North Mainland Notes 05.12.08

Ollaberry panto

Rehearsals are at an advanced stage for the Ollaberry School annual pantomime.

This year all 14 pupils will perform Jack and the Beanstalk which I’m sure will include a few local twists to the plot.

The performance takes place in the Ollaberry Hall on Tuesday 16th December and starts at 7pm. The evening will be rounded off with eight o’clocks and a raffle.

Each year, funds raised on the night are split between the school fund and a charity of Ollaberry’s choosing and donations of homebakes or raffle prizes would be warmly welcomed by the pupils.

This event is usually very well supported by the community and the school hopes to see a fantastic turnout.

Sullom thanks

The recent annual squad do at the Sullom Hall raised £320 for the CLAN 1,2,3 appeal from a combination of donations and a raffle. Thanks are extended to everyone who supported the event.

Eyes down again

Due to the success of last year’s Christmas bingo evening, once again it’s eyes down in the Muckle Roe Hall on Tuesday night.

Doors open at 7pm, with mulled wine for everyone on arrival and the bingo begins at 7.30pm. The prizes will have a Christmas theme and in addition to the raffle, eight o’clocks will be served during the interval.

Bronze for Brae

The Brae High School has once again fared very well in a UK Maths Challenge competition.

In early November senior pupils took part in a challenge set by Leeds University. From the 1,899 schools that participated, five members of the Brae group were successful in achieving bronze certificates. Teaching staff at Brae are naturally proud of this great achievement in the face of such competition. Well done to all those involved.

Senior special

While waiting for my squid ring supper at Frankie’s Chip Shop and Cafe last week, I had a yarn with manager Ian Mills during a rare quiet moment.

Business has been brisk at Frankie’s since opening and as well as takeaway meals, the cafe is also proving popular with workers and locals.

Ian has just introduced a special menu for senior citizens. Each Monday from noon to 2pm a two-course meal with tea or coffee will be served for £6.50.

Diners can choose from a selection of main courses including a small haddock or sausage supper or the chef’s special. Then choose from sticky toffee pudding or a selection of homemade cakes, all washed down with a cup of tea or coffee. Folk could even use their bus pass to get there to help reduce the cost even further!

Ollaberry suppers

The Ollaberry Hall is holding another fish and chip night tomorrow.

Suppers will be available from 5.30pm to 8.30pm and folk can either eat in or take away. The bar will be open and a games night will follow, so under-18s must be accompanied by an adult.

Chinese at Hillswick

As I compile the North Mainland Notes this week, I realise that if I play my cards right, I won’t have to cook much at all this weekend. “What’s new?” is the cry from my brood.

Hypothetically, we could have chip suppers from Ollaberry tomorrow night and a Chinese from Hillswick on Sunday night. Chinese takeaways will be available from the Hillswick Hall on Sunday from 4pm to 9pm. Orders can be phoned ahead on (01806) 503265.

Penny Bassey

Life’s coincidences can just be too strange for explanation at times.

Almost six months since the arrival in North Roe of the plants from the award-winning Shetland crofthouse garden at Chelsea, out of the blue I received a phone call from Les Lowes in Walls to say that work on the DVD explaining the story of the garden and how it came about, is now almost complete and the film ready to go on sale.

As folk may be aware the purpose of the garden was to raise funds for, and awareness of, Motor Neurone Disease. It was the brain child of Martin Anderson, one of the co-founders of the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

As we talked, Les and I discussed the various stages of the garden story and the people who had been involved with, and supported the project.

Les told me of an amazing lady, MND sufferer Penny Bassey, who had visited the garden at Chelsea and taken part in the filming. Sadly, Penny passed away four months ago.

A few days after my conversation with Les, as I drove through Northmavine I noticed that I had missed a call from the Ollaberry shop.

When I phoned the shop, Christine could tell me that a man was looking for both me and the North Roe community garden. I was heading in the wrong direction, but I turned round and travelled up to the garden at North Roe where I met the man. He turned out to be Michael Bassey, Penny’s widower.

Michael, a wonderfully warm man, told me a little of Penny and her life. She was a head teacher until being diagnosed with MND five years ago.

He also explained how Penny had been so taken with the crofthouse garden at Chelsea that he felt the need to complete a sort of pilgrimage after she passed away, to see the garden back in its natural environment.

Given the wintry weather and the recent gales, other than the peerie house, there was not much for Michael to see in terms of a garden, but somehow I don’t think it mattered to him.

Maree Hay


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