North Mainland Notes

Urafirth bookworms

During the October holidays the library at Urafirth Primary School benefited from a major overhaul.

New head teacher Wilma Missenden explained: “A group of lovely ladies came in and revamped the entire area. They were Kathleen Tait (Brae library), Morag Nicolson (children and young people’s library, Lerwick), Jane Spall (Aith Junior High), Marghie West (Sandwick Junior High) and Melanie Poleson (Whalsay Junior High) and they all did a fantastic job.”

Last Thursday the school held a special red ribbon opening ceremony, where Kathleen Tait kindly cut the ribbon and declared the library officially open. Everyone at Urafirth is thrilled with the results and would like to thank the team for all their hard work.

Festive postal service

Pupils from Brae High School are again willing to become part-time Christmas card deliverers this festive season.

The popular service covers the catchment area of the school, i.e. residents who have addresses in Northmavine, Mossbank, Brae, Voe or Vidlin. Over the years it has proved to be a great fund-raiser for the various charities chosen by the pupils who get involved in the collection, sorting and delivery of the cards.

The last time this was done over 2,500 cards were sorted and over £500 was raised for charity.

This year the collection money will be split evenly between Cancer Research UK and the Brae High School Educational Trips Fund at a suggested donation of 20p per envelope.

People are invited to look for delivery boxes in local shops from 1st to 20th December or folk can bring letters and donations to Brae High School between those dates – the earlier the better so the sorters can get cracking.

Songbirds at Hillswick

Although patients at the Hillswick Health Centre are currently receiving great medical treatment from locum GP Chiara Berardelli, they may be unaware of her talents as a singer-songwriter.

Dr Berardelli has recently completed an MA at Bath and is set to perform live in Hillswick, supported by local songstress Antonia Sidgwick.

Music was always Chiara’s first love but life took her in a medical direction and until a few years ago she had not played her beloved piano in 10 years. That has now changed and she is about to release an album from her base in Glasgow in the next couple of months.

Chiara says: “About five years ago I rediscovered my passion for song writing and have been happily outpouring life’s experiences into song ever since. I have just finished studying an MA in songwriting in the beautiful city of Bath and these songs for the album are the culmination of my work.”

She plans to recruit a permanent band line-up and get her music on the road.

Antonia Sidgwick hasn’t been musically idle since her return to Shetland, post-university. She has supported the likes of Chris Helme (former front man of The Seahorses) and Mark Morriss (of Bluetones fame). Antonia is on the verge of recording, and releasing, a second album following the success of her debut album Baliamo, and she plans a tour for late summer next year.

Catch Chiara and Antonia at Hillswick hall on Thursday night. The concert starts at 7.30pm and entry costs £5. For a sneak preview of both these really talented artistes, check out Chiara at and Antonia at

Curry helps Christmas

The group organising the bairns’ Christmas party at Ollaberry are having a curry night in the hall on Saturday 28th November.

Food will be available in the Ollaberry hall from 5.30pm to 8.30pm and the bar will be open, so under-18s must be accompanied.

As well as great food there will be a range of sales tables, auction items and crafts for the bairns. All proceeds raised will be used for the Christmas party.

Recycling assists groups

Eight local groups in the North Mainland have benefited from the latest round of grants from the North Mainland Recycling Centre.

They are: St Olaf Community Club Christmas Party, Hillswick Youth Club, Voe Christmas Party, Voe Under-fives, Brae High School Educational Trips, Brae Toddlers Christmas Party, Muckle Roe Christmas Party and Delting Boating Club Christmas Party.

The recycling centre committee members would like to remind all groups to return the grant acknowledgement forms as soon as possible.

Busy month at Mossbank

Mossbank hall continues to be a real asset to the community with a range of activities and events for all ages.

The committee is always coming up with new ideas and one of them kicks off on Tuesday nights when from 7pm to 8pm folk are invited along to use the newly-created book-lending library.

Community members can choose from a wide variety of books on loan, for a small fee, and money raised from the service will go towards the senior citizens’ Christmas party.

The committee would be interested to hear any feedback people may have on the library, including the opening times and the range of books on offer.

This Sunday the hall will host a car boot sale with teas and home bakes from 2pm to 4pm. Anyone interested in booking a stall should contact Margaret on (01806) 242754.

November will be rounded off with the hall’s annual general meeting on Wednesday 25th at 7.30pm. The committee would like to see a good attendance and any offers of help in the running of the hall would be greatly received.

Ollaberry auction

An auction sale will take place in the Ollaberry hall on Wednesday at 6pm.

The sale will include household items and Ratter pictures from the late Bertha and Mary Sandison.


Sullom is set to go country next Saturday night with a hoedown at the hall. Tickets are available on (01806) 522284 or from any committee member.

Shopping night in Brae

With just over a month until Christmas there is a chance to finish (or in my case, start) purchasing those presents at a shopping night in the Brae hall on Wednesday night from 6.30pm to 9pm.

The hall will boast a wide range of stall-holders and local crafts people, so there is bound to be something for everyone.

Maree Hay


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