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Shetland Holiday Surprise - from Nick Warren

Our eldest daughter is in the final year of her Medical training and had put her name down to do her ‘Elective’ on an island. She was hoping for Bermuda or The Seychelles, but was placed at the Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick!

So last October Trish and I went for a week’s holiday to the Shetland Isles. Primarily to see our daughter, but also to visit a part of the world that perhaps we would otherwise have overlooked as a holiday destination.

If you have the opportunity to visit we would fully recommend it.  Shetland is the furthest north part of Britain and trees are a scarcity, but the land and coastal scenery is stunning. The roads are interesting as there is one main road from the bottom to the top of the islands, and nearly every other road is a single track with passing places. The amazing thing is that each road, no matter how isolated, is as smooth as a billiard table - when they do road works they

reinstate the surface!

We did all the usual sightseeing activities, which included a visit to the Shetland Museum in Lerwick. The exhibition layout was a time line starting with a volcano, Neolithic, Vikings, Medieval etc, working up to the present day. Imagine my surprise when I turned a corner in the 1900s and a Singer car was in front of me.  Usually a museum exhibition vehicle would have been an Austin 7 - but the Singer was the only car exhibit in the building.

Adjacent to the car was a description which read:

‘Singer 9 Sports Saloon, 1933

Although whaling was tough it was profitable work.

Returning whalers had money to spend and they often bought motorcycles or cars to take home to Shetland. George Jamieson took this car back to North Roe, Northmavine, in 1947.

It was restored by a team lead by Sammy Johnson in 1989 – 1992.’

I persuaded Barbara, the curator, to allow me to lift the bonnet so I could make a note of the relevant numbers - which were: Chassis No 61129, Body No G90.  A subsequent search of the Singer Build Records by Bob Francis has established that the car is recorded as:

Singer Nine Sports Saloon, Order No. 6442, Chassis No. 61129, Engine No. 53497, black top and wings, ivory body and wheels, green trimming, tested by Mills and delivered on 1st February 1934 to dealer: Cook and Palmer Ltd, London and was sold by Rowland Smith to K. Bader of 25 Selbourne Gardens, Hendon on 8th February 1934.’

The harpoon is not mounted on the running board - it’s the adjacent exhibit!                  Nick.

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