Views from the Scord 26.09.08

Harbour activity
A ROUTINE week in Scalloway Harbour saw a few regular visitors and reasonable total of fish landings through the market.

The Ronja Settler was active all week while the charter vessel Honestas made a return visit on Tuesday. The drama involving the fishing boat Discovery, as reported in last week’s paper, played out on Wednesday after her forward hold started to fill with water while fishing west of Shetland.

She was escorted into Scalloway by the Aith lifeboat after four of the six crew were airlifted. She was said to have approximately five feet of water in her hold as she came alongside, listing slightly to port, but still quite high in the water and had no apparent difficulty in manoeuvring. Representatives of the fishermen’s mission and coastguard were there to meet her.

The Anglian Sovereign called in for supplies in midweek, followed on Thursday by another regular visitor, the Hordafor III, which came to load salmon silage from the Blacksness factory.

The weekend saw the start of more fish farm cage construction on the west commercial quay, this time for Lakeland.

Line-caught mackerel landings were good in the week to Friday with 200 boxes going through Scalloway market from a variety of smaller craft.

In white fish landings the Guardian Angell dominated the totals with over 840 boxes, while the Fertile, Radiant Star, Tranquility, Atlantia, and Scotia added to a total of 1,574 boxes for the week.

School music workshop
Pupils of Scalloway Junior High school were treated to one of the music workshops organised as a part of the Peerie Willie Guitar Festival.

Four top class international musicians were there to play a selection of their own unique musical styles, including flamenco and classical guitar, and to answer questions about themselves and their music. The hope of co-ordinator Bryan Peterson is that access to musicians like this will inspire the school pupils, many of whom already have music skills and interests.

Bryan, who is music development officer with Shetland Arts, said: “These events were enthusiastically received throughout Shetland. It is hoped that these educational performances and workshops might inspire the next generation of musicians to follow in the footsteps of Peerie Willie in developing their own styles, in keeping with his legacy of innovative guitar music.”

The players also visited Lerwick, Aith, Sandwick and Brae as part of their tour. It has been particularly good of these performers, about to embark on a major tour schedule, to make the time and effort to visit schools and their congeniality with the pupils was outstanding.

As well as performing they answered questions, told stories and played musical games with the audience. Accompanying them were Scottish Arts Council-funded local guitar tutors, who are going to follow up the workshops in providing more information about the artists and their adopted styles.

Mr Peterson said: “It was great to see so many of the pupils going straight for their guitars after the workshops and trying to emulate some of the musical techniques, that makes it all worthwhile.”

There is, according to him, a huge demand for guitar tuition in the local schools and there are waiting lists in many of them. It is hoped that more can be done to expand upon current tuition.

The tutors and events like these are funded under the Youth Music Initiative programme, which originated from an audit performed in 2003 to identify areas in musical development that were lacking in Scotland. In this case that includes guitar tuition, while in other areas it may be music technology or primary school tuition.

As outlined in the background to the funding, young people spend more time listening to and talking about music than any other creative pursuit. Something few people would argue with.

Scalloway 50+ Club
On a recent outing to the West Mainland, the Scalloway 50+ Club followed up a splendid lunch at the Mid Brae Inn with a visit to the Sandness Spinning Mill, where they were entertained to a tour of the mill by Garry Jamieson.

He gave a brief history of the mill and explained many of the varied processes by which the raw fleece is transformed into the finished product. Several members took advantage of the opportunity to buy cones of wool, knitted garments and woven blankets.

Burra school
The Hamnavoe Primary School started the new term with four new pupils in class one, made welcome to the school in a special assembly. They have since settled in well to the school.

The school has also welcomed drama co-ordinator Izzy Swanson who has been providing the pupils with weekly drama sessions and will be organising this year’s Christmas performance.

The school hosted a visit of Zimbabwean theatre company Grass Roots who performed music and dance for the pupils and engaged them in a musical extravaganza, much enjoyed by all involved.

Successful concert
The Shetland Bus Friendship Society fund-raising concert was once again a great success. Attended by an audience of around 80 people, it displayed a showcase of local talent in music and drama.

The evening took the form of two sets of performances with a supper in between and a large raffle to finish. Consisting of a mixture of short sketches and recitals, interspersed between musical performances, the theme of the night was very much comical and upbeat.

Popular dance band Fradenr Gamla played an assortment of polkas, reels and dance tunes.

The first of two acts mainly consisting of youth players was 4 Piece Sweet who were well received and drew a good response for their dance tunes.

The second youth band, The Nicolson Trio, are gaining a solid reputation for their polished performances, made all the more admirable with consideration of the performers ages being 11, 11 and 13.

Credit is due to the script-writers of the sketches, notably Willie Smith and Sandra Reynolds, as their effort paid off in the hearty response from the crowd.

Leslie Watt compéred the evening in professional fashion and good humour. He also acted as producer/director in the run up to the event. The total amount raised came to £657. The organisers would like to thank all the participants and helpers.

Makkin night
Burra History Group is holding another Makkin Night at Easthouse in Burra this evening.

The last event drew a good number of attendees for a friendly, traditional social evening of chat and knitting. Once again transport can be arranged by calling Wilma on (01595) 859669 or Sylvia on (01595) 859209.

Mark Burgess


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