The Springfield Hotel, later to become the Baltasound Hotel, was well known to many servicemen from Saxa. It was an alternative to the official camp bars and made a change from service orientated establishments. It also provided am opportunity to mix with the local population. Over the years the Hotel changed hands on a number of occasions but is still functioning today. (Left click on pictures to enlarge)
In February 1967 there was a serious fire. Fortunately no one was badly injured but the RAF Fire Tender and Ambulance were called to the scene. I have copied 2 newspaper articles below. It can be seen in the Shetland Times article that there had been another fire in the premises a short time before.
The main part of the Hotel was closed for a considerable period and the opportunity to refurbish and extend the premises was seized. A large Lounge and new Lounge Bar were installed and the Hotel reopened for full business early in 1969.
Just before the official reopening the new Lounge and bar were the venue for a wedding reception. The first of the two pictures below shows the happy couple in front of a mural painted by the local GP - Dr Robertson and the second shows the groom partaking of light refreshment (or should that be a pint of heavy!)
A large article was published in the Shetland Times just after the reopening. I have reproduced it below – I rather like the advert at the bottom right of the page, transport to and from the Shetland Mainland, full board and lodging for a weekend for 150/= (£7.50 in today’s currency). (Left click to enlarge and some zooming may be necessary)
In the 70’s the name was changed to the Baltasound Hotel and later expansion took place with the import of a number of Chalets.
Another natural disaster occurred in 1979. As occasionally happens in Shetland a breeze blew up and a certain amount of structural damage was done. The event is recorded in the following clipping:
The Hotel is still on the go today, the photo below was taken in 2008.
Some refurbishment has been taking place recently and is nearly complete. The two photos below were taken in Feb 2010.
The name of the Springfield is remembered today in the name of the main bar - "Springers"
The website for the Hotel is below: