Times Past 19.12.08


The way should now be clear for a housing scheme which will provide accommodation for nearly 30 single people and 10 sheltered houses.

Hjatland Housing Association have a site earmarked at Holmsgarth in Lerwick which will provide accommodation for 28 single sharing tenants, two self-contained flats, 10 sheltered houses and a warden’s house. The scheme will be built on land owned by Lerwick Harbour Trust which the trust has agreed to sell.

However, the Hydro Board has an oil pipe for the power station going through the site and Hjatland Housing Association could not go ahead until the Hydro Board decided that they could move the oil pipe elsewhere, so the housing scheme should now go ahead.

SIC councillor for the area Mr Leonard Groat said he would be delighted if the scheme went ahead. “Single person accommodation is one of the biggest demands on the council’s housing,” he said, “and Holmsgarth is one of the few areas in Lerwick left for this type of development. We have a certain number of people in Lerwick who could move into sheltered housing leaving council houses free.”


Lerwick Town Council are to hold a special meeting to consider the possibility of providing a recreational and social hall in St Sunniva Street, with pavilions backing on to Gilbertson Park.

The meeting will be held once tenders for the project are received. The week before members of local associations met in the Burgh Courtroom, and agreed to form a Lerwick Recreational and Social Association to manage the hall, should it ever be built.

It was a very long meeting, and many of those who attended at the beginning had gone home before it ended.

Mr J. W. Sinclair, president of Zetland County Badminton Club, was chairman, and gave a resume of the project. The position was that it now seemed possible it could go ahead, provided tenders were within reasonable limits. If they were, and the Council so decided, building might start at the beginning of February.

It was a condition of grant assistance that the day-to-day management would be in the hands of an Association, although the Town Council would remain proprietors.

The grant forthcoming will be comparatively small – probably only ten per cent of the cost of the work completed before 15th May. The bulk of the amount borrowed, plus interest, will have to be met from the rates.

At the County Council meeting on Tuesday, a letter from the Education Committee recalled that three years ago the committee decided to contribute £5000 to the Town Council towards the cost of a badminton hall, etc. The scheme was held in abeyance, but now the Council had been told they could get sanction to borrow, and that the Scottish Home Department’s grant would be paid insofar as work was completed by 15th May.


Before Justice Wright, City Commissioner, the trial began in Dublin on Monday of Thomas Grant (25), a sailor belonging to Lerwick, for the murder of Mary Carroll, at Fish Street, Dublin, on Saturday, November 8. The crime caused a great sensation, and the Court was crowded. Carroll was an unfortunate, and on the night of the tragedy was found lying bleeding on the street. When conveyed to the hospital she was found to be dead.

Grant and four others formed the crew of the Baron Kelvin, of Ardrossan, and were discharged at Dublin on the day of the murder. After Carroll was found the five sailors sailed for Glasgow per the Olive. Several days later five men were arrested in and around Glasgow, Grant having in his possession a sheath knife which he said he bought at Algeciras. Grant said he had been dismissed from the Royal Artillery, went to America, and was employed subsequently on a sloop at various ports.

Accused, who seemed very downcast when the trial began, is married. His wife and two children, it is understood, reside in Leith. He pleaded not guilty in a firm voice.

The Solicitor-General opened the case for the Crown, narrating at length the circumstances connected with the crime.

Mr O’Connor made an eloquent speech to the jury on behalf of the prisoner.

After 20 minutes absence, the jury returned and sought advice from the judge for one member on a minor point. Twenty minutes later they returned a verdict of guilty, with a strong recommendation to mercy.

Asked what he had to say, Grant replied: “I did not do this thing. This is the truth. I am as innocent as a child.”

The Judge, in sentencing the prisoner to be hanged on Tuesday, January 12, urged him to make his peace with God, as he could hold out no hope that his sentence would be reduced.

Grant listened to his fate calmly, and on leaving the dock he leaned over and embraced a woman who sat behind him during the trial.


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