Times Past 14.11.08


BOOKINGS are now being taken for the Lerwick Harbour Trust’s new Shetland Hotel which opens in March next year. Secretary of State for Scotland George Younger will be performing the opening ceremony.

Names for the hotels suites were agreed at the Harbour Trust’s meeting on Tuesday. The banqueting suite is to be called the St Catherine Suite – the St Catherine was an old North Company vessel; the Ninian Restaurant is named after the ship, the oilfield and the isle; the public bar on the ground floor, which will have separate access from the street, will be called the Ferry Inn. The VIP suite, which can be adapted for various uses, is to be the Harbour Suite.

The De Hann cannon will be placed at the entrance of the new hotel. The Ancient Monuments section of the Scottish Development Department has now given the trust permission to take the cannon from its present site at Fort Charlotte. A plaque is to be place beside the cannon telling how it was found in 1922 by “Johnny the Diver” – John Robertson of 25 Ronald Street.

After the hotel the trust’s next project is to provide a rig service base at Dales Voe. Last week the base got outline planning permission from Shetland Islands Council.

Also last week a joint report was published by the Highlands and Islands Development Board and the Scottish Development Agency saying that the Cromarty Firth would be the best site for such a base. Shetland had been considered a possibility, but was thought to be less suitable. Undeterred the trust agreed to write to the HIDB and the SDA asking for grant aid towards the project and for a meeting to discuss the proposals. The trust has also agreed in principal to sign a Section 50 agreement with the SIC. Trust manager Arthur Laurenson explained that this agreement was different from planning conditions but was designed to protect the residents in the area.


Another popular Shetland place-names competition has been run recently in aid of the Church of Scotland Women’s Foreign Missions. The competition has now closed, and the first all-correct entry was that submitted by Williamina Poleson, Nisthouse, Cunningsburgh, who wins a pair of towels.

After meeting all expenses the competition raised £17 16/3 for the funds.

Probably many Shetlanders had no opportunity of entering the competition, but by permission of the Rev. Isaac Ralph, who devised it, we give here the clues – for entertainment value only. The answers are given below.

1 Gives a gritty light probably. 2 Fruit named after Olla. 3 What bursting wallet contains. 4 Gee, you are out of vogue. 5 S. Sunder & Sons announce “back to normal after alterations.” 6. Spell it wrongly and make it backward, aloof. 7 Find site of famous ancient building. 8 Singular, it gives its name to an unpartnered flower. 9 Mixed nuts.

10 Being high up makes Ron. Ash ill. 11 The song thrush smiled gleefully? 12 A bare slope. 13 Extra large eggs? Sounds fishy. 14 Join a bit of candlewick to the end of pier. 15 Goes with paper, bag and stone. 16 Turn mollusc away from sound of sea. 17 Whalsay loch is ruffled but has no aspirations. 18 A medium sound? 19 Mrs Dale’s son, Lewis, no tyro, turns us about. 20 W. Hall drops a letter, but has final say.

Answers:1 Sandwick. 2 Ollaberry. 3 Tingwall. 4 Voe. 5 Dunrossness. 6 Foula. 7 Mousa. 8 Walls. 9 Unst. 10 Ronas Hill. 11 Mavis Grind. 12 Brae. 13 Muckle Roe. 14 Lerwick. 15 Sand. 16 Sullom. 17 Scalloway. 18 Mid Yell. 19 Weisdale. 20 Whalsay.


Fatal Socialist orgy. – Says the Evening Express, London, of Thursday, 5th instant: – A Socialist drinking bout had a terrible end on Tuesday night at Northampton.

George Belt, who was the unsuccessful Socialist candidate for Hammersmith at the last general election, and Joseph Whitbread, a prominent local Socialist, had been celebrating the victories of two members of their party in the municipal elections.

Both got extremely drunk and wandered down to a public common, through which the river runs. They walked along the steep bank and then fell in.

Whitbread was drowned, but a young private of the Northamptonshire regiment, named Rowthorn, pluckily dived in and succeeded in keeping Belt’s head above water until assistance arrived.

Belt, who gave his address as Mall Road, Hammersmith, was fined five shillings for drunkenness at the police court yesterday.

The coroner, at the inquest on Whitbread, gave warm praise to Private Rowthorn for his heroism under such difficult circumstances. As to Belt, he said: “I am surprised to see a man who preaches a case which is supposed to benefit the people, getting hopelessly drunk and being responsible for a very respectable man losing his life.” Belt, it will be remembered, visited Lerwick during the past summer, and under the auspices of the Lerwick Working Men’s Association, delivered several addresses on the Esplanade.


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