North Mainland Notes 08.05.09

First market at Vidlin

Next Saturday, the first ever Vidlin farmers’ market will take place in the Vidlin hall from 10am to 2pm. The organisers have sourced a wide range of local produce and crafts from the area and hope people will come along to the market to see what is on offer and pick up something fine.

Tea, coffee, rolls and home bakes will be available in the hall throughout the day as sustenance for hungry shoppers. There are still a few spaces available for anyone with local produce or crafts for sale. To book a table phone Arlene on (01806) 577235.

Teas for Tamil Nadu

The last Sunday in April saw a very successful Ollaberry hall teas event raise nearly £1,000 for schoolchildren in Tamil Nadu.

Shetland has been linked with communities in Tharamgambadi, a tsunami affected fishing area on the coast of Tamil Nadu in South India since 2005.

Over the past four years the local Tamil Nadu-Shetland community group has regularly raised funds to support efforts to rebuild schools and the local economy. The most recent success was the school bus, paid for by Shetland funds, which is now busy collecting bairns from villages all over the surrounding area.

With regard to the fund-raising Sunday teas at Ollaberry, the group is extremely grateful for the massive support they were given by the indomitable women of the hall committee, who steered them through the perilous waters of running the superbly efficient teas. It is no wonder these teas have a fine reputation across Shetland, and happily, the quality on this occasion remained superb.

Those involved would like to thank Jeanette Spall in particular, who introduced the novices among the local Tamil-Nadu-Shetland community group to the military precision involved in organising the smooth running of the teas.

The group would also like to thank all others who assisted and gave generously for this good cause.

Samuel Thomas, who runs the Hope Foundation Schools in the area, was delighted to hear about the extra resources for the children. Full details of what the money is being spent on will be available soon.

Ollaberry fish and chips

At this time of year, with so many folk involved in the lambing season, home cooking often has to take a back seat as it is all hands on deck to ensure that both ewe and lamb are safe and well.

Full-time lambers – and anyone else – will be able to pop along the Ollaberry hall tomorrow night to the ever-popular fish and chip night. Food will be available from 5.30pm to 8.30pm and folk can eat in or take away.

For anyone who isn’t lambing, and has a bit of spare time, a games night will follow. The bar will be open and under-18s must be accompanied by an adult.

Garden slide show

The Brae hall was the venue last Thursday for a successful slide show and talk by Sue Hayward, designer of last year’s double award-winning Shetland Croft House Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Sue now regularly gives talks on the inspiration and ideas behind the story and as she was coming up to Shetland on holiday, kindly offered to give a presentation. The evening was superbly hosted by the North Mainland Gardening Club and all proceeds from the evening were donated to the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Sue explained how the garden idea first came from Martin Anderson, co-founder of the Motor Neurone Disease Association. After spending time in Shetland on holiday, he was inspired to attempt to recreate a 1940s Shetland garden as an entry in the small gardens section of the Chelsea show. His motivation was to raise awareness and funds for Motor Neurone Disease.

Martin sketched his vision for the garden on a piece of scrap paper and Sue was tasked with the job of making his idea a reality. Competition for places at the show is fierce with over 1,000 applications for 10 places in the small garden section, but the entry from Martin and Sue was accepted and the real work began.

Martin and Sue travelled to Shetland in January last year to source plants and materials for the show in May and were overwhelmed by the help, support and advice they received from people and businesses. Sue speaks fondly of people by name during her talk and it is obvious that Shetland and the people she met now have a place in her heart.

From a horticulturalists’ point of view, Sue was amazed at how many of the plants people sent from Shetland to be included in the display had adapted to survive their harsh, windy, salt-laden climate. She noted that in comparison to the same species found in gardens in England, many of the Shetland plants were smaller, hardier with often a more leathery appearance.

The talk was rounded off with an explanation of how the plants returned back to Shetland after being on display to such prestigious visitors as the Queen and Princess Anne to name a few.

The garden also took a gold medal in the small gardens section and captured the hearts of folk who awarded it The People’s Choice award.

The evening ended with tea, coffee and a magnificent selection of home bakes supplied by members of the North Mainland Gardening Group. Donations from the audience and a raffle during the evening raised £400 for Motor Neurone Disease and Sue was delighted that folk had enjoyed the slide show and given so generously.

Non-domestic waste only

Complaints have recently been received of people dumping black bags in skips. The ground surrounding the skip at Assater has had to be cleared of an unsightly mess including correspondence, calendars, plastic bottles and fruit juice cartons.

Northmaven Community Council would like to remind folk that skips provided in the area are for the disposal of non-domestic waste only.

A reminder that the Ollaberry Youth Club Voar Redd Up takes place tonight (weather permitting) and helpers should meet at the hall at 6pm for a 6.30pm start.

After all the hard work of the redd up is over, there will be a barbecue with a bar at the hall for everyone. Contact Marie on (01806) 544321 or Genene on (01806) 544337 for further information.

Christian Aid collection

In line with 300,000 people from 22,000 churches from across the UK, collectors from the Northmavine Churches of Scotland will take part in Christian Aid Week’s house-to-house collections to raise money that will help transform the lives of people living in poverty across the world.

Collections throughout Britain raise more than two thirds of the amazing £15 million total collected each year to help people such as 15-year-old Jimmy who lives on the streets of Kinshasa.

Jimmy is determined not to cave into the values of life on the street, where robbing and thieving are common occurrences for survival. Instead he visits a drop in centre operated by Humanité Nouvelle where he can get a good meal, advice and skills training to help fulfil his hope of becoming a driver or a mechanic.

Volunteers from all five areas of Northmavine will be collecting from next Sunday until 16th May and hope that local people will give as generously as in years past.

KSC sponsors Brae hockey team

Kevin Sutherland, owner of local building company Kevin Sutherland Construction (KSC), is the new sponsor of Brae High School primary and under-14 hockey teams.

The teams play in leagues run by the Shetland Junior Hockey Development Group at the Midway Astroturf pitch from April through to July on alternate Wednesday nights.

Pupils are delighted with their new strip, courtesy of Kevin and would like to say a huge “thank you” to him for making that possible. It would seem that the new KSC strips have brought luck to the primary teams – they played in the new strip for the first time last Wednesday and walked away with two wins and a draw.

Maree Hay


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