Isles Views 05.12.08

Fund-raiser on ferry

THE YELL Sound ferry Dagalien will host a special North Isles fund-raising event for the CLAN 1,2,3 campaign on Saturday 13th December.

Teas, coffees and festive home bakes will be available upstairs in the passenger lounge from 9.40am (Ulsta to Toft) until 3.25pm (Toft to Ulsta) in exchange for a donation to the CLAN appeal.

The event hopes to attract travellers to and from Yell, Unst and Fetlar and encourage them to enjoy a cuppa and a home bake while supporting a good cause and, quite probably, enjoying a welcome break from Christmas shopping.

Some regular Yell Sound commuters, while on route from Yell to Lerwick, thought up the idea for the fund-raiser.

Elspeth Clark, one of the organisers, said: “We thought we would make the most of having a captive audience and encourage passengers to enjoy a festive morning/afternoon coffee/tea and at the same time raising funds for an important cause.

“We would like to acknowledge the co-operation from the SIC ferry services department in helping to make this happen and hope that as many people as possible will come and support us on 13th December.”

For more information contact Fiona Stirling on 07748 757105 or (01957) 702239 or e-mail

Cullivoe school garden

A few weeks ago we reported that parents, teachers and pupils at Cullivoe had started a project to make use of the neglected school garden. A jumble sale was organised to raise money to buy garden tools, plants, seed etc.

As bad luck would have it the weather was pretty dire that weekend but it did not prevent a successful effort. Loads of items were donated for the sale and along with a raffle this took in £728.61 and the sale of teas and home bakes realised another £87.20, a grand total of £815.81.

The Parent Council would like to thank the Ladies Guild for doing the teas and everyone who baked, donated a raffle or helped in any other way. The Parent Council is consulting with the children and asking them what they would like to see in the garden.

Older folk say that in the 1920s the school garden was beautiful. The then teacher Hector Morrison, who came from Tongue on the north coast of Scotland, had green fingers and he took great pride in the garden. Pupils were divided into teams and each team was responsible for a plot and competition was encouraged to see who could produce the best results.

Whether the Cullivoe School garden can ever return to those glory days is a moot point but the community welcomes the school’s efforts to make it look good again.

Blueprint for Education

A public meeting was held in the Mid Yell School to hear the presentation of the Blueprint for Education made by SIC head of education Helen Budge.

Like other meetings in the series it was well attended and the attendees broke up into groups, each with a leader, to look at, and fill in, the questionnaire, which is a prime tool in the consultative process.

In Yell, in common with other areas, the questionnaire has been severely criticised. It is said that the questions are loaded and have double meanings. They take the form of statements where folk can express their degree of agreement or disagreement but often people find that they have mixed feelings and that words are being put into their mouths.

What has emerged from all of the meetings in the North Isles as being the main concerns are the questions of whether primary schools with a roll of 20 or less will be closed and the age at which secondary pupils leave the junior high schools to go to high schools either in Brae or Lerwick.

Fetlar and I@TE

A report by Northmavine Community Development Company seemed to strongly suggest that Fetlar no longer wishes to be part of Initiative at the Edge (I@TE) in any future format.

Fetlar Community Council received a letter from I@TE requesting written confirmation.

A meeting of the community agreed that the wording in the report had been misleading and that while Fetlar independently set up a Fetlar Development Group and a working group to improve the social and economic situation on the island, it still wishes to continue its involvement with I@TE in its current or future format. On request a list of local businesses was compiled and the clerk is forwarding this to I@TE.

Soggy mail

At the same meeting of Fetlar Community Council, member and postman Bob Leaper raised a serious concern about the poor condition that the mail is in sometimes when it arrives in the isle. On several occasions the mailbag has been literally dripping wet and letters inside it were ruined.

As an example Neil Coutts showed fellow community councillors a personal and confidential letter from his bank which had been ruined by water and was unreadable. The SIC ferry services department and the Royal Mail have been contacted.

Uyeasound harbour

The work on the new Uyeasound harbour is going well. The sheet piling is complete and the many thousands of tonnes of rock from the Setters quarry in Haroldswick, required for infill, is in place.

The breakwater is at the stage where the contractors, Tulloch Developments, are ready to run the concrete capping around the top, but in mid-winter it is not easy to find suitable weather.

The Uyeasound Waterfront Trust is delighted with the progress and looks forward to the job being finished on time. The fine summer of 2008 has been a bonus in terms of the work programme staying on schedule.

Sellafirth craft fair

The annual craft fair in Sellafirth takes place on Sunday between 11am and 5pm.

This is a well-established event that began in the early 1990s and has run ever since. Elaine Thomason, one of the organisers, says that the take up of stalls is very good indeed.

In the past stall holders have come from all of the North Isles and from the Mainland and many of them will be present again this year. A new stall holder is Dot Davis, who with her husband Sam has returned to the Bastavoe area since they sold the Scalloway Hotel. Dot will be selling, among other things, Christmas decorations.

Catherine Gibbs, who lives in Mid Yell but teaches in Unst, will present for sale work by Unst bairns to raise money for the Unst Play Group.

Each year the hall benefits from the proceeds of the craft fair but money from the raffle is always passed on to some good cause. This year it will go to the Unst Play Group. Mrs Thomason said she hopes that it will help them buy equipment for the play park.

Laughter workshop

Just up the road from Sellafirth in Cullivoe on Sunday there is another craft sale but also laughter and massage workshops.

The laughter workshops will take place in the morning, beginning at 10am, while the massages carry on through the day.

There will be a mini-concert at 3.30pm followed by wine and mincemeat pies. Everyone is welcome. Tomorrow, there will be singing and music workshops with Erin Sandison from 9.30am until 4.30pm with lunch included.

To book a place phone Andy Ross on (01957) 744355 or 07900 430429 or Michelle Morris on (01957) 744394 or 07880 814242.

Christmas card deliveries

The North Isles youth clubs will be doing Christmas card deliveries this year as a fund-raiser for their clubs. Youth worker Lesley Gray says that all you have to do is to “pop your Christmas cards in the following boxes and leave a donation”.

In Unst the youth centre will have boxes in Ethel’s Shop, the Final Checkout and Skibhoull Stores. Deliveries will cover the whole island.

Mid Yell Youth Club will have boxes at the Aywick, Henderson’s and Linkshouse shops as well as the Yell Leisure Centre. They will deliver to Gossabrough, Aywick, Mid Yell, Westsandwick, North-a-Voe, Sellafirth, Gutcher, Cullivoe and Gloup.

Burravoe Youth Club will have boxes in the Ulsta shop, Burravoe Post Office, Brough Stores and they will deliver from Burravoe right around to West Yell.

All the boxes will be uplifted on Saturday 13th December and the cards will be sorted the following day. Any extra helpers will be welcome.

The Fetlar Youth Club will be opening the hall on 20th December from 11am until 1pm for people to drop cards for delivery in Fetlar.

Musical theatre piece

There have been some entries for the planned musical theatre piece which Brian Gregson and Andy Ross are working on.

They say that if anyone wants to enter a story in any shape or form to be considered for the piece there is still time. Entries can be sent to or phone (01957) 744355.

Lawrence Tulloch


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