Views from the Scord 18.09.09

Harbour activity

The stormy forecast at the beginning of last week brought in a threesome of large oil-related vessels to Scalloway Harbour for shelter.

The standby boat Dea Server was first of these to call in on Monday afternoon last week. She was followed half an hour later by the distinctive towering form of the core-drilling ship Bucentaur with her drilling derrick amidships. The standby vessel Vos Defender arrived on Wednesday and for a while all three ships occupied the commercial pier frontage. The Dea Server departed on Wednesday only to return again on Friday for a further period alongside.

The Buckie-registered fishing boat Reliant was alongside on Saturday for repairs to an electrical fault, assisted by local engineers, before returning to the fishing grounds. The well-boat Ronja Settler continues to operate from Scalloway.

On the shore side, the remains of the large steel salmon cage belonging to A&P Tait which was lifted ashore for decommissioning still occupies a large area of the west quay as it is dismantled and sections removed by road for scrap.

Fish landings to the Scalloway market were relatively low in the week to Friday, with only 826 boxes. The local boats Radiant Star, Devotion, Alison Kay and Fertile contributed to the tally, with the largest single landing coming from the Devotion with 260 boxes on Monday.

Despite the low figure for last week, there is some optimism in the industry at the beginning of this week with many boats said to be fishing well along the Papa Bank for large quantities of haddocks, for which they have ample quota at the current time. Large landings were reported in advance for Monday’s market this week.

Youth club appeal

An appeal is being made to the local community for adult volunteers to come forward for the Burra Youth Club to fill the roles of office bearers and secure the future of the club.

The daily running of the club is entirely handled by SIC youth workers but to fulfil its status and to be eligible for funding, the club must have a titular committee of office bearers to function and three of these posts are currently vacant.

These are not envisaged to be demanding roles and it is more the case that it could give people the opportunity to become actively involved in the community for minimal commitment of time and effort. The most demanding position is that of treasurer, but even for this role assurances have been made that the local community office will greatly assist anyone who takes on the role in applying for funding.

While experienced office bearers would obviously be welcomed, the roles also present an ideal opportunity for anyone seeking to become involved in a community organisation or to do some voluntary work and gain new skills.

These particular roles may be suited to anyone who wishes to try their hand at something like this for the first time, due to the light-hearted and relatively casual nature of the roles. Members are only obliged to meet a minimum of four times a year and then for only around an hour each time, though the option is there to become more actively involved if so wished.

The posts are open to anyone over 18, without the necessity of them being a parent, and this may also present an ideal opportunity for young adults, the unemployed or those seeking voluntary work accreditation to improve their skills and CV as a side benefit.

It can also be seen as a chance for parents to have more experience of, and contribute to, the activities that teenagers engage in outwith school hours, for the retired to find an outlet for their talents or even for those new to the area to meet new people and become an active part of the community.

Experience from other regional youth club committees has shown that there can be a strong and valuable social benefit to joining up too. According to community worker Mary Scott: “As long as you are willing and able we’d be delighted to see you.”

The centre itself provides a range of structured activities for youth members, with both educational and social benefits. The harsh reality is that there is the possibility of the centre having to cease in its current form if new volunteers cannot be found in the near future, which would pose a major loss to the community.

An open meeting is being held on 22nd September in the Hamnavoe hall with Mary Scott and youth worker Sheriene Rennie to discuss this matter, but anyone wishing to find out more or willing to get involved can contact Mary at the West Mainland community work office at any time on (01595) 745303.

Bonfire builders

The nights are drawing in, temperatures are slowly falling and the matter of traditional autumnal bonfires to light and warm the night sky on 5th November is once again upon us.

After the huge success of the community bonfire near Sycamore Avenue in Scalloway last year for Guy Fawkes Night, the collection of wood is now under way for this year’s event. The first load of pallets from a local business arrived this week and organisers would like to publicise that any and all donations of wood or pallets from locals and businesses are most welcome from now until the event. A suitable “guy” for atop the bonfire is also being made by local children.

Last year’s huge bonfire was built by a highly-motivated team of bairns from the area, with adult assistance, and these same individuals and others are keen to make this year’s extravaganza even better. In fact, so keen are the local bairns that according to one of the adult organisers, they have been talking about the event since back in April and are “high as kites” now that moves are being made to build the pyre for the upcoming event.

On the evening there will be designated adults to set off fireworks and the relevant authorities like the coastguard and fire brigade will be informed of the event.

Following last year’s example, people are invited to take along fireworks to add to the display that they can then enjoy in the safety of the organised and supervised event. Last year’s display was said to have rivalled any of the larger public fireworks displays.

Wood donations can be taken along to the car park at the corner of Sycamore Avenue, or contact Julie on (01595) 880906 for more information.

Teas at Bridge-End

The Bridge-End hall is holding Sunday teas this weekend to raise funds for their annual Christmas party for local bairns.

The long-running party provides presents for almost 50 children in the south end of Burra, from newborn babies and up. The party has all the cheer of the festive season and live music provided for the bairns and their parents’ enjoyment will be held in the week before Christmas, with dates to be confirmed nearer the time.

The teas run from 2pm to 5pm on Sunday and there will also be a raffle. All funds go directly toward the cost of presents for children.

Mark Burgess


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