North Mainland Notes 07.08.09

Muckle Roe Eela

The annual Muckle Roe Eela competition takes place tomorrow night from 6-8pm and organisers would welcome new competitors. The catches will be fried up at the Muckle Roe hall after the weigh-in at 8.30pm.

Boats of any size will be accepted with a maximum of three persons per vessel, with a fishing limit between the Lang Head and the Point of Vementry. Competitors can use their own fishing tackle, but should note there is a limit on the number of mackerel landed. Crews should weigh-in at the Muckle Roe marina, where hot soup will be on offer and the prize-giving will take place. Prizes will be given for the heaviest catch, the heaviest catch of piltocks, the heaviest fish and a booby prize for the unluckiest crew. The entry fee is £5 per boat.

This year the fish will be fried back at the hall. As the hall is unlicensed, people can bring their own drams if they wish to do so. An informal music session will follow and organisers would be delighted if folk could bring an instrument and join in.

North Roe homes

Thanks to the forward thinking and community-mindedness of Lochend landowner Drew Cromarty, and with the help of a pilot scheme Rural Homes for Rent grant initiative from the Scottish Government, social housing is set to increase in North Roe.

Rural Homes for Rent funds are targeted at landowners in rural housing markets where registered social landlords have been constrained in meeting local housing and homelessness need. Up to half the cost of construction could be funded by the scheme, with the remainder being paid by the landowner.

Sixty-seven initial expressions of interest from landowners were received and following assessment, applications were shortlisted to 49. Applicants were then invited to submit detailed proposals, of which 25 were received. Mr Cromarty has worked closely with the Northmavine Community Development Company (NCDC) on this proposal and staff at the community-led company aided the submissions to the Scottish Government.

Total proposals received from Scotland sought grant funding totalling more than £11 million to provide a potential 166 new houses. This meant the pilot scheme was over-subscribed, and the Scottish Government could not support all applications that met its criteria within the available budget of £5 million. The detailed submissions have been subject to an assessment by the Scottish Government in consultation with the relevant local authorities.

At present a total of four family homes are part of the social rent scheme in North Roe through a mixture of Hjaltland Housing Association and council housing. Thanks to Mr Cromarty, this is set to increase by two further family homes which will make a tremendous impact on this fragile rural area. Although education standards at North Roe Primary School are second to none, a lack of young families in the area has seen the school roll drop over the past few years. It is hoped that this increase in affordable family homes will encourage families with young children to move into North Roe and help keep the community alive.

Details of the final funding package have yet to be received by Mr Cromarty and if these prove to be acceptable, it is hoped work could start on the properties by the end of the year.

Holidaying at the Voe Show

The Voe Show, held on Saturday, continues to grow in popularity year on year, despite the weather, but to organise and run a show of this size takes commitment and extremely hard work from a large number of willing volunteers. Not only can show president Helena Johnson depend on a core of local folk to make sure everything is in place on the day, but there are people from south who plan their holidays in Shetland to make sure they too can help out. Jackie Liddell from Stirling is a prime example.

Jackie and her family, husband Alistair and children Ross and Kirsty, used to live in Voe and Brae when Alistair worked at Sullom Voe. Although they left Shetland some years ago, they have continued to visit for holidays. A couple of years ago Jackie happened to be here visiting Lawrence and Julie Johnson at Muckle Roe at the time of the Voe Show and gladly mucked in to help Julie and the rest of the committee.

Although Julie felt rather guilty for her friend having to work so hard during her “holiday”, Jackie insisted that she had really enjoyed herself. Any doubts Julie may have had as to the truth of this statement were cast away when Jackie phoned to ask when the Voe Show was taking place this year as she was planning her holiday to Shetland and wanted to be here to help out again.

Although I missed the Voe Show as I was hockin’ in the ebb last weekend on a Shetland Amenity Trust marine intertidal course, by all accounts the show was a huge success despite the rain and a testament to all the hard work of the volunteers, especially Jackie!

Family fun at Voxter

Next Friday a family fun day takes place at Voxter which centres round the theme of “Making time for play”. The day is targeted at pre-school to primary 7 bairns, but bairns of any age are welcome and a parent or guardian should accompany everyone.

The event will run from 10.30am to 3.30pm and will include a vast range of activities including sailing provided by volunteers from the Delting Boating Club, a large sand pit, a water slide and den-building in the trees at Voxter. Jo Jack and Anna Horne are also coming along to show everyone how to weave with bruck so families are encouraged to bring along any items they would like to weave into the project. Active Schools staff have also organised a range of energetic games and activities to help bairns burn off any remaining steam.

Due to the limited amount of parking at Voxter, a park and ride system will run from the Brae High School car park at regular intervals throughout the day so folk can drop in at any time. In addition, transport will leave the Toft pier at 10.05am, connecting with the 9.40am ferry from Yell. The bus will also collect families from the Mossbank hall at 10.20am and will return to catch the 3.25pm ferry at Toft, reaching Mossbank again at 3.30pm.

Organisers anticipate a few drookled bairns and would advise parents to bring a change of clothes for each bairn as well as a packed lunch. Free fruit and water will also be available throughout the day.

Based on the success of this event last year, it’s bound to be a great day for everyone.

Running for Charity

Isobel Mowat of Brae, who completed the London Marathon in April this year, would like to say a huge thanks to everyone who sponsored her run in aid of the Friends of Anchor unit at the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. A total of £2,175 has now been handed over to the unit and the money will be a very welcome addition to help aid patients affected by cancer.

Isobel’s running shoes haven’t had much of a rest this year as she’s now in training for her regular outing at the BUPA Great North Run. This year friend Maria Parker of Voxter, Brae, will accompany her.

The Great North Run is now one of the world’s most popular road running events.

The 13.1 mile route winds between Newcastle and South Shields. Last year the event saw an announced field of 52,000 although a large number of these either did not show up or manage to finish.

This is Maria’s first major race so she and Isobel are regularly running 10 miles at each training session to ensure they are both in top shape for the race, which takes place next month on 20th September.

Maria is running for the British Heart Foundation and Isobel will raise funds for Asthma UK this time. Sponsor forms are available locally and at the Brae Building Centre.

Maree Hay


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