During the latter half of the 1900s two things changed. The first was the demise of the era of the steamer. In 1951 a new ferry service to Yell started from a pier at Toft, a little to the north of Mossbank. The second was the building of the Sullom Voe oil terminal between 1973 and 1982. Large accommodation blocks were built at Mossbank for the construction workers, and in 1981 the population of the village stood at over 1,000, up from just 130 in 1971.
After the terminal was complete the type of accommodation needed changed, and Mossbank saw the building of the housing estates that now occupy the slopes below the main road to the village and above Firths Voe. In 1991 the population of the village stood at a more stable 500. This is supported by a range of community facilities including a hall and a school; plus, near the pier, the Welcome Inn. There is also a petrol station just outside the village, close to the junction between the A968 and the B9076 to Sullom Voe.
While most of those living in Mossbank today have superb sea views across to Lunna Ness, Samphrey and Yell, the village no longer looks to the sea for a living: if you exclude the oil extracted from under it. What you find today is a village that is well-equipped, but which you'd be hard pressed to describe as "pretty".
Traditionally the parish of Delting, in which Mossbank is found, had far more to do with the sea than it does today, with fishing the main source of income. And the area paid a heavy price for its fish. As you drive into Mossbank you seen on your left the impressive stone memorial to those killed in the Delting Disaster of 21 December 1900. Twenty-two fishermen lost their lives, and the memorial shows where they came from. Six of those killed came from Firth, of which almost nothing now remains on the opposite side of Firths Voe from Mossbank.
Five others were from Swinster, just around the point to the south of Mossbank, now an extremely sparse settlement. Swinster overlooks the island of Fora Ness, famous for the series of ayres enclosing "The Houb" and linking Fora Ness it to Mainland.
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