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Moving from Devon...?

moving incomers community welcoming

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#1 S7PSW

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Posted 14 May 2020 - 06:54 PM

Hi,

I wonder if anyone can offer advice ??

My wife and I are looking at moving permanently to Shetland - in the next few years (the sooner the better).

My question is, How open/welcoming is Shetland to incomers (especially the English - although we haven’t thought of ourselves as English for the last 30+ years!) ?

We want to be a part of the community and make friends - sadly, over the last 25+ years, we’ve never really fitted in anywhere - especially given the fact that we have moved 13 times (because of work and education) and so have never really set down any roots or, with work, the time or energy.

My wife will look to find work - she’s a Community Matron/District Nurse Manager, but I have retired - having myself, been everything from a Composer, Lecturer in IT/Music, NVQ assessor, Community Development Worker and finally, a (State Registered) Music Therapist - for children with a Physical, Mental and Learning Difficulties.

In my search for information about living in a Scottish Island, I messaged Skye’s “Tourist Board” and was told, quite plainly that we weren’t wanted and that it was, because of incomers, that none of the younger generation could afford to buy a house. I could understand the sentiment, but hadn’t expected it in quite that tone.

Our children are both grown up and at university one in London and one in Dundee, so we’ve got a bit more freedom.

I’m also rather shy/socially awkward, having suffered from Anxiety and Clinical Depression most of my life.

So, now heading towards our mid-fifties, we want to break free and finally live life - can we do this on Shetland?

So please, does anyone have any advice ?

All the best

Philip

#2 Davie P

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Posted 14 May 2020 - 07:49 PM

Hi Philip

 

It's probably difficult for a Shetlander to judge how welcoming Shetland is, but I like to think we are, and I've been told by many folk who have settled here that we're a friendly bunch!

 

There's been a lot of inward and outward migration to and from Shetland over the centuries due to the location - particularly for the fishing industry and more recently oil - and there's people from all over the world who have settled here.

 

There are plenty of ways to get involved and bedded into a community here. Lerwick, I suppose, is not too much different from most other small towns in terms of amenities, and there's a strong sense of community in most areas of Shetland. There's lots of events like Up Helly Aas, agricultural shows, sailing regattas and Sunday Teas to get involved with, and community councils, village hall committees, and various groups are always looking for volunteers.

 

This is an excellent resource for general info > https://www.shetland.../live/live-here

 

Cheers!


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#3 ollie54

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Posted 14 May 2020 - 08:28 PM

Hi Newbie

We moved to Shetland 29 years ago i thought I would only last 6 months but here we are we moved from just outside Manchester we bought a old house and spent years doing it up we lived in Whalsay which is one of the islands to which you have to go on a ferry which takes 30 minuets . This can be very expensive as over the years the price has gone up and depending if you work on mainland Lerwick you are probably talking about £120.00 for 10 ferry trips . The way of life is very laid back and the locals are very friendly but you have to make the effort weather wise summer can be good but winter is quite long with the darkness but here at the moment it is still light until about 10.30 and a couple weeks it will be light all the time. Hope this is helpful and if we can be of any further help just get in touch our email is   bishop280@btinternet.com  best wishes Dot Bishop.


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#4 S7PSW

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Posted 14 May 2020 - 08:39 PM

Thank you both. It is fantastic to hear something positive for a change.

Hopefully, we’ll get our house on the market soon and then our new adventure can begin.

#5 NullVoid

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Posted 14 May 2020 - 10:28 PM

In my search for information about living in a Scottish Island, I messaged Skye’s “Tourist Board” and was told, quite plainly that we weren’t wanted and that it was, because of incomers, that none of the younger generation could afford to buy a house. I could understand the sentiment, but hadn’t expected it in quite that tone.

Our children are both grown up and at university one in London and one in Dundee, so we’ve got a bit more freedom.

 

That will be an issue in communities that have their young people priced out of the property market by retirees People think that's an Islands Mainland issue but its a realty a generational thing with the housing market the group that keeps moving away for work was dealt a bad hand for housing opportunities and the other sold their council house and bought a castle.

The kind of annual salary that will give you mortgage eligibility is unobtainum and good luck getting that deposit when you pay over inflated housing costs

 

Its not just retirees the younger folk are competing against previously unseen numbers of overseas buyers are also hoovering up uk property which bumps the numbers up.

https://www.bbc.co.u...siness-39732816

 

That's more of a UK wide thing and if you are under 30 you may work part time not because you want to but because nobody will/can give you a full time job and council houses and to some extent housing association places are are anything of the past unless your situation is absolutely dire and you get on the housing lottery.

Dwellings_completed_in_England_1946-2015

This has forced many to live in buy to lets and pay 3x what a mortgage costs to pay somebody elses because the bank will not give them one because their annual wage is too low

 

Which in turn leads to the older generation hoovering up the remaining houses and renting them out to people who cannot afford them

but if you bought your house in the 80s or 90s and you live in a place where its gone from £50,000 when you bought it to £1,000,000 when you sold it you can buy a nice house in a place that's picturesque and don't have to work.

 

People are resentful about this because that means their son cant buy the house down the road and will probably move somewhere where housing and job opportunities because the grass always looks greener on another side thus communities break up and become more atomized.

 

Value_of_land_and_buildings_in_the_UK.pn

 

 

 

My wife will look to find work - she’s a Community Matron/District Nurse Manager, but I have retired - having myself, been everything from a Composer, Lecturer in IT/Music, NVQ assessor, Community Development Worker and finally, a (State Registered) Music Therapist - for children with a Physical, Mental and Learning Difficulties.

Before the lock-down prevented anyone from doing interviews there were a few schools looking for that sort of thing,

But while they have tonnes of furloughed staff not so much anymore

 

its possible things might work out but wait at least a year


Edited by NullVoid, 14 May 2020 - 10:33 PM.

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#6 S7PSW

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Posted 15 May 2020 - 04:06 AM

Thank you. That is really interesting.

Communities/countries have always evolved (not necessarily in a positive way), there are always ethical and moral issues that should be taken into account. Keeping an open mind and listening is a vital part of life if we, as a race, wish to survive.

Migration can destroy or make communities stronger (or something in between), but I believe that we can all learn from each other, we all have differences and things will always become more complicated when emotions become involved.

As this pandemic has proved, we all need each other and should work together to better society and the world, in general, be less selfish and understanding. Being human, should be about caring for one another and not forcing your own agenda.

Life is tough at times... ...as we all know “interesting times” can also be a curse !!!

All the best

Philip

[Sorry if that’s a little confused/political/idealist/meandering/cliched - it is 04:30 and insomnia takes its toll ! - none of this is meant to be negative or disparaging - so I do hope that I haven’t caused any offence]

#7 NullVoid

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Posted 15 May 2020 - 01:46 PM

There are parts of Shetland that will be more welcoming than others relative to where you decide to live.

 

to revisit the point made by the guy on Skye’s “Tourist Board” its so common for people to complain about that sort of thing that there is  word for it

Gentrification

Gentrification is a process of changing the character of a neighborhood through the influx of more affluent residents and businesses.
Gentrification often increases the economic value of a neighborhood, but the resulting demographic change is frequently a cause of controversy.
.

 

Before i moved to Shetland i come form a place witch basically has reverse gentrification which has similar effects where people leave because there is no jobs and droves of crackheads and other wasters shipped over from other cities are dumped there and people fly out even more because the area has gone down hill Deindustrialization/Detroitification whatever you want to call it.

 

It was expensive to move and bear in mind most under 30s have less than £1000 in savings so to do this as a younger person you need to be in the top 30% of savers as housing costs for 2 months ALONE will make moving to another town very difficult and risky which is how people get trapped in Low income areas.

 

i brought this up because you asked about how accepting they are of the English, I came here from a Catholic family in middle England and i have gotten along fine with people form Shetland, Not religious just brought up my background to compare with yours in Devon.

 

Opportunities are good for work but not much Entry level stuff i sure as hell wouldn't have gotten my job here if i was fresh out of school and that's what drives a lot of the younger people away.

 

so what you should ask is "Where SHOULD you live?"

 

Avoid the places sought after by commuters who work in Lerwick and Scalloway and cant afford to live nearer,

The parts of the South mainland with the no 6 airport bus.

These are the most sought after properties for people who work due to so many jobs being in Lerwick,

 

Islands besides Mainland Shetland struggle to hold onto the population and more far flung places in Mainland Shetland too though commuting form Lerwick to Bressay is hypothetically feasible.

 

Therefore the question becomes

 

Where would i not be competing against people trying to make a living?

 

Lerwick population 7,500 Shetland islands total 22,990

 

People need to go to Lerwick for shopping and amenities but Brae has some of the same amenities and gets business form lots of oil workers and people from the many villages near it this is another place to keep in mind as that could be a possible option as this is a lower demand area where your impact may be more positive.

 

and there are quite a few places.

 

Any islands that have caught your eye?

would be a long post if i talked about those and i mostly worked on mainland since i got here so somebody more knowledgeable on hat might be able to fill you in on those but communities that are shrinking for reasons besides housing costs would be happier to see you than those that are seeing higher housing costs as a result on newcomers.

Some places are crying out for people and they don't get people because there isnt much work near them but there are some nice places that i wouldn't move to because i couldn't get work locally there but since you implied you may be at least becoming semi-retired you have the option of looking at these places.

 

But as i said before wait a good year because nobody wants somebody bouncing from town to town, island to island until the pandemic has died down.


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#8 S7PSW

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Posted 15 May 2020 - 06:04 PM

[my first reply disappeared, so apologies if I repeat myself]

Yes, yes, yes. Thank you for your reply.

We both spent our childhoods in a very working class part of Yorkshire, but have moved all over the country since then, following our own education and work.

As such we’ve never had the time to make friends and we have no family (except our grown up children at University).

We’re also non-drinkers, vegetarian and don’t like (particularly mainstream) sport. We like art, cars [I used to have a Caterham 7 and ride a BMW mitorbike], theatre, music, comedy, films, dogs, cats and pigs (having had three pet Kune-Kunes for 13 years), good food, craft, museums, etc. and have put everything into our children and their education.

Having worked in a community myself (as a Community Development Worker and (separately) the manager of a Volunteer Bureau) I have spent a lot of (wonderful and rewarding) time with people who have severe learning and physical difficulties, promoting inclusion and equality.

So, we’re looking to be a part of a community and make
friends and finally (at the age of 52), settle down.

We’ve been plagued all our working lives by politics (with a small ‘p’) and want to be somewhere that has an open mind, heart and arms (!?). We’re somewhat eclectic and have never seem to find the right “jigsaw” to fit into - we now hope its going to be Shetland.

As for places to settle, we’ve actually looked (online) at Brae and it seems to be a good mix of amenities, housing and community. But, as you know (especially now) the housing market is a little static (!).

But, I’m also concerned about Radon gas, having lived in an area of high levels (Dartmoor) for the last fourteen years (added to my own anxiety and depression problems) it always is an issue ???

I’m into Agatha Christie books, films of Luc Besson and have collected pens and watches until recently (although I have had to sell them all to help our children with their university fees and living expenses).

My wife is looking forward (!) to working in a new area and although I realise that there is a finite range of jobs within the NHS, her tremendous experience, qualifications and expertise will (hopefully) go a long way...

I myself though, am now retired - partly through my business drying up and poor (mental) health, but would I love to take on some voluntary role.

Anyway, that’s me/us - one of my biggest problems is that I am far too honest and open [see above] and this, in the past has either been used against me or, instantly, puts people off - plus I am extremely socially awkward and my anxiety stops me doing most things.

I’ve always been proud to be bohemian/“weird”, but it does lead to isolation sometimes.

Thank you again for your time and best wishes.

#9 Sukibind

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Posted 15 May 2020 - 07:41 PM

Hi, the weather in Devon is very good, so much so that palm trees are grown. The weather in Shetland is, as the locals say.. 9 months of storms and 3 months of bad weather. Dont under estimate the weather, not on coping with it, but on how it wears you down. The endless wind blowing is very wearing, its cold, everything you plant has to be cosseted.. except kale and tatties.. and even they need some protection from the wind. Yes, there are some fine days, but they are few and far between. I would suggest you rent a place for 3 or 4 months in the winter.. yes, it costs money to do that, and there should be plenty of places empty. Then you will have a good idea if Shetland is what you hoped it would be before you spend serious money and sell your home.


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#10 NullVoid

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Posted 15 May 2020 - 07:54 PM

You paint a fairly detailed picture

 

 

We’ve been plagued all our working lives by politics (with a small ‘p’) and want to be somewhere that has an open mind, heart and arms (!?). We’re somewhat eclectic and have never seem to find the right “jigsaw” to fit into - we now hope its going to be Shetland.

 

if you have a live and let live attitude and can let is slide when somebody disagrees with you on a political subject you will probably be fine.

 

all things considered including Radon you would have to be very specific about what part of Shetland you are looking at to get a detailed picture.

 

you seem like an alright guy if you are socially awkward i get the impression you want to be as positive an influence on the comity you find yourself in but in such a way that you are at par with the people there rather than looking down your nose or being below them.

 

 

Political polarization is a nationwide thing where people have become puritanical and view the opposition as Evil.

 

Both the left and right to some extent

 

there actually is some link between Puritans who burned witches back in the day evolving into Unitarians and eventual "progressives" this is more unified than its opposition which is why its more dominant since the other side is too busy fighting each other than it.

an interesting read on this here.

https://www.unqualif...-hypothesis-in/

 

its "right wing" equivalent would be McCarthyism.

Political activists become more extreme at the same time "Organized religion" declines because people still feel compelled top act like religious zealots even if they don't acknowledge themselves as religious.

unfortunately they are having success influencing politics and public policy.

 

Politics aside i can recommend nothing more than going to see these places in person maybe get a half decent van you can sleep in so you can really explore, the hardware shops in Lerwick are very good for components if you want to build a 12v system to keep your electronics on, solar panels are usable in the summer. have some petrol cans since refueling places are limited.

 

you need an inverted to run mains type plug socket devices but a good for appliances and you can get 12v and 5v(usb) versions of many appliances as long as you are smart when you select what you buy.

 

But perhaps you just need to charge your phone and sat nav either way a power bank is necessary as the cold drains your devices quickly, so if you are away from the hotel for a long time a leisure battery may be something to consider but just make sure its worthwhile most 12v devices are gimmicks but some can be extremely useful and having a solar panel on your cars roof to top up your battery so you can use it on devices.

 

Dont need the big expensive type something like this can store enough to charge up a few phones and maybe a laptop if you have the Right adapters

https://www.screwfix...ttery-12v-7-0ah

 

you can run heated motorcycle gloves which are a useful 12v device but more than 7ah recommended if you are gonna use that alot

 

Hi, the weather in Devon is very good, so much so that palm trees are grown. The weather in Shetland is, as the locals say.. 9 months of storms and 3 months of bad weather. Dont under estimate the weather, not on coping with it, but on how it wears you down. The endless wind blowing is very wearing, its cold, everything you plant has to be cosseted.. except kale and tatties.. and even they need some protection from the wind. Yes, there are some fine days, but they are few and far between. I would suggest you rent a place for 3 or 4 months in the winter.. yes, it costs money to do that, and there should be plenty of places empty. Then you will have a good idea if Shetland is what you hoped it would be before you spend serious money and sell your home.

this is a good point winter might be a good time to look it over


Edited by NullVoid, 15 May 2020 - 07:58 PM.

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#11 S7PSW

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Posted 15 May 2020 - 08:07 PM

Thank you. Good food for thought.

In some ways, we prefer the colder weather - pale skin and ginger-ish (although my hair (what there is of it) began turning white in my mid-20s !).

Where we (currently) live isn’t brilliant for weather either - being on the wrong (geographically) side of Dartmoor means that we do get a lot of rain, plus, as we are in a valley, we see -10 degrees quite often (during winter) and we have less (not compared to Shetland) light.

I much prefer having to wrap up warm that being too hot. But I can understand the problems you mention.

Really good idea about renting. We did that with our current location - but based it on school for our children - we bought a house and then (because of the atrocious pastoral care) they moved to a new school (13 miles away) within two years !!

Again, thank you for your time (and as always) kindness at reaching out.

#12 S7PSW

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Posted 15 May 2020 - 08:13 PM

I think I might be getting my thanking for which post crossed.

Sorry

Needless to say. Thank you all.

It’s good to get such positive (and constructive) feedback.

#13 NullVoid

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Posted 15 May 2020 - 08:28 PM

I think I might be getting my thanking for which post crossed.

Sorry

Needless to say. Thank you all.

It’s good to get such positive (and constructive) feedback.

 

Mobile phone signal is awful when you get into the more remote parts and even parts of Lerwick take notes of places where it works good and remember them.

 

Vacancy rates for rentals are a bit slim and hotel industry next year is a bit of a mystery right now, Camper might be something to keep in mind not for everyone but you should certainly weigh up the pros and cons and crunch the numbers bearing in mind you may not want to be grounded in one place until you have gotten a feel of the different parts and once you have an idea THEN try to find something and it can take some time for something to show up in the area you like best and convening can take time so can getting a rental and there has been a big surge in interest in getting here.

 

you can get a livable trailer for less than £2'000 and a week in a hotel can cost you £300 you are gonna need more than 7 weeks to explore the whole area because you arent sight seeing you want to know what like is like there and if you want to look at islands you might be paying £60 for an airbnb so maybe get a van maybe remove backseats install mattress or instead of owning a cheap one rent a luxurious one for a year for a similar price and move into the place you liked best when its time to send it back

 

as long as you know where you can put the van without being a nuisance this can let you explore at own pace since lots of inter island ferries take cars and trailers


Edited by NullVoid, 15 May 2020 - 08:30 PM.

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#14 S7PSW

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Posted 15 May 2020 - 08:33 PM

My wife has always wanted a campervan, so that’s one easy way.

:)

#15 NullVoid

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Posted 15 May 2020 - 08:57 PM

My wife has always wanted a campervan, so that’s one easy way.

:)

 

Lots of possibilities all sorts of things you can get 12v Cigarette lighter and 5v USB electric blankets which can be viable if used correctly and there are plenty of good places to get camping equipment in Shetland.

 

These can be safer than the gas type heaters which shave of some safety features when they miniaturize them having a few things like this on hand can be good if you overestimate how well insulated your van was.

park discreetly and get permission if you are going to be in the same place for longer than 1 night.

 

stay near a hotel and shops for the first few days, just to be safe.







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