Times Past

25 Years Ago

The cost of living in rural Shetland is the highest in Scotland. But Lerwegians have a slightly better time of it. These were the two conclusions from this year’s Rural Scotland Price Survey published by Mackay Consultants for the Highlands and Islands Development Board.

In the survey the consultants compared prices from areas throughout rural Scotland using Aberdeen prices as a mean base. In Shetland they took price information from Lerwick, three Mainland villages and one of the outlying islands.

Adding together the costs of food, other goods, housing, transport and services, the cost of living in Lerwick is 8.9 per cent higher than Aberdeen, 0.7 per cent above the average for rural Scotland, but 0.5 per cent below the average for the Highlands and Islands area.

In rural Shetland, however, the picture is much bleaker. Prices in two of the villages and outlying areas in the survey are the highest in Scotland with the other village only marginally better. The average price in rural Shetland is 16.4 per cent higher than Aberdeen, 8.2 per cent higher than rural Scotland, seven per cent higher than the Highlands and Islands average, and 7.5 per cent higher than Lerwick.

50 Years Ago

Seven people are chasing moths in Shetland at the moment. But they aren’t doing it for fun – there is a serious purpose behind it. The party is led by Dr H.P.D. Kettlewell, from the genetics laboratory at Oxford University, and is split up into three sections, one each in Unst, in the North Mainland, and the Dunrossness area.

Dr Kettlewell has done a lot of research work on moths in the industrial areas of the Midlands, where there is considerable air pollution, and not unnaturally black moths predominate.

There is no pollution whatsoever in Unst, but there are still a lot of black forms of moth there, and it is possible there is some tie-up between the two species.

The party is particularly interested in the Amathes glareosa species, which has two forms – one dark, one light. The light form occurs throughout the mainland of Scotland, but for some reason in Unst the dark form accounts for more than 98 per cent of the moth population. At Spiggie, on the other hand, the dark form accounts for about three per cent.

The party’s purpose is simple – they want to find out why there should be this variation in such a comparatively short distance, and if the percentage changes gradually down the line from Unst to Spiggie, or if there is an abrupt change at some invisible line on the route.

100 Years Ago

Rev. F. S. Bamford Disqualified as a Minister – Former Lerwick minister now in Canada – Rev. Frederic S. Bamford, former pastor of the Lewisville Baptist Church at Summerside, has, says the “Daily Times” of Monckton, New Brunswick, been expelled from the ministry. The “Maritime Baptist,” the official organ of the Baptist denomination in the Maritime provinces, in a recent issue, had the following reference to Mr Bamford’s case: –  On June 16, an ecclesiastical council was convened at Bedeque, P.E.I., at the call of the Summerside and Bedeque churches, to investigate charges of immorality made against the pastor, Rev. F.S. Bamford.  Witnesses were heard, and after full consideration, the Council decided that charges were proven, and advised that the Summerside and Bedeque churches sever pastoral relations with Mr Bamford, and that the Lewisville N.B. church, of which he is a member, withdraw church fellowship from him. The matter came before the P.E.I Association, in session in Summerside, and a committee, acceptable to Mr Bamford, was appointed. After examination of the evidence presented, and all the proceedings of the council, and hearing and examining Mr Bamford, the committee reported to the Association that the council was properly and legally constituted, and that its decision was the only one possible from the evidence presented, that having heard Mr Bamford’s explanation, and admissions, “we are of opinion that, whether or not he is guilty of the specific charge, he has been guilty of conduct which disqualifies him from being a minister of the Gospel.” The report of the committee was unanimously adopted by the association. Mr Bamford is no longer a minister of the Baptist denomination.  Rev. F.S. Bamford is an Englishman by birth. He was in Lerwick for a period of three years, and left for Canada some seven or eight years ago. His first pastorate was at St John, where he remained for a year or two, and then he accepted a call to the Lewisville Baptist Church, where he remained for three or four years. About a year ago he resigned the pastorate of the Lewisville church and went to the church at Summerside. He was considered an able speaker and lecturer.

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Smuggled Tobacco – How Mr John H. French, of the Customs service, made a haul of nearly twenty lbs. of dutiable tobacco, was told in the Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday, when Robert Fraser, 47 Constitution Street, Aberdeen, a hand on board the Fishery Board’s scientific research vessel Goldseeker, was charged before Sheriff Broun with having on 16th August, 1910, in Lerwick Harbour, brought, unshipped, removed and carried from on board the Goldseeker a portmanteau containing 1lb. weight of cigars, 6 and 4/16th lbs. weight of foreign manufactured Cavendish tobacco, and 10 4/16th lbs. weight of manufactured tobacco of other sorts. He pleaded guilty, refusing an adjournment.  The Sheriff said accused had pled guilty to a very grave charge. He did not know that he needed to point out to him the gravity of the offence. A man on a vessel of this sort was thought by the Customs officers to be above suspicion. He must fine him £15. Subsequently accused was allowed three weeks to pay the fine, and sentence of a fortnight’s imprisonment in default was added.


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