21st November 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Times Past

, by , in Features

25 Years Ago

A public inquiry into plans for a nuclear reprocessing plant at Dounreay in Caithness was announced by the Government earlier this week.

On Wednesday Liberal MP for Orkney and Shetland Mr Jim Wallace said that objectors should get Government funds to take part in the inquiry and called for it to be divided into two parts so that the debate on principles of national energy could be heard in Edinburgh.

He said that local planning inquiries were developed to deal with issues of specific sites but after major inquiries, such as Sizewell, it was obvious that they were ill-equipped to combine this with wider issues of principle. Voluntary and environmental groups were in a poor position to contest the views put forward by Government departments and other large developers commanding huge resources from the public or corporate coffers, he said.

Mrs Winnie Ewing, Euro-MP for the area, said that the SNP was totally opposed to plans for the £250 million plant and said it would be lethal for the Scottish economy. She is seeking an emergency debate on the issue in the European Parliament.

She said she would be campaigning very strongly to ensure that Scotland did not become the nuclear dustbin of Europe and suggested that a university of the north would be a viable economic alternative.

Mr John Goodlad of the Shetland Fisherman’s Association said that if the Dounreay development proceeded it would support the argument that radioactive waste should be buried under the seabed. The SFA was extremely concerned that this could have a serious ecological and environmental impact on marine life. Even if there was a minimal effect on fish stocks it would be very difficult to market Shetland fish if it is widely known that radioactive waste was buried in the vicinity.

Shetland Islands Council is to be formally consulted on the Dounreay plans. The council’s views are to be sought as the SOC is considered an adjoining authority in the Highland region, in which domain the proposed nuclear power station would be built.

50 Years Ago

Details of the Royal tour of Shetland on the 10th and 11th August were released yesterday. The programme is much more comprehensive than that planned last year and the second day of the tour will be devoted to the four islands, Unst, Yell, Skerries and Whalsay.

The Royal yacht “Britannia” is expected to anchor in Bressay Sound in the morning of Wednesday 10th August and H.M. The Queen and H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh will land at the slipway in the small boat harbour where they will be welcomed by the Lord Lieutenant of the County, Major Sir Basil Neven-Spence, Provost R. B. Blance and County Convener Mr T. Henderson. Her Majesty will inspect a guard of honour provided by 801 (Indep.) L.A.A. Battery, R.A. (O & Z) T.A. and open the extension to Lerwick Harbour.

Thereafter the crew of Lerwick Lifeboat will be presented to Her Majesty and she will then tour the burgh of Lerwick, visiting amongst other places one of the housing schemes and the town hall, where the Royal party will be entertained to luncheon.

During the afternoon Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh will visit Scalloway where they will see an exhibition of Shetland livestock. From there they will drive, via Whiteness, Weisdale and Bixter, to Aith where the crew of the lifeboat will be presented.

The next two calls will be at Voe, where the Royal party will see knitters and weavers at work, and Brae, where they will take tea at Busta House, the residence of the Lord Lieutenant. The Royal party then drive to Ronas Voe, via Hillswick where they will embark on the “Britannia” en route to Unst.

On the Thursday morning Her Majesty will land at Baltasound and inspect a guard of honour provided by No. 91 Signals Unit R.A.F. Saxa Vord. She will then be driven to the top of Saxa Vord and take coffee at the R.A.F. officers’ mess.

The Royal party will then proceed to Uyeasound to embark on the Royal Yacht for visits to Mid Yell, Skerries and Whalsay, departing from the latter for Orkney.

100 Years Ago

King Edward’s Funeral – A Shetlander’s Impressions – Writing to his people in Lerwick, Mr R.T.C. Scott, jun., who is residing in London, gives the following description of King Edward’s funeral: – King Edward the Seventh has at last been laid to rest, amid scenes of which there has never been the like before. The weather was perfect, clear, with strong sunshine. I went down to Windsor on Friday and saw as much as I could. I and my friend took up a stand on the pavement there. We stood from 9.20 a.m. until 2.20 a.m., without moving hardly.

At twenty-five minutes to one, the procession arrived at the station. We first heard the Band in the distance, wailing on the lament, and gradually it came nearer and passed. Then came the officials, the soldiers (Life Guards), and then the sailors dragging a coffin on which rested the Crown, Sceptre, and Orb on a cushion. Next came the King, Kaiser, and the Duke of Connaught side by side, followed by the Heir-Apparent and his brother. Then came the other Kings, and “Bobs” and Kitchener, and all the nobility of the land. The Queen-Mother and her sister came in a carriage after. I had a good view of them all. It was a most touching sight, and a beautiful one, but I do not think I should care to go to another like it. The long stand made me very tired. What a lot of people was there, a multitude in fact! I daresay everyone was thankful when it came to be finished.

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A Message from the Sea – We have had sent to us from Mr D. Fraser, Graven, Mossbank, the following “message from the sea.” Which was picked up on 30th May by Mr Thomas Laurenson, Millburn, Graven. As the “message” is dated 30th July, 1910, it looks like a hoax. “Barque ‘Argos’ of Brisbane, Australia, leaving Farming Island, lat. 4N, 159W, where we have discharged cargo of rum. Finder report to ‘Brisbane Herald’, Brisbane. James Harrowden, Brisbane.”

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Why May is Dangerous – The worst month for marriages, the worst month for births. Coupled with the sinister adage ‘never cast a clout till May is out,’ the very name of the month bodes disaster. Why? Here is the reason. Human vitality, natural force, and circulation are at their lowest in May, the system is weaker and more assailable than at any other time in the year. Naturally, children born in this month commence life with insufficient vitality, which is further diminished by the succeeding hot months of June and July. It is our experience that the treacheries and changes of May can be best avoided with the aid of Phosferine. The tonic fortifies the system and supplements the vitality when most needed. We feel that any reference to Phosferine would be incomplete without directing attention to the wonderful energising properties in maternity cases. An infant born in the months of September and October, it is said, does not expend its energy in fighting the heat of summer or the rigours of winter, but for our own part we are satisfied that Phosferine will enable infant and adult to surmount the disadvantages of May and the summer months.