Letters / Thrill of flying boats

I well remember the thrill of seeing the mighty Sunderland flying boats of 201 Squadron from Milford Haven landing and taking off in Lerwick harbour during the 1950s.

My father was a stalwart of the local RAFA and several times we had one of the pilots staying with us when they arrived for Battle of Britain week, along with an RAF air sea rescue launch from Lossiemouth. As a small child smitten by all things aviation these guys seemed like demi-gods!

The official reason and justification for the flights was that they came to check the moorings. I remember being taken out to the aircraft when it was moored in the harbour and being awestruck by its size. Inside it was very spacious with sleeping bunks and a galley and the cockpit was massive with huge control wheels more like you would find on a boat.

There is one Sunderland preserved at the air museum at Duxford and I was privileged to be able to inspect the interior when I visited a few years ago. It brought back those childhood memories and reinforced my view of just what a huge and incredible aircraft this was.

Dennis Coutts produced a wonderful composite photograph of a Sunderland “on the step” on its take-off run in Lerwick harbour, superimposed with a fine shot of it passing overhead. Perhaps he could be persuaded to dig through his archives to find it and let it be published.

Roy Longmuir

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.