Sneak peek at Shetland Film Archive’s latest project

Never before seen footage of Shetland life in the 1950s and 60s will be premiered this week, after undergoing a specialised digitisation process.

Shetland Film Archive (SFA) will present the free, online event showcasing ‘Shetland On Film’  archive clips this Thursday, 13th May.

The duo of unique films focus on two of the isle’s most important industries – tourism and fishing.

The fishing archives, filmed by James Thomason and donated by Janie Thomason, focus on the herring boom of the1950s and will be introduced by Laurie Pottinger, local writer and tourist guide, who will provide context of the industry right up to the present day.

Isobel Irvine will introduce the second presentation; a collection of films produced by her father Derek and uncle John, a teacher based in Edinburgh, who would take groups of school children to the isles for summer holidays.

The footage includes walks down a thriving Commercial Street and going for a dip in Scalloway’s open air pool. The collection also includes footage of the Queen and Prince Philip visiting Shetland in 1960.

SFA chairman Greg McCarron, said: “This is from a reel that recently came into our collection that we thought it would be worth showcasing this material in a special event.

“We thought that by promoting a live premier we are hoping people are all going to watch it at the same time, and maybe put comments underneath and spark those conversations and discussions which you get in a live screening.”

“Shetland on Film” will be premiered on the Shetland Film Archive Facebook page and YouTube channel at 7pm on Thursday, 13th May, and will be available for two weeks.

It is supported by Film Hub Scotland, part of the BFI’s Film Audience Network, and funded by Screen Scotland and Lottery funding from the BFI.


Add Your Comment

Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.