Shetland Timeline - Events In Shetland Since The First Hamefarin In 1960


The first Shetland Hamefarin is held, when hundreds of exiles and family members return to the isles to celebrate their unique family links. The Shetland Forty Fiddlers were formed specifically to entertain the Hamefarers. They were christened this by Magnus Magnusson in a BBC broadcast and the name stuck.


Fetlar becomes home to a breeding population of Snowy Owls, the only known instance of this bird breeding in the UK. The birds continue to breed in Fetlar until 1975.


Roy Grönnenborg and Bill Adams design the Shetland flag to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Shetland’s transfer from Danish to Scottish authority. In a nod to both the Scandinavian and Scottish authority under which Shetland has been ruled, the flag uses the colours of the Scottish flag and the offset cross design common to Scandinavian flags.


The exploration phase for oil and gas offshore of Shetland begins when the Government allocates the first Licence Blocks.


The Zetland County Council Act, introduced as an extraordinary bill in 1972, becomes law. This confers considerable control over developments in and around the isles to the Council, allowing the Council to plan for and accommodate oil development in a safe and sustainable manner.


Construction work begins on the Sullom Voe Terminal.


The first oil is piped to Sullom Voe through the Brent pipeline from the Dunlin oilfield on 25 November and is shipped out by the Shell tanker Donovania five days later.


The first annual Shetland Folk Festival is held.


HM Queen Elizabeth II visits Shetland in May to carry out the official opening ceremony of the Sullom Voe Oil Terminal.


Sullom Voe receives its one billionth (1,000 millionth) barrel of oil in December.


The UK record windspeed is recorded in Shetland on 1 January, measuring 328 kilometres per hour (194 miles per hour).


The Liberian-registered tanker Braer runs aground off Quendale Voe on 5 January, spilling 84,700 tonnes of crude oil into the North Sea. This is the second-largest tanker spill in UK waters.


The Fair Isle South Lighthouse becomes automated, completing the Northern Lighthouse Board’s programme of automation. This was the last manned lighthouse in Scotland.


Lerwick is a host port for the 1999 Cutty Sark Tall Ships Race. The race, which features 70 vessels and over 2,500 crewmembers makes a four-day stop in Lerwick from 9-12 August. The race, won by the A-Class Polish vessel Pogoria, begins in Aalborg, Denmark and calls at host ports in Lerwick and Greenock before finishing in St. Malo, France.


Sullom Voe records the seven billionth barrel of oil produced at the terminal.


The Shetland flag gains official status in February.


The NatWest Island Games XI are held in Shetland from 9-15 July. Shetland is the smallest community to play host to the Island Games. 24 island communities take part, with over 2,000 athletes competing in 15 different sports. Guernsey top the medal table with 40 gold, 38 silver and 29 bronze, but Shetland records its best ever medal haul, coming in seventh with 10 gold, 14 silver and 22 bronze.


RAF Saxa Vord in Unst closes on 1 March. Currently on a care-and-maintenance basis, the base had operated in Unst since 1957.