Factoid plates plan

They have proved popular with visitors to Edinburgh’s Royal Mile eager to swot up on the city’s history, and now plans are emerging to bring similar informative signs – or factoid plates – to the lanes of Lerwick.

Members of the town’s commun­ity council hope to see the new signs put in place below the existing ones in time for the Tall Ships event in 2011.

Work is underway to establish how much the plates might cost, and how the work can be taken forward in the future.

Community council member Damien Ristori said the move was being made to commemorate the lanes, and provide visitors and resi­dents with fascinating information about the history of their history.

Another group looking at it is the Lerwick Old Town Association, of which Mr Ristori is also a member.

“We felt that it was basically for people who like to walk around the place. Tourists and locals like to ken the history of the place they are in,” said Mr Ristori.

He said it was important the existing name signs remain in place, as they have been replaced in recent years, however the factoid plates will give valuable additional in­forma­tion.

Having the plates in place before the Tall Ships will ensure a maxi­mum number of people can see them as well.

So, in the coming years look out for detailed information about Crooked Lane, where Barbara Pit­cairn resided after leaving the Busta estate.

Her illegitimate son, Gideon, eventually became Thomas Gifford’s heir at the Busta estate, but before then Barbara gained praise for producing her fine knitting.

Meanwhile Hill Lane played host to ship’s master James Ogilvy. His son, Thomas, built Ogilvy’s Build­ings in 1884.

Back Charlotte Street was origin­ally named Thatch House Lane, for obvious reasons, while Pilot Lane got its name from the large number of seafaring men who lived there.

Albert Court was named after Queen Victoria’s consort, however last word should go to Pirate Lane. Its name was taken from Sir Walter Scott’s novel Pirate.

That particular factoid will explain how half way up the lane it is no more than four feet wide and is, therefore, not a good place to hopscotch down.


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