Views from the Scord 23.10.09

Tall Ships are coming

The Tall Ships event in 2011 will, on this occasion, provide a unique opportunity for the ports outwith Lerwick to become involved in the spectacular event and Scalloway is one of five designated.

The possibility of enticing a number of the participating vessels to visit the village is the subject of a public meeting next week in the Scalloway Public Hall.

The Shetland leg of the Tall Ships race event is classified as a “cruise in company” stage, which means the vessels do not actually race to Lerwick, but instead have an extended period to travel from Greenock to Lerwick and can visit any of 12 participating ports along the way.

It is up to each of these ports to host events or functions likely to entice the visitors and for Scalloway this has been put forward as an extended and enhanced gala week, street party and Fraser Park open day, along with a number of additional community events and attractions.

Collaboration between a variety of local groups, venues and businesses is being touted as the best means to achieve a successful bid for visiting ships. The public meeting will be the first step toward this and according to Tall Ships project manager Fiona Dally the meeting is being held “to gather like-minded folk that want to showcase Scalloway to visitors and for locals to have a chance to take part in events in their community”.

Scalloway harbour is large enough and deep enough to host the largest Class A tall ships and providing the event does not conflict with an influx of commercial shipping, could provide quayside space for several vessels.

Asides from the direct attraction to Scalloway, brochures being sent to the ships also include attractions in Burra and up the Tingwall valley and interested parties or groups from these areas are encouraged to attend the meeting too and get involved from the outset, drawing the whole area together.

The Scalloway guest harbour co-ordinator is Davie Sandison and he can be contacted on (01595) 880317.

According to Davie they are looking for enough interested people to form a committee with every chance of attracting the ships and visitors to what he describes as “an ideal harbour with plenty of attractions, the castle, activities, events, facilities and links to the hinterland along with the boating club, the gala and places to dine for the crews”, placing Scalloway as a strong contender among the participating ports.

The meeting will take place on Thursday at 7.30pm.

Harbour activity

A fairly routine week in Scalloway Harbour saw a variety of maritime traffic and relatively good fish landings.

The Montrose-registered standby vessel Vos Defender returned at the beginning of last week, having only left shortly beforehand. The ship had developed a fault in the engine room that required shore-based support and she remained in port less than 24 hours before returning to her standby duties west of Shetland.

Two of the salmon feed barges that have lain alongside the east jetty for an extended period returned to sea last week. One, owned by aquaculture company Mainstream, was towed to Orkney by the tug vessel Erlend on Thursday. The Orkney-based tug has put in regular appearances in the area in recent years for similar tasks. The other barge was towed back out to a site in the isles between Scalloway and Weisdale by vessels belonging to operators Hjaltland Seafarms.

The locally-owned charter vessel Julie Rose was in for a time, also on Thursday, and later in the day the Banff-registered fishing vessel Caspian called for repairs to her hold chilling system, returning again briefly on Saturday.

The standby vessel Vos Islay was in for a crew change and on Sunday the emergency tug vessel Anglian Sovereign made a routine visit for a crew change and supplies.

Outside the confines of the harbour, the pilot boat Lyrie was hired to perform a crew change for the German super-trawler Dirk Dirk, shuttling crew from port to the waiting ship, west of the Scalloway isles.

Fish landings were a good average through the Scalloway market, with a total of 1,669 boxes sold. Almost 600 of those were landed for Monday’s market alone. The Atlantia, Comrades, Radiant Star, Venture, Alison Kay, Keila, Fidelitas, Gunners Glory and Valhalla contributed to the total, with the highest single landings coming from the Venture with 409 boxes and the Kirkwall-registered Keila landing 386.

Hamnavoe School news

The new term at Hamnavoe School has brought the intake of new pupils to primary one. All are said to be settling in well and have quickly got used to the school routine and the challenges of more formal education.

The primary 4/5 class recently enjoyed the fruit of their labour as tatties they planted back in June became ready to eat in September. They were harvested by pupils to be cooked by the canteen staff and eaten by most of the pupils and staff and were reported to be “delicious”.

The Shoe Box Appeal being held by the school ends on 30th October. The appeal is to raise money for the Blythswood Care Charity and at least 16 boxes have already been filled from donations and the school would like to extend their thanks to all those who have donated items to this worthy charity so far.

The boxes are to be dispatched to various parts of the world and will “bring great joy and happiness to the recipients”. The school is also looking forward to more charity events, with the Wear It Pink breast cancer charity day also on 30th October and not long until Children in Need comes around again.

Music teacher Joy Duncan has started weekly drumming, singing and dance lessons at the school with all classes from primary one through to seven.

From these the children will develop a range of skills culminating in a performance in the Burra Public Hall on the evening of the schools Christmas concert on 21st December.

Joy has reported that the children are progressing really well and that the children have already demonstrated “amazing rhythmic talent in both music and dance”.

The school also extends thanks to all the children and parents who assisted in weeding and tidying up the school grounds and garden in September, to match the beautiful array of flower pots the children tend to outside their classroom.

Mark Burgess


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