The naming ceremony of Brighter Hope at Walls earlier this month embraced five generations of nine-year-old Jonah Johnson’s family, reports David Linkie.

Built by his grandfather Jim Johnson, the 7ft aluminium-hulled Brighter Hope is named after Jonah Johnson’s great-grandfather John James Fullerton’s 45ft boat Brighter Hope LK 502.

Plans for the building of Brighter Hope were initiated last summer when, while visiting his grandfather Jim Johnston in Muckle Roe, Jonah Johnston, who is extremely interested in fishing, said: “I really need an aluminium boat.”

Jonah Johnson and his family prepare for the naming ceremony of Brighter Hope LK 502.

Jonah Johnson and his family prepare for the naming ceremony of Brighter Hope LK 502.

As an experienced marine engineer who has worked on boats all his life, 72-year-old Jim Johnson was more than happy to oblige.

Jim Johnson is well-known and highly respected in the fishing industry, as his company, JJ Measuring Systems, supplied rope measuring systems to numerous seine-net boats, as well as fishing-handling systems to a succession of new whitefish trawlers, including Guardian Angel LK 272, Our Lass WY 261 and Victory Rose WY 34.

Jonah helped his grandfather to shape the bottom and the gunwales during the half-term holidays in October 2019.

The fully completed boat, with nameplates and the same registration number LK 502 as the original trawler, was launched at Walls with a traditional ceremony.

Jonah was accompanied by his five-year-old sister Elsa, as their father Mark and 12-year-old brother Noah launched Brighter Hope, before his mother Laura said a few words to mark the occasion. Jonah’s 12-year-old sister Ada then presented Elsa with a bunch of flowers.

The original Brighter Hope, powered by a 72hp Gardner engine, was built in 1948 by David Howarth in Scalloway, at a cost of £3,000, as Bonnie Isle LK 502 for Whalsay owners.

Jonah and his sister Elsa after the naming ceremony.

Jonah and his sister Elsa after the naming ceremony.

The boat was renamed Brighter Hope in the early 1950s after being bought by John James Fullerton and James Leask of Scalloway.

Primarily rigged for seine-netting, Brighter Hope was also used for a variety of inshore activities including dogfish, haddock and halibut lines, cod nets, sprat fishing and lobster creels.

Renowned for being an innovative and forward-thinking skipper, James Fullerton and his crew engaged in a two-week experiment in 1968 which showed that scallops could be fished profitably in Shetland waters.

Brighter Hope was sold to Ronnie Browne of Carradale in 1970 and re-registered CN 16 when the boat was replaced with the larger Norwegian vessel Brighter Hope II LK 241.

From 1974 to 1976, when owned by Sir Dennis Fallkner, the brother of the former Northern Ireland prime minister, Brighter Hope fished scallops in Carlingford Lough, before being sold for recreational use.


Subscribe to Fishing News magazine today; never miss an issue and save 55%!