Times Past 29.08.08

Hotels and restaurants in Shetland have been asked by the tourist organisation not to buy illegally caught salmon and trout.

The letter from Shetland Tourist Organisation is part of a campaign launched by local groups to try and stop the widespread illegal netting which many believe is seriously damaging fish stocks around the islands.

Following recent concern at the damage illegal netting was doing to stocks and birds several meetings have been held between Shetland Anglers Association, Shetland Tourist Organisation, Shetland Bird Club and the Nature Conservancy Council. This week three of the groups issued statements condemning illegal netting and pointing out the damage it is doing. The groups say they hope the authorities will do everything possible to discourage the setting of illegal nets.

The tourist organisation is reminding hotel and restaurant owners that the tourist trade is being damaged by the netting and could lead to Shetland “getting a bad reputation in the angling world”. Many “trooters” used to visit the islands, tourist officer Maurice Mullay said, but recently “the quality of the fishing has deteriorated in direct proportion to the proliferation of illegal netting of voes and lochs and the attractions of Shetland to the angler have greatly diminished”.

: : : : :

The North Star cinema is to open again after lying empty for eight months. A Lerwick man has bought the cinema and hopes to have it open “as soon as everything is legalised and finished”.

Mr John W. Smith, who runs JWS Cleaning Services, was in the final stages of legal work this week to get the cinema ready for opening. He said that films will be the priority at the cinema, but he also hopes to run discos and bingo in the building. Mr Smith has not finalised plans for the basement area.

For the first time ever a professional ladies’ hairdresser has been doing a roaring trade on the island of Foula. But this was a “roaring trade” with a difference, for the hairdresser made no charge for the time and skill she spent on the heads of a dozen Foula ladies who normally would have to travel many miles before they could have a shampoo, set, or perm, by an expert.

Actually the hairdresser in question, Mrs Kirkwood Milroy, was trying to pay a debt she feels she and her family owe to the islanders. For the past seven years Mrs Milroy, her husband, who is a fruitbroker in Ayr, and their two children – Heather (16) and Sandy (10), have been coming to Shetland for holidays. Mainly because they really get “away from it all”, and because they find the people so very friendly.

During the past three years they have resided in Scalloway, and each time they have made a point of visiting Foula. There they have made many friends, and it is because of that that Mrs Milroy, who was a professional hairdresser before she married 20 years ago, wanted to try and repay them for their kindness.

Rather tentatively she asked the skipper of the m.b. Hirta, Mr Hance Smith, if he knew of anyone on the island who might like their hair done, and he promptly referred her to Mr and Mrs Henry, both natives of Foula who live in Scalloway.

So last week Mrs Milroy went out to Foula and the first two lucky ladies to have their hair set and shampooed were Mr Henry’s two sisters – Mrs David Gear and Miss Mary Henry.

The news spread like wildfire and when Mrs Milroy phoned the island two days later she was invited to return with her small but comprehensive hairdressing kit to the island on the first opportunity. In all, she completed three perms and eight shampoos and sets.

“I thoroughly enjoyed helping out the ladies,” said Mrs Milroy, “and had an awful time persuading them that I did NOT want anything for it.

“What particularly thrilled me was the islanders’ beautiful hair – it was in lovely natural condition, and the type of hair you could do almost anything with. I think it must be that they use nothing but spring water.”

At Lerwick sheriff court on Thursday – Sheriff Broun on the bench – fourteen masters of steam drifters were charged with contravening the Lerwick Harbour bye-laws, by allowing their vessels to proceed within the harbour limits at a greater speed than four miles per hour.

The first case called was that of James Cowie, master of the steam drifter BCK.37, who was charged with having steamed at a rate of 6.95 miles per hour.

Respondent failed to answer the charge, and evidence was led, Mr John S. Tulloch, solicitor, prosecuting on behalf of the Lerwick Harbour trust.

Captain Gray, Harbour Master, deponed that on 21 August he was at Mail, Bressay, along with William Nicolson, and Capt. G. Allison and W. Anderson were at Leraness. They were there for the purpose of testing steam drifters. They had two imaginary parallel lines drawn, from Mail to the Knab Hospital, and from Leraness to the south wall of the Anderson Institute. The distance between these lines was 810 feet, and he explained the system of signalling which they went by, when taking the speed of the drifters. In one minute and nine seconds the BCK.37 covered the 810 feet, which worked out at 6.95 miles per hour.

Mr Tulloch said he thought it was high time that the skippers of steam drifters made up their minds that the Lerwick Harbour bye-laws had to be obeyed during the fishing season.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.