As the days gradually get lighter, Moder Dy is beginning to come to life, our plans and aspirations taking shape as we enter Moder Dy's first year of trading.
Why did we start Moder Dy? Well Marc and I both graduated with PhDs in 2017 from the University of Aberdeen (via the University of the Highlands and Islands) and having barely met whilst cloistered in our respective cocoons of academic writing decided it was about time we caught up! Marc had been considering the concept of Moder Dy for some time, his specialism in traditional Shetland boats naturally leading in this direction. I am an archaeologist specialising in public engagement and had spent the last few years working voluntarily with community group Archaeology Shetland and the SCAPE Trust (Scottish Coastal Archaeology and the Problem of Erosion) to identify and record the eroding archaeology of the isles.
We were very aware that both the memories and the physical remains of Shetland's maritime heritage are vanishing rapidly to the ravages of time and the sea. Moder Dy is our attempt to stem this tide before it is too late, we can't save everything but we can record as much as possible and pass it on to future generations!
We have our first workshops on sale now, in Lerwick and on Unst (click here to find out more about our workshops); two free school visits are also booked (funded by ticket sales from the workshops) and the first boat noost highlighted for survey and recording! We are busy planning more events (and of course survey work) across the Shetland Mainland and isles - so please get in touch if you would like us to visit your school, give a talk at your hall, or if you have a business that would be interested in sponsoring us (financially or in kind) to help save Shetland's maritime heritage at risk!
Currently we run Moder Dy as volunteers, so money for all equipment comes out of our own pockets and we can only run this amazing social enterprise around our day jobs - the more money we can raise to support Moder Dy the more time and resources we can dedicate to recording important maritime archaeological sites, and running community projects!
Written by Esther Renwick