Times Past 15.08.08


Shetland’s milk producers have not put an offer in for Freefield Dairy. The closing date for offers was Friday, but despite talks with the SIC and HIDB the producers decided not to offer their business.

Mr Brian Anderson, president of the local NFU, said yesterday that a decision to put in an offer would have to be unanimous, but the local producers who were supplying Freefield Dairy were divided in their opinions about putting an offer in.

Mr Anderson said that there were many uncertainties among local producers about such a commitment. The council and HIDB, he said, had been very helpful but it had not been possible to make a favourable decision in such a short time.

A Shetland woman and her husband have been selected by the National Trust for Scotland to take over the shop on Fair Isle later this year.

Nigel and Catherine Hallett, who were chosen from about 30 applicants, live in Bath at present. Nigel is a printed-circuit design draughtsman and Catherine has been manageress of a news agents and sub-post office on the university campus of the city.

Robert Bruce of Sandlodge died in hospital in Aberdeen early on Wednesday morning after a short illness. Lord Lieutenant of the county for 19 years and laird of Sumburgh, he was one of Shetland’s leading figures and held in affection by all of his friends. Aged 75, he only took ill at the weekend and from the Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick he was flown in an air ambulance to Aberdeen on Tuesday where he died next morning.


Cunningsburgh and Districts Agricultural Society did not have the best of days for their annual show on Wednesday – but at least it was a great improvement on last year, when rain poured the whole day. This year it kept more or less dry until well through the afternoon, when heavy showers sent many of the thousand-plus spectators looking for shelter.

A full list of prizewinners will be printed next week. One of the happiest winners was a young lady whose name did not even appear on the catalogue!

She was Miss Margaret Milne, of Union Grove, Aberdeen, who was awarded a special prize for her Shetland dog, three year old Flicka. Miss Milne is on holiday in Scalloway at the moment, and wanted to enter Flicka for the show. Unfortunately, the closing date for entries had to be adhered to, but it was decided that Miss Milne’s dog, along with another belonging to an Edinburgh lady, could be exhibited, but could not be eligible for an official award. However, the judges liked the look of Flicka so much that they awarded Miss Milne a special prize.

Miss Milne is a student at Aberdeen Pre-Nursing College, but during vacations she works in the Aberdeen Dogs’ Home, where she actually obtained Flicka. She is obviously “daft” on animals, because she attends meetings of Aberdeen Canine Training Society, and she has trained Flicka in a series of obedience tests.


Editorial. – There is not a village or a hamlet in Shetland, but is greatly interested in the old Age Pension scheme, which is to come into operation in the first week of the new year, and by the operations of which every deserving poor person – we are speaking of Shetland, where there is no criminal class – who has reached the age of seventy years, will be awarded a sum of five shillings per week.

Of course, a good deal of preliminaries will have to be gone through before the first week of January, so as to ensure the payment of the pension on that date; and with a view to facilitate matters, the Local Government Board has issued a circular to Burgh local Authorities and County Councils, giving instructions as to the initiatory steps to be taken. A Local Pension Committee must be appointed in every burgh and by the County Council, and the persons appointed do not require to be members of either County or Town Councils.

Claimants for the pension will be required to appear before the Committee, who will have to consider all the individual claims. Seeing that there are likely to be a great number of applications put forward, and looking to the short time at their disposal, it is suggested that the Pensions Committees should divide their districts into small areas, in order to admit of personal interviews with all applicants. The pension officers, who will be appointed by the Treasury, will be Supervisors of Inland Revenue, and it will be for them to report to the Committee and sub-committee on each claim.

Persons who desire to make claims will be provided with forms at the various post offices throughout the County by the first of October, and it is hoped that the Committee will be able to set to work and deal with these at that date.

Throughout the whole of Shetland we are looking forward to the gravest difficulties arising as to the administration of this Act. Although there is a class rising up amongst us who – through ignorance and bombast – talk of “the state” as the inspiration of all the good things of life, in practice, it may be taken for granted that “the State” does not accept anything without proof. It is just that desire for proof that we anticipate will lead to difficulty. Seventy years ago, registration of births was not compulsory, and there are comparatively few people of that age – if called upon – who could produce evidence of the date of their birth.


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