Views from the Scord 02.10.09

Colourful Minibus

The Burra Community Minibus is now finally unmistakable as it wends its colourful way through the community sporting its new banner-style livery designed by bairns from the Hamnavoe school.

The minibus went into service in November last year after a highly successful fund-raising effort by the local community that achieved the maximum grant from the Lottery Awards For All scheme, along with funding from two local community councils, local businesses and various fund-raising events.

The Hamnavoe school ran a competition in each of their three classroom groups to provide art work for the minibus and three worthy winners were chosen at that time by Michael and Margaret Hannah. The winners were Jamie Rendall, Owen Jamieson and Gary Jamieson and each of them received a £10 gift token for Harry’s Toy Shop and a framed copy of their winning picture.

A minor technical hitch with the exterior finish of the minibus delayed the process of getting the images transferred onto the bus in the intervening months, but last week local firm Art Machine was finally called upon to fit the splendid banners and last Saturday the winning artists and their families collected to admire the end result.

Speaking for the minibus committee, Linda Jackson, described the “really excited” community anticipation at getting the art-work complete. “You’ll certainly see it coming now, it’s a brilliant advert. It emphasises that everybody has done this together and makes it more relevant for the bairns and the community.”

The minibus is indispensable for a number of local groups, especially the Burra playgroup, and has been hired over 120 times in its first year.

Football teams from Scalloway, Trondra and Burra all use it regularly, as do local darts and 500 teams and the Burra rowing team, who take advantage of the handy tow-bar to transport both the team and yoal to events in one movement. Hires have also come from Sunday schools, Tingwall’s holiday club, the SWRI, the WRVS, the Bressay school, the riding club and various other diverse private and group activities, proving the real value of the bus as an asset to the whole community and not just the Burra area.

The bus is charged out at a fee of 90p/mile and to make a booking or find out more contact Linda Jackson on (01595) 859207.

Harbour activity

The well boat Ronja Settler represented the majority of activity in Scalloway Harbour during a particularly quiet week for the port.

She has recently been travelling as far away as Vidlin voe to collect salmon for the Scottish Sea Farms factory at Blacksness, and makes a round trip through the harbour most days.

During the same period fishing vessels on the west side were few and far between with the persistent fresh south-westerly winds and heavy swell making the east side more appealing.

Landings totalled only 593 boxes during the week from the Quiet Waters, Alison Kay and Radiant Star, with the latter making two landings.

The highest single landing came from the Alison Kay with 280 boxes.

The well boat Viknes, which had lain in port the previous week for scheduled repairs, departed early last Monday morning and another well boat, the Martin Saele, called in for shelter for a time last weekend.

The last remnants of the large steel salmon cage that was dismantled for scrapping on the west quay are still on site, but the area is now largely cleared. The fishing boat Fidelitas is on the slipway at Moore’s yard for a second week.

Winter flu jabs

As winter approaches the local flu vaccination programme will soon be in operation and the Scalloway Health Centre will be running open clinics for all eligible patients.

This year the vaccination programme will be run outwith the normal practice operating hours and it is hoped this will provide a suitable time for patients to attend. It should be stressed that the extended hours are purely for the flu vaccines to be issued and no other medical care will be offered.

The programme will begin on Tuesday from 6pm to 7.30pm, followed by Wednesday from 3pm to 6pm, Thursday from 6pm to 7.30pm and Saturday from 9.30am to 11am.

The Weisdale clinic will be open to offer the vaccines on Thursday, 15th October from 9.30am to 11am. These are all drop-in clinics and no appointments are necessary.

It is further emphasised that this is not a vaccine against swine flu, but is just the regular flu vaccine offered each year to those who may benefit most from it, such as the elderly or those with relevant underlying health problems.

Drug awareness

The Hamnavoe Primary School are holding an open evening on Wednesday to address the issue of drug awareness in the community.

This will take the format of a series of 10-minute talks on drug related issues given by guest speakers in classrooms in the school.

The speakers will be from some of the relevant local groups who deal with the matter first hand, such as the police, the Dogs Against Drugs project and the Shetland Community Drugs Team.

The content of the discussions are not deemed suitable for children, but it is emphasised that the talks are not solely aimed at local parents and are open to anyone in the local community and surrounding areas who wishes to find out more about local drug issues.

There will be hot drinks and homebakes served during the evening and the event starts at 6.30pm. Donations made at the event will go toward school funds.

Variety night

The Shetland Bus Friendship Society is staging a variety night in Scalloway Public Hall tomorrow night in aid of funds for the new museum’s interior design and displays.

The line-up for the event features a broad range of the abundance of local talent to be found in Shetland. There will be music, comedy, poetry, story-telling, drama and dance to stimulate the senses from an extensive list of acts.

The performances include music from groups Fradenr Gamla, the Wisharts, Jim Budge & Friends and the North Ness Boys. The school are also providing a musical act and there will be solo performances from local vocalists Erin Sandison and Cheryl Goodlad.

Poetry in Shetland dialect will be delivered by Hazel Jamieson, storytelling by Davy Cooper, and there will even be Highland dancing on display from the Abbotts. Thrown into the mix will be comical sketches from some well-known local players in surprising guises.

Doors open at 7pm and the performance will begin at 7.30pm. There will be supper of soup and sandwiches during the interval and a raffle will be held later in the evening.

The society’s focus on fund-raising now turns to the eventual interior and displays for the new museum as chosen contractors JHB are now on site. Conversion to make the former knitwear factory building suitable to house the museum collection are now fully underway.

School awards

Scalloway School was in celebratory mood last Thursday with the ceremony to officially accept their recently achieved environmental awards.

The school now sports a second green flag as an Eco-school and the Primary 7 class have completed a John Muir award.

The green flag awards require participating schools to develop recycling programmes and improve their own environment by keeping the school litter-free and cultivating a school garden. To gain a second flag they must further enhance these activities and pursue projects to reduce energy use in the school and consider the issues like the different viewpoints on wind farm development in Shetland. They also took part in a Springwatch project.

The John Muir award for Primary 7 was awarded after they undertook a project to explore their local environment. The class completed three days of outdoor adventure journeys in different Shetland landscapes and gained a greater knowledge of local wildlife and flowers, while also taking part in conservation activities.

Mark Burgess


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