Wick’s crafty craftsman’s ‘store with no name’ is ready for tourist season

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A Hastur man is resisting the trend of closure on Wick Boulevard by selling woodwork and antiques in a ‘no-name shop’.

Gilbert (Laird) Sutherland stocks finely polished wooden bowls, plates, egg cups, candleholders and more in store, with prices starting from just a few pounds.

Laird Sutherland outside the Unnamed Shop in Wickes High Street. Photo: DGSLaird Sutherland outside the Unnamed Shop in Wickes High Street. Photo: DGS
Laird Sutherland outside the Unnamed Shop in Wickes High Street. Photo: DGS

“The first thing I sold was a brass shoehorn,” Laird said. Laird also keeps a collection of antiques on the shelves. In the front window he has a 12 point stag skull and is accepting offers as well.

You can easily find the store without a name by looking for the deer skull in the shop window. Photo: DGSYou can easily find the store without a name by looking for the deer skull in the shop window. Photo: DGS
You can easily find the store without a name by looking for the deer skull in the shop window. Photo: DGS
Some of the many artefacts adorning the walls of Laird's store on High Street. Photo: DGSSome of the many artefacts adorning the walls of Laird's store on High Street. Photo: DGS
Some of the many artefacts adorning the walls of Laird’s store on High Street. Photo: DGS

“I had a lot of stuff in the storage room at home, and my wife said I should get rid of it.

“We tried a few fairs but only sold a few products. Then Alex Banks asked me why I hadn’t tried it since the store was empty. He gave me the key and said I could do whatever I wanted with it.”

Laird said he started woodturning several years ago after attending a class at Castle Hill Heritage Center. Photo: DGSLaird said he started woodturning several years ago after attending a class at Castle Hill Heritage Center. Photo: DGS
Laird said he started woodturning several years ago after attending a class at Castle Hill Heritage Center. Photo: DGS

Mr. Laird showed me a fine sawmill made of pitch pine. “It’s a very hard wood and has a nice smell. Something like this takes more time to sand and polish than it actually takes to make.”

One of the wooden goblets was made from an old fence post, and he sells a number of smaller goblets that could serve as keepsakes on someone’s mantelpiece.

“I’ve been woodworking for about eight years, ever since I retired and joined a club at the Heritage Center in Castletown.

Aladdin's Cave of Antiques is located in one corner of the store. Photo: DGSAladdin's Cave of Antiques is located in one corner of the store. Photo: DGS
Aladdin’s Cave of Antiques is located in one corner of the store. Photo: DGS
Christmas fun with wood carving. Photo: DGSChristmas fun with wood carving. Photo: DGS
Christmas fun with wood carving. Photo: DGS
I am selling a vintage shortwave radio. Photo: DGSI am selling a vintage shortwave radio. Photo: DGS
I am selling a vintage shortwave radio. Photo: DGS

“One day a bag of firewood arrived at my house, and I said, “It’s too good for a fire, Margaret.” Why did the boy send it to me? She said, “ This is not for fire, but for sawing wood.”

“I said, ‘I don’t have a lathe.’ Then I had to go look for one, so I got it from a guy in Castletown. I got hooked on it and started using it. I got it and have been enjoying it ever since.”

Laird said the store doesn’t have a name, but he is well known in the area and hopes word of mouth will bring foot traffic to the store.

When we visited, customers were constantly coming into the store. Photo: DGSWhen we visited, customers were constantly coming into the store. Photo: DGS
When we visited, customers were constantly coming into the store. Photo: DGS
How about vintage ducky boots? Photo: DGSHow about vintage ducky boots? Photo: DGS
How about a pair of vintage ducky boots? Photo: DGS

Across the street is Wendy’s Wool and Crafts, run by Wendy Yoland and her mother, Ann Belton. Mr. Laird suddenly appeared and showed that his one of his wooden creations was perfect for holding Wendy’s yarn and could benefit many people in the knitting community.

Wendy Yoland and her mother Anne Belton at Wendy's Wool and Crafts store on High Street, Wick. Photo: DGSWendy Yoland and her mother Anne Belton at Wendy's Wool and Crafts store on High Street, Wick. Photo: DGS
Wendy Yoland and her mother Anne Belton at Wendy’s Wool and Crafts store on High Street, Wick. Photo: DGS
Laird and Wendy Yoland have a yarn and craft shop across the road on High Street. One of his wooden products was perfect for holding Wendy's yarn. Photo: DGSLaird and Wendy Yoland have a yarn and craft shop across the road on High Street. One of his wooden products was perfect for holding Wendy's yarn. Photo: DGS
Laird and Wendy Yoland have a yarn and craft shop across the road on High Street. One of his wooden products was perfect for holding Wendy’s yarn. Photo: DGS

As summer approaches and the town center gets busier, Laird has high hopes. This store may be unknown, but if you’re looking for one, it’s the one with a deer skull in its window.

“Let’s see what happens in this year’s tourist season,” he added.


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