Isles Views 03.04.09

Fund-raising in Unst

A most successful weekend of fund-raising was held in Unst recently.

On Friday 13th March the Methodist Kirk had their annual sale of work with the very able Brian Hunter as auctioneer. Right now the Methodists in Unst have no minister of their own.

The Rev Douglas Graham retired in January and went back to his roots in Northumberland and Joan Ritch says that they now rely on visiting clergy to conduct the Sunday services.

The different kirks are good at working together and the folk who usually worship in the chapel sometimes attend the Church of Scotland services. Mrs Ritch also said that Brian was an excellent auctioneer and so willing to help in this way. The splendid total of £2,300 was raised.

The plight of folk overseas was not forgotten when there was a tabletop sale to raise money for a nursing home in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. This was organised by Jane Macaulay and she was delighted with the support this attracted, yielding a total of £922.

Primary children from the Baltasound school are among those going to Edinburgh on the school trip in May. Like other schools they are raising money to help with costs. Mina Spence and Charlie Priest organised a curry night.

Donations of food, chicken, lamb and beef were gratefully received. At the well-attended meal Primary 7 girls served the food and a total of £801 was raised.

Meanwhile a quiz and supper night took place in the Baltasound Hall in aid of the CLAN 1,2,3 appeal. Organiser Alison Smith was very well pleased with the turnout, with 13 teams entering. The winners, after the four rounds of questions which ranged from maths to TV theme tunes, were the aptly named team, With Looks Like This Who Needs Brains? Second were JHRS, third went to Blusmull shags and the booby went to Allsorts.

A special round on riddles brought a prize to Amie’s Afterthoughts.

After the supper and the drawing of the raffle it was revealed that the magnificent sum of £700 had been raised. Alison wants to say a big thanks to everyone who helped in the kitchen, in setting up the hall, donating raffle prizes and coming along to support the cause and take part in a fun night.

The organisers of all those events make the point that the whole island has pulled together and supported every one of the various charities.

For a community that has suffered so much population loss in recent years the collective raising of £4,723 is a truly amazing effort.

J J J retires

It was in 1951 that James John Jamieson of Cullivoe got his driving licence but he had had a peerie shot at driving, on the fly, before that. For most of the last 58 years he has been driving for a living. He has held a Public Service Licence since 1955 but now, having had his 75th birthday, he has called it a day.

“I keen a’ll mis da fok somethin awful,” he said, “bit you hae ta stop sometime.”

In his time behind the wheel he has seen many changes. When he started the family firm had old Chryslers, there were no tarred roads and on the road to Gloup there were three gates to be opened and closed. Nowadays the firm that bears his father’s name, R G Jamieson & Son, has a fleet of modern coaches, mini-buses and taxis.

With the roll on roll off ferries it is possible to offer excursions to the British mainland, Ireland and the continent, something unheard of in the aftermath of World War Two.

For the first few weeks of his retirement he, along with his wife Nessie, is in Aberdeenshire staying with their daughter Annabel. During his lifetime James John has endured a lot of poor health and personal problems but he has always bounced back and the many hundreds of folk that are his friends wish him a long and happy retirement.

CPO post

Unst Partnership has appointed Mike Smith as its new Community Powerdown Officer. Mike started work on April 1st and is in post for two years in a part time capacity. He is keen to assist individuals, community groups and businesses to reduce their energy use.

He can be contacted at his new home in Alma, Baliasta, Baltasound, on (01957) 711586 or by email on Mike is about to complete a degree in environmental science, once his house is completed. He has a wife, Karen, who teaches at Baltasound Junior High School, a son Eric, and another baby expected soon. It should be a very busy two years for him. As well as reducing energy use the post involves the creation of a recycling centre, investigating the possibility of a community composting service and compiling a feasibility study on energy savings in public buildings.

He will share ideas with other CPOs in Northmavine, Lerwick and Fair Isle and on a wider basis with 27 different community organisations throughout the Highland and Islands. He will also share his ideas and findings to benefit organisations in Yell and Fetlar.

Gift giving service

In Skerries the Women’s Guild has held their last meeting of the winter for the gift giving service. Over the winter the ladies has been busy knitting 83 small hats and 22 cardigans for the premature baby unit of Aberdeen hospital. The ladies divided their funds among three deserving causes, £125 to the Red Cross, £125 to the Save the Children fund and £70 to Shetland Aid. Well done indeed ladies.

Rowing season kicks off

In Yell Fiona Stirling says that it looks like no time at all since the Yell Yoal Club’s boat the Yala was safely stowed away for the winter in the weaving shed in Burravoe. However, it is now time to get the club underway again, starting with the annual general meeting on Wednesday April 8th at 7.30pm in the Yell Leisure Centre.

The Yell Yoal Club had another successful rowing season in 2008. The under-21 girls gained first in the league, the under-16 girls second, the open men third and the open women fourth. Well done to the veteran women’s team who got together at the end of the season and rowed in the championship event in Collafirth.

It’s not all about winning the league, Fiona says, just about participation and the club would welcome new members. It’s a great way to keep fit and enjoy the fine summer nights. The club is particularly keen to try and get under-16 and under-21 boys teams and veteran men’s and women’s teams together for the 2009 season.

They plan to arrange some introductory sessions for potential new members to come and have a go. The Yell Yoal Club will host a regatta in 2009 at Burravoe in partnership with South Yell Boating Club.

Everyone interested in rowing will be welcomed at the meeting. To find out more about Yell Yoal Club contact Fiona Stirling on (01957) 702239 or email

Brough Lodge

Fetlar Community Council has received a letter from Pierre Cambillard regarding the Brough Lodge project. In the letter he explained that he was seeking funds to get it into a wind and watertight condition and he asked whether FCC would support the project.

Brough Lodge is a grand old manor house, the ancestral home of the Nicolson family. It has been vacant for many years and it has fallen into a really bad state of disrepair.

Members of the community council agreed that they will not stand in the way of any project which would benefit the community, but they would need to ascertain the majority view of the community before they could express any view on their behalf.

An opinion poll was run at the Fetlar Development Strategy meeting in April 2008 on this issue and the community council clerk, Martha Devine, was instructed to obtain the results and make an appropriate response to Mr Cambillard.

100 today

Mary Grant, nee Tulloch, is celebrating her 100th birthday in the Millstream Hotel, Bosham, West Sussex. Mrs Grant has strong Yell connections. Her father was born in West-A-Firth, and her brother was the very well known businessman and convener of Shetland Islands Council, the late A I Tulloch.

Mrs Grant worked in the family business, working her way up through the departments until she was head of advertising. Her husband was Spencer Grant, a marine engineer, and they lived for a time in London.

On her big day Mrs Grant will have her three sons and her daughter with her as well as three of her four great-grandchildren. Her niece Olivia Tulloch will be there too to represent the Shetland side of her family.

Two other nieces are sisters Sandra Sales and Margaret Hutcheson, originally from Burravoe. Mrs Grant has all her wits about her and her son Peter says that his mother is in “amazing health”. Many happy returns.

Lawrence Tulloch


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