Views from the Scord 24.07.09

No more bowls

The end of an era was marked this week as the Scalloway indoor bowls club was officially wound up. Their final act was one of benefit to the community though, as they donated all their remaining funds to the new Scalloway museum project.

The club was started over 15 years ago and boasted around 24 members at its peak during that era. The idea to start an indoor bowls group was put forward by Georgie Duthie during her time on the public hall committee, and soon after the purchase of two carpets the group blossomed to a busy and regular social gathering. Another carpet was soon purchased.

The group has gradually dwindled over the years for a variety of reasons and it was decided last year that the small numbers still attending were not enough to justify continuing with the group. The committee decided to give the members one year in which to express any intention to keep going but not enough were forthcoming and so the accounts were closed.

The players took a vote on what to do with the remaining funds and the new museum project came out top as being “something local and something that would benefit the village”.

So, last week player representatives Georgie Duthie and Hazel Jamieson met new museum project chairman Jack Burgess and handed over a cheque of residual funds for £671 to go toward the project. Speaking at the handover, staged at the new museum building to allow the bowls players’ representatives a chance to see around the premises, Mr Burgess said: “On behalf of the society I’d like to thank you very much for this donation. There’s a lot of fund-raising going on at the moment and every little helps.”

CLAN variety night

Last weekend saw the annual fund-raising variety event at the Scalloway Boating Club organised and compered by John Willum “Popeye” Ward. The acts on offer this year were up to the high standard that has become the norm at events such as these, with a wide range of styles and subject matter, all performed to a full house on the evening.

“Popeye” himself sang an assortment of crowd pleasing numbers throughout the evening, with a number of jokes and stories thrown in for good measure and entertainment. Bryan McCaffrey came to the stage accompanied on guitar by Geordie Pottinger and charmed the crowd with a set of four songs, two dialect favourites and two country classics. Bryan is no stranger to the stage, having many years of performing under his belt despite his young age, and the point of note on this occasion seemed to be his ability to hit the low notes more ably and fully as his voice develops, making his chosen pieces by Johnny Cash or Willie Nelson all the more appropriate.

Vocal powerhouse Cheryl Goodlad from Trondra sang several songs with taped backing, impressing the crowd and meeting with a very favourable response.

A new, as yet unnamed, quartet played at the show, featuring melodic and appreciated renditions of tunes by Tim and Molly O’Brian and the Carter family. Their sweet vocal harmonies were provided by Stephanie Wiseman and Caroline Simpson, backed by Jonny and Ivor “Fred” Polson, the former on guitar and the latter providing his usual skilled mandolin accompaniment and solos to complement the songs.

John James Inkster shared a stage with Jem Napier to get feet tapping with a set of tunes from the button key accordion, in his usual competent fashion, with a Boston two-step and an eightsome reel among them.

Geordie Pottinger sang bluegrass tunes to his normally high standard, embellished with a joke or two and not in any way spoiled by the lyrical memory failure of one piece, the handling of which generated endearment and a smirk or two rather than any dissatisfaction.

Erin Sandison graced the stage with her award-winning vocal skills delivering nothing less than an audience have now come to expect from the well-honed Scalloway talent, on this occasion accompanied on guitar by Jack Jamieson.

Burra lass Lisa Ward treated the audience to an uncompromising set of (mostly) her own tunes, the unique talent and confident voice of the singer/songwriter matched by her guitar accompaniment skills and all round performance.

Arthur Pottinger played this concert fresh from the release of his latest Hank Snow inspired CD, Tracks in the Snow, his deep, rich voice paying tribute to the American country singer and his stories and quips between songs the mark of a comfortable and well versed stage professional.

The evening was split by an extensive raffle and the total raised was over £600s initially, with the Boating Club topping that up to £750 on the evening, rounding off a genuinely entertaining fund-raiser for CLAN.

Community Council

Scalloway Community Council met on Monday this week, with much to discuss after the previous month’s lengthy “catch-up” meeting. The proposal to develop the land between Utnabrake and Upper Scalloway was high on the agenda, with correspondence confirming the staging of a second public display of plans and a short presentation to be made by Hjaltland Housing Association on 30th of July. The display begins at 6pm and there will be a presentation at 7pm.

The chairman truncated discussion with the point that the public are obliged to form their own opinions through attending the presentation and from that either make their own representations or approach the community council, a principle that would apply to any major development in the area.

A number of other agenda items carried over from discussions earlier in the year with infrastructure services were reiterated for clarity. The difficulty in cleaning the seaward side of the Burn Beach was mentioned again, the rock armour placed to protect the wall from further subsidence now forming a litter trap for which no cleaning solution has been found.

It was noted that the Tingwall valley verges had now been cut to allow better visibility. The roadside trees in Houl Road and Ladysmith Road were brought into focus for potential tree surgery to allow unhindered vehicle access, the same applying to the bushes on Lovers Lane.

The merits of the new 20mph zone around the school were discussed, in particular the proximity of the Castle Street signage to the junction, and the consequences of this.

The lack of pavements along the East Voe remains on the agenda, with the apparent revelation that the promise of pavements being provided by the SIC along this busy road, with ever increasing pedestrian usage, extends back over a decade with no recent update on the possibility of a solution. The community council agreed that this must be afforded a higher priority as a safety issue with the increased number of houses now in the area and the occurrence of a serious pedestrian accident in the recent past.

The issue of public seating was discussed again, after the loss through vandalism of two of the Westshore bench seats and the break in communication with a potential supplier of new seats slowing the deployment of replacement seating.

There were a number of grants made to local groups and the next meeting agreed for the third Monday in August.

Harbour activity

The standby vessel DEA Server was in Scalloway harbour at the beginning of last week for a crew change and supplies, followed later in the week by the Montrose registered VOS Defender which was similarly in port for a crewing and supply while on standby duties.

The sizable yacht Bank von Bremen chose to berth at the Blacksness pier while in harbour on Tuesday. Visiting yachts to Scalloway usually berth at the Scalloway Boating Club pontoon. The pontoon depth ranges from around 22ft at its tip to 3ft at the shore side, so this deeper-keeled yacht with an unusual 12ft of hull draft opted to avoid any uncertainty by berthing at Blacksness.

The distinctive workboat FOB Jr returned to port with further cargo from her seabed operations and on this occasion also discharged her sea bed lifting equipment and ROVs as she departs this area to return to Norway, though the project she was involved with remains incomplete.

The regular but minimal salmon related traffic in the port continues with the workboat Contender in the vicinity, the Ronja Settler delivering fish to the factory at Blacksness and the Scottish Sea Farms workboat Galti lifted out onto the pier for maintenance and inspection.

The Buckie registered fishing boat Reliant spent a short period in the harbour for shelter over the weekend. The Banff registered Aquarius came to port to consign her catch to the mainland via refrigerated lorry, landing 330 boxes.

The Scalloway fishmarket was busier again in the week to Friday despite there being only three boats landing. Catches were good, however, and the Fertile did particularly well, landing four days out of five with 146 boxes in 24 hours on Tuesday. The Comrades also had a busy week, landing four days also and the Quiet Waters landed twice, having the highest single landing of 161 boxes on Friday.

The total for the week was 700 boxes exactly. Fish market prices are said to be on the rise again after several poor weeks and the imports from Iceland to the mainland UK are said to be decreasing also, which should further bolster the local industry. A number of local boats are currently either tied up for painting and annual maintenance or away on oil industry related standby work, saving their days at sea and set to profit if prices continue to rise.

Angling news

The Scalloway Boating Club angling section had another busy weekend with two competitions on offer. Friday night was the Alan Cumming Memorial Eela competition with victory going to the boat with the heaviest catch, rather than an individual angler winning. Jeemie Reid’s boat Utopia took first place with 144.8lb, Mark Laurenson’s boat Gannet was second with 128.6lb and Brian Smith’s boat the Golden West was third on 111.8lb. There were seven boats taking part in the competition.

Sunday’s competition was the J. Willum Memorial Trophy for most species. Raymond Laurenson was first with 11 species, Mark Laurenson second with 10 species and Howard Foster third with 9 species. There were four boats with six anglers for this event.

Over 50s

The Scalloway Over-50s club have been taking advantage of the fine weather this year for their summer outings. In June they enjoyed lunch at the St Magnus Bay Hotel and had a special opening of the Auld Skule Charity shop laid on for them. Their driver later treated them to a scenic route back to Scalloway, travelling via Weisdale.

Their July trip took them to the Spiggie Hotel for what was described as “a fine meal”, before continuing south to the archaeological site of Old Scatness. Those who ventured on the guided tour were enthralled with the narrative given by their guide, Jane. Traditionally the group always visit a country shop when on an outing, so on this occasion they stopped along Mainland’s shop at Dunrossness. Their August excursion is planned as a trip to Bressay.

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.