Sunday, March 21, 2010

Camping Huts, Banded Agate & Johnnie Notion

Went to Stenness Beach (near Eshaness Lighthouse) to try & find some banded agate ( Stopped off at the Braewick Caravan & Camping establishment to photograph the coloured camping huts...

Finally found a piece of banded agate on the beach at Stenness.

On the way back had a look at Johnnie Notions' Camping Böd. This turning is just before the Braewick Cafe & Caravan Park (heading towards Eshaness). Follow the road to its end to find the Böd.

John Williamson, (circa 1730 - circa 1796), of Hamnavoe Eshaness, became known as Johnny Notions, perhaps because he was a man with ideas (notions) ahead of his time. He was an uneducated but self-taught local man who became known after developing a highly successful method of inoculation against smallpox in the late 18th century, similar to the Suttonian method practised in England (which he may have heard about). He is said to have spent years travelling around Shetland fighting the scourge, sometimes employed by landlords to treat their tenants. According to one observer he inoculated 3,000 people, and lost none.  His former home in Hamnavoe, Eshaness, now serves as one of Shetland's Camping Böds. The böd provides a "basic" comfort (beds, table, benches, candle light, shower and WC) but it is a place where to stay when walking the coastline of Eshaness.

This black wooden extension contains the kitchen, toilet & shower.
Johnnie Notions was buried in the Eshaness graveyard, about 2 miles north of the Böd. This is apparently his gravestone although the inscription is not easily readable. The monument above the stone is a Historic Scotland listed monument.
Just to the left of the grave is another large flat gravemarker with this plaque attached, describing an untimely end for Donald Robertson.

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