George Waterson Memorial Centre and Museum
The George Waterson Memorial Centre and Museum is located in Fair Isle, which is part of Shetland. The Orkney and Shetland region has an interesting history, as it was not always part of Scotland. It was Christian I of Denmark that saw to it that Shetland formed part of Scotland. His daughter, Margaret, was married to James III in the 1469, and Christian I had given Orkney and Shetland to the Scottish crown, while he paid off her dowry. Unfortunately, Christian I was never able to pay the dowry in full and in the year of 1472, the islands were permanently amalgamated into Scotland. The Fair Isle is located to most southern part of the Shetland Islands and was at one stage, under the ownership of George Waterson. The George Waterson Memorial Centre and Museum is in memory of the man who dedicated his life to the protection of birds and wildlife on the island, and established the bird observatory in the year 1948. He was also the director of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds for 15 years.
After World War II, George Waterson bought Fair
which responsibility of the island was taken over by the National Trust
Scotland in 1955. The establishment of the observatory did not only
popular attraction in Scotland, but brought about
enrichment of the islands’ economy and the founding of a new industry,
tourism. After the National Trust for Scotland stepped in, the
were given immigration opportunities and a massive boost in the revival
The George Waterson Memorial Centre and Museum is housed in the old
Isle School building and stands as a reminder to the positive power
injected into the island. Exhibits in the museum include a complete
on the islands past that dates all the way back to the prehistoric era.
also has an extensive collection of artifacts that were collected on
island, documents and photographs that have recorded history and
visitors on the roots of the islanders and their land.
George Waterson also received the OBE Award in 1964 for the services
rendered to the British in regard to conservation and ornithology. His
passion and dedication to the study and conservation of all bird
also saw him being awarded the Golden Plover Award and he would most
certainly be proud to know that his efforts would be rewarded, by
favorite attraction in Scotland.