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The Shetland and Orkney Connection

The Shetland Islands are situated in the North Sea 200 miles north of Aberdeen, Scotland and 250 miles west of Bergin, Norway. They consist of 100 islands, with only about a dozen of them inhabited. Its weather gets a bad rap but its people are intensely hospitable  neighbourly.

In April 2002, a small group of enthusiasts - Jack, Irene, Barbara and myself, Nan – first gathered to explore the possibility of creating a regular radio programme. Nervous at our lack of radio experience as producers, we wondered if we would measure up. Over the months, as we got to grips with broadcasting, the local café kept us buoyed with coffee and muffins as we met to discuss programme ideas and our confidence slowly grew.

We knew there was a hunger in the community for contact with stories and people from The Shetlands. People wanted to gain an understanding about their family histories, so we had the backing of the local Shetland Society.

Irene was the authority on Shetland music so we got to know some fantastic modern groups who rode the wave of the renaissance of fiddling music. Barbara went on a huge learning curve and made connections with her island dwelling great, great grandmother. Both my parents immigrated to NZ in 1922 and I’ve visited Shetland four times – each time in a different season. For me, doing the programme is like giving something back for the fantastic upbringing my mother and father gave me – including the great pride in our strange heritage.      

 “Don’t just talk about the past....” was the message we got very strongly from our organisation.

The Shetland character is very droll so over the years we’ve included fun pieces about life in Shetland today (bizarre cricket matches, letters from “home” and even the Unst bustop), themes matching NZ celebrations like July’s KidsFest  when we link in with children, grand-children or even great grandchildren. Stories, poetry and recollections from both world wars comprises this Category 7 entry.

Visitors to the city are snapped up if they have Shetland connections, and we have an eye on Helen Clarke – she had a great uncle... We try to get a balance between nostalgia pieces and contemporary issues, experiences and music.
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The Shetland and Orkney Connection-24-06-2019 - Current news and information
Stories, music and news from the Shetland and Orkney Islands
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The Shetland and Orkney Connection-27-05-2019 - Farewell to Nan
Stories, music and news from the Shetland and Orkney Islands
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The Shetland and Orkney Connection-29-04-2019 - The Soldiers' Sacrifice and Parkinson's disease on the IsIands
Nan and Heather discuss the soldiers sacrifice and Parkinson's disease on the Islands
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The Shetland and Orkney Connection-25-03-2019 - Shetland Young Heritage, John Rae plus music

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The Shetland and Orkney Connection-25-02-2019
Heather and Nan bring you Music and conversation, Brought to you by the Shetland and Orkney society.
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Host: Nan Anderson and Barbara Hughes Category: Ethnic Diversity Language: English Website: Visit Programme Website Email:

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