Community / A ‘little bit of treasure’ saved from the dump as old local photos discovered in bags of unwanted slides

Paul Moar spent eight hours sifting through the slides to look for Shetland pictures

All photos were taken by Nick Dymond. Above is the famous walrus spotted in Gutcher in 1981.

HUNDREDS of slides featuring old photos of Shetland have been saved from being dumped – with hopes that they might be donated to the museum’s picture archive.

Paul Moar, who works at the Gremista Waste Management Facility in Lerwick, was taken aback when Nick Dymond popped in the other week with two bags containing around 5,000 slides.

Dymond asked where would be best to dispose of them – a collection of slides of pictures taken when out and about on his travels around the world, and which were just gathering dust.

The keen nature lover, who was a former RSPB warden for Fetlar as well as a writer of a book on Fair Isle birds, was looking to declutter.

“All those slides have been sitting in boxes for the last 30 years,” he said.

But with his interest piqued, Moar asked if there were any Shetland slides among them.

They were mixed among the rest, though, making it a hard job to track them down.


Moar decided to take on the task, spending around eight hours sifting through them. In total he found around 200 or 300 Shetland photos.

They include a number of numerous old pictures of Fair Isle, where Dymond worked as an assistant warden at the bird observatory in 1966, a walrus at Gutcher and a shot of the old P&O boat St. Clair.

There are also appears to be an image of famous birder Bill Oddie in Shetland, crofters at work and also folk at sea.

Moar said he also found a number of landscape photos of Shetland, as well as images of birdlife and flowers.

Dymond, 77, said the most of the photos of Shetland were probably taken from the early 1970s onwards.

“I suppose I was in the right place at the right time,” Moar said.

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“I thought to myself that I’d have a little look through them and if I found anything worth keeping then I’d get in touch with the photographer and ask for his permission to keep them with a view to donating them to the Shetland Museum photo archive.”

With the help of Facebook Moar was able to track Dymond down to ask for his permission to use the pictures.

After managing to digitise some of the photos, he posted a collection online in a Shetland memories Facebook group, with the photos getting a huge response.

“I’m a little overwhelmed with the reaction but I’m so glad we were able to save a little bit of treasure,” Moar said.

“I’d like to thank Nick for coming into my office that day and for being so nice about it all.”

A selection of some more of the photos can be found below. Please don’t hesitate getting in touch with us via e-mail news@shetnews.co.uk with names of those seen in the photos, as well as locations and occasion. 

Fair Isle.
The P&O ferry St Clair.
Fair Isle.
Fair Isle
Fair Isle from the air.
Spiggie Loch.
Bill Oddie (second from left) on a visit to Shetland.

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