Category: Culture

Intergenerational working

In our April issue of Shetland Life, we feature a piece on intergenerational working and the Inspiring Purpose Project which saw Shetland scoop the top prize at an awards ceremony in Edinburgh last year. The full feature is available in the April issue (out now). The following are the stories written about the servicemen who were selected and researched as part of this fascinating project.

We have also included a piece from the Shetland Life archive which looks at the story of ‘A Shetlander who influenced the course of World War One’ (Shetland Life, August 1987).

We hope you enjoy these stories as much as we did and please give them a share on Facebook!

Insipring Purpose Stories

Christian Tait & Aimee Williams

Morag Nicolson & Vaila Thompson

Pat Christie & Elise Rendall

Sonia & James Inkster

A Shetlander who influenced the course of World War One

Magnus Nicolson Story

The Magic Toolbox

Jane Cockayne shares with Shetland Life her short-story, The Magic Toolbox which is aimed at helping children deal with everyday emotions. In the April issue we published the first of a series of Tool Tricks which can help children identify and deal with their feelings and emotions. This is the full story and each month Jane will provide Shetland Life with a new Tool to use.

David is full of energy
David is cool
He rides his bike
to Scalloway school.

Some days David is happy in class
Other days he shouts, ‘NO’
He says to his mum;
‘I am NOT going to go.’

Mrs Fox was the head teacher
She has curly hair,
David waits outside her office
Sitting on a chair.

‘Come in David, tell me what’s up?’
He says, ‘my feelings are messy inside,
They feel too big,
I want to run away and hide.’

Mrs Fox looked at David
and had a think
‘I have a great plan’ she said
and gave him a wink!

‘Call all the children and Caroline too
She will come, she knows what to do,
In the basement is a dusty box
It’s time to look inside,’ said Mrs Fox.

Caroline came in a jiffy
Wearing stripy tights
The children tried to sit still
But they were high as kites

Caroline said,

Inside the magic box
Are lots of feelings tools
You can use them anywhere,
At home, outside, in schools!

Feelings are visitors
Watch them come and go
Feelings can move fast
Or sometimes they slowly grow

Feelings are important
Each and every one
Lets open the magic box
Our work has just begun…”

All the children enjoyed
Using the feelings tools
They can use them anywhere,
Not just in schools

David tried using the Still Stone
‘Am I using the it the right way?’
Caroline smiled and said,
‘Yes! It takes practice each and every day…’

Shipwrecked!

Welcome to this month’s issue of Shetland Life. April has come in with a bang, the clocks have changed, and we’re beginning to really feel the returning sun in the evenings.

Join Shetland Life for this April issue as we take to the seas again, but this time we’re heading underwater to discover the fate of the Spanish Armada vessel, El Gran Grifón, with Dr Colin Martin who led excavations on the wreck in the 1970s. We also hear the poignant and tragic tale of HMS E 49 which was lost in the First World War, and Laurie Goodlad takes to the water and discovers the joy of snorkelling in the first of a series where readers are invited to Challenge the Editor.

Elsewhere, Ali Grundon Robertson talks beach cleaning, and Alex Garrick-Wright meets Dirk Robertson on the eve of his exhibition at Shetland Museum & Archives. We also welcome Misa Hay to our team, and she talks us through all things gardening in Shetland. We’re delighted to have Misa with us. She has been growing from her garden in Tingwall for a number of years, producing food for her family and the table, fresh from the garden. She writes a very inspiring blog about gardening at 60 north which you can find at www.myshetlandgarden.com.

There’s so much to shout about in Shetland at the moment, and with the clocks springing forward we’re now enjoying longer days, so please let us know how you spend the light nights, are you getting out into the garden or perhaps packing a picnic after work and heading to the hills? Whatever you’re up to, we love to hear about it, use our hashtag for the chance to be featured online or in the magazine #myshetlandlife.

It’s been encouraging to see so many new subscribers joining our readership and signing up to the printed magazine subscription during the first three months of 2019. Remember you can subscribe to Shetland life online at https://shop.shetlandtimes.co.uk/pages/subscriptions#shetland-life and let us know if you have any comments or suggestions at sleditor@shetlandtimes.co.uk.

As ever, have a great month and enjoy Shetland Life –  OUT NOW!

Gone fishing

Excuse us; we’ve gone fishing… but we’re taking you with us!

Join Shetland Life for this fishy March issue as we take to the high seas with a trip through Shetland’s pelagic past and present. Ryan Taylor explores the history of the Swan as she enters uncertain waters and we settle down and chat to Bobby Polson from the pelagic trawler, Serene, and find out what it’s really like to skipper one of these impressive mid-water trawlers.

Elsewhere in the issue, Ali Grundon Robertson, our environmental guru delves into the peat and explains the importance of peatland restoration, while Alex Garrick-Wright reports on the success of the Imposters’ first ‘away game’ in Edinburgh.

There’s so much to shout about in Shetland at the moment, and with spring just around the corner, we’re keen to keep in touch with you. Give us a shout with any comments or suggestions at sleditor@shetlandtimes.co.uk and remember to use our hashtag for the chance to be featured online or in the magazine #myshetlandlife.

As ever, have a great month and enjoy Shetland Life!

 

A new year, a new start

This month Shetland Life are set to dive into the New Year feet first and we hope that you will join us for the ride. We go through the keyhole, taking a sneaky peek behind the scenes of Squad 43. And, with Up-Helly-A’ looming, we meet this year’s Jarl, John Nicolson, and discover how he became the fourth Nicolson Jarl – following in the footsteps of his father and brothers before him.

For those opting for better health and wellbeing in 2019, look out for our new columnist, Ali Grundon Robertson who this month focuses on consumerism. Finally, our new feature – in collaboration with RSPB Scotland – introduces a monthly Nature Calendar and examines the health benefits of a daily dose of fresh air, ensuring that you put your best foot forward into the New Year.

What are you waiting for? Look out for this month’s Shetland Life, in shops and online now!

25th anniversary of seminal album

Shetland was coming to terms with Braer disaster, John Major was Prime Minister and Meatloaf’s I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) was #1 when Shetland band Bongshang released their seminal debut album Crude on 19th November 1993.

We caught up with two members of the notably enigmatic band to find out the back story.

Bryan Peterson says: “We were all fans of each other’s playing when we formed in 1992. The much-missed Leonard [Scollay], was simply the best fiddler any of us had heard, and JJ made the banjo ‘cool’”.

JJ Jamieson recalls: “Kipper [Christopher Anderson] was a powerful yet subtle drummer, Neil [Preshaw] was a versatile and textural guitarist, and Bryan was a cheeky 15-year-old with a gift for funky basslines.”

There was already the beginnings of an acoustic revival in Scotland. Leonard was in Rock, Salt & Nails at the time and JJ was fresh from the Edinburgh acoustic scene having rubbed shoulders with the likes of Swamptrash and Critterhill Varmints. But Crude was considered to be ahead of its time and one of the first recordings of the Scottish Folk Funk or “Acid Croft” scene, pre-dating debut albums by the likes of Shooglenifty, Peatbog Fairies and Afro Celt Soundsystem.

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 JJ says: “The album was a snapshot of our live set. We didn’t think of recording an album as a process in itself, it was just a case of recording the tunes.”

“It was natural for Stevie [Hook] to engineer for us as he was a friend of the band and did our live sound. There wasn’t a recording studio in Shetland, but the Garrison Theatre had a reel-to-reel tape recorder that we were able to use between performances in the theatre.

“It was a very basic setup. Just us playing live on the stage then overdubbing some of the acoustic parts in the lighting booth. Kipper was a loud drummer so it was a challenge to get a good recording of the acoustic instruments with him hammering at.”

 Bryan adds: “The technology was very primitive by today’s standards. We had an effects box to add a bit of reverb and echo and that was it. There was no chance to go back and edit anything when you’re recording to tape. You have to nail it.”

“We added a recording of Leonard’s favourite lawnmower and a recording of a prayer caller a friend of the band had made in Pakistan.”

“It didn’t take long. The whole process was probably finished in a couple of months”.

Were members of the band aware that they were producing something ground-breaking? JJ says: “We were aware what we were doing was different, but we weren’t doing it to be different. It just came naturally. And whether or not it would be popular with audiences wasn’t a concern. We practised a lot and only played one gig in Shetland before the album came out. We were just pleasing ourselves, experimenting and having a laugh.”

Bryan explains:  “There was no formula. We all had different styles and influences. We listened to lots of music together and swapped a lot of albums between ourselves, so ideas were everywhere.”

“It was only when we read the reviews that we realised we’d done something of some significance”.

 Unusually for the time, the band released Crude on their own label ‘Doovf’ and was the first independent CD to be produced in Shetland. It was also the best-selling album in Shetland in 1993, and the band sold many more nationally and while on tour around Europe.

 The band was approached by a distributor who offered to help them market the album internationally.

Bryan recalls: “That didn’t go well. Despite having our album in shops around the world we didn’t get paid. To get out of the deal a couple of us had to pay a visit to the distributors’ office in Glasgow and make a few promises about negative consequences that may befall him.”

Bryan is cagey about how many sales have been clocked up: “not because it’s a secret. We just lost track, but it’s quite a few.”

The band used the proceeds to invest in their own recording equipment and produced two more studio albums, The Hurricane Jungle in 1996 and Vy-lo-fone in 1999. In 2013 all three Bongshang albums were remastered in Mareel by Iain Waddell and released on Spotify and iTunes.

Bongshang have been reclusive for the past 15 years or so, and instead of live performances prefer to release occasional videos.

When pressed on what we can expect next, the boys said we write and record a lot of music. We enjoy the process. Releasing albums isn’t high on our agenda but we might share some recordings in future.”

Listen here: http://bit.ly/iTunesBongshang or here: http://bit.ly/SpotifyBongshang

The complete version of this article is available in November’s Shetland Life.

 

Love Island

Summer’s a romantic time of year, isn’t it? Long walks on the beach, secluded picnics in the sun, and warm evenings that never seem to end. Romance is in the air, and this month Shetland Life is taking a look at love — celebrating it, reminiscing about it, and seeking it out in the first place. We’ve looked at love in Shetland from many different angles to make sure there’s something for everyone.

So whether you’re leafing through as you idly swipe away on Tinder, or you’re curled up with your sweetheart, read on and enjoy!

The girl in the photograph

Life story
If you don’t believe in fate; read on. Dale Smith recounts a real-life love story of chance that might just change your mind.

The large framed photograph, currently hanging in Isles­burgh Community Centre’s Room 9, had intrigued the staff for years. Not even the long-established employees knew who the two teenage girls pictured were. All that changed one day when Janice Drummond confirmed that one of the girls  was her auntie.

What is a Shetlander?

What is a Shetlander?

As an incomer to these islands I’ve found that this question can result in heated debate. Some folk believe that a Shetlander can be anyone who lives here; others maintain that your family needs to have been in Shetland for at least two generations before you can go making any such claims for yourself. Then of course, there are all kinds of Shetlander definitions in between these two poles.

Genevieve White, Editor

Many strings to her bow

This year’s Shetland Young Fiddler, Emma Leask, talks competitions and staying calm under pressure with Genevieve White.

As many readers will know, the Shetland Young Fiddler of the Year competition (held every April) is a major musical event in our calendar. Being pronounced the “Young Fiddler” seems to have the effect of catapulting the winner into Shetland musical royalty (a glance through the names of previous competition winners brings up household names such as Margaret Robertson, Maggie Adamson, Bryan Gear, Lois Nicol, Jenna Reid and Catriona Macdonald). Knowing that 14-year-old Emma Leask has won not only this prestigious prize but a host of other awards too, it is with a hint of trepidation I set off for our interview. Am I about to meet with a musical diva? Might she
disapprove of the fact I don’t know a reel from a jig?