North Mainland Notes 05.06.09

New NSTG organiser

The North Shetland Training Group (NSTG) is a training provider for the Mainland of Shetland from Nesting northwards, and includes Whalsay and Skerries.

The group organises training courses in agriculture and aquaculture, at times and locations to suit the attendees. Jim Robertson from Weisdale has been the course organiser for a number of years and has recently retired. Members of the group wish him a long and happy retirement and welcome his replacement, Jeff Gaskill.

Jeff, who has recently moved to Shetland, has set up home in Culswick in the West Side of Shetland and will be arranging a number of training courses for the agricultural industry over the next few months. This will include a sheep dog training course during July and August which will last two hours on the dog-owner’s croft. A trainer will demonstrate dog and sheep handling followed by instruction to the trainee on dog and animal control.

In order to allow attendees to get the most out of NSTG courses and help ensure they are economically viable, organisers usually require a minimum of eight people to register for each course. This means the process of organising instructors, venues and facilities can then begin. The NSTG has a diverse range of classes available and Jeff would be happy to advise folk on forthcoming and possible events. For more information or to sign up for the sheep dog training, please e-mail or phone 07530 597 588.

Men for hire in Muckle Roe

The Muckle Roe hall committee is committed to improving community facilities in the island with a view to providing all local people with opportunities to access social and educational functions in the future. The committee is also committed to ensuring that such improvements are sustainable and environmentally friendly. To those ends it is currently in the process of raising funds to provide a wind generator to help heat the hall.

As part of the fund-raising efforts, tomorrow night the community will enjoy an evening of food and entertainment provided by the male “volunteers”. The men will be responsible for all aspects of the evening, from sourcing the food and drink to decorating the hall, cooking and serving the food and entertaining the guests – in fact everything through to tidying up the next day.

Tickets for the meal are sold out, but guests who wish to enjoy the entertainment and dancing only can go along to the hall after 9.30pm. Music will be provided by The Northmavine Fiddle and Accordion Group and everyone will be made welcome.

During the evening a raffle and an auction will be held with sponsorship so far from Malakoff, Busta House, C Kelly Opticians and Shetland Products Wildwater Range. The auction will offer the opportunity to buy or hire some Muckle Roe men for an afternoon to do anything you wish (so long as it’s legal!).

Eshaness Simmer Dim

Judging from the fantastic sunsets in Eshaness lately, the area could be a great place to spend the Simmer Dim. The Eshaness community centre has organised a car boot sale in the centre from 1-5 pm on Sunday 21st June and anyone who would like to book a table should phone (01806) 503709. It would also be a good opportunity to combine the visit with a trip to Tangwick Haa and Braewick Café. Perhaps you could take a tent or hire a wigwam and spend the weekend exploring Northmavine?

The Eshaness community centre will also celebrate its 20th Anniversary in July and the committee is organising an event on 11th July to mark the occasion. More details will be available soon.

Fantastic fiddlers

Since 2007, the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD) Scottish Traditional Music graded exams have been held twice a year. According to their website, the programme promotes traditional Scottish performance skills and the best of traditional repertoire by the establishment of a specialist, performance-based series of assessments true to the artistic integrity of Scotland’s musical heritage.

Recently, 12 confident and accomplished fiddle pupils from Brae High School, Mossbank Primary and Whalsay Junior High, accompanied by tutor Bernadette Porter, travelled to the music department at Sandwick Junior High school to sit these prestigious exams.

In the past pupils have had to travel to Glasgow, but due to the large number of entrants, an examiner travelled to Shetland on this occasion. Every pupil passed, ranging from grade one to grade five, with flying colours and a thoroughly delighted group returned home with five distinctions, two merits and five passes.

Bernadette Porter is delighted with the results each pupil gained in the programme. “It’s a terrific achievement that all of the 12 participants have passed the exams and it reflects the hard work they have all put in to achieve these grades. The children are thrilled with their results and I’m very pleased and happy for them.” Bernadette added: “We would also like to say a special thanks to Margaret Leask, head teacher Stuart Clubb and the staff of Sandwick Junior High for allowing the exams to take place there.”

Northmavine Christian Aid thanks

The recent Christian Aid house to house collection in Northmavine, organised by the Northmavine Church of Scotland, has resulted in a total donation of £1,082.20 for the fund. Organisers would like to thank the folk in Sullom, North Roe, Hillswick, Eshaness and Ollaberry for their generous donations and say a special thank you to all the volunteer collectors who gave up their time so willingly. Through Christian Aid, donations are used to support people in some of the world’s most needy communities.

Nort Trow sponsored walk

Members and friends of Interpretation Nort, organisers of the Nort Trow summer exhibition in the North Roe and Lochend hall, took part in a sponsored walk to raise funds for the group. The warm conditions and light winds last Sunday gave walkers a chance to top up their sun tans during the 10 mile walk from John Brown’s former herring station at the South Haa in North Roe to the former herring station at the Blade, Heylor.

Judy launches Maddrim

In glorious sunshine last Sunday, Nesting Rowing Club launched their new yoal Maddrim (Shetland word for hilarity/fun). In less than two years the committee has raised the necessary funds to have their own yoal built by Whalsay boat builders Tammy Williamson and Charlie Hutchison.

The committee, made up of mostly Nesting teenagers, has raised the money in a variety of ways including Sunday teas, car boot sales, car wash events, an auction, various raffles, a GTL disco and a competition to name the new yoal.

Shetland businesses Malakoff, JHB Ltd, Ocean Kinetics, Shetland Catch, TP Gifford and Robertson and Read as well as the Nesting School and individuals, have all made donations to the fund. Shetland Islands Council and the community council have also helped financially.

Committee members have worked hard over the past few weeks to sand and paint the yoal and add her finishing touches. Local girl Judy Hamer, five, a pupil at the Nesting Primary School, won the competition to name the yoal. Judy performed the naming ceremony at the Catfirth slip where a large crowd gathered to see Maddrim take her maiden voyage. The ceremony was followed by a barbecue and refreshments on the pier.

Nesting Rowing Club would like to thank everybody who has supported them with the project in any way, including a special mention of thanks to Sandy and Sheila Peterson as well as the Vidlin rowing club, who have all been of great support and help. The yoal project has been a real community effort and the result is a beautiful new yoal for everyone to enjoy during the years to come.

Tomorrow the first ever Nesting rowing regatta takes place at the old air station at Catfirth. Refreshments and food will be available all day, followed by a dance in the marquee with County Rock in the evening. Organisers are sure the event will be a fun day out for all the family and hope as many folk as possible will come along to enjoy the first Nesting regatta.

Mavis Grind Foy

It’s official – the Mavis Grind Foy will take place on Sunday 28th June and Neil Doull’s muckle sign has gone up at Mavis Grind to advertise the event. This year to tie in with the Johnsmas Foy theme of Vikings, the Hillswick galley will be on display during the day and organisers hope that a few of the North Mainland’s hardy Vikings will make an appearance. The raft race will kick off the day at 1pm.

Maree Hay


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