SIC - Orkney & Shetland valuation joint board

Community / Premiere of newly digitised old films to shine a light on life in the 50s and 60s

The launch of the Aith Lifeboat. Filmed by Derek and John Irvine, and donated by Isobel Irvine.

A COLLECTION of newly digitised films showcasing local life in the 1950s and 60s is to be premiered in a free online event from the Shetland Film Archive.

Shetland On Film will present archive clips alongside specially recorded introductions from heritage experts and the families who donated the original material.

The silent films will be shown with a soundtrack, including tracks by local band Herkja.

Local writer and tourist guide Laurie Pottinger will provide an overview of Shetland’s herring industry before the screening of a 1950s era documentary (filmed by James Thomason and donated by Janie Thomason) which takes viewers back to the herring boom.

Linda Nicholson, a tourist guide based in Sandwick, provides an introduction to the 1960 Sandwick Regatta from Sandsayre Pier, providing a link between past and present.

Isobel Irvine, meanwhile, introduces a collection of films produced by her father Derek and uncle John, a teacher based in Edinburgh who would take groups of school children to the isles for summer holidays.

This collection also includes footage of the Queen and Prince Philip visiting Shetland in 1960.

Shetland Film Archive chairperson Greg McCarron said: “We’re really excited to share this new material with the people of Shetland and beyond.

“Shetland On Film will allow people to access moving image heritage from home, which we hope will bring back happy memories and inspire conversations about the past.”

Shetland on Film will be premiered on the Shetland Film Archive Facebook page and YouTube channel at 7pm on Thursday 13 May, and it will be available for two weeks.

The project supported by Film Hub Scotland, part of the BFI’s Film Audience Network, and funded by Screen Scotland and Lottery funding from the BFI.