Views from the Scord

Hamefarin invitation

Following a meeting of the Central Mainland Hamefarin Liaison Group last week the invitation has gone out for locals to take advantage of the coach tours and exhibitions being provided for people returning to Shetland for the event.

This will both provide a warm welcome for the ex-isles folk returning and provide an opportunity to find out more about the Central Mainland area in the company of local specialist guides who will be presenting information on a variety of local historical subjects.

The two Central Mainland tours will take place on 24th June and both depart from Islesburgh Community Centre in Lerwick.

One of the coaches will first stop at the Gott Farm to meet the resident Shetland ponies, before carrying on to travel through the Kergord Valley. Here guides will tell of the history and effect of the the Clearances on community and crofting in the area and guests will also hear about the part that Kergord House played in the World War II Shetland Bus activities.

The house, then known as Flemington, was the main head quarters of Shetland Bus activities and was used to train and de-brief agents before and after incursions in to German-occupied Norway and many a heroic mission originated from there. From there the guests will be treated to morning coffee and an exhibition in the Whiteness Hall, which will feature family history and a foretaste of the tractor museum to be opened in the area. The coach will then depart for Scalloway and after a lunch there will be guided walks around the village, taking in the castle and wartime history of the village, among other subjects. There will also be an exhibition in the Scalloway Hall to follow.

The second coach will head for Burland Croft Trail in Trondra, where guests will be treated to a tour of the croft, and then on to Hamnavoe where there will be coffees and an exhibition of local history in the Burra Hall.

From there guests will be taken to the Easthouse Heritage Centre at Duncansclate for the history of the south end of Burra, before also heading to Scalloway for lunch and the guided tours.

Both these tours will be accompanied by a variety of expert local guides and offer the promise of a unique chance to experience the history and culture of the area. Tickets cost £7.50 for either tour, including the coffee break and lunch.

There is also still the opportunity for any local groups to provide further exhibits for the Scalloway or Burra halls and the liaison group is keen to invite other local interests to get involved. Those with family returning for the event should register their attendance to ensure places for them at these or other events.

More information on this or any other aspect of the Hamefarin event, which runs from 14th to 26th June, can be sought from Nicola Halcrow on (01595) 744940.

Harbour activity

Fish landings were relatively high last week with the impressive total of 3,087 boxes landed or sold through the Scalloway fish market.

Fishing boats using the market were the Copious, Defiant, Prolific, Venture, Prevail, Venturous, Fairway, Comrades, Radiant Star, Valhalla, Devotion, Guiding Light and Mizpah, the latter of which had the highest single landing at 525 boxes, and returned later in the week with another 67 boxes to land.

The Arcturus also contributed to the Scalloway total this week with 190 boxes transferred by road transport from Cullivoe to be sold in Scalloway.

Mussel harvesting was similarly bountiful during this period with approximately 65 tonnes of shellfish brought ashore by two producers.

The large-scale salmon cage construction and refurbishment being implemented by Scottish Sea Farms in the Muckle Yard was temporarily halted last week, but activity began again at the beginning of this week with cages both being broken up and constructed once again.

The Ronja Settler continues to serve the salmon factory at Blacksness and the fishing boats Sunrise and Shalimar II, from Fraserburgh and Peterhead respectively, called in to submit their fishing log-books before starting to fish in the area.

The Viknes returned to the area after a trip to Fraserburgh, and is once again tied up on the East Jetty where she has previously lain for most of February.

The Swedish survey vessel Triad left the area last week and is now carrying out similarly detailed surveying work up around Unst to that performed in this area in recent weeks.

The close inshore survey work continues in the waters around Scalloway with the miniature survey vessel Ping covering the shallows that the Triad could not reach, below four metres in depth.

The lightweight Ping, at only eight metres long and drawing very little water, packs a serious punch in survey technology and had already proved herself useful in this area prior to this survey. She accompanied the full-sized survey ship Franklin when she was operating in these waters around 18 months ago, surveying potential sea bed routes for an interconnector cable.

Football request

Where it is more often the case that local groups appeal for more interest in their activities, the TSB under-8 football team is appealing this week for less.

The highly successful group of TSB teams, drawn from the Trondra, Scalloway and Burra areas, boasts around 110 players in six teams of different age ranges. The under-8 section is now full to capacity and cannot accept any new members at the current time.

The TSB junior football club is looking forward to a busy summer of football as for the first time in over a decade they will compete in every age range from under-8 to under-18. Training sessions are ongoing at the Scalloway School games hall and they plan to have a few outings to Whalsay and Brae to make use of the all-weather facilities before the outdoor season begins at the beginning of April.

No dogs allowed

The Fraser Park Trust is requesting that the public please note that no dogs are allowed in the Fraser Park.

This reminder comes at a time when, with weather starting to improve, there will be increased usage of the playpark and park in general by people from the nearby flats, child care centre and playgroups.

Mark Burgess


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