North Mainland Notes 02.10.09

Fundraising at Nesting

Nesting Primary Parent Council has come up with a novel fund-raising idea where folk can donate good-quality unwanted items of clothing, toys, books or household items and buy something new for themselves.

“The Nesting New 2 U Exchange” takes place at Nesting primary school tonight from 7-9pm and all money raised will be added to school funds.

Pupils also held a Macmillan Cancer Support coffee evening last Thursday as part of the nationwide Big Coffee Morning.

A spokeswoman said: “The coffee evening was a great success and raised a total of £152.45 for Macmillan Cancer Support. The school would like to say a special thank you to Elizabeth Colley for suggesting the idea and helping with the organisation. We would also like to thank everyone who baked, worked in the kitchen or supported such a lovely evening.”

Youth club meeting

Ollaberry Youth Club has long been part of life in the community, solely run by parent volunteers and providing a social space for bairns on a Friday night during the winter. The new session will begin on Friday, 7th November and juniors are welcome from 6-8pm, while seniors are catered for from 8-10pm.

During the past year the committee has been able to upgrade some of the equipment including the purchase of a new Wii with a series of games. The organisers are keen to welcome new members and hope to introduce planned activities to give members a wider choice.

Clubs such as these cannot continue without a committee to act as the backbone. The annual general meeting takes place in Ollaberry hall on Wednesday, 14th October at 7pm and current members would like to invite anyone interested to go along.

Additional parent and member representatives would be a welcome boost and the committee would be delighted to hear from anyone who would be willing to get involved. Folk should go along to the meeting or contact secretary Claire Jamieson on (01806) 544312 for more information.

Centenary celebrations

Next year will be an exiting one for Vidlin Public Hall when it celebrates the centenary. The hall is an important part of the community and the committee would like to mark such a special birthday.

The organisers are inviting folk along to a meeting at the hall next Tuesday at 7.30pm to hear ideas on how people would like to celebrate and start the planning process.

Cancer care thanks

The Vidlin Under-5s Group is delighted to say that £188 was raised for Macmillan Cancer Care at the coffee afternoon held recently.

A spokeswoman said: “We’d like to say thank you to everyone who came along and supported the event.”

October toy sale

The North Mainland Recycling Centre at the former Nelson Smith print shop in Brae is holding a half-price toy sale during October.

The volunteers at the centre hope that folk will take the opportunity to pop along and pick up a bargain. The shop is open on: Monday 6.30-8pm; Tuesday 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm; Saturday 2-4pm.

The shop distributes funds raised throughout the North Mainland in the form of grants. Committee members would like to point out that the closing date for grant applications is 31st October. Any organisation that would like to apply for a grant should contact any of the following for a form: Akie Keith –; Lynda Jozwik –; or Sandra Bigland – (01806) 522353.

Harvest weekend

North Roe Methodist Church was beautifully decorated for the harvest weekend, which started last Sunday. Alma Duncan from Mid-Walls led the service, with a theme she called: “Out of small beginnings great things are achieved.”

On Monday he harvest social proved another happy occasion when the young folk of the district dramatised the Bible story of the “Parable of the Talents”. The congregation was treated to a further display of the talent within the group as the young folk went on to sing together and give readings. Stuart Clark played his guitar, Bethany Dunk sang Amazing Grace and Stephanie Thompson’s “co-operative” meant that homemade sweets were shared with the congregation.

After eight o’clocks Drew Cromarty ably auctioned the harvest produce. Gift envelopes raised £88 for the Methodist Relief and Development Fund working with the Dalit people in south-east India, and a further £815 was raised for the Chapel Renovation Fund, where the ongoing work is progressing well.

The organisers said they would like to thank everyone who supported the event in so many ways.

North runners compete

Two Brae women completed the BUPA Great North Run on 20th September, billed as the “most iconic half-marathon on the planet”.

As well as being able to pride themselves in completing the gruelling 13.1-mile circuit, they also raised almost £2,000 for their chosen charities.

Isobel Mowat from Brae is now a veteran runner with around 20 half-marathons under her belt. She was determined to enjoy the day and savour the atmosphere of being part of the 54,000 entrants. She finished well up in her class and age group and had the additional delight of beating celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, who had finished 10 minutes ahead of her in the London Marathon.

Maria Parker of Voxter faced the starting line with some trepidation in her first half-marathon. She suffered heart failure some years back after the birth of her son and was conscious of putting too much pressure on her body. She needn’t have worried as she too did herself proud.

Both women would like to express their sincere gratitude to everyone who sponsored them. Isobel’s chosen cause was Asthma UK and over £1,000 will be sent to the charity. Maria raised over £600 for the British Heart Foundation, a cause that is dear to her given her past history.

Both women have been delighted with the moral support they have received from people. Isobel said: “Every time I take part in these events, I can’t believe the support from folk, not only do they willingly sponsor the runs, but there’s also an overwhelming number of phone calls and texts to spur me on a find out the race went.”

Turning Japanese

Visiting Primary 6/7 at Brae High School on Monday morning was definitely a far more uplifting experience than my previous time spent there as a pupil 30 years ago.

Teacher Barbara Sandison had asked me along to speak to the class about how the North Mainland Notes are put together, and the process involved, such as deadlines, sourcing information and trying to keep people interested. The visit was designed to tie-in with a project the class is currently working on.

The pupils, assisted by teachers Barbara and Julie Kirkness, are working on a project with the class about Japan in which they compare and contrast life in the densely-populated Asian country to life in Shetland. Primary 6/7 bairns have undertaken a fantastic amount of research regarding Japanese climate, lifestyle and culture and are producing a magazine filled with articles to highlight life in both cultures.

Information exchanges have also taken place between Brae and Japan and the knowledge the class has acquired through real contact has added an extra dimension to their understanding of Japanese culture.

Class members told me a little of the contrasting worlds between Japan and Brae, but also of the similarities such as our Shetland kishie and the Japanese baskets produced in their country.

While pupils admired many things about Japan, they were hopeful that the education department in Shetland would not adopt many of the Japanese methods, where pupils go to school six days a week for a much longer day.

Lunchtime is also rather different in Japan. There are no games in the playground after lunch like their counterparts in Shetland; Japanese pupils have to clean the classroom ready for a long afternoon of learning.

As part of the project two lucky pupils from the class have been selected to travel to Japan for the trip of a lifetime. Each class member was asked to write a short story describing why he or she would like to be chosen for the trip.

Deputy head teacher Billy Forsyth read all the stories and chose pieces by Reece Thorne and Caitlin Craven as the winning two, so the lucky pair will travel to Japan in November to experience life in the country at first hand and will then bring back details of all they have learned to the rest of the class.

This work with the class at Brae is yet another fantastic example of learning through action. Pupils can relate to the knowledge in a way that means they get so much more out of the experience.

Primary 6/7 have also kindly agreed to write an article for the North Mainland Notes after the trip to Japan, so we look forward to hearing about how they felt starting school at 8.30am and remaining there till five o’clock.

Hillswick kirk sale

Although the Hillswick Church of Scotland has benefited from superb refurbishment over the past few years, including renewal of the paint and varnish by Eddie Tribe and the installation of new carpeting by Robin Sinclair of Nort Trow Flooring, resources are continually required to ensure that the building is kept in good order.

The annual kirk sale is an important source of funds and is well supported by folk in the area. The sale takes place at the Hillswick hall tomorrow night from 7.30pm.

All go at Muckle Roe

The Muckle Roe hall year of fund-raising to help with hall refurbishment continues at pace with two very successful events during September.

The American Sunday brunch was very popular with all ages. Diners commented that the atmosphere was fantastic and the brunch itself was very tasty – especially the pancakes and waffles.

Although staging the brunch was a tremendous amount of work for the committee lasses and their helpers, they felt there “was a great buzz” about the whole day that made the work worthwhile.

Last Saturday the committee held a curry and quiz evening that attracted a number of teams and spectators. Jim Reyner produced a very professional quiz that was lots of fun for the assembled teams. Everyone was well fed at half time when Willie Doull cooked up a delicious curry.

In a closely-fought quiz contest, “Ring of Fire” were the eventual winners and astounded the committee by giving their winning fee back to hall funds.

Diane Wood of the hall committee said: “It was a great night and we would like to thank everybody for coming and participating in our events so far. We’d also like to say special thanks to the Ring of Fire for donating back their well-deserved prize money.”

The next event on the calendar is the annual Sunday teas in aid of the bairns’ parties, on Sunday from 2-5pm. There will be teas and delicious home bakes as well as an ice-cream stall, face painting, balloons, “guess the baby” competition, bran tub, guess the sweetie jar and a treasure map. Home produce, home bakes and local crafts and items will also be on sale during the afternoon, so there will be something for everyone, especially the bairns.

Committee members would also like to invite folk to the annual general meeting on Thursday at 8pm in the hall. The committee is hoping for a good turnout for a review of the past events and to discuss future plans for this dynamic community hall.

True Sound of Music

As hairst arrives, Splinters are well into rehearsals for their annual pantomime, this year a spoof of the Sound of Music, entitled The True Sound of Music.

The panto takes place in Brae Hall on Friday, 13th November at 7pm with a matinee performance on Saturday 14th at 2pm. Tickets will be on sale from Sunday, 24th October in Brae Hall between 2.30pm and 5pm.

This year 36 youngsters will appear on stage, so Mike and Di Newbold have enlisted the help of two of the older cast members, Sarah Webb and Keith Williamson.

John Haswell is currently mentoring Sarah and Keith in production skills. The experience is proving to be a great opportunity for the pair to work with a “professional” and they are thoroughly enjoying the experience.

Cancer Support at Voe

Macmillan Cancer Support (Shetland) is the chosen charity to benefit from a car boot sale at the Voe hall on Sunday.

The event takes place from 2.30-5pm and as well as a treasure trove of bric-a-brac there will also be a raffle, tombola and homebakes for sale. To book a table phone (01806) 588306.

Cabin is now closed

The Cabin at Vidlin has now closed after a busy season until April next year, although the family is happy to open for group or individual visits during the closed season.

Since the sad death of Andy Robertson last December the family have taken up the challenge of running the museum that Andy worked so hard to create.

Any doubts that the family must have had about filling such huge shoes are now fading. There will always be a gap that only Andy could fill, but with a family as friendly as himself, visitors are still warmly welcomed and have continued to support the museum.

Andy’s daughter Ann said: “We were worried that without Dad, support might dwindle. All our visitors have been very kind and we have enjoyed meeting so many wonderful people.

“We also wish to thank all the folk who have donated items to us over the past year. It is greatly appreciated and we will make every effort to display all the new artefacts to their best advantage.

“We’d like to thank everyone for their support. It has kept us going over what has been an unusual and difficult season for us and we look forward to seeing many visitors next year.”

Any group or individual who would like to visit during the closed season can contact Lowrie on (01595) 694891, Jacqueline on (01806) 522238, Stanley on (01806) 577232 or by e-mail at

Small Change for RNLI

Pupils at Ollaberry Primary School would be keen to receive any spare small change from folk in the community to help complete a challenge and raise money to support the lifeboat.

Next Tuesday the school plans to make a picture of rescue helicopter, Oscar Charlie, using all the loose change collected and afterwards the money will be donated to the RNLI.

Maree Hay


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