North Mainland Notes 12.09.08

Isobel’s running for CLAN

ISOBEL Mowat from Brae is currently in training for the Great North Run on 5th October, a 13.1 mile run from Newcastle to South Shields. This will be the third time Isobel has taken part in the world’s most popular half marathon road running event. The run, which was devised by former 10000m bronze medalist and sports commentator Brendan Foster, started in 1981.

Being part of such a massive event is a very emotional experience and Isobel described the atmosphere among the runners and the crowds as “electric”. Running became part of Isobel’s life many years ago after she was part of a team that took part in the former charity relay races held from Sumburgh to Sullom Voe. While many of the relay participants – including myself – realised after the race that they never wished to run another yard, Isobel found she had an aptitude for running and this year she hopes to finish the Great North Run in a similar position to last year where she was placed among the first 6,000 to finish. Over the years, Isobel has raised many thousands of pounds from the various charity runs she has taken part in and this year her chosen charity is CLAN 123. If you would like to show your support and help CLAN 123, sponsor forms can be found at the Brae Building Centre or you can contact Isobel on (01806) 522566.

Brae High fundraiser

Leaving Shetland for university is a big step and it’s important for students to gain as much information as the can about potential universities. Each year in mid to late September 6th year students make an annual trip to various universities to look at the facilities on offer and listen to lectures from university staff. Students at Brae High are preparing for their trip in mid-September and to help with the cost of travel and accommodation, they will hold Teas and a Car Boot sale in the Brae Hall tomorrow from 2-5pm. Along with teas, there will also be plenty of games for the bairns, face painting, tombola and a sales table with homebakes. Anyone who would like to book a space for the car boot sale should telephone (01806) 522475. The hall will be open from 1pm to enable people to set up.

Inta Shetland

Christine De Luca, who grew up in Walls and now lives in Edinburgh, is one of the foremost contemporary poets in Scotland. She has been awarded numerous prizes over the years for her work and is involved with the Hansel Cooperative Press, a cooperative of writers and artists that promote artistic and literary work relating to Orkney and Shetland. Christine is currently in Shetland working on an off-shoot project to promote the Shetland dialect within schools, Inta Shetland.

Christine has translated one of Roald Dahl’s childrens classics, George’s Marvellous Medicine, into Shetlandic. This has resulted in the publication of Dodie’s Phenominal Pheesic which Christine is now bringing to 32 primary schools throughout Shetland as she visits each school to give readings and open up discussion of the language. With the help of funding from the Scottish Arts Council, pupils also each receive a copy of the book as well as copies of CDs previously produced by the Hansel Cooperative Press. Transcripts accompany the CDs, enabling young people to look at the words and spelling as they listen to the CDs.

Last Friday, Christine visited Mossbank primary school. Primary 2-7 pupils were treated to readings from both the English and Shetland versions – as well as a snatch of French! Although Shetlandic was not the first language of the majority of pupils at Mossbank, many of the children were aquainted with Dahl’s English version and could follow the story. They all very much appreciated the gruesome ingredients which made up Dodie’s Phenominal Pheesic for granny and although they could not perhaps understand each individual word, they were able to build up an overall picture of the story as it unfolded. Christine’s sessions highlighted the richness of the dialect and the expressive qualities within it and by the end of the sessions the bairns of Mossbank had added a number of words to their Shetlandic vocabulary.

The Hansel website also offers interactive word match quizzes with translation Inta Shetland based on words used in the book. In addition, young people can also test their knowledge of the Shetland names for local birds or try writing a story using the Shetland dialect. The website can be found at and judging by the reaction of the Mossbank bairns, it provides a very engaging resource.

Interclub eela

For the past eight years, friendly local rivalry has taken place between Aith, Scalloway, Whiteness/Weisdale, Skeld/Reawick, Walls and Brae at the Westside Interclub Eela competition. This year’s event takes place tomorrow. Boats should leave their own club at 11am and fish till 4pm. Each boat then weighs in back at their own club and the fish will be auctioned off for local charities. The prize-giving will take place at 8pm in the Rankin Lounge at Aith and music by local artists and a supper will follow.

Ronas drama

It’s a sure sign that winter is approaching when the Ronas Drama Group prepares to start the new season. The group has been running for almost half a century beginning in 1960 with Jenny Gilbertson at the helm.

Ronas Drama Group’s first meeting will be on Thursday 18th September at 7.30pm in the Old Urafirth School. This is a public meeting and the group would welcome anyone along to see what goes on. As well as actors, the Ronas is always on the lookout for anyone willing to help with the many jobs involved in a stage production.

Nautical Institute – Shetland

The Nautical Institute is the international professional body for qualified seafarers and others with an interest in the industry. The main aim of the Institute is to promote high standards of knowledge, qualifications and competence among those connected with the maritime profession which has over 7,000 members in over 110 countries. The Shetland branch has a healthy membership and has been in existence since 1993. It provides an opportunity for members to attend lectures, field trips and discussions about the maritime industry as well as giving people a chance to network.

Last Friday members and invited guests of the Shetland branch met at Sellaness. Jim Dickson, general manager for SIC Ports and Harbours, gave two presentations which focused on the future possibilities for Sullom Voe in the context of harbour business and the economic possibilities in this respect. The first presentation concentrated on Ship to Ship (StS) transfer methods. The need for StS transfer arises because some modern tankers are so large that they are unable to enter some ports, or when it is desirable to keep a vessel at certain fixed locations, as is the case with Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO). After a break for coffee and a chance for people to have a chat, Jim gave his second presentation of the evening. This overview was based on a presentation previously given to Shetland Islands Council by Professor Alex Kemp, respected Professor of Petroleum Economics. This considered some of the future options which may prolong the economic life of the oil terminal and the harbour. Continued investment in the oil terminal infrastructure is essential if Sullom Voe is to have a future. The terminal has been in operation for 30 years and for this reason many of the tanks and pipes now require refurbishment to ensure continuation. Jetty towers and tugs also require refurbishment and replacement. Areas such as the gas plant are reaching the end of their working life and will be replaced by a smaller, more compact plant which will require fewer operators The heady days of throughput at the Sullom Voe terminal being 1.5 million barrels of oil a day are now a distant memory and although the life of the terminal has already reached well beyond that first envisaged in the 1970s, consideration must be given to the future scale and economic benefit of oil-related work. Possible solutions include using the tank capacity at Sullom Voe as a storage site for oil reserves to protect the UK against energy shortages in the future, a transhipment centre, a reception centre for liquefied natural gas, the creation of a shore base at Sullom Voe for offshore operations and the creation of a hub for gas processing from fields west of Shetland. The gas processing hub seemed the most economically viable of all the options and would help generate employment locally. A West of Shetland Taskforce is currently assessing whether offshore or onshore gas processing would be the most viable for the oil industry.

At the end of the second presentation, chairman Sandy Begg thanked Jim for two interesting talks which highlighted that Shetland has much to consider regarding the future of Sullom Voe and harbour activity. The Shetland branch of the Nautical Institute will hold their AGM at the Lerwick Lifeboat Station on Tuesday 23rd September at 7pm. For further information about the Institute or membership, contact Sandy Begg on (01806) 522454 or e-mail

Teas at North Roe

Interpretation Nort and Nort Trow Gairden are holding Sunday Teas this Sunday in the North Roe & Lochend hall to celebrate the end of the Nort Trow exhibition and a busy summer season. They hope folk will come along for a cup of tea and a last look at the summer exhibition. The exhibition will be open from 10am-6pm with Sunday teas from 3-6pm.

Community Care evening at Brae

On Tuesday night North Haven Care Centre staff will be on hand at an open evening in the Brae hall club room to advise anyone interested in community care work. Staff hope the evening will be inform people how to take the first steps into work within the care sector and practical information will be on offer to aid the process. Anyone interested should call along the club room between 6 and 8pm.

Maree Hay


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