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Councillors to consider earlier Bressay ferry sailings

May 16, 2024 | 3.43pm

Earlier sailings for the Bressay ferry are to be considered by ZetTrans when its board meets next week.

Sailings for the vessel begin at 7am each day to allow people to go to work.

However, the Bressay Community Council has asked ZetTrans to consider earlier departures from 6.30am to allow for residents to make the first scheduled flights from Sumburgh Airport.

The ZetTrans board are expected to ask lead officer Michael Craigie to discuss with the SICs Ferry Operations Service and the Transport committee whether it would be possible and cost effective to run the Bressay ferry earlier.

In the policy statement of the transport partnership, it said links should “provide equitable access to opportunities”.

Bressay Community Council argued that there would be better access to healthcare in Aberdeen as well as business and personal opportunities on the mainland.

Job opportunities in the isles would also be open to Bressay residents, for shifts which start as early as 7am.

Mr Craigie will acknowledge that “preliminary” work has begun to provide a better understanding to the situation. But he will ask for more formal discussions to take place.

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‘A ticking time bomb’ – concerns about groups of tourists cycling

May 15, 2024 | 3.48pm

Large groups of tourists cycling on Shetland’s roads are “a ticking time bomb”, one councillor has claimed.

There have been numerous concerns raised about cruise ship groups taking off in great numbers.

That has made it difficult for drivers to pass the groups, with some even cycling in thick fog recently.

Neil Pearson asked what could be done about this – including possibly staggering the groups, or asking them not to travel in such numbers.

SIC roads safety officer Elaine Skinley said they would be speaking to cruise companies about this.

Mr Pearson said he had almost had an accident with a cyclist who he “could not believe” was on the road in thick fog without any hi-visibility clothes on.

Chief inspector Stuart Clemenson said cruise ships were now bringing their own bikes for tourists to use.

And he added they would be asking Lerwick Port Authority to give some basic guidance to visiting ships – like Orkney Islands Council has done.

Police chief inspector to leave role

May 15, 2024 | 2.06pm

Shetland’s chief inspector is set to leave at the end of June.

Area commander Stuart Clemenson will leave the post for a new role with Police Scotland in Inverness.

He took up the post in January 2022.

His exit was announced at today’s (Wednesday) community safety and resilience board meeting.

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  • Best Days with Shetland's Birds - Paperback

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‘Honest’ drink driver banned for a year

May 15, 2024 | 11.48am

A drink driver who told police officers he was over the limit was banned from the road and fined £400.

Daniel James O’Callaghan, 28, whose address was given as Busta House Hotel, was driving a car with 36 microgrammes of alcohol in his breath. The legal limit is 22mg.

O’Callaghan was stopped by police after driving between the Brae Inn and Brae Marina.

Procurator Fiscal Duncan MacKenzie told the court that O’Callaghan was “honest with the police officers” when he was pulled over.

“The first thing he said was that he was over the limit,” Mr MacKenzie added.

The accused subsequently failed a roadside screening test.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said his client had only intended to drive a “short distance” but added losing his licence would be an “inconvenience”.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank fined O’Callaghan £400 and disqualified him for a year, with the possibility of a three-month reduction if he completed a drink driver’s rehabilitation course.

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Preparations hotting up for Relay for Life

May 13, 2024 | 5.08pm

Planning for this year’s Relay for Life is in its final few days, with the committee hard at work putting the finish touches to the event.

With the relay now running from midday to midnight, organisers say team sign ups have been strong – but there is still time to make the commitment to do the miles and raise the funds for Cancer Research UK.

You can register to take part here: Relay For Life Shetland 2024 | Cancer Research UK

As always, the relay will begin with the survivors lap, a moment of celebration and reflection.

Anyone looking to take part is asked to email shetlandsurvivors@yahoo.com

Volunteers are also needed.

Chairwoman Kerry Llewellyn said: “Relay For Life celebrates the power of community
fundraising to make breakthroughs happen.

“Teams of friends and family fundraise for world-leading cancer research then unite as a collective at a festival to remember loved ones, honour everyone affected by cancer and celebrate the progress we’re making.”

Goudie’s notebook finds new home with amenity trust

May 13, 2024 | 4.14pm

A 19th century notebook with a deep historical significance has finally been acquired by Shetland Amenity Trust, thanks to the generous support of the Shetland Family History Society (SFHS).

Gilbert Goudie’s notebook contains observations made by the Dunrossness-born antiquary and amateur archaeologist.

Born in 1843, Goudie spent most of his life in Edinburgh, where he worked as a banker.

However, he remained deeply connected to Shetland’s history and culture throughout his life.

Trustees at the SFHS decided to make a donation to the Shetland Archives, recognising the invaluable assistance and close working relationship between the two bodies since the society relocated to the trust’s premises at Garthspool in 2018.

The notebook had been sold to a rare books firm in Dorset, and was an item that the Shetland Archives had coveted.

However, financial constraints hindered its ability to secure the notebook.

But now the important piece of Shetland’s heritage will find its rightful place within the Shetland Archives, adding to the collection of Gilbert Goudie’s papers already housed there.

Goudie held the position of treasurer to the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. But he kept up his interest in Shetland’s history and lore until the end.

Shetland archivist, Brian Smith, said: “We already hold a fine collection of Gilbert Goudie’s papers, and this notebook, with material by him about Shetland, is a fine addition to it.

“We are very grateful indeed to Shetland Family History Society for helping us to buy it. We value our connection with the society and its excellent office bearers.”

The notebook is now preserved in the Shetland Archives and is available for the public to read.

Changes to essy kert schedule after breakdowns

May 13, 2024 | 4.02pm

There will be changes to the SIC’s waste and recycling schedules after breakdowns with its smaller essy kerts today (Monday).

Collections of black bags from side roads in the North Mainland will now be made on Thursday.

Today’s planned recycling collections of plastic and cans in Lerwick will also now be picked up on Thursday instead.

And tomorrow’s (Tuesday) planned collections of black bags on West Mainland side roads will now happen on Friday.

The SIC apologised for the inconvenience caused.

Mariners warned as seabed sampling begins in Lerwick Harbour

May 13, 2024 | 2.34pm

Mariners have been warned to take care around Lerwick Harbour as seabed samples are being taken. 

Beginning today (Monday), the samples will be collected for a week by the 13-metre workboat Dolphin

Lerwick Port Authority said the vessel would be restricted in her ability to manoeuvre and display the relevant lights and shapes in accordance with regulations.

Samples will be taken at various locations within Lerwick Harbour, including the North Harbour, the North
Entrance and Dales Voe.

Passing vessels are requested to contact port control and maintain a listening watch on VHF marine channel 12 and 16 at all times.

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Update: Lifeboat crew respond to rescue call at Sumburgh

May 11, 2024 | 6.34pm

The two-man crew of a fishing vessel are safe and well after the Lerwick lifeboat were called out to their aid Saturday evening.

Fishing boat Maggie Paterson was taking on water when off Sumburgh Head and made a distress call to the coastguard for help.

Lerwick lifeboat launched at 5.15pm to go to the aid of a seven-metre vessel

Lerwick Lifeboat launched and in calm sea conditions averaged around 25 knots to reach the vessel just
after 6pm.

The vessel had taken on water but still had engine power and the skipper was able to make her way unaided to the Pool of Virkie.

Lifeboat crew were able to pass a salvage pump aboard to help reduce the volume of water below deck.

Once the water level had fallen, it became clear that a hose clip from a pump had failed, leading to the rising water level.

The vessel had run aground at low tide on a sand near Ness Boating Club and is likely
to refloat on the next high tide.

Coastguard rescue teams and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service also attended.

Sea conditions were good, with a calm winds and an air temperature of around 13
degrees Celsius.

The lifeboat stood down at 7.30pm and returned to Lerwick Harbour around 8.30pm to
refuel and made ready for service.

Coxswain Stephen Manson said: “Despite the calm sea conditions, this could have been a different outcome with the vessel taking on water in open seas near Sumburgh Head.

“We’re glad that the vessel was able to make her way to the relative safety of the Pool of Virkie and that the two crew on board are unharmed.

“We were able to assist with a salvage pump and the skipper did the right thing by calling the Coastguard as soon as they realised they needed assistance. ”

The crew is now being looked after by the local boating club.

42nd Folk Festival kicks off

May 2, 2024 | 5.11pm

The 42nd Shetland Folk Festival has got under way in great fashion today.

Musicians gathered for the launch event this afternoon (Thursday), with an array of concerts planned over the coming days.

The Hackles. Photo: Austin Taylor

Norwegian ban Gangar added a bit of folk, rock and metal at the opening, and were joined by The Fretless with Madeleine Roger and the Tenement Jazz Band, tipped to be one of the star acts of the event.

There are 15 visiting acts joining local performers in entertaining the crowds all over Shetland.

Concerts tonight take place in Lerwick – Da Big Kirk Concert, the Legion and Mareel – and at Hamnavoe and Vidlin.

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Shetland Wool Week patron awarded to Doull family

April 26, 2024 | 8.09pm

The Shetland Wool Week patron for 2024 has been named today (Fri) at a launch event held at the Shetland Museum and Archives.

In a break from tradition, this year’s patron accolade has been presented to Addie and Margaret Doull from Islesburgh Farm in Northmavine, and their family, in recognition of their dedication to the Shetland Flock Book and commitment to preserving and championing the highest-quality Shetland wool.

The keenly awaited hat pattern, which is synonymous with the launch of the patron was also released.

This year’s hat has been designed by Addie and Margaret’s daughter, Anne, and takes inspiration from the family’s Flock Book roots and the location of their farm and is called the ‘Islesburgh Toorie’.

Shetland Wool Week is delighted to shine a spotlight on the Doull family and to celebrate Shetland oo, the product on which Shetland Wool Week is built. The Doulls are frequently invited to judge shows across the UK, drawing on their expertise in sheep and wool evaluation.

As avid knitters, Margaret, and more recently, Anne, produce exceptional garments of the highest quality too, winning prizes both locally and nationally. Margaret, in particular, is renowned for her hand-knitted Shetland lace.

Anne said: “It’s an honour for the family to be asked to be patrons of this year’s Shetland Wool Week. I’m extremely proud for mam and dad to be recognised for their work with the Shetland Flock Book, which works to preserve and promote the native breed, and it’s something that all the family is committed to.

“We have been farming at Islesburgh, Northmavine, since 1970. The whole family, and Addie’s brother Kenny are involved with the farm and crofts, all helping each other to get the work done.”

The Islesburgh toorie, which is named after the family farm, features a distinctive Shetland Ram motif, a tribute to the family involvement with the Shetland Flock Book.

The inclusion of the print of the wave lace pattern celebrates Margaret’s skilful knitted lace. The colourways are inspired by the many natural shades of their Shetland flock and the heather filled hills and sunset views from the farm.

Hazel Sutherland, chief executive of Shetland Amenity Trust, which manages the event, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that the Doulls have agreed to take on the mantle of Wool Week patron. Our outgoing patron, Alison Rendall, has done a sterling job for us and I would like to sincerely thank her for the commitment she gave to the role.

“Her beautiful Buggiflooer Beanie was a fantastic celebration of Shetland’s natural world, and it inspired many folk to attempt fair isle knitting for the first time and experiment with colour. We’re looking forward to sharing more of the Doull family story and we wish them all the very best for what I’m sure will be a very busy year ahead.”

The Islesburgh Toorie is available in three different colourways using Shetland yarn from Jamieson’s of Shetland; Jamieson & Smith; and Uradale Yarns.

The hat pattern is available to download from the Shetland Wool Week website for £1 and is also available as a printed version for £2 from the Shetland Museum and local wool shops.

Puffin in a puddle

April 20, 2024 | 10.44am

Turns out even puffins like splashing in puddles.

This image by Kiera Munro has been shared by Sumburgh Head Lighthouse.

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WATCH: Easter bunny brings joy to Skerries

April 1, 2024 | 9.38am

Passengers aboard the ferry to Skerries were left rubbing their eyes in disbelief after spotting the Easter bunny yesterday (Sunday).

The elusive rabbit was seen waving to the ferry from the Grunay pier as he made his Easter rounds.

And the ferry crew reported adults and children had been left agog at the unexpected sighting, with one said to have declared it as “like something out of a storybook”.

The Easter bunny produced a sign wishing everyone a “Happy Easter”, leaving behind a trail of smiles in his wake.

First ship of bumper season cruises in

March 31, 2024 | 1.15pm

The first cruise ship of what is hoped to be another record season arrived into Lerwick yesterday (Saturday).

Ambassador’s Ambition arrived on an 11-day Easter tour of the British isles, leaving from and returning to London Tilbury.

She is the first of 149 cruise ships booked to come to Shetland between now and mid-November, with roughly 130,000 passengers due to arrive.

There are also 11 maiden calls expected this year, including the largest yet to visit – the MSC Virtuosa in May – which has a capacity of between 4,000 and 6,000 passengers.

Delting Up-Helly-A’ in pictures

March 16, 2024 | 9.45am

Crowds of hundreds turned up to watch the procession led by Guizer Jarl Daniel Johnson and the galley burning in Brae last night (Friday)

Photo: Sophie Whitehead

Photo: Sophie Whitehead

Delting Up-Helly-A’ gearing up for a big night

March 15, 2024 | 6.59pm

It’s now down to the big burn in Delting.

Guizer Jarl Daniel Johnson, who is Hakon Galinn for the day, will be preparing for the procession and burning of the galley.

Photo: Sophie Whitehead

Daniel, who was nominated onto the committee by his uncle Stuart Robertson, lives in Muckle Roe with his wife Karen and their two children, Mitchell, 8, and five-year-old Ada. His children joins him in a squad of 45.

Photo: Sophie Whitehead


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