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Voluntary Action Shetland
Voar 2010

Issue 251 - Voar 2010

The Voar issue of the New Shetlander, currently in the shops, has a wide range of content.

Ian Napier, of the NAFC Marine Centre, contributes ‘Shetland’s Seas’, based on his popular lecture from last year’s Nature Festival, describing the ocean currents which affect Shetland, our marine environment, and the changes being observed. John Cousins, who drove a lorry for the SCWS in 1950s Lerwick, relates his experiences in entertaining fashion, and paints a vivid picture of Shetland life at that time. Jane Coutts, now living in Spain, has written ‘Fetlar and Waltzing Matilda’, in which she untangles a chain of events linking Fetlar with the composition of the classic Australian song.

The German naval fleet paid several visits to Lerwick, over a hundred years ago, the most notable taking place in 1904, as Linda Riddell explains. But national anti-German feeling in the years leading up to 1914 inspired more than one fictional story involving the actual invasion of Shetland, and Linda also portrays ‘alternative versions of the glorious liberation of Lerwick’!

‘Does family matter? Dialect transmission in Shetland families’ is written by the Norwegian linguistics researcher Edit Bugge, based on her work in Shetland in 2005. (Her research paper on the survival of dialect vocabulary was presented at the Jakobsen conference in 2006, and will appear in the forthcoming book of conference papers.) In this article she reflects on the influence of family in passing on the dialect from one generation to another.

The poetry in this issue is equally varied; for example, Donald Murray’s subject is the Italian prisoner of war in Orkney, Paolo Dante’s the capture and killing of an escaped ox in Unst, and Jim Mainland’s ‘The Gunnister woman’.

Local politics and council doings are the main subject for ‘Havra’ in da Wadder Eye. The editorial ponders, with some scepticism, the impending televised debates between party leaders. There is a good crop of book reviews as usual.

Poignantly, the magazine notes the passing of Jack Renwick of Uyeasound, one of Shetland’s foremost poets, and a stalwart of the New Shetlander for many years. There is  a photograph of Jack and one of his fine nature poems, ‘New day’.

The magazine is priced at £2.

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