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Isles turn red, white and blue

Jubilee bannocks Pic. J Hosking

SHETLAND joined the rest of the country to celebrate the Queen’s diamond jubilee this week with
bonfires and parties held the length and breadth of the isles.

On Monday night around 200 people gathered at the Saxa Vord hill on Unst to light the only official beacon at 10.28pm to form part of the global celebration that culminated at Buckingham Palace in London.

Fires and parties were held throughout the isles from Fair Isle to Baltasound, Walls to Whalsay.

Five Unst residents who remember the Queen's coronation bonfire on top of Saxa Vord 59 years ago return for a repeat performance. From left: Willie Mouat, Minnie Mouat, Andrew Magnie Thomson, Edna Nisbet, Willie Henderson. Back then they were 6, 4, 16, 13 & 12. Pic. Ruth Grainger

Pat Burns, of the UnstFest committee who organised the official beacon on behalf of the community council, said their event started with an English pub theme at the Saxa Vord resort.

Musical entertainment was provided by resident jazz band NeWt in the isles this week preparing for the weekend jazz festival accompanied by local singer Jennifer McCormack.

“We had a jubilee quiz and raffle and then we were all bussed up the hill where the Uyeasound guizer jarl Tommy Strachan and the Norwick jarl John Inkster lit the official beacon. We had a huge bonfire and the local fire brigade coordinated a firework display,” Ms Burns said.

Lord Lieutenant Bobby Hunter dressed in full regalia for three “official” engagements in his role as the Queen’s representative on the isles.

On Saturday he opened the Shetland Classic Motor Show, on Sunday he attended a jubilee lunch date with uniformed youth groups at Sound public hall, and on Tuesday he delighted the 15 children at Nesting primary when he presented each with a commemorative coin.

Lord Lieutenant Bobby Hunter and all 15 Nesting primary pupils who gave up a day off school for the jubilee celebrations. Behind them is Philip Gifford's silver Volvo hot from the Classic Motor Show. The same car starred in Shetland's silver jubilee celebrations in 1977. Pic. Kate Coutts

Nesting head teacher Kate Coutts said every pupil had voluntarily given up their holiday to attend the school dressed in red, white and blue clothes to enjoy a red, white and blue and visit local old folk who were set a quiz on the queen and given jubilee sweeties.

Bobby Hunter said he had heard of at least eight community parties and fire around Shetland.

“I felt the local celebrations were much more than I imagined they would be. Lots of people got involved and I am delighted to see that,” he said.

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