Swan Trust to mark Wordplay 2022 with literary evening aboard

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1 August 2022

The Swan Trust is offering a literary evening aboard the Swan in September, with a traditional dish of bacalao made by local food expert and author Marian Armitage, readings from John Goodlad’s new book The Salt Roads – How fish created a culture, and traditional music by Swan Skipper Maggie Adamson.

Whilst berthed alongside in Lerwick Harbour, guests will enjoy readings from John Goodlad’s new book The Salt Roads – which explores Shetland and its relationship to the rest of Europe, told through the salt fish trade that powered the Shetland economy for more than 200 years. This will be accompanied by music from Swan Skipper, and renowned musician, Maggie Adamson as well as drinks and bacalao, a traditional salt fish stew which was a commonly eaten by fishermen at the whaling. All of this links to John’s book, which covers two centuries, a vast geographical area and shows how many poets, novelists, musicians and artists have been inspired by the world of fishing.

Taking place on the evening of Friday 23rd September, the event will be in the middle of the Wordplay festival, which runs from the 21st to the 25th. Rachel Dominy, Commissions Lead at Shetland Arts Development Agency, said: Literature lovers across Shetland and beyond look forward every year to Wordplay. We're delighted this year that The Swan Trust event will supplement the busy schedule and give audiences the opportunity for a unique Shetland experience.”

John Goodland, Author and Swan Trust Trustee, said: “There is no better place to launch my new book than in the mess room of the Swan during Shetland’s festival of literature. It should be a great evening with the finest bacalao and the best of Shetland fiddle music. It is also fitting that all proceeds from the evening will go to the Swan Trust, and I am grateful to those involved and local businesses, for donating their time and produce.”

Starting at 7pm, the event will be an intimate evening, with just 12 tickets on offer, and a chance for those aboard to discuss Shetland's vast fishing heritage and sailing one of its iconic vessels, the Swan, with two highly knowledgeable individuals.

The bacalao will be made by another local expert, and a true ambassador for Shetland's food and drink sector, Marian Armitage. Marian’s second book, Food Made in Shetland, is also being released this year and features the traditional bacalao recipe she will be making for the event: The foods and flavours of traditional Shetland cooking have been heavily influenced by our historic fishing links. The work of the Swan Trust really keeps these alive and I am very much looking forward to cooking and serving this delicious salt cod dish in such a unique and fitting setting.”

All proceeds from the evening will go to The Swan Trust, the Charity that maintains and operates Shetland’s historic sail boat. The Trust would like to thank everyone for donating their time, Thule Ventus for donating their locally produced bacalao fish, made with Shetland cod, and H. Henderson shop in Unst for donating the drinks for the evening.

To book a place, priced at £45 per person, e-mail The Swan Trust:


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