Views from the Scord 17.10.08

Harbour news

THE STORMY weather of last week brought vessels in to shelter in Scalloway harbour and was responsible for a substantial reduction in line-caught mackerel landings.

Regular visitor the Anglian Sovereign arrived on Monday for shelter, as did the Faroese freight coaster Sirius, which returned to harbour again on Tuesday. The Kristiansund-registered fish carrier Gripfisk called in for shelter and a crew change on Tuesday, departing again before encountering technical difficulties with a pump on Thursday and returning to port to allow repairs. The offshore standby vessel Grampian Conquest also called in midweek. Freight coaster Fame returned to Scalloway during the week with 60 tons of fish feed for the Scalloway store.

The remaining bird net cage supports that were constructed and stored on the west quay were launched this week and towed from the harbour for deployment on farm sites.

One of the local fish farm sites bore testament to the level of growth that the summer weather has generated on cage nets around Shetland. One of its nets came to quayside aboard a tender vessel with such a lot of growth that it required two cranes to discharge it and it had to be sectioned into six pieces for loading onto an articulated lorry, completely filling the trailer bed. There have been wide-ranging reports of seaweed growth being exceptionally high this summer.

Fish landings were moderate in the week to Friday with a total of 1,335 boxes landed at the Scalloway fish market. Fishing vessels Venture, Fertile, Radiant Star, Quiet Waters and the Kirkwall-registered Keila contributed toward the total, with the Venture landing a respectable 400 boxes at the start of the week.

Line-caught mackerel landings totalled a mere 31.5 boxes for the week.

Changes in the SIC telephone system have led to the Scalloway harbour office publicising their new contact number this week as the old (01595) 880574 number is soon to be withdrawn from service. Enquiries or reports to the office should henceforth be directed to (01595) 744221 or the existing email address

Irene retires

Irene Laurenson, who has been a familiar face around Burra as she delivered meals on wheels to the elderly and infirm, has decided to call it a day after around 20 years of loyal service to the community. Irene, who lives at Brough, Burra, says the winter weather is the main contributory factor in her retirement from a job she still wholeheartedly enjoys, as she has found frost and snow to be more of an encumbrance to her in recent years. Irene say she is “missing it already”, in particular all the people she has come to know so well through her work.

She has been replaced by Ian Pottinger as the new meals on wheels operative, but will no doubt remain familiar to her former clients.

Scalloway community council

Scalloway community council meets for its October session on Monday night at the Scalloway public hall. Anyone wishing to raise a matter of local concern or funding should contact a community councillor, the clerk or attend the meeting in person.

Food festival

The Shetland Food Festival featured several events in the Scalloway area, the most prominent and popular of which were bannock-making classes in the home economics room of Scalloway school. There were two fully subscribed sessions, of 16 people each, presented by Joan Polson who has given bannock lessons in Whalsay for several years. The food festival classes, organised by the economic development unit of the SIC, were ideal for absolute beginners to gain an understanding of the manufacture of the ubiquitous bannock and the success and popularity of this event has made it likely that it may be repeated annually as part of the food festival. Described as “very enjoyable”, lessons on making an easy traditional staple foodstuff such as this are an ideal means to promote healthy home-cooking in the new impetus toward appreciation of local food and industry, in contrast to the “ready-meal” globalised food culture of recent years and the loss of tradition, quality and skills incurred by it.

There was also a course on cheese making run at the NAFC Marine Centre that attracted 12 attendees. The free course, which was presented by Kathy Biss of the West Highland Dairy and funded by HIE, introduced them to the basics of making soft and hard cheeses with a hands-on practical workshop on making soft cheese with un-pasteurised milk sourced locally. The course attendees returned really positive feedback about the event.

Also part of the festival were talks at the NAFC Marine Centre by John Goodlad and Hansen Black on aspects of the fishing industry and both the Marine Centre cafe and the Scalloway Hotel had special menus for the week-long event.

SBFS annual general meeting

The adjourned annual general meeting of the Shetland Bus Friendship Society will be held later this month. The previously held meeting, on the 2nd of October, did not fulfil the required attendance of members due to a combination of coinciding events. It is hoped that a more comprehensive turnout can be expected at the re-scheduled event.

The meeting provides an opportunity to hear the annual reports and catch up on fund-raising and events, both at home and abroad, throughout the year. Visitations from Norway during the year succeeded in raising the profile of the society nationally. Members of the SBFS also visited Norway to attend events and generate interest, further strengthening the historical links and building upon the already strong combined international efforts to commemorate wartime activities. Progress has been made with the Scalloway museum project with the funding application, submitted in June, to the investing in communities section of the Big Lottery Fund. A decision is anticipated next month with communications ongoing between fund representatives and the SBFS committee.

There will also be the opportunity to elect new office bearers at the meeting, which will be held on the 30th of October in the Scalloway Public Hall, starting at 7.30pm. All members of the society are welcome to attend.


In last week’s article “A Fond Farewell” it should have stated that community stalwarts Tom and Norma Smith were leaving Burra. Apologies are extended to them for the error in naming and captioning.

Mark Burgess


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