Shetland Times Yearly Reports

Shetland Times Yearly Reports

The Shetland Times published a year end report each year. The ones available here, by kind permission of the Shetland Times, are for the war years, 1914-1918, and for the first year of peace, 1919. The reports covered the hosiery, fishing, agriculture, and building trades. The pre-war building trade, for instance, had seen some lively years. New public buildings, and private villas had been lovingly reported.

The wartime reports obviously miss out the war activity in Shetland, but cover the home front economy well. It’s a story of ups and downs, of rising prices but falling yields, of opportunities brought by the war, but the war meaning they couldn’t be followed through. Rising prices in agriculture could only be cashed in if there was a good season. Whether there was a war on or not, there was always the weather. The outbreak of war in 1914 meant the fishing economy came to a halt as boats and personnel moved south. It revived, but was difficult to carry on in wartime.

The end of the war was approached carefully. The Shetland Times didn’t sound many notes of optimism. The Lerwick Town Council’s plans for public houses were discussed cautiously. The paper felt that the potential rents were too high, even if wages had risen, so had prices. As to the success of the project, it would "wait and see". There had been a lot of that since 1914, and the Times was prepared for more.

More info: 

The Year That's Awa'