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Bikers in search of a new field

The annual Simmer Dim rally in Vidlin - Photo: ShetNews

SHETLAND’s annual midsummer bikers’ rally will not take place in Vidlin this summer.

Committee chairman Michael Leask said he hoped that the 2014 Simmer Dim Rally could relocate to Ollabery where the group is in discussion with the local hall committee.

He said the news that more than 300 bikers expected to attend the popular event would not be able to camp on the usual field opposite the Vidlin hall came “completely out of the blue”.

Bikers from across the UK attend the most northerly rally - Photo: ShetNews

Landowner Dennis Johnson had written to the committee saying he was unable to make the land available this year.

Leask said they were not given any specific reasons and expressed his hope that they could return to Vidlin in 2015.

“There is no dispute with the landowner. For personal reasons he is unable to give us the land this year, and we have to accept that,” he said.

It is only the second time in the 32 year history of the event that Vidlin will not host the UK’s most northerly bikers’ rally, which this year is planned to take place between the 19 and 22 June.

The event was forced to relocate to Hillswick in the mid-90s when Vidlin primary school was refurbished and school lessons were held in the hall.

The event was cancelled in 2001 during the foot and mouth epidemic.

“We need a hall nearby for the toilets and the kitchen. We provide a lot a food,” Leask said.

“Also, if it ever would come to the point that the weather was so bad and so windy that the marquee would have to be taken down for safety reasons, then of course we would have the hall as a back-up.”

Leask said local shop owner John Herculson had tried to accommodate the bikers on his land nearby, but it turned out to be too uneven to erect a 100 by 40 foot marquee.

“We will learn early next week if we can go to Ollaberry. If we can’t we will have to find somebody with land to help us put. We are not going to cancel it, there will be a Simmer Dim rally of some description somewhere,” he vowed.