View over our field to the Voe (inlet)
North Sea on East side of Yell.

My name is Lindsay Dowding. I moved from Norfolk to the Shetland island of Yell in February 2019 with my husband John. I said to him one day “I can’t stand the summer heat in England and if this is climate change I’ll have to move to Shetland.” Being John he said, “What a good idea, let’s do it”.

We knew Shetland from attending the annual International Wool Week each Autumn so in September 2018 we looked at a house in Mid Yell, returned to the mainland Shetland, made an offer to the much surprised solicitor, returned to Norfolk and put our cottage on the market. We moved to The Nurse’s House on Yell on February 20th 2019. As a retired nurse, even the house name was suitable. It was meant to be.

Lindsay and John Dowding

When we left Norfolk people asked us ‘What will you do? Won’t you be bored?’

Every day here starts with a combined sense of peace, excitement at what the day might bring and my ever present feeling that I have far more to fit in than I can manage. Last year, without our even realising it we were welcomed in to such a vibrant and warm community. The events in the community Hall, just near us were many and varied.

The Variety Show near Christmas, the Wedding exhibition which displayed dresses worn by brides since the 1930s and who had celebrated in the hall. It was a beautiful display with weeks of work and planning, wedding albums spread out by each dress so that we could see the pictures and accounts of the day.

At another event a ‘fashion show’ of the wedding gowns was held with the descendants of the brides modelling the gowns from the past (and the actual brides wearing the gowns worn recently). There were at least 3 weddings in the hall last summer, with eating and drinking, ceildhs and laughter until the early hours. The next day it started all over again with more dancing and music and often different gowns.

I joined the Yell singers and apart from carols, traditional, new and Norwegian found myself part of the backing group which the choir provided for the brilliant Shetland Rock Band, ‘No Sweat’!’

Such voices, with no conductor or formal gowns or folders. Sheer joy. There was so much more. Volunteering in the Charity Shop at Aywick and now I have the most wonderful job helping to support carers looking after people at home through the auspices of Shetland Island Council.

There is tons more but it begins to sound over the top and I am happy to say that it is!

The Wedding Exhibition displayed dresses worn by local brides since the 1930s

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