Editorial: The Old Rock 18.6.10

When the first Hamefarers returned to these shores 50 years ago, they would have found little change to the isles they left in the first half of the 20th century.

Of the 600-plus who make the trip this time round, for the golden centenary of the event, those who come back for the first time will be experiencing a very different Shetland to the one they left behind.

In 1960 there were single-track roads, Shetland Models nestled in nousts, folk scratched a living from crofting and fishing, generally lived in humble dwellings, and home entertainment came by way of a crackly wireless.

We now have an impressive system of highways virtually throughout the isles, marinas boast palatial vessels which could scarcely have been dreamed of, jobs are plentiful and in most cases well-paid, and houses are huge and filled with flat-screen televisions which one could almost watch from half a mile away.

One thing will not have altered, however, and that is the quality of hospitality laid on for the visitors. All kinds of events are being organised, from bus tours and storytelling to concerts and exhibitions. The fact that the Hamefarin coincides with the Flavour of Shetland weekend, a host of visiting yachts, the midsummer carnival and more, means that the place will be buzzing this weekend. We trust that the weather stays fair and everyone has an experience to remember.


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