Times Past 04.07.08


The pelagic fishing fleet was in a state of confusion this week as the EEC appeared incapable of settling the dispute over the North Sea fishing quotas or stopping over-fishing by the Dutch fleet.

“It is completely chaotic,” Mr John Goodlad, secretary of the Shetland Fisherman’s Association and the local Producers Organisa­tion, said on Wednesday. “The common fisheries policy agreed in January is a shambles and we are left completely frustrated by con­fusion and the lack of decision.”

When we went to press yesterday no one knew whether the North Sea herring fishing would still be open next week, or if it would close and the west coast herring opened up.

The North Sea herring fishery opened last month on an interim UK quota of 3,000 tonnes. Managed jointly in the northern sector of the North Sea by the Shetland and Scottish POs the fishery is generally considered to have gone well, with good fish and good demand – although the price paid by the klondykers is far below the fresh market prices being paid at Fraserburgh. The government then decided to delay opening up the west coast herring fishery and continue in the North Sea on quotas of 80-120 tonnes a boat per fortnight depending on length.

This has been working reason­ably well, Mr Goodlad said, but now no one knows what is happen­ing. The EEC was unable to agree on the allocations of North Sea herring, which was faced with mounting protests over what many believe is massive overfishing by the Dutch fleet and, on top of all that, has not yet introduced effective fishery policing.


The county architect recently reported to the Property Sub-Com­mittee of the Education Committee on the proposal to include a swimming pool in the plan for the Anderson Institute extensions.

The architect put forward several ideas, with costs – but all for a fresh water pool! The sub-committee decided that before they could make any recommen­dations to the main committee they must have additional esti­mates of the cost of providing a swimming pool near the Hydro-Board station at Gremista, from which heated water could be obtained by arrangement with the Board, and a salt water pool at the Institute.

Mr Conway, the architect, had given details of a pool 60 feet long by 25 feet wide, with a maximum depth of 9 feet graded to 4 ft 6 ins. for a distance of 50 feet, and the remaining 10 feet at a flat depth of two feet for learners. The annual running and maintenance costs were expected to be in the region of £750.

An instructional pool 50 feet long by 25 feet wide, with a base graded from two to four feet deep would save a few thousand pounds.

Mr Conway emphasized that his estimates allowed for a fresh water pool, as he felt that a salt water pool, involving settlement tanks of equal capacity to the pool, would make the cost of the scheme prohibitive, especially having regard to the fact that the water would have to be pumped from the sea front to the school.


In the First Division of the Court of Session on Thursday last week intimation and advertisement were ordered of a petition by John Leisk, merchant, and others, residing in Lerwick, trustees of the late Arthur Nicolson, and others, proprietors of the lands of Sound, adjacent to the town of Lerwick.

The trust came into existence in 1818. By the first purpose of the trust the trustees are directed to apply the funds to the most beneficial purposes for the general interest of the town and proprietors thereof, to whom they shall from time to time report their proceed­ings and show a correct state of their intromissions, and from whom also they shall receive suggestions with regard to the most advanta­geous application of the clear revenue, rents, and profits of the subjects. The annual revenue at present consists of: Rents, £366 6s.8d.; and feu-duties, £306 13s.2d. – a total of £672 19s.10d.

At the annual meeting of the feuars and heritors on 1st May 1907, a motion was made to the effect that the trustees should erect a block of workmen’s dwellings on their ground, on the footing that the money required should be borrowed by the trustees on the security of the trust estate. It was well-known to the meeting that there was a very great scarcity of such houses in the town, which led to serious and dangerous over­crowding in old houses situated in narrow closes in the town, and indeed forced many people to leave the town. The fact of so many people leaving Ler­wick owing to the lack of houses was, according to the unanimous view of the feuars and heritors, tending to retard the trade and industry and future development of the town. It had also led to the erection of a large number of small, cheap­ly constructed wood­en houses
out­side the burgh bound­ary, under undesirable and insanitary conditions.

After full discussion at that meeting and at an adjourned meet­ing, it was unanimously agreed that the erection of those houses would be a most beneficial interest for the general interest of the town and proprietors thereof, and a Committee was appointed to prepare a scheme. At the annual meeting held on the 26th May this year the scheme submitted by the Committee was unanimously approved of, and plans and speci­fications for the erection of a block of workmen’s houses, at a total estimated cost of £3760 14s., were passed. It is estimated that the buildings will produce a free yearly rental of £150 or thereby.

The trustees ask the authority of the Court to borrow a sum not exceeding £3000, and to proceed with the scheme.


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