Christmas cheer at ‘Da Street’

In the final days leading up to Christmas there was still reason to be cheerful on Commercial Street in Lerwick.

With footfall and customers reportedly higher than in recent years and plenty of positive feedback about the lights and the activities, Living Lerwick was spreading extra cheer by announcing competition winners and handing out prizes.

The Winter Wonderland Grotto was a huge hit, with 223 children visiting over three weekends to collect Christmas presents from town centre mascot Maunsie the Market Cross, Olaf the Snowman and volunteers from the Lerwick Ladies Lifeboat Guild.

A donation will be made to the Lifeboat from proceeds in the new year.

The traditional Christmas window competition ballot was counted by the staff at the VisitScotland office and Sally Sandison and Hazel Leask announced Ninian as the winner with 51 of the 128 votes.

It is the third year in a row that Ninian has won, with Westside Pine and Jamieson’s coming second and third. Ms Sandison and Ms Leask also choose Charlotte Jeffery at random from those who voted to win a prize voucher.

Celebrating their success at Ninian are (from left) Joanna Hunter. Leanne Laurenson and staff members Shona Anderson and Sophie Manson.
Celebrating their success at Ninian are (from left) Joanna Hunter, Leanne Laurenson and staff members Shona Anderson and Sophie Manson.

Living Lerwick director, Leanne Laurenson from Begg Shoes, presented the staff at Ninian with the trophy on Monday afternoon.

Owner Joanna Hunter praised the effort that her staff had put in to helping design and create the window – a process which started in September.

The Spend at da Street competition, which had been running since October, was also drawn on Monday. With over 2,000 completed cards handed in, the second round of the loyalty scheme proved very popular once again.

Six winners were chosen at random from the entries by Tanya Finnie and Michael Laurenson at Cee & Jays.  They were Debbie Jamieson, Stacy Sandison, Carole Laigner, Emma Williamson, Steven Kerr and Jim Wright. Each wins a selection of vouchers and gifts from the participating businesses, worth at least £150.

The scheme will now continue on a monthly rolling basis, with a draw to win £50 voucher for the participating business of the winner’s choice on the last Friday of each month. Those with partially filled cards can still use these for future draws.

The archive photo and moving image trails proved popular with many shoppers stopping to enjoy film footage from Shetland Film Archive or read the Yesteryear posters. The competition to win a framed print from Shetland Photo Archive was won by Celia Smith.

The talking objects as part of the Hello Christmas Tree trail have also been busy chatting over the past few weeks. As of last week the Christmas Tree, Reindeer, Bench and Lamp Post had had 635 conversations with 386 people. This included 1462 individual messages.

A new talking objects trail will be launched in the New Year with new objects to find and talk to.

Smith & Robertson owner and Living Lerwick director Edna Irvine was full of praise for how things had been on Commercial Street.

She said: “It’s been just lovely on the street in recent weeks to see so many folk in and out of shops, cafes and restaurants.

“There’s been a real festive cheer to the place which has been commented on by many of my customers and those in other shops.

“People have had a difficult time this year and on behalf of the small local business owners in Lerwick town centre, and everywhere else, I’d like to thank the public for supporting us and choosing to shop local this Christmas.

“A very merry Christmas to you all from us here at Da Street.”


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