North Mainland Notes 07.11.08

Northmavine History Group

THE NORTHMAVINE History Group plays an important part in the preservation of Northmavine heritage. The main task of the group is their involvement in the day-to-day running of the Tangwick Haa Museum. Monday nights over the winter are spent deciding on new themes and ideas for the following season and putting together the exhibitions.

The group is also involved in a proposed project to install an interpretation board near the site where the Gunnister Man was discovered. The discovery, made by two men out cutting peats near Nibon, Northmavine, in the early 1950s, was a peat-bog preserved body dating to the late 17th century accompanied by the earliest surviving example of knitted clothes, as well as other artefacts including coins and a small kog. The interpretation board is part of wider celebrations to mark the return of the Gunnister Man for display in the Shetland Museum and Archives in 2009. The Northmavine History Group annual general meeting will be held at Tangwick Haa on Monday at 8pm and the group would welcome new members or anyone who would like to come along to find out more about the group.

Fireworks at Eshaness

Weather permitting, the annual bonfire and fireworks display will take place at the Eshaness Community Centre tomorrow night. Light up will be at 7pm and suppers will be on sale in the centre from 6pm and also after the bonfire. A social evening will follow with side stalls, games and a neepy lantern competition.

Chinese cuisine at Hillswick If you’ve reached the end of a long week in the North Mainland and would like someone else to do the cooking tonight, pop along to the Hillswick hall tonight for a Chinese takeaway. Food will be available from 4-9pm and bar facilities will also be available. Telephone orders will be taken on (01806) 503265.

Snow White

It’s that time of the year again – pantomime time – oh yes it is! This year sees Splinters Youth Theatre performing Snow White by Mike Newbold. The huge cast of 42 young people have put in a tremendous amount of rehearsal time in the past few months to ensure the consistently high standard of work we have now come to expect from Splinters. Two panto performances will take place in Brae Community Hall this year. These are on Friday 21st November starting at 7pm and Saturday 22nd November starting at 2pm. Tickets will be on sale at Brae Hall this Sunday from 2–5 pm or contact Di Newbold on (01595) 820283. Tickets cost £4.00 for Adults and £3.50 for concessions. The cast look forward to seeing you all there.

Open evening

The housing survey carried out in Northmavine by the Northmavine Community Development Company (NCDC) generated, among other things, interest in self-build, taking on a croft tenancy and how to split/divide crofts. In a bid to answer some of the queries people may have regarding this, the NCDC is having a drop in session in the Sullom Hall on Monday night from 7.30–9.30pm. As well as information on croft land and croft builds, there will also be someone to answer queries on the SRDP and CAGS. Information will also be available on where to look for help with home heating and insulation costs.

Over a cup of tea, folk from the Crofters Commission, including chairman Drew Ratter and Mary Ross, crofting services officer, will be on hand with leaflets and information on a range of subjects from becoming a crofter to creating new crofts and a number of subjects in between.

As you are all aware, vacant croft tenancies are not all that common, so it’s important that anyone in Northmavine who is keen to take on a vacancy registers an interest with the commission. The new entrant scheme is currently closed so, as Drew Ratter explained, at present there is no formal registration scheme, but the commission currently keeps a list of anyone interested should a new scheme be launched. As well as this, there will also be information on the current home improvement grants and building grants available to croft tenants.

For people in Northmavine who have an interest in splitting or dividing croft land to help create new crofts, Mary Ross will be available to offer one-to-one advice and information. Although a croft was once, perhaps aptly, described as “a small piece of land surrounded by red tape” it is also an important rural development tool in our bid to retain and increase the number of folk living in rural areas. While collating the results of the Northmavine housing survey, it was encouraging to find a number of young people who are interested in taking over a croft.

Whether we like it or not, the new SRDP scheme is here to stay and it’s essential that crofters and communities find their way around this important funding stream. Bob McIldowie from the SGRPID local area office in Lerwick will also be on hand to try and debunk some of the SRDP myths and give advice and information to anyone on rural priorities. Bob will also have information on the current Crofting Community Agricultural Grant Scheme (CCAGS).

In addition to the crofting information, thanks to Avril from the One Stop Shop at Hjaltland Housing Association, there will also be enquiry forms for people who may qualify for help with home heating costs and fuel poverty grants to assist with home repairs and improvements. The Energy Savings Trust also offers energy efficiency/renewable energy information and fund advice to private householders and the website at is a great source of information.

If this has whetted your appetite for further information on any of the above, please drop along to the Sullom hall on Monday night from 7.30–9.30pm.

Monster mayhem

The Hallowe’en night party last Saturday at the Mossbank Hall was a real success. Ghosts and ghouls of all ages turned out to take part in the event, which was a great night out for all the family. In order to help raise funds for the youth club and the hall, the Christmas Fair and Car Boot takes place on Sunday from 2–4pm. As well as tombola, raffle, guess the number of sweeties and the teddy’s name, there will also be teas and home bakes on sale.

Northmavine Tourism Group

As the tourist season ebbs away for another year, members of the Northmavine Tourism Group now have time to meet to look at their next project. The group is a sub-group of the NCDC and over the years it has been instrumental in a number of projects including the commission of a tourism action plan for Northmavine. They also contracted a local worker to compile a visitor survey for Northmavine. This was subsequently collated and resulted in one of the most recent tourism group projects, an excellent report with many ideas and recommendations for the future. In addition, this summer the group launched A visitor’s quick guide to Northmavine which has sold successfully this season. The guide is also available on the Northmavine website as well through local shops and it is hoped that the guide will both inform visitors while they are in the area and encourage folk to visit.

The Northmavine Tourism Group would welcome new members from the area with fresh energy and ideas, so if you’d like to join the group please contact chairwoman Christina Nicolson at the Braewick Café (01806) 503345 or Maree at the NCDC office (01806) 544222

Survey replies

As you may be aware the Hillswick shop is now operating on a part-time basis. The NCDC is currently carrying out a survey in Hillswick and Eshaness to help establish whether there would be any interest in purchasing the shop as a community asset. So far, a healthy number of returns have been received but the NCDC is keen to have as many forms back as possible in order to establish a clear picture of community feeling. Please send your surveys back to the NCDC office by Monday at the latest.

Ollaberry fireworks

The bairns’ Hallowe’en party at Ollaberry which was postponed last week, will now take place tonight at Ollaberry hall tonight from 6pm. After a spooky Hallowe’en tea, there will be a neepy lantern competition followed by games and activities. If the weather allows, the annual bonfire and a fireworks display will be held outside the hall. Parents are reminded to closely supervise children during the bonfire and fireworks.

SWRI sales night

The Ollaberry SWRI is holding a sales table night in the Ollaberry hall from 7pm on Tuesday night. There will be a wide range of stalls including Tupperware, Party Light candles, Usborne books and the Body Shop. The ladies of Ollaberry will also be serving 8 o’clocks after folk have had a chance to browse the stalls.

Maree Hay


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