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Housa Voe (Papa Stour)
Image Bob Jones

Housa Voe (Papa Stour)

Latitude: 60° 19'N
Longitude: 01° 38'W
Country: Scotland

Ownership: Shetland Islands Council
Type: Municipal
Usage: Fishing, Commercial

About Housa Voe (Papa Stour)

Housa Voe is the ferry terminal for the island of Paper Stour. The ferry runs from West Burrafirth on the mainland.

The Norse name "Papey Stjora" meaning the big island of the Priests, was given to Papa Stour by the Vikings. This suggests that missionary priests of Celtic origin may have formed an isolated community here,
Until the 17th century,

In the 19th century the population of 360 inhabitants was stabilised by the opening of the Crabbaberry fishing station. Unfortunately the advent of the steam drifter, which centralised the fish curing industry in Lerwick, and the lack of peat for household fuel reduced the population dramatically. By 1940 only 100 people remained on the island and these only through help supplied by Government war grants.

After then, the men away at the whaling and the children having to go to the mainalnd for secondary education, the population continued to fall; and by 1970 it had reached a critical stage. Only sixteen people still remained when, through an advertisement in the national press, a number of young couples came and settled. The school was reopened and for the next twenty years the population remained stable. But now the island is again in need of repopulation, the numbers having sunk to less than twenty once more.

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