Times Past 02.10.09

25 Years Ago

Moves to change the SIC representatives on Lerwick Harbour Trust were described as a “conspiracy” in the council chambers last Friday.

When Mr Jim Irvine nominated Mr Sandy Cluness as a Lerwick member on the trust, Mr Leonard Groat, who sits on the trust, said: “I think there is a conspiracy in this council.” Mr Groat said he had accepted a seat on the trust as much of his ward in north Lerwick was land owned by the trust and he wanted to represent the people of his ward.

Earlier Mr Chris Dowle questioned whether there was any reason to disturb the status quo of Lerwick members on the trust. Mr Irvine said he was not answerable to Mr Dowle or Shetland Labour Party for his nomination. He said Mr Cluness had a wide range on interests which made him a suitable candidate for the trust.

Mr Willie Cumming added that Mr Cluness’ recent appointment as chief executive to the fish processors association was a good reason for his nomination. “We are hoping there will be a major fish processing development in the harbour trust area,” he said.

Mr Bill Smith suggested that was a good reason why he should not be voted onto the trust.

In the vote the three sitting members were re-elected. The vote was Mr Bill Smith 15, Mr Leonard Groat 21, Mr Edward Thomason 23 and Mr Sandy Cluness 9.

Meanwhile John Graham’s nomination of Mr Cecil Eunson, the Tingwall, Whiteness & Weisdale councillor, on to the trust was also turned down. Mr Graham said that as major work would be starting soon at Dales Voe the member for the area should be on the trust. However, sitting members Mr Henry Stewart and Mr Stuart Gray were re-elected.

: : : : : :

The SIC ferry Filla yesterday failed to reach Fair Isle to take off the 600 sheep and five or six cattle stranded on the island since the dockers strike. The Filla had to turn back at Mousa because of the big sea running and will make another attempt tomorrrow. Apart from Fair Isle, lamb and cattle movements appear to be back to normal for the time of year.

Fair Isle crofter Mr Dave Wheeler said the lambs were still in good condition but were eating a lot of grass which normally feeds ewes at tupping time. If the lambs are not moved out in the next few weeks, he warned, the situation could become serious.

On Wednesday, 3,300 lambs left Lerwick for Aberdeen and the Filla ran a marathon shuttle service between Fetlar and Unst, bringing almost 2,500 lambs across. She made numerous runs, bringing over her last load around 4am yesterday morning.

Lerwick P&O manager, Mr Brian Smith, said lamb shipments are now “definitely on schedule”. He added that all freight movements from Lerwick are now back to normal.

At Aberdeen, however, there is still a backlog of freight which can take up to nine days to reach Lerwick.

50 Years Ago

Thursday first is general election day. In Shetland, 26 polling stations will be open from 7am until 9pm, but the result will not be known until shortly after noon on Saturday. The three candidates have been very active during the past week, and will continue to be so right up to polling time. All three still have meetings to address in Shetland, and two of them – the Liberal and Labour candidates – will be here on polling day.

This is the first election at which there is no restriction on the use of cars. Previously, each candidate was severely restricted, and it will be interesting to see if the new rule leads to an increased poll in the islands.

It was announced this week that Mr Grimond is to make a lightning tour of the country at the beginning of next week, in his role of the Liberal party leader. He goes to Inverness on Friday to speak in support of John Bannerman; on Saturday night he will be in London to appear on TV; on Sunday he will be at work in his party headquarters; on Monday a charter helicopter will whisk him down to the west country, and eventually up to Rochdale. From there he motors through the night to Glasgow to join the morning air service from Renfrew to Shetland.

100 Years Ago

Scalloway – At Scalloway Public School, last week, were delivered three boxes of large capacity and portly appearance, containing 336 school bags, and valuable and appropriate gifts for the teaching staff.  These had been sent by Mr William Baird, bag manufacturer, Paisley, at the instance of James Coats, Esq., of Ferguslie House, Paisley. The bags, strong, roomy and handsome, were presented to the children on the day after their arrival in Scalloway and nothing could be more gratifying than the joy in their gifts which the children exhibited, and which Mr Coats himself would have been delighted to witness.

And next day came an honorarium of ten shillings for the woman who cleans the school. Nor has their pleasure in their possession yet declined, for the children still take pride in wearing their bags; often the boys refuse to put them off even to engage in play; and it seems as if they grudged to remove them from their backs while sitting in school.

This enthusiasm will no doubt abate as the feeling of novelty passes away, but their can be no question that Mr Coats and his tactful generosity will, for a long time, hold a special place in the recollection of the children of Scalloway.  Indeed, for both teachers and pupils, this graceful act of kindness and attention will constitute a most pleasant memory – perhaps something of an inspiration.

Mr Coats need not fear that his magnificence will go unrewarded. The fine example he has given, and the large-hearted concern he has shown for the welfare of our school children will be the beneficial effect, while the admiring gratitude of the children whom his bounty has gladdened will be the rich recompense his philanthropy will reap.

: : : : : :

Child Neglect – Lerwick Fathers Sentenced – The first cases of neglect of children in Shetland, under the new Act of 1908, were heard in the Sheriff Court on Saturday last – Sheriff Principal McLennan on the bench – when two Lerwick men were charged under powers conferred upon the School Board, with neglecting to provide for their children so that they could attend school.


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.