Isles Views 26.06.09

Bobby Tulloch Week

The current exhibition at the Old Haa in Burravoe is of some of the hundreds of stunning photographs taken by the late Bobby Tulloch during his many years as a globetrotter in search of the world’s wildlife.

As Isles Views has already recorded, Bobby would have been 80 this year and that coincides with the 21st birthday of Island Holidays, the company he set up along with his business partner Libby Weir-Breen.

To celebrate those events Ms Weir-Breen chartered a Russian cruise ship to take around 40 on a trip that started in Oban and came to Shetland by way of St Kilda. The ship, the Professor Multanovskiy, is small, 1,753 tons, and was built in 1983.

The Old Haa had organised a Bobby Tulloch week to coincide with the trip.

The ship arrived at Burravoe on Tuesday and the passengers came ashore to spend the day in Yell. Among them was Hugh Miles who made the film Track of the Wild Otter. He led some of the party to revisit the places where the filming was done.

The rest of the day was spent in Burravoe with lunch at the hall but the Old Haa and the Bobby Tulloch exhibition were the focal points. A variety concert was held in the hall on the Saturday night and an amazing array of talent was mustered to perform for a large crowd.

Coming from furthest away were Anne, Stewart and Neil Fridarey from Fair Isle, which Bobby often visited.

The group Fancy Tunes was there and Meilo So, originally from Hong Kong, sang some of the songs that Bobby might have heard when he did his national service there. Dennis Coutts did a witty alphabet of Bobby’s life.

Ian Clark, stalwart of many a local concert, sang Bobby Tulloch songs and niece of Bobby’s, Caroline Keith, recited one of his most famous poems, Trootie Tammie. Most impressive in the show were the young folk, some too young to remember Bobby but who were keen to be part of a tribute to him.

Erin Sandison and Jillian Isbister both sang beautifully; Jillian’s grandfather, John, was the highly respected policeman in Yell in the 1960s. Instrumental music came from the young band Brak da Bröd led by local lass Lana Thomson. Fiddler Maggie Adamson was accompanied by guitar player Brian Nicholson, originally from Burravoe.

Also at the concert were Bobby’s two sisters, Laureen Smith and Mary Ellen Odie. Takings on the night, from the door and the raffle, came to the great total of £1,040 with the lion’s share going to the CLAN 1,2,3 appeal.

Adventure for schooner

A very interesting visitor to Baltasound last weekend was the French ship Le Manguier (mango tree).

A converted naval tugboat, she has been fitted with tripod masts and rigged as a staysail schooner. She is a very strong, sturdy craft with two watertight bulkheads and 10mm steel.

Strength is required on the voyage she is undertaking from her home port of Bastia in Corsica to Tokyo in Japan, navigating the North-east Passage where she will certainly encounter ice. The researches the crew are doing are all to do with carbon neutral sailing. Right now she has a ship’s company of 12 that includes Captain Philippe Hecher’s wife and seven-year-old child. Their next port of call is Bergen where there will be some changing of crew.

From Bergen they will go to Tromso and Murmansk before continuing along north of Russia and through the Bering Strait between eastern Siberia and Alaska and so on to Japan, a total distance of over 10,000 miles. All being well they will reach destination in October.

Unst roadmen

It seems that Unst roadmen have something of an identity crisis because they are listed on the SIC’s internal “CHRIS” system as Yell roadmen. This is because there is not a code for Unst.

Unst Community Council considers this to be an unsatisfactory state of affairs and has written a letter asking for the codes to be changed. Their main concern is that if the roadmen’s base is listed as Yell it might mean that if a job is advertised in the future applicants may be under the impression that they are to be based in Yell.

Book O Fun

Burravoe bairns from the age of eight and up have made an activity sheet for the Old Haa called the Old Haa Book O Fun. The sheet has lots of questions about the displays in the Old Haa and questions about the Old Haa itself.

The questions consist of things to look out for when you visit and questions where you have to search around the building to find the answers. Examples of questions are: Where is jaws? What is the star rating of the Old Haa? And what is the date over the arch? The bairns would be grateful if you could come along to the Old Haa and find the answers.

Unst darts club

The Unst darts season has ended with a fine win for Steve Palmer in the knockout. John Burns had beaten Richard Mouat 7-3 in his semi-final while Palmer thrashed Andrew Hughson 7-2 in his. In the final Steve saw off John Burns 9-1, scoring two 180s in the process.

In a bumper year for the singles league there were 16 participants. Fraser Paul just pipped Richard Mouat to the title in the last game of a very competitive league. Lenny Spence and Gary Burns were the hat doubles kings.

Steve Palmer was also Mr 180 with four in all competitions while veteran Hosea Moar Snr claimed the season’s top checkout of 160.

The Unst/Yell/Fetlar league did not take place but hopefully it will be back on the calendar for the 2009/10 season.

Carers’ cruise

The latest of the cruises run by the SIC ferry services will leave Toft on Sunday at 11am.

Anyone from the North Isles going on the trip should catch the connecting ferry in Ulsta at 10.30am.

This cruise is aimed mainly at carers, those who look after others, and it is also for the folk who need care. There is, however, a number of extra places available so it is not too late for the general public to bag a ticket. Phone Jo Jack on (01595) 743923.

Carers’ Week was in the recent past and this is part of celebrating the UK secret service as carers are sometimes called because so many care for others without any recognition of the vital work they do.

This cruise will go north through Yell Sound as far as the Ramna Stacks and Andy Gear will be on board to give expect comment on the birds that everyone is sure to see. It is also hoped to have live music.

Lunch and afternoon teas will be on sale and provided by the WRVS. The cruise will end when the ferry returns to Toft at 4.30pm.

Coffee morning

St Colman’s Church in Burravoe will hold a coffee morning tomorrow from 10.30am to 12.30pm in aid of church funds in the Burravoe Hall. On Sunday they have the Flower Festival at 3.45pm and everyone is welcome.

Skerries Women’s Guild The Skerries Women’s Guild were hosts recently to the Burra and Tingwall Churches Choir, conducted by Eleanor Eunson.

The choir, accompanied by additional church members, made the journey from Vidlin to Skerries in glorious sunshine but with a stiff north-easterly wind many members of the group felt very unwell.

However, after a short rest and some fresh air everyone recovered and was able to sit down to a soup and sandwiches lunch prepared by the guild. During the afternoon the folk explored the isle and many renewed friendship with islanders. Afternoon tea and home bakes were served at 4pm prior to Hymns of Praise at the Skerries Kirk.

The church was nearly full and the programme of sacred music was fully appreciated. Old favourites such as The Lord’s My Shepherd sung to the tune Orlington and Be Still For the Presence of the Lord were sung with enormous enthusiasm and sensitivity and the congregation was introduced to lesser-known modern hymns.

The singing was interspersed with Bible readings, stories and prayers and Jean McBride said the service was altogether a wonderful and moving experience. More tea and home bakes were served to the visitors and to the congregation before the party left Skerries with a promise to return for a similar service in 2010.

Farmers’ market

The North Isles Farmers’ Market is on in the Baltasound Hall on Sunday from 2pm to 4pm with the usual wide variety of local produce and crafts in the main hall.

The profit from this month’s soup, teas and home bakes will go to the youth club.

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

Lawrence Tulloch


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