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Bus shelter joins online greats

Bobby's bus shelter in Baltasound.

THE WEBSITE promoting one of Shetland’s most visited tourist attraction is to take its place in internet history after being commended as “essential reading for future generations”.

The Unst Bus Shelter started as a bit of fun 12 years ago when 15 year old school boy Bobby Macauley began furnishing his local bus stop at the Hamar junction, near Baltasound.

The idea caught on and within months the bus shelter not only sported the most sophisticated of decorations, but also had its own website at www.unstbusshelter.shetland.co.uk generating a flurry of national and international news coverage.

As national libraries gain the power to archive the entire UK web for future generations, a list of 100 websites regarded as essential reading have been published by curators.

The story “of a humble bus shelter on a remote Scottish island” is one of these selected few, because it stands as an example of how the internet has helped turn the bus stop into tourist attraction.

Others on the list are the household names of Facebook, Twitter and Amazon, but also more illustrious sites such as the Old Baillie online, the Anarchist Federation, satire site Daily Mash and Shit London, a site that looks at the not so glamorous sides of the capital.

Unst Community Council chairman Lowrie Robertson said the fact that the bus shelter had never been vandalised was a reflection of the quality of the Unst community.

In one year the bus shelter’s visitor book was signed by people from 45 different countries, he said.

“We are delighted for anything that brings a little bit of nice publicity to our island. When tour busses come to the island, the Unst bus shelter is the one essential stop,” he said.