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Community / ‘It’s great to be back’ – Voe Show returns after three years

All photos: Sarah Cooper/Shetland News

DIRECTOR and chairman of the Voe Agricultural Society Martyn Nicolson said it was “great to be back” as the Voe Show returned on Saturday with a family-friendly day followed by the First Foot Soldiers at night.

Judging took place in the morning, with plenty of entries scooping up top prizes across a range of categories, including livestock, pets, flowers and plants, photography, arts and crafts, and knitwear.

Nicolson said he was “over the moon” with the turnout of the event, which was last held in 2019 and cancelled the last two years due to the Covid pandemic.

It also marks the welcome return of agricultural shows in Shetland following their Covid absence.

Martyn Nicolson, director and chairman.

Nicolson added: “It’s absolutely fantastic to see everyone here. It was quite uncertain; we were worried that it would be too soon, and people wouldn’t appreciate it yet.

“But we decided to put it on, and it’s been super. It’s a pleasure to see everyone enjoying the day.”

He added that entry numbers for some categories were lower than in previous years, but hoped this would recover.

Nicolson said: “The quality of entries has been super, specifically the arts and crafts and knitwear has been incredible.

“It’s great to see people still interested in putting entries in.” 

Trish Robertson was “absolutely ecstatic” that her eight-year-old Shetland sheepdog scooped up two prizes, one for Best Looked After Pet, in the adults class, and the first Best Shetland Sheepdog.

Trish Robertson with Fjana.

She said: “I’m ecstatically happy about it, she’s in it every year. I love the Voe Show. I always come here.”

Ten-year-old Ava Archer attended with her dog Ruby, an eight-year-old ex-racer greyhound from Ireland who won first place for one of the children’s pet prizes.

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There was a tent full of stalls from local organisations, crafters, and home bakes, which included live pottery demonstrations and the opportunity for attendees to try it themselves.

Kevin Morris was a student of well-known Shetland ceramics designer Bill Brown and has come up to his pottery studio several times in recent months to prepare the space for artist residencies.

He is based in Aberdeen, and they often get Shetlanders down to complete courses in his studio.

“I made some pieces of work called ‘Remembering Bill’ and gave them to his daughters. We got talking about keeping Bill’s work alive and keeping the studio he created going.

Ava Archer with her dog Ruby.

“I thought coming to the Voe Show would be an excellent way to promote the work and meet people. I like to think Bill would have done it too, and it’s been great, as people who knew Bill have been telling me all these stories about him.”

Morris said: “It’s just a different way of life up here, and it’s been great to be part of the local community.”

Robert Anderson was enjoying the festivities and said: “It’s so good to be here, it’s like being back to normality and we’re getting to see folk we haven’t seen for ages.”

Local bands and music entertained the crowd throughout the day, with a mixture of rock and fiddle music.

Nicolson stated that in the build-up they had been concerned about not attracting a high number of needed volunteers and said: “I was frightened we wouldn’t get a good number of volunteers, but it’s not been the case at all.

“We’ve had a lot of new faces volunteering and it’s been a good crowd.”

The day is followed by a show from local band First Foot Soldiers at the Voe Hall.

 

Kevin Morris showing off his pottery skills.

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