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Also in the news / Unst beacon, Aith gala, fiddle week and more…

Photo: Desley Stickle

UNST held its own D-Day event on Thursday night as crowds gathered to mark its 80th anniversary.

Part of the event involved a beacon being lit. Elsewhere there was a wreath laying ceremony at the war memorial in Lerwick.

MORE than £7,000 was raised for the RNLI thanks to the annual Aith gala day.

One of the local fundraising volunteers, Catherine Henry, has also been awarded an RNLI medal to mark 20 years of fundraising service.

“I’m so proud to be a part of such a special and supportive community, and although there’s plenty of folk that deserves medals more than me, it’s very special to be recognised and I can’t stop smiling,” she said.

“I have very close family ties to the Aith lifeboat, and the Lifeboat Gala day is a highlight of the year – made even more memorable this year by being awarded my RNLI medal.”

This year’s gala day took place on 1 June and involved stalls, games, food and entertainment, as well as tours of Aith’s Severn class RNLI lifeboat Charles Lidbury and the local station.

Meanwhile a gala day for the Lerwick lifeboat is being held at the town’s Victoria Pier on Saturday (8 June) from 11am to 4pm.

THE UPCOMING Shetland Fiddle Week has announced its line-up of public concerts.

The first event will take place at Da Big Kirk in Lerwick on Tuesday 6 August, with performances from Ross Couper, Andrew Gifford, Kirsten Hendry, Jenna Reid and the Shetland Fiddlers’ Society.

On Wednesday 7 August, Sandwick’s Carnegie Hall will host an evening exploring the skill and diversity of local fiddlers.

Performers include Gemma Donald & Bryan Gear with Jack Robertson and Callum Nicolson, Claire White & Robbie Leask, George Spence & Friends and Shetland’s Young Fiddler of the Year 2024 Kristie Williamson.

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The finale concert will take place at Quarff Public Hall on Friday 9 August, featuring Iain Williamson & Family, Shetland Fiddle Week students and Skelburn. The evening and the week will round off with a traditional dance led by Peter Wood Band.

Concert tickets will go on sale online at 2pm on Saturday (8 June) online here.

THE WELCOME Inn in Mossbank has been named the Shetland winner of the National Pub and Bar Awards for a second year in a row.

There are a total of 94 regional winners, with all due to be invited to the grand finals on 26 June in London.

STUDENTS at the Anderson High School in Lerwick will host 46 overseas visitors later this month from partner schools involved with the Global Classroom initiative.

Global Classroom is an international partnership that first began over 20 years ago, involving schools in the UK, South Africa, USA, Germany, Czech Republic, Sweden, Spain and Australia.

An underlying message at the heart of its annual conference is that students can “learn locally but think globally” and allows participants to experience international cooperation, as well as different cultures and education systems.

The conference has been held online for the last three years due to the pandemic and associated travel restrictions, and cost of living pressures.

This year’s conference, being held in Shetland from 16 to 23 June, marks a return to a fully in-person conference again.

Visiting students, all aged 16-18, will be hosted by local families in Shetland, with AHS students taking the lead on organising the conference. The Global Classroom Conference was last hosted in Shetland in 2015.

English teacher Sarah Burgess, who is part of the organising group, said: “There’s endless benefits to being part of the Global Classroom and our own students will not only develop their own organisational skills, but also make lifelong friendships. We’re looking forward to welcoming visitors to our beautiful island and showing them the best that Shetland has to offer.”

Chairman of the SIC’s education and families committee Davie Sandison added that “we’ve always been an outward looking community who welcomes visitors and the Global Classroom is an excellent opportunity for young Shetlanders to make international connections”.

Photo: Austin Taylor

WORK is progressing well on refurbished council houses at Sandveien in Lerwick, as pictured above.

Eight houses in the scheme were demolished and redeveloped by DITT over the last year-plus.

HIGHLANDS and Islands businesses are being encouraged to apply for 31 contracts for maintenance work at airports across the region, including Sumburgh.

The work will be available for tender between June and October 2024.

The contracts, with values between £50,000 and £15 million, include a range of services to support Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL) across its network.

Some of the jobs already up for tender include mechanical, electrical and plumbing maintenance and facilities management.

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