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Marine / Replica boat cradle aims to mark Shetland Bus heritage

The Prince Olav slipway in Scalloway. Photo: Hanc1, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

A REPLICA wartime boat cradle is being planned for a Scalloway slipway to honour the Shetland Bus operation.

The proposal is to replace the current steel cradle, which was built in the 1970s and is no longer in use and corroding, with a replica of the one which was used there during the Second World War.

That cradle, built in 1942 from wood, was used as part of the covert operation to ferry people to Britain from Nazi-occupied Norway.

Cradles are used to take boats ashore for repair.

The location in question is the Prince Olav slipway, which is within the grounds of the Malakoff shipyard.

The current cradle has no historical significance or relevance to the slipway or the original cradle.

The plans are being progressed by the Shetland Bus Friendship Society.

The society, the Royal Norwegian Navy, the Kommune of Øygarden (near Bergen) and other parties in Norway are proposing to fund the project.

Planning documents said it will “capture a unique moment in the history of Shetland and Norway, and will inform future generations of the endeavours of a wartime generation who did whatever was necessary to defend freedom”.

“There are very few people remaining who remember the wartime cradle, and their help is essential to ensure that an accurate replica can be built,” it added.

There is also a hope it will add to Scalloway’s waterfront as a visitor attraction and also an educational tool.