Saturday, 15 August 2015


For many people Yell is a place to drive through on the way to Unst. The road from the ferry passes the west side, virtually a straight road north. It does pass several interesting places if you have time to take a detour.

Westsandwick beach is superb with parking nearby. A good place for Otters and a paddle.

Yell in fact is the largest of the north isles with a population of around 900 people, most on the eastside. The normal pre wedding advertising above.

Although it looks uninteresting due to a peat dominated landscape , it needs closer inspection. The White Wife (upper) really stands out at Otterswick. This is the figure head from a German Training Ship, wrecked on 26 April 1924. Four died from a crew of 38

Like most places in Shetland ruined crofts can be found throughout the island, they always make for a interesting photo, although its also sad that people have left the island or they may have built a new house nearby

                                                                                       Westsandwick beach

We have spent many nights in B&B since 1987 so know many of Yell's secrets but we still have many to discover. Our next visit will be soon and we hope to take in Breckon sands and revisit the Catalina crash site.

Back in Lerwick it came as no surprise that the council had messed up again , this time with the new helipad at Clickimin. Would you believe that the new helipad is too small, so they have now agreed to extend the site.

This will come as good news to the local footballers as last week a football match had to be delayed for 40 mins while the helicopter  landed on the pitch. This happens on a regular basis , but for genuine need of emergency treatment. However it's not as simple as leaving the pitch, the goal posts have to be removed, owing to the down blast from chopper.

People are then transferred to the Gilbert Bain hospital, a short distance away. However the local residents are not happy at all as the site is very close to their homes.

Its now been a year since we moved into our house and it's passed so quick. We have done a lot of work in that time, removing the solid fuel burner and chimney, two new doors put in, bathroom sorted out and bath plumbed in, external house walls painted and some internal. The long standing window saga in which we had to wait six months to replace the frame and glass when the original one was broken when we had to bring the furniture through the opening, stands out.
                                                                         Our first day with the window already broken

We are still waiting for a new sink and worktops, this started 2 months ago, all the items have been received by the joiner but he has been too busy with external work, just waiting for a few poor days to get it done. It shows we have had a reasonable summer, even some of the lochs are drying up.
                                                 Great view now even better now we have two windows to look through

Finally we have someone to paint our roof, at only 1/4 of the cost of the last quote and will actually be doing far more than the roof and hopefully start in next three - four weeks.

Sunday, 9 August 2015


Recently we have been getting around a few of the islands that we haven't visited for a few years. This weekend it was Bressay , well in fact this was the second visit of the week.

Only 5 mins from Lerwick this island has a population of around 360 but with little work available many have to travel the short distance back to the mainland. This aging population will no doubt reduce substantially within the next 20 years and then it may become another Foula, Fetlar, Fair isle or Papa Stour which have advertised for more people to come and live.

On farmer i was talking to said it would help if they put an early ferry on which would allow people to travel up to Sullom Voe for a 7.00 am start. Another topic of conversation was the poor summer, he complained that the oats had only grown to half the size they were last year. Its hard work being a farmer / crofter here in Shetland, the weather always being a problem, except for an exceptionally good summer last year which seem to go on and on.

He was renting land but from who, all I could see was nine deserted crofts, people left some 30 years ago. More evidence was on the beach with many rusting chains which had been used to tie up small open fishing boats many years ago.

On many hills WW2 lookout posts can be seen, and on two eastern side hills WW1 guns still exist together with many more deserted crofts. Most folk shoot over to the far side of the island wanting to get over to Noss and therefore miss the delights of Bressay. From the west side of Bressay you get a good view of Lerwick and all the sea traffic

The north link ferry has been in the news twice recently. On one occasion the ferry had to take action to avoid hitting the Herakles which was in the main shipping lane, then last Wednesday night the autopilot failed (14 seconds) resulting in a large roll where people commented that they thought it was going to capsize. Both these incident covered by Shetland News. We are hoping for a safe calm crossing when we go on holiday .

Last night was the final concert of Fiddle Frenzy and it was a superb evening at the Mareel. Much more music to come over the next few weeks with Maggie and Brian at the Shetland showcase tomorrow, Shetland Fiddle society on Wednesday, then the Asta music group on Thursday. I am also organising a variety concert for the Royal Voluntary Service which will take place in September, so its all go.