Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Lerwick lanes

Any one walking round Lerwick will at some point come across one of the lanes that rises from the harbour front and takes them up to the higher reaches near the Town Hall, Library and Garrison theatre.

Lerwick has a long history and ties with Norway in particular and the street and lanes have been influenced by these links. With over a third of the Shetland population living in Lerwick the town has developed but still retains character and at night takes on a completely different feel to that of the day.

Lerwick name comes from the Norse - Muddy bay and has always been an important fishing area and the islands capital since the 17 century, taking over from Scalloway

Many of these lanes were originally known as Closses most running in a westerly direction from Commercial street. They tend to be steep and narrow

Law, Reform, Pitt, Form and Park are just a few names to look out for, both old and new names can be seen. Chromate Lane being one of the old ones.

The Lerwick Lanes Conservation Area 1975 was set up to protect the area, this covers far more than just the lanes.

You do feel safe while walking the lanes at night, unlike many towns and cities further south

Sunday, 14 February 2016

As time goes by

When we moved to Shetland nearly two years ago we registered our interest in joining the NHS dentist in Lerwick. We found out that we would have to wait 7 years before we would officially accepted. The other week, another dentist set up in Lerwick and we managed to transfer and now can finally get treatment at the end of the month.

                                                                               Looking from Lerwick to Bressay Lighthouse

We have found that all the other services such as Hospital and Doctors have been very good, and as I now work in the care sector this also seems excellent although like other parts of the UK,  services have been drastically cut.  Its the Shetland people who make the services excellent, many of which are volunteers.

We are still waiting for our new heating system, we have been told it will be April before they can start, in the meantime its been cold as the temperature has dropped to around freezing most of the time.


A week ago snow and ice had been around for several days, only a light covering of the white stuff but roads had been bad with little gritting taking place. On the main road up to Lerwick two cars came off the road.

It was good to see one of my photos, taken when Storm Gertrude hit the other week, printed in the Shetland Times. On Facebook this has over 1,100 likes and 350 shares so my best one yet. Winds actually reached 120 mph, but damage was less than expected. Trees are normally the main problem in gales but Shetland has few.

                                                                                                     Damage in Sandwick

Locally our friends in Sandwick nearly had a bad experience when part of a large metal roof ripped away from units on the coastline and landed very close to their house, this was over 30 feet long and was buckled so difficult to cut up. We had fragments of slate around the house together with a substantial fence post which must have been blown up from the bottom of the field, luckily this stuck the house low down and not against our window. A couple of caravans also suffered damage , but the expected flying sheep never happened.

                                                                                       Looking towards Spiggie from Noss

The seeds that we planted last year only yielded a small number of potatoes,a few parsnips but no beetroot. The ground is virtually all peat so we intend to prepare the soil better this year, putting manure and seaweed down, hopefully this will provide a better growing area next year.

This weekend snow had returned but it soon disappeared with the sun on Saturday, a nice day for a walk around Sandwick. We had planned on going to Sumburgh hotel for a meal Saturday night but the roads had a covering of snow then ice so we gave it a miss.

                                                                                                          Near Boddam