Views from the Scord

Remembrance wreath laying

Next Sunday, 8th November, will see the bi-annual wreath laying ceremony at the Shetland Bus memorial on the Scalloway waterfront. The wreath laying is to remember those who fell in World War II, including the 44 crewmen lost from the Shetland Bus boats that operated a relief and resistance operation between Shetland and Norway during the war.

The event will start at 3pm and, as usual, there will be addresses from two local speakers. On this occasion the first address will come from former Scalloway School headmaster Ian Gray and his speech will be followed by a blessing by the Rev Magnie Williamson.

Wreaths will be laid by representatives of the Shetland Bus Friendship Society (SBFS), Scalloway Community Council, the Royal British Legion and Scalloway Junior High School. After the formal ceremony there will be teas and sandwiches in Scalloway hall.

The event is organised by the SBFS and is accompanied each year by a second commemoration on the Norwegian National Day on 17th May.

Meanwhile the new museum project, also instigated by SBFS, is now going ahead rapidly on the site of the former knitwear factory next to Scalloway Castle.

The former car park has been dug up for re-levelling to create a bus lay-by which is thought to be much needed for the tourists and other visitors to alight at the site without having to cross the busy road.

The redevelopment includes a new gate from this area directly into the castle grounds, which will further improve visitor and traffic safety.

The south wall of the old building has also now been demolished to allow replacement with a smart new glass frontage facing the castle where the museum entrance will be placed.

The conversion of the building to house the Scalloway Museum collection is scheduled to be complete by next April.

Hallowe’en party

There will be a fancy dress Hallowe’en party for children in the Scalloway Public Hall tonight.

The event has been organised by the Scalloway Gala committee and is open to all bairns aged from nursery school to primary 7, with a wide range of fun games such as pass the parcel, ducking for apples, musical chairs and more.

Accompaniment will come from DJ Julie, who will be playing a host of top pop tunes, mixed together with a selection of Hallowe’en-themed classics. The hall will be appropriately decorated for the occasion and there will be prizes awarded for the best two costumes and the best neepie or pumpkin lanterns.

The party starts at 6.30pm and there will be two hours of fun, games and music. Admission is £3.50 and there will be a tuck shop for refreshments and snacks in the hall.

Bonfire builders

The community bonfire on the hill behind Sycamore Avenue in Scalloway is now complete and is suitably epic, ready for bonfire night next week.

The bonfire is entirely the work of local children, with minimal assistance from parents and adult helpers and follows on from the successes of their similar efforts last year.

The bonfire will be accompanied by the setting off of fireworks by a designated team of adults on the evening and people are invited and encouraged to bring along their own fireworks to join in the event.

Last year’s extravaganza was said to have lasted around three hours with a tremendous array of fireworks brought and donated.

The organised display team will notify all the relevant emergency services of the event taking place and the fire itself will be cordoned off at a safe distance to ensure the safety of those attending.

The wooden material for the fire is the result of donations from local individuals and businesses which is deposited nearby and, under supervision; the children enthusiastically transport it to the bonfire site. After the success of last year it is said that the bairns involved started expressing an interest in creating this year’s event as long ago as April.

The bonfire at Sycamore is accompanied by a similarly huge pyre in the field adjacent to the Blydoit houses, organised by locals in that area. It is generally recommended that people attend organised events such as these in modern times rather than setting off fireworks themselves within built-up areas.

Harbour activity

Last week was a period of highs and lows in the port of Scalloway. The severe weather of the weekend drew in a large number of fishing vessels, with much of the sheltered quayside occupied over Saturday and into Sunday.

The week leading to the weekend was altogether a quieter period with little activity other than the well-boat Ronja Settler harvesting fish for the factory at Blacksness and an average level of fishing vessel activity.

The Comrades, Radiant Star, Valhalla, Keila, Prevail and Venture used the fishmarket to land their catches, giving a fair average landing of 1,239 boxes between them. A large part of the total came from the Orcadian boat Keila who had the highest single catch of the week at 450 boxes.

The Banff-registered fishing boat Caspian also used the harbour during the week to land an injured crewman and take on fuel while alongside. The man’s injury was believed to be to his finger and he was able to make his own way ashore to seek medical attention.

The emergency tug Anglian Sovereign came in for shelter and remained at the South Commercial Quay into the start of this week.

Among the dozen or so local vessels that sheltered in Scalloway over Saturday night’s storms was the Banff-registered Discovery, which has been a fairly regular visitor in recent months. The local fishing boat Fairway II was on the slipway at Moore’s for a paint-up and inspection at time of writing.

The abundance of vessels seeking shelter made for a promising start to this week’s fish landings with around 1,000 boxes logged through the market on Monday alone.

Mark Burgess


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