Times Past 20.02.09
25 YEARS AGO
A petition has been sent to the Church of Scotland trustees in Edinburgh protesting about the sale of the Bressay Manse. The petition was signed by 151 people in Bressay who are either members or adherents to the church.
The manse was built in the early 1950s and was provided largely by local subscription. It has been empty since missionary, Mr Ken Taylor, who served as an assistant in Lerwick and Gulberwick, left at the end of last year.
One of the people who signed the petition said that they had first heard about the sale of the manse on Christmas Day and that it had been presented as a fait accompli. The last two missionaries had been very good and they would like to see another missionary living in the manse. Although they served in Lerwick and Gulberwick the ferry service was quite adequate.
Councillor for Bressay Mr Jim Irvine said that in the past he had supported the church in getting grants for repairs to the manse because Bressay seemed to be “the poor relation” of the parish.
Mr Irvine said: “I am very annoyed at the refusal to listen to local wishes and will oppose the Church getting a council house in Lerwick when they have accommodation in Bressay.”
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The Shetland Library has received a donation worth between £2,500 and £4,000. It is impossible to put an exact price on the 300 Shetland books and pamphlets in the collection of Mr John Hunter, the county librarian.
The books and pamphlets belonged to the late Mr George Jamieson who died in 1967. After his death the books were passed on to his sister and they were passed on to the library after her recent death.
The Jamieson Collection will be available for reference at the Anderson High School. Mr Hunter said that without this gift it would have been very difficult to equip the school library with Shetland books as they are difficult to find and fetch high second hand prices.
50 YEARS AGO
A complaint about lack of snow clearing in Fetlar recently was lodged by Mr Charles Brown at Tuesday’s County Council meeting.
Mr Brown said he supposed snow clearing cost the county a handsome sum of money. When the snow was about finished, and there had been no clearing in Fetlar, he learned that the road foreman had been instructed not to clear any of the roads in the island – he was to open drains, but not clear roads, which Mr Brown thought was a very silly thing.
When the steamer called at Brough on one occasion, bread and perishables had to be left on board, because there was no means of getting them transported. Heavy goods landing at Hubie could not be transported.
Mr Brown had got in touch with the surveyor’s office, but could not get the surveyor personally, so he rang up the Chief Constable, not being aware the state of emergency was over. It was only towards the end of the conversation that the Chief Constable said he could do nothing, as the emergency was off, but the Chief Constable did not accept what Mr Brown said about transportation of goods. He had remarked that there were plenty of able-bodied men in Fetlar to transport it. He had also remarked about the fact that there had been no complaint until now when the emergency was at an end.
Mr Brown thought that was a most ridiculous thing to say. The people of Fetlar were due to be complimented, rather than ridiculed. He hoped when the occasion arose again there would not be any orders issued not to clear roads.
Mr Prophet Smith said they had not heard about Fetlar before, but apparently very few places agreed that all that could be done was done during the time of the snow. That applied from Queen’s Lane in Lerwick right up to Fetlar and Unst!
Mr J. P. Moar, road surveyor, said Mr Brown’s statement about the foreman’s instructions was not accurate. All Fetlar roads were waterbound, and Mr Moar had dreaded a rapid thaw. Mr Moar had told the foreman that before he cleaned any roads he was to clear drains, in order that the road surfaces would not be washed away.
100 YEARS AGO
Lerwick Pleasant Sunday Afternoon Brotherhood. – The half-yearly distribution of prizes in connection with the Lerwick P.S.A. Brotherhood took place in the Wesleyan Church on Sunday afternoon last, when the rev. Jos. Henderson, the moving spirit in the Brotherhood, presided.
The Lerwick branch of the P.S.A. has now been in existence for one year, and too much cannot be written regarding the success of it. Ever since Mr Henderson held the inaugural meeting, the wheels have run smoothly, and the Brotherhood is a most flourishing organisation.
In the course of the afternoon, and before the book-prizes were distributed, Mr Henderson addressed a few remarks to the audience. He said that although they had a large number of prize-winners there was a number of members who did not attend regularly during the summer, and who were practically ruled out of participating in the prize-giving. The audience present did not fully represent their strength, for they had on their books 310 nominal members. (Applause.) He might say that they had plenty of critics of the P.S.A. One man refused to join, because in his judgment it was only the scum of Lerwick that went to it! He thought that man was more of that kind than any of those present that day. Those who had seen in it something good had come there ungrudgingly, and given their services to further the interests of the P.S.A.
Rev. R. Rossall then distributed the prizes, after which Mr J. W. Irvine sang the solo, “Pilgrims of the night”.
The meeting was bright and attractive throughout.