The Ghosts of Swarbacks Minn

My fourth and final post about the naval heritage I visited during our recent holiday in Shetland… By complete coincidence (honest!), our rented cottage looked out directly over Busta Voe, at the head of the Swarbacks Minn anchorage. During World War I, this was the base of the Tenth Cruiser Squadron, responsible for enforcing the […]

The Submarine and the Bus Stop

Number two in my short series of posts based on last week’s holiday in Shetland… Unst is an absolute must for visitors. As Britain’s most northerly inhabited island, it racks up the superlatives literally every few hundred yards, the further north you go – the most northerly roads, the most northerly shop (splendidly named ‘The […]

The Hollanders’ Graves

Last week, we had a terrific holiday in the sun-drenched beach resorts of… Shetland. OK, it’s a fair cop, the temperatures never reached double figures in the week we were there, and were driven down further by the constant northerly wind (reaching gale force at times, e.g. on our return ferry voyage to Aberdeen). But […]

Orkney and Shetland Road Trip, Part 4

Shetland has less naval heritage than Orkney, but it still has a substantial amount. During the 17th century, the islands were of vital economic importance – but to the Dutch, not the British. Vast Dutch herring fleets regularly sheltered at Bressay Sound, trading with the local people and contributing to the rise of Lerwick at […]

Orkney and Shetland Road Trip, Part 3

Transcript of a meeting held at the offices of Blandshire County Council.  Present: Councillor Gordon Scrote, chairman of Health and Safety committee; Inspector Robert Brent, Blandshire Police public order representative; and a large bearded Viking wearing furs, armour and a winged helmet, wielding a battleaxe, and bearing an uncanny resemblance to Brian Blessed in ‘Flash […]

Looking at Things The Right Way Up

Cards on the table: sat nav is the spawn of Satan. So, too, are such iniquities as reality TV shows, Welsh rugby teams that aren’t the Scarlets, and, of course, caravans, but today I’m concerned with geography. I refuse to use sat nav, partly because I prefer to rely on maps and that trusty piece […]