Views from the Scord 29.05.09

Harbour activity

Scalloway Harbour was host to a large number of shipping movements in the week to Friday.

The recent spell of relatively few oil-related ships calling in ended abruptly with a continuous stream of standby, support and survey related vessels berthing in the port, with several of these departing and returning several times in the week.

The emergency tug Anglian Prince berthed on Monday and remained all week for crew change and supplies. In the same day was the standby vessel Dea Server.

The standby ship Vos Protector arrived on Tuesday for crew and supplies, berthing behind the Prince on the west commercial jetty while another standby vessel, the Grampian Conquest, arrived on Tuesday for bunkers and supplies. After loading mannequins for a supervised training exercise, she departed and returned another two times during the week as the exercises were held.

The same training aids were passed on to the Grampian Frontier, which arrived later in the week and went through a further series of training exercises in the waters off Scalloway, similarly leaving port to return upon completion of particular exercises. Supervised exercises of this type are performed annually by the standby vessels operating in the North Sea, in addition to the routine training the crews undergo.

The Freetown-registered survey chase boat Marja came in on Wednesday for water and to place a crewman ashore.

The workboat FOB Jr remained in harbour for much of the week, making a foray out and returning again on Thursday. Also on Thursday a new aquaculture feed barge arrived for Hjaltland Sea Farms, towed in by the tug MTS Indus. She was assisted by Hjaltland’s workboat Contender to manoeuvre the barge within the confines of the harbour and the barge was towed to Shetland from Inverness.

The anchor handling tug vessel Marianne-G called in on Friday for repairs and stores. She is acting as a support ship to a large survey vessel to the west of Shetland, shuttling supplies to her and removing waste, making two visits in quick succession into port to do so.

Another standby vessel, the Montrose-registered Vos Defender came in for fuel and supplies on Friday, occupying the berth vacated by her sister ship the Protector on the west pier face.

Fish landings were well up on recent weeks with a total of 2,436 boxes landed. Boats contributing were the Alison Kay, Jenna Marie, Valhalla, Comrades, Fertile, Radiant Star, Venture, Quiet Waters and Guardian Angell. Two particularly good landings this week came from the Venture, with 374 boxes on Tuesday and a further 312 on Friday.

Lightsome art

Shetland Arts is inviting people of all ages and from all over Shetland to take part in a new public arts project entitled Mirrie Dancers.

The venture, which is described as a “festival of light”, will light up locations throughout Shetland over the coming winter. It is the first time that light will be used as a major art form in Shetland and it is emphasised by the development team that anyone wishing to take part needs no particular expertise other than an open mind and an interest in their local area.

The project was conceived by artists Roxane Permar and Nayan Kulharni who, together with Shetland Arts, have spent several months developing the project and raising funds.

Burra-based Roxane is a founder member of the Veer North visual artists group and recently held a night-time, light based art exhibit at the the Claesline Gallery in Burra. She has been involved in art installations locally, nationally and internationally since the late 1980s.

Nayan Kulharni works with a variety of media including new light technologies, photography and video and has been involved in extensive architecturally based projects.

The team are keen to point out that anyone interested, but unable to join the team on the tours is welcome to join them afterward for the discussion.

To book a place on the tour, or any of the subsequent tours, contact Roxane on (01595) 859202 or email her at

School trees

Last Friday was the Inter-ational Day for Biodiversity and to mark this pupils and students across the globe were encouraged to plant a single tree of a species indigenous to their local area, to send a “green wave from east to west around the planet”.

Pupils of P5 and P7 at Scalloway Junior High School have been studying rainforests in class and wanted to highlight the problem of deforestation by their involvement in the international event. In the area next to the school multi-court they planted two sycamore tree saplings that had been raised from seed in the school’s greenhouse.

Flag day

As reported briefly last week, the Norwegian Flag Day was commemorated at the Shetland Bus Memorial by over 90 people, including a visiting delegation of 12 Norwegians from the Sund Kommune and the crews of two visiting Norwegian yachts.

Wreaths were laid at the memorial by the head of the Norwegian delegation, Mayor Albrigt Sangolt, and by Georgie Duthie, representing the Scalloway community, Barbara Melkevik, widow of Shetland Bus veteran Arni Melkevik and Alan Inkster on behalf of the Royal British Legion’s Scalloway branch.

The presence of both Barbara, who lives in Norway, and Georgie at the ceremony was made all the more special by the fact that the two women, now senior in years, went to school together in their youth.

Shetland Bus Friendship Society chairman Jack Burgess gave a speech to mark the event before a sermon by local minister Magnie Williamson.

Mr Sangolt delivered a sincere and appreciative speech in honour of both those who are remembered with the memorial, those who were responsible for its placement in Scalloway and the bond that exists between western Norway and Shetland.

After the ceremony the crowd retired to the Scalloway public hall for refreshments and hospitality and the hall was filled to capacity.

Later in the evening the delegation form Sund were treated to a meal in the Scalloway Hotel, during which Mr Sangolt handed over a pledge for 50,000 Norwegian kroner (over £5,000) to the Shetland Bus Friendship Society to go toward the new Scalloway museum.

The delegation had spent several days in Shetland for the event and had toured around various Shetland Bus operations locations, also being entertained at several other social events during their stay.

Mr Sangolt said: “As is usual the hospitality has been fantastic, especially here in Scalloway We are thankful for the special relationship that there is between here and the west coast of Norway. ”

Mrs Melkevik also enjoyed her return to Scalloway in a week of “sunshine all the way”.

She said: “We were really lucky with the weather and everything has gone as planned. I’ve seen heaps and heaps and heaps of people while here. I’m as pleased as can be.”

Third age

The local branch of the University of the Third Age (U3A) enters into its fifth year at the beginning of next month, with an annual general meeting for members and guests at the Lerwick Hotel on 2nd June.

Branch chairman Robert Arculus, from Scalloway, is keen to involve new members and new areas of Shetland in this national network of educational groups for the over-60s.

The Shetland membership currently stands at over 20 “consistent and enthusiastic” members, with smaller groups formed under a learning “facilitator” in each subject. On offer to participants in Shetland currently are special interest groups in photography, books, sea and ships, philosophy and walking.

Monthly meetings or day trips take place and the Shetland branch is the only outpost of the organisation north of Inverness. Nationally the organisation boasts almost quarter of a million members with 200-300 courses on offer.

Membership is a mere £12 per year and what Mr Arculus hopes to achieve in the coming period is the formation of groups in other areas, such as Brae, Walls and Sandwick, to extend the socially beneficial network. There are no formal requirements to either become a facilitator or learner, merely a knowledge or interest in a specific subject.

Mr Arculus said: “Through the groups we know a lot more now than we would have done individually. We encourage members to contribute and all the groups have done well. “ Mr Arculus was formerly principal of Coventry Technical College, which supported up to 13,000 full and part-time students. Now in his “Third Age” he appreciates the stimulation and challenge of running the U3A after being approached to set it up locally four years ago and is keen to see it expand.


The Scalloway 50 Plus groups are currently in the process of organising their summer outings. Anyone aged over 50 and living in Scalloway or the surrounding district can join them for their Wednesday afternoon meetings in the Scalloway public hall, where they play carpet bowls, 500 and “non-threatening” Scrabble. Entry into the regular afternoon activities also allows eligibility to join them on their summer outings. For more encouragement to “take the plunge” call Maureen Christie on (01595) 880372.

Mark Burgess


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.