Just got a message today from Deryk Shaw, ex warden of the Fair Isle Bird Observatory and leader of Island Holidays' Shetland tours asking for help in raising money for a toilet and small office at Fair Isles delightful small museum. The appeal takes the form of a raffle and you stand the chance of winning a 5-night holiday on the island including flights from Shetland Mainland or a bespoke (hate that word!) Fair Isle sweater - plus other prizes as well. And the joy of it is that tickets only cost £1. That's right - ONE POUND (not a typo!).
This photo was probably taken about 11 o'clock at night at midsummer - Shetland is known as The Land of the Simmer Dim. I remember when my late business partner, Bobby Tulloch, was asked by a journalist if it was true that you could sit outside and read a newspaper and 4 in the morning, Bobby succintly replied: "No. You can sit outside and read a newspaper at midnight; at 4 in the morning you'll be getting a sun tan." He had a way with words - and with journalists!
Anyway, back to the George Waterston Memorial Museum. George Waterston OBE (1911-1980), the former Scottish Director of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), was a much-loved figure who had a massive and positive influence on Fair Isle. He bought the island after World War II and co-founded the Fair Isle Bird Observatory in 1948, giving the island's economy a much-needed boost. In 1955 the National Trust for Scotland succeeded him as landlord and helped islanders stem emigration and revitalise the community. The museum itself was the old schoolhouse and houses a lovely collection of objects and stories from pre-historic times till the modern day.
I've got a feeling most of you will want to help. But you'll have to hurry because the raffle draw takes place on 25th October. You can give us a call or an email and whether you want to buy one ticket or 50, you're contribution will be enormously appreciated. We'll make sure your ticket gets into the draw and your payment goes direct and in full to the appeal. Just in case it's difficult to find, our phone number is (+44) (0)1764 670107 and the best email to reach us on at the moment is firstname.lastname@example.org because our Island Holidays email is playing silly beggars!