Skerries School fund-raiser
On 30th January the Skerries School held a fund-raising day from 10.30am until 3.30pm.
The money raised is being divided equally between the Royal Aberdeen Hospital for Sick Children and the provision of resources for a nursery school in Ghana.
There was a bring and buy sale with bric-a-brac, home bakes/produce, books, clothes and toys. Also on sale was artwork by the pupils and Skerries souvenirs, mugs, keyrings etc.
For £1 each you could buy competition sheets: crosswords, spot the difference, word searches and spot the landmark. Winners will get their £5 prizes at the prize draw tonight in the hall.
The £5 entry fee covered the lunch of tattie soup followed by clootie dumpling, steamed pudding and custard. The entry fee also included teas throughout the day. The day was wonderfully successful and the amazing total of £601.92 was raised.
It is a great example of what a small community can achieve when everyone works together. This was all made possible through the work of pupils and staff but the school wants say thanks to the Skerries community for their brilliant support.
Readers will be aware that this is not the only big effort for charity made by the Skerries folk. Last week’s Shetland Times carried a photo of a cheque being handed over to councillor Gussie Angus. It was another, amazing, £600 to support the CLAN 1,2,3 appeal.
Cullivoe continues to be a busy port for whitefish landings with more fish landed in January than any other month to date. The action started early when two Scottish boats came in on the 2nd.
The boats had fished through the New Year period and it paid off for them because they had a total of 1,300 boxes. Enough to fill three articulated trucks, it was shipped directly to Peterhead to catch the first market of the year.
In all over 7,000 boxes of fish were landed in Cullivoe during January, almost 2,000 per week.
Norway Day in Whalsay
Every year the Whalsay School has a day when they take a close look at some other European country.
The working group has chosen Norway as the country that comes under the spotlight this year. The whole day on 18th February will be given over to things Norwegian and the entire school is involved.
The day will begin with a Norwegian breakfast of fish, but bread, cheese and strawberry jam will be well to the fore. This will be followed by a series of workshops. Teacher and organiser Christian Baert says that this year they decided to have some of the workshops run by folk from outside Whalsay to bring extra knowledge and expertise to the day.
Workshops will include Norwegian traditional dancing, cooking, storytelling, language and art. Very important will be the workshop on fishing boats. Given the importance of fishing to Whalsay and the Norwegian fishing industry this will be most interesting and they will explore the evolution of fishing boats.
Some of the Whalsay bairns have paid a visit to Scalloway, to the museum and the memorial, to learn about the Shetland Bus operation during World War Two. They made a film, which will be edited and shown on the day.
They will research information about Norway including tourism. Workshops will be finished by 2.30pm and for the next hour Izzy Swanson will do a presentation, with music, for the whole school. Teacher Eyvor Irvine will spend her day building a log cabin. She will not be single-handed; it will be a team effort.
It promises to be a most enjoyable and informative day that is looked forward to by many in Whalsay and further afield.
North Isles junior choir
The North Isles junior choir has made a start, with members meeting in the Sellafirth Hall on Sunday afternoons from 3pm until 4.30pm.
The choir is open to all children from Yell, Unst and Fetlar aged between six and 12. The choir is keen to recruit as many new members as possible.
The aim for the choir is to allow children to have fun with singing games and with the songs they learn. The ultimate goal is to be able to perform in concerts around the North Isles and throughout Shetland.
Organiser Alison Dobson says that parents and guardians are welcome to attend and refreshments are available.
Threat of closure
With the Blueprint for Education recently published the familiar threat of closure once again hangs over the smaller schools.
For the first time this has caused a worry in Fetlar because there is a suggestion circulating that the school might be thrown into the mix with the others earmarked for closure.
Paul Gill is keen to scotch this rumour. Wearing his hat as chairman of Fetlar Development Group, and not as a teacher, he says that the school will not be closed. Education services has an obligation to retain a school in Fetlar.
If the Fetlar School was closed it would almost impossible to take primary children to any other school, either in Yell or Unst, and back to their homes on a daily basis. Mr Gill wants to put folk’s minds at rest over this issue.
St Colman’s Day
On Sunday the congregation of St Colman’s Church in Burravoe is celebrating St Colman’s Day and everyone is welcome.
The service starts at 2.45pm and will be conducted by the Rev Keith Henshall. The choir of St Magnus Church in Lerwick will be there and there will be refreshments afterwards.
St Colman lived in the seventh century and he was one of the monks from Iona. He became bishop of Lindisfarne and achieved fame when he attended the Synod of Whitby in 663/4 where he argued to keep the Celtic church tradition against the Roman tradition.
However, he was unsuccessful and, rather upset at his defeat, departed to Iona with a number of his followers.
St Colman’s Church will hold a coffee morning in the Burravoe Hall on Saturday 21st February from 10.30am until noon.
February is very much the season of Up-Helly-A’s in the North Isles. In the early days of the festivals the dates varied from year to year but they have settled down to Uyeasound being in the middle of the month, Cullivoe being the last weekend of the month and Norwick immediately after that.
Twenty-five years ago Ivan Jamieson was the Guizer Jarl in Uyeasound and in a very clever bill there are many events recalled that might otherwise be forgotten. In Cullivoe in 1984 it was the late George Gunn who was the chief guizer. George was the Yell policeman at the time but he had been valuable in the community from the day he arrived.
It comes as no surprise that the Cullivoe proclamation was full of puns and wisecracks about the boy in blue with a phone number 222! Tonight is the Uyeasound Up-Helly-A’ and we wish Guizer Jarl Derek Ritch, his squad and all the participants a successful and enjoyable festival.
Fetlar internal transport
Emma Perring of the SIC transport department has been looking at ways to improve the bookings system for the dial-a-ride taxi service in Fetlar.
As well as booking through the central office in Lerwick it will also be possible, in future, to book direct with the taxi drivers on the isle.
They, in turn, will forward details of the bookings to the Lerwick office. This ensures that the SIC’s centralised booking and auditing system is kept informed.
Yell badminton club
Tomorrow is a big day for Yell Badminton Club when it holds the annual restricted tournament in the leisure centre.
This mid-February weekend has been established over the last few years and entries are open to any player who is a member of the Yell club and to Yell players and Yell residents.
Entries have to be in by tonight and play begins at 11am tomorrow but the finishing time is uncertain; it depends on the number of competitors.
The Mid Yell Hall will be serving suppers from 5pm until 7.30pm and the day will be rounded off with an evening of music provided by May and Mackie, starting at 9pm.
One of the organisers, Jackie Guthrie, said it was intended to be a family night out but she reminded folk that anyone under 16 had to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Date for the diary
On 25th April the Mid Yell folk plan a fund-raising event for CLAN 1,2,3 appeal.
Mrs Guthrie says that details have yet to be finalised but they plan to have an “It’s a Knockout” competition in the leisure centre during the day and a concert and dance at night. Watch this space.