12th November 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Tochts fae Tushie Truncherfaece

, by , in Shetland Life

Görwill trows blamed for earthquake.

Wir you reeselled oot o your bed by da earthquake? Da Görwill trows ir da eens tae blame for whit happened at 5:32 on da moarnin o da 15th o January. Da British Geological Survey ir gaaderin facts tae establish whit wis tae faat. Dey laekly niver tocht tae ax a trow.

Hiv you heard o da trows o Görwill? Laekly no. Dir story is een dat’s deein oot. Dey bide on da hills atween Eid an Clousta. When I wis a young trow dey wir weel kent. Afore fokk used cars da quickest route atween Clousta an Eid wis ower da hills past da knowe o Görwill. For generations bairns on da wast side wir telt stories aboot da Görwill trows tae hurry dem hame.

Noo, hit wis years fae I wis heard onything o da Görwill trows. So I wisna lippenin dis invitation dat cam wi da post-trow:

“Da Görwill trows wid laek tae bid da Truncherfaece faimily tae a rant on da 15th o January fae 12pm tae 5.30am. Dress code: riggit up.”

Hit didna tak lang for wird tae spread dat ivery trow in Shetlan hed a bid tae da Görwill rant.

“Feth,” said Meenie. “Naebody has held a rant o dis size afore. Whit will I rig in?”

So you can imagine da flaachter on da 14th o January. Da bairns wir rubbit red raa wi da faececloot. Da boys spreched as Meenie haaled a comb trowe dir tick hair. “Ma-aam!” roared Snurtysleeves.

“Hadd dy wheest boy,” said Meenie. “Or du’ll git ribbons laek dy sister.”

Meenie hed finally settled on riggin in her new tweed skirt an her best flooery bloose. Hit wis sicca occasion she even left her peenie hingin aside da press. Dat isriggit up.

As soon as darkness fell we startit da lang henk ower da hills. Görwill seemed a lang wye aff but we hed til midnicht. Da bairns startit tae pleepse as we neared da Loch o Vaara. Tankfully da knowe wis in sight.

Eence undergroond Gertie o Görwill cam tae shaak my hand. “Tushie, my freend! A’m no seen dee in ower a hunder year. Hoo is du boy?”

“A’m splendid Gertie, very blyde tae be bid here danicht.”

“Surely fokk will be spaekin aboot da Görwill trows agaen eftir dis!” she gaffed.

“I doot dat,” I agreed.

“Awa an hae a dance Tushie. Aabody is here. Even Lukki Minnie fae da Fair Isle. She’ll dance wi dee nae budder.”

Gertie wis richt. Aabody wis dere. Fae da boannie Peesterleeties tae an oagre wi a third ee set in his broo. Hunders o trows. But I widna be gittin a dance wi Lukki Minnie straight awa. She wis birlin an Unst Kunal trow til he liftit aff o his claas. Poor sowel.

We danced, hed maet an tay, den danced agaen. Whit a spread o maet. Mutton, saat beef, tattie soup an plenty o bannocks. A’m niver seen sae mony bannocks afore. An as for da fancies, dey most hiv baked for days. “Kinda overly I tink,” said Meenie. But hit didna stop her fae glaepin anidder bit o sponge.

As da nicht wore on mair an mair trows turned up. Usually a trowie rant has wan fiddler but dere wis a dizen. You could feel da groond shaak as yit anidder reel wis danced.

“Hit’s nearly da back o five Meenie, so will we hae a dance afore we head home?” I axed.

So we birled an hooched an stamped wir claas tae da fiddle music. Come da last dance I wis fit tae drap. Ivery Shetlan trow kent o wis dancing laek dey’d niver danced afore.

An den hit happened. Dere wis an almightly dad an da earthen flör opened up under da strain. Da soond wis deafenin. We waatched in horror as trows slippit intae da holl. Idders rushed tae grab dem by da claas an haal dem back up. We wir dat fairt as da groond aa aroond wis shook. Tankfully we wir dat packit tagidder we couldna faa ower.

An da rest you ken. You’re spoken plenty aboot hit. Wha kens, you’ll mebbe hae tae pit up wi mair earthquakes. Dere could aesy be mair Görwill rants . . .

Sleep soond,

Tushie Truncherfaece x