Isles Views 29.05.09

Bobby Tulloch week

Folk visiting the Old Haa in Burravoe are enjoying the current exhibition of Rob Colclough’s beautiful paintings. When that exhibition comes down the next one to be hung up will be all to do with the late Bobby Tulloch, who died in 1996.

Bobby was a self-taught naturalist who found fame from his books, television appearances, broadcasts and the wonderful wealth of photographs that is his legacy. If he had still been alive he would have been 80 and to highlight that landmark the Old Haa will put on an exhibition celebrating his life and work.

The week beginning 8th June will be something of a Bobby Tulloch week. On the Tuesday the cruise ship Professor Multanovskiy will call in at Burravoe to allow the passengers a day in Yell and Bobby Tulloch’s memory will be well to the fore. Among those on board will be Hugh Miles, who made the award-winning film The Track of the Wild Otter and he will lead fellow passengers to Kirkabister where the film was shot.

John Busby, who illustrated Miles’ book as well as two of Bobby’s books, is also one of the passengers, along with Libby Weir Breen who with Bobby started the tour company Island Holidays 21 years ago. It is that company that has organised the cruise.

To round off the week a variety concert will be held in the Burravoe Hall on Saturday 13th June, and among those taking part will be Maggie Adamson and Brian Nicholson.

Brian has a special interest in Bobby’s work because he was the guitar player when Bobby recorded one of his albums. Others taking part are singers Gillian Isbister, Erin Sandison, Frideray and Ian Clark plus many more local musicians.

Initiative at The Edge

The development project Initiative at the Edge is due to end in September. The community sees it as having done good work in a variety of areas and it is highly desirable that a new company is formed to continue the task of encouraging employment and the promotion of the North Isles.

Development worker Michelle Morris and her team are currently working on a business plan for the proposed new company, which might be called the Bluemull Development Company. They plan to focus on three main areas: youth, tourism and business.

At this stage Fetlar is not included in their thinking because Fetlar has funding of its own to employ a development worker. Mrs Morris stressed that the new company would work with Fetlar folk and the community councils to the mutual benefit of all. The new company will require new directors.

John Laughland, who was employed by Initiative at the Edge as trails officer, finishes next month. If the new company comes into being it is a possibility that they might be able to take over the industrial units at Sellafirth where they are presently housed.

Mrs Morris has been in touch with people in the crafts industry and a place within the units to display craftwork is part of the thinking. All this will cost money and to source funding is possibly the most vital part of the whole operation.

Ferry problems

Last week ferries were seriously disrupted due to the breakdown of Daggri on Yell Sound. With the Dagalien being away for her annual refit, Yell Sound had to operate a shuttle service with three small ferries from Wednesday until Friday.

This meant that Bluemull Sound was reduced to having only one ferry and also had to run a shuttle service to cover both Unst and Fetlar. It was back to the old days of the single ferry problem, that if the ferry was in Fetlar then it was approximately an hour before it could be back to run between Unst and Yell.

All this resulted in queues being long and at times tempers being short. However, the staff at the booking office remained cool and good humoured despite having to repeat the same information to travellers hundreds of times over the three days. At times they were inundated with phone calls and queries at the office, particularly with this being the start of the tourist season and the fact that there was a wedding in Yell on Friday night.

Skerries news

Fire chief Brian Murray visited Skerries on Friday 15th May and awarded Ann Anderson with a long service award in memory of Laurence Henderson.

Laurence started his service in October 1988 and served until his death in September last year. His service was just short of 20 years. Members of the Skerries community gathered at the hall for the presentation which was followed by eight o’clocks.

A community feed was enjoyed by all at the hall the following evening when the menu was saat fish and tatties. For anyone who did not like the fish there was mince on offer. Sweet was queen of puddings rounded off by tea/coffee and home bakes.

After the tables were cleared from the meal it was then time to get out the old photos. A number of folk had brought along photos, which proved to be a very interesting evening with a lot of reminiscing.

Whalsay exhibition

The latest exhibition at Whalsay Heritage Centre is open now and includes Whalsay’s fishing and crafting, and events from the last century. Also featured are kirk lairds and healthcare on the isle before the National Health Service.

The heritage centre is situated behind the primary school and opened on Wednesday 27th May. It will be open every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 2pm to 5pm until the end of September.

There will be self-service tea, coffee and juice available.

Alexander Technique

Jo Barlow, a practitioner in Alexander Technique, is planning to make a return trip to Shetland this summer for a month, and Andy Ross at Centre for Creative Industries is gathering names of people interested in a session or series of sessions with her. She was in Shetland two years ago and the response at that time was good.

Alexander Technique is a concept of learning how the body works and using that knowledge to help alleviate problems and thus promote good health. It is especially helpful for musicians and singers and anyone who has mobility problems because it can help with flexibility and tension. For anyone who uses their voice a lot, it will help to ease tension in speaking and singing and allows a better use of the whole body for preparing to speak or sing in public.

Alexander Technique requires more than one session in order to get best results.

Jo would like to house sit while she is here and if anyone has a house free and requires a sitter please let Mr Ross know. If anyone is interested and wishes to register an interest for more information he can be contacted at or on (01957) 744355 Farmers’ market The next North Isles farmers’ market will be held in Baltasound Hall on Sunday from 2pm to 4pm, with the usual wide variety of local produce and crafts on sale in the main hall.

The lunch, which will be soup, teas and home bakes, will be in aid of Northern Neesicks Swimming Club.

To book a table for produce call Anna Niven on (01957) 755245 and to book a table for crafts call Sarah McBurnie on (01957) 711367.

Margaret Tulloch


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