Views from the Scord 16.10.09

New recruits

The Scalloway unit of the Highlands and Islands Fire and Rescue Service is now at full strength after the latest intake of fire fighters recently completed their initial training in Inverness, among them the first female fire fighter to serve in Scalloway.

The three new recruits, Lynne Henry, Maksims (Max) Romanovs and Andrew Watt were accepted as new recruits earlier this year and have undergone a week’s intensive training on the trainee fire fighter course and then more recently the breathing apparatus initial course at the division training centre in Inverness. The completion of their training brings the Scalloway unit up to a total of 12 fully trained retained fire fighters. Further to the fire fighter training, six of the Scalloway fire fighters have also gained LGV licences with the prospect of a full size fire engine being stationed in the village in the near future.

Lynne may be the first female fire fighter to join up in Scalloway, but as she said: “I actually got the forms from Michael [Goodlad, retired watch manager] a long time ago and just never filled them in. Then I saw the recent recruitment poster and spoke to Andrew Hunter and the rest is history as they say.”

Andrew Hunter is one of three temporary watch managers at the Scalloway station and, speaking of their new recruits, said: “We are delighted with their enthusiasm and commitment to the unit and the training that they have to undergo and appreciate the time that they give up to help their community.”

Max was drawn to the fire service as he works with Andrew in his day job and lives next door to another fire fighter in the unit. Speaking of the training, he said: “It was not a problem, it could have been longer but we learn more all the time with regular training exercises.” Andrew was also well placed to join the service as his day job was only a matter of yards away from the station. He said: “I thought it would be fun and interesting. It’s really good; they’re good bunch of guys.”

The Scalloway unit has become a fully integrated part of fire and rescue services in the Highlands and Islands sector with the latest high-tech equipment that allows the control centre in Inverness to see exactly who among them, and all the other equipped stations, are available at any given time of the day or night and allocate resources accordingly. The fire engine carries an onboard communication computer that allows them to gain and send direct information about any incident they attend on-screen as well as using the traditional radio links.

Scalloway hopes to have a new station to house the unit and new fire engine in the not too distant future.

The service also provides free home fire safety checks for the community and the unit also recently raised £180 for the Fire Service Benevolent Fund charity through a car-washing afternoon at the Scalloway waterfront.

Drugs awareness

The Burra Parent Council held a well-attended and informative drugs awareness evening recently in the Hamnavoe Primary School. The evening was opened by Parent Council member Jonathan Duncan, who introduced the guest speakers and explained the format of the event. The public were then split into groups and each group was presented with interesting and informative talks by the speakers on their work and on the wide ranging effects that drugs have on the community.

Each talk was timetabled for 30 minutes, which included a well-used 10 minutes in which the groups had the chance to ask questions of the speakers. The guest speakers included Michael Coutts of Dogs Against Drugs, PC Andrew Card of the Northern Constabulary, Linda Gray, Jenny Gilmour and Gill Hession, who are all drugs councillors with the Shetland Community Drugs Team, and Kate Gabb of the Children’s Panel. Paramedic Niall Bristow closed the evening with a short video, a talk and a demonstration of how to put someone in the recovery position. The Parent Council would like to extend their appreciation to the speakers and to all the public who attended on the evening and made the event a great success.

Hamnavoe school fund-raiser

As part of a lesson topic, Helping here, helping there, Primaries 1, 2 and 3 of the Hamnavoe Primary School recently did some baking at school and sold it in aid of the From Shetland with Love charity to friends and parents attending the school harvest service. This raised a total of £41.55 and those taking part would like to thank all those who bought the home-bakes or made donations. This particular cause was chosen by the school after a visit from Mona McAlpine, the founder of the charity.

Harbour activity

Scalloway harbour played host to several oil-related ships last week. The first of these was the Montrose-registered Vos Defender which made a return visit to the port for fuel, water and crewing last Thursday. The fish carrier Viknes also made a return visit Scalloway on Friday for certification by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, a necessary and routine part of maritime regulations.

The Viknes is registered in Fosanvåg in Norway, although it is now owned locally. Friday also saw the standby vessel Grampian Pride come to port. The Aberdeen-registered vessel had come in to undergo some fairly desirable repairs as a failure of her sanitation equipment had apparently left the crew without proper shower and toilet facilities for 10 days before she called in to harbour.

The Vos Mariner entered port on Saturday for crewing, and at the beginning of this week the Vos Defender was back in port, steaming in on one engine due to a fault.

The Ronja Settler continues to work around the clock bringing salmon to the factory at Blacksness.

Fish landings were fairly low in the week to Friday with only 604 boxes being sold through the Scalloway market. Fishing vessels using the port were the Fertile, Gunner’s Glory, Quiet Waters, Radiant Star, Venture, Atlantia and Sharyn Louise. The Sharyn Louise had crossed the harbour to Moore’s Yard and was on the slipway for painting at time of writing.

History welcome

The Burra History Group held its annual general meeting last week, and subsequently announced their office bearers as follows: Adalene Fullerton and Sylvia Jamieson are the joint chairwomen, with Theo Fullerton as vice-chair, David Sutherland as secretary and Willie Johnson as treasurer. The group currently has a 2010 calendar available at the Scalloway Meat Company, Halcrow’s Shop in Hamnavoe and Blydoit Fish in Lerwick. The group has changed the day of its regular meeting and will now meet on the first Wednesday of each month and, to quote chairwoman Adalene: “We’ll be blyde to see onybody dat wants to come alang.”

The group meets at the local heritage centre at the Easthouse croft at Papil. For more information contact Adalene on (01595) 859623 or Sylvia on (01595) 859209.

Anglers prizegiving

The Scalloway Boating Club angling section held their annual end of season prize giving in the club last Saturday evening. Compèred by Alistair Fullerton, the prize giving, raffle and speech provided the early evening’s entertainment followed by a dance to Unst band ZE2. There was also a substantial buffet held for anglers and guests.

Prizes were awarded for over 21 competitions held throughout the year and the overall winners for the season were announced as follows.

The Saga Trophy for the heaviest basket of the year went to Barry Ward for a basket of 123lbs, the Westside Trophy for the heaviest fish went to Katheryn Fullerton for a 12.4lb ling. The Cornucopia Trophy for the best four out of five baskets went to Robert Duthie for a total of 290.8lb and the Torghatten Trophy for the best specimen went to Mark Laurenson for a Cuckoo Ray of 3.4lb that also set a new club record. The Bay Wrasse Trophy went to Raymond Laurenson for a 1.6lb Ballan Wrasse. The Charlie Umphray Trophy for the best Pollack went to Kenny Laurenson for an 8lb fish. The Leiper Trophy for the heaviest cod went to Laurence Williamson for a 9lb fish. The Tommy Watt Trophy for the heaviest fish for a junior went to Scott Sandison, as did the Dinapore Trophy for best junior overall and the Mustard Trophy for the heaviest skate or flat fish of the year went to Mark Laurenson.

The anglers now have a break from sea angling boat competitions until the spring of next year.

Burra youth centre

After being drawn back from the brink the Burra Youth Club now has a full committee and office bearers after a meeting on the 29th of September. Recently concerns were raised that the club may have had to fold if new committee members could not be found, but a tremendous response from the community has ensured its continuation.

Head of the committee is local community stalwart Linda Jackson as chairwoman, with Ian Uren and Janice Thomson as secretary and treasurer respectively. It was agreed at the meeting that the treasurer be paid an annual honorarium fee of £150 for expenses. The committee now boasts fully 10 members and is set to meet again on the 2nd of December at 6.30pm in the Burra Hall. The community would like to express “a huge thank you” to all the parents who have expressed their commitment to the club and its future at this time.

Bridge-End curries

The Bridge-End Outdoor Centre held a curry night last weekend. The tasty fund-raising event was such a success that it sold out within 45 minutes of opening, which was probably no surprise with eight mouth watering aromatic curries on offer, including a monkfish dhansak, beef bhuna and chicken tikka masalla. These delights drew a “non-stop queue” and such numbers that the organisers lost count of clients. The chefs for the evening were all members of the BEOC committee and they are now planning a repeat of the event for November, details to be announced later.

Mark Burgess


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