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Memoirs of a Shetland Exile
by James A Pottinger

Regular Sea Breezes contributor, James Pottinger’s travels from his birthplace in a croft house in pre-war Burra have taken him full circle and he is “home” again, after a career in engineering, the merchant navy, sales and management. This gentle memoir reflects the vast difference in life-styles and opportunities for a youngster born in modest circumstances then and those prevailing today. Educated at Hamnavoe school and then the Lerwick Central Public School, his first job was as a builder’s labourer in Burra. Seeking a career meant leaving home and taking on a marine engineering apprenticeship in Greenock before sailing as an engineer in the last gasp of the “great” British merchant marine. Then followed marriage, work in Scandinavia and Holland throughout the oil era and, eventually, a happy retirement in Aberdeen. A keen artist, draughtsman and boating enthusiast James decided, after the death of his wife, to return to Shetland and “with inevitable mortality drawing ever nearer”, as he puts it, finally records his “journey home”. An excellent well-written memoir that comes highly recommended.

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James A Pottinger