Saro Lerwick

Saro Lerwick

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Saro Lerwick

The Saro Lerwick flying boat was one of the least successful aircraft to serve with the RAF during the Second World War, and demonstrated the danger of ordering a new design off the drawing board.

The Lerwick was designed to satisfy Air Ministry specification R.1/36, for a twin engined general purpose flying boat to replace the Short Sunderland. The new aircraft was to have a cruising speed of 230mph, a range of 1,500 miles and to be able to carry 2,000lb of bombs. Supermarine, Shorts, Fairey, Blackburn and Saunder-Roe all put forwards proposals. Supermarine were eliminated because of the urgency of the Spitfire programme. Blackburn were awarded with a contract to produce a single example of their unique B-20 (the boat part of the hull could be lowered hydraulically to raise the engines above the water during landing and takeoff).

The original Saunders-Roe design was for an aircraft with a shallow hull and gull wings. This was then modified to one with a deep hull and flatter wings, and an order was placed for ten aircraft. No prototype was built.

The first Lerwick made its maiden flight in October 1938. It was an all-metal monoplane with cantilevered wings, powered by two 1,375hp Bristol Hercules HE.1M radial engines. The 2,000lb bomb load was carried within the engine nacelles. Defensive firepower was provided by a single Vickers K gun in a retractable FN.7 nose turret, a twin-Browning armed FN.8 dorsal turret and a four-gun FN.4A turret in the tail. During the design process the crew had risen from six to nine, and the aircraft was significantly heavier that specified.

Flight tests revealed the Lerwick to be a deeply flawed aircraft. It was unstable in every axis, making hands-off flight impossible. This immediately made it unsuited to its intended role as a long range patrol aircraft, making it far too tiring to fly for long periods. It was just as unstable in the water, and needed far too much space to take off.

Saunders-Roe made a series of attempts to rescue their design. One aircraft received two auxiliary fins and an extended chord rudder, but remained just as unstable. Eventually a much larger fin with larger rudder was installed, but even this only produced a minor improvement in performance. Four Lerwicks were delivered to No.240 Squadron to replace their Saro Londons during the summer of 1939, but in October the process was abandoned, and on 24 October the entire programme was suspended.

The failure of the Lerwick caused a desperate shortage of flying boats during 1940, for production of the Short Sunderland had been scaled down in the expectation that it was about to be replaced by the new aircraft. As a result the RAF was forced to attempt to use the Lerwick on active service. The programme was reactivated on 1 November 1939, and in December 1939 No.209 Squadron at Oban received its first aircraft.

Despite all of the efforts made to improve the Lerwick, it was a disastrous failure in service. The first aircraft was lost on 20 February 1940, after one of the wing-floats collapsed on landing. A second aircraft would be lost in the same way in June. During the summer of 1940 No.209 Squadron moved to Pembroke Dock, but any hope that it could contribute to the battle of the Atlantic ended when the Lerwick had to be grounded for more modifications. The squadron returned to Scotland in November. Two Lerwicks sank at their moorings before the end of the year, another was lost attempting to take off on 7 January 1941 and a fourth aircraft disappeared without trace on 22 February. By this point enough Catalinas were available for the Lerwicks to be moved to a training unit, where more aircraft were lost in accidents. After a brief return to service with No.422 Squadron (RCAF) in 1942, at the end of October 1942 the surviving Lerwicks were retired.


It was Norse raisers who first named the landfall "Leir Vik" - "Muddy Bay" but it was another nationality centuries later which was to be the catalyst for the development of the harbour and town of Lerwick.

The crews of Dutch herring boats – busses - found the rich fishing grounds off Shetland in the 17th century and gathered each summer in the sheltered waters of Bressay Sound, coming ashore at the bay at Lerwick where initially a seasonal settlement grow up.

Fishing in various forms would dominate the life of the community for hundreds of years and today the modern industry is still a cornerstone of the way of life. Over the period, there have been booms and busts, but the fishing industry has, literally, always been at the heart of Lerwick.

Alongside the fishing boats, there eventually appeared sailing ships and steamers, cargo boats, mail ships, war ships, passenger ships, roll-on/roll-off ferries, oil-related vessels and drilling rigs, cruise ships and yachts as the port evolved over the centuries to accommodate changing times and new requirements and opportunities.

The oil and cruise industries have become additional, new features of the port since the second half of the last century.

Just as the creation of Lerwick Harbour Trust in 1877 provided an impetus for development, its successor, Lerwick Port Authority continues to add to the harbour’s history through its successful operation and continuing development.

Historical Events

View the history of Lerwick Harbour from different eras:

1263Norse King, Haakon Haakonson, believed to have sailed into Bressay Sound
16th centuryDutch herring fishermen begin visiting Bressay Sound. Development of Lerwick as seasonal settlement begins
1640Dutch and Spanish warships fight battle in Bressay Sound
1653English fleet anchors in Bressay Sound. Building of a fort started at Lerwick
1673Dutch burn barracks and houses at Lerwick
1702French destroy Dutch herring fleet, which eventually recovers and is joined by other nations
1736Post office at Lerwick, with trading vessels carrying mail
1760Government awards first contract for mail deliveries by ship
1781Fort Charlotte regarrisoned to defend against American ships during War of Independence
1792Arthur Anderson born at Böd of Gremista – co-founder of P & O Line and “father” of the cruise industry
1817Ghillie’s Pier built on south foreshore. Other piers followed to accommodate merchants, along with docks at the northern end
1836Summer paddle steamer service introduced between Scottish mainland and Lerwick
1842Herring “boom” ends in financial disaster. Trade in dried fish and cod fishing increasing during 19th century, along with whaling
1858Winter paddle steamer introduced to mainland, but proves unreliable
1861Screw-driven vessel introduced on winter service to mainland
1875Revival of herring industry begins, with mainland vessels using the port
1876Decision taken to build steamer pier in area of Victoria Wharf as part of continuing harbour development
1877Lerwick Harbour Trust formed by Act of Parliament
1881Increase in sailings to mainland lets Shetland participate in fresh fish trade
1883Major period of development begins, including Hay’s Pier, Albert Wharf. and Victoria Pier
1886Vicotria Pier officially opened
Late 1880sSlump in herring industry hits Lerwick
1890sRecovery in herring fishery includes introduction of auction system. Steam trawlers arrive in Shetland waters
1894Shetland Times reports visits by cruise ship, St Sunniva,
1900Storm causes severe damage. Herring boom fuels development, transforming Lerwick as it handles vessels from Ireland, Scottish mainland, Germany, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. As many as 9,000 fishermen and fishworkers arrived in Lerwick for the season
1901Fishmarket built at Freefield
1904Work begins on new wharf - later named “Alexandra” and the location for a temporary fishmarket, opened 1906
1905Herring boom peaks
1907Permanent fishmarket opened
1914-18Naval vessels and merchant ships call at Lerwick during WWI. Port becomes examination centre for neutral ships, as well as for escorting convoys and anti submarine patrols. On one day in 1917, 129 vessels in port
1915Small boats’ harbour completed
1918The post-war port requires major repair and improvement – and development to cope with the internal combustion engine!
1919Herring sales resume after the war, with eventual decline in the 1930s
1921Slipway opened at Malakoff’s yard
1928The Mira is the first cruise ship noted in official port records
1939-45Harbour has a key role as naval base in WWII, including support for Norway
1945Period of post-war reconstruction begins at port, including re-organisation of the fishing industry and rebuilding of fleet
1951Approval for extending/widening Victoria Pier and breakwater extension widening of Esplanade new transit shed, stores and offices
1955-60Construction of extension to Victoria Pier and Albert Wharf
1959Work begins on new covered fish market
1960HM Queen the first reigning British monarch to visit port
1964Oil-related seismic survey vessels arrive in Lerwick – first signs of oil “boom”
1960s/70sHarbour develops as a support base for the offshore oil and gas industry, with role continuing today
1960sTypically 150 Norwegian purse seiners fishing Shetland waters - many seek shelter at Lerwick
1966First 4-yearly Round Britain yacht race visits in period of increasing tourism
1967First Shetland purse seiner joins fishing fleet
1972Lerwick Harbour Trust acquires 1,500 acre Gremista Estate
1972Fred Olsen's company Norscot starts building Greenhead Base
1974Work starts on Shell and BP supply bases at Holmsgarth
1974Harbour limits extended
1975New fish market completed
1977P & O introduces roll-on/roll-off ferry on service to Aberdeen. New terminal opens.
1978Contract awarded for new fishing harbour and second roll-off/roll-off ramp
1980Agreement for joint venture with BP to develop Black Hill Industrial Estate
1981Royal Yacht Britannia berths at recently completed Morrison Dock, with HM The Queen en route to inauguration of the Sullom Voe oil terminal
1983Herring fishery reopens after seven year closure, with start of seasonal "klondyking" factory ships in port
1983New marina completed
1984Harbour Trust opens Shetland’s first four star hotel at port
1985Harbour Trust becomes partner in new company, Shetland Pelagic Producers, with plans for factory at Lerwick
1986HRH The Prince of Wales inaugurates the Harbour Trust oil rig, inspection, repair and maintenance base at Dales Voe
1987Second passenger ferry introduced on Shetland-Aberdeen route to give six sailings per week
1987First Bergen-Shetland annual yacht races visit Lerwick
1988Harbour Trust acquires former oil supply base with Gremista Pier
1989Shetland Catch opens pelagic fish factory at Lerwick
1990First major dredging project to provide deepened channels at North Ness and north channel
1990Harbour Trust moves into Albert Building
1991Heogan Piers at Bressay added to Harbour's portfolio
1991Shearers Quay developed
1993Lerwick fishmarket extended and chilled
1994"Klondyking" at Lerwick peaks with 692 factory vessel arrivals annually
1994Heogan south jetty replaced
1995Stewart Building completed on the waterfront
1995Harbour Trust sells Shetland Hotel to concentrate on core business
1997-99Quays at Greenhead rebuilt and deepended and landing berth built at Shetland Catch
1999Lerwick Harbour Trust becomes Lerwick Port Authority
Host Port for The Cutty Sark Tall Ships Races

Albert Building office refurbishment, reception and main office moved to ground floor

First floor office refurbishment at Albert Building completed

Mair's Pier officially opened by Tavish Scott MSP

Mariner Field development supported from Lerwick

Buchan Alpha floating production unit delivered for decommissioning

Contract awarded to Tulloch Developments Ltd for a replacement fishmarket at Mair’s Quay

UK Government identify Lerwick as optimal location for Ultra-Deep Water Quay

Calum Grains appointed as Chief Executive and Alexander Simpson as Harbourmaster

First port in Scotland to receive ISO 45001 accreditation

New constitutional Harbour Revision Order granted modernising the appointments process for Board Members

Sandra Laurenson honoured with an OBE for services to the UK Ports’ industry

First decommissioning project from the southern North Sea received for dismantling

Covid-19 pandemic impacts result in reduced activity levels across all industries.

Land reclaimed for pelagic tenant interests at Arlanda

Replacement fishmarket opened at Mair’s Quay

New licensed quayside decommissioning pad completed at Dales Voe

World’s largest construction vessel arrived into Dales Voe to deliver Ninian Northern topside, the ports largest decommissioning project to date

First fatal accident involving a Saro Lerwick flying boat

The first fatal accident involving a Saro Lerwick flying boat occurred on 20 th Feb 1940 when the pilot of L7253 ‘WQ-G’ of 209 Squadron attempted to land off Lismore Island near Oban in poor visibility.

No 209 Squadron was originally equipped with Stranraers, which arrived in December 1938. On the outbreak of World War Two, No.209 moved to Invergordon to fly patrols over the North Sea between Scotland and Norway. In October 1939 it moved to Oban for patrols over the Atlantic and in December began to re-equip with Lerwicks. The type was not a success (only 21 were built) and after flying patrols from Wales and Scotland they were replaced by Catalinas in April 1941.

The crew onboard L7253 ‘WQ-G’ at the time of the incident was: Flight Sergeant (Pilot) George A. Corby, P/O W.E. Ogle-Skan, AC2 Taylor, AC1Richard J. Webber, AC2 Lawrence H. Trumay, and LAC George Peterson.

The aircraft took off from Oban at 11.30 Hrs and was forced to return at 12.30 Hrs due to bad weather. On reaching Oban the pilot decided to land well out in the Firth of Lorne due to poor visibility. Apparently owing to an error in judgment he stalled the aircraft onto the water causing it to bounce several times some 5 miles west of Oban off the lighthouse at the southern point of Lismore Island. In doing this the starboard wing tip float was knocked off and the aircraft heeled over causing water to enter through the windows. All the crew managed to get out into the water before the aircraft sank. The aircraft was salvaged and used as a training airframe and sinks later in a gale at Wig Bay Loch Ryan.

The pilot, Flt Sgt Corby drowned in the incident and his body was recovered. The bodies of three of the airmen: AC1 Webber, AC2 Trumay, and LAC Peterson were never recovered and P/O W.E. Ogle-Skan, AC2 Taylor survived.

F/Sgt George Arthur Corby, Mentioned in Dispatches and 2 Bars, was the Son of George William and Mary Jane Corby, of Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire and husband of Nellie Corby. His body was interred in Block B, Row 4 Grave 54 at Langdon Hills(St. Mary and All Saints) Old Churchyard Essex. The airmen who were never found are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.


In March 1936, the RAF Ministry of Aviation issued the R.1 / 36 specification for the creation of an all-metal flying monoplane boat to replace the Saro London and Supermarine Stranraer biplanes. The competition was attended by aircraft from three firms: S.36 Saunders-Roe (Saro), Type 314 Supermarine and B.20 Blackburn Aircraft. As a result, the choice was made in favor of the S.36 project by Saro, developed under the leadership of G. Knowler.

Lerwick was distinguished by a rather high fuselage, thereby ensuring the rise of the wing with engines installed on its leading edge to a safe distance from the water. Machine gun armament, which consisted of seven 7.7 mm (0.303 inch) machine guns, was housed in three Nash & Thompson turrets (1 × Vickers K 0.303 inch in the bow turret, 2 × Browning 0.303 inch in the upper turret and 4 in the tail turret), with the bow performed sliding inward of the fuselage - this freed up the area for mooring work. The designers abandoned the external suspension of the bombs, equipping the bomb bays in the engine nacelles. The total mass of the bomb load was 907 kg - 2 × 227-kg or 4 × 113-kg bombs in each of the two compartments.

As a power plant, they ultimately chose 14-cylinder air-cooled engines Bristol Hercules II (2 × 1375 hp on 9 aircraft) or Hercules IV (2 × 1650 hp on 8 aircraft), which were the moment of its creation the most powerful in the world.

In April 1937, a batch of 10 Lerwick seaplanes was ordered. The first serial prototype went for testing in early November 1938. The results were not very encouraging - the flying boat was distinguished by poor hydrodynamic characteristics, unsatisfactory takeoff and landing qualities and instability in the air.

A number of changes were made to the design of the L7248 prototype, eventually installing a double keel instead of a single keel. The propellers were replaced with new ones with an increased diameter from 4.11 m to 4.42 meters. However, the changes made to the design did not allow for a radical improvement in the characteristics of the machine. Nevertheless, production continued, until the final discontinuation of production in March 1941 built 21 aircraft.

Saunders-Roe Lerwick Mk.I

After the good experience with flying boats, Supermarine Stranraer started the RAF think about their refund. Already in the beginning of the war was to know, that the endurance of the flight, in the mid-30. years enough, already does not suit you. And even the staunchest conservatives in charge it became increasingly apparent that the concept of the biplane has its zenit also long behind him. The modern substitute for dvojplošné patrol flying boats was to become the planned Saro Lerwick, touted by the british royal air force by Saunders Roe Ltd. (Sara) (RAF) in response to input of Air Ministry Specification R.1/36 (General Purpose Flying - Boat). Expected to, inter alia, a cruising speed of at least 370 km/h and the starting weight, not exceeding 11 340 kg. Boats of this type should consist of a complement of heavy four-engine machines of the far reach of a Short Sunderland and Singapore and replace in the service of outdated biplanes by the Short Singapore and Sara London. Together with american Consolidated Canso Catalinami should fulfill the tasks of combat against submarines, the protection of convoys and long distance patrols over the sea and coastal waters. Their projects submitted by four aviation enterprises: Blackburn, Supermarine, Short, and Saunders - Roe (Saro). Company Blackburn offered a very unconventional boat with vyklápěcími landing floats, marked B.20, Supermarine introduced the project, Type 314, Short project, having no factory markings, and the Sara project, marked in the factory With.36 (or And.36).

The Air Ministry was considered the best project Type 314 of the company Supermarine, on second place is ranked the projects of the companies Short and Sara. The Blackburn B. 20 was - due to unusual construction - discussed separately as machine experimental.

Race the Supermarine was at that time fully utilized the works, with definitely a higher priority - the development and production of fighter the Spitfire. After the communication, that the work on the Type 314 will not be able to be launched sooner than in two years, had the Air Ministry to look elsewhere. Because at the same time engineers of the company Sara improve your initial project, it was definitively collected into serial production just a plane With. 36 although his later career in the RAF was very short and not very successful.

Lerwick was the design engineers of the company Sara, led by Henry Knowlerem, designed very modern as strictly an all-metal machine. Hornokřídlý self-supporting cantilever monoplane with a fixed depth of the middle part of the wings and tapering to the external parts of the wings all-metal construction. Hornokřídlá concept was chosen, therefore, to the end of the blades were taking off and landing as high above the water surface. It was powered by two engines Bristol Hercules II type (HE1SM) on the performance of 1394 KM. Proven twin-configuration should provide plenty of power and a certain confidence when the failure of one of them. The aircraft had a conventional compact hydroplánový torso with one degree of on the lower part, when moving on the water surface using a pair of stabilizing floats, one under each wing. A disadvantage of the used hornoplošné the concept was that the long strut floats to increase the aerodynamic resistance of the machine. Similar to the problem solved in similar hornoplošně conceived Blackburn B -20 designers by floats after take-off sklápěly towards the end of the wings, so that accounted for his end arch. On the same principle, this problem was tackled by the american Catalin.

The crew consisted of six people - in a confined pilot area working pilot, copilot and on-board techniques. 3 shooters then in separate turrets. For self defense bore for its time, a formidable armaments, it was equipped with three powered missile towers, whose firepower was graded according to the level of risk that should turn away. In the bow gun turret was a single Vickers machine gun To the caliber 0.303 in (7.7 mm), two machine-guns Browning of the same calibre in the dorsal turret and four machine guns Browning of the same caliber in the tail gun turret. The plane could carry in pumovnicích formed in the rear parts of the engine nacelles, four bombs weighing around 227 kg or eight bombs around 113 kg.

Aircraft project With.36 was prepared in 1938 and the RAF ordered directly from the drawing boards 21 serial machine, which has assigned the name Lerwick and registration numbers from the L7248 to L7268. The first of them (no L7248), fulfils the role of the prototype, the test years graduated in early November 1938. Along with two of the following machine (no L7249 and L7250) handed over to the RAF for testing. During flight tests it was found that it is aerodynamically unstable and therefore not very suitable for flying in the autopilot mode. It was for aircraft designed for long-lasting long-distance air patrols in this mode, a serious problem. Lerwick initially had the double vertical stabilizers and the rudder. Another test, carried out in Cowes in a time of 9. January 11. February 1939, the only confirmed large directional instability of the machine. Numerous adjustments (e.g. adding another auxiliary vertical surfaces of the first made by a machine no L7248) culminated in the creation of new greatly enlarged simple vertical tail surfaces (the fifth machine, no L7252) and by increasing the angle the wings of the two grades (seventh machine, no L7254). The original propeller diameter 4,11 m have been replaced by larger diameter 4,42 meter. But even these additional adjustments failed to improve his improper flight characteristics, even its not very "friendly" behavior on the water surface. The problem remained even takeoff weight, exceeding specifications of the Air Ministry. The only good feature of Lerwick was only a high maximum speed measured during the tests - 378 km/h - the highest of all the English flying boats this time. Speed fully equipped with serial machinery, however, was about 30 km/h less. As a side also proved the inability to continue in level flight on one engine only. That worked out to the last 8 of the serial machines with more powerful engines.

Operational deployment
The long search for the remedy "congenital" defects of Lerwick moved to its introduction into service until the summer of 1939, when he was flying boat Lerwic" Mk I declared capable of operating the service. 9. June 1939 got Sq. 240. RAF the first of the three machines (no L7250 or - here the sources differ - no L7253) for the purpose of conducting the tests in conditions as much similar to normal service by combat units. 've dismissed in February-march 1940. 20. February was destroyed by machine no L7253. And because of the not very good flight characteristics Lerwick failed to completely remove, leaving only when the original order 21 piece.

The crews was not Lerwick too popular. As a result, was very little used, practically it is only used three units: the only unit of combat, using aircraft Lerwick Mk I, was in the years 1939-1941 209. Sq. RAF Oban. In late July, W/C Skey, Barnett, Bentley, Sutler and Marshall returned from Invergordon with three Lerwicky, later the pilot, Don Simco transport the other two, and Lt. The Honey one.

However, the fighting career of the Saro Lerwick was unusually short. The first operational patrol graduated from the machine no L7255 on Christmas day in 1939. In December so he flew a total of 8 of the 31 days. In march 1941 were lost due to accidents and disasters up to six aircraft (including 6. December 1940 machine no L7255, or 24. march 1941 machine no L7252) and from 23. of march 1941, aircraft of this type with a sharp pace replaced american flying boats Consolidated Canso Catalina. The last operational flight Lerwick at 209. the squadron performed the 29. April 1941 machine no L7267. Complete overkill 209. Sq. the Catalina was completed in may 1941 - exactly at a time when the RAF received the last ordered Lerwick (no L7268). Their Lerwicky then were moved either to the OCU no. 4 or to Scottish Aviation in Greenock, Scotland. The last eight specimens (no L7261 to L7268) was equipped with a silnějšými engines Bristol Hercules IV.

In 1941, a few Lerwicků flew at the Operational Conversion Unit no 4 (Coastal) in Invergordonu. One (no L7254) in the Marine Training School (MTS) at Wig Bay as a practice ground habitat (evid. no changed to 3300M). In Canada, the type also served in two units: 423. Sq. The RCAF and 422. Sq. The RCAF, a unit falling under the command of the RAF. Day 9. July 1942 brought the W/C Larry Skey to 422. Sq. the first Saro Lerwick. At the same time, but the unit has already vyzbrojována type Short Sunderland. Some sources indicate that in Canada serve only for training purposes. The irony is that Lerwick had originally just Prototypes to replace the firm Short Brother free his hands for the production of heavy bombers Strirling. In the end it turned out exactly the opposite. Stirlingy proved not quite satisfactory, while the Prototypes of their position represent the best.

In April 1942 he was With.36 Lerwick definitively declared the Air Ministry for the outdated and completely withdrawn from service. All the built aircraft was decommissioned in 1943.

(here are sources of small differences, the data is transferred to the metric system)
Saunders Roe And.36 Lerwick
• Crew: 6 - is placed and an indication 6/7 persons
• Length: 63 ft 7 in (of 19.39 m)
• Wingspan : 80 ft 10 in (to 24.65 m)
• Height: 20 ft (6.1 m)
• Wingarea: 845 ft2 (78,5 m2)

• Takeoff: 28,400 lb (12 880 kg)
• When overload: 33,205 lb (15 059 kg)

• 2×14 cylindrical dvojhvězdicový air-cooled engine Bristol Hercules II performance 1 375 hp (1 030 kW) each
• powered třílistové metal adjustable propeller De Havilland on average from 4.42 m (originally of a diameter 4,11 m)

• Max. speed : 214 mph (at a height of 6,250 feet (344 km/h, h= 1,900 m)
• Travel speed : 165 mph (267 km/h
• Practical avail : 13 993 ft ( 4 265 m) - are also reported the values of 15,000 ft (4,572 m)
• Max. endurance flight (at cruising speed) : 11 hours
• specific pressure on the wing : 39.36 lb/ ft2 (192 kg/c m2)
• Rate of climb : 880 ft/min (4.50 m/s)
• Range: 1,500 mis (2,414 km)

• 1 × 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers K (bow)
• 6 × 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Browning (dorsal [2x] & tail [4x])
• 2,000 lb (907 kg) of bombs or depth charges


The earliest recorded history of political ongoings in Shetland dates to the Picts and the Viking eras, with pre-parliament and council deliberation taking part in the ancient Tings, the viking name for an assembly site. Such wass the importance of Tings, areas of Shetland were named to include 'ting' in their name. This is still true to the present day, with areas such as Tingwall, Lunnasting and Westing still carrying the suffix 'ting'. It was at these Norse parliaments that a group of select representatives would meet with the Earl, such as the Law Ting Holm in Tingwall, the site of Shetland's parliament until the 16th century.

In the 13th Century, Shetland fell under the rule of the Parliament of Scotland. However, Shetlanders were entirely disenfranchised from the process of selecting their representatives Scotland's Parliament. Instead, their neighbouring Island, Orkney, held the reigns. From 1235 until 1999, Shetland was inextricably connected to Orkney in national parliaments. Orcadians elected, appointed, and were appointed to represent both Islands in first the Parliament of Scotland, and in the Parliament of Great Britain and the Parliament of the United Kingdom (Westminster).

Shetland in the 18th century was a society which was made up of a small number of elite, and large quantities of poor, uneducated citizens. The Lairds of the land had rule, but even the Shetland Lairds couldn't influence the appointment of the Member of Parliament it was all choreographed from Orkney by around 40 men.

In 1832, Westminster passed a law which reformed the British electoral system, known as the Great Reform Act. It came as a response to criticism of the existing system, which put the power of voting into the hands of the few. There previously no secret ballot and votes were bought and sold. The reforms still meant that only men who owned property worth at least £10 (close to £1,000 in 2016 money), but these reforms meant that for the first time, some members of the Shetland community were finally able to have a say in electing their own representatives.

This was to the annoyance of the Orkney elite whose power had been weakened significantly. To further compound the anger of Orkney's elite's, the first general election that Shetlanders were able to participate in, the 1832 election, saw the Shetland-preferred candidate, George Traill, win the election again the Orkney preferred candidate.

Starting from 1826, everyone election was contested on party grounds. Despite George Traill being replaced by Thomas Balfour, who was a Tory, Orkney and Shetland was a Liberal constituency for 98 years until 1935. The Conservative party (Unionist) represented the Isles from 1935 until it was reclaimed by the Liberals in 1950. The seat has remained Liberal (and Liberal Democrat since 1983) since then.

On a local level, formal political representation did not begin until the 19th century, with the establishment of the Lerwick Town Council in 1815. An agreement was reached in 1815 to turn Lerwick into a Burgh of Barony, and in 1818, the first meeting and election of the Lerwick Town Council occurred. The early Town Council elected 11 members and within that group, two were elected as Senior and Junior Baillies. The growing pains of the early councils meant that they were not particularly effective, and the electing of councillors was hardly a democratic process. The Lerwick Town Council minute book lists those eligible to vote for each election, with the numbers well under 60 men. Almost every single councillor was a member of Shetland's noble class, or was related to the elite. Elections were held every three years until 1876 when they moved to a yearly election cycle, with a total of 12 councillors serving 3-year terms, and four vacancies to fill every year.

Between the years of 1818 to 1833, the Town Council recognised things which they wanted to change - the poor sanitary conditions, the rowdy sailors - but it wasn't until 1833 when they founded the Commissioners of Police of the Burgh that they began to get a grip on the situation - albeit a very loose one. The problems continued throughout the 1800's, but the Town Council did begin to effect a change, with such things as improved schooling, sanitary conditions, regular water and policing all improving towards the latter part of the century.

In 1889, Westminster passed the Local Government (Scotland) Act which provided that a county council should be established in each county. In 1890, the Zetland County Council held its first ever election, electing 27 councillors to represent the various wards Shetland had been subdivided into. For many in the peripheral communities of Shetland, this was the first real representation that they had experienced. The ZCC was less dominated by elites than the Town Council had been, but initially landowners and other wealthy Shetlanders still held most of the power. The ZCC wards included three seats for different areas of Lerwick, which means that Lerwick was doubly represented. This anomaly was eventually corrected in 1929, when the Lerwick seats were converted into a Parish District Council with much reduced powers.

Both the ZCC and the LTC continued to operate until August 1975 when both were replaced by the Shetland Islands Council. This was a body created under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 and had 22 constituencies (6 of which were Lerwick's, causing upsets to some). The SIC underwent various boundary changes and at the most recent election had 7 constituency areas which elected 22 members.


When asked, most patients and their family members communicate the desire for respect, communication, appreciation, and confidence in the skill of the caregiver. In an effort to meet patient needs and increase patient satisfaction with hospital staff interaction, Quint Studer of Studer Group[46] developed 5 fundamentals of service to increase patient satisfaction: (1) Acknowledge: Acknowledge the patient by name. Make eye contact. Ask: “Is there anything I can do for you?” (2) Introduce: Introduce yourself, your skill set, your professional certification, and experience (3) Duration: Give an accurate time expectation for tests, physician arrival, and tray delivery (4) Explanation: Explain step by step what will happen, answer questions, and leave a phone number where you can be reached and (5) Thank: Thank the patient for choosing your hospital, and for their communication and cooperation. Thank the family for assistance and being there to support the patient.

Although these 5 steps may offer respect, communication, appreciation and confidence in the skill of the caregiver, it fails to address a very important need in patients - emotional containment and support. Current research and literature is limited regarding ways to reduce healthcare-induced distress. Recognizing the unique emotional and relational needs of pediatric patients, this author developed a new way for medical providers to CARE while interacting with pediatric patients: Choices, agenda, resilience and emotional support.


Air Ministry Specification R.1/36 (to meet Operational Requirement 32) was issued in March 1936 to several companies that had experience in building flying boats. Ώ] The specification was for a medium-range flying boat for anti-submarine, convoy escort and reconnaissance duties to replace the Royal Air Force's biplane flying boats such as the Saro London and Supermarine Stranraer. The specification called for a cruise speed of 230 miles per hour (370 km/h) and a weight of no more than 25,000 pounds (11,000 kg). ΐ]

Designs were tendered by Saunders-Roe (S.36), Supermarine (Type 314), Blackburn Aircraft (b. 20) and Shorts. The Blackburn B.20 was a radical design that offered much better performance, by reducing the drag associated with a flying boat hull and so a prototype was ordered to test the concept. Of the other designs the Supermarine was the first choice with Saro and Shorts tied in second place. The Supermarine was ordered "off the drawing board" i. e. without requiring prototypes to be produced and flown first. Supermarine's commitment to the Spitfire meant that work was not expected to start for two years and so the Ministry looked to the other designs. Saunders-Roe had redesigned the S.36 in the meantime—replacing low hull and gull wing with a deep body and high wing—and the Supermarine order was transferred to the S.36. Α] The contract was issued in June 1937 to buy 21 of the S.36, receiving the service name Lerwick (after the town of Lerwick). The aircraft was a compact twin-engined, high-winged monoplane of all-metal construction, with a conventional flying boat hull, a planing bottom and two stabilising floats, carried under the wings on long struts. It was powered by two Bristol Hercules radial engines and initially had twin fins and rudders. For defence, the Lerwick was equipped with three powered gun turrets. The nose turret had a single 0.303 inch Vickers K gun the other two had 0.303 Browning machine guns, two guns in the Nash & Thompson FN.8 turret in the dorsal position and four in the Nash & Thompson FN4.A turret at the tail. Β] Offensive weapons were a total of 2,000 pounds (910 kg) of bombs or depth charges – four 500-pound (230 kg) or eight 250-pound (110 kg) bombs, or four depth charges, carried in two streamlined nacelles behind the engines, similar to the Martin PBM Mariner. Γ] Δ]

The first three aircraft were used as prototypes, with the first being launched on 31 October 1938, after numerous delays during design and construction. The Lerwick was immediately found to be unstable in the air, on the water and not suited to "hands off" flying. The latter was a major problem in an aircraft designed for long-range patrols. Numerous adjustments, including the addition of a greatly enlarged single fin and an increase in the wing angle of incidence, failed to remedy its undesirable characteristics, which included a vicious stall and unsatisfactory rates of roll and yaw. Ε] In service, several aircraft were lost because of wing floats breaking off, suggesting this was a structural weakness. Persistent problems with the hydraulics resulted in bomb doors sometimes dropping open during flight. Ζ]

On one engine the Lerwick could not maintain height, nor could it maintain a constant heading, as the controls could not counter the torque of one engine on maximum power. Η] An engine failure would inevitably see the aircraft flying in slowly descending circles. On one occasion, the loss of an engine forced a Lerwick to make an emergency landing in the Caledonian Canal. The aircraft was then towed to Oban at the end of a string of coal barges. ⎖]

Traces of World War 2 RAF - No. 209 Squadron 01/01/1940 - 30/06/1940

The Squadron was equipped with Stranraers, which arrived in December 1938. On the outbreak of World War Two, No.209 moved to Invergordon to fly patrols over the North sea between Scotland and Norway. In October 1939 it moved to Oban for patrols over the Atlantic and in December began to re-equip with Lerwicks. The type was not a success (only 21 were built) and after flying patrols from Wales and Scotland they were replaced by Catalinas in April 1941.

Operations and losses 01/01/1940 - 30/06/1940
Not all operations listed those with fatal losses are.

20/02/1940: Escort. 1 Plane lost, 1 KIA, 3 MIA
29/06/1940: Escort. 1 Plane lost

20/02/1940: Escort

Type: Saro Lerwick
Serial number: L7253, WQ-G
Operation: Escort
Lost: 20/02/1940
Flight Sergeant (Pilot) George A. Corby, RAF 561526, 209 Sqdn., Mentioned in Despatches and 2 Bars, age 27, 20/02/1940, Langdon Hills (St. Mary and All Saints) Old Churchyard, UK
P/O W.E. Ogle-Skan, 41609 - safe
AC2 Taylor - safe
Aircraftman 1st Class Richard J. Webber, RAF 569704, 209 Sqdn., age 20, 20/02/1940, missing
Aircraftman 2nd Class Lawrence H. Trumay, RAF 531133, 209 Sqdn., age 24, 20/02/1940, missing
Leading Aircraftman George Peterson, RAF 520852, 209 Sqdn., age unknown, 20/02/1940, missing

Took off from Oban at 11.30 hrs. Forced to return at 12.30 hrs due to bad weather. On reaching Oban the pilot decided to land well out in the Firth of Lorne due to poor visibility. Apparantly owing to an error in judgment he stalled the aircraft onto the water causing it to bounce several times some 5 miles west of Oban off the lighthouse at the southern point of Lismore Island. In doing this the starboard wing tip float was knocked off and the aircraft heeled over causing water to enter through the windows. All the crew managed to get out into the water before the aircraft sank. F/Sgt Corby's body was recovered later. Those who were never found are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

Sources: CWGC and Ross McNeill, Coastal Command Losses of the Second World War, 1939-1941

29/06/1940: Escort

Saro Lerwick
Serial number: L7261, WQ-L
Operation: Escort
Lost: 29/06/1940
F/O E.M. Pain - safe
F/O W.H. Flint - safe
P/O W.E. Ogle-Skan - safe
and six other crew members - safe
Took off 03.35 hrs from Oban for an escort operation, but ran into bad weather west of Coll and returned to base. Waterborne at 04.30 hrs. When taxying across wind to take up moorings the starboard float apparantly broke adrift and the aircradt subsequently capsized and sank in Ardantrive Bay at about 05.00 hrs. The aircraft was later recovered.

Source: Ross McNeill, Coastal Command Losses of the Second World War, 1939-1941

back up

Peter D. Cornwell, The Battle of France, Then and Now, 2008
Ross McNeill, Coastal Command Losses of the Second World War, Volume 1 (1939-1941), Midland publishing, 2003. ISBN: 1 85780 128 8

You've only scratched the surface of Lerwick family history.

Between 1965 and 2004, in the United States, Lerwick life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1998, and highest in 1975. The average life expectancy for Lerwick in 1965 was 79, and 75 in 2004.

An unusually short lifespan might indicate that your Lerwick ancestors lived in harsh conditions. A short lifespan might also indicate health problems that were once prevalent in your family. The SSDI is a searchable database of more than 70 million names. You can find birthdates, death dates, addresses and more.

Watch the video: Explore TV - Lerwick and the Up Helly Aa