Museum connections (Sandy McMillan)

Is it not disgraceful what the councillors are up to now by proposing to close Shetland Museum. Don’t these guys who sit in the town hall realise what they are doing. By closing the museum Shetland’s history goes with it.

The probability is that the majority of Shetlanders have a connection within the museum, whether it be it be a photograph, painting or even a boat.

In my case my forefathers came to Shetland in the 1700s to work with Hay & Company, one as a tinsmith/plumber, another as a cooper and one as a ship’s carpenter. This probably applies to quite a lot of Shetlanders, as the records in my case are held in the museum archives.

Throughout the summer the museum is heaving with visitors. If the museum requires money to keep open, give no more to Viking Energy as it will destroy Shetland as it stands today. Anyone who would consider closing the museum should take a hike and think again.

Sandy McMillan
13 South Lochside,


Add Your Comment
  • Sandra Brooks

    • October 22nd, 2012 13:42

    If the S.I.C., go ahead with the ridiculous idea of closing the museum, they may found out that it will impact on the number of visitors to Shetland, including the very lucrative Cruise Ships calling into Lerwick.

    The Shetland museum may not be the only heritage site to close, if they are so intent on saving money, and if that was the case there would be very little left of interest to see for those visitors wishing to see the amazing heritage of the Isle’s.

  • Alice Robertson

    • October 22nd, 2012 15:47

    I find this difficult to believe! As well as a tourist attraction the museum is also a useful online resource.

  • Carol Edwardson

    • October 22nd, 2012 15:59

    I am absolutely speechless at the proposal to close this wonderful museum. Just where have the SIC got there heads.My husband and I have visited this museum and archives and have been so impressed not only by it’s contents but also the staff. My husband’s family came to Tyneside from Unst and Yell and we have derived enormous pleasure from tracing his roots. I do hope that it is still there when we visit next year!

  • John Anderson

    • October 22nd, 2012 22:03

    The Council is not closing the museum. The Council is proposing funding cuts. As they are to everything. Cuts can be mitigated by good management and sensible planning.

  • Helen Chavez

    • October 24th, 2012 14:41

    John Anderson says that ‘good management’ and ‘sensible planning’ may negate the closure of Shetland Museum. Does he not realise that museum collections need care and management by professional museum curators, and museums need active participation by both staff and volunteers to be a vibrant, living facility that cares for and promotes Shetland’s tangible heritage. It isn’t a toy store, sir – it is a collection of priceless examples of the history and communities of Shetland. Without its staff and their professional commitment and skills, the museum cannot survive. This is a typical example of short-termism on behalf of SIC, and may this decision turn around and bite the councillors responsible firmly in the backside.

  • Johan Adamson

    • October 25th, 2012 8:53

    So, lets keep everything running exactly how it is, run out of money, then have to close everything central government doesnt have to fund in a couple of years. Then there will be no money then to pleep and moan about. Maybe that is the best outcome, right enough.

  • Helen Chavez

    • October 25th, 2012 15:35

    Aye, Mr. Adamson, there’s the rub – running museums costs money. Objects do not look after themselves. These objects were donated to the museum to be preserved and care for for future generations of the Shetland community first and foremost. If you wish to have your children growing up not understanding the history and culture of the community in which they live, then just shut the door, mothball the collections and pay a bit of dosh out for rental and storage. That may be the answer.

    And after all, the main thing about museums is generally they don’t make money. They are all about nonsense such as history and boring stuff like that, even though Shetland Museum is one of the best in the country … innovative, forward-looking, vibrant and a huge promoter of Shetland in all its glory. If you wish to lose visitors, then by all means close it. But once it’s gone, it’s gone. Like the dodo. Councils ALWAYS have spare money – I’ve worked in local authorities for years. And SIC has a legal written agreement that they have reneged upon. Naughty, naughty SIC!

  • Johan Adamson

    • October 26th, 2012 8:59

    You assume I am male?

    No one is closing the museum. We just need to lose some of the excesses and maybe charge. Museum entrance in Glasgow is approx £8, we charge nothing. Scalloway museum charges and issues a ticket you can use again. Cant we do this? – pay £20 but get as many times as you like in the winter. All this I have said before – see other story.

  • johnmcphail

    • October 26th, 2012 9:35

    Another example of this councils financial and business mismanagement. Is there anything they have invested in or run that isn’t in crisis.

  • Stewart Mack

    • October 26th, 2012 13:52

    Johan, i take your point, misguided as i think it is, but perhaps you will consider this? – Why should there be a charge? why? because Shetland Amenity Trust, contracted to run the Museum have had their funding cut. And why has the funding been cut? – Because the Shetland Islands Council are trying to renaig on an agreement they made with the Amenity Trust to run the museum. You may wish to read Brian Gregson’s open letter. So what now you are saying is go ahead SIC, break your Contracts, the People of Shetland are happy to pick up the can on a day to day basis. The fundamental principle behind this is wrong plain and simple. Also bear in mind any charge made can only be a token towards the running costs of the Museum, it wont address the fundamental problems with the Councils finances. And all the while we see money pouring into quite frankly the wrong places….

  • Iain Adam

    • November 30th, 2012 16:52

    I visited the Shetland Islands in 2010 after an interval of 52 years, it was a momentous experience, I visited the museum and was greatly expressed – it was well beyond my expectations, what a great job has been done . Incidently I am the son of H C Adam formerly of 167 Commercial Street who dealt in Shetland Knitwear. Lerwick has not changed very much, perhaps for the better.I hope to return again , now aged 70 years. It would be nice to hear from the Shetland knitters who served my Dad well from 1939 to 1959. Regards Iain – now living in Australia. I can be contacted on

  • james A. Pottinger

    • January 2nd, 2013 17:32

    I had to check that it was not April 1st


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