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Obituary: death of a 'gentle Greenpeace giant'

Jon Castle visiting Bressay in June 2005. Photo: Jonathan WillsWHEN Greenpeace set up office in Lerwick's Commercial Street in May 1995, it was the start of an extraordinary campaign that changed the way the oil and gas industry operated.

The Brent Spar campaign was THE catalyst for stimulating a legislative process that eventually saw the ban of dumping oil installations into the sea and, as a direct consequence, the growth of a decommissioning industry.

Line-up unveiled for 38th folk festival

Calan.SHETLAND Folk Festival has unveiled the provisional line-up for its 38th year, with the four-day event featuring musicians from North America, Scandinavia, Holland, Ireland and across the UK.

So far 12 acts have been confirmed to take to stages the length and breadth of the isles to demonstrate their musical prowess.

Fun Quiz - Historical geography of Shetland

What’s in your backyard?

Answers now available, click here.

HISTORY is all around is us in Shetland, sadly often seen as the ruins and walls of long-forgotten homesteads, piles of stones in a field.

Some of that social history is captured on the maps of a hundred years ago. Modern maps are bland in comparison and can’t compete with the delightful details to be found hidden in the past.

Lau: eclectic, experimental & enthralling

MULTIPLE award-winning, experimental folk trio LAU took the Mareel audience on a truly eclectic musical journey to conclude a UK tour celebrating a decade of music-making.

Happy birthday, SIBC - and co-owner Ian admits he hasn't had a full day off in 30 years

The main control desk at SIBC's Market Street studio. Photo: Shetland News/Neil Riddell.POP MUSIC radio station and local institution SIBC this week celebrated the landmark of 30 years on air – during which time one of the station's two voices, Ian Anderson, has never had a full day off.

SIBC, run by Ian and his wife Inga Walterson, first began broadcasting in an era when playing music on the radio meant standing queuing up vinyl records one after the other for shifts lasting four hours at a time.

‘Part of our past that needs to be kept alive’

A TRIO of important events commemorating World War One took place in Lerwick earlier this month. Laurie Goodlad went along and was struck by the meticulous dedication shown by local researchers into Shetland's involvement in the catastrophic years of conflict.

Karen Fraser, collaborating with local volunteers and Shetland Museum & Archives, organised the programme, which coincides with wider national Remembrance Day events.

Edinburgh Quartet returns after 20 years

The Edinburgh Quartet returns to the isles this week. Photo: Jean StonerSHETLAND Arts' classical season is set to continue next Wednesday with The Edinburgh Quartet's first performance in the isles in nearly two decades.

One of the UK's most celebrated ensembles, The Edinburgh Quartet will be playing a programme which they describe as "varied, and covers a broad spectrum of style".

Newton’s one-man-band strikes a chord

Newton Faulkner's music hit the sweet spot between infectious melody and musicianship. All photos: Steven Johnson"I'm Newton Faulkner and this is a song," says the flame-haired man on stage as he carefully cradles an acoustic guitar.

It was a humble introduction to an evening of music at Mareel on Tuesday night that at times was anything but, with soaring melody and musical flair exuded throughout.

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.

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.