Walls, known locally as
Waas, (Old Norse:
Vagar = "Sheltered Bays" (voes) - the
Survey added the "ll" as they thought it was a corruption
of "walls". Cf Vágar and Vágur in the Faroe Islands), is a settlement on the south side of West
Islands, at the head of Vaila Sound and sheltered even from
southerly storms by the islands of Linga and Vaila.
A little to the east of the centre of the village is the marina,
making this a popular base for leisure sailors. The fishing vessels
that are still based in Walls tend to use the pier a few hundred
yards along the west side of Vaila Sound. This is also the
terminus for the ferry service to the island of Foula, some
distance out into the Atlantic from Shetland's
Today it is home to the dialect children's writer Iris Sandison
, also secretary to the local
Waas has long been famed for its annual Agricultural Show. A short
film of 'da Waas Show' in the early 60s, by the late Dr. Albert
Hunter, is available at the link below.
One of its old names is "Vagaland
the name of the local poet.
A pier was built at Walls in the 1700's, and from 1838
, it was a centre for fish curing. Walls itself is
a quieter place than once it was. The large houses of Bayhall, now
converted into flats, and Voe House are signs of past wealth, as
are the three churches visible around the head of the sound. Two
are still in use, while the third bears a sign showing its later
conversion to a bakery. A pier was built in Walls in the 1700s, and
from 1838 the village was a centre for fish curing.
Waas was the childhood home of two fine poets, Vagaland
, and in 1884 was the birthplace of both Peter Fraser
, musician and founder
member of the Shetland
, and William
, the author.