Thursday 18 April 2024
 5.6°C   SW Moderate Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Community / Museum happy to take slides saved from the dump

‘The way these photos have gone down a hit with the public is very much to do with nostalgia’, curator Ian Tait says

One of the images taken by Nick Dymond which were saved from the dump.

SLIDES featuring old photos of Shetland recently saved from being chucked out would be “very welcome” at the Shetland Museum and Archives, according to its curator Ian Tait.

Around two to three hundred slides of photos taken in Shetland a number of decades ago by 77-year-old Nick Dymond were given a second chance recently after being brought to the Gremista waste management facility in Lerwick for disposal.

The pictures were among two bags of around 5,000 slides and Paul Moar, who works there, spent roughly eight hours sifting them through to find the local images.

A number of them were digitised, put online and have subsequently received national – and global – attention after being featured by Shetland News.

Moar said one of the latest interviews he did about the slides was for respected publication the New York Times.

A tweet by this reporter about the original story has been seen by more than 1.7 million people on the social networking platform Twitter after being shared around, prompting discussions around preserving social history.

It was always Moar’s intention to put the slides to the museum and its photo archive with Dymond’s permission, and Tait said they would be welcome if offered for donation.

Museum curator Ian Tait. Photo: Shetland News

The collection of images include unstaged shots of every day life in the isles – including an emphasis on Fair Isle where Dymond worked as an assistant warden at the bird observatory – and the curator said it was this focus that has made them so popular.

“The way these photos have gone down a hit with the public is very much to do with nostalgia,” Tait said.

“They’re at the perfect age to show change, but not so old that the scenes are outwith the memory of most folk. Nostalgia is a powerful notion, revved-up by online discourse: a picture of someone clipping sheep in the 1930s doesn’t resonate like sheep clipping in the 1980s.

Become a supporter of Shetland News


“Considering the era the photos are from, they aren’t likely to contain anything unique, or even that rare, because cameras were commonplace. The real interest is the subject material Mr Dymond has captured.

“He had a great eye for everyday activity, on land and sea, in work and leisure, and all his photos go to making a more complete view of life here, just as oil era prosperity was shunting us away from local customs.

“If he’d concentrated on ‘special events’, made to be photographed, the pictures would’ve been of far less interest. Everyday is good, and a discovery like this is far from that.”

Moar, who initially put some of the photos on the Shared Shetland Memories Facebook page, said that he “never envisioned the interest it generated”.

Another image taken by Nick Dymond.

He has also been contacted by the directors of the Fair Isle Bird Observatory, who are looking for hi-res copies.

“One of the things that struck me most was how many people had a connection to the photos,” Moar said.

“Everything from a boat launch to where they spent their summer holidays as children.

“When I got permission from Nick to keep the photos I decided to gently drip them onto the Facebook page with about 15 per day for the next 5-6 days for people to enjoy and still the memories and discussion flowed.

“I got a message from someone saying these old photos had given them the nudge to dig out their old slides.

“The level of media interest was a peerie bit overwhelming but hopefully it’ll settle down now. I think I’ll stick to the quiet life!”

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.