Thursday, April 29, 2010

An almost unnoticed piece of Shetland history

Here are some pics of the first groundbreaking for the new TOTAL Gas Plant which will service the Laggan-Tormore gas fields to the west of Shetland. This is the start of construction for the access road that will head up and round the back of Sullom Voe Terminal (SVT) to the site of the new plant immediately north of SVT. I say an almost unnoticed piece of Shetland history as there did not appear to be any media at the site and nobody appears to have reported the work commencing on the local news (apart from TOTAL themselves on their website, but perhaps the breaking of the Toft ro-ro ramp & the subsequent chaos at Vidlin was more exciting news - it was for those in Vidlin apparently) - but the TOTAL project did start on a cold and damp 29th April 2010.

About the project - from the Laggan-Tormore website
The area of Atlantic Ocean to the West of Shetland on the edge of the continental shelf, is characterised by extreme environmental conditions such as strong winds, huge waves, very low temperatures and significant water depths. Combined with the lack of established natural gas infrastructure, this makes the establishment of gas production facilities in the area extremely challenging. Despite these challenges, TOTAL E&P UK Ltd has established a significant portfolio of exploration and development interests in the West of Shetland area.

Our main field in the area is Laggan, which became a formal project following the drilling of a well in 2004. It is a medium-sized gas field, which lies in 600 metres of water, 125km north-west of the Shetland Islands. Building on Laggan as a core area in the West of Shetland region, the Tormore well was drilled in 2007 to discover a small to medium sized gas field, also in 600 metres of water, 16km south-west of Laggan.

After extensive development engineering studies, the Laggan-Tormore Project received full sanction in March 2010. This could lead to the first production of gas from this challenging region by 2014.

Lerwick Up Helly Shields

Lerwick UHA shields - from the Islesburgh Centre and the Clickimin.

2010 - Jarl Rae Simpson - Sigurd 'Snake-Eye" Ragnarsson'.

2009 - Jarl Stephen Mouat - 'Ottar fra Hålogaland'

2008 - Jarl Roy Leask - 'Kol Kalison'.

2007 - Jarl Graham Nicolson - 'Gunnar Egilsson'.

2006 - Jarl Mark Manson - 'Einar of Gullberuvik'.

2005 - Jarl Peter Fraser - 'Sigurd o' Gord'.

2004 - Jarl Stanley Manson - 'Naddod of Faroe'

In addition this Galley and Jarl picture from the 1923 Lerwick UHA hangs on the wall at the top of the stairs at Islesburgh.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Gloup Disaster Memorial

The Gloup Disaster Memorial is a statue of a woman looking out to sea with a child held in her arms. On the 20th July 1881 this depicted the scene all along the coast at Gloup, and other coastal communities in Shetland. Women waited, and hoped that their husbands and children would return. But sadly many did not. The Gloup Disaster was perhaps the beginning of the end for the Haaf Fishing. This could have been the point where it was realised that going so far to sea in relatively small boats, was just too big a risk, and cost in terms of lives lost.

The word ‘haaf’ is derived from the Norse word ‘hav’, meaning open sea. This was certainly the case with the Shetland ‘Far Haaf’ fishing. The haaf fishing was carried out from the mid 18th century, until the end of the 19th century, and the crew of a Sixareen could be as much as 50 miles from home when they set their fishing lines. The Sixareen was an open 6 oared boat with a square sail. For stability the boats set out on fishing trips with a large amount of stone ballast on board, which was dumped as fish was caught to replace it.

The sixareen crews, forced by the fear and burden of debt, were under constant pressure from the Lairds to fish, and often this pressure meant that a crew would take a chance and stay at sea beyond the point where the weather conditions dictated that it was unsafe. The Haaf season traditionally started on the 12th May, although the crews would have spent some time beforehand tarring the boats, preparing their equipment, and ensuring that the lodges they would spend their time ashore in, were fit for habitation. Weather permitting a crew made 2 trips each week, Monday to Wednesday, and Thursday to Saturday, in which time the crew, baited and set up to 100 lines for Ling, Tusk, and Cod.

The day of 20th July 1881, started as what is referred to as a "day atween wadders", there had been strong winds for days and the boats had been kept ashore, but the morning of the 20th dawned clear with light winds, and although there was still a heavy sea running, the men were keen to get to sea. Their departure was delayed for the funeral of Jeemie Henry, skipper of the sixareen "Elizabeth", who had died of "Bool Cramp", the name given then to acute apendicitis. Going over 40 miles to the fishing grounds, using simple landmarks for navigation, the boats had no idea of what was to happen. The crews were happy that the bad weather was over. If only they could have had the benefit of modern forecasts. A fast moving depression which had formed to the west near Iceland rushed in with Hurricane force winds. The crews were taken by surprise, and made every effort to reach shore, but for some crews that was impossible. Some of the boats which made shore were to report seeing boats overturned, and with no sign of life, there was nothing they could do, they had to consider the survival of their own crew. The heroism of the skippers who managed to reach shore in that storm should never be forgotten.

Only the bodies of seven men were found, 36 of the men were from Gloup. The 58 drowned haaf fishermen left behind 34 widows and 85 orphans.

The landing place at Gloup Voe.

Looking out of Gloup Voe.

Inner Gloup Voe.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Ward of Bressay Transmitters

The Ward of Bressay rises to a height of 226m and is topped by two two steel lattice transmission towers both over 70m high. These broadcast TV, radio and mobile phone transmissions, either directly or through relay stations to the whole of Shetland. BBC Television started transmitting from there on April 21st 1964. There is a track up to the transmitters which is tarmac for the steep highest part up to the top but is a dirt track at lower levels. 

Monday, April 19, 2010

2010 Galley Heads from Shetland UHA's

After a great deal of effort I have finally managed to get a photo of the Galley Heads from all 10 of the UHA's. Moira Stevenson kindly supplied the Nesting Galley photo. These are just the Galley Heads but its interesting to compare them. Some of the country UHA's use two Galleys - a 'good' galley thats kept from year to year and a 'burning' galley of a much simpler design, or the galley head is removed and a simple galley head replacement is fitted - Norwick, Uyeasound, Delting and Bressay do this. Cullivoe, Northmavine, Nesting & Girlsta, Scalloway, South Mainland and Lerwick build a new Galley each year.

Lerwick - Avie Jane

Northmavine - Baresark

Cullivoe - Maisie June

South Mainland - Skidbladnir

Uyeasound - Engistou

Norwick - Farfarer

Delting - Elka

Nesting and Girlsta - Vilhjalmr

Scalloway - Hame Lea

Bressay - BryniJen

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bressay Up Helly Aa Jarl Squads - Part 2

Here are the rest of the Bressay Up Helly Aa Jarl Squad Photos.

1983 - Jarl Rune Tulloch (far right)
Squad (rear) - Raymond Tulloch, Neil Donald, Maurice Anderson, Graham Henderson, Magnus Shearer, Ray Tulloch, Bjarne Wain, Rune Tulloch. (front) - Lindsay Tulloch, Laurence Manson, Herbert Tulloch, Stewart Hunter, Nigel Williamson, George Birnie.

1984 - Jarl Neil Donald (back, on Galley, far left)
Squad (rear, on Galley) - Neil Donald, Edwin Gifford, Robert Henderson, Ryan Mustard. (front) - Graham Henderson, Laurence Gifford, Roy Tait, Laurence Manson, George Mustard, John Henderson, Roger Donald, Hamish Henderson, David Gardner, Ronald Henderson, Bert Henderson, Bobby Mustard, Douglas Scollay, Jimmie Burgess, Billy Clark.

1985 - Jarl Raymond Tulloch (front, far left)
Squad (rear) - Frank Miller, John Henderson, Theo Smith, Jim Shepherd, John Clark, Rune Tulloch, Brian Deyell. (middle, in Galley) - Grant Hunter, Lindsay Tulloch, Jed Westmoreland, ? ?, Stephen Tulloch, ? ?, Nigel Williamson. (front) - Raymond Tulloch, Keith Anderson, ? ?, John Leask, George Williamson, Irvin Black, Bertie Sutherland, Leonard Christie, Charlie Johnson, Stewart Hunter, George Priest.

1986 - Jarl Keith Anderson (front, white shield)
Squad (rear) - Harry Tulloch, Bruce Smith, Nigel Williamson, John Clark, Richard Birnie, Stewart Hunter, Raymond Tulloch. (front) - John Henderson, John Leask, Theo Smith, Keith Anderson, Grant Hunter.

1987 - Jarl Bert Henderson (front, centre)
Squad (rear) - George Birnie, Douglas Scollay, Colin Nicolson, Adam Gifford, Bob Smith. (middle) - Brian Deyell, Bobby Mustard, Billy Christie, Hamish Henderson, Neil Donald, George Mustard. (front) - ? ?, John Henderson, Bert Henderson, Brian Grey, ? ?, Ryan Mustard.

1988 - Jarl John Henderson (far right)
Squad - Colin Nicolson, Kenny Groat, ? ?, ? ?, Bert Henderson, Billy Christie, ? ?, ? ?, John Henderson. (front) - ? ?, Stephen Nicolson, Brian Grey.

1989 - Jarl - Nigel Williamson (front, far right)
Squad (rear) - Ewan Anderson, Bob Smith, John Clark, Peter Gifford, Ian Gifford, Adam Gifford, Brian Deyell, William John Tulloch, Richard Birnie, ? ?, Stewart Hunter, Raymond Tulloch. (front) - Keith Anderson, ? ?, Grant Hunter, George Williamson, ? ?, ? ?, Nigel Williamson.

1991 - Jarl Alastair Scollay (front, third from left)
Squad (back) - Adam Gifford, Albert Scollay, Maurice Scollay, Hamish Henderson, Roy Whitehead. (middle) - Alastair Johnson, Harry Tulloch, Tommy Hughson, Leonard Scollay, George Miller, Tammie Manson. (front) - Shona Thomson, Robert Henderson, Alastair Scollay, Jolene Scollay, Alan Scollay, John Scollay, Gary Thomson, Henry Manson, Leslie Thomson.

1993 - Jarl Billie Christie (centre, black tunic)
Squad (rear) - Adam Gifford, Jim Shepherd, Bob Smith. (middle) - Catriona Christie, Billy Christie, Clair Sutherland, Richard Birnie, Basil Leask. (front) - Joe Christie, Tommie Hughson, Frank Miller, Larry Fraser, ? ?, George Birnie.

1994 - Jarl Kenny Groat (front, far right)
Squad - Unknown.

1995 - Ex Jarls

1996 - Jarl Alan Scollay (front, far left)
Squad (rear) - Drew Thomson, John Scollay, James Tulloch, John Bremner, Robert Henderson, Ragner Riise. (middle) - Alan Scollay, Ryan Mustard, Brian Anderson, Alastair Ritchie, Torbjorn Riise, Albert Scollay, Douglas Scollay, Maurice Scollay, Alastair Scollay, George Miller. (front) - Lindsay Tulloch, Kevin Hughson, Nigel Williamson, Gus Tulloch, Gary Thomson, Leslie Thomson, Angus Thompson.

1997 - Jarl Kenneth Manson (middle, third from left)
Squad (rear) - Nigel Williamson, Neil Ryder, Theo Smith, ? Smith, Kevin Rognvaldsen. (middle) - Peter Manson, Brian Smith, Kenneth Manson, John Boxwell, Gregor Manson, Richard Birnie, George Birnie. (front) - James Tulloch, David Wood, Kyle Rognvaldsen, Robert Henderson, Basil Leask, Craig Wood.

1998 - Jarl John Scollay (front, centre)
Squad unknown.

1999 - Jarl Edwin Gifford (front centre)
Squad (rear) - ? ?, Laurence Gifford, ? ?, Stephen Anderson, Dodo Elphinstone, Harry Tulloch, Lol Anderson, Brian Anderson, Drew Thompson. (front) - ? ?, Michael Sinclair, ? ?, ? ?, ? ?, ? ?, Edwin Gifford, Lyle Tulloch, Ralph Tulloch, John Scollay.

2000 - Jarl Brian Anderson (front, far right)
Squad (rear) - Stephen Anderson, Dodo Elphinstone, Lol Anderson, Robert Harkness, Scott Anderson, Maurice Anderson, Ivar Black. (front) - Edwin Gifford, Robert Henderson, John Scollay, Brian Anderson.

2001 - Jarl Robert Harkness (far right)
Squad - Andy Duffus, Robert Johnson, Christopher Williamson, Ivar Black, Andrea Williamson, James Tulloch, Nadine Duffus, Neil Smith, ? ?, ? ?, ? ?, John Bremner, Robert Harkness.

2002 - Jarl Bryan Law (middle, third from left)
Squad (rear) - David Wood, Basil Leask, Bryan Law, Jim Shepherd, Frank Miller, Billy Christie, George Priest, Clive Cunningham, Tommy Hughson, Stewart Paton. (front) - Stewart Cunningham, Stephen Anderson, James Anderson, Adam Bigland.

2003 - Jarl Clark Paton (rear, on Galley)
Squad unknown.

2004 - Jarl Stephen Anderson (front, centre)
Squad unkown.

2005 - Jarl Ivar Black (front, centre)
Squad unkown.

2006 - Jarl Graham Forrest (centre, third from right)
Squad unknown.

2007 - Jarl Tam Rowley (front right)
Squad - Billy Clark, John Clark, Magnus Clark, Stewart Hunter, Liam Hunter, Arron Hunter, Seline Hnuter, Jed Westmoreland, Matthew Westmoreland, Theo Smith, Kevin Rognaldsen, Kyle Rognaldsen, Adam Gifford, Ian Gifford, Graham Forrest, Clark Paton, John Scott, Tavish Scott, Alistair Scott, Cameron Scott, David Leith, Ryan Jamieson, Trevor Scott, Allan Ho, Winston Ho, Kingsley Ho, James Tulloch, Frank Miller, Dieter Glaser, Kieran Glaser, Andy Duffus, Steve Laidlaw, James Johnston, Davie Gardner, Michael Gardner, Ritchie Gardner, Ian Johnson.