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Community / Culture and heritage buildings to open doors next month

The Old Haa in Yell.

THIS year’s Doors Open Days will provide both in-person and virtual access to some of Shetland’s culture and heritage buildings and sites.

The national festival, which was held online last year, will take place in Shetland across the weekend of 25 and 26 September.

Arts organisation Gaada will open its doors at Da Auld Methodist Kirk in Bridge End, Burra on both days between 10am and 4pm.

Visitors will have a chance to look around the visual arts studio, to try out letterpress postcard printing, browse the zine library and catch the latest exhibition in Gaada’s outdoor exhibition space.

In Burravoe, Yell the Old Haa Museum will be open between 11am and 4pm on the Saturday and 2pm and 5pm on the Sunday.

A merchant’s house built for Robert Tyrie in 1672, the unique building was repurposed as a museum in 1984.

Visitors can enjoy access to all displays, including a new sound archive in addition to digitised photos available to listen to and browse in the Natural History room.

Tours will be taking place in Mareel in Lerwick during the weekend, giving people a chance to get a behind the scenes look at what it takes to stage concerts and films.

Meanwhile two Commonwealth War Graves tours will be taking place on the Saturday at 12pm and 2pm at the Lerwick New Cemetery.

Led by historian and educator Jon Sandison, visitors will learn about the history of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and about the heroic actions and self-sacrifice of some of the casualties buried in the cemetery.

The tours can be booked here.

A video will also be shared from the Shetland Family History Society which was made earlier this year for members who could not visit due to Covid restrictions.

Shetland regional coordinator for Doors Open Days Graham Webster said: “It’s been a difficult year for venues and organisations across Shetland.

“Not only is Doors Open Days a chance to allow people to access the built heritage and history on their doorstep for free as regulations lift, but it also allows them to see how they can get involved with organisations.

“Many venues have been rightly cautious about allowing people back into their spaces, and I hope 2021’s programme fuels interest in a larger programme for 2022.”