Past Times: The Old Rock

From The Shetland Times, Friday 30th December, 1960

A year to remember

The year of the Royal visit, the year of the Hamefarin, the year of the fine weather… 1960 has been a memorable year indeed. It has been a year full of activity, interest and even excitement. Our review of the year gives a glimpse of the variety that has given spice to life in Shetland.

1960 has been a year of enterprise too. In particular, Scalloway has made a bold claim for attention and has refuted the notion that the “ancient capital” is also a “sleepy hollow”. Few villages of its size can rival Scalloway’s achievements in 1960 – a new factory, a lobster marketing enterprise using chartered aircraft, a swimming pool to match the already popular paddling pool, a new school started to accommodate the growing number of Scalloway bairns. Even wrought-iron work on a modest scale but of the highest quality can be rated a Scalloway craft and may one day be an industry.

In Shetland generally there is evidence of successful endeavour in the staple industries and of a new spirit of co-operation that may well herald a brighter phase in our islands. Only a few years go it would have seemed ridiculous to look for co-operation in the business community. Yet in 1960 the wool trade has come together to build a spinning mill. Even in Yell the community is itself  examining economic and social problems in a way that would have been scoffed at quite recently. And the “unco-operative Shetlander” was conspicuous by his absence among the hundreds who took part in the Hamefarin.

Of course, we have out troubles. What community does not have them? Yet, even if Shetland’s problems are old and deep-rooted and must be taken with us into the year ahead, we can claim that 1960 has given us confidence in ourselves and our ability to make 1960 a Good New Year.

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From The Shetland Times, Friday 2nd December 1960

(from) News in brief

Long Distance – A telephone call was received at Scalloway on Saturday from Melbourne, Australia, 11,000 miles away. It brought Christmas greetings from Mr Peter Peterson, who emigrated from Lerwick about eight years ago, to his mother, Mrs I. Peterson, Annsbrae Place, and his sister, Mrs John Smith, Sycamore Avenue, Scalloway. The call, which was booked in advance, was received on the stroke of noon. Mrs Peterson spoke from Sycamore Avenue while Mrs Peterson listened in and spoke from an extension line. The telephone line was extremely clear and was the means of bringing about a brief but happy family re-union.

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From The Shetland Times, Friday 2nd December 1960

No trees

Probably more than any other small are in Scotland Shetland has for years ‘gone in’ for Christmas tree decoration. In recent years there were few houses, particularly in Lerwick, without a tree in the window. But this Christmas, although the fairy lights may be switched on, it will not be against a background of foliage – for the importation of Christmas trees, holly, mistletoe, and other outdoor grown greenery has been banned.

The decision to do so was taken at a representative meeting of wholesalers and traders in Lerwick on Wednesday. The meeting strongly recommended that no individual should order privately any of these items, from whatever source.
The reason for the ban is, of course, the fear that foot and mouth disease might be carried into Shetland.

The meeting also agreed to seek the co-operation of the Shipping Company and B.E.A., and all fishermen and others travelling between Shetland and Orkney or the Scottish mainland are earnestly asked to refrain from conveying such items to Shetland this Christmas.


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