Isles Views

Naming ceremony

The well boat Martin Saele was recently renamed Norholm by Marianne Clark of Burravoe, Yell, who, with her husband, Gibby Clark, is co-owner.

After saying the words “I name this ship Norholm. God bless her and all who sail in her”, the customary bottle of champagne was broken over the stem of the vessel.

The vessel was purchased in November 2008 when Gibby and Marianne formed the new company, North Isles Marine Ltd. Since the new ownership the vessel has mainly worked on the west coast of Scotland, Orkney and Shetland as well as Norway in the early weeks.

She has been engaged in smolt movements, splitting over salmon, grading and harvesting. The Norholm is fully crewed by Yell men and provides nine full-time positions.

News hounds in Unst

Baltasound School was involved in a BBC School Report news day last Thursday with seven teams of pupils from Primary 7 to Secondary 3 scouring Unst for news headlines.

“Niven’s News Hounds” discovered that P&T Coaches had just purchased a new 17-seater mini-bus which had arrived that morning.

While the pupils were there they asked what would happen to the transport business if the Baltasound secondary department closed. Charlie Priest said it would ruin his business and he would have to pay off a lot of staff drivers and mechanics that maintain the vehicles. They try to employ as many people as possible. If people in the island lost their jobs it would destroy the island.

Niven’s News Hounds and BBBCCC worked together on a shopping basket survey, looking at comparing prices. They found the prices similar, suggesting it was good to shop locally. When taking into account ferry fares and fuel it worked out cheaper than taking the long haul to Lerwick. In fact the Lerwick shopping prices were higher than in Unst.

Niven’s News Hounds visited the Unst Leisure Centre where they asked Richard Pottinger what effect school closures would have on the centre. He said it would be very bad and would definitely affect opening times. They would not be able to open as much, the number of staff would have to be reduced and the worst scenario might be the centre closing down completely which would be very bad for the isle.

The Nor-News team went to look at the new fire engine, dressed up as firefighters, and admired the new machine.

Another group interviewed Bethany Scott who was a pupil at Baltasound but has been a pupil at the United World College in India for the last two years. She now wants to study medicine.

Two other groups looked at the beaches on Unst, asking: “Why go to the Caribbean when there are beaches here?”

New school build

Mark Lawson, head teacher at the Mid Yell School, reports that the new school, under construction, is progressing well.

The contractors have started to erect the steel structure for the central hub of the building and Mr Lawson says that it is quite exciting to see things actually rising from the holes that were dug last year.

Sections for the school were due to be landed at Cullivoe pier yesterday and then transported to Mid Yell.

Secondary two pupils are monitoring the new build closely and they are taking pictures and video clips at all stages. They have also interviewed project manager Andrew Lyall to get a full understanding of the work.

Everest challenge

Ian Anderson, who lives in Cullivoe and is affectionately known to us all as Orkney Ian, is taking on a massive challenge to raise money for charity. With him will be a lifelong friend, also from Orkney, Donald Kirkpatrick.

In early April they will travel to Nepal and trek to the Everest Base Camp which is at a height of 5,600 metres (18.000 feet). Needless to say it is uphill all the way and Ian expects to hike around eight miles each day for around 10 days. To prepare for the trek Ian has been doing lots of extra walking.

As well as being lifelong friends Ian and Donald are both ferrymen. Ian on Yell Sound and Donald on the ferry that serves the North Isles of Orkney. Ian’s chosen charity is the CLAN 1,2,3 Appeal and Donald’s is Macmillan Orkney. Both of them are showing massive commitment by paying for the trip themselves so that every penny raised through sponsorship will go directly to those vitally important charities.

Ian says the fund-raising is going well but they are looking for more sponsorship. If anyone would like to make a donation they can do so through the Just Giving website.

Ian will also accept donations directly and the name and address, Orkney Ian, Cullivoe, Yell, Shetland will be enough to find him.

Ian also says that if he can find any internet access in the Himalayas he will keep me, and therefore Shetland Times readers up to date with progress and there will be a full report when he gets back home.

B4 films

Jim Brown of the film company B4 has once again been in touch with the Fetlar community. The intention is to shoot a film in the isle and Mr Brown is pleased to report that the project is progressing well.

Mr Brown says that some big names have come onboard, including Ewan McGregor’s mother Carol who has been taken on as executive producer. The script will be taken to the Cannes Film Festival in May and meetings will take place with some major industry players.

Mr Brown also says that he is surprised by the number of expat Shetlanders who are working in the film industry and have been in touch. Mr Brown plans to visit Fetlar this month and he is looking forward to updating everyone.

The working title of the film is Between Weathers. The story it tells is very relevant to Fetlar as it tells the story of a small island community striving to rejuvenate itself and attract new people to the community thus boosting the population.

Between Weathers is the title of a Shetland travel book by the author Ron McMillan. Mr McMillan is delighted to have written the script for the film and he has nothing but praise for the Fetlar folk he met when he did his research.

If the funding package can be put together and everything else goes according to plan the premiere will be next year. It could be that this is the first full-length feature film to filmed entirely in Shetland since The Edge of the World in the 1930s.

Dental team

Popular locum dentist Jill Stevenson has received a warm welcome back and will be working between Yell and Bixter.

She will have a clinic in Yell every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Appointments run from 9.15am until 4.30pm with a lunch break from 1-2pm.

Another welcome recruit to the dental team is Dot Redshaw, who joined the team last October and works part time along with receptionist Janet Nisbet.

Dot and her husband, Albie, live in Cullivoe and in terms of integrating into the community they are a real success story, being involved and helping in all sorts of ways from bicycle fixing to babysitting.

New nurse for Fetlar

Fetlar now has a new nurse. She is Sharon Houghton and Isles Views join the Fetlar community in extending a warm welcome to her, husband Chris and children, Lewis, Christian and Emily.

What’s on

The North Isles community work office keeps a “Whats On” update for the area, a useful promotional diary of all public/community events which ensures that they are not only well publicised but helps to avoid them clashing.

The office says that they get, on the whole, a really good response from event organisers but they are aware that some things take place that they never hear about until too late.

Community workers appeal to as many folk as possible to phone in with the dates and venues of the events that they are organising.

They can phone (01957) 745715 or e-mail

Lawrence Tulloch


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