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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.

Shetland Food Fair: A fantastic weekend showcasing the finest local produce

Marjolein Robertson follows a demonstration by Margaret Williamson, from Lunna Farm, and her granddaughter Kirsten Williamson, of how to make sheep's puddings - all photos: Elizabeth Atia.COME Sunday afternoon over 3,000 people had visited the annual Shetland Food Fair, a 100 per cent increase on last year's numbers. Shetland News asked food blogger Elizabeth Atia to capture the flavour.

I spent the whole weekend browsing, taste testing and catching up with folk I often only see during this annual event. It's such a wonderful thing to be able to do, for a foodie like me, to chat cake, bacon, coffee and beer with people who are so extremely passionate about what they do.

Althing: Brexit not good for Shetland

Chaired by Andrew Halcrow (centre) Dennis Leask and Brian Nugent (left) spoke for the notion while Gary Robinson and Helen Erwood opposed it - Photo: Hans J Marter/ShetNewsTHERE was little doubt in the minds of the crowd that gathered at Islesburgh Community Centre in Lerwick on Saturday night that Britain's exit from the European Union was a bad thing for Shetland.

The Althing had put forward the notion that Brexit is best for Shetland and around 60 people accepted the invitation of the debating society and engaged in a lively discussion.

Danus Skene: ‘A man of many parts’

Danus Skene on the election campaign trial earlier this year - Photo: Robbie McGregorA MEMORIAL service was held in Lerwick on Friday afternoon for the late Danus Skene. Best known in Shetland latterly as an SNP politician and chairman of Shetland Arts, Skene fitted a remarkable number of achievements in politics, education, sport, religion, music and culture into his 72 years.

Malachy explores islands no longer on map

Writer Malachy Tallack talking at a launch event for 'The Un-discovered Islands' at the Old Hairdresser's in Glasgow last week. Photo: AB Cassidy PhotographySHETLAND author Malachy Tallack has released his latest book The Un-Discovered Islands - and it looks like the publication is set to go global.

The Glasgow-based writer, who enjoyed success last year with travel book Sixty Degrees North, documents and explores islands once believed to have been real but no longer on the map.

‘Thought-provoking’ exhibition is open

Clair Aldington's exhibition exploring connections across generations opened on Monday.AN EXHIBITION from a local artist which explores the connections between three generations of women went on display on Monday as part of a national festival.

Clair Aldington is hosting ‘We think back through our mothers...’ Or do we? at the Lodberrie Traders opposite Bain’s Beach until Saturday (22 October).

Farewell to a ‘rare kind of fellow’

George McGhee 'a big family, a big community' - Photos: Chris Cope/ShetNewsGeorge McGhee, the manager of Anderson High School's halls of residence, is perched at his desk. Behind him are shelves of Mickey Mouse memorabilia given to him as gifts by pupils, writes Chris Cope.

"Disney is my thing," he says - while his noticeboard explodes with drawings and goodwill messages. And on the desk is a mug made by a former pupil, who emblazoned her picture on the side.

Wool week off to a flying start

A fashion show featuring the work of several local designers was the highlight of Sunday night's opening of Shetland Wool Week - Photos: Hans J Marter/ShetNewsNow in its 7th year, Shetland Wool Week shows no signs of getting old. The internationally acclaimed festival's official launch ceremony, held in the Clickimin bowls hall on Sunday night, was a cosy hubbub of all things knitting and textiles, with food and music thrown in for good measure, writes Louise Thomason.

The evening began with a slightly delayed welcome by the Lerwick Jarl Squad, before speeches from the festival organisers got underway.

Revellers get the skeletons out of the closet

From left to right - Adam Priest, Lewie Peterson, John-William Halcrow, Michael Anderson, Magnus Bradley, Erik Peterson. Missing from photo: Daniel Gear. Photo: Chris Cope/Shetnews.THE REVELLERS are sitting in a practice room in Wethersta, just outside of Brae. Everyone’s just finished a hard day of work, and the atmosphere is most definitely laid-back, writes Chris Cope.

Guitarist and vocalist Magnus Bradley chomps on a bag of seeds, while bassist Adam Priest is chilling out in his work clothes. Considering what’s about to come next weekend, it truly feels like the calm before the storm.

Arts, crafts and homebakes galore at FestiYell

A sand-sculpting competition at West Sandwick beach was one of a host of events held during the inaugural FestiYell. Photo: Charlie Inkster.THE INAUGURAL FestiYell saw some of the best weather that Shetland can offer in September and many people have had a tremendous weekend enjoying the chance to see what Yell has to offer, writes Linsey Nisbet.

The event has been in the planning for six months, and much hard work and enthusiasm produced a well-organised sequence of events for everyone to enjoy. Very welcome is the use that has been made of each area of Yell, with events taking place in most of the island’s communities.

Isles' classical pianist to take centre stage

One of the isles' most talented musical sons, Neil Georgeson, is at the heart of Shetland Arts' classical season this winter.ISLAND Home is the appropriate theme of the first concert of Shetland Arts’ 2016-17 classical season, writes Alex Garrick-Wright, as Shetland pianist Neil Georgeson returns home to the isles for an intimate piano recital.

Screenplay: 10 more years, please!

The main cinema was packed for the screening of the Home Made film entries at this year's Screenplay. Photo: Dale SmithBEFORE the tenth annual Screenplay Film Festival opened, the organisers said they had tried to make this year the biggest yet, writes Alex Garrick-Wright. Now, as the festivities draw to a close after a full week of screenings, guests, Q&As and events, it’s safe to say they managed just that.

Gulf states & China beckon for Hjaltibonhoga

The Shetland fiddlers performing beneath the shadow of Edinburgh Castle at this year's tattoo. Photo: Martin Scott Powell / The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.AS THEIR third four-week stint in Edinburgh for the Royal Military Tattoo comes to a conclusion this week, life for the Hjaltibonhoga fiddlers continues to sprout wings.

In addition to having their first album in the can and set for release shortly, the fiddle collective – spearheaded by Margaret Robertson – are set to pen a contract tying them to the Edinburgh tattoo for the next decade, with trips to the Gulf in 2018 and China in 2020 set to follow.

Kevin launches fiddle DVD and tune book

One of Shetland's leading fiddle players, Kevin Henderson, is back home and launched a new tuition DVD and tune book. Photo: Neil Riddell/ShetnewsONE OF the isles’ leading fiddle exponents, Kevin Henderson, has launched a new DVD enabling people to learn the instrument in the distinctive Shetland style.

Kevin, who made his name in various guises as a member of Fiddlers’ Bid, Session A9, Boys of the Lough and more recently the Nordic Fiddlers’ Bloc, launched the 100-minute tuition DVD at Mareel on Sunday.

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.