North Mainland Notes 16.01.09

Hillswick hall update

The Hillswick Hall committee is holding an open meeting on Thursday to update the community on the latest refurbishment plans.

Some years back the hall committee identified a range of improvements required in the hall, including an extension to include toilet facilities suitable for disabled access, refurbishment of the kitchen, general upgrading of the building and an increase in car parking facilities.

The committee canvassed the local community to gauge support for the project and the response was excellent. They found that the majority of folk in Urafirth, Heylor and Hillswick were behind the refurbishment plans.

Since that time much work has gone on behind the scenes in terms of feasibility studies, design ideas and meetings with architects and surveyors.

The original feasibility studies which included all the ideas on the community wish-list estimated that costs would be in excess of £500,000. The committee felt that in the current funding climate and given that 10 per cent of the total costs would be borne by the community, this figure was unachievable.

With a down-to-earth, realistic vision the committee reconsidered what could be achieved within the existing footprint of the hall and without the car park upgrade. A revised costing of less than £300,000 has now been reached and residents are now being consulted in a further survey for their views on the revised project.

The committee recognise that community support is essential to this proposal and members will be at the Hillswick hall on Thursday from 7pm to 9pm at a public meeting.

They would like to invite anyone interested in the project to come along to the hall to add their views, comments and suggestions. The committee would also welcome anyone who would like to join the committee or help with fund-raising events.

First responders at Brae

After recent criticisms of ambulance response times to incidents in both Sandwick and Brae, the Scottish Ambulance Service has responded by trying to set up community first responder schemes in both these areas.

The meeting at Brae will be held in the Brae hall on Monday at 7.30pm and local residents are invited to come along to find out more about the service and how they may be able to volunteer.

January sale

The North Mainland Recycling Centre at Brae is now open again after the festive break, and to encourage new year shoppers the group is holding a January sale.

BOGOF is the message

No, this isn’t a term of abuse from the volunteers at the centre – it’s the acronym for Buy One Get One Free. Anyone buying two items will be able to take home the cheaper of the items for nothing.

Sandra Bigland of the recycling centre also points out that they are always on the lookout for more items to sell in the shop, so if you have any small items of furniture, ornaments, bric-a-brac or even unwanted Christmas presents that you’d like to find a new home for, take them along to the centre at the former Nelson Smith print shop.

The centre is open on Mondays from 6.30 to 8pm, Tuesdays 10am to 12pm and 2-4 pm and Saturdays from 2-4pm whether you’re buying or donating.

Hillswick quiz night

The monthly quiz night over the winter at the Hillswick Hall has now moved to a Friday night each month.

The quizmaster will be on hand tonight to welcome teams with a maximum of four people.

Questions begin at 7.30pm, so if the grey matter has recovered after the festive season, head on up to Hillswick.

Ollaberry fish and chips

The Ollaberry Hall is holding a fish and chip night next Saturday night from 5.30 to 8.30pm and diners can choose to eat in or take away.

A games night will follow and as the bar will be open, under-18s must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Northmavine Up-Helly-A’

It’s just over a month until the Northmavine Up-Helly-A’, which takes place this year on Friday 20th February.

Guizer Jarl for 2009 is Ivan Goodlad from North Roe and halls will be open at North Roe, Hillswick and Ollaberry for the event. Tickets for the halls will be on sale in local shops from early February.

February is a busy month in Northmavine with the mass meeting in the Hillswick Hall on Friday 6th February and a pre-Up-Helly-A’ soirée also there on Thursday 19th February.

The hop will take place at the Sullom Hall on Saturday 21st February and a guizers’ return will be held in the North Roe hall on Saturday 28th February. Looks like little credence will be paid to Valentine’s Day by the nort men this year.

Maree Hay


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