Views from the Scord

Remembrance Sunday

A crowd of over 40 people attended the Shetland Bus Memorial at Scalloway’s Main Street on Sunday afternoon.

The raw chilling wind added a solemnity befitting the occasion and prompted organisers to keep the event brief for those suffering in its clutches.

Douglas Smith gave a short speech on the subject of the Shetland Bus, followed by a sermon by the Rev Wilma Johnston.

Wreaths were then laid by Charlie Grant for the Shetland Bus Friendship Society, Kenny Pottinger for the Scalloway Community Council and Alan Inkster for the Royal British Legion Scalloway branch.

A fourth wreath was laid by an officer from the shuttle tanker Hanne Knudsen who with another officer had travelled from Sullom Voe Terminal to attend the event in honour of his compatriots.

The Friendship Society then provided teas and sandwiches in the Scalloway Public Hall.

Scalloway health centre

THERE was cause for celebration at Scalloway Health Centre this week when staff member Joan Hughson completed three years of study and practical training to gain her NVQ Level 2 in Pharmacy Services.

Joan has been a popular member of staff for almost five years and chose to pursue a course of further education in her role in the dispensary of her own volition, with the full support of the practice. Appropriately, it has since been decided by local health officials that each dispensary around Shetland should similarly have a member of staff qualified to this level by 2009.

Joan is held in high regard by her employers and speaking for them Willis Duncan said: “She’s an excellent member of staff, very thorough and works very hard. This qualification is the fruit of all the effort she has put in.”

The practice upholds the value of staff development and is proud of the team-spirit they maintain in the fairly confined space they have to work in and the ever increasing bureaucracy.

The workload of the dispensary has also grown gradually over recent years as there is a greater impetus toward preventative medication. New housing developments in the Scalloway practice area also mean increased numbers of registered patients.

This workload is also the explanation for the recent adoption of two-monthly repeat prescriptions from the dispensary.

Though she would be delighted to progress further with her qualifications, Joan has reached to top level for now as to proceed would require working alongside a pharmacist and she has no intention of moving on.

Staff development of a more general nature continues at the practice on Wednesday afternoons, when the surgery is closed to the public, with regular courses on relevant training matters.

Visitors to the practice may find themselves disorientated this week when entering the building as the waiting-room and reception desk have swapped places to accommodate the aforementioned increase in paperwork. This move, though temporarily confusing, has been essential for the practice to continue to run efficiently without significantly more major upheaval, due to the physical limitations of the current building. The changeover was executed with minimal disruption with staff adopting an “all hands to the pumps” method to achieve it. The new waiting room, though smaller, is thought to be ample to accommodate normal patient numbers, including times when waiting patient numbers are elevated by the attendance of visiting specialist practitioners, such as the chiropodist, to the premises.

The Scalloway practice would also like to appeal to anyone registered with them who is eligible for the flu vaccination, and who has not already received it at the outreach clinics staged in public halls, to contact them for an appointment. There was an excellent response to the outreach clinics but there are still a fairly substantial number of people who can receive the vaccine. Those eligible include anyone over 65 and anyone with long-term health issues. For more information contact the Scalloway surgery on (01595) 880219, or call a free national information line on 0800 22 44 88.

Good companions

The Scalloway Good Companions are proposing to have their annual Christmas lunch in Da Haaf Restaurant on Saturday 6th December.

The afternoon’s festivities will commence at 1pm and dining will be followed by a variety concert, featuring local performers and entertainers, which will continue until 4pm.

Attendance sheets are in the Scalloway Post Office now and anyone wishing to attend should add their name to the list before 28th November.

Harbour activity

There was another record-breaking milestone for Scalloway in the week up to Friday, with a colossal 3,062 boxes through the fishmarket.

If adjusted by a working day to the previous Friday the approximate total becomes an even more incredible 3,700 boxes for a seven-day period, unheard of in many years.

The glut of fish through Scalloway can be largely attributed to a swing in wind direction from west to east pushing more vessels to this side, although with favourable prices also being claimed it would be hard to detract from the significance of landings on this scale at any time.

The boats to which the total can be attributed are the Devotion, Keila, Maranatha, Quiet Waters, Radiant Star, Venture, Discovery, Mizpah, Scotia, Fertile, Prolific and Tranquility.

The fishing boats Ocean Sovereign of Buckie and the Banff-registered Jenna Maree and Prospect were also alongside toward the end of the week seeking shelter, two or more of them believed to be on oil standby work at the time.

The small fishing vessel Seagull landed the only box of line-caught mackerel this week.

In other shipping movements, the Ronja Settler continues to operate from Blacksness and the former pollution control barge Graven was towed into Scalloway Harbour by the fishing vessel Comrades for slippage at the Malakoff and Moore yard.

The oil standby vessel Grampian Conquest called in and the regular visitor Sirius offloaded 360 tonnes of fish feed for the Scalloway store.

Blydoit bonfire

Last Wednesday’s Guy Fawkes activities took on monstrous proportions in the East Voe of Scalloway with the appropriately named “Big Brilliant Brightastic Bontastic Blydoit Bonfire Night” and the related mountainous bonfire.

Flyers were delivered door-to-door in the surrounding community and this generated a large crowd on the night. The bonfire was capped with a particularly appealing large simian “Guy” which drew a lot of attention in the preceding days, adding an air of monkey business to the event.

Community spirit was very much in evidence on the night with hot-dogs, juice, oranges and sweets provided for the bairns by locals.

The accumulation of fireworks was large enough that some were withheld on the night and are being kept for New Year instead.

Local resident Lynsey Rendall said: “It’s great to see the new communities around Blydoit coming together for this sort of event.”

The fire brigade also gave their approval to the organisers on the evening while visiting to ensure that due care and attention to safety was made in holding the event.

The locals said they would like to thank Clive Hughson and Lawson Bisset for much of the organisation and everyone else who helped out, and in particular to all the bairns for behaving so well.

Mark Burgess


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