North Mainland Notes 21.11.08

Positive Effect

TWO Shetland residents have co-written an activity book for young people designed to increase young people’s positive views of themselves.

Positive Images – Positive Effect, by Ollaberry resident Paul Lee and Louise Bishop who lives in Quarff, has been published by Russell House Publishing as a tool for people who wish to make a positive difference in their work with young people.

The book has 111 short and easy-to-use activities designed to help young people work together to: positively address personal development issues, improve their views about themselves, respond positively to other people’s concerns about them through problem solving, co-operation, and understanding the needs of both the group and the individuals.

Positive Images – Positive Effects can be used by a wide range of volunteers and professionals including teachers, youth workers, police, youth justice workers, trainers, outdoor and adventure leaders. The activities are also easily transferable to trainers, managers, adventure leaders undertaking personal development, team-building and team-leadership courses with adults.

Mr Lee, a freelance outdoor activities technician and training consultant with specialist knowledge in dealing with children who have been labelled with behavioural and emotional problems, first had the idea for the book some time ago.

He said: “Shetland is a great place to reflect upon and consider many things. I had started to develop creative thinking and problem solving activities and games as a possible business idea and was involved with local groups seeking problem solving activities. This developed into a 10-week programme for older pupils and someone said the games and activities should be in a book”

Ms Bishop had considerable experience of proof-reading and editing and also working in school departments from nursery through to secondary.

She said: “Paul and I met up and I was immediately very excited by his ideas and outlook on life and young people. The other exciting thing about the book is the line drawing illustrations. We needed an illustrator and found it hard to find the right person – when one day it dawned on me that she was right under my nose.”

Louise’s daughter, Letty Bishop, provided the illustrations for the book when she was just 15. Letty is now 17 and doing an art and design course at the Shetland College with the aim of going to university next year to study art.

Positive Images – Positive Effect is priced at £19.95. To find out more visit where the book can be purchased directly from the website, or from Russell House Publishing on (01297) 443948.

Whaling tales and saat fish

Sunday will be a busy day for the Interpretation Nort group.

From 2-6pm they will be hosting a craft fair and teas in the North Roe and Lochend hall featuring local craft producers from the area.

Calendars, produced by the pupils of the North Roe school enterprise company, Angel Enterprises, will also be on sale. This year the calendar will feature photos depicting the history of the North Roe School.

At 7pm there will be an evening of the ever-popular whaling stories with Mitchell Arthur and Gibbie Fraser.

The Interpretation Nort group hope that folk will stay on at the hall from 6-7pm for their tea and by way of encouragement, the group will have bacalao on the menu.

For folk like me who have no idea what this dish consists of, I’ll try to explain.

In Norway, bacalao is connected with a special recipe that consists of a casserole of salted and dried cod cooked with potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, olive oil and cayenne peppers. If you’re not feeling that adventurous, macaroni cheese will also be available.

Delting derby

Delting Football Club is holding a fund-raising evening at the Delting Boating Club tomorrow night.

The evening will consist of a horse racing night with cheese and wine available. Place your bets at 8pm.

Fishy feed at Ollaberry

The Ollaberry hall will be cooking up fish and chips tomorrow from 5.30pm to 8.30pm.

The bar will be open so under-18s must be accompanied by an adult and folk can eat in or take away. A games night will take place after 8.30pm .

Hillswick fun and games

The Hillswick hall is hosting a fun night tomorrow night for folk of all ages.

The event begins at 7pm and there will be a tombola, homebakes, stalls, a raffle and face painting.

Suppers will be served from 8.30pm and a pool and darts competition will also take place.

The real fun and games begin after supper so take a team up to Hillswick for a challenge.

Hanging up his stethoscope

After nine years as a partner GP in the Brae Medical Practice, John Thorne hangs up his stethoscope today and leaves Shetland tonight. I popped along this week to see how the packing was going and to find out a bit more about the man.

Dr Thorne was a late entrant to medicine after first completing a degree in classics at Oxford University. Post-graduation, he was almost through the process of joining the foreign office when a long-niggling thought of becoming a doctor could no longer be ignored and he took the decision to turn his back on the foreign office and enter medicine.

With a background in the arts rather than science, at the age of 24 he enrolled at a technical college to gain the A levels in biology, chemistry and physics he required to become a doctor. He completed his studies in 18 months and was accepted at Edinburgh to study medicine. After he qualified at the age of 30, he worked in a number of hospitals in this country and abroad including a spell as district medical officer in the West Indies.

In 1981 Dr Thorne began his GP training and afterwards spent two years in the Solomon Islands. By this time he was married to Kate, an ecologist, and they had four children. When the family returned to the UK, finding a position was very competitive with many posts attracting in the region of 400 candidates. He worked as a peripatetic locum in his home area of Shropshire and into the surrounding area of East Wales.

With his four children through school, Dr Thorne looked for a fresh challenge. Although he had never been to Shetland, as he put it, he had “known Scotland for a lifetime”, and when he saw an advert for a partner in the practice at Brae, he decided to apply.

He got the job and arrived in Shetland during a blizzard in February 1999. Despite the weather he immediately fell in love with the place and the people. He has enjoyed his time and has seen a number of changes and advancements during the years including the appointment of his partner GP, Paul Scott, and the move to a superb purpose-built new building, a stone’s throw from the now-demolished previous health centre.

Life has been too busy for Dr Thorne to map out his retirement in any great detail so far. If he gets all the boxes packed before the boat leaves tonight, he’ll be off back to his wife in Shropshire and the family home there.

The unpacking will have to wait, however, as the couple are off to New Zealand on Sunday to visit one of their daughters, a pathologist there. They will be back home before Christmas, in time for the marriage of their second son in January.

The connection with Shetland hasn’t entirely been severed and the couple will still keep on the house at Wethersta and fully intend coming back to Shetland for holidays and visits during the year.

Dr Thorne helped many patients and their families through some tough times over past nine years and I’m sure all his patients at the Brae Medical Practice would join me in wishing him all the very best for his retirement and future adventures.

Dancing at Ollaberry

The dance at Ollaberry on Saturday organised by the Ollaberry dance group was a very successful evening.

As well as local folk, dance groups from Yell, Lerwick and Dunrossness came along and the dance group would like to thank everyone for attending.

The dance group meets in the Ollaberry hall from 7.30pm to 10pm on Thursdays and has been doing so for over 10 years.

The dancers are indebted to Nora Peterson from Sullom who has patiently taught her eager pupils the intricacies of Scottish dancing over the years. She has a special talent for unravelling complicated dance steps and passing her knowledge on.

Although around 20 people attend the classes at Ollaberry, the group is always on the look-out for new members.

One long-standing group member suggested that folk might like to come along and watch the dancing if this would help them take the plunge to join.

The group is also open to suggestions and would help folk learn any specific dances they may be interested in – Scottish or Shetland. As one member told me: “Dancing is good fun, good exercise and very sociable, so come along.”

Maree Hay


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