Baltasound

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Baltasound
Main gate for Buness, Baltasound - geograph.org.uk - 969689.jpg
At the main gate of Buness, Baltasound
Baltasound is located in Shetland
Baltasound
Baltasound
 Baltasound shown within Shetland
OS grid reference HP620089
Civil parish Unst
Council area Shetland
Lieutenancy area Shetland
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town SHETLAND
Postcode district ZE2
Dialling code 01957
Police Scottish
Fire Scottish
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament Orkney and Shetland
Scottish Parliament Shetland
List of places
UK
Scotland

Coordinates: 60°45′32″N 0°51′40″W / 60.759°N 0.861°W / 60.759; -0.861

Baltasound is the largest settlement on the island of Unst in Shetland. Unst is the most northerly inhabited island in the United Kingdom. The village lies halfway along the island's east coast on a sheltered bay called Balta Sound.

Baltasound Post Office, the most northerly in the UK

Baltasound was formerly the most important herring port in Shetland, in 1902 its catch exceeded that of the Shetland capital Lerwick. The herring trade declined rapidly after 1905 but the physical remains of the herring boom remained long after.[1]

Baltasound was the home of the noted Victorian botanist Thomas Edmondston, who was born at Buness House where his uncle, also called Thomas was the laird. A memorial stone erected outside the house by the elder Thomas Edmondston commemorates scientific studies undertaken there by the French physicist Jean-Baptiste Biot.[2]

Baltasound can also lay claim to the most northerly "wood" in the British Isles, although it is not very substantial.[3]

Amenities[edit]

Bobby's Bus Shelter

Many of Baltasound's current amenities hold the record for the most northerly in the UK:

  • Airport - Baltasound Airport - Airport code UNT, runway length 2,099 feet (640 m).,[4] currently only used by emergency services.
  • Leisure Centre
  • School - Baltasound Junior High School[5]
  • Hotel - The Baltasound Hotel[6]
  • Post Office - Baltasound Post Office is now the most northerly post office. For many years this record was held by the post office at Haroldswick until its closure in 1999.[7]
  • The Unst Bus Shelter, also known as Bobby's Bus Shelter, is a famous bus shelter and bus stop near the village. It is maintained by the Shetland Islands Council.

A 2 foot 6 inch gauge railway was built from the chromate quarries at Hagdale to Baltasound[8] in 1907 to boost the Chromate industry on the island, although the railway did not operate a passenger service it helped the village economically and financially. Like other narrow gauge railways in the Shetland Islands it did not survive.

Climate[edit]

Baltasound is home to the most northerly Met Office weather station in the United Kingdom.[9] Unlike most of the British Isles, Baltasound experiences a Subpolar oceanic climate, albeit an unusual variety, with temperatures not falling below freezing every night in Winter.[10]

Baltasound holds the record for the highest temperature recorded in the Shetland Islands: 25.0 °C (77.0 °F) on 2 July 1958.[11] It also possibly holds the record for the lowest Shetland temperature: −11.9 °C (10.6 °F) on 5 February 2001.[12]

During the summer solstice, Baltasound experiences what is known as civil polar day, where the sun sets in the evening and rises the next morning, but between these times it does not get completely dark. During the Winter solstice the sun also fails to reach 6° above the horizon, classified as solar twilight.[13]

Climate data for Baltasound 15 m amsl, 1981-2010
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 6.4
(43.5)
6.0
(42.8)
7.1
(44.8)
8.9
(48)
11.0
(51.8)
13.1
(55.6)
15.0
(59)
15.2
(59.4)
13.4
(56.1)
10.7
(51.3)
8.2
(46.8)
6.8
(44.2)
10.2
(50.4)
Daily mean °C (°F) 4.2
(39.6)
3.9
(39)
4.6
(40.3)
6.3
(43.3)
8.3
(46.9)
10.6
(51.1)
12.6
(54.7)
12.8
(55)
11.1
(52)
8.6
(47.5)
6.0
(42.8)
4.5
(40.1)
7.8
(46)
Average low °C (°F) 2.0
(35.6)
1.3
(34.3)
2.1
(35.8)
3.7
(38.7)
5.6
(42.1)
8.0
(46.4)
10.2
(50.4)
10.4
(50.7)
8.8
(47.8)
6.5
(43.7)
3.8
(38.8)
2.1
(35.8)
5.4
(41.7)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 123.0
(4.843)
95.7
(3.768)
107.4
(4.228)
64.7
(2.547)
52.3
(2.059)
56.6
(2.228)
59.9
(2.358)
82.1
(3.232)
96.0
(3.78)
122.6
(4.827)
128.0
(5.039)
119.8
(4.717)
1,108.1
(43.626)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 22.0 17.5 20.1 13.7 11.8 11.0 12.0 13.4 16.7 20.6 20.5 20.7 200.0
Source: Met Office[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hudson, Norman - Souvenir Postcards from Shetland, Shetland Times, 1992
  2. ^ "Unst, Baltasound, Buness, Memorial Stone". Canmore. Retrieved 17 June 2015. 
  3. ^ Blackadder, Jill Slee Shetland (Colin Baxter Island Guides) (2003) Colin Baxter Photography, Strathspey ISBN 1-84107-125-0
  4. ^ Airports Worldwide
  5. ^ Baltasound Junior High School website
  6. ^ Baltasound Hotel website
  7. ^ BBC News report on closure of Haroldswick post office
  8. ^ Hagdale Chromate Railway
  9. ^ "Station Map". UKMO. 
  10. ^ http://en.climate-data.org/country/213/
  11. ^ "Northern Scotland: climate". metoffice.gov.uk. 
  12. ^ "February 2001". metoffice.gov.uk. 
  13. ^ https://weatherspark.com/averages/28757/Lerwick-Scotland-United-Kingdom
  14. ^ http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/climate/gfz3se40s

External links[edit]