Isles Views 25.09.09

Water scheme in progress

Work is under way to provide Yell with a new water scheme taken from a single source – Gossa Water in the north-west of the isle.

Not only is it by far the biggest loch in Yell, covering 105 acres, but also the deepest, some 60 feet in places. This contrasts with some neighbouring lochs that are only about seven feet deep.

Initially the plan by Scottish Water was to use the Loch of Kettlester in Burravoe but that was abandoned for a number of reasons.

There was considerable local opposition as the loch as it is would have fallen short in volume. The level was to be raised and this would have submerged an archaeological site. The final nails in that coffin were driven home when testing revealed that the quality of the raw water was unsatisfactory; it had so much mineral content that extra and very expensive purification was required.

Tests were ongoing at Gossa Water and they proved to be much better, hence the switch. The firm FLJ has the contract of laying the 250 millimetre pipeline the two kilometres from the loch to the treatment works. Tulloch Developments are the contractors for the treatment works and, currently, the base is being dug out. Tullochs also have the contract to link the Mid Yell waterworks to Burravoe.

The construction site is at the head of Bastavoe on the old hill road from Dalsetter to Cullivoe. In times past it was regarded as the main road and from the point of view of anyone travelling from Cullivoe to anywhere south of Sellafirth it is much shorter than the main road used today.

This road was never tarred and the SIC, and before it the Zetland County Council, has always been reluctant spend any money on it and little has been done for many years save the most sketchy and remedial maintenance. When the Brig o’ Dalsetter collapsed it was never replaced but the road is still used in some measure.

The main road to Cullivoe is single track and in the event of any blockage of it the hill road can be used as a diversion. The present waterworks for north Yell is accessed from the north end of this road and the south end of it is the way to the new waterworks now under construction. Some folk have peats near it and it is the nearest access to the hills on the west of the island when the sheep are caaed.

During the period of construction the old road, to all intents and purposes, is closed. There are signs warning people keep out, not to enter the construction site. To accommodate the trucks, plant and machinery needed at the site a considerable amount of work has been done to the road at the Sellafirth end and the Gutcher quarry was blasted recently to provide rocks for that purpose.

Unst visit to Westray

A number of Unst folk travelled to Orkney recently to meet members of the Westray Development Trust.

The group of 10 forms part of a working group of the Unst Partnership, which was set up to explore potential for new development opportunities in Unst.

The Westray trust is a community-owned organisation, which has brought a range of benefits to the Westray economy in terms of tourism, arts and crafts, renewable energy and other developments since its establishment in 1998.

The purpose of the trip was to allow the Unst visitors set up links with Westray to see what the trust has achieved, and to take inspiration and ideas home with them to their community.

The visit was funded by the Development Trusts Association for Scotland as part of a wider feasibility study into community involvement in Saxa Vord, which was commissioned by Unst Partnership and is funded by Leader SIC and the Big Lottery.

School talks to minister

Burravoe Primary School was part of a Glowmeet (a video conference) last Tuesday with Fiona Hyslop, the Scottish minister for education and lifelong learning.

Glowmeet is part of Glow, the internet link for all Scottish schools.

Ms Hyslop was talking about her life being Scottish. Lots of other schools in Scotland joined in the Glowmeet and six schools were invited to ask Ms Hyslop a question. The Burravoe bairns were proud, but a bit nervous, to be one of the schools chosen.

Everyone helped to think up the question and Kay Johnson was the person who asked it. The question she asked was: “We enjoy the freedom to walk around without being with our Mum and Dad because we don’t have much traffic or crime and it is very peaceful. Lots of children don’t have that; how can their communities make a difference so that they can go outside without being so worried?”

Ms Hyslop replied that it was very important that children had good road safety education and were aware of stranger danger but she reminded everyone that the risk from strangers was small. She said that it was important that older children especially had somewhere they could be allowed to “hang out” without being moved on.

Ms Hyslop set schools the challenge of talking together to see what they felt should happen so that they could inform decision makers so that all children can have what Shetland children enjoy.

Fetlar trials dance

The Fetlar Sheepdog Trials dance is on tomorrow night in the Fetlar Hall and one of the organisers, Paul Gill, is keen to have as many folk as possible attending.

Travel to and from the hall is possible by bus, which will leave Ulsta at 6.20pm tying in with the 6pm ferry from Toft. It will pick up along the main road through Yell and end up at the hall door, connecting with the 7.05pm ferry from Belmont to Fetlar.

The return bus connects with the 1am ferry out of Fetlar and returns to Ulsta (via Belmont). Andrew Hughson will provide the music for the evening.

Show sheep penning

In the aftermath of the show itself the Unst Show Committee held the sheep penning at Clivocast in Uyeasound. In first place was Brian Sutherland with Lad and second equal were Derek Jamieson with Nan and Brian Sutherland with Jack. Ivan Jamieson’s Kyle was the best non-trial dog.

The organisers would like to thank Ivor Smith for judging and Brian Hunter for providing the field and the sheep.

Yell students graduate

At the recent presentation in Lerwick Town Hall four students from Yell received their degrees from the Open University.

Chris Lamb from Mid Yell is a BSc (honours) in environmental studies; Joyce Anderson from Ulsta is a BSc (honours) in health and social care; Dorothy Christine Fraser from Burravoe is a BSc (honours) open; and Alison Wilma Anderson from Gutcher achieved a Diploma of Higher Education in adult nursing. Congratulations to all of them.

European coffee morning

Baltasound School is having a coffee morning today in aid of the Macmillan Nurse Fund. It runs from 10.30am until 11.30am in the main hall and its set to coincide with European Languages Day.

There will be a selection of European snacks available along with some European decorations. Everyone in the community is welcome to come along and have some French coffee and croissants – or possibly an Italian blend if it is more to their taste.

Sea Sunday

Sunday is Sea Sunday in the Hamnavoe Kirk at Yell at 6pm, the Yell Churches Together Day.

It is to be a day with a sea theme, a day to give thanks to all those who go to sea and all those who help look after them like the rescue services. Alma Lewis says that it will be a truly ecumenical day and everyone is welcome.

Burravoe fishing

When I reported the Burravoe fishing competition I made a number of errors and omissions. John Johnson has put me right on those and the report should have read as follows.

The Burravoe fishing competition was held on Sunday 6th September after being cancelled on 29th August due to high winds.

Sixteen boats left the Burravoe pier at 2pm. The winner with the heaviest basket was Michael Guthrie with a catch of 37lb and Sarah Lalla won for the heaviest fish, heaviest women’s basket and was overall joint second with Robert Odie.

A new trophy donated in memory of the late Stewart Gray for the most species was won by Robert Odie. George Spence won the Hamehaven Trophy, donated by Margaret and Davie Towriess, for the best junior with a total catch of 30lb.

The organisers would like to thank everyone who attended and helped in any way and to Zena Gray and Margaret and Davie Towriess for donating the new trophies.

Lawrence Tulloch


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