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Shetland: Descriptive and Historical
Part II: Chapter 22


Bardister—Ollaberry—North Roe—Fishing Station at Feideland.

AN leaving Sulem Voe, our attention is attracted by ^ the peninsula of Gluss, on the west side of its entrance, protecting the nice little Voe of Bardister, at the head of which stands the neat house of the same name. It is the residence of Mr Henderson of Bardister, a member of the family which has possessed the property for several generations. Upwards of a mile to the north of Bardister, the fertile lands of Ollaberry surround a firie little bay, looking out upon th§ Sound of Yell. This is one of the prettiest spots in Shetland On a fine summer evening nothing in the far north can excel the beauty of the scene. The estate of Ollaberry belongs to Mr Gideon Anderson, whose well-built dwelling-house is worthy of its situation. Near it are a neat little Mission Church, recently built by subscription by the Established Church, and a good specimen of a country mercantile establishment. At the head of the bay, the United Presbyterians have, within the last ten or twelve years, erected a very handsome and substantial set of buildings. Church, manse, and school, are within a few feet of each other.

A sail along the coast, between Ollaberry and the extreme north point, will amply repay the traveller. The junction between land and sea is effected by means of steep and moderately high banks, presenting beautiful undulations, and covered, in the proper season, by most luxuriant verdure. Each bay and voe along this course has its own features of interest and beauty.

The small Voe of Quayfirth, comparatively wide at the entrance, gradually becomes narrower, and tapers to a point at its inner end. The fine large land-locked bay of Colafirth, farther north, has an exactly opposite shape. The principal place along its shores is Lochend, which, like most favourable situations in Shetland, can boast of a shop. North Roe, which lies along the shores of an open roadstead, is of some importance as supplying the spiritual and material wants of the hyperborean region around. It is graced by a neat little church, recently erected by subscription, by the friends of the Established Church, and a well-built Wesleyan chapel and chapel-house, besides two mercantile establishments.

We are now very near the most northerly extremity of Northmavine and of the Mainland of Shetland, but have not reached one of its most interesting localities. Nearly three miles beyond North Roe is the long Ness of Feideland, jutting out north-eastwards into the sea, its rugged and craggy shores speaking too plainly of the violent element that almost surrounds it. The name of this tongue of land is derived from the richness of its grass. On the low marshy isthmus, which prevents the Ness from becoming an island, numerous rows of huts mark the site of the largest fishing-station in Shetland. In the summer season, Feideland presents a very lively scene. Men assemble from all parts of Northmavine, Delting, and Yell. Their six-oared boats are constantly arriving from, or setting out for the deep sea, while the beach is all life and animation with fish-curers, beach boys, and women splitting, washing, salting, and drying the valuable products of the deep. Large flocks of gulls hover about, no doubt enjoying the scene, but also picking up such portions of refuse as come within their reach.

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