Views from the Scord 07.11.08

Christmas hampers

AS THE festive season approaches, the Scalloway Community Council is appealing for notification from people in the Scalloway area about local residents who have turned 80 this year, or those who will do so before the end of March 2009. It should be noted that this offer is, of course, also open to those over 80 that have not received an annual Christmas Hamper prior to now.

The community council distributes hampers, made up of a selection of foods and beverages, every year before Christmas to the senior members of the community. Anyone who wishes to receive one, or who knows someone else that will be eligible, should contact the on (01595) 880429 or approach a community councillor.

Memorial wreath laying

In keeping with Remembrance Sunday commemorations there will be a wreath laying ceremony this Sunday at the Shetland Bus Memorial on the Scalloway waterfront. The ceremony will comprise an address by Douglas Smith, the local amateur historian with extensive knowledge of the Shetland Bus operations, followed by an address by the Reverend Wilma Johnson, the new Church of Scotland parish minister. After these speeches the wreaths will be laid at the memorial and attendees are invited thereafter to proceed to the Scalloway Hall for soup and sandwiches.

Harbour news

A week of extremes in fishing activity in Scalloway harbour: early in the week to Friday the weather deterred fishing activity off the West Side, meaning no landings at all in the first three days of the week, but a change created an influx of fishing vessels to the harbour with a substantial landing of 1,602 boxes in only two days at the end of the week. Prices during this period were also said to be very good.

The boats using the Scalloway market were the Fertile, Radiant Star, Tranquility, Devotion, Guardian Angell, Keila, Quiet Waters and Venture. The best single landing came from the Guardian Angell with 254 boxes on Friday. The Ullapool-registered Maranatha and Peterhead registered Ocean Bounty were also in the harbour but did not land. There were no line-caught mackerel landings this week for the first time this season.

The Hordafor III called into Scalloway harbour to collect a load of salmon silage from the factory at Blacksness. The oil standby vessel Grampian Pride was alongside for repairs on Wednesday, returning to sea after completion. The Bergen-registered coastal freighter Fame returned to Scalloway with 160 tons of fish feed for the store on the Scalloway pier. The well boat Ronja Settler continues to operate in the Scalloway area.

Harbour staff were involved in a flotsam recovery operation last Monday after a fish farm tender vessel en-route to Clift Sound noticed a large piece of what was thought to be fish farm feed pipe caught up around the legs of the Trondra Bridge. Estimated to be approximately 80m long and 10 centimetres in diameter, this potential hazard to shipping was successfully recovered by harbour staff and towed ashore from where it was sectioned and disposed of by SIC operatives the following day.

Burra fish and chips

Last weekend’s fish supper night at the Burra Public Hall was a great success with over 130 fish suppers sold, as well as the alternative macaroni and chips, bringing in a combined total raised of £550. The quiz that followed had 30 competitors, forming seven teams, taking part. The victorious “Papil Plonkers” were rewarded with a free round of drinks from the bar.

The grand total raised from the evening was £612, which will go toward presents for local bairns at the annual Christmas party held in the Burra Public Hall in Hamnavoe.

The organisers would like to thank Gideon Ward for donating the fish and Willie Robertson for cooking it.

They would also like to thank Amanda Hughes and Chelsea Uren for presenting the quiz and all the helpers and the hall committee who helped throughout the evening.

Blueprint for Education

The first public consultation meeting for the Blueprint for Education policy-making process was well attended at Scalloway Junior High School on Monday evening. The meeting attracted a wide range of people, including all three SIC councillors for the central area.

Initial feedback from the event suggests that some of the questions posed by the questionnaire were not entirely clear, but the option to leave comments in this instance provides an avenue for reply, so long as comments can be factored into the final documentation. The timing of the meeting to coincide with Scalloway Junior High’s parents’ evening, despite the plentiful attendance, has prompted organisers to propose another meeting in Scalloway School on the 2nd of December. This is to allow parents unable to attend the whole of this meeting to have a chance to participate on that occasion. Questionnaires are widely available for individual participation in this process. The public consultations continued in the Outer Isles this week, returning to the Mainland on Monday at Sandwick Junior High School.

NAFC fire

Firefighters from the Scalloway station were called to a blaze in a skip at the back of the NAFC Marine Centre last Friday. The fire was already well established by the time they were alerted and as a result they were required to remain on site for around an hour to ensure the fire was completely extinguished. The contents of the skip were mainly plastic-based materials, like old netting and ropes, to which the fierce intensity of the blaze can be attributed. This also necessitated the use of breathing apparatus due to the noxious gases produced.

Eyewitness accounts relate that there was some firework activity in the area shortly before the fire and firework remains were found at the scene although the actual cause of the fire remains unconfirmed. The favourable wind direction at the time of the fire and distance of the fire from the NAFC buildings meant that none of the college buildings were thought to be at risk during the incident. The fire fighters used one main jet and one hose reel to extinguish the fire and assistance from other stations was not required.

Mark Burgess


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