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Published: 14 September 2019

By Andy Ross

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Weavers at Adies

Weavers at Adies of Voe Weavers at Adies of VoeThe charity shops in Lerwick can always be counted on to provide something new and wonderful.

Last week, while on the last tour of the season, a chance find in the window of one of these second-hand shops came up trumps! Hidden in the corner of the shop was a small photograph which looked like weavers in a mill to me as I peered through the glass. On closer inspection so it proved to be. Not only weavers in a mill but weavers from Adies of Voe, I think. And on the back of the frame are the names of the four men working away on old looms; James Coutts, Bertie Smith, James Robertson and Bertie Fraser. James Robertson has the word Brae after his name which is one reason why I think that this shows Adies; Brae is just down the road from Voe where Adies had their weave mill.

The picture looks to be silver nitrate with its characteristic metallic sheen, and shows four looms in a curved roof building with skylights. It is a large production area for Shetland, and that is another reason for thinking it is Adies, which was the largest of the weave concerns here. Unfortunately it is difficult to photograph or scan the picture because it is framed and glazed but if you visit the studio you are more than welcome to have a look at this tiny glimpse of history from the isles.