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News round-up / Baltasound school wins sport award, police kept busy in Lerwick, choral concerts, LPA retirements

Pupils at Baltasound Junior High School celebrate being the first school in Shetland to receive a Gold School Sport Award. Photo: SIC

BALTASOUND High School has become the first secondary school in Shetland to receive a gold school sport award for delivering physical education and extra-curricular sport.

The Lottery-funded sportscotland award is a national initiative that is designed to encourage schools to evaluate and continuously improve PE and sport delivered.

Over the past school year, pupils selected as young ambassadors and the school sport committee have brought pupils, teachers and their active schools co-ordinator together to plan and develop PE and school sport projects.

A “house cup” has also been introduced, with pupils collecting points for their house team by representing their school at inter-school competitions, attending lunchtime clubs and intra-house competitions.

Headteacher Paul Thomson said: “This is a fantastic achievement and one the pupils and staff at Baltasound JHS should be immensely proud of. 

“There’s a variety of sporting opportunities through PE and extracurricular activities, as well as the chance to progress to representing their school and the Unst community.”


POLICE received reports of over 240 incidents in Lerwick in November, the town’s community council heard on Tuesday.

PC Daniel Drummond told members of the community council that six of these were assaults, with one hate crime. There were five incidences of shoplifting, three vandalisms, four breaches of the peace reports and four thefts. There were also one drink driver reported in addition to 11 road traffic offences and one speeding incident.

Drummond also reassured members that the police have been gathering intelligence on possible rogue traders who have been spotted in the isles recently.

The officer also highlighted Police Scotland’s ongoing winter driving safety campaign.


THE NEWLY named Shetland Community Choir is due to hold two Christmas concerts at the Shetland Museum and Archives on 14 December.

The concert is called the Magic of Christmas and will feature choral arrangements of popular festive songs, as well as carols.

Entry is free but there will be an opportunity to make a donation to Shetland Food Bank. There will be one concert at midday and one at 2pm.

Shetland Community Choir was formerly called the Shetland Choral Society, with the committee feeling the name change reflected the “current ethos of the choir, which welcomes new members and is open without audition to anyone in the community”.

In January the choir will welcome a new conductor Mark Benheim.


TWO long-serving members of staff at Lerwick Port Authority (LPA) have recently retired.

John Anderson joined the authority in 1976 as a general duties operative, working up to a superintendent. In his 43 years with the port, he looked after the LPA’s customers, operations and land estate.

John McMeechan, who started his career with the authority as a port controller in June 1993, also recently retired. He developed port control systems which logged over 142,069 vessel arrivals during that time.

His personal interest in shipping has seen the creation of a database of war-time records which will be preserved by the authority.

Chief executive Calum Grains said: “Both John Anderson and John McMeechan have been mainstays of our shore operations and port control teams dealing first hand with our tenants and customers in the day to day running of the port.

“The board and staff acknowledge their tremendous contributions over the years and wish both a very long and happy retirement.”