Isles Views 03.07.09

Simmer Dim trout fishing

Twenty-six anglers, many of them from “down south”, took part in the Simmer Dim trout fishing competition in Unst.

They all gathered at the Saxa Vord Resort at 7pm on the Saturday night, where fishing journalist and author Bruce Sandison drew the pairings for the team shield.

The raffle was drawn and local angler Davie McMillan was persuaded to auction his hat that contained all his best tried and tested flies for charity. Visiting angler Andy Young bought it for £40.

The 12-hour competition started at 8pm with most of the anglers opting to go to the Loch of Cliff. The weather stayed mainly fine but there were a few light showers in the early stages. In the early hours the skies cleared and the competition finished in bright sunshine.

Visiting angler Douglas Low, who is a director of the Ewos salmon feed company, generously sponsored the competition. He gave £5 for every trout caught up to a maximum of £500. In the event a total of 99 fish came to the scales earning a cheque for £495.

The Simmer Dim cup was won by Shetland angler Steven Leask with nine fish that weighed 11lb 2oz. Lindsay Thomson from Unst was second with six trout for exactly 11lbs. Another local angler was third, Terry Laurenson with 10 fish weighing 10lb 10oz.

After losing his hat with all his flies, Davie McMillan had to go home for more but he was in fourth place with seven fish for 10lb 7oz. The top visiting angler was Robin Christie who caught four trout weighing 5lb 10oz.

The team shield went to Lindsay Thomson and Marvin Tait who had a combined total of 19 trout weighing 19lb 4oz. Second were Terry Laurenson and Eddie Church with 14 for 15lb 5oz and third were Davie McMillan and Andy Young with 11 trout weighing 14lb 3oz.

A number of really nice fish were caught and the best one of all was landed by Lindsay Thomson, a superb trout weighing in at 4lb 13oz. After the weigh-in was completed on Sunday morning the anglers repaired to the Saxa Vord Resort where a free breakfast was served.

Despite the generosity of the resort the anglers insisted on paying £5 for the food and all of this went to charity. When breakfast was over Mr Sandison presented the trophies to the successful fishermen. He said that he had been to many fishing events but never one which showed so such sportsmanship and comradeship. He was very impressed.

Colin McLeish, who started the competition in 2003, thanked all the anglers who had come from far and near to take part, and Davie McMillan and Steve Palmer for organising the event in his absence. He announced that £1,500 had been raised for the Teenage Cancer Charity.

Mr McLeish finished by inviting everyone to return next year when the Simmer Dim competition will begin on Saturday 19th June. A number of the visitors said that, not only will they be back, but also they will make it into an annual trip north.

Burravoe regatta

Preparations are well under way for this year’s sailing and rowing regatta in Burravoe. It will be jointly hosted by South Yell Boating Club and Yell Yoal Club. The event will begin on Friday 10th July at 6.30pm with dinghy sailing races and there will be suppers served in the weaving shed. The following day sailing will continue at 10am.

After lunch the focus shifts to rowing, with the first race, the popular and competitive open women’s race, at 3pm. To add to the day’s festivities, at 2pm there will be a variety of sideshows, raffles and children’s games. A barbecue, SWRI teas and Cafe Consulate will provide a range of catering options.

The prizegiving will follow the open men’s race and the event will be rounded off with evening entertainment in the weaving shed. Burravoe Pier and South Yell Boating Club’s headquarters, the barrel store and weaving shed, are where the events take place and visitors can follow signs from the ferry.

Both clubs are hoping for the same glorious weather as they had at the 2007 regatta. If anyone wants more information they should contact Patricia and Robert Odie on (01957) 722315.

Saxa Vord buy-out?

Unst Partnership has commissioned the consultancy arm of the Development Trust Association (DTA) for Scotland to carry out a feasibility study.

This will look into the possibility of some community involvement in Saxa Vord. The DTA is in the early stages of the research and came to the Baltasound Hall on 24th June to meet people from the wider community and hear their ideas.

The meeting was attended by nearly 60 people and many different views were put forward. The DTA will now take the community feedback and begin exploring possibilities for how Saxa Vord might become an asset for the community in the future.

As part of the project the DTA and Unst Partnership will organise a trip to the Isle of Westray in Orkney, to learn about how another island community have developed their own community-owned enterprises.

For further information about the project contact North Isles community worker Helen Bradley on (01957) 702040.

Fairbairn Challenge

According to Andrew Fairbairn it is a sad fact that over 90 per cent of disabled children in Africa do not go to school.

The Leonard Cheshire Disability and Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland are working together to improve this situation and give disabled children a chance of an education and a future.

Rotarian Mr Fairbairn set himself a huge challenge: to cycle, kayak and walk 1,183 miles from the Isles of Scilly to the north of Shetland. All proceeds will go to towards making schools accessible to disabled children in Uganda. Mr Fairbairn is a 52-year-old father of six and grandfather of two. He is a full-time consultant at chartered surveyors firm White Commercial, a member of Banbury Rotary Club, an occasional lecturer, a keen sailor and in his spare time embarks on outdoor pursuits and challenges such as this.

On Saturday Mr Fairbairn and his team reached Gutcher in Yell and launched their kayaks setting out for Muckle Flugga, this being as far north as they could go.

Muckle Flugga was reached in perfect weather. There was scarcely a ripple, conditions that lightkeepers used to call a “ladies’ landing”. Rotary club members are dedicated people from business and professions who share a common interest in helping others.

Coffee at St Colman’s

The coffee morning held by St Colman’s Church in Burravoe raised £350 for kirk funds. Alma Lewis wants to thank everyone who supported the occasion including those who provided home bakes.

The flower festival was also a great success and Alma says thanks to the readers, the music makers and the congregation who sang their hearts out. The support throughout the weekend is greatly appreciated.

Languages Group

The Languages Group held its first meeting in the house of Anna Timby in Mid Yell recently.

There were four people attending who practiced their French and Norwegian while enjoying a variety of refreshments, wine and soft drinks.

They hope to meet again before the holidays and resume in the hairst. Anna would like to form a group meeting in Lerwick. If anyone is interested they are most welcome to contact her on (01957) 702389.

Party at the Pier

Cullivoe Pier is the venue for a huge party this weekend. From 2pm until 6pm on Saturday and 1pm until 5pm on Sunday there will be plenty of fun for all the family with Sumo suits, laser guns, climbing wall, live music, lots of stalls, food and much, much more.

On Saturday night from 9pm there will be music in the Big Shed from The Revellers, Rack ‘n’ Ruin and Happy Hour. All over-18s must have ID and under-16s should be accompanied by a responsible adult.

To help transport to the venue a bus will pick up passengers travelling in to Yell on the 8.15pm ferry from Toft and return to catch the 2am ferry from Ulsta on Sunday morning. Bookings for seats on the bus is essential to (01957) 744214 (see advert).

Choi students

Last Thursday 14 choi students graded to their next belt level. They had to perform hand and leg techniques, patterns, defence drills, speed drills, shield attack and power test.

Shamin Robertson says that they all did brilliantly, demonstrating everything that they had learned during the previous month’s training sessions.

The class will now take a break for the summer holidays and start back again on 29th August. Classes take place each Thursday night from 5.45pm to 6.45pm.

Lawrence Tulloch


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