Large crowds descended on Victoria Pier this afternoon to attend the Lerwick Lifeboat Gala day despite a bitterly cold wind which threatened to spoil the festivities.
As always the event was organised in order to raise funds for the RNLI’s Lerwick Lifeboat – the Michael and Jane Vernon, which currently operates under the guidance of acting Coxswain Garry Bremner.
It will be hoped that the event has raised a good quantity of money to help fund the lifeboat’s activities for a further. Judging by the crowds this seems a strong possibility, even though the event was organised on the same weekend as the Classic Motor Show and the Aith Lifeboat Gala.
Other than the lifeboat and its crew the event was also attended by representatives from the Coastguard and the Fire and Rescue Service.
Both of these agencies came out in support of the lifeboat and assisted in the day’s activities by setting up displays for interested members of the public.
Greg Burgess, who was manning the Coastguard’s stall showcasing search and rescue gear, spoke of the importance of the lifeboat and said that the Coastguard “absolutely welcomed” the opportunity to come out in support of the important and largely “publicly funded life-saving service”.
He added: “I believe the lifeboat has the full support of all other emergency services in Shetland.”
One visitor who was conspicuous by her absence was Princess Anne, who was rumoured to be on board the large vessel Pharos berthed at the end of the pier.
A member of the ship’s crew conceded that the Princess Royal had been on board the vessel the previous evening, where she dined with local dignitaries, but added that her busy schedule had taken her away from Victoria Pier before the Gala Day festivities got underway.
Nevertheless, this did little to dampen the spirits of those who chose to visit the pier in order to sample the delights on offer.
Among the many ever-popular tents and stalls were a homebakes tent, a BBQ stand, a remote control boat race, a face painting stall, a hook a duck stand and a tombola.
Music was provided by a number of local acts including the youngsters from Fjanna and the Lerwick Brass Band.
Attendees were also invited to tour the centre piece of the day, the Michael and Jane Vernon.
• For full coverage see The Shetland Times on Friday