Times Past 26.06.09

25 Years Ago

A new company has been formed to take over from the shipping service operated by Shetland Line and the original company is wound up by the receivers.

The new company Shetland Line (1984) Ltd., has been set up by a consortium on the Scottish Mainland and took over Shetland Line assets on Friday.

The local manager of the original Shetland Line, Mr Brian Robertson, has been reemployed by the new company.

The company has retained the Shipping Line ship, Tangalla, but spokesman, Mr Chris Styles, said that he could not comment on the long term use of the ship. This ship flies the Sri Lankan flag and its Sri Lankan crew are paid far below British Union rates.

Shetland Line went into receivership last September when its parent company, Melton Securities of Leicestershire went into liquidation. Its operating subsidy from the Scottish Office was transferred temporarily into the receivers, Nottingham solicitors Spicer and Pegler.

The new company is going to sail from Lerwick to Aberdeen as well as to Grangemouth. The Aberdeen run will begin this week and frequency will depend on demand, although Mr Styles hoped that it would become a weekly service.

Local Manager, Mr Brian Robertson said he was “highly delighted” that Shetland Line was going to continue.

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Local Shakespeare fans will be disappointed this year, but ballet fans are in for a treat and Mr John Nicolson is in for a headache.

At last Wednesday’s SIC Leisure and Recreation commit­tee, director Mr John Nicolson told the meeting that the mass of culture hitting the isles was causing him “some headache”, he thought that a visit from both in the same year was too much.

An application from the Royal Shakespeare Company would need £16,000 in grant aid for their tour, while the Scottish Ballet were applying for £4,000. Members agreed that the RSC, who planned a tour in September, would be refused, but asked them to come again in 1985. The ballet will get their £4,000 and tour in August.

Mr John Graham said he was disappointed with the RSC’s choice of play – A Winter’s Tale. Mr Henry Stewart said he could muster no enthusiasm for Mr Shakespeare at all. He had been forced to learn Shakespeare at school and did not like his plays. He did not know anyone else who liked the plays either.

50 Years Ago

Emergency edition of Shetland Times: What has happened to the size of the Shetland Times? Unless you are that rare person who has not heard of the printers strike you will know the answer – that this sheet was printed without the aid of printers.

We hope this issue – a poor thing, but our own – will at least meet the public need to some extent.

For the duration of the strike we shall make an endeavour to maintain some continuity of publication, but the difficulties are enormous and the form of the publication is uncertain.

All we can say is that we will press on to the point where somewhat complicated machinery baulks at further ill-treatment.

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Ex-islanders who return to Shetland in the summer of 1960 for the special overseas event will be greeted by a new fiddle tune “The Exiles Return”, composed in their honour by local musician Mr Tom Anderson. The theme is both Celtic and Norse, in keeping with the tradition of island melodies. Running throughout are staccato notes depicting modern civilization from which the exiles are coming, but the piece ends on a minor nostalgic note.

News from New Zealand this week reports that 100 berths have been reserved on The Southern Cross in the name of the “expeditionary force”. Twenty-four people have actually paid their money, and indications are that a figure of well over 50 is probable. Others, of course, will be travelling independently, and it is hoped that ex-islanders from other countries will make the special effort to arrive “home” next summer.

The programme for the festival is far from complete, but it is hoped to give ex-islanders a clear picture of life in Shetland today, although part of the show will reflect the Shetland they left behind in the past.

100 years ago

Midsummer nights’ sports – The members of the Lerwick Lawn Tennis Club, and of the other Tennis Club which meets in the Gilbertson Park, had made arrangements to have midnight tennis on Monday evening. The weather, however, was very damp and misty, and the games had to be postponed. Tuesday night was not suitable either, but on Wednesday evening, after a very hot day – the hottest this summer – both Clubs carried out their programme. At Bellevue about 50 ladies and gentlemen turned up, and after tea had been served, engaged in dancing on the lower court. Owing to the mist which settled down, it was impossible to play tennis at midnight, but a game was begun shortly after one o’clock. A large number were also at the Public Park, where a similar programme was gone through. Several golfers, including a lady, were on Annsbrae at one o’clock on Thursday morning. The local bowlers had intended to have a midnight rink on Thursday, but required to postpone it on account of the rain which fell.

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Suffragists for the North – The People’s Journal says:- The “Votes for Women” crusade are evidently determined to conduct a vigorous campaign in the North. Today (Saturday) the local branch of Suffragists, of which Mrs Fraser-MacKernie of Bunchrew and Allon-grange is Honorary President, is giving an “At Home” in Inverness, at which an Inverness Councillor will deliver an address in the interests of the cause. Miss A. Pankhurst, who is to visit Dingwall, will be followed by her mother, who is coming north on a motor car tour, having been, we understand, presented with a handsome motor by an ardent supporter of the votes for women cause. It will be interesting to watch what impression will be made past Inverness. So far, Dingwall is the “farthest north” point of exploration, Miss Helen Fraser having lectured there. But it is intended that all the northern constituencies should be visited, and that even in the Lewis and the romantic isles of Shetland and Orkney the voice of the suffragist will be heard.


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