Isles Views 29.08.08

Islehavn Care Centre
THE ISLESHAVN Care Centre in Mid Yell has undergone two feasibility studies in the recent past and these show a clear need to replace the existing building.

The current centre is no longer “fit for purpose”, it being the oldest of the care centres, and it cannot meet or be adopted to meet the many new regulations.

Therefore a new care centre is in the early stages of planning and the design brief is keen to take into account the needs of both staff and residents to make sure that any mistakes or unnecessary features are spotted before the architects make detailed plans.

The number of units for residential care will depend on the site available and day care facilities will be included. The kitchen will be such that it can provide the meals on wheels service as well as meals for the residents. Included too is a laundry and this might be offered to home care clients.

Residential rooms will be designed bearing in mind that folk suffering from dementia may be catered for and the guidelines of the dementia centre of Stirling University will be followed.

Work has begun on the site for the new Mid Yell Junior High School and if the existing school is eventually demolished then this would be the preferred site for the new care centre. Consultations are ongoing already with the education department about the possibility of sharing facilities.

The site is already owned by the SIC and it might be possible to share heating, kitchens and laundry services with the new school. It believed that it will be at least three years before any building work can start but this is dependent on how the building of the new school progresses.

Whalsay history
Whalsay History Group’s 2008 exhibition covers the triple themes of fishing, knitwear and housing.

The fishing display concentrates on the build up of the white fish fleet after World War II, the drift net herring fishing and the formation, in 1969, of the locally-owned Whalsay fish processing factory.

Last century income from knitting was a necessary supplement to most households. The display covers the history of the period showing garments, some old but also more modern work with items made from homespun wool. Members of the community have been most generous in lending a variety of garments.

In the housing section there is a butt end hearth as it might have looked 100 years ago. In addition a photo album shows the development of housing from then until the present day.

The exhibition is housed in the Whalsay Heritage Centre (behind the secondary school) and it is open on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 2pm till 5pm each afternoon. Marina Irvine invites as many folk as possible to visit the exhibition before it closes at the end of September.

Cullivoe post box
Some time ago the letterbox was removed from its place near the shore in Cullivoe.

The Royal Mail said it was because it had been damaged and, at the time, it seemed that they had removed the wrong box; it was the one at the head of the Greenbank road that needed repairs.

Not only did the Royal Mail deny this but it refused to reinstate the letterbox. MP Alistair Carmichael, who takes a keen interest in postal services, wrote to the Royal Mail asking for the box to be replaced but to no avail. In reply the Royal Mail said the decision “follows the regulatory requirement for collections and licence requirements”.

The case has been put to Royal Mail in the strongest possible terms but it is intransigent and uncompromising in its attitude and it is hard to see how the campaign can be taken any further.

Cullivoe, from the pier to Gloup, is a very scattered district and a single letterbox, regardless of its location, is seen by local folk as inadequate and unsatisfactory. The Post Office is housed within R S Henderson’s shop so mail can only be posted there during office hours.

Burravoe fishing competition
The Burravoe Marina Committee held a very successful fishing competition last Saturday when 14 boats left the pier at 10am with a total of 30 anglers.

The Martin Ramsay Memorial Cup was won by Davy Towriess with a catch weighing 64lb. Derek Spence won the Hillcrest Cup for the heaviest fish with a 9lb 4oz cod.

Fish suppers were served in the hall and local artists provided a very lively musical evening. The craft fair, too, was a great success and attracted a large crowd of shoppers. The marina committee would like to thank Rosemary Johnson for all her help in organising the fair.

Many thanks also to Julie Johnson and all the musicians, bar staff, boat skippers, filleters, everyone who donated raffle prizes, all those who helped in the kitchen and to the folk who supported the day and bought fish suppers, apologies for the long wait. All the proceeds, £1,400, are going towards the provision of a toilet block and shower at the marina.

Shearings tour
The strike last Wednesday brought travel to and from the isles to virtual standstill and caused considerable inconvenience to many.

Shearings, the huge English coach company, brings visitors, using their own luxury coaches, to Shetland almost every week of the summer.

Wednesday is the day they visit the North Isles but, because of the strike, they switched to Thursday for one week only. This was not done lightly because it is Thursday evening that they travel back to Aberdeen on the ferry. Any hold-up in the North Isles could, therefore, have serious consequences.

Fortunately this did not happen but for Mr and Mrs Richardson it turned out to be something of an ordeal. Mr Richardson took ill while at the Baltasound Hotel for lunch and the Unst doctor had to be called. He received treatment but he was pronounced unfit to travel.

The couple were given a room in the hotel and on Friday morning hotel manageress Sharn Swan found him to be some better but still quite giddy and poorly. It was decided that they should stay for another night. However, on Saturday morning Mr Richardson felt well enough to begin the journey back to their home in Leeds.

Sunday ferries to Fetlar
Ferry services contacted Fetlar Community Council about the possibility of extending the “bookings only” Sunday sailings to midday for the duration of the forthcoming winter timetable.

The community council agreed that so long as the dial-a-ride ferry is well advertised and the 11.30am sailing can be booked until 10am the same morning then, in the interests of saving money, it should be trialled.

The same community council meeting raised an issue with the North Isles nature cruise which the Daggri did on Sunday 6th July.

Complaints have been made by Fetlar residents and visitors who were unable to take part because the cruise’s departure at 8.30am from Ulsta did not allow travel time from Fetlar.

Community council clerk Martha Devine has written to the SIC ferry services department to ask that, in future, the departure time of cruises be altered by the necessary 15 minutes.

Unst show
Tomorrow is the day of the annual Unst Show. The show alternates between Baltasound and Haroldswick and this year it is the turn of Baltasound to play host.

The organisers look forward to a trouble-free show as last year at this time the threat of foot and mouth disease hung over the event bringing with it concerns about the movement of livestock and whether an appearance at a show had implications when animals were taken to market.

No such worries exist this year and an impressive show of all stock is expected. The entry of ponies is high and will be, as always, a highlight on the day.

CLAN House 1,2,3 Appeal
Last Sunday night a fish ‘n’ chip night was held in Baltasound to raise funds for the effort to build a new CLAN House in Aberdeen.

The splendid total of £1,137.30 was realised – all the food was donated so every penny will go to the appeal. The organisers want to say a very special thanks to the Baltasound Hall committee and helpers for making it all possible.

Night classes
It is a sure sign that summer is on the wane when invitations to enrol in night classes appear in the press and in a booklet.

A total of 31 classes are offered in the North Isles, some of them in the daytime.

Lawrence Tulloch


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