Cooke Aquaculture Scotland has co-funded a project to re-build a replica of the significant wartime Prince Olav slipway in Scalloway, Shetland.
The original ships cradle, which is used to hold a boat upright on dry land to allow the vessel to be repaired, was built in 1942 and was used for the fishing boats which were part of the covert operation supporting the Norwegian resistance, otherwise known as the Shetland Bus.
Located just along the road from the Shetland Bus memorial on Scalloway’s Main Street, the replica slipway will be an important visitor attraction to the island and strengthen Shetland’s ties with Norway.
As part of our commitment to the coastal and rural communities in which we live and work, Cooke donated £5,000 towards the project which is led by the Shetland Bus Friendship Society.
Group spokesman, Charlie Grant, explained how Cooke’s funding will benefit.
He said: “On behalf of the Shetland Bus Friendship Society, I thank Cooke Aquaculture Scotland for their donation towards the replica slipway.
“The Shetland Fishing industry and Shetland Aquaculture industry’s combined donations make up more than 20 per cent of the total cost of the restored slip.
“It will bring together once more Norway and Shetland in a common cause, to remember the joint operation carried out by the Norwegian free Forces and British Forces to support the resistance in Norway during World War II, which will forever be remembered as the Shetland Bus.”
The new replica cradle is being constructed by local firm Malakoff, which owns and operates the shipyard at the slipway. The steel fabrication of the slipway was completed earlier this year and the new cradle is now partially in place.
Colin Blair, Managing Director of Cooke Aquaculture Scotland, said: “This is an important part of Shetland’s history and heritage and keeping the strong ties with Norway alive is of deep importance to the local community. This chapter of history showed how two communities supported each other in times of need and how Shetland offered a place of safety and refuge.
“Cooke Aquaculture Scotland is proud to support the restoration of the original ships cradle. The brave men who risked their lives crossing the rough seas, during times of war, must be remembered.”
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