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.
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.