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A Crofter's Life in Shetland (clip 2)

Visitors arrive by seaplane

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An early documentary by filmmaker Jenny Gilbertson, one of Scotland's film pioneers. It records a traditional way of life which was about to disappear for ever and captures the annual farming year of the crofting communities of the Shetland Isles. The film features the islanders at work on their crofts, gathering peat, fishing and the celebrations during the "Up Helly Aa" festival.
In this clip we see visitors arriving from Invergordon in a seaplane and a boat coming out to greet them.

Questions & Activities


  • Do you think the men were standing during the plane journey?
  • Who are the visitors and why have they arrived by seaplane?
  • What do you think happened before and after the clip?
  • Why do you think a seaplane would come from the Cromarty Firth to Shetland?
  • What difficulties do you think the filmmaker might have had shooting this sequence?


Write a story or diary entry about the visit.

Research and design your own seaplane.

Create a piece of music and sound effects to accompany the movement of the plane.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-000-169-C
Resource Rights Holder Courtesy of The Gilbertson Family
Project Ref 0981
Date 1931
Genre Documentary, Amateur, Women Filmmakers
School Subject Economic History, Social History, Geography
Subject Matter Rivers and Coasts
Who Jenny Gilbertson (director)
Where Shetland
Attributes Black and White, Silent
Clip Length 0:41
Film Length 46:00