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Also in the news / Notebook donation, orca watch and more…

Shetland archivist Brian Smith (middle) with members of the Shetland Family History Society: Front row, left to right: Susan Cooper, SFHS chair, and Joan Robertson, vice-chair. Back row: Beth Fullerton, Jasmine Moncrieff and Alan Beattie

SHETLAND Amenity Trust has acquired a significant 19th century notebook for the local archives, thanks to support from the Shetland Family History Society (SFHS).

Trustees at the SFHS decided to make a donation to the Shetland Archives, recognising the assistance and close working relationship between the two bodies since the society relocated to the trust’s premises at Garthspool in 2018.

With the donation the archives has acquired a small notebook belonging to Gilbert Goudie, a notable figure in Shetland’s history.

Born in Dunrossness in 1843, Goudie’s legacy as an antiquary and amateur archaeologist resonates strongly within Shetland.

Although he spent most of his life in Edinburgh, Goudie remained deeply connected to Shetland’s history and culture throughout his life.

The notebook, containing some of Goudie’s notes about Shetland in the past, was an item that the Shetland Archives had coveted but due to financial constraints it was not able to secure it.

Shetland archivist Brian Smith said: “We already hold a fine collection of Gilbert Goudie’s papers, and this notebook, with material by him about Shetland, is a fine addition to it.

“We are very grateful indeed to Shetland Family History Society for helping us to buy it. We value our connection with the Society and its excellent office bearers.”

A TEN-day Orca Watch event is set to take place soon across Caithness and North Sutherland, Orkney and Shetland.

It brings together volunteers, tourists and citizen scientists to conduct land-watches and take boat trips to try to catch a glimpse of orcas, as well as dolphins, porpoises and other marine mammals.

The event, organised by the Sea Watch Foundation, will take place between 25 May and 2 June. More information can be found here.

The event aims to increase public awareness of how and when orcas utilise waters in these areas during the summer months and highlight the need for conservation, protection and continued research into the status, distribution and abundance of orca around the UK.

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BK Marine’s Foula boat New Advance.

LOCAL company BK Marine has again been awarded the contract to run the ferry service to Foula by Shetland Islands Council.

The Public Contracts Scotland website says that two tenders were received for the contract, which will run over the next three years.

THE SCALLOWAY Museum is seeking help in finding more information about an artefact discovered in its stores.

The object is a three-legged earthenware pot filled with a viscous, tarry substance and an unknown object, possibly made of leather.

The pot’s underside is sea-worn with worm casts evident, indicating that it has come from the sea – possibly dredged up.

This item was left at the museum without a note stating where it came from or who donated it, and we would be very keen to trace the donor. It was deposited sometime before 2018.

Given its unusual design and contents, it has now been passed to researchers based at the University of Tübingen in Germany and the German Maritime Museum in Bremerhaven.

Professor Dr Natascha Mehler, a specialist in Mediaeval archaeology said the item “is an extremely exciting object and we are using a range of different methods to analyse its contents and function”.

Anyone with information about the object is asked to contact museum curator Laurie Goodlad at or by phone on 07525772957.

LOGANAIR has marked one year operating its service from Shetland to Heathrow Airport.

The airline secured additional slots at Heathrow in 2023, with a service running between the London Airport to Shetland via Dundee.

Last week marked one year since those flights took to the skies for the first time.

Loganair’s chief commercial officer Luke Lovegrove travelled to the airport last week to meet with Heathrow Airport’s chief customer officer Ross Baker, commemorating the occasion with a special cake made to celebrate the anniversary.

MORE than 1,000 sheep farming businesses in Scotland are receiving their share of around £6.6 million.

Ninety seven per cent of the eligible applications to the Scottish Upland Sheep Support Scheme (SUSSS) 2023 have now been processed for payment.

The payments provide additional support, on top of the Basic Payment Scheme, to sheep producers who rely on poorer quality rough grazing land.

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