Lerwick Town Hall row – community councillors blast plan to call it Shetland’s Town Hall

Lerwick Community Council has objected to plans for a new “Shetland’s Town Hall” sign to be erected outside the historic building.

Councillors were left confused by the designs during a meeting on Monday night.

The application has been made by the SIC on the back of major repair and renovation work to the hall topping more than £1 million.

Initial plans for the information boards show a logo of the familiar structure.

The new sign has left Lerwick Community Councillors confused.

Below it the sign reads “Welcome to Shetland’s Town Hall”.

However, a number of community councillors were not impressed. They argued the sign should read “Welcome to Lerwick Town Hall” instead.

Chairman Jim Anderson said: “It’s Lerwick Town Hall. I’m sorry [but] if they want to propose a change to the name of the building let’s have a discussion, but I don’t think they should just produce a sign that changes the name of the building.”

Lerwick North councillor Stephen Leask said despite living in the town for many years he could give an outsider view from Scalloway.

“For me it was the Lerwick Town Hall, never Shetland’s Town Hall,” he said.

“..It should be Lerwick, simple as.”


For me it was the Lerwick Town Hall, never Shetland’s Town Hall.. It should be Lerwick, simple as. STEPHEN LEASK


Allan Wishart, a former SIC councillor for Lerwick, said he was originally a Scalloway man. He too believed it should be called Lerwick Town Hall but called for a bit of caution.

“I guess the SIC has contributed a lot to the upkeep and refurbishment,” Mr Wishart said.

“If we insist on it being Lerwick Town Hall then they might say that Lerwick Community Council will have to pay for all these improvements in future.”

Community councillor Avril Simpson said there had been discussions previously about “Shetland” being used in order for it to be more inclusive.

But fellow councillor Eddie Knight said there had been “a fortune spent on country halls all over the place” – which Lerwick had paid into.

According to the application, the hall was constructed in the early 1880s as the first purpose-built county halls in Shetland.

Folk raised money for the building by selling £2 shares and holding dances, fairs and sales of work. Young Shetland women also pledged their shillings on subscription cards.

Mr Anderson moved to object to the plans, which was seconded by Mr Knight.


Add Your Comment
  • Michael Garriock

    • November 7th, 2017 14:07

    Its LERWICK’S Town Hall, the rest of us want as absolutely little as is humanly possible to have the slightest thing to do with it. Take it, keep it, please.

    If that logo that accompanies the index headline for this story is what’s proposed to be used, its hellish looking. The first impression is that the place is falling apart with the clocktower in the process of sliding off the roof…. Which, on second thoughts may not necessariy be all that inappropriate if its accuracy that’s driving the logo design….

    What is this obsession with “re-branding” anyway, its not a commercial business – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. It comes off as trying to sweep things under the carpet and send past problems and mistakes quickly and quietly out of sight, by trying to go back to a clean slate with a forced re-start. That’s not how life and people work.

    Faeces is still faeces even if you declare that henceforth it shall be named fluffy froth.

  • Johan Adamson

    • November 7th, 2017 14:11

    Can it no just be ‘Da Toon Hall’?

    Kinda obvious where it is.

  • David Spence

    • November 7th, 2017 14:56

    Why not call it ‘ Leirvik Town Hall ‘ or ‘ Hjaltland Town Hall ‘ just like a certain housing business as been named with the word ‘ Hjaltland ‘ incorporated in their business title?

    Atleast using Scandinavian words, it is in keeping with our roots and of Up Helly Aa, the fire festival we like to boast about to the world in regard to our Norse Heritage.

    Maybe a certain Mr Hill, can advise on what title to give to the Town Hall? lol

  • Suzy V Jolly

    • November 7th, 2017 19:02

    Ahem! Shetland is NOT a town; ergo, how the hell can any idiot come up with the name “Shetland Town Hall”?

    As for the logo, certain parts of it remind me of sticking two fingers up; it belongs in the bin (which recycling bin, I’m really not sure).

    What an utter waste of public funds.

  • John Tulloch

    • November 7th, 2017 21:03

    Vintage Shetland politics from LCC.

    They allow remote authorities to close Lerwick power station without even a murmur of protest – “Yis, yis, boys, close you awa, we tink dat’s a most splendid idea!” – but try putting the wrong name on a building and there’s merry hell to pay.

    I don’t know…. I just don’t know….?

  • William McLeod

    • November 7th, 2017 23:30

    Not sure about Lerwicks contribution to rural halls in rural areas we have to raise a lot of the funds for the upkeep and repair of our halls how much was raised from the 8000 Lerwick folk for the repair of their town hall not much I suspect

  • Stanley Manson

    • November 7th, 2017 23:45

    How can it be Shetland Town Hall ? Shetland is an Island not a town! It’s Lerwick Town Hall end of story! Let the former Lerwick Town Councillors and staff rest in peace! Who gets paid to make up this rubbish?

  • Kay Wheatcroft

    • November 8th, 2017 10:30

    Towny McHallface?

  • Haydn Gear

    • November 8th, 2017 13:15

    Is there something wrong or misleading with the term —-Town Hall ? If it is the only Town Hall in Shetland why should there be any need to use the town name – —-Lerwick? Mountain out of a molehill comes to mind.

  • Steven Jarmson

    • November 8th, 2017 14:04

    Surely this sums up the position of the council, Lerwick IS Shetland!
    That’s why EVERYTHING must be in Lerwick.
    Might as well change the signs at the North and South entries to “Welcome to Shetland” and add an exit notice on the flip side saying “You are now entering the wilderness-Kinda Shetland but the Council doesn’t really care about it!”

  • Haydn Gear

    • November 8th, 2017 20:31

    I’m not totally clear about the drift of Steven’s point but It seems to me that since Shetland is such a tiddler, wouldn’t it be a bit odd to have SIC offices dotted about the place —— for what good reason?? It is not unusual to centralise operations and it should (SHOULD) benefit the entire population whether it’s in Yell, Foula, Scalloway , Sumburgh or Lerwick. Whether or not the council cares about Lerwick and only Lerwick is another issue altogether. London serves England(?), Cardiff Wales and Edinburgh Scotland. Why not agree without question to Lerwick looking after Shetland? If not, things will become tunnel visioned and parochial— not a pleasant prospect for a community hoping to hold its own in the face of stern competition from elsewhere. STRENGTH IN NUMBERS!!!

  • Alexander McMillan

    • November 9th, 2017 15:57

    Who came up with this stupidy, of changing the name of the Town Hall, It has always been caud Da Toon Haal, Or da Lerik toon haal, So just leave it the way it has always been.
    So does this mean the Scalloway Castle becomes the Shetland Castle, I am sure the Scalloway folk will have a lot to say about that.
    Once you get one changed, does all the old buildings in Shetland have to follow, Clickimin Castle Become the Shetland Castle.


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