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Baltasound


Shetland

The chief township of Unst in the Shetland Islands, Baltasound is situated at the head of Balta Sound which is protected at its mouth by the island of Balta. The Sound used to be the centre of the northern herring fishing industry and could boast a seasonal population of over 10,000 at its heyday in the early years of the 20th C. Today Baltasound, with its two hotels and airstrip, serves the North Sea oil industry as well as exporting talc which is mined on the island. The settlement's Swedish Church was built in 1910. Baltasound Public School opened in 1879 and today serves as a Youth Centre. Baltasound Junior High School, which takes pupils aged between 4 - 16, now comprises a primary department in a building dating from 1995 and a separate secondary department which opened in 1968. There is also a community hall and the well-appointed Unst Leisure Centre, which includes the most northerly swimming pool in Britain. Setters Hill Estate was constructed in 1990-94 by the Ministry of Defence as married quarters for staff serving at the RAF Saxa Vord monitoring base. Some of these properties remain in MoD hands, while others are now privately-owned or have been made available for renting by a housing association. The main A968 road takes several confusing dog-legs through Baltasound passing, just to the northeast, the unique and well-furnished Unst Bus Shelter.


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