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Community / Shetland turns out to celebrate busy early summer weekend

Entrance to the Peerie Jubilee Spree in Commercial Street. Photo: Jim Mullay

PEOPLE were spoilt for choice this weekend to go out socialising at a wide range of community events, including celebrations to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

There was a special event held in Aith to commemorate 100 years of Aith School, 50 years of the Aith Gala and 20 years of the West Mainland Leisure Centre earlier today (Saturday).

A special exhibition displaying the history of the Aith School was put on, including old class photographs, desks and clothing. Michael Spence, headteacher at Aith Junior High School for 10 years, advised the event was especially important for the community after the last two years of lockdown.

He said: “The school is at the heart of the community, and you can see that today, we take bairns aged three and they leave when they’re 16 so it means so much to people for them to come back and share their memories.”

June Johnson. Photo: Shetland News

June Johnson reminisced with her family about her time in Aith School, identifying herself in a class photo from 1962. She said: “The school represents the community magnificently, and they’ve put on a lovely show.” Her children and grandchildren have all attended Aith School and the Junior High.

There were also free sessions at the pool in the West Mainland Leisure Centre, a bouncy castle, and opportunities to go on the climbing wall.

At the RNLI Aith Lifeboat Station there was candyfloss, a coconut shy and a display of photographs commemorating the history of the Aith Gala that has been running for 50 years.

There’s usually a helicopter visit on the day, but that couldn’t happen this year because of Covid restrictions.

The event ends with a family dance in the Aith Hall with performances from the Peter Wood Band.

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Shetland Classic Motor Show

The 2022 Shetland Classic Motor Show was underway at the Clickimin Leisure Centre, with the largest display of classic vehicles Shetland has ever seen.

There were a range of motorcycles, classic cars, steam engines and push bikes at the event, featuring a Land Rover formerly owned by Eric Clapton, and a Bugatti from 1926.

Bill Barron with his 1926 Bugatti.

Bill Barron from Aberdeen brought the Bugatti up for the car show, after buying it ten years ago. The historic car formerly raced in Formula One in the United States. He displays the car in shows all over the UK. He said: “I’m not a racing driver myself, but I drive it whenever I can.”

A semi-diesel engine rescued from Leith Harbour whaling station in South Georgia was also on display for the first time since 1996. Dinks Jennings came across the engine when working on clean-up at the station in 1991 and brought it home with him. It’s still functioning and was built in 1920.

The Shetland Classic Motor Show continues tomorrow at Clickimin Leisure Complex.

Shetland News reporter Sarah Cooper in deep conversation over diesel engines with Dinks Jennings.

Jubilee Spree in Lerwick

Commercial Street was partially closed on Saturday for a party to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee. The event featured games, face painting, stalls, live music and a bar.

Town centre organisation Living Lerwick was delighted with the turnout to Saturday’s Peerie Jubilee Spree.

Bands such as Zdenka and the First Foot Soldiers played during the event run by Living Lerwick, which ran from 12pm to 9pm.

Emma Miller, leader of the Living Lerwick project management team, said the event had been busy, with a “constant crowd of folk” on the street. They started planning the event in January and were delighted with the turnout. She said the event was the perfect opportunity for Lerwick businesses to give something back to the community.

She said: “We’re celebrating the Jubilee weekend, but it’s also the perfect excuse for us to do an event in the summer after a really difficult couple of years. It’s a way for town centre businesses to say thank you to everyone for supporting them.”

Nicola Stove with the Royal flag given to her family during the Queen’s visit to Shetland to open the Sullom Voe Terminal 41 years ago.

The Lerwick Ladies Lifeboat Committee volunteered their time to provide sandwiches and home bakes and put on games for children. The pavement was covered in chalk drawings and there was even a paddling pool.

More than £2,700 raised from food and games at the spree was donated to the Lerwick Ladies Lifeboat Committee, and the Peerie Shop Café donated all their proceeds from Saturday too. The outside bar was operated by the Thule.

Additional stalls were in Toll Clock Shopping Centre, where exhibitors were selling handmade jewellery, crystals and socks. There was also a Royal flag on display, which was gifted to the Thomson family by the Queen on her visit to Shetland in 1981.

Nicola Stove BEM said her family were given the flag as they had naval connections and connected to the Order of the Eastern Star. She said the flag had been “living in a drawer” for the last 30 years, but now was the perfect time to show people.

Ships salute the Queen at 12 midday to mark the jubilee. Thanks to Jim Mullay for the video clip.

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