North Mainland Notes 18.09.09

Second Shetland Food Festival

Following on from the success of the Shetland Food Festival last year, preparations are underway for the second event. The festival is being organised by Shetland Islands Council’s economic development unit and will run from Friday 2nd October to Sunday 11th October. The aim is to build on the success of last year’s event and spread the word about the remarkable quality of Shetland food.

Organisers are keen that everyone with an interest in food should get involved with the festival and would like to encourage producers, restaurants, cafes, halls, communities and individuals to take this opportunity to showcase their products and services to a Shetland-wide audience and beyond. Last year the event generated a huge amount of publicity for Shetland and the quality products grown and served here. It is hoped that local participation can reap similar rewards. A number of businesses and local halls in the North Mainland were involved in last year’s food festival and organisers hope to build on the number of participants this year.

Anyone who would like to be involved in this year’s programme should contact Nicola Halcrow, event coordinator at the economic development unit on (01595) 744 944 or

Fun and literacy at Brae

As part of the ongoing development of literacy in Brae Primary school, pupils from nursery to primary 3 were treated to a visit from Mairi Hedderwick, author of the Katie Morag stories. The bairns were really excited to hear Mairi read her latest book featuring the rubber-booted Katie Morag and her dungaree-wearing, tractor-driving granny, among others. Mairi talked to the bairns about writing, answering questions along the way.

Pupils from Primary 4 to Primary 7 at Brae were lucky enough to see a multi-sensory performance of the much acclaimed show The Man Who Planted Trees. This was performed by the Puppet State Theatre Company in the Brae Hall. The show is an adaptation of Frence author Jean Giono’s environmental cult classic and features a French shepherd who sets out with his dog to plant a forest to transform a barren wasteland. The unique blend of comedy, puppetry and inspired storytelling creates an unforgettable story that shows the difference one man (and his dog!) can make to the world.

Back to nature at Urafirth

Primary Pupils at North Roe and Urafirth Primary schools recently spent time with Niki Buchan of Mindstretchers, a company made up of a group of people who feel that all children are entitled to learn in a multi-sensory and naturally creative environment. Mindstretchers manage Nature Kindergartens and training centres at Crieff and Auchterarder in Scotland. Joy Sinclair, acting head teacher at Urafirth, was so impressed by what she had seen in action with the Urafirth bairns that she flew south last week to attend the Mindstretchers conference and workshops in Crieff to find out more about the philosophy, theory and practice of children working out of doors 80 per cent of the week, come rain or shine.

Fruitful Brae fund-raiser

The Brae Youth Centre user group held Sunday teas and car boot sale last Sunday in the youth centre to raise funds for the refurbished TV/meeting room. What a successful day it was with over 20 sales tables. The tea room was busy for most of the afternoon with folks enjoying the lovely array of home bakes donated by people in the community. The user group would like to say a huge thanks to all who baked, helped organise and worked on the day. Special thanks to men from the Voe show committee for carting all the tables over to the centre – and all the others who carted them back. A spokeswoman for the group said: “Thanks to the large amount of community support on Sunday, a grand total of £817 was raised. This has given us an excellent start to our fundraising.”

Car wash

Remember to save yourself a job and support the Firefighters Charity by popping along the Brae Co-op car park tomorrow between 12pm and 4pm. Brae retained firefighters will be on hand with buckets and hoses to wash your car in return for a donation.

Quiz with an Indian flavour

Muckle Roe hall is hosting a curry and quiz night next Saturday. The hall will be open from 7pm and questions begin at 7.30pm. The quiz master for the evening is Jim Reyner of Muckle Roe who will have a selection of local, national and international questions to test folks’ knowledge. The curry will be served during the half time break and bar facilities, as well as a raffle, will be available. Team members will pay a £5 entry fee, which includes the cost of the curry. Teams should comprise six folk or less and I’m told there will be a great prize for the winning team!

The committee would also like to remind folk that a fund-raiser will be held this Sunday afternoon, featuring the work of Muckle Roe photographer Jane Johnson.

Vidlin’s big coffee afternoon

As part of Macmillan Cancer Support’s world’s biggest coffee morning next Friday, Vidlin under-5s Group are having a coffee afternoon on at the Vidlin hall from 2pm-4pm.

Last year, more than 45,000 people held coffee mornings and raised over £7.5 million to help improve the lives of those affected by cancer. Every day 822 people in the UK are told they have cancer. This is news that not only turns their world upside down but affects their family and friends. Macmillan’s ambition is to help every one of these people by providing the medical, emotional, practical and financial support they need. Here in Shetland those affected by cancer are offered this type of support from the Macmillan Nursing Department. In addition, they also provide a nurse-led chemotherapy service locally, meaning that people can often be treated here in Shetland rather than having the additional stress of travelling to the mainland. Nurses also act as a liaison between Shetland, Aberdeen and other hospitals for patients who have to be treated on the mainland to help ensure clearer communication – an essential aspect of both the physical and emotional wellbeing of patients and their families.

Maree Hay


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