Welcome to episode 21 of the podcast - this week’s show is with Ann Marie Anderson, author of the popular dialect children's book series, Peerie Ooricks.
Ann Marie grew up on the west side of Shetland, and now lives on the island of Whalsay. She is a writer and artist who has created the lovable Ooricks – small characters who explore Shetland’s landscape, language and culture.
In today’s show, we speak about her series of children’s books, her love of the language and Shetland’s culture and the ways we can help to preserve and maintain the spoken language in Shetland.
We also speak about her work as joint convener with Shetland ForWirds, an organisation that aims to foster and promote the use of written and spoken Shetland dialect as a valued and essential element of Shetland’s distinctive heritage and culture.
You can sign up to become a member of Shetland ForWirds or access a wealth of dialect resources via their website.
Ann Marie’s work is available via her website or you can contact her on Instagram @peerie_oorick or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is the last episode of Season Two and I will be back in the autumn after the migratory birds depart for the summer!
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Welcome to episode 20 of the podcast. Today’s show is a bit different, and due to popular demand, we are carrying out this interview, predominantly on language, in our native tongue.
In today’s show, I speak to Chloe Irvine who grew up on the island of Whalsay and has just completed her degree in Journalism at Edinburgh Napier University. Chloe talks to us about the transition between living in Shetland and studying on the mainland (Scotland), and how she has had to deal with varying degrees of language discrimination during this time.
We speak about ways that we can protect and promote the dialect and its usage, and Chloe shares a poem in the dialect that she wrote to tackle and highlight some of the feelings that are brought to the surface when language discrimination takes place.
I’ve left a disclaimer at the beginning of the show to say that, as this is in dialect, it may be difficult to understand but, we felt that it was important for you to hear the language spoken to get a sense of how it sounds when it’s spoken amongst Shetlanders.
If you struggle to understand, play it back from the start and you’ll be surprised how quickly your ear can tune into the language.
Hello and welcome to episode 19 of the podcast. Today we have a very special guest and a fascinating topic to explore. Today I welcome Bill Moore, a local historian, to speak to us about the history of the Shetland Bus which was an undercover operation between Shetland and Nazi-occupied Norway during the Second World War. It’s a fascinating episode and I really enjoyed taking a deeper look into this period of our history with Bill.
On the show, we discuss many elements of the operation, including its roots and some of the early missions that took place. We look at the locations that were used locally and a few of the men who were key figures in the resistance movement.
The early days of the operation saw equal amounts of tragedy and success, and we speak about some of the harrowing stories from a few of these risky missions, including the story of the Blia, Axel and Bergholm.
In 1943 the operation changed with the arrival of three sub-chasers, gifted from the United States. We talk about how this changed the operation and how, today, we still remember the events of the Shetland Bus at the Scalloway Museum.
In today’s show, I talk about a few of my favourite walks in Shetland.
I begin by talking about the Eshaness Circular that sits in the northwest corner of Shetland and represents the best section through the flank of a volcano in the UK. It boasts the UK’s largest sea cave and some impressive coastal features, and 2,000-year-old archaeology.
I then consider walking some of Shetland’s National Nature Reserves, and, in this, I include the National Reserves of Hermaness, Noss and Sumburgh Head.
Finally, I share a few of my favourite walks for archaeology. I look at Mousa Broch, Culswick Broch and, lastly, the Neolithic temple at Stanydale.
All this and more in today’s show!
With a multitude of scheduled sites and monuments, you may be at a loss as to which archaeological treasures to visit when you’re only in Shetland for a limited time. This podcast will outline the top archaeological attractions and take you on a voyage of discovery through 6,000 years of human history.
In the show, we begin in Shetland’s Mesolithic Period where hunter-gatherer people first arrived here, in search of food. From the Mesolithic, we journey through the Neolithic and see the first farmers settle in Shetland, beginning a long period of occupation. After the Neolithic comes the Bronze Age, a brief period that precedes a long and, often difficult, Iron Age. We look at how the Vikings and Norse settlers brought a wave of change to the islands and, finally, explore Shetland’s transition into Scotland, and what that has meant for us culturally, today.
Hello and welcome to episode 16 of the podcast. In today’s show, I’m talking about books and literature from Shetland.
“What to read” is something that I’m asked time and time again. I’ve written a blog about my favourite Shetland fiction books, and this podcast will include those, as well as my favourite non-fiction books too.
I’ll ease you in gently and begin by introducing my favourite Shetland fiction novels and the reasons why I’ve chosen them. Where they are still available, I’ll leave a link in the show notes on my website for you to buy them.
Hello and welcome to episode 15 of the podcast. This was an accidental podcast, so I may lapse into dialect a bit more as usual, and I don’t welcome my guest in the same way! But, today’s episode is with Greg McCarron from the Shetland Film Archive. Greg has been working for several years with the Film Archive, which is a charitable organisation that collects, preserves and protects the film material of Shetland, making it publicly available to be enjoyed. Recently the group received some funding to digitise more film material, and that’s what I’m chatting to Greg about in this call.
When I was listening back to the call, I realised that this was an interesting topic and would make a good podcast episode. Also, for those keen to get involved, listen to Greg and find out how you can volunteer to help the Film Archive.
Greg is also an old friend who now lives on the Scottish mainland and works for Scottish TV, so it was really lovely to catch up with him.
In this episode, we find out about the films that the Shetland Film Archive holds, a little bit about the history of film in Shetland and some of the technical stuff that I was unsure about - like when we start to see sound coming into these films.
I found out so much about the history of film and why it’s such an important historical tool.
So, let’s dive in and hear what Greg has to say.
Hello! And welcome back to season two of the Shetland with Laurie podcast. I’m absolutely thrilled to be back behind the mic bringing you another season and, more importantly, I’m touched that so many of you, the listeners, have asked for another season.
This episode is a solo show and it’s the findings of some recent research that I’ve done into the witches of Shetland - those who were tried and executed for witchcraft.
It’s going to be a long episode as I kept getting lost down rabbit holes in the archives and I found out so much about this shocking period in our history.
The first laws pertaining to witchcraft followed the Reformation in Scotland in 1563. The Church began to focus more heavily on controlling parishioners, ensuring their moral credentials were high. The Witchcraft Act remained in law until 1736, and the 17th century saw a manifestation of control between Church and State as a real fear of witchcraft steadily grew, fuelled by a monarch who was obsessed with his nation’s morality.
King James VI introduced revised laws on witchcraft in the early 1600s and it wasn’t long before witch-hysteria swept the nation, resulting in the well-known witch hunts and the trials of some 4,000 women and men ( it’s important to say that about 15 per cent of those executed in Scotland as witches were men), of which, an estimated 2,500 were executed and burned at the stake.
Not every witch was a woman, but every woman was a potential witch and the ingredients that made a witch tended to favour women; women were more likely to quarrel where men tended to fight, and people feared the words of women and believed that their curses could come true. Similarly, witches were often accused of sleeping with the devil, and as the devil was not believed to be homosexual, it was thought less likely that men could fall under his spell. The belief that the devil actively sought women was widely held at this time.
It’s important to say that, although today we see some of the allegations against these women as far-fetched, in the 17th century these fears were very real and they were very much believed by a god-fearing nation who explained the unexplainable with God or the Devil. Good or evil. If a sudden gale was to blow up on a summer’s day, there was no modern weather forecasting that could explain it. And just as today, people sought answers to explain disasters and, in many cases, witchcraft was blamed.
The notion that the devil could walk among people in the form of a human man, tempting those of questionable morality away from God, was not seen as outlandish. The devil was always believed to be just around the corner and people were on constant guard against him. Similarly, ordinary people believed in the power of words and curses. We’ve all heard that old saying that “the pen is mightier than the sword”. 17th century Scotland, and Shetland, was a deeply superstitious place.
Those convicted of witchcraft faced long trials. They were held in prison, questioned and often tortured. They were then tried and sentenced. Death was by strangulation before their dead bodies were burned at the stake so as to leave no form to bury.
I hope that you enjoy this episode, and I will leave a warning that it does include tales of execution so if you are feeling fragile, you might want to skip this one.
So, let’s get stuck in.
On today’s show, I speak to Ellie Duncan from Island Ceramics. Ellie is a ceramicist who makes incredible one-of-a-kind hand-crafted pieces that are inspired by her love of the sea and her island home. Ellie is also a photographer who loves to capture the many forms that the sea can take.
In this episode, we talk about how she started her business and how she found herself at the potter's wheel. We speak about how the sea inspires her work and how using the colours and the dialect words that we use to describe the sea are important to her collections.
We speak about her photography and how she has been taking photographs since she was 11 years old, and why it's important to slow down and live in the moment.
We also discuss the problems associated with plastic pollution and how everyone can do their bit to mitigate these.
All this and more, in today's show!
Hello, and welcome to Episode 12, and the last in this first series of the Shetland with Laurie podcast.
Today's guest needs absolutely no introduction - author of over 30 critically acclaimed novels, international worldwide bestseller, the creator of popular TV detectives Vera Stanhope and Shetland’s very own Jimmy Perez - I am so excited to welcome the hugely talented Ann Cleeves to the show!
In today's show, we speak about Ann's new book, the latest in the popular Vera series, The Darkest Evening, and her inspiration behind the Vera and Shetland series and about her time in Shetland and Fair Isle.
We discuss her writing routine and how she feels particularly drawn to Shetland as a place that she has been visiting for over 40 years.
A little about Laurie
Hello, and welcome to my podcast. I hope that you find what you're looking for, whether you are planning that perfect holiday or maybe you're from Shetland and looking for some inspiration. Hopefully, there is something here for everyone.