History of the Association

Leith Walk: signpost to Zetland Halls

Details about the Association, from origination in 1928 up to 2002, can be found in the book "Old Rock to Castle Rock", written by author and Association member, Vaila J Irvine (see below).

Brief DetailsIn Victorian times Shetlanders who had moved to Edinburgh, and especially the Leith area, set up a social association which they called the "Leith Thule Club" (details here in our Archive). This ran up until World War 1 (we think). After WW1 with continued extensive migration from Shetland to the South, many Shetlanders came to Leith from Lerwick via the regular boat service that ran at that time (the "calling boat") and it was natural that those of them living in the Edinburgh and Leith area would re-form an Association in 1928, for their social benefit.

In 1962 the Association purchased property at 11 Pilrig Street and named it Zetland Hall and using it as a central base, until sold in 1983.

In recent times most events, which have been in the form of Shetland ceilidh dances, have taken place in the Thomas Morton Hall, part of the Leith Town Hall complex, at the foot of Ferry Road.

Old Rock To Castle Rock - by Vaila J Irvine, list price £9.00

Covering the first 75 years history of the Shetland Association.

This book is available at discount to Association members

Edinburgh, Lothians and District Orkney Association

This Association has many common features with the Shetland Association and coming from the Northern isles there has been natural bonding between the two and while the two exist independently, many people are members of both Associations and attend events, most of which now take place in the Thomas Morton Hall in Leith.

The Association also has a common Norn bond with the Caithness association and there are joint Shetland, Orkney and Caithness events (we war aa Cat fokk afore we war vikins, except mebbe twartree Papil, dey say - we wir pretty guid at beeldin brochs an stane circles lang afore Stonehenge)

Edinburgh Shetland Fiddlers' SocietyThe Shetland Association had many fiddlers among its membership, resulting in the formation of the first Zetland Fiddlers in the 1960's, who played at various events organised by the Association.Evolving from these earlier times is the contemporary organisation of the Edinburgh Shetland Fiddlers' Society, which thrives independently, but which plays periodically at Association events. Edinburgh Shetland Fiddlers meet in The Diggers, Angle Park Terrace at 7:30 pm on the first and third Sundays of each monthEdinburgh, Lothians and District Orkney Association