offences and the trial date.

Mr Allan said he was not expecting the case to “go into another year”.

Sheriff Cruickshank said he had “no power to do anything” about the delay, and he added there was “no fault on the part of the Crown” either.

Bail was continued for Mays until the trial date.

Man found with cannabis plants avoids jail sentence

September 15, 2021 | 12.37pm

A 37-year-old man who admitted supplying cannabis and diazepam avoided a jail sentence at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday.

Barry Dutton, of Bank Lane, Lerwick, pleaded guilty to supplying the class B drug between 8th June and 20th November 2019.

He also admitted supplying the class C drug between 8th June and 3rd December 2019.

The court heard last month that ten “well developed” cannabis plants were found at his address, while a package of 200 10mg diazepam tablets addressed to him was intercepted at Lerwick Post Office.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said on Wednesday his client was “aware of the possibility” of a custodial sentence.

But he asked Sheriff Ian Cruickshank to consider an alternative.

Sheriff Cruickshank said though the offences were “serious”, he decided instead to place Dutton under supervision for two years.

Dutton will also have to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work within the next 12 months, and attend drug screening tests if requested to do so.

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Nesting and Girlsta Up-Helly-A’ next to be called off

September 15, 2021 | 9.05am

The 2022 Nesting and Girlsta Up-Helly-A’ festival has been cancelled.

The festival will be pushed back again to 2023.

Its committee said they felt it was “unviable” to hold a festival next year, due to the ongoing issues related to the Covid pandemic.

“It is hoped that the festival will be able to return in 2023 and the committee and jarl elect look forward to hosting a safe an enjoyable Up-Helly-A’ when possible.”

That follows the cancellation of events in Lerwick, Scalloway and Bressay.

Health board ready to rollout Covid-19 vaccinations for 12-15s

September 14, 2021 | 5.01pm

The health board had been gearing up to expand its vaccination programme to younger children – even ahead of today’s (Tuesday) confirmation.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed all 12-15 year olds would be offered the vaccination, with the first clinics expected to open next week.

Ms Sturgeon made the announcement after chief medical officers across the UK concluded the vaccination for these groups was justified.

NHS Shetland’s interim director of public health Susan Laidlaw said her team had already been planning vaccination clinics in anticipation of the announcement.

Dr Laidlaw said the health board had been awaiting clarification on issues such as informed consent, patient resources and confirmation of vaccine supply, as well as the training regime for vaccinators.

Ms Sturgeon said the vaccine supplies were “adequate to allow us to do this”.

​​​​​​​She also said information would be made available online later this week to help young people and their parents make informed choices.

In addition to the advice on 12-15 year olds, the government also received the final joint committee on vaccination and immunisation guidance on a vaccine booster programme.

Ms Sturgeon confirmed booster vaccines will be offered to all adults over 50; frontline health and care workers; younger adults with certain health conditions that put them at higher risk; and adult household contacts of people with suppressed immune systems.

The JCVI has also advised there should be an interval of at least six months between a second dose and a booster dose.

Dr Laidlaw said most people who are eligible for a Covid booster will also be eligible for a flu vaccination and will be offered them at the same time, generally in community-based clinics.

“We will be using the Gilbertson Park Games Hall for flu and Covid vaccinations, along with other venues,” she said.

“There will be further information in due course on how people will be called for their appointments.

“We ask the public to please not to contact their GP practice or NHS Shetland about an appointment for the booster or the extended age 12-15 programme.

“Further information will be made available in due course.”

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Shetland flare amnesty called

September 14, 2021 | 4.10pm

Shetland Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre have organised a distress flare amnesty so that private boat owners can dispose of unwanted, out-of-date and damaged flares.

HM Coastguard Shetland will be accepting marine flares for safe disposal on Wednesday, 15th September between 10am and 6pm, at the entrance to the Staney Hill Quarry, Lerwick.

Errol Smith, Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre Commander at Shetland Coastguard, said: “We are delighted to be hosting this flare amnesty event and are proud to provide this service to members of the local community.

“The collection and disposal of these items, which are potentially dangerous, is incredibly important to public safety and it should be remembered to never point a flare at yourself or others.

He added: “Public are asked to ensure that any flares are packaged securely in a cardboard box or other approved container for transportation to the site.”

On arrival at the site members of the public should wait in their vehicles for a member of the HM Coastguard team to approach and collect their flares. A face covering should be worn and social distancing measures observed to protect individuals and the coastguard staff.

The amnesty is for private boat owners and non commercial fishing vessels only and not commercial vessels who should seek advice from agents and suppliers.

Please contact Shetland Coastguard on 01595 692976 if you require any further information.

Shetland’s daily Covid positive case number drops

September 14, 2021 | 2.12pm

Four new cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in Shetland as revealed in the latest NHS Scotland figures, half the number of yesterday.

The seven day rolling total for Shetland cases between the 5th and 11th September is 64.

Across Scotland 3,375 new cases were confirmed today, Tuesday, 14th September. There were 21 reported deaths, 89 people remained in intensive care and 1,064 people remain hospitalised

Today’s data follows IT issues yesterday which, the Scottish government announced,  likely underestimated the total cases on Monday, 13th September.

All affected data has been included in today’s report.

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Miller named project manager for Tall Ships event

September 14, 2021 | 12.12pm

Emma Miller has been named project manager for the upcoming Tall Ships Races visit to Lerwick in 2023.

Ms Miller runs Réalta Events Management as well as being project manager for Living Lerwick.

She said she was “very proud and excited” to be asked to lead the delivery of the event.

“After the last 18 months we all need something to look forward to and this will undoubtedly be a positive and much anticipated event in our community which will be remembered for many years to come,” she said.

Tall Ships Ltd chairman Malcolm Bell said they were delighted to welcome Ms Miller to the role.

Lerwick will host a four-day festival when the races visit between 26th-29th July 2023.

Progress in talks between Hial and air traffic controllers over remote towers project

September 13, 2021 | 3.41pm

Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (Hial) and the Prospect union are in talks about a possible alternative to Hial’s plans to modernise air traffic control.

Neither Hial or Prospect have said what the alternative to the project is.

Hial managing director Inglis Lyon said the company had been in talks with Prospect about finding a solution to strike action taken by air traffic controllers.

“I met with Prospect on Friday, 10th September, to discuss the implementation of our air traffic modernisation programme,” he said.

“The discussions were constructive, and we will now move forward with more detailed talks.”

Prospect’s negotiation officer David Avery said they held a “constructive meeting” with Hial on Friday.

“We have agreed to further talks to find a mutually agreeable solution to modernising air traffic control services in the Highlands and Islands.

“Prospect has agreed that there will be no further days of strike while these talks are ongoing.”


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Enquiries into Tingwall crash ongoing

September 13, 2021 | 3.20pm

Police say that enquiries are ongoing into a crash in Tingwall early on Friday morning.

Officers received a report of a two-vehicle road crash at 1.50am on Friday, which is said to have also involved a third parked vehicle.

No injuries were reported.

Police said that enquiries into the full circumstances of the incident were still ongoing.

Incredible finds among caves of Fair Isle

September 11, 2021 | 12.05pm

Divers have documented the hidden life of many of Fair Isle’s remote sea caves for the first time.

A squat lobster and a closed beadlet anemone in Diamond Cave, Fair Isle. Photo: Graham Saunders

Marine surveys documented around 70 caves on the island, with dive teams battling weather conditions to carry out full biological surveys of four caves.

These included a spectacular 200 metre-long cave on the west of the island known as Diamond Cave.

Stunning images from beneath the waves show the characteristic sea cave habitats and species discovered, including corals, sponges and seasquirts.

The data gathered will help to map the sea caves around Fair Isle in more detail and increase knowledge about habitats and species, as well as sea caves around Scotland’s coastline more widely.

Starfish hanging on to a mat of colonial baked-bean sea squirts in Diamond Cave, Fair Isle. Photo: Graham Saunders

The surveys were commissioned by NatureScot and carried out by a team of divers from Heriot-Watt University.

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In this week’s Shetland Times

September 3, 2021 | 7.00am

In today’s (Friday, 3rd September) edition of The Shetland Times:

  • Citizens Advice Bureau says the decision to cut universal credit by £20 will hit Shetland’s economy by around £1.3 million, and will cause the poorest in the community serious concern.
  • Nearly 60 Covid cases have been recorded in the last week, with schools particularly affected – but the SIC insists its schools are safe.
  • EXCLUSIVE – An artist speaks about presenting her work to the Queen of Denmark.
  • A leading engineer says that inter-isles tunnels are well within the realms of possibility.
  • There are plenty of pictures from last weekend’s Summer Spree and Pedal Lerwick events.
  • SPORT – Full match reports from Ness’ Manson Cup win over Whalsay and Shetland’s mixed hockey inter-county victory.

In Pictures: The Big Summer Spree

August 29, 2021 | 11.13am

Clickimin Leisure Centre was the place to be yesterday as the first, large open air event following the lifting of Covid restrictions took place.

It was a day full of games, competitions, taster events and live music running between 10am and 5pm on Saturday, 28th August.

A full report will appear in Friday’s Shetland Times.

Kirmirren entertain the crowd on the North Pitch at Clickimin during the popular Big Summer Spree. Photo: Kevin Jones
The Zorb Balls proved popular in the 60:40 during the Big Summer Spree. Photo: Kevin Jones
One young rocker enjoys the music of The Fiction during the Big Summer Spree. Photo: Kevin Jones
Mia Wiseman (on left) and Emme Halvorsen have fun during the Cycle Taster session which was led by Ability Shetland and NKS Shetland during the Big Summer Spree. Photo: Kevin Jones




The bouncy castles proved popular during the Big Summer Spree at Clickimin. Photo: Kevin Jones
Duncan Laurenson has a go at gymnastics during the popular Big Summer Spree. Photo: Kevin Jones





Lerwick’s Big Summer Spree event

August 28, 2021 | 7.01am

Today, to celebrate the end of summer and to bring people together after a difficult year, Shetland Recreational Trust, RLNI, Voluntary Action Shetland (VAS), Shetland Islands Council Youth & Employability Services and Relay for Life have come together to organise the Big Summer Spree.

The free event takes place at Clickimin Leisure Centre from 10am until 5pm today, Saturday, 28th August and features an array of activities, competitions and live music.

The RLNI and Relay For Life are providing refreshments, including a BBQ, teas, coffees, homebakes, candy floss and popcorn which will be available to buy from their tents/marquee’s at the north pitch.

Other highlights include a number of fairground games from VAS, including tin can alley, coconut shy and balloon burst.

Cycle taster rides on buggy bikes and electric bikes will take place on the AHS overspill car park, provided by Ability Shetland and NHS Shetland. It will be part of the Party ‘N’ Da Park taking place on the north pitch and running track which will also include crazy golf and a kids assault course.

Zorb five-a-side football matches and target football sponsored by SIC Youth & Employability Services will take place inside the 60:40 indoor training facility between 10am and 5pm for kids P6 up to S6.

Free sports tasters will also be on offer from everything from squash, gymnastics, athletics and table tennis under the expert eyes of the isles sports clubs, between 11am and 3.15pm.

The whole event will be accompanied by live music from six bands beginning at 11am. The stage will be on the running track and bands include Kirmirren, Peter Wood Band, North Ness Boys and First Foot Soldiers.

ZetTrans are providing a free Park ‘n’ Ride service to and from the event from the multicourt at the old Anderson High School every half hour between 10.45am and 4.45pm.

For a free guide visit

Orca pod a summer sensation

August 21, 2021 | 8.01am

It’s the kind of image we’d all like to sum up summer in Shetland. Shetland Ponies, a beach and a visit from an Orca pod. This amazing picture was taken in Burra by Carina Newell.

A walk with a view

August 14, 2021 | 11.58am

NAFC Marine Centre at Port Arthur can be seen in the distance from Cauldhame in Trondra. The photo was taken yesterday (Friday) by Jackie Darbyshire.


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