Isles Views 03.10.08

Partnership proposals

THE UNST Partnership held its annual general meeting last week in the Uyeasound Hall.

Gordon Thomson remains as chairman with Brian Hunter as vice-chairman, Anna Niven as secretary and Maggi Rayner as treasurer.

The partnership has now given up the lease of the two office units at Hagdale, Baltasound, in order to reduce costs.

Mr Thomson said that the partnership was keen to become more involved in renewable energy projects in the community and is planning to meet Mid Yell representatives to discuss some of their plans. With the recent successes of the PURE Energy Centre, originally set up with funding through the partnership, there was a clear need to improve energy consumption costs in the North Isles and reduce the cost of living and working here.

The meeting also agreed to the setting up of a website to improve communication with people in the North Isles.

Anyone with any other ideas for community projects or who wants a copy of the 2007-08 accounts can contact Mr Thomson at

Concertina players

Marie Hallam, who is the cook at the Fetlar school, also teaches the concertina. She has been doing this for three years but now there are only two pupils, Tom and Ellis Thomason.

Both the boys are interested and when Marie heard that Irish concertina expert Mary MacNamara was visiting Shetland she saw it as a golden opportunity for herself, and the boys, to meet a virtuoso.

Mary and her pupils from Ireland put on a performance at the Bell’s Brae School last Friday so a party from Fetlar that included Marie and her pupils travelled to Lerwick to sit in on the concert. Mary had limited time in a very tight schedule but she took some time out to meet the Fetlar boys.

Marie said that it was a wonderful experience for the boys to witness concertina playing as a performance and they heard, first hand, the beautiful music that this diminutive instrument can make.

Later that night there was a Shetland/Irish concert in the Cullivoe Hall. Much was expected of this concert and many, in the packed hall, said that it was one of the best nights ever in a hall that has hosted plenty of big names and big events in its relatively short history.

Zero carbon open day

The zero carbon house in Uyeasound owned by Michael and Dot Rea held an open day last Saturday. However, so many people came on Sunday that it turned into a second open day.

Among those who visited were plumbers, electricians, joiners and architects. Two from a housing association in Tiree came from the Western Isles. They had heard about this extraordinary house and made a special trip to see it.

The Reas agreed with some of their suppliers/sponsors that they would provide true data on the energy consumption of the house if it were run from the grid. This equates to 95kw per month, which is approximately £37.

Mr Rea said that they were receiving a huge number of emails from all over the world and he finds that to answer them all takes a considerable amount of time. One of the more interesting emails came from the PR consultant of the world’s largest game and toy company on Madison Avenue, New York.

They want an image for cards, which will be part of the re-launch of a very successful board game.

Mr Rea agreed but asked that the cards include the Shetland flag and the location of the house. The game will be sold in 12 countries worldwide. A Korean TV company is due to arrive in Uyeasound to film this week.

Effects of the strike

The second of the one-day strikes called by the unions Unite, GMB and Unison affected the whole of Shetland but it had a greater impact on the isles than anywhere else.

The ferries remained tied up all day and this meant that some people could not get to work and some businesses were at a standstill for 24 hours.

At least one man who lives in Yell but works at a salmon farm in Unst got picked up in Gutcher by a workboat, thus giving the ferry a body swerve, but many commuters had to stay at home. Folk depend on the ferries for everything – there is no other way in or out.

Irrespective of the rights or wrongs of the situation or the justification for the withdrawal of labour, if there are many more such strikes any support that the unions had in the North Isles will very quickly evaporate.

It comes as good news that SIC workers, including ferry crews, are unaffected by the selective strike planned for Monday.

Angling’s end of season

Unst Angling Club is winding down the competition season but, nonetheless, they have had a number of events recently.

The final two junior competitions were held in the Lochs of Watlee and Cliff and Michael Thomson was the only one to have any success in Watlee. He caught a trout that was worth 21 points.

Cliff was no easier but Kaylee Palmer managed to catch two fish for 37 points. Michael Thomson won the Bristow’s Cup for juniors, Stuart Ferguson won the shield for second and Orin Holt won the third place shield.

The final sea angling event was for the Clingra Cup in the olick and tusk competition. The winner was Colin Laurenson with 64lbs, second Fraser Paul with 41lbs and third Drewie Thomson with 38lbs. Colin had the heaviest fish, a 14lb 2oz ling.

The Bordanoost Cup for the heaviest fish of the season went to Drewie Thomson for the 17lb 13oz cod caught on 17th June. Fraser Paul topped that with a 25lb cod but, unfortunately for him, it did not count because it was caught in the olick and tusk competition.

The final trout fishing points competition saw a win for Steve Palmer. He had three fish weighing 2lb 13oz. Second was Davie McMillan with two trout for 2lb 5ozs while Lindsay Thomson was the only other angler to catch a fish that day.

Final positions for the Community Council Cup: 1 Davie McMillan; 2 Steve Palmer; 3 Lindsay Thomson. Davie also won the cup for the best basket with 11lb 12ozs caught on May 30th. Davie won the Quoys Cup for the heaviest fish of the season, a 4lb 9oz trout caught on 1st August, and the Stanley Mouat Cup for the best four from five baskets.

Last Saturday it was the “off the island” competition for the RAF Commemorative Cup. The lochs chosen were Varra and Clusta and the winner was Lindsay Thomson with eight trout weighing 4lb 2ozs. Second was Davie McMillan with four fish for 1lb 13oz and Steve Palmer was third.

The last competition of the season will be the craigs, fished this Sunday from 1pm until 3.30pm with the weigh-in at 4pm.

Food festival

As part of the Shetland Food Festival the Wind Dog Cafe in Yell, working along with festival organiser Neil Henderson, is offering a night of local fish dishes on Wednesday 8th October from 7.30pm.

Later, at 9pm, there will be music and storytelling.

To find out more, or to book a table phone the Wind Dog by closing time on Monday 6th on (01957) 744 321.

Nordalea fund-raiser

Many of Shetland’s most talented musicians are putting on a concert in the Baltasound Hall tomorrow night at 8.30pm.

A model fourareen made by Tommy Balfour and donated by Tony Mouat will be sold by auction. Money raised will go towards the cost of a large flat screen TV and surround sound system for Nordalea Care Centre.

Cancer shop clearout

The shop in Aywick, which is run to raise money for cancer research, is having sales this month.

On Saturday 3rd, Thursday 9th and Saturday 11th customers can fill a bag for £5. Not only that, but bags will be provided.

Shop manager Penny Williams said that after the last of the sale days the shop will be completely emptied and re-stocked.


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