Views from the Scord

Football accolades

The Sunday teas held by TSB Junior Football Club in the Burra Public Hall last Sunday was a huge success.

A display of photos from the past season drew a lot of attention and a few mock newspapers had been produced to document how the past season had gone. The purpose of the teas was to give the club an opportunity to recognise the efforts of their players and present various awards. All of the under-8s were presented with a mini football in recognition of their outstanding performances over the past year.

Rather than present medals and trophies a more practical gift of a football went to Jamie Deyell, Lenny Allan, Tom Learmonth and Mark Dano in recognition of their contribution to the club over the past year. The Richard Saunders Memorial Shield for outstanding attitude was presented to Euan Smith, while the F Gilfillan and G Duncan Shield for outstanding attitude was awarded to Jakob Eunson.

While some bills are still to be paid the takings on the day were just over £500 and will go some way to meeting the running costs of the club. A spokesman said the club would like to thank everyone who turned up and contributed on the day, in particular the parents who provided and served food.

TSB has also announced that a sponsored penalty shoot-out at the end of the football season raised £850 and will be split between the CLAN 1,2,3 appeal and the Bell’s Brae ASN Department.

The spokesman said the club would also like to thank the Radiant Star and Frank Williamson, which kindly sponsored new kits, and the Fraser Park Trust and John James Jamieson for the use of the immaculately turned-out pitches.

Harbour activity

It was another quiet week in Scalloway Harbour with no sign of the oil-related shipping which the village has become accustomed to in recent years.

The fishmarket was reasonably busy with landings a good average at 1,751 boxes in total for the week up to Friday. The Defiant, Fertile, Mizpah, Radiant Star, Comrades, Prevail, Gunner’s Glory, Sharyn Louise and Keila contributed to this total with the Orcadian Keila having far and away the highest single landing of 412 boxes at the end of the week.

The Banff-registered Caspian was also in for repairs to wheelhouse equipment.

Shellfish landings took place again with approximately two tonnes of mussels going ashore at the weekend.

The Scalloway pilot boat is out of the water and housed in the SIC’s own warehouse at the moment. She is undergoing some fairly routine hull treatment, re-fendering and painting while under cover thanks to the boat cradle that allows her to be towed across the pier after being lifted out. One of the Sullom Voe pilot boats is providing cover for the time being.

The well boat Ronja Settler continues to deliver salmon to the factory at Blacksness.

Eventide sale

The day care centre at the Walter and Joan Gray Eventide Home had a successful sale and coffee morning in Scalloway Public Hall last weekend.

Those who use the centre turn out an amazing array of handicrafts and preserves and the sale of these and beverages raised an astonishing £847, with a few items still to sell.

They ranged from jams and chutneys to knitted and woven clothing and decorative pieces. The centre has developed a great reputation for high-quality hand-crafted items over the years.

One item that caused much delight and amusement at the sale this year was, unusually, knitted by a member of staff. Peter Jamieson was challenged to knit a piece by one of the day care centre attendees and he accepted the challenge and went on to have the last laugh as the blanket, in Celtic colours, sold for a respectable £30 at auction during the event.

The organisers would like to thank everyone who supported, and contributed to, the sale and those who helped out in the kitchen making and serving the teas.

Hudson’s view

Reflecting on his recent stay in The Booth in Scalloway, poet, editor and film-maker John Hudson described the village as “enchanting” and the people as “very, very friendly”.

He was the latest artist to come to Shetland and stay in the custom-built residential unit for artists. John is multi-skilled in a broader sense, but is perhaps most recognised for his poetry, of which he has published a number of successful books.

While for some artists a residency such as this may be a chance to pursue their own work and perhaps share some of their own experiences with others, in John’s case his other occupations as an editor of a major art magazine, film-maker and trainer in artistic development gave local writers an opportunity to learn about the industry from the inside out.

Though based in Scalloway during his stay, he managed to travel throughout Shetland during his month-long residency and gave regular workshops, the end result of one series of which was the publishing of a glossy booklet of local writers’ work entitled Yarns.

This booklet was published in small numbers using “print-on-demand” services in under a fortnight from start to finish. Although understandably “raw” in some ways it was an ideal means to show writers how to go through the process of planning, editing and producing their work, leaving them with the satisfaction of having a work that will forever remain on the shelf of a library.

John also introduced the process as an affordable means for local writers to reach ex-pat and favourable markets abroad, giving them easily obtainable international markets for locally written material.

John first came to Shetland in 1979 after hitchhiking his way up the country and right to Hermaness and recalls his first arrival here was marked by the plane being unable to land because of there being too much seaweed on the runway at Sumburgh.

This earlier memory has stuck with him through repeat visits to Shetland in subsequent years and his first thought on seeing the Booth was that he expected to have seaweed “thrashing at the windows” in autumnal conditions.

He was pleasantly surprised however with “the ever-changing views” from the Booth, and was instead treated to regular visits from the young seal that has been in the harbour recently and the spectacle of the many and varied ships that frequent the harbour, describing it as “a great place to work” and “inspiring”.

John’s own writing during his time here was born from visits to some of the many spectacular places that we resident Shetlanders may at times take for granted and, for example, include a witty and satirical take on a relatively cushy life that the monks on St Ninian’s Isle may have led, at a time when many others may have lived in abject hardship.

His highly-publicised workshops with local artists were, by his own admission, deliberately “risky” and encouraged them to present work that they would have normally been less willing to share, while also teaching them to become their own editors, and to edit the work of others, in a manner to which they are unaccustomed.

John says he found local writers to be refreshingly down to earth in their approach to their work and hoped to enable them “to let themselves be exposed, to build a trust in their work and see the bigger picture. I’m hoping they will now go on to to do more and that this has lit the blue touch paper for them”.

As one of several organised events, he gave a reading of his own work in Baltasound and in suitably humble fashion described it as “an incredible privilege and really moving” to be able to share his poetry in the most northerly community with English as a first language in Europe.

Leaving last weekend to return to his home in Dumfriesshire, he said: “I’m really, really glad I came.” He looks forward to returning to Shetland again in the future.

The workshops and residency were run by the Shetland Arts and supported by funding from the Scottish Arts Council.

Card delivery

The Burra Playgroup is running its annual Christmas card delivery service again this year. All those wishing to take advantage should put their cards to the playgroup at the old school building next to the Hamnavoe Primary school, or to one of its members, by Monday.

The service costs 15p a card for delivery throughout Burra and all the proceeds go towards running the playgroup. The members sort and hand deliver the cards themselves and the service has been running successfully now for five or six years and is the major source of fund-raising.

Poppy appeal

The Scalloway Branch of the Royal British Legion has now counted the contents of the last tin to be handed in for this year’s Poppy Scotland appeal and the combined total for the door-to-door collections and static collection boxes reached £951.71, a particularly good year for the charity.

On behalf of the branch Alan Inkster said: “We would like to thank everyone who donated generously to such a good cause and to those who went door to door with the collection tins.”

Stars In Their Eyes

With final preparations under way for the two-day Stars in Their Eyes variety show, local representatives of salmon producer Scottish Sea Farms has donated a substantial sum towards the show as a mark of support.

The annual show has become a major event in the social calendar of the whole of Shetland and has built a reputation for encouraging people to get up and perform who would not normally do so and all the proceeds go to good causes in the community. The first show is tonight with the second tomorrow evening.

Mark Burgess


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.