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Where wool enthusiasts share their passion

Fair Isle knitting with Hazel Tindall at Jamieson & Smith was one of the many workshops held over the nine day long event. All photos: Calum Toogood.WHEN THE eighth annual Shetland Wool Week got underway last Saturday our reviewer Terri Malcolmson embarked on a busy week trying to take in as much as she could of the ever popular event that attracted around 500 textile enthusiasts again to the isles.

The Shetland Museum and Archives was filled with wool and fibre enthusiasts. Everyone was catching up while deciding which notebook, bag or top to buy from the merchandise.

Top chef wowed by 'amazing' local produce

Jim Macmillan's butchery stall at this year's food festival. Photo: Mark Berry.FROM seafood to sausages and salt, with vegetables and vegan treats in between, this year’s food fair offered a superb selection of what the Shetland food scene has to offer, writes Louise Thomason.

Now in its third year, the event was recently rebranded as the Taste of Shetland Festival, and saw over a thousand visitors attend the Clickimin by 3pm yesterday.

Film attendances up at 'tremendous' Screenplay

Bill Nighy during a Q&A at Screenplay on Saturday night. Photo: Dale Smith.TEN DAYS and over 80 screenings later, the 11th Screenplay festival came to an end on Sunday, writes Patrick Mainland. As ever, the programme has been a diverse one – highlighting local and international filmmakers, featuring quizzes, workshops, dramas, animation, cats, dogs, and a certain time-travelling cyborg.

A musical exploration of identity and home

Pianist Neil Georgeson and cellist Abigail Hayward are opening Shetland Arts' classical season 2017/18.SHETLAND Arts' classical season for 2017-18 is set to begin with a local flavour – an inaugural concert by two of the isles' most accomplished instrumentalists, Neil Georgeson and Abigail Hayward.

Neil, who helmed a number of well-received concerts last season (all as engaging as they were unorthodox), told Shetland News he was pleased to be returning to Mareel once again with a fellow Shetlander – a situation that heavily inspired this opening concert's theme.

50th birthday reunion for class of the early eighties will be last held in old AHS building

From left to right: Dianne Morrison, current AHS head teacher Valerie Nicolson, Irene Smith, Irvine Tait, Norma Nicolson and Lesley Johnson. Photo: Shetland News/Neil Riddell.A GROUP of former classmates believed to represent the largest ever number of pupils in a single year at the Anderson High School are getting together to celebrate their 50th birthdays in what is to be the final ever reunion to take place in the existing school buildings.

With secondary education in Lerwick set to relocate to a brand new school at the lower Staney Hill this autumn, the 1981/82 secondary three class – which numbered some 296 pupils at the height of the North Sea oil boom – will get together on Saturday 12 August.

Songwriter Jenny finds much to admire in islands' natural and cultural worlds

Musician and songwriter Jenny Sturgeon, who recently moved to Shetland. Photo: Shetland News/Neil Riddell.A SCOTTISH folk musician who recently moved to the islands is leading a nature-themed songwriting workshop this weekend as part of the Shetland Nature Festival.

Jenny Sturgeon, who lives in Channerwick, will lead two classes at the Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary on Sunday – before making her maiden appearance on a Shetland stage as the support act for Martha Wainwright at Mareel next Wednesday (5 July).

Monteverdi to close classical season

Dunedin Consort will be performing with five vocalists and two instrumentalists.Shetland Arts' Classical Season for 2016-17 has covered a lot of ground - from graphical scores to Finnish tango. The upcoming final performance of the season may be just as unusual, as the award-winning Dunedin Consort performs an evening of madrigals by Baroque composer Claudio Monteverdi.

Love's Fire, Love's Ashes is part of the Dunedin Consort's current tour, which encompasses Aberdeen, Shetland and Edinburgh before finishing up at the Bath Festival.

Former harbour man will be ‘sadly missed’

Jim Dickson recharging his Nissan Leaf in Lerwick, in March 2013. Photo: Hans J Marter/ Shetland NewsFORMER SIC harbourmaster Jim Dickson MBE, who was winched onto the Braer oil tanker before it crashed onto the rocks in 1993, has died suddenly at the age of 69.

He was heavily involved during the busiest period in the local authority's harbour operation at Sullom Voe, beginning work there in 1980 in the marine operations department as a pollution control officer.

Stylish stuff on folk-ish debut from Vair

Vair pictured at Carnegie Hall after wrapping up recording. From left: Erik Peterson, sound engineer Tim Matthew, Ryan Couper, Lewie Peterson and Jonny Polson.“IT’S KINDA old-fashioned looking, but also modern.” Lewie Peterson is talking about the distinctive timepiece featured on the cover of his band Vair’s debut A Place in Time, but it could equally refer to the music featured on the album itself.

The title reflects how many of the tunes and songs featured have been inspired by events, people and places that have meant a lot to the band in the past few years.

Baltic composers and Finnish tango at Mareel

Mr McFall's Chamber are: Robert McFall (standing front right) and (from left to right): Su-a Lee (cello), Brian Schiele (viola) and Rick Standley (double bass).  Shetland Arts' Classical Season continues this month with Mr McFall's Chamber presenting Solitudes, a repertoire of Baltic pieces and tango on the 15 April, writes Alex Garrick-Wright.

Founded in 1996 by a number of Scottish Chamber Orchestra musicians to play to less-traditional venues and audiences, Mr McFall's Chamber has acquired a reputation of interesting and extremely enjoyable performances.

From Cullivoe to contemporary art curator

Helen Nisbet has carved out a career for herself in the art world in London. Photo: Shetland News/Neil Riddell.IN THE second of our new series on Shetlanders living “abroad” and achieving good things, Louise Thomason speaks to Helen Nisbet, originally from Cullivoe and now a contemporary art curator in London.

“Coming from Shetland, from a background that wasn't traditionally academic, or linked to the art world in any way, I often felt like an outsider, with no map or guidebook.”

West sider Gabby's thriving social enterprise

Gabby Cluness, who grew up on Shetland's West Side, outside Milk Cafe which she runs with business partner Angela Ireland (right).FOR THE first in an occasional series of articles on Shetlanders “abroad”, Louise Thomason catches up with West Side-raised Gabby Cluness. She is co-founder and co-director of Milk Café, a social enterprise in Glasgow’s southside that seeks to help ethnic minority women to integrate, alongside business partner and friend Angela Ireland.

Aith remembers ‘superhuman’ effort to rescue 12 fishermen from trawler

The trawler Juniper jammed against the rocks below 200 feet high cliffs at Papa Stour in 1967 - Photo: Dennis CouttsAITH lifeboat station is this week remembering the heroic rescue of 12 fishermen from a stricken trawler 50 years ago.

The crew were called out in the early hours of 19 February 1967 and made their way to Papa Stour, where the Aberdeen-registered trawler Juniper had grounded and was jammed against rocks at the foot of sheer cliffs 200 foot high in rough seas and force 7-8 winds.

Neil to supply classical season's fitting finale

AFTER two thoughtful and uncompromising classical concerts, Shetland pianist Neil Georgeson returns to Mareel for his final concert of the classical season. This final performance, Pictures at an Exhibition, looks to be even less conventional.

Folk festival unveils this year's musical feast

Goodbye Girls promise bluegrass, old time Americana and Swedish traditional sounds.SHETLAND Folk Festival has unveiled an eclectic line-up for its 37th festival at the end of April. 

Fifteen acts have so far been confirmed for the annual four-day feast of superb music, sessions and sleepless nights. An exciting variety of bands from the USA, Canada, Italy, Estonia, Belgium and Ireland will be featured alongside an array of fantastic UK and local talent.

New book recounts fiddler Maurice's Greenland trek to trace popular tune's history

Fiddler Maurice Henderson proudly clutching a copy of his book In Search of Willafjord. Photo: Shetland News/Neil Riddell.LEADING Shetland fiddle exponent Maurice Henderson has published a new book documenting his travels to Greenland to trace the roots of one of the most popular isles reels.

Copies of In Search of Willafjord arrived on Tuesday, just in time for Christmas, much to Maurice’s delight. He describes the glossy, illustrated paperback – being published by The Shetland Times – as a mixture of detective work, social history and travelogue.

Jono’s work on show at prestigious V&A

Shetland artist Jono Sandilands. Photo: Samphat Photography.A SHETLAND printmaker and visual artist currently living in Bristol has had some of his work exhibited at the world-renowned Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

Jono Sandilands showed off his forward-thinking Never! and Playable Prints projects at the museum on Friday as part of a monthly night dedicated to contemporary visuals and design.

Tributes to football legend Jim Peterson

More than 200 friends and family gathered at the Islesburgh Community Centre to pay tribute to local football legend Jim Peterson who died last year - Photo: Davie GardnerFOR OVER 60 years the name Jim Peterson is one that was, and still is, intrinsically and endearingly linked with Shetland football, writes Davie Gardner as he listens to the many heartfelt and often hilarious memories friends and family shared during A Tribute to Jim Peterson event at Islesburgh community centre on Saturday night.

BBC's intimate portrait of life in Fair Isle

The crew of the Fair Isle ferry Good Shepherd IV - Kenny Stout, Neil Thomson, Shaun Milner and Ian Best. Photo courtesy of BBC Scotland.THE REMOTE community of Fair Isle will enjoy prime-time national exposure on BBC One when a new two-part series examining what life is like for the island’s 55 inhabitants is screened next week.

Part one of Fair Isle: Living on the Edge, narrated by well-known Shetland actor Steven Robertson, will be broadcast at 9pm next Monday (28 November).

Song recital should be ‘good fun’

Following a hugely successful solo concert in September, pianist Neil Georgeson returns with soprano Anna Dennis for a second performance.Neil Georgeson's last classical performance in Mareel was an elegant, thoughtful and remarkable piano recital that left the audience crying out for more, writes Alex Garrick-Wright.

Now, the locally-born musician, director and composer will be returning to Shetland, accompanied by world-renowned soprano Anna Dennis, for the second part of the classical season.

Life Story serves as both the title and the theme; musical pieces from various nations, composers and traditions, woven together to tell the story of life. Shetland News spoke to Neil about this intriguing sounding concert, and what the audience can expect.

Julia's art installation sounds a warning about 'human folly' of overuse of plastics

Artist Julia Barton in Da Gadderie. Photo: Paul BloomerFOR THE past month Shetland Museum has hosted a powerful installation piece by the artist Julia Barton that highlights the destructive effects of plastic on the environment, writes Paul Bloomer.

The floor of Da Gadderie has been turned into a giant ordnance survey map onto which imaginary islands, constructed from burnt plastics found at various locations around Shetland, are projected.

Comic Mark Steel returns

Mark Steel.POPULAR comedian and writer Mark Steel is returning to Shetland this weekend to perform a stand-up show that explores the "ridiculous story" of how he came to learn the identity of his birth parents.

The English comic, who is known for appearing on TV programmes such as Have I Got News For You, visited to the isles last year to perform a Shetland-specific routine.

Four Seasons

Four Seasons – Summer 2015

A brood of four hooded crows - Photo: Lea GardensFour Seasons? Summer was a bit like Waiting for Godot with the dramatic element, if one can call it that, supplied by the climate. Or should that be weather?

Seeds refused to germinate in the cold, wet soil, courgettes under protective cloches turned grey and furry and rotted away, while healthy rows of lettuce vanished over night – down the gullets of Shetland's slug population; a sizeable population at the best of times, undoubtedly swelled by a rain-aided swarm of newly-hatched sluglets.

Four Seasons – Spring 2015

A blackbird dining off one of Lea Gardens' bird dining areas - all Photos: Lea GardensGARDEN fauna usually only feature in gardening columns when they become troublesome: rabbits ring-barking trees, cabbage whites decimating the kale yard, otters cleaning out the carp pond, slugs gnawing their way through a forest of lettuce seedlings, and weevils – in the dead of night- laying their eggs into the crowns of primroses. Headaches all of them, and not the fauna I'll concern myself with today.