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16 October 2014
Social Change: Employment 1945 to 1979

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Image of Sullom Voe oil terminal.

Sullom Voe oil terminal

This valuable source is an extract from the speech that the Queen gave at the official opening of the Sullom Voe oil terminal in 1981. The opening of this terminal confirmed Shetland's important place in the world of oil extraction and distribution. In this speech the queen focuses on the crucial role of the people of Shetland in welcoming the oil industry to their small community, while making sure that the population would enjoy some of the benefits of having a multi-million pound industry on their doorstep.


Queen's inauguration of the Sullom Voe oil terminal. (1981)

Shetlanders through their council have arrived at a unique partnership with industry, in the construction of an oil port on a scale which dwarfs the harbours of much of industrial Europe. I can well understand the hopes and fears which this has aroused among the people of Shetland. The impact of such a development on the economic life of these islands is inevitably considerable. The way in which Shetland is coping with the challenge is an example to everyone. The islanders have demonstrated those characteristics of toughness, adaptability and individuality which have carried them through times of upheaval in the past. These are among Shetlands greatest assets for the future and they like the more material gains from the advent of the oil industry will I know will be shrewdly husbanded and invested for the future.

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