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New Shetlander - Voar 2007 issue

The New Shetlander has reached its 60th anniversary with a tremendous response from contributors in honour of the occasion.  Number 239 is a special colour issue with twenty extra pages, full of writing from all over Shetland and beyond: stories, poetry, fact and opinion, a range such as the magazine has always aimed to provide.

Included are reproductions of some pages from the first issue in voar 1947.  The front page of Number 1 appears within the editorial article - a concise history of the magazine’s sixty years.  An article by Prophet Smith, looking forward from the post-war era, leads into Douglas Irvine’s  "The road to a prosperous future".  This thoughtful and entertaining piece first reviews the 1960s and the oil boom years, before looking at future economic possibilities.  "The Shetland scene", written by Peter Jamieson, the magazine’s founder, is set alongside the modern article "Shetland’s development dilemmas", by Peter Hamilton.

1947 is history to many readers, but with the help of Ian Tait, Wendy Gear, photos from the Shetland Museum, and the recollections of several people, we can all relive the time of the Big Snow of ’47, and perhaps imagine how we would cope today in similar weather.  Weather, and sea-level in particular, is the focus of a lengthy and fascinating article by Jonathan Wills, beginning with the amazing statement by the late Tammie Laurenson o Gorie, about an empty Bressay crofthouse: ‘Da Stobister folk flit efter da oliks cam doon da lum.’ Da Wadder Eye looks in a forthright manner at a variety of current topics both local and general, while Kevin Learmonth, in "No my problem" reflects on CCTV and the effects of the surveillance society.

            The New Shetlander has been blessed with the long-lasting support of many writers, and is delighted to feature two splendid new poems from Stella Sutherland, who first appeared in Number 5. Stella’s voice is strong and unmistakable. Mary Blance writes a lightsome profile of another old friend of the magazine, George P.S. Peterson.

            Six good short stories appear, all very different, from Christian Tait’s delightful "Little mair as a gairden oarniment", to Mark Ryan Smith’s surreal "Time for change"Willa Kate’s gentle family story "The pearls" reflects aspects of the same strong fishing community so vividly brought to life in John Cumming’s "Uncles". Kel Hulter’s "Crumble" is unusual and interesting, with different layers of action, and vivid train-of-thought recollections. And former New Shetlander editor Alex Cluness quietly reminds us, in the haunting "Pianoforte", how very good a writer he is.

            There are the usual reviews, letters, and a real wealth of poetry of a high standard, from more than twenty poets. Too many to describe individually, but mention must be made of  "Ridin on a low" by Paolo Dante. It is a nerve-jangling and memorable account, based on experience, of a fishing boat caught in a terrible storm. Nothing like it has appeared before.

            This very special issue of the New Shetlander is priced at £2.50.

CONTENTS of issue 239 - Voar 2007


Poems by Stella Sutherland

Pianoforte by Alex Cluness

George P. S. Peterson a profile by Mary Blance

Ridin on a low by Paolo Dante

The road to a prosperous future by Douglas Irvine

The Big Snow of '47 by lan Tait

Buksin and studgin trowe da '47 snaa by Wendy Gear 

Comin hom by Aald Daa

'Oliks doon da him': Stobister swamped  by Jonathan Wills 

Crumble by Kel Hulter

Da wadder eye

Uncles by John Cumming

No my problem by Kevin Learmonth

Mair as a gairden oarnimint by Christian Tait

Letters to the editors

Shetland's development dilemmas by Peter Hamilton

The pearls by Willa Kate

Time for change by Mark Ryan Smith

Gaa by Laureen Johnson



Lise Sinclair, Lauma Robertson, Christie Williamson, Henry Marsh,
     Vaila Walterson, John M. Tait, Karen Eunson, Lynsey Anderson,
     Nat Hall, Robert Alan Jamieson, Wendy Gear, Robert Sim,
     Lynne Wycherley, Laureen Johnson, Morag Maclnnes, Donald Murray,
     James Sinclair, Christine De Luca


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