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Hillswick jeweller’s workshop flooded

A fire engine was called out to pump water from the workshop and yard.

A NORTH Mainland handmade jeweller is counting the cost of sizeable flood damage to her workshop following heavy rainfall on Wednesday.

Esme Wilcock, who runs Jewellery Made by Shetland from the Hillswick workshop she shares with her father, blacksmith Bruce Wilcock, said she was “gutted” after floodwater of about two and a half feet gushed in.

“The water came down off the hill very fast, bringing a lot of silt with it, and the drains couldn’t cope,” she told Shetland News. “The yard and workshop went from being clear to flooded in about half an hour.”

A fire engine from Brae was called out at around 11.30am and used a small pump to drain the water away, leaving the scene shortly after 1.15pm having ensured the area was safe.

Esme said she wanted to thank everyone who had helped including the fire crew.

“The neighbours were great and all mucked in helping sweep the rest of the water out, and cleared the silt off the road – we are lucky to have them,” she said.

She won’t know the full extent of the damage until the workshop is fully dried out, and the buildings appear to be unscathed, but she had some pieces of jewellery sitting out ready to be polished and “they have been lost”.

“I have dehumidifiers in now trying to dry it all out and I am hoping I can get back in working as soon as possible as it’s my livelihood,” Esme added.

Her handmade business uses glass, shells and pottery collected from Hillswick beach and Shetland sand to cast bespoke pieces of silver and gold jewellery.

Esme’s father keeps his power hammers in the workshop and they are unsure of the damage to it, but the fan for his furnace was submerged by water so “it could be a while before the forge is lit” again.

The damage inside the workshop.