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Voluntary Action Shetland

Issue Number 264 - Simmer 2013

New Shetlander No 264 Simmer 2013

The Simmer issue of the New Shetlander, No. 264, has a wide range of content.

Mary Blance leads with a profile of professional pianist Neil Georgeson of Aith, who lives and works in London, but loves to come home. Mary’s article reflects Neil’s life and career so far. Allen Fraser writes an intriguing piece about two items which were part of his own Yell family history, but were also widely-known for many years for their supposed healing powers: Da ‘Gulsa Shall’ an da ‘Trowie Kapp’. The original items are now in theShetland Museum.

Ian Tait has written another major article about the First World War in Shetland: Get the gun’s crew!  Several field guns, and their crews, were stationed in strategic places around Shetland from 1914 to 1918, their intended purpose being anti-submarine defence. Interviews which Ian conducted over twenty years ago give the article added interest and authority. 

In the centre pages is a feature on the ‘Farlin’ co-operative project beween poets and artists inFifeand Shetland during 2012-13.  All the Shetland artists had a textile background; those inFifewere all jewellers. Poems from all eight poets involved are matched with photographs of the artists’ work.

The new Wadder eye writer, Mona Walterson from the Westside, is thinking about modern rural life. The editors are concerned with over-centralisation in Lerwick, and its effects.

Stella Sutherland contributes a third poem in her new sequence of poems about Foula when she was young; it deals with the making of the 1936 film The Edge of the World (now in DVD).  Elsewhere there are short poems by Christine De Luca, James Sinclair, Jim Mainland and a new young writer from Unst, Jack Irvine.

Mark Ryan Smith’s realistic new story Smoke break gives us a glimpse of the lives of workmen from the South temporarily employed in Shetland, and a young local man who works alongside them. Brydon Leslie’s article discusses the influence of seventeenth century Dutch fishermen, in Lerwick: Amsterdam of the North.

Spence Jamieson has written in reply to a recent New Shetlander article about dialect. In Shetland dialect, not ‘mine’, he argues that the dialect belongs to Shetland as a whole, and he defends standardisation. Finally, Glenn Bard’s piece Hawkhens: their rise and fall in Shetland, describes an unusual levy on islanders, which began because of the King’s need for falcons for hunting, and was only brought to an end in 1840.

The magazine goes on sale this week, and costs £2. Its cover is suitably summery – the watercolour Watchhouse loch, by Peter Davis.


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