Views from the Scord

Festival of food

Preparations are under way for the second annual Shetland Food Festival, and the SIC’s economic development unit is keen to attract participation from local food producers, restaurants, cafes and retailers.

The week-long event seeks to promote the use of local produce and recipes in local establishments and further afield and to highlight Shetland produce where it is already available.

Many local establishments already feature local produce, particularly seafood, and it is the hope of the event organisers to gather information of these outlets together and combine them into one promotional resource.

They also hope to engage the public and community halls in hosting events to accompany the promotion, such as themed or traditional food evenings.

The chance is also being offered for producers, chefs or retailers to participate in the “Food Theatre” event in the Clickimin Leisure Complex.

For more information, or to express an interest in participation, contact the economic development unit on (01595) 744944.


The prizewinners were announced this week for a fund-raising puzzle that may have driven many to distraction over recent weeks.

The tourist attractions in Shetland anagrams concocted by Jane Fraser raised £255 for the new Scalloway Museum project.

The three winners, each receiving a prize of £5, were Joann Silver of Haroldswick, Peter D Hughson of Whalsay and Hamish Nicol of Lerwick.

Winnie ready for action

The Trondra-based Filsket Riding Club are proud this week to put on display their pony Winnie, which is now ready for club use.

Winnie is a very handsome and gentle-natured Icelandic crossed Fjord pony and is the first pony actually owned by the club and made ready for use by members.

Up until now the club has entirely relied on ponies donated by members and other pony enthusiasts, but they now have two ponies of their own to add to numbers, with the second, Nancy, still being broken in for the particular requirements of the club.

The highly successful riding club, run entirely by a team of dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers, is now in its fourth year and has truly blossomed in recent times, going from strength to strength at every turn. Participating children are provided with riding skills and a hands-on knowledge of care and handling of ponies. The club now boasts 54 members and already has a waiting list running into double figures for the forthcoming year.

The greater significance of the arrival of Winnie lies in the club’s aspirations to provide riding for the disabled and the disadvantaged. They had sought to start offering riding for children and young adults with special needs in an official capacity this year but a funding hiccup for Disability Shetland has delayed this until the next riding season begins in May next year.

Club organiser Dorothy Sales described Winnie as “really nice, quiet and well behaved, just what the club was needing” to fulfil this aspiration.

Nine-year-old Rebecca Jamieson has been a keen member of the club for the past year and her riding skills have progressed greatly, from being led by two attendants to now holding her own reins.

Rebecca, who describes herself as a “pony-mad child”, has done much of her training on one of the club’s donated horses, Jinny, which is now being retired with Winnie serving as a suitable replacement.

Rebecca describes the club as “really good. I look forward to it every week”. She and her family are moving away from Shetland this week, as work commitments take her father to Dorset, but having been smitten with the riding bug with the Filsket club she says she is keen to keep it up in their new area and they have already identified several clubs where they are moving to.

Her favoured ride Jinny is also relocating to the mainland for her retirement and Rebecca hopes to go and visit her in her new home.

It is now thought to be over 20 years since Riding for the Disabled provided a service in Shetland and there is a constant enthusiasm from the kids that are assisted through Disability Shetland to go pony riding and the Filsket club’s offer to provide this service is eagerly anticipated.

Rebecca did well among her fellow club members at the gymkhana event the club held last weekend at its base in Trondra. She was proud to display her bundle of rosettes from the fun and challenging events the riders competed in, including the Tattie and Spoon, the Fish and Flump and Stepping Stones, in which Rebecca finished second in what was described as a photo finish.

The club has also very recently taken delivery of their own horsebox trailer for transporting ponies to and from their base in Trondra. The horsebox was another funding victory for the club as it was entirely paid for through the Awards for All lottery fund.

This, incidentally, came as part of a double celebration in the Scalloway area as concurrently the Fraser Park received roughly the same amount toward the cost of a new mower, forming a total of £9,000 for community schemes.

Winnie was first purchased in May this year from the Thordale Riding Centre in Walls and she and her tack were paid for by funds raised from a variety of local organisations and businesses.

Club funding co-ordinator Monica Johnson said: “We are extremely grateful to the organisations that gave financial assistance to enable us to purchase Winnie and her tack.

“We hoped to be able to provide riding lessons for disabled and also for the befriending scheme and this will allow us to help realise our intentions and begin to pursue this avenue for the club in the coming year.”

Not content to rest on their laurels, the club also hopes to be able to create a surfaced ménage area, enclosed in ranch style fencing which would extend the riding season greatly, allowing them an alternative to overly wet ground in the spring and autumn months.

“That is our dream,” says Dorothy, and with the ever-increasing numbers and the substantial waiting list it is considered that “the sky’s the limit” for the club and its future.

Harbour activity

It was another quiet week in Scalloway Harbour with fishing activity fairly minimal and no large vessel movements at all.

The well-boat Ronja Settler continues to make daily visits to Blacksness with salmon for processing.

The fishmarket received landings from five vessels in the week to Friday for a total of 920 boxes. These were the Comrades, Maranatha, Fertile, Radiant Star and Valhalla, with the largest single landing coming from the Maranatha with 245 boxes.

The trawler Mizpah has remained prominently berthed alongside the commercial quay all week as she undergoes a paint-up while conserving days at sea. The Alison Kay was in the port for a time too for a minor repair and the Banff-registered Caspian was alongside to take water and present her log book, prior to commencing fishing activity in the area.

The SIC workboat Sullom Shearwater was in the harbour and approaches all week for the planned repair and maintenance of the local navigation buoys.

Hamnavoe eela

Next Friday there will be an eela competition run from Hamnavoe.

Competitors are to set off from the Hamnavoe pier at 6pm and must cease fishing at 8.30pm. A restriction of a maximum of 20 mackerel allowed per person has been set.

There will be a supper held in the Hamnavoe hall after the weigh-in, with a bar available. Entrance costs £2 for adults and £1 for children and all proceeds will go toward Burra Rowing Club funds.

History group

The Burra History Group is set to launch its calendar for this year at a Sunday teas event on 30th August.

The Easthouse historical centre will be open the same afternoon, as it is every Sunday throughout the summer, from 2pm to 5pm. They will also shortly be releasing a newsletter that will be available from outlets in the Hamnavoe and Scalloway.

An appropriate historical aside to their calendar launch is the recent discussion that the Bridge-End Hall was the first in Shetland to offer Sunday teas as a fund-raising social event, around 30 years ago.

A tradition that has grown substantially throughout Shetland with the teas season now extending through much of the year and large numbers of people enjoying the chance to visit rural areas and socialise over homebakes and sandwiches on a Sunday afternoon.

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.