Anne Goudie manages the most northerly outpost of Funeral Directors on the British Isles; Goudies in Shetland.
Covering the whole of mainland Shetland and surrounding 15 inhabited islands, some which are more accessible than others, Goudies cope with logistic and weather related challenges regularly. From force 10 gales causing ferry and plane cancellations to cemeteries with no road access, funeral arranging is rarely straightforward.
Goudies was established in 1896 formerly known as Duncan & Bolts, based in the Old Gilbert Bain Hospital, which was Lerwick’s main hospital until 1962 when the new hospital was built.
Anne is assisted by her son Jamie and five staff.
The largest island, known as "Mainland", has an area of 373 square miles, making it the third-largest Scottish island and the fifth-largest of the British Isles. There are an additional 15 inhabited islands. The archipelago has an oceanic climate, a complex geology, a rugged coastline and many low, rolling hills.
Humans have lived in Shetland since the Mesolithic period. The early historic period was dominated by Scandinavian influences, especially from Norway. The islands became part of Scotland in the 15th century. When Scotland became part of the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707, trade with northern Europe decreased. Fishing continues to be an important aspect of the economy up to the present day. The discovery of North Sea oil in the 1970s significantly boosted Shetland's economy, employment and public sector revenues.
The local way of life reflects the Scottish and Norse heritage of the isles, including the Up Helly Aa fire festival and a strong musical tradition, especially the traditional fiddle style. The islands have produced a variety of writers of prose and poetry, often in the distinct Shetland dialect of the Scots language. There are numerous areas set aside to protect the local fauna and flora, including a number of important sea bird nesting sites. The Shetland pony and Shetland Sheepdog are two well-known Shetland animal breeds. Other local breeds include the Shetland sheep, cow, goose, and duck.