Changing Culture

Changing culture is the first zone in the upper gallery. This explores Shetland’s story from 1800 to the present day – during which time there have been massive changes in its society.

Entering the zone, visitors will see that servants had to cater for the wealthy. However, over the 20th century increasingly more ordinary people had time for hobbies and pastimes. Leisure became more commercialised and structured, with the formation of clubs, and Shetland’s music tradition became an industry.

Themes in this zone include: Hobbies, domestic service, music and the well-known Up-Helly-Aa fire festival.

Highlights include:

  • An original clothes mangle - used by many households throughout Shetland prior to the availability of more contemporary laundry equipment.
  • A 'Skyinbow' - evolved from the traditional fiddle, this instrument depicts the change in music culture.
  • Up Helly Aa display – The festival is unique, and even our display can’t substitute for the real thing.