North Mainland Notes 29.05.09

Vidlin Cabin continues

Tuesday was such a boannie day that I left the confines of the office at Collafirth and headed to Vidlin for a look round The Cabin.

Ann, daughter of the late Andy Robertson, founder of this peerie treasure of a museum, met me at the door with the same friendly welcome her dad gave to folk.

As we wandered round the various artefacts depicting not just the war but the real folk behind the war stories, we also looked at items from the croft calendar of yesteryear and yarned about how Andy had mastered the computer in his 70s and had spent months meticulously cataloguing the thousands of items on view.

We also discussed the finer points of accessing funding and raising money in order to give Andy’s collections the warm, dry premises they required and how delighted and proud he was to spend last season in his new premises at Packin.

Andy would be delighted to see that Ann, Lowrie, Jacqueline, Stanley and their families are continuing The Cabin, and that his passion has transcended the generations.

The premises are open on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 1pm to 5pm and the family is happy to open at other times for groups and individuals by prior arrangement. Telephone Lowrie on (01595) 694891, Stanley on (01806) 577232 or e-mail

Good as new 50p sale

Following on from the success of previous sales, the Good as New shop in the Brae Youth Centre is holding a 50p sale tomorrow from 2pm to 4pm. Everything in the shop will be sold for 50p per item, so nip along for a bargain.

Under-fives teas and photos

Vidlin has a very active under-fives group at the moment. Not content with resting on their laurels after the successful publication of the Vidlin phonebook as a fund-raiser for the group, the organisers are holding Sunday teas in the Vidlin hall on Sunday from 2pm to 5pm.

As well as stalls and a raffle, the screen and projector in the hall will be put to good use to display photos of past and present members of the under-fives group over the past 20 years. It should be good fun try to work out who’s who!

Kirk sale success

The recent Delting Parish Church of Scotland sale raised the tremendous sum of £1,537 and the organisers would like to thank the local Good as New shop in Brae Youth Centre for the generous £50 donation.

The church folk are also very appreciative of the generous cash donations and for the donated items for the silent auction and various other stalls. They would also like to thank all those who brought home bakes and everyone who supported the sale, bought from the stalls and gave so generously.

A number of competitions ran throughout the day, with the following winners: Name the doll – won by Anne Macgregor from Brae with the name Hayley.

The sleeping dog was dreaming of chocolate buttons – won by Margaret Spall, Mossbank.

The bear had quorn for lunch – won by Julie Hardy, Mossbank.

The treasure hidden in Shetland map was a box of chocolates – won by Anne MacGregor, Brae.

The food hamper was priced to within 1p at £24.36 – won by Winnie Balfour, Busta.

Brae storms Europe

Brae High School secondary pupils have just returned from a very enjoyable and informative school trip and Martha Morton and Rowan Johnson kindly provided the following account of the visit: On 12th May, a group of secondary 1-3 pupils from Brae High School set off on their educational trip to Paris. In Paris we visited the Eiffel Tower as well as going on a cruise up the Seine river. We also visited the all-important Disneyland for two days.

However, one of the most interesting aspects of our trip was the history. On the way to Paris, we briefly visited Ypres in Belgium. This was one of the worst-hit towns in the First World War. Just outside of Ypres lies Tyne Cot cemetery. This is the biggest cemetery concerning WWI in the world, with 11,954 graves of which 8,367 are unnamed. We also visited other, smaller, WWI cemeteries and a preserved field hospital near Ypres.

The last place we visited had perfectly preserved and unchanged trenches on hill 62, found by a farmer who turned them into a museum. We got to stand in the trenches and see shell holes first hand. It was incredible experience that we will all never forget.

The trip was a very enjoyable experience and all the pupils on the trip would like to thank everyone who helped with fund-raising. Also big thanks go to Robert Jamieson for all his help in organising the trip and driving us to Paris. Most importantly, we’d like to thank the teachers for all their hard work and dedication, as well putting up with us lot for 10 days.

Hillswick plant sale

Fund-raising events to help with hall refurbishments at Hillswick continue with a plant sale and afternoon teas in the hall on Sunday from 3pm to 5pm.

Pounds for plants

Last Sunday began slowly after rounding off Saturday night celebrating Walter and Kenny’s 40th birthday at the Collafirth hot-tub party.

I was unprepared for the scene of vast swathes of folliage that awaited me as I arrived, in the afternoon, at the Sullom hall to man the raffle books at the plant sale and Sunday teas. I was even less prepared for the sight of the queue of folk that waited to get into the hall at 2.30pm, prior to the 3pm opening.

The hall was crammed with plants for sale, all lovingly and carefully grown by members of the North Mainland Gardening Club over the winter. The plant sale is the main annual fund-raiser by the club and over the years they have raised many thousands of pounds for a huge variety of local charities. This year CLAN 1,2,3 and the Nort Trow Gairden at North Roe were the chosen beneficiaries.

The ladies of the Sullom hall provided Sunday teas and a delicious spread to feed the hungry plant-shopper. Judging from the variety of area codes and familiar faces at the raffle stall, folk from all over Shetland and a number of tourists had made the trip to Sullom.

By 6pm the plant stalls, homebakes sales table and the tea stall were all vastly depleted by the sheer number of customers. Winnie Balfour of the gardening club announced that members had raised the tremendous sum of £1,600 from plant sales. Another £751.05 was also raised from the teas, homebakes stall and the raffle for the hall refurbishment fund.

The winner of the Nort Trow Gairden anagram was drawn and a £20 garden voucher went to Mary Smith of Brae for correctly guessing all the gardeners – including Sven Wombwell! All in all it was an extremely successful day and a testament to voluntary effort.

Rowing regatta

The rowing season kicks off in Northmavine at the Collafirth Pier tomorrow. All yoals need to be in the water by 3pm with the first race at 3.30pm.

Refreshments and a barbecue will be available during the day, as will the Nort Boys’ hot-tub. So if you fancy a dip in something warmer than the North Sea, mind and bring a towel. The prize-giving presentation will take place at 8pm followed by the sounds of Scaldin Bragg from 9.30pm to 1am.

South to north

Emma, Sophie, Hannah, Laura, Elliot, Cameron and Sarah, currently in class seven at Cunningsburgh Primary School, accompanied by Michael Hannah and Karen Osborn, have recently spent three action-filled days in the North Mainland.

After settling into Voxter House on Monday, they spent the day exploring the area including the plantation and the Valayre burn, ending with a trip to the Mossbank playpark in the evening. Many were delighted to spend time in the trees at Voxter, because, as one pupil said: “We have nae trees near wis.”

Pupils were also able to find similarities in the geology from both parts of Shetland when they came across an outcrop of soapstone during their walk up the Valayre burn. This stone is similar to that at Catpund in Cunningsburgh.

Tuesday was an action-packed day which began with a trip to the Back Sands at Ollaberry to check out the visible appearance of the Great Glen Fault and the group were able pick out the differing rocks of granite and schist. There was also an opportunity to paddle in the water, although some said it was colder than it looked! Then it was on to Collafirth Hill. The bairns were amazed by the numerous bright red boulders, signifying the Ronas Hill granite and many pupils thought it was like “being on the moon”.

After lunch at Hillswick it was on to the Eshaness Lighthouse where they were able to grasp the depth of the blowhole at the Kirn of Slettans by throwing stones into the cavern and waiting for the sound of the stone hitting the water below.

Everyone walked out to the Hols o Scraada and found frogs near the mill ruins near the Broch of Houlland. Next stop was Tangwick Haa where the Laird’s parlour, the wedding dress and a 3D “thing” they were able to look through were popular favourites among the group. The gift shop was also very popular.

The pupils rounded off Tuesday with a trip to the North Mainland swimming pool where I was able to catch up with them for a yarn. Highlights of the visit were the trees at Voxter, Eshaness Lighthouse, the gravestone at Eshaness which tells the tale of the man poisoned accidently at Sullom, the Hols o Scraada and the frogs. Some of the group were also vexed that they had “nae wigwams” in the South Mainland.

As I left they were heading off to Frankie’s chip shop for a well-earned tea and asking their teachers if they could stay an extra night.

Before leaving for home on Wednesday they headed up to Scatsta Airport for a tour of operations and a visit to Muckle Roe to view the dramatic cliff scenery.

I would like to say thanks to the Cunningsburgh bairns for sharing their experiences with me. Some had been to the area before and they all agreed they would like to come back. I was very impressed by the sheer amount of information they had learned and retained about the landscape, the geology and the history of the area. It was a pleasure to meet such a friendly, articulate group of young folk and I hope it’s not long before they all come back again.

Maths society funding

Patricia Batty at Brae High School has added an amendment to the article published two weeks ago regarding the Maths Fun Day at Brae.

Funding of £358 for the event was provided by The Edinburgh Mathematical Society, not the Maths Association as stated.

Nort Trow re-opens

Volunteers from the Interpretation Nort group in Northmavine are making final preparations for the second season of the Nort Trow exhibition in the North Roe and Lochend hall.

The displays will feature the natural, historical and cultural aspects of life in North Roe, Lochend and the surrounding area.

Teas and local crafts will also be available and the group look forward to welcoming visitors once again. Nort Trow opens tomorrow from 11am to 5pm to coincide with the Northmavine Rowing Regatta and will be open on Sundays from 11am to 6pm and Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 11am to 5pm.

Maree Hay


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