Views from the Scord 21.11.08

Harbour movements

The week up to Friday saw mostly fishing-vessel activity in Scalloway Harbour.

Whitefish landings were very favourable, consistent with recent weeks and similarly attributable to suitable prevailing wind directions, with 2468 boxes landed in total from a mixture of local and visiting fishing vessels.

The best landings came on Monday from the Venture with 553 boxes and the Keila with a substantial 468 boxes. Other vessels landing were the Mizpah, Radiant Star, Fertile and Devotion.

The Banff-registered Jenna Marie and the Buckie-registered Ocean Sovereign were briefly in the harbour for shelter and the Aquarius, also hailing from Banff, called in to put a crewman ashore.

The regular freight coasters Sirius and Fame both called in during the week, the former for shelter and the latter to deliver a cargo of salmon feed.

The well-boat Ronja Settler and a variety of aquaculture tenders continue to operate from the harbour.

Drug talks

There will be an evening of drug and alcohol information talks in Scalloway Junior High School on Tuesday, organised by the school parent council.

Attendees will move between classrooms in groups and each group will be presented with an informative 20-minute presentation by one of the many services relating to drug and alcohol abuse in Shetland.

The presenters include the police, Dogs against Drugs and paramedics to discuss enforcement and emergency service issues like basic first aid relevant to the subject matter.

Local statistical information on the drug and alcohol experience of school-age young people will be presented by Jenny Gilmour. Her talk will reveal and discuss the findings of two recent questionnaires completed by school pupils.

The findings are said to have been revealing in a variety of ways, both bad and good and may come as a surprise to many parents. The figures are drawn from anonymous surveys that included questions on age and gender.

Community outreach worker Linda Gray will discuss the 16+ age group and the work of community alcohol and drugs services and how trends in apparent drug use and client entry into the programs they run have changed over recent times.

A potentially positive aspect of this being that drug users are seeking help and counselling at earlier stages now as opposed to, traditional decline into complete disaster before requiring help.

Penny Armstrong is a consultant employed to establish steps toward better provision of service for young adults and her talk is a prelude to a further public consultation meeting scheduled for the Scalloway Hall on Thursday at 7pm.

These crucial advances in public involvement give parents the opportunity to provide their thoughts on where the focus should be in drug and alcohol awareness and effective management, the first part at the school providing an overview and the second the chance to discuss the matter more freely.

The key point in all the presentations is that of specifically local issues. National statistics may be mentioned for comparison at times but the main subject matter of this event involves all of Shetland, whether through crime reports in the local news, road safety issues or medical issues and, at worst, the tragedies that occur.

The community alcohol and drug services urge a good attendance to bring more people in touch with the reality of what is happening in Shetland today whether good or bad.

The requirement for the service they provide grows steadily with positive steps in supporting not just drug and alcohol users but the families of those affected.

Eventide home appeal

Preparations are under way by the Friends of Walter and Joan Gray Eventide home to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the care home in 2009.

The group is appealing for anyone to come forward with photographs of the building from the 1960s or from its previous incarnation as the Royal Hotel prior to that time.

They would also like to receive any other pictures of Scalloway from the 60s as well as any artefacts or anecdotes of the era.

They hope to gain enough material to publish a commemorative calendar for the home and to mark the anniversary with an exhibition and teas in the public hall.

The group will copy and return original photos to their owners and if anyone things they have anything that may be of interest they are asked to call the Rev. Magnus Williamson on (01595) 880023 or Jeanette Leask on (01595) 830 219.

School awards

A huge number of pupils from Scalloway Junior High School rose to the challenge of the library’s summer reading challenge from the beginning of last term until the October holidays.

The pupils were required to read six fiction or non-fiction books in the allotted time and to complete a reading record to say what they thought of the books they read.

The idea behind the challenge is to promote literacy in the school and make it fun for the pupils in doing so, with activities and incentives along the way.

The challenge has been run for several years but for Catherine Mullay of the school library this year has been outstanding.

“I have been particularly impressed with the uptake this year with almost three quarters of them completing it,” she said, amounting to 78 pupils who have now received badges and certificates in honour of their achievement in completing the challenge.

This year’s theme was sport-related to tie in with the Olympic Games which took place in the summer.

Burra History Group

The Burra History Group has announced its programme of winter events after their recent annual general meeting.

There will be a quiz night in the Bridge-End hall tomorrow at 7pm. Teams of up to four people will be allowed and tea will be served during the evening and the bar will remain open throughout.

Next Friday there will be another makkin night at Easthouse and transport can be arranged through Sylvia on (01595) 859209 or Wilma on (01595) 859669.

The following evening there will be a whist drive, also at Easthouse, and anyone needing transport for that should contact Adalene on (01595) 859623. Tea will be served for both evenings.

The Burra History Group is always looking to welcome new members and anyone interested or wishing further information should contact Sylvia or Adalene, as detailed above.

Mark Burgess


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