Times Past 04.09.09

25 Years Ago

The new £3 million leisure centre at Clickimin should be in use by the end of the year. It will not be officially opened until next year.

Although the building is not yet finished, the Clickimin Recreational Trust is already considering adding an extension.
Mr John Nicolson said that the group were considering adding an extra wing to provide hostel accommodation for visiting groups.

Architects Faulkner-Brown Hendy Watkinson designed the building to have a cottage style front. From the front the building looks long and low and once inside one has to go downstairs into the main hall.

This hall is roughly twice the size of the Anderson High games hall. This hall can be used for large concerts or meetings when up to 1000 can be seated. Spectators can watch events in the hall from the entrance area or from the viewing gallery upstairs.

The function suite can hold 150 people and will have a variety of uses. Films could be shown there as there is a small production room which overlooks it.

Other facilities are a rifle range and a multi-purpose gym.

The centre has been specially designed to keep running costs at a minimum. The architects said it is one of the best insulated buildings in Shetland and the insulation is much better than the building regulations required.

Heating is from a large oil-fired boiler which could cope with the possible extension. It also reuses waste heat from the centre. A large revolving door at the main entrance also conserves heat.

50 Years Ago

Blacksness Pier Trust have now received intimation from the Scottish Home Department that their application for grant and loan amounting to £65,000 for a pier extension has finally been approved.

The Trustees’ application for Government assistance towards provision of a covered fish market has not been successful but the trust have gathered from the communication that the department has not ruled out the possibility for assistance, though they could not see their way at this time to grant financial help.

The work to be executed under the contract comprises the extension of the existing Blacksness Pier in a westerly direction for a length of 81 feet, then in a north-westerly direction for a further 207 feet.

The structure is to be carried on heavily reinforced concrete cylinders with reinforced transverse beams forming a series of portal frames units at 30 foot centres. These frames support pre-cast, pre-stressed longitudinal beams which in turn carry a ten inch deck in situ reinforced concrete deckslab.

A wave screen consisting of pre-cast, pre-stresses units is to be formed along seaward face and the structure will be provided with suitable timber fendering, lighting and motor services.

100 years ago

Discovery of North Pole – discoverer at Lerwick – On Wednesday last the Danish steamer Hans Egede steamed into Lerwick harbour shortly before ten o’clock in the morning and dropped anchor well out in the Sound. A boat made for the shore and two men landed. They proceeded first to the Post Office and then to the office of the Danish Consul, where certain communications were made, but as a precaution the Consul was bound over to absolute secrecy.

However, it leaked out that the ship had on board Dr Frederick A. Cook, the American Arctic explorer, who had actually reached the North Pole, and naturally interest ran high. It was known that the Hans Egede had been on a trip to the Danish settlements in Greenland, and that she carried 25 passengers, along with the produce of the stations, and was bound for Copenhagen, only having called at Lerwick for the purpose of allowing Dr Cook to cable home to his wife in New York, announcing his safe arrival from the Arctic, after an absence of two years.

No one who saw Dr Cook pass along Commercial Street would have imagined for a moment that he was the intrepid explorer he had proved himself to be. He looked more of a Scandinavian than an American.  About five feet eight or nine inches in height, he was rather stout, and certainly gave no indications of having passed through any privations whatever. In fact, many of the sailors of the Hans Egede looked much more weather beaten than did the great explorer, who has covered himself with glory and added to the greatness of his native land. His only visible Arctic connection were the knee boots he was wearing, made of untanned seal skin, with the fur next his legs. He wore grey corduroy breeches, grey vest and jacket, and a dark overcoat, and a dark tweed cap. He had blue eyes and long fair hair – sadly needing the attention of the barber – and was clean shaven. His complexion was sallow, and while his face suggested great force and strength, his features were rather heavy. Altogether, the head and face gave one an idea of great strength, and unbounded bulldog courage and tenacity. He was just the kind of man one would imagine would rather face death than defeat, and his exploit in the Arctic regions bears that out. Like many Americans, he spoke slowly, had a distinct drawl, and was quite free in use of the expression “I guess.”  His grave face lighted up with a smile, when the cold weather in Shetland was mentioned, and he replied – “Waal, I guess, it’s about the warmest I’ve had in two years.”

The Hans Egede left Lerwick shortly after noon for Copenhagen, where she will arrive late on Saturday or early on Sunday morning.


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