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Published: 09 May 2020

By Andy Ross

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Spring in Shetland

This May I am missing the Northern Spring. Friends are sending pictures of long days, and very cute lambs, and of gardens coming into their first flush of growth. Here in London, Spring is giving way to early Summer, but Shetland lies so far north that there is a signficant lag in the season. 

Under usual circumstances May sees the first of the textile tours but of course that is not possible this year. Things feel a little strange. Instead of the normal busy season with visitors the isles are closed for business, as is almost everywhere else. Those who have booked tours with us for this year have been asked if they would like to transfer their booking to 2021, and most have been eager to do that. Shetland, it seems, has that unique draw for those who like the romance of the islands, and peace and quiet!

After 19 years of running the charity, it is time I got some more help and now that I am in London this is a good time to change direction and bring new people along. Fresh ideas and energy are always welcome, don't you think? We have been keeping busy, making plans, working on an idea for when things open up again. We are planning a festival, and have another project or two up our sleeves. There will be more about it all in a few weeks when we have finalised what it is we are trying to do. We have also been working to take photos of all The Shetland Tweed Company products which we got ready for the summer, and will be putting those on Facebook and Instagram over the next few weeks. Of course there is also the Tweed Research Masters Degree which is ongoing, and the usual admin things that businesses need to do regularly. It is good to be busy.

So, although the Spring this year is odd, and although things are not as they used to be, Shetland, GlobalYell and The Shetland Tweed Company should still be around when this is all over. Thank goodness for that.