In Print

Newsprint – 1927

1927 January 5 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – CHURCH UNION. – In view of the increasing number of vacant churches in our country districts a good deal of interest has been aroused in Rousay by the unanimous decision of the Established Church Commission of Assembly that congregations be fused together if this be possible, as a temporary or working arrangement, so as to prepare for union. It followed the joint statement made by deputations from both Churches which visited Shetland in the spring, and which stated that “by mutual arrangement it may prove possible so to place the agents of Churches as to prevent all duplication of services and economise both men and money.” Surely the Presbyteries could now take such concerted action as would be fair to both Churches, and for that reason would be heartily supported by all who would see them prosper. It would lessen the difficulties which arise from the shortage of ministers and help to end the strife arising from divided counsels and competing churches, and help the United Protestant Church, in alliance with those of the scientific spirit who have no creed, but who feel the world’s need of religion, to maintain its progress in the things that matter. After all “it is Christ who unites and only doctrines that divide.”


Letters To The Editor


SIR, – The inhabitants of Rousay are seeking for a better postal arrangement; it could hardly find a worse. At present a letter posted on Thursday leaves Evie on Monday morning, and will be delivered in Kirkwall, eleven miles away, sometime on Monday. This spoils good business. We cannot even send away perishable gifts in this season of good-will, and feel like the stammerer who couldn’t visit the florist to buy chrysanthemums because “the thing was wilted before he got the word out.” And this, too, in an age when a Colonial Premier on a visit to this country sent a message to Australia and got an answer hack in twenty-four minutes. We need and want a daily post bag as a beginning. – Yours, etc., S.O.S.

1927 January 12 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – FANCY DRESS DANCE. – This dance, held in the Frotoft School on Christmas Eve was one of the most popular events organised by the Frotoft Entertainment Committee. The gaily decorated school-room, combined with the bright-hued costumes of the revellers and many-coloured streamers, presented the true carnival atmosphere. The prizes were awarded by Miss Logie, Mr John Logie and Dr Thomson, who performed their difficult task to the satisfaction of all. After supper Mrs Gibson presented the prizes to the following successful competitors: – Most Artistic Costumes – Ladies, Miss M. J. Mainland, “A Japanese Lady”; Gent’s – Mr William Gibson, “Chinese Mandarin.” Most Original Costumes – Ladies – Mrs Marwick, “British Goods.” Gents – Mr James Gibson, junr, “Why did I kiss that girl?” The prize-winners among the juveniles were Mary Yorston, “A Butterfly,” Sarah Smith, “A Fairy,” Hugh Marwick, “A N—– Boy,” James Yorston, “A Soldier.” After the usual votes of thanks dancing was resumed for several hours.

1927 January 19 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – U.F. GUILD. – Rousay U.F. Guild, which is undenominational, held an open meeting in Trumland Church on Wednesday night, January 12th, when an instructive address and demonstration on wireless was delivered by Dr Thomson. In spite of the wind and rain, there was a good attendance from the different parts of the island. The Rev. D. S. Brown presided, supported by members of the Guild committee.

1927 January 26 Orkney Herald




About 5.20 on Monday morning distinct earth tremors were experienced in the North of Scotland, from Aberdeen to Shetland, the whole of Orkney being affected.

The inhabitants were awakened by a low rumbling sound, lasting fully a minute, followed by a decided shake, of a few seconds duration, after which there more rumblings. Houses trembled, windows and doors shook, and crockery rattled, while pictures were observed to swing against the walls.

People already astir, thinking the sounds were caused by a long-continued peal of thunder, went out of doors, only to find a clear sky and a calm, frosty atmosphere, with good moonlight. This was the experience of districts as far apart as Birsay and Deerness, Evie and Holm, and the North and South Isles. Fortunately there are no reports of damage…..

PLOUGHING MATCHES – ROUSAY. – The annual ploughing match of the Rousay Agricultural Society was held at Hurtiso last Tuesday on a field kindly granted for the occasion by Mr Hugh Mainland. There was a fair turnout, and by 10 o’clock 16 pairs were lined up at their rigs ready to try their skill, all ordinary ploughmen, and the work done by them was up to a good standard. The judges were Mr John Rendall and Mr David Kemp, both from Evie, and after a careful and painstaking examination, awarded the prizes as follows: –

PLOUGHING. – 1 and Highland Society’s medal and cup, Robert Johnston, Trumland Farm; 2 James Craigie, jr., Falquoy; 3 Malcolm Hourie, Saviskaill; 4 Samuel Inkster, Wasdale; 5 John Leonard, Faraclett; 6 George Logie, Hurtiso; 7 Hugh Gibson, Bigland; 8 Albert Munro, Brendale; 9 John Petrie, Trumland Farm; 10 Archie Wylie, Westness. Youngest ploughman, George Craigie, Falquoy; best feering, Robert Johnston; best finish, Robert Johnston; straightest ploughing, James Craigie.

HARNESS. – 1 and medal, Archie Wylie, 2 James Craigie, 3 John Petrie, 4 John Leonard, 5 Malcolm Hourie.

GROOMING. – 1 and medal, John Petrie, 2 Alexander Donaldson, Quoys; 3 Archie Wylie, 4 Hugh Gibson, 5 Samuel Inkster.

SPECIAL PRIZES. – Medal, given by Mr Tinch, Kirkwall, for the ploughman under 21 years who had the most points in ploughing, grooming, and harness, John Petrie; best pair of mares, John Petrie.

During the day the ploughmen, committee, and judges were liberally supplied with refreshments, and in the evening the judges and committee were hospitably entertained to tea by Mr and Mrs Mainland.

The committee take this opportunity of thanking Mr Mainland for the use of the field and for his hospitality; Mr M. M. [Mark Mackay] Kirkness, Quoyostray, for visiting the field, thus allowing the Highland Society’s medal to be competed for; Mr William Bertram. Kirkwall, for the cup for best ploughed rig: Mr J. F. Groundwater, Kirkwall, for medal for harness; Messrs Flett & Sons, Kirkwall, for medal for grooming; Mr Tinch, Kirkwall, for medal for most points in ploughing, grooming, and harness for ploughmen under 21; and also the donors of the special prizes, and all who so liberally contributed to the funds of the society.

1927 February 16 Orkney Herald

HEAVY SHIPMENTS OF WHISKY. – Over a hundred barrels of whisky were shipped from Kirkwall on Monday and Tuesday of this week, both the Highland Park and Scapa Distilleries sending consignments. Shipments of eggs were also large, while seed potatoes were sent away in large quantities.

MONSTER HALIBUT. – An exceptionally large halibut was landed at Kirkwall on Wednesday afternoon by the fishing boat Daisy belonging to Messrs C. and W. Keldie. This, the first halibut landed at the port this season, was caught off Gairsay, weighed 1¾ cwts. Ungutted, and was 6 feet 8 inches long by 2 feet 9 inches broad from fin to fin. The fish was bought by Mr W. Keldie, fish merchant, and was despatched to the southern markets on Friday morning.

1927 February 23 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – GUILD SOCIAL. – Rousay U.F. Church Guild held its annual social meeting in Sourin Church on the evening of Thursday, February 10th. Rev. D. S. Brown, M.A., presided, and the meeting was suitably addressed by Messrs Alexander Grieve, Nethermill, and John Inkster, Woo, who are Guild officials. A programme of sacred music was carried through by a choir formed by both churches, and ably conducted by Mr J. W. [James William] Grieve, Whitehall. Tea and refreshments were distributed during the interval by a committee of the young folks. The usual votes of thanks brought to an end a meeting which was admitted on all sides to be one of the best of its kind which have been held here during recent years. Miss [Isabella] Grieve, Whitehall, presided at the organ. A proposal is being considered to repeat the programme of sacred music in the form of a praise service in Trumland U.F. Church shortly. This Guild continues its undenominational work, promoting good-will between the churches and preparing for the forthcoming union in a most praiseworthy spirit which leaves nothing to be desired. Would that the spirit were more common in some other places!

LAPWING PROTECTION. – Lord Buckmaster has brought into the House of Lords a Bill, which applies to England and Scotland, for the protection of lapwings. The Bill provides that it shall not be lawful during any time between March 14 and August 11 to sell any lapwing for human consumption, or to sell for human consumption any egg of the lapwing.

A KINDLY BUTCHER. – A curious incident took place in a butcher’s shop in Kirkwall on Monday. One of the assistants was surprised to notice is small object fluttering a few inches from the floor of the shop and then disappear into a room at the back. His curiosity aroused, the assistant went in to investigate, and there found a snipe, which had evidently been pursued by a hawk. The bird was trembling all over, and the young man, thinking a pity of the poor refugee, picked it up in his hand, carried it to the door, and released it, when it flew away towards the Cathedral.

1927 March 8 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – OPENING OF RECREATIONAL HALL. – Rousay ex-service men have conferred a great boon on the island. By their efforts a recreation hall has been built and equipped. A building such as this was much needed and the Comrades are to be congratulated on the success that has attended their efforts. The hall was formally opened on Friday, 25th ult., by a concert and dance. When the president, Dr Thomson, rose to address the audience every available seat was occupied. He referred to one of the effects that the war had had on the ex-service men of Rousay. They had returned to their native island from which they were for a time exiled more satisfied than ever that their lot had been cast in so pleasant a place. He referred to the formation of the Rousay Branch of the British Legion, and the resolve then made that every effort would be directed towards the erection of a place where comrades in the war could reunite one with the other. The consummation of this resolve was seen in the fine building in which they had met. Dr Thomson declared the hall open. Mr David Gibson then took the chair, and in introducing the programme, referred to the value of the new hall as a club room for the young men of the island. He gave an outline of some of the various recreations which he thought might be taken up. He expressed the hope that a reading room would be established, and that eventually a wireless installation would be erected. A varied and interesting programme by performers representing all three districts was then begun, and listened to by a most appreciative audience. Not a single item failed to please. A sumptuous tea was served in the interval, and the programme was then continued. The Legion is greatly indebted to the ladies who so generously contributed “homebakes,” to Mr Fred Inkster who conveyed the gifts to the hall, to Mr David Gibson for the use of his piano, and to the ladies who made such excellent tea. On the call of the Chairman. a very hearty vote of thanks was accorded the performers. Other votes of thanks were proposed by Mr Johnston and Dr Thomson, and the singing of the National Anthem brought to a close a splendid evening’s entertainment. After the floor had been cleared, dancing was begun, and continued until about 3 a.m., with intervals for tea and refreshments.

1927 March 16 Orkney Herald

NO OFFERS FOR ROUSAY FARM. – The farm of Banks, Sourin, Rousay, occupied by Mr Robert Seatter, was re-exposed to sale by public roup in the chambers of Messrs T. P. and J. L. Low, solicitors, Kirkwall, on Monday at the reduced upset price a £600. There were no offers, however, and the sale was adjourned. Mr D. B. Peace was the auctioneer.

ROUSAY – WHIST DRIVE AND DANCE. – On Wednesday evening a most successful whist drive and dance, organised by the ex-service men of Rousay, was held in their new recreation hall. This was the first social function held there since the opening concert and dance on Friday, 25th Feb. Fifteen tables were occupied by whist enthusiasts when play commenced at 8 o’clock. After sixteen hands had been played scoring cards were handed in, and the prize-winners were found to be: – Ladies – 1 Miss W. Stout (116), 2 Mrs W. Marwick (112). Gents – 1 Mr James Craigie (127), 2 Mr J. F. [John Forrest] Petrie (119); consolation prize, Mr Hugh Robertson (82). A pleasant interval followed, during which tea was served. The prizes were presented by Miss Rendall, who was accorded a hearty vote of thanks on the call of Dr Thomson. The dance which followed was a most enjoyable one, and everyone agreed that the floor was perfect and the music excellent. The Legion wishes to express its thanks to the musicians, to the ladies who kindly presided in the kitchen, and to all others who contributed to the success of the evening.

1927 March 30 Orkney Herald

Mr John Scott, seed and manure merchant, Kirkwall, despatched a very large consignment of seeds and manure to Rousay on Saturday, the steamer Countess of Bantry being specially chartered to carry the goods.

STALLIONS FOR ORKNEY. – The West Mainland Horse-Breeding Society have re-engaged for the ensuing season Milton Monarch and Milton Anchor, the former for the third time, and the latter for the second time. Milton Monarch, 14 years old, is a son of Baron’s Pride and out of a Revelenta mare. Milton Anchor is a seven-year-old by Hiawatha Again, and out of a Royal Favourite mare. Mr Robert Bain, Bennachie, Halkirk, has let his eight-year-old horse Dryfesdale to the Rousay Association, Orkney. He was bred by Mr W. Hodge, Lockerbie, is by Bonnie Buchlyvie, and out of a Mendel mare.

ROUSAY – PRESENTATION. – A meeting of Rousay U.F. Church Guild was held on the evening of Thursday, March 17th, in Sourin Church. at which Rev. D. S. Brown presided. The chief event of the meeting was the presentation of a gold wristlet watch by the Guild members to Miss Jessie Reid, Wasdale, in recognition of her services during many years in the musical and social work of the Guild. The presentation was made by Mr John Inkster, Woo, in a few appropriate words, and Miss Reid suitably replied. Guild members contributed to the social success of the evening in the way of reading, recitation, sacred song, and speech. There was a good attendance at this meeting, which is the last for the season.

1927 April 6 Orkney Herald

THE LATE MR ISAAC COSTIE. – By the death of Mr Isaac Costie, retired Sheriff Officer, Kirkwall, and indeed Orkney, has lost a figure which has been familiar to the community for well over half a century. Coming to Kirkwall from his native island of Rousay 62 years ago, he became a shoemaker, and for many years he and his brother John have been in business in that line. Mr Costie become a Sheriff Officer in Sheriff-Substitute Robertson’s time, and succeeded the late Mr Thomas Hutchison as Bar Officer twenty-five years ago, only retiring in September of last year. At his retiral fitting tributes were paid by Bench and Bar to his zeal as an officer and to his commanding presence in the Court. Towards the close of the year Mr Costie’s health broke down, and for some time prior to his death he was practically confined to bed, passing away on Wednesday morning. Mr Costie was predeceased by his wife a number of years ago. The funeral took place to St Olaf Cemetery on Friday, and was attended by a very large company.

[Isaac, born on December 5th 1845, was the son of Frotoft miller Isaac Costie, Newark, and Catherine Craigie, Egilsay. On April 14th 1870 he married Jemima Helen Robertson in Kirkwall, and they raised a family of three girls and a boy, who was also named Isaac.]

1927 April 20 Orkney Herald

Letters to the Editor


SIR, – The postal arrangements in this island are still unspeakable. Not so much because of our thrice-a-week delivery, a system which we share with other islands, but because correspondence and perishable stuff for the south, which is posted here, let us say, on Thursday, is in Kirkwall, eleven miles distant, on Monday night, and cannot leave Orkney before Tuesday morning. We press for the removal of this unsightly letter-and-parcel dump and for a daily post bag at least as a beginning, and may the improvement be speedy When a woman was ill in another locality and an absent relative was wired for, his appearance on the spot next morning mystified an old crone, who went about whispering to those she met on the road that “the tillygraph had fetched Walker fae Yell.” And when is our great postal administration, which is in many ways so efficient and British, to astonish us rural folks by bringing our local service into line with other places without taking into consideration the trifling cost? Meanwhile thanks are due to Sir Robert Hamilton for his endeavours to help in improving it. – Yours, etc., RESIDENTER. Rousay, 18th April 1927.

1927 April 27 Orkney Herald



On Wednesday afternoon of last week there passed away at Cogar, Rousay, as the result of an accident which occurred the previous day, and other complications, the oldest inhabitant in the island. We refer to Mrs [Mary Gibson] Inkster, widow of Mr William Inkster, farmer, and the mother of a family of nine boys and one girl, several of whom, including Councillor Inkster of Kirkwall, and Rev. John Inkster, D.D., of Knox Presbyterian Church, Toronto, have held, and still hold, important public appointments.

Mrs Inkster, who was the last survivor of the large family known as the Gibsons of Langskaill, in the Wasbister district, was born at that farm on the 27th of August 1836, and was therefore in her 91st year. In her girlhood she spent some years in Kirkwall, during which time she became an associate and afterwards a member of the Congregational Church, Rev. Mr Smith being then the pastor.

Returning to Rousay, she married and settled down in 1858. In the following year she took a prominent part in the great revival which then swept the islands, presiding at weekly meetings for women held in their several homes during that time, and as long as she was physically able she was an enthusiastic supporter, both in word and deed of the United Presbyterian Church, being ever ready to minister to the sick in their homes in all parts of the district in which she lived.

Mr Inkster predeceased her 22 years ago, and of her family one died in infancy and two of diphtheria while at school. The youngest two, Mary Ann and Robert, stayed at home, and were most zealous in their devotion and attention to their aged mother while she was spared to be with them. The funeral took place to Wasbister Churchyard on Saturday, and was attended by a very large company from all parts of the island. Unfortunately the weather prevented her son David and family and others from being present at the funeral.

1927 May 4 Orkney Herald

MOTOR CYCLIST INJURED AT ROUSAY. – A motor cycle accident occurred in Rousay on Saturday evening, through which Mr Mark Kirkness, Quoyostray, had his collar bone broken. Accompanied by his son [13-year-old Frederick] in the side-car, Mr Kirkness was on his way home from Trumland Pier, and when opposite the farm of Cott, in Frotoft district, some lambs strayed onto the roadway. Mr Kirkness swerved in order to avoid running over them, and in doing so his cycle overturned. Both Mr Kirkness and the boy were thrown off the cycle, and, as we have said, Mr Kirkness was injured, but fortunately the boy was unhurt. The accident was witnessed from the farm of Cott, and the doctor was sent for. Mr Kirkness’ injury was attended to, and he was afterwards driven home in Mr Fred Inkster’s motor car.

1927 May 25 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – SUDDEN DEATH. – Quite a gloom was cast over the district of Wasbister, Rousay, on Friday evening, when it became known that Mrs Inkster, Quoyostray, had passed away with startling suddenness. It appears that she was in the cowshed with her niece, Mrs Mark Kirkness, when she suddenly collapsed. Mrs Kirkness [Martha Wards, known as ‘Mattie’] ran to her, and helped her to a seat, where she expired. Mrs Inkster [Eliza Robson Kirkness], whose husband [Hugh Inkster] was drowned in the Westray Firth about 50 years ago, was held in great esteem by all the people of the neighbourhood. She had a very kindly disposition, and her cheering and comforting words endeared her to all. She is survived by an only son [David James Inkster], who has for many years been a detective in Glasgow. He only retired from the service recently, and arrived in Rousay, where he was looking forward to spending the years of his retirement, on Monday of this week. Much sympathy is felt for him in his sudden bereavement.

1927 June 15 Orkney Herald



Salvage operations are being actively carried out on board the sunken German battleship Moltke by Messrs Cox & Danks at Lyness. On Thursday and Friday compressed air was pumped into the vessel, and as soon as she began to rise above water a Union Jack was hoisted on the stern.

On Saturday afternoon towing began, and partial success was attained by getting her stern shifted 100 feet nearer the island of Cava, where it is intended, if possible, to beach her. She is now less than half a mile from the shore.

The Moltke was one of the most valuable ships in the German Navy, and if she can be got sufficiently dry, breaking up operations will be begun through her bottom.

1927 June 22 Orkney Herald

EXCURSIONISTS VISIT SALVED GERMAN BATTLE-CRUISER. – On Wednesday afternoon the steamer Countess Cadogan, of Stromness, ran an excursion from Scapa Pier to Lyness, and a large number of people, anxious to get a glimpse of the salvage operations being carried out on the battle-cruiser Moltke by Messrs Cox & Danks, took advantage of the trip. When the steamer arrived at the Moltke, Mr Cox very kindly allowed all the trippers to board her and have a look round, a privilege which was greatly appreciated by all. Almost every one of the excursionists carried a camera, and many were the snap-shots taken of the most unusual sight of people walking about on the bottom of an overturned battleship, or making a promenade of her keel. Movie pictures were also taken. When all had again got aboard the Countess Cadogan, hearty cheers were raised for Mr Cox as the vessel moved away.

1927 June 29 Orkney Herald

KIRKWALL SHIPPING. – Two coal ships arrived at Kirkwall last week for Mr John Jolly, coal merchant – the motor vessel Millrock on Thursday morning, and the Ferndale the same evening. Friday being a holiday, the steamer did not commence discharging until Saturday. Only part of the cargo, however, was landed, the vessel proceeding to North Ronaldshay with the remainder. The schooner Mary Grace, of Stromness, which had been to Rousay with a cargo of coals, anchored in the bay on Saturday, and remained over the week-end. The steam drifter Lily, of Burray, came to the pier on Saturday with a leak in her boiler. Repairs were executed by Messrs W. & J. Leslie, engineers.

1927 July 6 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – POSTAL REFORM. – As the result of agitation Rousay has now a daily post bag; and as this involves the daily crossing of the local mail-boat, weather permitting, our communication with Evie is much improved, to the advantage of all concerned. We thank the postal authorities most heartily for this concession, and hope that in due time the island will have also a daily delivery.

PICNIC. – The Wasbister annual picnic was held on Friday, 24th June, in a field, the use of which was kindly granted by Mr [John Gibson] Marwick, Innister. The excellent weather conditions, together with the ideal spot, did much to make the picnic the success that it was. The brightness of the day drew forth the brightest and happiest spirits from both children and adults, who assembled at the field at 1.30 p.m.

After partaking of an enjoyable lunch, the sports were commenced and carried through with great zest, thanks to the splendid working committee, who were assisted by Dr Thomson.

The sports over the company repaired to the school, where a sumptuous tea was served. After tea, Mrs Thomson, who was on a short visit to the island, very gracefully presented the prizes. Votes of thanks were then proposed by Mr [John] Sinclair, Vacquoy, for Mrs Thomson, and by Dr Thomson for Miss [Tina] Mathieson, the picnic committee, the lady helpers, and all those who had in any way contributed to the success of the day. A most enjoyable dance followed.

Annexed is the Prize-list: –

FLAT RACES. – Boys – 13 years – 1 Armit Sinclair, 2 Fred Kirkness, 3 Fraser Moar; 12 years – 1 Spencer Dexter, 2 Douglas Craigie, 3 James Craigie; 9-11 – 1 Leonard Marwick, 2 Jim Marwick, 3 Sinclair Craigie; 8 years – 1 Roderick Marwick, 2 Tom Donaldson; 7 years – 1 Tom Marwick, 2 Willie Marwick; 6 years – 1 Hugh Sinclair, 2 Jim Craigie; 5 years – 1 Jim Sinclair, 2 Stanley Muir. Girls – 9.11 – 1 Netta Sinclair, 2 Betsy Marwick, 3 Jeanie Donaldson; 8 years – 1 Thora Kirkness, 2 Kathleen Craigie; 5-7 years – 1 Anna Marwick, 2 Clara Donaldson, 3 Agnes Marwick.

EGG -AND-SPOON RACES. – Boys – 13 years – 1 Armit Sinclair, 2 Fraser Moar, 3 Fred Kirkness; 12 years – 1 Douglas Craigie, 2 Spencer Dexter, 3 Jim Craigie; 9-11 years – 1 Jim Marwick, 2 Leonard Marwick, 3 Sinclair Craigie; 7-8 years – 1 Wm. Marwick, 2 Tom Donaldson, 3 Roderick Marwick; 5-6 – 1 Jim Sinclair, 2 Hugh Sinclair, 3 Jim Craigie. Girls – 8-10 years – 1 Netta Sinclair, 2 Kathleen Craigie, 3 Betsy Marwick; 6-7 – 1 Clara Donaldson, 2 Anna Marwick, 3 Agnes Marwick.

FOUR-LEGGED RACES. –  Boys – 9-13 – 1 Fred Kirkness, Spencer Dexter, and Douglas Craigie.

SKIPPING RACES. – Girls – 8-11 – 1 Netta Sinclair, 2 Thora Kirkness, 3 Jeanie Donaldson.

SACK RACES. – Boys – 13 years – 1 Armit Sinclair, 2 Fraser Moar, 3 John Donaldson and Fred Kirkness (equal); 12 years – 1 James Craigie, 2 Spencer Dexter, 3 Douglas Craigie; 9-11 years – 1 Leonard Marwick, 2 Jim Marwick, 3 Sinclair Craigie; 7-8 years – 1 Tom Marwick, 2 Willie Marwick, 3 Tom Donaldson. Girls – 8-13 years – 1 Kathleen Craigie, 2 Netta Sinclair, 3 Thora Kirkness.

WHEELBARROW RACES. – Boys – 12-13 – 1 Fraser Moar and Armit Sinclair, 2 Jim Craigie and Fred Kirkness, 3 Douglas Craigie and Spencer Dexter; 7-11 – 1 Jim Marwick and Leonard Marwick, 2 John Donaldson and Sinclair Craigie, 3 Roderick Marwick and Tom Donaldson.

BOOT AND SHOE RACES. – Girls – 8-10 – 1 Kathleen Craigie, 2 Thora Kirkness, 3 Jeannie Donaldson; Boys and girls – 5-7 – 1 Clara Donaldson, 2 Jim Sinclair, 3 Anna Marwick.

RELAY RACE. – Douglas Craigie’s team.


SINGLE LADIES RACE. – 1 Miss L. Mathieson.

MEN’S RACES. – Under 30 – 1 Mr Robert Inkster; over 30 – Mr R. Sinclair, snr.

HIGH JUMP. – 1 Mr S. Inkster.

LONG JUMP. – 1 Mr H. Sinclair.

HOP, STEP, AND LEAP. – 1 Dr Thomson.

CIGARETTE RACE. – 1 Miss R. Craigie and Dr Thomson.

1927 August 3 Orkney Herald



The annual regatta of the Rousay Boat Club took place in Veira Sound on Thursday, the 28th ult. The morning broke wet and calm, but towards midday there was as a light sailing breeze from a northerly direction, but not enough to test the sailing qualities of the different boats.

This year the club gave a silver cup for the 18 feet race, a barometer for the all-comers, while Dr Thomson. Vice-commodore, presented a silver cup for the 14 feet boats.

The course was the usual triangular one, being from a mark buoy off Trumland Pier, round a mark boat at Point of Avelshay, thence round a mark boat at Point of Veira, and back to Trumland Pier.

The first race started at 12 noon, and was for boats 14 feet waterline and under, for which there were 7 entries – namely, Mary Ann, Ivy, Surprise, Lily, Rose, Daisy, and [a second] Rose. The first to cross the line on the starting gun was the Daisy, followed by the Ivy, Surprise, Lily and others. Their respective positions were well maintained throughout the race, and the finish was as follows (corrected time): –

1. Daisy (Charles Logie, snr.) 0h 56m 5s
2. Surprise (Tom Sinclair) 0h 59m 22s
3. Ivy (George Harrold) 0h 59m 24s
4. Lily (John Foulis) 1h 3m 51s
5. Mary Ann (Sam Mainland) 1h 9m 38s
6. Rose (Harry Logie) 1h 10m 13s
7. Rose (Charles Craigie) 1h 26m 10s

The second race, which started at 12.30, was for boats of 18 feet waterline and under, for which there were five entries, viz., Snowdrop, Viking, Thora, Bulldog, and Ceska. The conditions for this race was twice round the course, and all made a good start, with the exception of Thora, which was late in crossing the line. She, however, very much improved her position throughout the race, and took third place at the finish. The chief interest in this race was the contest between the Snowdrop and Viking for premier position. These two boats, with a larger spread of canvas, had a decided advantage over their opponents, and after a well-contested race the Snowdrop proved the winner. The finish was as follows: –

1. Snowdrop (Charles Logie. jr.) 1h 58m 17s
2. Viking (Dr Thomson) 1h 59m 33s
3. Thora (William Miller) 2h 20m 15s
4. Ceska (David Gibson) 2h 22m 59s
5. Bulldog (Tom Isbister) 2h 31m 30s

For the all-comers’ race all the boats entered, the club giving special prizes to boats 14 feet and under in addition to the ordinary prizes. The conditions for this race was once round the course, and all got away well together on starting. The Snowdrop and Viking had another tussle for first place, but the Snowdrop again proved the winner, thus carrying off both the cups and barometer. Some of the smaller boats did exceedingly well in this race, the Daisy and Surprise taking third and fourth places respectively. The finish was as follows (corrected time): –

1. Snowdrop (Charles Logie, jr.) 0h 55m 29s
2. Viking (Dr Thomson) 0h 59m 56s
3. Daisy (Charles Logie. sr.) 1h 3m 4s
4. Surprise (Tom Sinclair) 1h 10m 4s
5. Thora (William Miller) 1h 13m 20s
6. Mary Ann (Sam Mainland) 1h 16m 3s
7. Rose (Harry Logie) 1h 18m 4s
8. Ceska (David Gibson) 1h 19m 22s
9. Ivy (George Harrold) 1h 38m 0s
10. Bulldog (Tom Inkster) Retired

Special prizes for boats under 14 feet: –

1. Daisy (Charles Logie, sr.).
2. Surprise (Tom Sinclair).
3. Lily (John Foulis).

The usual rowing races were held after the conclusion of the sailing races, and were keenly contested. The winners being as follows: –

Ladies’ rowing race: –

1. Misses Cilla and Alice Logie (gold crosses).
2. Mrs Grieve and Miss Mainland.
3. Misses Kathleen Gibson and Mabel Sinclair.

Men’s rowing race: –

1. David Gibson and James Grieve.
2. Charles Craigie and John Petrie.
3. Robert Inkster and David Sinclair.
4. S. Gibson and W. Gibson.

Boys’ rowing race: –

1. William Craigie and John Marwick.
2. David Miller and Isaac Costie.
3. John Wyllie and James Wylie.

Miss Logie, Rose Cottage, handed over the prizes to the successful competitors, for which she was accorded three hearty cheers.

For the convenience of visitors, the club opened a tearoom in the store, which was well patronised, and much credit is due to the ladies who took charge for the able manner in which they carried out all the arrangements.

The Committee would take this opportunity of thanking all those who contributed towards the funds, or in any way helped to make the regatta a success. In the evening Mr Johnston, Trumland Farm, granted the use of his barn for a dance, which was largely attended, and kept up with much spirit for a considerable time.

1927 August 10 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – OVERLAPPING. – Deputies from both Assemblies have visited Rousay and elsewhere to secure co-operation if possible, and end the over-lapping of church agencies, of which here is an example. It has for three weeks been intimated in the U.F. Church that a service would be held in Wasbister School on Sabbath at 6 p.m. And last week it was intimated on the notice boards that Dr Murison would hold an E.C. service in that school on that evening at 5. This collision could not be intentional, as he introduced the E.C. deputation on its visit to the U.F. Presbytery with a pleasing speech, as reported last week, in which he said that “they were not present for the purpose of considering their own interests at all, but of taking a grip of those movements which might help to benefit and strengthen the people among whom they lived.” Under the circumstances the U.F. office-bearers have waived their right of priority, which does them credit as trustees of the public peace. But surely this bumping arrangement need not have happened. It makes one think of the sailor who “made for Noss Head and hit it.”

1927 August 17 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – SUDDEN DEATH OF MR HUGH INKSTER. – The death took place with startling suddenness at Rousay on 11th inst. of Mr Hugh Inkster, fourth son of the late Mr William Inkster of Cogar, Rousay, and brother of Rev. John Inkster, D.D., of Knox Presbyterian Church, Toronto, and of Councillor Inkster, Kirkwall.

Serving his apprenticeship with Mr John Macrae. Solicitor, Kirkwall, Mr Inkster proceeded south, and was for a year in the office of Sir James Marwick, City Clerk of Glasgow. Whilst there he contracted writer’s cramp, and this compelled him to leave work for a time. After spending a year at home, he returned to Glasgow, and entered the service of Messrs McLure, Naismith, Brodie & Co., the well-known firm of solicitors. His employers early recognising his abilities, he soon occupied a position of responsibility with this firm, ultimately rising to the position of head cashier. At the firm’s centenary celebration held recently the senior partner referred to Mr Inkster (who was unable to be present) in most appreciative terms, and of his long association with this firm (36 years), saying that a function such as this was not complete without him.

As was his wont, Mr Inkster again came north to spend his holiday at the old home beside his brother Robert and his sister, arriving in Orkney on the 5th inst. It was observed that he did not appear as robust as usual, but this did not cause alarm to his friends. On Wednesday evening, however, his condition grew worse, and he passed away early on Thursday morning. The funeral took place to Wasbister Churchyard on Saturday.

Being of a genial and kindly disposition Mr Inkster was very popular with all with whom be came into contact. During his apprenticeship days he was a member of the choir of St Magnus Cathedral, and during all the time he was in Glasgow he was a member of the choir of St George’s in the Fields. Possessing a fine tenor voice, he was keenly interested in music, and he will be missed in the choir to which he was so deeply attached and in the congregation where he was such a regular worshipper.

1927 August 24 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – CHURCH UNION MEETING. – Divine service was held on Sabbath evening, August 14th, in Wasbister School. It was well attended by members of both churches, and having been called as a meeting in furtherance of Church Union, was in all respects an excellent illustration of the spirit of it. Rev. Dr Murison conduced the service and delivered an interesting and helpful address on the question, “What is the true human glory?”…..Rev. D. S. Brown was present to greet and welcome Dr Murison, and Miss Waterston, U.F. Manse, acted as organist, and the hearty congregational singing was pleasant to hear.

1927 September 7 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – THE LATE MR JAMES G. CRAIGIE, IVYBANK. – It is with deep regret we have to announce the death of Mr James Gibson Craigie, Ivybank, Wasbister, which took place on Friday, the 2nd inst., after a very brief illness. Mr Craigie, who was 65 years of age, was much connected with the public life of the parish, and will be much missed by a large circle. He held most of the public offices, being clerk to the old School Board, and later clerk to the Education Authority’s local committee. He was also clerk to the Parish Council and Collector of Rates, and lately had been appointed clerk to the Heritors. Being of a quiet and retiring disposition, and very capable, as before mentioned, he will be much missed in the parish. He was a member of the United Free Church, of which he was an office-bearer and latterly an elder, representing the Wasbister district. He leaves to mourn his death a widow [Annabella Flaws Chalmers], one son [William] and two daughters, Annie the eldest being married and resident in Canada. [The younger daughter was Margaret Forest Craigie, known as Rita]. The funeral, which was a public one, took place to-day (Tuesday), to Wasbister Churchyard.

MOLTKE ALONGSIDE LYNESS PIER. – Messrs Cox and Danks have succeeded in getting the ex-German battle-cruiser Moltke alongside Lyness Pier, and she now lies in a very convenient position for breaking up purposes. It was no easy task getting her there, and is one of the finest feats ever accomplished in salvage work. The firm is now giving employment to a large number of men, and are encouraged to go ahead with other vessels.

DEATH OF REV. A. I. PIRIE, ROUSAY. – Rev. Alexander Irvine Pirie, senior minister of Rousay United Free Church, died in Edinburgh on August 29th, in his 83rd year and the 54th year of his ministry. Since his retirement from the active ministry in 1914 he had enjoyed good health until a year or two ago, when advancing years begun to tell, and the end came suddenly.

Mr Pirie spent all the years of his ministry in Orkney. A native of Drum, Aberdeenshire, he had prepared himself for a business career when the call came to him to consecrate himself to the Christian ministry as his life work. He proceeded to Aberdeen University, and, after completing course there, and in the Congregational Theological Hall, he was called to his first charge in Kirkwall Congregational Church in 1873. There he spent 10 years of fruitful service. During his ministry the congregation successfully carried through the building of a new church and manse.

In 1883 a call was presented to him from Rousay United Presbyterian congregation, and, having accepted it, Mr Pirie was admitted by the Synod as a minister of the United Presbyterian Church. In Rousay he ministered to a devoted people for 31 years, and identified himself during that lengthy period with every cause which promoted the well-being of the Rousay people. His ministrations, both in the pulpit and in other more intimate ways were greatly appreciated, and he earned the goodwill of all the people by his broad, generous, and sympathetic spirit. For many years he was chairman of the Rousay School Board, and he was also chairman of the Rousay Medical Association. Through his interest and labours a church and manse were built in the island of Egilshay and a missionary was secured for that island under his charge.

When a vacancy occurred in the Ritchie United Free Church, Rousay (formerly Free Church) negotiations for the union of the two congregations in Rousay were begun, and it was a tribute to Mr Pirie’s wise and tactful guidance that these were carried through to a successful issue. The united congregation showed its complete confidence in Mr Pirie by unanimously inviting him to become minister of the united charge. Although he was over 60 years of age, Pirie shouldered the increased responsibility, and was able to consolidate the union before his retiral about eight years later.

In 1914, acting on medical advice, he decided to ask for a colleague and successor. Thereafter he went south to be nearer the members of his family, and ultimately settled in Edinburgh. He had the great pleasure of returning several times to visit his folks in Rousay, and on the occasion of his return in the summer of 1921 he conducted the War Memorial service, and Mrs Pirie unveiled the War Memorial at Trumland pier. At the celebration of his ministerial jubilee four years ago he received illuminated addresses of congratulation from the Rousay congregation and from the Orkney United Free Church Presbytery.

Mr Pirie is survived by Mrs Pirie, a daughter, and four sons. All the sons are graduates of Aberdeen University. The eldest, Dr G. J. Pirie is Deputy Director of Sanitary Services in Nigeria. The second son, Rev. Alexander Irvine Pirie, B.D., is minister of the Barclay Church, Edinburgh. The third son, Dr Alfred J. Pirie, M.D., is in medical practice in Congleton, Cheshire, and the youngest son, Mr John W. Pirie, M.A. (Oxon), is lecturer in Comparative Philology in Glasgow University. The daughter is married to Dr A. B. Giles. Edinburgh.

1927 September 14 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – WEDDING BELLS. – On Friday, 2nd Sept., a very pretty wedding was solemnised at Gorehouse, Sourin, when Miss Violet [Bisset] Drever Mainland, adopted daughter of Mr [James] and Mrs [Mary] Mainland, was united in marriage to Mr George [Harcus] Logie, son of Mr [John] and Mrs [Mary Jane] Logie, Myres, Sourin. The bride, who was given away by her adopted father, looked charming in a beautiful dress of white charmoline trimmed with silver beads, and wore a becoming veil, held in place by a wreath of orange blossom. She was waited on by Miss Elsie Inkster, Woo, Sourin, who looked very sweet in a dress of Oriental silk with shoes and stockings to match. The bridegroom was supported by his brother Robert, of J. & W. Tait’s, Kirkwall. After the ceremony, which was performed by the Rev. D. S. Brown, and the signing of the register, the wedding cake was served, following which the guests, numbering about forty, were entertained to a sumptuous tea by Mr and Mrs Mainland. After tea, dancing was engaged in and kept up until the wee sma’ oors, supper and refreshments being served in abundance during the time. The happy couple were the recipients of many useful presents, and the best wishes of their many friends are extended to them for their future health and happiness.

1927 November 9 Orkney Herald



The death of Mr George Gibson took place at his home Avelshay, Rousay, on the 31st ult. He had been in indifferent health for the last two years or more, but had been able to attend to his duties until the beginning of this year, when he came gradually worse. His death, however came rather unexpectedly.

Mr Gibson was of a genial, kindly nature, sympathetic with those in trouble, always willing to help, and generous to a fault. He became tenant of the farm of Avelshay soon after his marriage to Miss Annabella Logie, and held the farm till his death. When the Rousay estate was sold, he, along with the other tenants, purchased his farm.

Mr Gibson was keenly interested in agriculture in all its branches. He was one of the island’s best ploughmen in his younger days, was an active member of the Rousay Agricultural Society, and did his best to improve the breed of horses and cattle. His advice was often asked in cases of illness of farm stock, as he made a study of their different complaints, and was very successful in his diagnosis, always willing to give his help freely to those requiring it. He was president of the Rousay Agricultural Society, and gave its work his best attention. He was a member of the Parish Council of Rousay and Egilshay for many years, and chairman since the death of General Sir Fred. Burroughs, K.C.B., 22 years ago, and these duties he carried out carefully and faithfully. He was a regular worshipper in the Trumland U.F. Church, where he gave his services gratuitously as leader of praise. He was elected a manager in the U.P. Church before the union with the Free Church, and later became a ruling elder, interesting himself in all Church work.

For over 20 years Mr Gibson was road inspector and collector of rates, and sanitary officer for the parish, which duties be carried out faithfully. The roads were well and economically maintained and improved during his term of office. In politics Mr Gibson was a Liberal-Unionist, very fond of discussing questions of the moment, and was keenly interested in the coming Church union.

His passing leaves a blank in the island that will not be easily filled, and his willing services will be much missed. The funeral took place on the 3rd inst., when his remains were laid in the new Brinian burial ground. There was a large cortege of mourners and friends, representing almost all the homes in the island, but owing to the stormy day those from Egilshay and Viera were unable to attend. The funeral service was conducted both at Avelshay and the grave side by the Rev. D. S. Brown.

Mr Gibson was 63 years of age, and leaves a widow and grown-up family, for whom the sincerest sympathy is felt.

1927 November 16 Orkney Herald



A well-known and highly-respected Kirkwall citizen, in the person of Mr John Craigie Marwick, shoemaker, 78 Victoria Street, Kirkwall, departed this life last Friday after a short illness of only four days. He was at work in his usual health on Monday, but complained that evening of severe pain in his hand. Medical aid being called it was found that he had contracted septic poisoning, the progress of which could not be arrested, and he succumbed to its effects.

Mr Marwick, who was of a genial, kindly disposition, sympathetic with those in trouble, and keenly interested in Church and Temperance affairs, was born at Midgarth, Rousay, 63 years ago. As a youth he was engaged in farm work in his native island, afterwards proceeding to Aberdeen, where he was for two years a grieve on a farm there.

Thirty-six years ago, however, he joined H.M. Prison service. For 15 years he was a warder at Barlinnie Prison, Glasgow, and for two years at Ayr. While at Barlinnie he qualified as a shoe-maker-warder, thereafter teaching the convicts the craft of boot and shoemaking.

He contracted blood-poisoning nineteen years ago, which left such ill effects that he had to retire from the service. He thereupon returned to Kirkwall, where he commenced business as a boot and shoemaker.

Early in life Mr Marwick became a member of the Scottish Temperance League, and has ever since been keenly interested in temperance work. He was one of the stalwarts in the Kirkwall No-Licence campaigns of 1920, 1923, and 1926; but it may be said that he worked for the cause which he had so much at heart in so quiet and tactful a manner that he never made an enemy. He joined the local Lodge of Good Templars in 1920, and quickly rose to be Chief Templar. Three years ago he represented the lodge at the Grand Lodge session, and the following year he was elected to the highest office in the Order in Orkney, namely, District Deputy, a position which he held at the time of his death.

Mr Marwick was always a friend of the children, and very soon after joining the Good TempIars he became Assistant Superintendent of the Juvenile Lodge. For the past few years he has been Superintendent, and though he had his business to attend to he never missed a meeting.

Mr Marwick was a ruling elder in Paterson U.F. Church. Fourteen years ago he became a Sunday-school teacher, and for the past two years has been superintendent of Scapa School, to which he travelled in all weathers. Here also he was at home amongst the children, and was in return beloved by them.

The funeral, a public one, took place on Monday afternoon to St Olaf’s Cemetery, and was very largely attended. The coffin was borne shoulder high from the house to the hearse by members of the District Lodge of Good Templars and the subordinate Lodge, and a large number of the juveniles, two-deep, walked behind the hearse. On arrival at the cemetery the Good Templars acted as the bearer party, and along with the relatives and elders of Paterson Church lowered the coffin into the grave. There were many beautiful floral tributes, testifying to the respect in which deceased was held.

The services both in the Victoria Street Hall and at the grave were conducted by Rev. C. A. Gray, M.A., minister of Paterson Church.

Mr Marwick is survived by a widow [Sarah Ann Mainland], two sons [Charles Allan, and William Robert] (both of whom are in Canada), and one daughter [Isabella Sabiston], for all of whom much sympathy is felt in their sudden bereavement. The eldest son, John [James], was killed in the Great War.

1927 December 7 Orkney Herald

A CROFTER STORY. – By way of showing why so many people in London were able to claim descent from Scotsmen, and how the Scotsman always had his eye on the alleged advantages of residence outside his own country, Sir Douglas Hogg [lawyer and Conservative politician] at the annual dinner of the Glasgow University Club in the Trocadero told the story of a crofter who applied to the Scottish Board of Health for a loan in connection with a house he wished to build. The reply was a form to fill up, accompanied with a list of conditions which had to be filled. The crofter wrote back, “Dear Sir, – I am returning the form which you sent me, and, what is more, you can keep it. I certainly will not sign it. You are mistaken if you think I am going to tie myself down to keep 22 rules and regulations in order that I may have a mere miserable earthly dwelling when my Heavenly Father has promised to give me a mansion if I only keep Ten Commandments.”

In Print

Newsprint – 1926

1926 February 17 Orkney Herald

ANOTHER DESTROYER RAISED. – During the early part of last week Messrs Cox & Danks were busy getting wires underneath another large German destroyer lying in the sound between Rysa Little and Pharay, and on Thursday they succeeded in getting her into Mill Bay. On Friday a further lift was effected, and the vessel is now well up in the bay. Fortunately fine, frosty weather prevailed all the time, this expediting matters greatly. As formerly, all available hands were taken from Lyness Pier, and a large local squad under Mr William Mowat, Brims, was engaged. The local men who find time to go to the lifting find remunerative employment at 10s per day.

1926 February 24 Orkney Herald

Mr John Jolly, coal merchant, Kirkwall, expects at the end of this week a cargo of the original Shillbottle coal, for which he is agent. As these coals have proved themselves to be the best variety for parlour use that can be procured, customers should not fail to secure a supply. Orders are now being booked, special rates being given for ex-ship. – Advt.

1926 March 3 Orkney Herald

PLOUGHING MATCHES – ROUSAY. – The Rousay Agricultural Society held their annual ploughing match on Wednesday last week on the farm of Knarston, kindly granted for the occasion by Mr Harry Sinclair. The weather was all that could be desired. There was a good turnout of ploughs, and by 10 o’clock 18 pairs were lined up at their rigs ready to try their skill, all ordinary ploughmen. During the day there were a large number of spectators on the field from this and neighbouring parishes, indicative of the keen interest taken in the competition.

The judges were Messrs Peter Swanney, North Tofts, and Robert Grieve, Whiteclett, both from Egilshay, who had a difficult task to perform, owing to the closeness of the greater portion of the work, and awarded the prizes as follows: –

PLOUGHING. – 1 and Highland Society’s medal, Robert Johnston, Trumland; 2 James Craigie, Furse; 3 James Johnston, Trumland; 4 Malcolm Hourie, Saviskaill; 5 John Leonard, Faraclett; 6 Samuel Inkster, Wasdale; 7 John Marwick, Breck; 8 Alexander Donaldson, Quoys; 9 Albert Munro, Brendale; 10 Hugh Mainland, Hurtiso; 11 Robert Seatter, Banks; 12 Harry Sinclair, Knarston. Youngest ploughman, John Craigie, Trumland; best feering, James Craigie; second best feering, Robert Johnston; finish, John Marwick; straightest ploughing, Robert Johnston.

HARNESS. – 1 James Mainland, Westness; 2 Harry Sinclair, Knarston; 3 James Craigie, Furse; 4 John Leonard, Faraclett; 5 John Craigie, Trumland.

GROOMING. – 1 and medal, James Mainland, 2 John Craigie, 3 Robert Johnston, 4 Alex. Donaldson, 5 Robert Seatter, Banks.

Special prize for most points in Ploughing, Grooming, and Harness, Robert Johnston.

Best Decorations – James Mainland.

During the day the ploughmen, committee, and judges were liberally supplied with refreshments, and in the evening the judges and committee were hospitably entertained to tea by Mr and Mrs Sinclair.

The committee take this opportunity of thanking Mr Sinclair for the use of the field, the judges for their painstaking work, and the donors of medals and special prizes, some of which gave great amusement when announced, and all who so liberally contributed to the funds of the society. They also desire to thank Mr George Gibson, who visited the field, enabling the society to get the Highland Society’s medal.

1926 March 10 Orkney Herald

NECESSITY THE MOTHER OF INVENTION. – The erection of the organ in St Magnus Cathedral proceeds satisfactorily. A few days ago, after a considerable length of the air pipe which runs from the blowing chamber to the organ had been laid, it was discovered that an electric cable was required to lie inside it. The mechanics who are erecting the organ made several attempts, by various methods, to push the cable through, but, owing to bends in the pipe, every effort was in vain. After every method that experience and theory could summon to their plight had failed, a bright idea came to one of the local plumbers. Hastening home for his little dog, he fastened a string to faithful “Pete,” then, while his fellow-plumber held the dog at one end of the pipe, the owner hastened to the other end, and calling “Pete, Pete,” the sagacious little fellow trotted through the pipe, carrying with him a line to which was attached the electric cable. By this means the knotty problem, which otherwise would have meant lifting a certain portion of the air pipe, was solved.

1926 March 31 Orkney Herald

SCAPA FLOW SALVAGE. – With the fine weather of last week Messrs Cox & Danks, Lyness, were able to lift another destroyer – the 23rd. Only two more remain to be lifted, and, we understand, operations have already commenced on the battle-cruiser Hindenburg.

1926 May 5 Orkney Herald

IN SEARCH OF MAY DEW. – On Saturday morning, the ancient custom of washing one’s face in May morning dew was indulged in by about 100 young men and maidens from Kirkwall, who climbed Wideford Hill for the purpose. About 3 o’clock the townspeople were awakened from their slumbers by the shouts and laughter of the young folks as they roused their fellows to join them in their “trek.” The morning was ideal, and the climb up the hill was much enjoyed. After a short rest at the summit the return journey was begun, the party forming in a group at the Water Works, where they were photographed by Mr J. W. Sinclair. The “early birds” returned to town in twos and threes about six o’clock, after a most enjoyable outing.

1926 May 5 Orkney Herald





At 11.30 on Monday night the Press Association issued the following telegram: –

‘Negotiations have failed, and a General Strike commences tomorrow.’


As a result of the complete breakdown of negotiations between the miners and the owners the General Council of the Trade Unions Congress on Saturday decided at a fully representative meeting to call a general strike of vital services on Monday at midnight if no settlement had by that time been arranged.

This decision affects no fewer than five million workers throughout the country, and in consequence a proclamation has been signed by the King declaring a state of emergency.

The Premier, who went without food for twelve hours on Friday, while making his final effort to bring about peace, kept in touch with the men’s leaders, and remained in London over the week-end in case the T.U.C. representatives asked him for a further interview.

Rumours were busy on Saturday to the effect that the owners’ notices had been withdrawn, but these were entirely un-founded.

The unions affected by the strike are, briefly, transport, including railways, sea transport, docks, road transport, printing trades, including the Press, iron and steel and buildings workers – except those employed on housing and hospital work – and those unions connected with electricity and gas are to co-operate with the object of ceasing to supply power.

Mr Bevin, secretary of the Transport Workers’ Union, stated that the men offer to maintain by further voluntary arrangements the distribution of essential foodstuffs, but as a cautionary measure the Government have moved several detachments of troops into South Wales, Lancashire, and Scotland.



Although far removed from the centre of things, the effects of the strike were early felt in Kirkwall. On Saturday morning a steamer arrived with a cargo of coal for a local merchant, but the Customs Officer having received instructions from London to hold up all cargoes of coal, the cargo was not discharged, and the vessel still lies at the pier. The same day saw a “rush” for coal on the part of householders, and (Sunday excepted), coal merchants have had a busy time.

Though the general strike commenced at midnight on Monday, the workers in Kirkwall had not still received notice to leave work yesterday (Tuesday) morning. The dockers, therefore worked the cargo of the steamer St Rognvald as usual, and she left for the south at 7.30 a.m.

The first to receive strike notices in Kirkwall on Tuesday morning were the members of the Typographical Society and the dockers. As our staff all belong to the above society, the next issue of the “Orkney Herald” is uncertain.





With the raising at Scapa Flow of the torpedo-boat G.104, the task of salving the 25 German torpedo-boat destroyers scuttled there in June 1919 after the surrender of the German fleet comes to an end.

It is one of the greatest salvage tasks on record, says the “Daily Mail” of Friday, and has been carried out by Messrs Cox & Danks, Ltd., of Regent Street, London, W. Eighteen of the boats were of 750 tons and seven of 1,300 tons.

In conversation with a press representative, Mr Cox said: – “We bought the boats from the Admiralty for scrapping purposes, and we gambled on our ability to be able to raise them. The work began in 1924.

“In a few weeks time we begin on the biggest salvage task ever attempted. Sunk in 66 ft. of water, with her bow deck just visible, lies the battleship Hindenburg, of 28,000 tons. We have purchased this ship from the Admiralty, and we anticipate that six months will be required to refloat it.

“If we are successful over this we shall tackle the other battleships that still lie on the sea bed.”

Our Longhope correspondent writes: – On Saturday morning Messrs Cox & Danks were successful in raising their twenty-fifth destroyer and getting her safely beached in Mill Bay. As the dock came in she received quite an ovation from all the steamers in port, the first to start blowing its whistle being the Countess Cadogan as she was passing on her usual rounds, being followed by the rest of the steamers, the noise being quite in keeping with the salvage work which had taken place. Liberal refreshments, both “wet” and “dry,” were supplied to the men. Among those who took part in turning the winches was the wife of the firm’s overseer. Two more lifts, and the vessel will be high and dry in Mill Bay.

1926 May 12. [The Kirkwall printers who ceased work on Wednesday and Thursday last week, returned to work on Friday afternoon. This week’s edition of the Orkney Herald contained up-to-date news of the General Strike, and local news from every island and parish….except Rousay!!!]

1926 May 19 Orkney Herald



Shortly after noon on Wednesday, the general strike declared at midnight of Monday, 3rd May, by the Council of the Trade Union Congress was unconditionally called off by order of the same body. The T.U.C.’s decision followed upon their long session on Tuesday night, which extended into the small hours of the following morning. Their conference was continued on Wednesday forenoon, and it transpired later that they had been considering proposals submitted to them unofficially by Sir Herbert Samuel, the Chairman of the Coal Commission, upon which, in his view, negotiations for a settlement of the coal dispute could be resumed…..

LAUNCH OF MOTOR BOAT. – The fine new motor boat “Otter,” built and designed by Messrs James Maxwell & Son for Mr Walter Grant, Trumland, Rousay, was launched at the Corn Slip on Saturday. The “Otter” is 32 feet over all, 8 feet beam and 3 feet draught aft. She has a six cylinder Marine Brook engine. Her frame is of oak and her keel elm, while she is built of white wood spruce, with mahogany fittings. The process of launching was witnessed by very large crowds, and there were any number of volunteers in taking the boat from the shed to the water.

1926 June 16 Orkney Herald





The coal deadlock continues. For the first time since the stoppage began six weeks ago the owners and miners came together in London on Tuesday of last week, but the peace effort proved fruitless.

Following a three hours’ debate, the miners’ Executive accepted the Mining Association’s invitation to have an informal meeting between officials of the respective bodies for a frank discussion of the coal deadlock.

The owners’ and miners’ representatives had a three and a-half hour’s meeting in the afternoon.

A report of the coal owners states that the miners’ leaders declined to move from the position they have taken up all along, and in the circumstances the owners concluded with regret that there appeared to be no immediate hope of carrying the matter any further.

It was learned that the owners found it difficult, owing to the challenging attitude adopted by the miners’ representatives, to carry on discussion with any degree of patience, and it is considered that there is no chance of a further meeting between the parties until the miners’ Executive have obtained wider negotiating powers and freedom from their delegate Conference.

According to Mr Cook, the owners had not receded in the slightest from the demands they had made for longer hours or lower wages.

1926 June 30 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – CANTATA. – A very large congregation assembled in Trumland Church on June 13th to hear the cantata entitled “Rufus and Joe.” A splendidly balanced choir under their very capable leader, Mr Danny McKay, rendered many parts perfectly, and deserve the greatest praise. Miss Longbotham acted as organist in a very pleasing manner. The Rev. D. S. Brown had left the island for the week, but the chair was taken by Mr [John] Inkster, Woo, who proved to be a first-class chairman. The story was read by Mr John Logie in a very nice, interesting manner. Great credit is due Mr Mackay and his choir for the trouble they have taken in giving the cantata, which was highly appreciated, and it is hoped at an early date they will give a similar entertainment.

1926 July 7 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – SERVICE OF PRAISE. – On Sunday, June 27th, a choir party, accompanied by some friends, and conducted by the Rev. John Ferguson, came to Rousay from Harray U.F. Church and held a service of praise in Trumland U.F. Church. The weather was most favourable for a visit of this kind, and the party, numbering over thirty, were conveyed across the sound by two motor boats, one of which was owned by Mr Walter Grant of Trumland House, who kindly lent it for the occasion. The church was practically filled by an interested and most appreciative audience. A silver collection was asked for in aid of the fund which is being raised to repair the two Rousay U.F. Churches, and in aid of which the visitors had given their services. The programme of solos, hymns, and anthems was carried through in a pleasing and hearty fashion, and was much enjoyed by all present, after which the party was hospitably entertained by Mr Johnston, Trumland Farm, and by Mr John Logie, Rose Cottage. This meeting was so successful that many would like to see another of the same nature on some future occasion.

1926 July 7 Orkney Herald




The massive stone tower on Marwick Head, Birsay, erected by the people of Orkney in memory of Field-Marshall Earl Kitchener, his staff, and the officers and men of H.M.S. Hampshire, was unveiled on Friday by General Lord Horne of Stirkoke, who, it will be remembered, unveiled Kirkwall and St Ola War Memorial in October 1923.

In contrast to the weather which prevailed on the night on which the Hampshire was sunk, Friday was beautifully fine, with a slight haze hanging over the sea, where Kitchener and those who perished with him lie, and out of that fog bank came a mighty grey ship in order that the Navy, too, might pay its tribute to the dead.

Noon was the hour fixed for the ceremony, and from early morning until then all roads on the Mainland of Orkney led westwards to the Memorial, which stands a landmark, visible for miles over sea and land. People from both towns and every parish turned out to pay tribute to the man through whose foresight was raised and equipped that mighty army which after years of conflict turned the tide of war in favour of Britain and her Allies and smashed the might of Germany.

At 11.30 a guard was posted on three sides of the Memorial, and there the men, in uniform, ex-Service representatives of the Navy and Army, stood with heads bowed and with hands resting on the butts of their reversed rifles until the unveiling took place…..

Punctually at the appointed hour General Lord Horne arrived, and was received with the salute, after which, accompanied by Sir William Watson Cheyne and Major Mackay, A.D.C., he made an inspection of the guard, here and there exchanging a word with the men, as he passed up and down the ranks…..

Lord Horne then unveiled the memorial, and as he did so a salute of 19 guns was fired by the battleship Royal Sovereign, lying in close proximity to the spot where the Hampshire went down just over ten years ago. The haze that had been lying over the sea all morning was now dispelled, and the sun broke through in all its splendour. As the salute from the battleship thundered and echoed along the cliffs, which at this point are some 300 feet high, clouds of sea-birds, disturbed by the noise, flew seawards from their rocky ledges, filling the air with their protesting cries…..

Psalm 124 was then sung, the lament, the “Flowers of the Forest,” was played by Kirkwall City Pipe Band, and what was in every way a great and memorable event in the history of the islands, which in the war years was the base of the Grand Fleet, was brought to a close with the sounding of the “Last Post,” the benediction, and the singing of the National Anthem.

The vast assemblage gathered on the headland was then afforded an opportunity of viewing the wreaths, during which the Kirkwall Town Band, which made its first public appearance that day, delighted all with the playing of a march. The Kirkwall City Pipe Rand, which also has taken on a new lease of life, played the march “Hieland Laddie,” to the pleasure of all. Never have we heard them play better….



An incident worthy of mention occurred on Friday evening last, following the unveiling ceremony. Mr William Hourston, photographer, Stromness, had been commissioned by one of the leading newspapers to supply photographs of the unveiling, and being determined to have them despatched as soon as possible, he asked for a passage across the Pentland Firth on HMS Wessex, which conveyed General Lord Horne to Caithness soon after the luncheon Stromness Hotel. This privilege not being granted because he did not have an Admiralty permit, and on learning that a London press photographer was already on board that vessel, which meant that the press photographer’s pictures would arrive in London at least 24 hours before those of Mr Hourston, our enterprising photographer sought the assistance of Mr James Anderson, who owns a 14ft. motor yawl. Losing no time, Mr Hourston and Mr Anderson set out for Scrabster, arriving there about 9.30 p.m. After having arranged to get his photographs despatched by the morning mail from Thurso, the two men set out on their return passage at midnight, arriving at Stromness at 6 a.m. on Saturday morning. On the return passage fog was encountered, but Mr Anderson being familiar with the route, he having served for many years on the lighthouse steamer Pole Star, this did not delay them seriously. Mr Anderson, who is 75 years of age, is none the worse for having spent a night at sea.

1926 July 28 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – STOCK DEMONSTRATION. – Under the auspices of the Rousay Agricultural Society a demonstration on stock will be given at Rousay Cattle Show on Tuesday, 10th August, by Mr Wm. Brown, B.Sc., M.R.C.V.S., and Mr J. M. Petrie, Mains of Asleed, Aberdeenshire. Judging from what we have seen of similar demonstrations in other parishes, this is a treat which the farmers of Rousay should not miss.

1926 August 11 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PICNIC. – The annual picnic in connection with Sourin Public School took place on Friday, 6th August, at Braes, in field kindly granted for the occasion. The weather conditions of the previous evening were anything but favourable for a good picnic day, but the showers of the morning soon gave place to the sunshine of the afternoon. About 1 p.m. the children began to assemble, and were treated to milk and buns before proceeding to the field. Competition was keen in the racing which followed, and many were the prizes won by the zealous competitors. The special feature of the afternoon was the blindfold wheelbarrow race, when many of the competitors lost completely their sense of direction, much to the amusement of the assembled spectators. In the course of the afternoon a large number of parents and friends arrived on the field. After the “grown-up” competition races, tea was a welcome item. The prizes to the successful competitors were handed out by Mrs Corsie. Votes of thanks were given to Mrs Corsie, to the committee, and to Miss Rendall. The day was brought to a close with a most enjoyable dance, which lasted till the small hours of the morning…..

1926 August 18 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY CATTLE SHOW. – The annual show of the Rousay Agricultural Society was held on Tuesday last week in a field kindly granted by Mr Robert Seatter, Banks, Sourin. The cattle were an increased entry and a splendid show; but the horses forward were rather few in numbers, although of high standard. In the cattle sections the champion animal, belonging to Messrs Mainland Bros., was a very fine, blue-grey cow of great substance. In the horse sections the Highland Society’s medal for the best mare was won by Mr James Johnston, Trumland, this animal taking premier place over last year’s winner, belonging to the same exhibitor, which this year was placed as reserve. The best gelding in the yard was the property of Mr Thomas Inkster, Nearhouse, while the reserve belonged to Mr James Craigie.

The judging was carried out by Messrs W. Ritch, Kierfiold, Sandwick, and Mr J. M. Petrie, Aberdeen, for cattle; and Messrs W. Brown, Aberdeen, Wm. Corrigall, Northbigging, Harray, and J. G. S. Flett, Nistaben, Harray, for horses. The duties of secretary were energetically carried out by Mr John Harrold. The committee in charge consisted of Messrs Geo. Gibson, Alan Gibson, Hugh Robertson, John Gibson, Robert Seatter, Robert Mainland, Thomas Inkster, Mark M. Kirkness, and David Gibson. The Society desire to thank Mr Seatter for the use of his field, and Miss [Mary] Rendall, teacher, for placing her house at their disposal. Annexed is the prize-list: –

CATTLE. – Calves calved on or after 1st Oct. 1925 – 1 and 3 Mainland Bros., Westness; 2 Geo. Gibson, Avelshay; highly commended W. Corsie, Glebe; commended James Johnston, Trumland. Calves calved after 1st March – 1 J. Johnston, Trumland; 2 and 3 Hugh Mainland, Hurtiso. Highland Society’s medal for Best Quey Calf – Mainland Bros. Polled Bulls – 1 Mainland Bros. Polled Cows – 1 and c Mainland Bros., 2 Alan Gibson, Bigland; 3 Geo. Gibson, Avelshay; hc Thos. Inkster, Nearhouse. Shorthorn Cows – 1 D. Marwick, Quoys; 2 Hugh Craigie, Scockness; 3 Hugh Mainland; hc Mainland Bros. Three-year-old Polled Queys – 1 Geo. Gibson, 2 Mainland Bros. 3 Wm. Corsie, Glebe; hc R. Scatter. Three-year-old Shorthorn Cows – 1 Hugh Craigie, 2 Geo. Gibson. Best Milk Cow – Mainland Bros.; reserve, Geo. Gibson. Two-year-old Queys – 1 and 2 Geo. Gibson, 3 Jas. Johnston, Trumland; hc Hugh Robertson, Langskaill; c Robt. Seatter. Board of Agriculture Prizes – 1 and 2 Geo. Gibson, 3 James Johnston. Two-year-old Shorthorn Queys – 1 Mainland Bros. 2 Hugh Robertson. Two-year-old Polled Steers – 1 Hugh Craigie; 2 and 3 Hugh Robertson; hc and c David Marwick. Two-year-old Shorthorn Steers – 1 Hugh Craigie, 2 Hugh Robertson. One-year-old Polled Queys calved on or after 1st Oct. – 1 A. C. Gibson, Bigland. One-year-old Shorthorn Queys calved on or after 1st Oct. – 1 Hugh Craigie. One-year-old Polled Steers calved on or after 1st Oct. – 1, 2, and 3 Thos. Inkster, hc A. C. Gibson, c Robt. Seatter. One-year-old Shorthorn Steers calved on or after 1st Oct. – 1, 2, and 3 Robt. Seatter. One-year-old Polled Queys calved on or after 1st March – 1 Thomas Inkster, 2 Jas. Johnston, 3 Wm. Corsie, hc David Marwick. One-year-old Short-horn Queys calved on or after 1st March – 1 and 2 Hugh Robertson, 3 H. Mainland. One-year-old Polled Steers calved on or after 1st March – 1, 2, and 3 Thos. Inkster, hc David Marwick, c Wm. Corsie. One-year-old Shorthorn Steers calved on or after 1st March – 1 Hugh Craigie, 2 Robt. Seatter. Messrs Middleton’s (Aberdeen) cup for best animal in cattle section – Mainland Bros. Mr Moir’s (Aberdeen) cakestand for Best One-year-old Bullock or Heifer – Thos. Inkster. Mr R. Miller’s (Kirkwall) cup for Best Two-year-old Quey – Geo. Gibson.

HORSES. – Draught Geldings – 1 Jas. Craigie, Falquoy; 2 Hugh Mainland, Hurtiso; 3 W. Corsie, Glebe; vhc James Munro, Swandale. Yeld Mares – 1 James Johnston, Trumland; 2 Hugh Mainland, 3 and vhc Thos. Gibson, Broland. Two-year-old Fillies – 1 Geo. Gibson, 2 Hugh Robertson, Langskaill, 3 Robt. Seatter, Banks. One-year-old Geldings – 1 James Johnston, 2 Geo. Gibson. One-year-old Filly – 1 Jas. Craigie, Falquoy. Highland and Agricultural Society’s medal for Best Mare in Yard – 1 Jas. Johnston; reserve, Jas. Johnston. Garden, Ltd.’s, medal for Best Gelding – Thos. Inkster; reserve, Jas. Craigie. Special prize for Horse Shoeing – J. Johnston (W. Sutherland. Mrs J. Costie, Kirkwall, kindly handed over the prizes.

DEMONSTRATION ON STOCK. – At the conclusion of the Rousay show a most interesting demonstration of stock judging was given by Mr Wm. Brown, B.Sc., M.R.C.V.S., of the North of Scotland College of Agriculture, and Mr James Ewen, J.P., demonstrator on fat cattle for the College of Agriculture, Aberdeen. The demonstration, which was on similar lines to that given at Sanday, was highly appreciated by all present. The judges complimented the exhibitors on the quality of the stock. Both the champion of the cattle section, a beautiful blue-grey cow, belonging to Messrs Mainland Bros., Westness, and the champion mare, belonging to Mr James Johnston, Trumland, would do great credit to any district. The shoeing competition, which was judged by Mr Brown, is a feature which, in the opinion of the judge, ought to be encouraged in other districts.

1926 August 25 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – FORTHCOMING REGATTA. – On Thursday evening, the 19th inst., a public meeting was held at Trumland Pier, when it was resolved to form a sailing club. Mr John Logie, Rose Cottage, was appointed commodore; Dr Thomson, vice-commodore; Mr James T. Gibson, secretary; and Mr Charles Logie, jr., treasurer, along with a committee of management. It was decided to hold a regatta on Wednesday, 1st September, when there will be three sailing races for the different classes of boats, also an all-comers’ and the usual rowing races. The rules of the old Rousay Sailing Club are to be adopted, and hand bills will be sent to the usual places as formerly. The committee trust a goodly number of boats will come forward to compete in the several races. For the convenience of visitors a tearoom will be opened in the store on the day of the regatta.

1926 September 1 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – SERVICE IN WASBISTER SCHOOL. – A very pleasant service was conducted in Wasbister Public School on Sunday, 29th August, by Captain Craigie. He had a full house, and spoke very earnestly on the sufferings of Christ on earth for mankind and how little was given in return from them. The singing was very hearty, and Mr R. A. [Robert Alexander] Inkster presided at the harmonium.

1926 September 8 Orkney Herald



The first regatta under the auspices of the newly-formed Rousay Sailing Club took place in Viera Sound on Wednesday, 1st September. The weather conditions proved too fair from a sailing point of view, and no doubt failed to bring out the sailing qualities of some of the boats.

However, towards midday a light westerly breeze sprang up, which enabled the first race to get away. This race was for boats 18 feet waterline and under, for which there were five entries, namely, Snowdrop, Viking, Thora, Bulldog, and Ceska. The course was the usual triangular one, and for this race, twice round the course. All boats made a good start, and on sighting round Avelshay Point the Viking was seen to lead, followed by Snowdrop and Ceska. There was little changing of place throughout the race, and the finish was as follows, corrected time: –

1 Viking (Dr Thomson) 1h 23m 39s
2 Snowdrop (Charles Logie, jr.) 1h 25m 33s
3 Ceska (David Gibson) 1h 39m 28s
4 Thora (William Miller) 1h 39m 55s
5 Bulldog (Tom Isbister) 1h 51m 13s

The second race was for boats 14 feet waterline and under, and for this race there were six entries, viz.: – Mary Ann, Ivy, Daisy, Rose, Tam-a-Norrie, and Surprise. Four of these were square-sterned boats, the other two being small yawls. The condition for this race was only once round the course, and as there was a little more wind all the boats finished in good time. Their times, when corrected, were as follows:-

1 Daisy (John Logie) 51m 55s
2 Surprise (Tom Sinclair) 53m 4s
3 Tam-a-Norie (Hugh Mainland) 55m 33s
4 Rose (Harry Logie) 55m 37s
5 Mary Ann (Sam Mainland) 56m 22s
6 Ivy (George Harrold) 57m 0s

For the all-comers’ race all the boats entered with the exception of the Ivy. The conditions for this race was twice round the course, but unfortunately after the first round the wind fell almost to a calm, and the race resolved itself into a drifting match. Eventually all the boats, with the exception of the Viking, Thora, and Mary Ann retired, and these, after a long time of sailing and drifting, finished as follows: –

1 Viking (Dr Thomson)
2 Thora (William Miller)
3 Mary Ann (Sam Mainland)

The rowing races took place during the afternoon and were keenly contested. For the boys’ rowing race, four boats entered, and after a hard pull finished as follows: –

1 William Craigie and John Marwick.
2 John Wylie and James Wylie.
3 Magnus Flaws and Neil Flaws.
4 James Marwick and Hugh Marwick.

For the ladies rowing race three boats entered, and after an exciting race, the orders of merit were: –

1 Misses Cilla Logie and Girlie Logie.
2 Misses Annie Johnston and Kathleen Gibson.
3 Misses Ada Mainland and Lilian Mathieson.

The men’s rowing race was to Viera and back to Trumland Pier. Four boats entered and the successful winners were: –

1 George Petrie and Robert Inkster.
2 David Gibson and James Grieve.
3 Robert Johnston and James S. Gibson, jr.
4 Tom Marwick and Tom Sinclair (retired)

At the close of the races the prizes were handed out to the successful competitors by Miss Marjorie Gibson, for which she was accorded a hearty vote of thanks. The committee opened a tearoom in the store during the day for the convenience of visitors, and much credit is due to the young ladies of the Frotoft Picnic Committee, who presided, for the excellence of the arrangements.

The committee would take this opportunity of thanking all those who subscribed to the funds or in any way helped to make the regatta a success; especially all are grateful for the number who came forward to compete in the several races.

1926 September 15 Orkney Herald

THE HARVEST MOON. – The full moon of the 21st is the harvest moon, being that which occurs nearest to the autumnal equinox, and its rising at nearly the same time on several consecutive evenings was at one time considered to be ordained specially to favour the harvest work.

EARLY MIGRATION. – A flock of wild geese was observed flying over Kirkwall Bay in a south-easterly direction on Saturday morning. There is an old saying that the early migration of these birds portends an early waiter.

THE HINDENBURG. – Our Longhope correspondent writes as follows: – No luck has attended the salvage operations of the Hindenburg, and Messrs Cox and Danks have for the present given up their attempt to lift the vessel. On Sunday of last week they had to submerge her for the fourth time, as the further they pumped her out, the more she listed, and was in danger of turning over on her side. On Thursday last they paid off about seventy men, only a few being kept on. It is understood that diving may be carried on around the Moltke, which lies in the middle of the channel between Cava and Rysa Little.




The Biometric Laboratory University College, London, has just issued the July number of the “Biometrika,” a journal for the statistical study of biological problems, which contains a report by Professor R. W. Reid, M.D., LL.D., and F.R.C.S., Emeritus Professor of Anatomy, University of Aberdeen, on the remains of St Magnus and St Rognvald, entombed in St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall.

The object of the examination was to decide, if possible, whether this supposition might be accepted as verified, and if so, to make an anthropological record of the skeletal remains of two celebrated Norsemen who had both been canonized in the twelfth century.

The only means of attaining this object was by an investigation of the history of these individuals, in so far as it could be obtained from the “Orkneyinga Saga” and other relative documents, and by associating the facts so ascertained with the physical appearances presented by the skeletal remains and the locations in the cathedral in which they were found.

After a brief summary of historical facts relating to the death, burial, and removal of relics of the Orkney Saints Magnus and Rognvald, Professor Reid says: –

“There is thus conclusive evidence that the relics of Saint Magnus and Saint Rognvald were placed in the Cathedral.

“It is now necessary to discuss the evidence in favour of the supposition that the bones discovered in the two pillars of the Cathedral are those of Saint Magnus and Saint Rognvald. Such evidence has been given with considerable fullness by Mr John Mooney, F.S.A. (Scotland), Kirkwall.

“It is probable that prior to the extension of the choir eastwards, which was made more than a century after the founding of the Cathedral in 1137, the relics occupied places of honour near the high altar. Before the extension, the high altar stood in close proximity to the pillars in which the relics have been found, and it has been surmised that the relics were subsequently transferred to these pillars when the altar was removed during the extension of the choir. There is, however, no documentary evidence from the early history of the Cathedral as to the date of the transference.

“It has been known for several generations locally that there were bones in the third pier from the east on the north side of the choir. These were surmised to be those of Saint Magnus. The bones were viewed by the late Marquis of Bute, who rejected the idea that they were those of Saint Magnus, and regarded them as being probably those of Saint Rognvald.

“In March 1919 a chest containing bones was discovered in the corresponding pier on the south side of the choir.

“It is submitted that the researches embodied in the following paper leave little doubt that they are those of Saint Magnus. Their position in the south pillar corresponds with that of the bones in the north pillar.

“On the assumption that the bones in the south pillar are those of Saint Magnus, it seems certain that the bones in the corresponding position on the north side were those of one comparable to him in dignity, and in the veneration of those who placed them there. No other person than Saint Rognvald fulfils these conditions. Saint Magnus and Saint Rognvald were the only saints having a special connection with Orkney. There was no other local canonization. Other early dedications in the country are to Scottish or Irish saints whose disciples as Christian missionaries founded churches there, or to Saint Olaf of Norway, who claimed the sovereignty of the islands. Whether the bones received sepulture in the pillars as a token of special honour, or with a view to special security, there is no one other than Rognvald to share with Magnus in such honours or solicitude for his relics.”

CONCLUSIONS. – The following are the Professor’s conclusions:-

“(1) The results obtained from an investigation of the human remains found in the south and north pillars of the Cathedral of Saint Magnus, Kirkwall, Orkney, conformed with the descriptions and histories of Saint Magnus and Saint Rognvald as obtained from the “Orkneyinga Saga” and other relative documents.

“(2) The investigation on the whole confirmed the conclusion that the human remains which were contained in a wooden case in the south pillar belonged to Saint Magnus and that those which were found in a cavity in the north pillar belonged in all probability to Saint Rognvald.

“(3) It was interesting to note that as regards racial characters neither of the remains of the two Saints possessed characters which were purely of the type we now associate with the tall Nordic type.”

In addition to the letterpress of the report there are thirteen sketches and eight very fine half-tone reproductions of photographs, which were, we understand, taken by Mr Tom Kent, Kirkwall. Only a limited number of copies are for sale, and these may be procured from any of the local book sellers at 2/- each.

1926 October 27 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PRESENTATION OF SUNDAY-SCHOOL PRIZES. – On the evening of Sunday, the 17th inst., the scholars attending the Frotoft Sunday-school were presented with their prizes for perfect attendance throughout the year, as follows: – Minnie Reid and Anna Reid, Tratland; Lily Sinclair, Banks; John Marwick, James Marwick, and Hugh Marwick, No. 1 Frotoft [Breek]. Mr James Low, Westness, superintendent, presented the prizes and addressed the class. Mr Low, who takes a deep interest in Sunday-school work, is ably assisted by Miss Mainland, No. 4 Frotoft [Cott], while Mr D. B. Mackay, Cruseday, conducts the singing. On the evening of the presentation Mr Mackay, along with the scholars, rendered a few solos, duets, and part songs in a very pleasing manner. That the work of the teachers is much appreciated in the district is evidenced by the regular attendance of the children.

1926 December 1 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PRESENTATION. – On Thursday, the 18th ult., a deputation from the congregation of Trumland Church, consisting of Messrs J. Johnston, Trumland; G. Harrold, Trumland Pier; Capt. Sinclair, Bellona; J. Harrold, Springfield; William Grieve, Upper Knarston; and John Logie, Rose Cottage, waited on Mr George Gibson of Avelshay, and presented him with an armchair. Capt. Sinclair, who made the presentation in name of the congregation, in a neat little speech expressed their regret, that owing to his health, Mr Gibson was unable to continue longer as their leader of praise. They remembered the many services he had rendered the congregation since he was a schoolboy and one of the choir of Trumland Church. Although unable to continue as precentor, they hoped he would be long spared to associate with them and give his valuable aid in congregational matters, and that he would be long spared to use the chair. Mr Gibson very feelingly and suitably replied. The deputation were afterwards sumptuously entertained by Mr and Mrs Gibson, and spent a very pleasant evening. On the presentation plate the inscription is as follows: – “Presented to George Gibson, Esq. of Avelshay, on his retirement as precentor in Trumland U.F. Church, by the congregation in recognition of his valuable services rendered gratuitously in connection with church music.”

1926 December 15 Orkney Herald

COALS FOR CHRISTMAS. – The steamer Fernside arrived at Kirkwall on Monday morning with a cargo of English coal for Mr John Jolly, coal merchant. This is the first cargo of British coal to arrive at Kirkwall since the month of May.

[The 1926 general strike in the UK lasted nine days, from 3 May 1926 to 12 May 1926. It was called by the General Council of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) in an unsuccessful attempt to force the British government to act to prevent wage reduction and worsening conditions for 1.2 million locked-out coal miners. Some 1.7 million workers went out, especially in transport and heavy industry. The government was prepared and enlisted middle class volunteers to maintain essential services. There was little violence and the TUC gave up in defeat. Though nine days in, the TUC leadership knew ‘the government could hold out longer than the workers’, it was perceived at the time as a ‘brilliant failure’.

The miners maintained resistance for a few months before being forced, by their own economic needs, to return to the mines. By the end of November, most miners were back at work. Those still employed were forced to accept longer hours, lower wages and district wage agreements. The strikers felt that they had achieved nothing.]    

In Print

Newsprint – 1925

1925 February 18 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY. – The Rousay Agricultural Society held their annual ploughing match on Tuesday last week on fields kindly granted for the occasion by Mr John Inkster, Woo, and Mr Malcolm Corsie, Faro, Sourin. The weather was by no means good. In the morning, when the competitors were gathering from the various districts, it began to rain heavily, and continued wet and bitterly cold throughout the day. Notwithstanding the inclement weather, 17 ploughs, including 1 champion, turned up for competition. Throughout the day a fairly Iarge number of spectators gathered round the field and discussed the work, indicating the keen interest taken in the competition. The ploughmen were liberally supplied with refreshments on the field, and when their day’s work was finished they partook of a hearty dinner prepared by Mrs [Jane] Inkster, Woo.

The judges were Mr James Anderson, Corse, St Ola, and Mr Leslie, Grimsquoy, St Ola, who had a difficult task to perform owing to the evenness of the greater portion of the work. Their awards are as follows: –

PLOUGHING. – ORDINARY – 1 and Highland Society’s medal, Sam Inkster, Wasdale; 2 Malcolm Hourie, Saviskaill; 3 Tom Marwick, Glebe; 4 Alex Donaldson, Quoys; 5 Robert Johnston, Trumland Farm; 6 Robert Sinclair, Sketquoy; 7 John Leonard, Faraclett; 8 Robert Seatter, Banks; 9 James Munro, Swandale; 10 Albert Munro, Broland. Youngest ploughman, James Grieve, Falldown; feering, Alex Donaldson; finish, Robert Johnston; feering in furrow, Alex Donaldson; best feering on field, James Craigie, Falquoy; best finish on field, James Craigie; straightest ploughing, James Craigie; cup for best ploughed rig on field, to be won three times, James Craigie, Falquoy. Won the third time by this competitor it now becomes his own property.

HARNESS. – 1 and medal, James Mainland, Westness; 2 Charles Flett, Nearhouse; 3 Robert Johnston, 4 Albert Munro, 5 Malcolm Hourie.

GROOMING. 1 Robert Johnston, 2 Charles Flett, 3 James Mainland, 4 Robert Seatter, 5 Malcolm Hourie.

After the prizes had been distributed the committee and a few friends sat down to a sumptuous tea.

The committee take this opportunity of thanking Messrs Inkster and Corsie for the use of the fields, the judges for coming so far from home in such weather, the donors of the special prizes and the medal for harness, and all who contributed to the funds of the society; also Mr George Gibson, Avelshay, who visited the field, enabling the society to get the Highland and Agricultural Society’s medal.

1925 March 4 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – AN ORKNEY APPEAL. – The following letter appeared in Friday’s Aberdeen ‘Press and Journal,’ –

Sir, – We are aware that many Orcadians and others interested in our picturesque isles are readers of your valuable paper, and it is to them especially that we address this appeal.

The Island of Rousay has long felt the need of a hall, and, having procured a very suitable site, the local branch of the British Legion, at a recent meeting, decided that a hall should be built whenever the necessary funds were obtained. A strong effort is being made locally, but this will not be sufficient for our needs, so we appeal to our friends to help us. Subscriptions will be very gratefully received and acknowledged by the secretary, John Craigie, Cruar, Rousay, Orkney. – Yours, etc.,

(Rev.) Roderick Fraser, President.
John Craigie, Secretary.

1925 May 27 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – CHILDREN’S SERVICE OF PRAISE. – Frotoft Sunday-school held a service of praise in the school on Sunday evening, May 17th. The children were efficiently trained by Mr D. Mackay, and carried through the programme of sacred music with credit. Miss [Lydia Mary, known as Edda] Mainland, Cott, Frotoft, presided at the piano, and Rev. D. S. Brown was chairman. Prizes were given for attendance in the junior class to John Marwick, Ann Marwick, Annie Reid, and Minnie Reid; and in the infant class to James Marwick, Hugh Marwick, Lily Sinclair, and Sarah Smith. A special prize for singing was awarded to Mary Yorston. In connection with the League of Young Worshippers the first prize was awarded to Alfred Gibson for forty-six attendances at church out of a possible fifty, the second prize to Annie M. Craigie for forty-three attendances, and the third prize to Ethel Gibson for forty-one attendances. There was a good turnout of the people from all the districts of the island, as the weather was favourable, and also a good collection, which was in aid of the Frotoft Sunday-school prize fund. This Sunday-school continues to do excellent work with Mr James Low as superintendent, who also addressed the meeting, the other teachers being Mr D. Mackay and Miss Mainland, Cott, Frotoft.

1925 June 3 Orkney Herald

MISHAP TO KIRKWALL STEAMER. – Whilst the local steamer Countess of Bantry was discharging cargo into a small boat off the island of Viera on Monday evening she had the misfortune to bend one of her piston rods. Fortunately, the engine was running dead slow at the time, otherwise the consequences might have been more serious. The vessel anchored, and word was sent to Kirkwall, upon receipt of which the steamer Orcadia proceeded to the assistance of the Countess, which was towed to Kirkwall at a late hour. Repairs are now being carried out, and it is expected that the vessel will be on her usual run on Friday.

1925 June 10 Orkney Herald


FOR SALE, by Private Bargain: –

1. Farm of SCOCKNESS, as tenanted by Hugh Craigie, but excepting the Holm of Scockness. Entry and actual occupation at Martinmas 1925.
2. Farm of BANKS of Sourin, as tenanted by Robert Seatter. Extent about 109 acres.
3. The MEAL MILL of Sourin.
4. The Holding of QUOYS of Sourin. Extent about 9 acres.
5. The Houses and Lands of EASTAQUOY and OLDMAN.

For further particulars, apply to the Subscribers, who will receive offers
up to 23rd June 1925. – T. P. & J. L. LOW, Solicitors.


ANOTHER GERMAN DOCK FOR SCAPA FLOW. – We understand that Messrs Cox & Danks, Ltd.. who are raising the scuttled German Fleet in Scapa Flow, have purchased another German floating dock. The dock, which is the largest in the world, is reputed to have a lifting capacity of 40,000 tons, but, owing to its size, only one part will be used by the firm. It is not expected that an attempt will be made to raise the Hindenburg this year.

1925 June 17 Orkney Herald

THE WEATHER AND THE CROPS. – During the past week the weather has been of a changeable nature. As on several days during the previous week, Wednesday and Thursday were sunny and warm, with little or no wind, but there was a change on Friday, which was cold, with a strong breeze from the north-west. On Saturday the wind increased, raising clouds of dust, which blew off the roads all day, making all forms of travelling very disagreeable and outdoor and farm work very uncomfortable. There was some rain or mist in the afternoon, which, however, was so slight that it failed to lay the dust; in fact, in some respects it made matters worse, as the dust then adhered to one’s clothing. There was an improvement on Sunday, there being no rain or fog, while the wind was much less. Rain fell on Monday, but not in any large quantity, and yesterday (Tuesday) was again somewhat cold and disagreeable, with a high westerly wind and occasional showers. Farmers are now getting well ahead with laying down their turnips, but are complaining that the drought of the previous fortnight has had an injurious effect on the growing crops. On many fields the braird has had a check, while on sandy soils the young turnips have in many cases been “burned” out, and a second sowing has had to he resorted to, particularly in the North Isles. With the moisture of the past two days, however, it is expected that both oats and turnips will now revive.

1925 June 24 Orkney Herald

SCAPA FLOW SALVAGE. – Messrs Cox & Danks raised their thirteenth destroyer on Friday. There are still thirteen more ships to bring to the surface, which the firm expect to complete this year, aided by part of the 40,000 ton floating dock now getting ready to proceed to Scapa Flow.

1925 July 8 Orkney Herald

SAVED BY A WOMAN. – What might have been a rather serious accident was on Wednesday last, averted by the plucky action of a woman. A number of cattle and sheep were grazing in a park in the vicinity of Kirkwall, and an elderly man, who was out for a walk, quite innocently strolled into the field unobservant of any apparent danger. One of the animals on seeing him enter made a ferocious attack, and before he was able to retrace his footsteps, charged and knocked him against a dyke and latterly to the ground. Fortunately a woman happened to be passing with a pony and trap, and seeing the danger in which the old man was placed she, with great promptitude and presence of mind called up the pony, fearlessly rushing to the man’s assistance and, with marked heroism, fought the animal with a whip which she carried, and brought the victim to safety. Some individuals, who witnessed the affair from a distance, are loud in their praises of the unique gallantry displayed by the woman. On enquiring very kindly as to the old man’s condition she learned that he had sustained little or no injury, and afterwards very good humouredly drove him to his usual quarters.

[Readers of these pages may have become aware by now of the lack of Rousay-related stories within the local press. Extensive ‘news’ coverage from every other Orkney island and mainland parish are printed weekly, though, for some reason, there is very little – if anything, these days – coming from the ‘Rousay correspondent’. So, I will continue to scan the pages of newsprint, made available by the National Newspaper Archive, and continue to extract items of general Orcadian interest, even if they do not directly involve Rousay!]

1925 July 29 Orkney Herald

PATERSON U.F. CHURCH. – Both services in Paterson U.F. Church, Kirkwall, on Sunday were conducted by the Rev. John Inkster, of Knox Church, Toronto, a native of Rousay. There were large congregations at both diets of worship, especially in the evening, and Mr Inkster’s eloquent and impressive discourses were listened to with rapt attention.

[John Gibson Inkster was the son of William Inkster (1831-1905), Cogar, and Mary Gibson (1836-1927), Langskaill. He was born in February 1867, and emigrated to Canada, where he met and married Alice Rowsome, raising a family of four daughters.]

1925 August 12 Orkney Herald

CALL TO ROUSAY MINISTER. – Rev. Roderick Fraser, minister of Rousay and Egilshay parish, has by a large majority been elected minister of Lintrathen, in the Presbytery of Meigle, Synod of Angus and Mearns. Mr Fraser has been in Rousay for about two years, and during that time he has made himself a most popular minister, and has been instrumental in getting a heating arrangement in the church. He has also been an active member of the Rousay branch of the British Legion. of which he is president, and through his efforts the branch has become financially strong and flourishing. Mr Fraser’s departure will be a distinct loss to Rousay, as the various church organisations have during his incumbency shown advancement both numerically and financially.

FLOWER AND DAIRY SHOWS – ROUSAY. – With excellent growing weather during the summer, the display of flowers and vegetables at the annual show of Rousay Horticultural and Industrial Society on Tuesday last was one of the best that has been seen in the district for several years. The industrial section would have done credit to any community, and the exhibitors are to be congratulated on the large number of entries and also the neatness which characterised their work. Dairy produce was also a strong section, and for best butter Mrs [Betsy] Kirkness, Quoyostray, won the Trumland Cup for the second year in succession.

The judges were: – Dairy Produce – Miss Leslie, N.N.D., North of Scotland College of Agriculture, Kirkwall. Vegetables and Flowers, etc. – Mr John Cutt, Daisy Cottage, Trumland. Baking – Miss Sinclair, Kirkwall. Industrial Work – Mrs D. M. Wright, Hopemount, Kirkwall. Miss Baikie and Messrs James W. Grieve, Robert Marwick. jr., Samuel Inkster, and William Grieve acted as attendants. The committee of ladies in charge of the tea arrangements were: – Miss Reid, Wasdale; Miss Inkster, Cogar; Mrs Reid, Hurtiso; Miss B. Craigie, Triblo; Miss Mary A. Craigie, Blossom, assisted by Mrs Taylor, Trumland Lodge, and Miss L. Craigie, Blossom.

The following is the prize-list: –

DAIRY PRODUCE. – Fresh Butter – 1 and very highly commended Mrs Kirkness, Quoyostray; 2 and 3 Edith Gibson, Avelshay. Salt Butter – 1 and 2 Mrs Kirkness, 3 Edith Gibson, vhc M. A. Inkster, Cogar. Table Butter – 1 and 2 Mrs Harrold, Springfield; 3 and vhc M. A. Munro, Post Office. Sweet Milk Cheese – 1, 2, 3, and vhc Mrs Craigie, Furse. Skim Milk Cheese – 1 Mrs Grieve, Upper Knarston; 2 Mrs Kirkness, 3 Mrs Craigie, Furse; vhc Mrs Craigie, Scockness. Duck Eggs – 1 and 3 Mrs A. Gibson. Bigland; 2 Mrs Craigie, Cruar; vhc Mrs Kirkness. Hen Eggs – 1 and 3 M. A. Munro, 2 Mrs Kirkness, vhc Mrs Craigie, Blossom. Rhubarb Jam – 1 Mrs J. W. Grieve, 2 and 3 Mrs Craigie, Furse. Rhubarb and Ginger Jam – 1 Mrs A. Gibson, 2 and 3 Mrs H. I. Gibson, Bigland. Apricot Jam – 1 and 2 Mrs Kirkness, 3 Mrs Fraser, The Manse. Marmalade – 1 M. A. Craigie, Greenfield; 2 Mrs Fraser. Gooseberry Jam – 1 Mrs Fraser, 2 and 3 Mrs Harrold. Strawberry Jam – 1 and 2 M. A. Inkster, Cogar. Cup for Best Butter, for farms of a rental of £50 and under – Mrs Kirkness, Quoyostray.

VEGETABLES, ETC. – Cabbage – 1 and 2 Mrs J. Craigie. Cruar; 3 James K. Yorston, Post Office. Lettuce (cabbage) – 1 James. K. Yorston, 2 Mrs J. Craigie, Cruar; 3 Mrs Grieve, Upper Knarston. Ditto (cos) – 1 Mrs Grieve, Upper Knarston; 2 and 3 James K. Yorston. Parsley – 1 and 2 Mrs J. Craigie, Cruar; 3 Mrs Kirkness, Quoyostray. Leeks – 1 and 3 Mrs Craigie, Furse; 2 James Low, Westness. Carrots – 1 and 2 James K. Yorston, 3 Mrs J. Craigie, Cruar. Parsnips – 1 James Low, 2 and 3 John Harrold, Springfield. Beetroot (long) – 1 and 2 Tom Sinclair, Banks; 3 Mrs J. Craigie, Cruar. Do. (globe) – 1 and 2 Mrs J. Craigie, Cruar; 3 Mrs Craigie. Furse. Onions – 1, 2, and 3 John Harrold, Springfield. Cauliflower – 1 and 2 Tom Sinclair, Banks; 3 Mrs Kirkness, Quoyostray. Radish – 1 and 2 James Low, 3 Mrs J. Craigie, Cruar. Peas – 1 and 3 James Low, 2 James K. Yorston. Potatoes (white, long) – 1 and 2 James K. Yorston, 3 Tom Sinclair. Do. (white, round) – 1 and 2 Mrs Craigie, Furse; 3 James K. Yorston. Do. (long, black) – 1, 2, and 3 James K. Yorston. Do. (round, black) – 1, 2, and 3 Mrs Kirkness. Turnips – 1, 2, and 3 J. Harrold, Springfield. Shallots – 1 Mrs J. Craigie, Cruar; 2 Tom Sinclair, 3 Mrs G. Reid, Tratland.

FRUIT. – Gooseberries – 1 and 2 Mrs J. Craigie, Cruar. Apples – 1 J. Gibson, Hullion. Rhubarb – 1 and 2 Tom Sinclair, Banks; 3 Mrs Grieve, Upper Knarston.

FLOWERS. – Stocks – 1 and 2 J. Gibson, Hullion. Viola – 1 Mrs Grieve, Upper Knarston; 2 James Gibson, 3 Mrs J. Harrold, Springfield. Marigold – 1 Ethel Gibson, Springfield. Pink Rose – 1 James Gibson, 2 Thora Kirkness, 3 Fred. Kirkness. Red Rose – 1 Winifred Gibson, Avelshay. White Rose – 1 James Gibson, 2 Winifred Gibson, 3 Mrs Grieve, Upper Knarston. Sweet Peas – 1 Minnie Logie, Rose Cottage. Marguerites – 1, 2, and 3 Ethel Gibson, Springfield. Spirea – 1 Ethel Gibson, 2 Mrs Harrold, Springfield. Nemophilie – 1 Fred Kirkness, 2 and 3 Thora Kirkness. Wild Violets – 1, 2, and 3 Thora Kirkness. Garden Violets – 1 and 2 Ethel Gibson. Virginia Stock – 1 Thora Kirkness, 2 and 3 Fred Kirkness. Golden Feather – 1 Mrs Grieve, Upper Knarston. Sweet Williams – 1 Mrs Grieve. Gladiola – 1 Mrs Grieve. Canterbury Bells – 1 and 3 Ethel Gibson, 2 Mrs Harrold, Springfield. Honeysuckle – 1 and 2 Ethel Gibson, 3 Fred Kirkness. Veronica -1 Mrs Harrold, 2 and 3 Ethel Gibson. Monkshood – 1 and 2 Ethel Gibson, 3 Mrs Harrold. Salvia – 1 and 3 Ethel Gibson, 2 Mrs Harrold. Shamrock – 1 Winifred Gibson, Avelshay. Mesembryanthemum – 1 Winifred Gibson. Sedum – 1 and 2 Mrs J. W. Grieve. Pot Plants – 1 Violet B. Mainland, Gorehouse. Wild Flowers – 1 Sinclair Whyte, Greenfield; 2 Thora Kirkness, 3 Fred Kirkness.

BAKING. – Oatcakes with Shortening – 1 Mrs A. C. Gibson, Bigland; 2 Mrs Craigie, Blossom; 3 Miss A. Gibson, Langskaill. Do. (without shortening) – 1, 2, and 3 Mrs Craigie, Blossom. Bere Bannocks – 1 Mrs Taylor, Trumland Lodge; 2 Mrs A. C; Gibson, 3 Mrs Craigie, Breck. Gingerbread Cake – 1 Mrs Taylor, 2 Isabella Grieve, Trumland Lodge; 3 Hannah Grieve, Falldown. Jam Tarts – 1 Miss J. Reid, Wasdale. Pastry Cakes – 1 Isabella Grieve, Falldown, 2 Hanna Grieve, Falldown. Rice Buns – 1 and 2 Mrs Kirkness, Quoyostray. Ice Cakes – 1 and 2 Edith Gibson, Avelshay. Melting Moments – 1 Marjorie Gibson, Hullion; 2 M. A. Craigie, Greenfield; 3 Edith Gibson, Avelshay. Fruit Cake – 1 Edith Gibson, 2 Mrs Taylor, Lodge; 3 M. A, Craigie, Greenfield. Rock Cakes – 1 and 3 Edith Gibson. 2 M. A. Craigie, Greenfield. Sponge Cake – 1 and 2 Mrs H. I. Gibson, Bigland. Queen Cake – 1 and 2 Mrs H. I. Gibson. Parkins – 1 and 2 Mrs Harrold, Springfield. Shortbread – 1 M. A. Craigie, Blossom; 2 Edith Gibson, 3 Marjorie Gibson, Hullion. Iced Shortbread – 1 Edith Gibson. Iced Cakes – 1 Marjorie Gibson. Oven Scones – 1 and 3 Marjorie Gibson. 2 Miss A. Gibson, Langskaill. Flour Scones – 1 Mrs Seatter, Banks, 2 Mrs H. I. Gibson, 3 Mrs Taylor, Lodge. Drop Scones – 1 and 2 Edith Gibson, 3 M. A. Craigie, Greenfield. Cherry Cake – 1 Mrs H. I. Gibson, 2 Mrs Harrold, 3 Mrs Kirkness. Jam Sandwich – 1 Marjorie Gibson, 2 Miss A. Gibson, Langskaill; 3 Mrs H. I. Gibson. Lancashire Nuts – 1, 2, and 3 Miss A. Craigie, Blossom.

INDUSTRIAL SECTION. – All-over Fair Isle Jumpers – 1 and 2 Miss M. A. Munro. Fair Isle Bordered Jumper – 1 and 2 Mrs Inkster, Woo; 3 Mrs H. I. Gibson, Bigland. Plain Knitted Jumper – 1 Mrs H. I. Gibson, 2 Mrs Inkster, Woo, 3 Miss Annie Grieve, Digro. Nightdress – 1 and 2 Mrs H. I. Gibson. Cushion Covers – 1 Mrs H. I. Gibson, 2 and 3 Miss M. A. Craigie, Blossom. Camisole – 1 and 2 Mrs H. I. Gibson. Patchwork Cushion – 1 Isabella Grieve, Falldown; 2 Mrs J. Craigie, Cruar; 3 Mrs H. I. Gibson. Traycloths – 1 Mrs H. I. Gibson, 2 A. M. Robertson, Scockness; 3 Mrs H. I. Gibson. Spinning – 1, 2, and 3 Mrs J. Harrold, Springfield. Chemise (hand sewn) – 1, 2, and 3 Mrs H. I. Gibson. Nightdress – 1 and 2 Mrs H. I. Gibson. Silk Knitted Jumper – 1 and 2 Miss Bella Grieve, Kirkhall; 3 Miss Annie Reid, Tratland. Knitted Doyleys – 1 Miss M. A. Munro. Crochet Trimmed Bedspread – 1 Miss M. A. Munro. Socks – 1 and 2 Mrs H. I. Gibson. Knitted Gloves – 1 Miss Isabella Grieve, Falldown. Baby Coatee – 1 Miss Isabella Grieve, Falldown. Tatted Collar – 1 Miss J. Reid. Woollen Quilt – 1 Mrs Craigie, Cruar.

SPECIAL PRIZES. – 1 lb. tea for best shortbread – M. A. Craigie, Blossom. Knife cleaner, presented by Rev. Roderick Fraser, for best flour scones – Mrs Seatter, Banks. Primus stove, presented by Dr Thomson, for best gingerbread cake – Mrs Taylor, Trumland Lodge. ½ doz. tea knives, presented by Mr Samuel Inkster. Kirkhall, for best oven scones – Miss Marjorie Gibson, Hullion. Special prize, presented by the Leonards, Kirkwall, for best needlework – Mrs H. I. Gibson, Bigland. Brown & Polson cakes – 1 and 3 M. Munro, Old School; 2 Mrs Harrold, Springfield.

1925 September 30 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY. – The sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was dispensed in Ritchie Church, Sourin, on Sunday, September 13th, by Rev. D. S. Brown, M.A. With favourable weather, there was a record attendance, which gave the office-bearers encouragement in their not easy task of working this church with its two congregations scattered over two islands. Representatives were present from every district.

1925 October 7 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PRESENTATION. – On Thursday evening, 1st October, in the Wasbister Schoolroom, a very interesting and happy ceremony took place. As Miss [Annie] Craigie, late teacher in Wasbister School, was leaving to go abroad it was thought fitting to present her with suitable gifts to show the appreciation and esteem in which she was held by her pupils and friends in the district. Mr Kirkness, Quoyostray, presided over the gathering, and in a short speech enumerated Miss Craigie’s many sterling qualities, both as a teacher and friend. He then called on Miss Clara Craigie to present the gifts, which consisted of two cases of cutlery and a silver cheese-dish, for which Miss Craigie very suitably and feelingly replied. Mr Inkster, Cogar, in his usual good style, along with his friends, Mrs Moar, Miss Craigie, and Messrs Clouston and Sinclair, submitted a short programme of instrumental and vocal music, which was much enjoyed by all present. Thereafter an abundant tea was served by a party of young ladies. Then followed a most enjoyable dance, the music for which was supplied by Mrs Moar and Mr Inkster on the piano, and by Messrs Clouston and Craigie on the violin, and Mr Sinclair on the melodeon. At intervals during the dance Messrs Sinclair and Clouston sang a number of appropriate songs. The meeting terminated with the singing of “Auld Land Syne.” Among those present were Mr and Mrs Craigie, Ivybank; Councillor Inkster, Kirkwall, and Dr Thomson, Brinian House, Rousay.

[Teacher Annie Flaws Craigie was the daughter of James Gibson Craigie, Old School/Ivybank, and Annabella Flaws Chalmers, Stronsay. James was clerk to both Rousay School Board and Parish Council. Annie was leaving Rousay to marry George Scarth of Kirkwall, after which they emigrated to Canada.]

A meeting of the North Isles Presbytery was held in Kirkwall on Monday – Rev. R. H. Richmond, moderator pro tempore, presiding. – The Clerk (Dr Murison) reported that the Rev. Roderick Fraser, late of Rousay, had been admitted to the church and parish of Lintrathen on 30th September, and the Rousay church had been preached vacant on Sunday. They had now to appoint a moderator in place of Mr Fraser. He suggested the Rev. David G. Milne, Stronsay…..[which was] Agreed.

1925 October 28 Orkney Herald

METEORITES. – Many people of nocturnal habits must have been interested and impressed by the unusual brilliance of some shooting stars which they have observed during the past week. Whether they in any way exercise any influence on atmospheric conditions would require the scientific acumen of a meteorological expert. During the past week the barometer has been particularly low, although the weather has been reasonably mild, with quite a lot of rain. On Wednesday, 21st inst., with the aurora borealis uncommonly bright, usually the forerunner of rough and unsettled weather, two shooting stars, one seen at 7.45 and the other at 8.55, were observed by a number of people. The last mentioned gave a dazzling brilliance to such an extent that the writer imagined a motor car was behind him. In the south-west the sky was considerably illumined, and as the “shooting star” seemed to break into pieces and vanish, a distinct hissing sound was heard. It would be interesting to know if other observers witnessed a similar experience.

1925 November 4 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – WEDDING. – A very pretty wedding was solemnised at Sketquoy last Friday evening, when Miss Annabella Sinclair, only daughter of Mr and Mrs Robert Sinclair, was united in marriage to Mr James Clouston, only son of Mr and Mrs James Clouston, Tou, Rousay. The marriage ceremony was performed by the Rev. D. Brown, M.A., minister of the United Free Church. The bride, who was given away by her father, looked charming in a robe of white crepe-de-chine, beautifully ornamented with sequinned trimming. Her embroidered tulle veil was held in place by a circlet of orange blossom, and she carried a sheaf of white chrysanthemums. The bridesmaid was Miss Clouston, cousin of the bridegroom, and she wore a handsome dress of turquoise blue crepe-de-chine, with overdress of lace. She also carried a bouquet of white chrysanthemums. Mr Hugh Sinclair, brother of the bride, acted as groomsman. After the ceremony had been performed and the happy couple had received the good wishes of their many friends, all repaired to the dining-rooms, where a sumptuous repast awaited them. Thereafter all adjourned to the dancing apartment, which was tastefully decorated with flags and evergreens for the occasion, and a most enjoyable evening was spent in dancing, the music for which was supplied on the violin and piano. Throughout the evening the guests were most hospitably entertained by Mr and Mrs Sinclair. The bride and bridegroom were the recipients of many handsome and costly presents, testifying to their great popularity.

1925 November 11 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY FARMS SOLD. – The farm of Knarston, Rousay, was exposed for sale at the upset price of £500 in the chambers of Messrs T. P. & J. L. Low, solicitors, Kirkwall, on Monday, and was purchased at that price by Mr Duncan J. Robertson, solicitor, Kirkwall, for Mr Robert Sinclair, Newhouse, Rousay. The Meal Mill of Sourin and the farm of Banks came under the hammer at the upset price of £1,100, but no offers were received. The subjects were then exposed separately, the farm being offered at £250 and the mill at £350, but there were no bidders. The houses and lands of Clumpy, Eastaquoy and Oldman, extending to 56 acres, were offered at the upset price of £150. No offers were received, but on the subjects being exposed separately, Mr J. C. Morrice, solicitor, Kirkwall, purchased Clumpy at the upset price of £20 for Mr John Harcus, Eastaquoy, Sourin, Rousay. The other properties remained unsold. Messrs T. P. & J. L. Low, solicitors, Kirkwall, acted for the exposers, and Mr T. Smith Peace, Kirkwall, was the auctioneer.

1925 November 18 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – ARMISTICE SUNDAY. – An interesting and efficient service was held in Ritchie Church, Sourin, in connection with the above on Nov. 8th, and was attended by members of the British Legion. The Rev. D. S. Brown, M.A., was the preacher, and addressed the congregation on the spiritual nature of a soldier’s self-sacrifice. The collection was sent to Earl Haig’s Fund for ex-service men.

ARMISTICE DAY. – A public meeting was held on Armistice Day at the War Memorial, where the British Legion deposited a beautiful wreath in memory of their departed comrades.

1925 November 25 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PRESENTATION. – In Sourin Schoolhouse on Wednesday, November 18th, Miss Baikie, schoolmistress, received a presentation from Trumland U.F. Church choir and friends, which took the form of a dinner service of chaste design, and also an aneroid barometer, in connection with her approaching marriage. Mr John Logie, in making the presentation, referred to the hearty response made by the subscribers to the collectors. Mr George Gibson, conductor of Trumland choir, and also Mr Brown, spoke in praise of her long and faithful services as organist, given gratuitously for a number of years. Miss Baikie suitably replied.

[Lydia Gibson Baikie was the daughter James Baikie and his wife, of Kirkwall. At the Sourin Schoolhouse on November 20th, she married William Simpson Corsie, son of John Corsie, Brendale, and Margaret Skethaway, Knarston.]

1925 December 2 Orkney Herald

THE WEATHER. – Sharp wintry weather has been experienced in Orkney since Tuesday of last week, and on the succeeding days, with the exception of Sunday and Monday, high winds, snow, and sleet prevailed, covering the countryside with a mantle of white. It was bitterly cold, and the piercing winds made it most disagreeable for those who were exposed to the elements. The severity may be gauged by the fact that the mail steamer s.s. St Ola did not cross the Pentland Firth on Friday and Saturday. The weather, however, moderated on Sunday, and she was able to cross the Firth. A delivery of letters to callers was made at the Post Office in the evening. The s.s. St Rognvald experienced the full blast of the gale on her weekly voyage from Aberdeen to Kirkwall. She left her home port on Friday at 4 p.m., and arrived at Kirkwall shortly after noon on Saturday, having been on the passage for roughly twenty hours. The s.s. Amelia was also delayed by the hurricane, and arrived late on Sunday evening. A number of trawlers also sought shelter in the harbour, one of them, the Ben Attow, lost her small boat, it having been swept away by a huge wave. With the exception of one heavy shower of hail on Monday forenoon, the conditions overhead were dry, but there was still a cold touch in the atmosphere.

ROUSAY – PRESENTATION AND SOCIAL. – A very pleasing function took place in Wasbister School on Friday, the 20th November, when the inhabitants of the district, along with a few invited guests, held a social and presented Mr David Gibson, Langskaill, with a pair a beautiful binoculars on the occasion of his giving up farming and leaving the district. Mr J. G. [James Gibson] Craigie occupied the chair, and, in his opening remarks, said they were all sorry that Mr Gibson was leaving. The Gibsons had occupied the farm of Langskaill for many generations, had always taken a deep interest in the welfare of the community, and had been highly respected. He was proud to say that Mr Gibson had worthily upheld the tradition of the family. Although he was leaving the district, he was pleased to say that Mr Gibson was not leaving Rousay, and they would all have the pleasure of seeing him often. Mr Craigie then called upon Mrs [Betsy] Kirkness, Quoyostray, to make the presentation. Mrs Kirkness, in a few well-chosen remarks, asked Mr Gibson to accept these binoculars as a token of their esteem and regard for him, and hoped he would long be spared to use them. Mr Gibson, in replying, thanked them all for the handsome gift, and referred to the many changes that had taken place in the district during his memory. He remembered all the big farms changing tenants, and spoke of the new farm implements and new methods of farming – and now all the tenants had become proprietors. He was very sorry to leave the district, but he intended staying in Rousay, and would have the opportunity of seeing them very often. A short musical programme was then carried through. Mr R. Inkster, Cogar, presided at the piano, and had with him Mrs [Jane] Moar, Saviskaill; Miss [Tina] Mathieson, teacher; Miss [Maggie Jessie] Flaws, Hammerfield; and Messrs James Clouston, Tou; James Craigie, Deithe. and Hugh Sinclair, Vacquoy, who rendered a few part songs, solos, and a trio, also violin selections, in a very pleasing manner, and which were greatly appreciated by all present. Votes of thanks were accorded to Mr Craigie for occupying the chair, to Mrs Kirkness for making the presentation, and to the singers and the committee of management. A splendid tea was then served which ample justice was done. Afterwards the school was cleared and a most enjoyable dance took place, which was kept up with much vigour for some time. The singing of “Auld Lang Syne” brought the social to a close. Mr Gibson has erected a nice bungalow on his brother’s farm at Avelshay, near Trumland Pier, to which he intends to retire.

ANOTHER PRESENTATION. – On Wednesday evening last a deputation from the committees of the Agricultural Society and Horticultural Show met with Mrs Corsie in the Sourin Schoolhouse and presented her, on the occasion of her marriage, with a handsome timepiece as a token of gratitude for her kindness in granting the use of the Schoolhouse on the show days. Mrs Corsie suitably replied. Thereafter the deputation were entertained to a sumptuous supper by Mr and Mrs Corsie, and a very pleasant evening was spent.

1925 December 23 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – THE CHURCHES. – The Rev. D. G. Milne, Stronsay Established Church, who dispensed the sacrament in Rousay Parish Church on December 13th, also took part in the service of Sourin U.F. Church in the afternoon, and addressed the congregation there with much acceptance. These friendly visits of successive Established clergymen to the sister Church in the interests of Church fellowship and union are doing good work in this parish.

UNION OF THE CHURCHES. – The session and congregation of Rousay U.F.C. unanimously agreed a short time ago that, in their opinion, the main causes of separation between the Churches have been removed.

In Print

Newsprint – 1924

1924 January 16 Orkney Herald




As indicated by our London Letter in last week’s issue, the Admiralty have had before them at least two offers by salvage and ship-breaking companies for the raising of the sunken German warships in Scapa Flow. One of the tenders was from an American company, while the other, the successful firm, is Messrs Cox and Danks, Ltd., 168 Regent Street, London, with warehouses at Birmingham, Sheffield, and elsewhere.

We are informed on the best authority that Cox and Danks, Ltd., who are well known as extensive stockbrokers of a wide variety of engineering material, have bought from the Admiralty all the sunken warships in Scapa Flow (not previously sold), including the Hindenburg and Seidletz. Over a year ago this extensive firm took a lease of Queenborough port pier and the adjoining property, including offices, warehouse and dockyard equipment, with the intention of establishing a shipbreaking business on the site, and already two dreadnoughts moored there are rapidly being demolished. They are the Orion and Erin, listed for demolition under the Washington agreement.

[Queenborough Harbour is conveniently situated in North Kent where the rivers Swale, Medway & Thames meet.]

Some idea of the magnitude of the undertaking may be formed when it is stated that, unlike many other obsolete warships sold by the Admiralty, the Orion and Erin came into the hands of the shipbreakers as practically modern vessels, complete with all guns and fittings as commissioned. The Orion was laid down at Portsmouth in November 1909, and commissioned in January 1912. It is recorded that on her maiden cruise, when in the Bay of Biscay, she rolled 21 degrees. This rolling was attributable to her small bilge keels, measuring 6 feet only. In order to cure this defect she was, in 1912, fitted with improved bilge keels, which proved effective. During the Jutland battle the Orion was the only British warship left in Scapa Flow as a guardship. The Erin, a newer ship, was laid down by Vickers. Ltd., for Turkey, and taken over by Great Britain on the outbreak of hostilities.

The work of reducing this mass of metal to saleable material will be carried out under the supervision of Mr E. F. Cox, managing director of the firm, assisted by a staff of highly trained engineers. The plant in use is all of the latest. The oxy-acetylene cutters used on the job are of Messrs Cox and Danks’ own design. In a short interview which our Stromness correspondent had with Mr Cox, before leaving for the south on Saturday morning last, he learned that the work of lifting the sunken vessels will not commence before March. Meantime they will endeavour to get all necessary plant sent north. Preparations will also be made for a large staff of workmen and their comfort, and Stromness has been selected as the local headquarters of the firm for years to come.

The London correspondent of the “Press and Journal,” Aberdeen, writes: – The Admiralty contract for salving the German warships now at the bottom of Scapa Flow has been given to a firm which is directed by several energetic young men who have already shown a capacity for taking on big jobs. I was their guest at Queenborough the other day, and was shown over the huge German submarine dock they had bought from the Admiralty for breaking up. There were several prominent engineers present, and we admired the wonderful modern methods adopted to cut the great steel plates into scrap. The battleships Orion and Erin were moored close by, with keen acetylene flames hissing away through their armour plate. Engineer-Admiral Sir George Godwin described it as a pathetic funeral. He had assisted at the birth of both ships.

The “Press and Journal” also says: – Messrs Cox and Danks, shipbreakers, of Queenborough, [Sheerness], Kent, have secured the contract from the Admiralty for salving 68 vessels of the German fleet sunk at Scapa Flow.

1924 February 20 Orkney Herald


ROUSAY. – The annual ploughing match of the Rousay Agricultural Society was held at Furse on the 12th inst., on a field kindly granted by Mr John Craigie. The morning, although dry, was very stormy and cold, but did not affect the turnout, which was one of the best seen in the island for a number of years, viz., 17 ploughs, including two champions. The ground was in good condition, and some good work was done. During the day the ploughmen were liberally supplied with refreshments, and when their work was done were entertained to dinner by Mr and Mrs Craigie.

The judges were Messrs John Work, Caskald, and Peter Swanney, Balfour Village, Shapinsay, who gave the work a thorough examination before giving a decision, and their awards are as follows: –

PLOUGHING. – Champions – 1 James Craigie, Falquoy; 2 James Smith, Banks, Frotoft; feering and finish, James Craigie. Ordinary – 1 and Highland Society’s medal, Malcolm Hourie, Saviskaill; 2 Robert Johnston, Trumland Farm; 3 James Lyon, Ervadale; 4 Robert Sinclair, Sketquoy; 5 Tom Marwick, Glebe; 6 Albert Munro, Broland; 7 James Grieve, Falldown; 8 John Leonard, Faraclett; 9 Alexander Donaldson, Quoys; 10 John Craigie, Furse.

GROOMING. – 1 Robert Johnston, 2 Alex. Donaldson, 3 John Craigie, 4 James Marwick, Langskaill; 5 John Leonard.

HARNESS. – 1 Robert Johnston, 2 John Craigie, 3 Malcolm Hourie, 4 John Leonard, 5 William Corsie, Knarston.

SPECIAL PRIZES. – Youngest ploughman, Hugh Sinclair, Cogar; feering, Robert Johnston; finish, Malcolm Hourie; best feering on the field, Robert Johnston; best finish on the field, James Craigie; straightest ploughing, James Craigie; cup for best ploughed rig, Malcolm Hourie; most points in ploughing, grooming, and harness, Robert Johnston; best matched pair of mares, Wm. Corsie; heaviest pair of horses, John Craigie.

In the evening the judges, committee, and a few friends were hospitality entertained to tea by Mr and Mrs Craigie.

The society take this opportunity of thanking the donors of the special prizes; Mr John Craigie for placing the field at their disposal; the judges; Mr George Gibson, Avelshay, for visiting the field, thus enabling the society to obtain the Highland Society’s medal; Mr William Bertram, saddler, Kirkwall, for the silver medal for harness; Mr J. F. Groundwater, merchant, Kirkwall, for the silver medal for grooming; also all those who contributed to the funds of the society.

1924 March 5 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PRESENTATION. – In the district of Sourin a movement has been afoot for some weeks amongst the school children and their friends with the object in view of recognising in some way the work of Miss [Lydia] Baikie, schoolmistress, both in school for a number of years past and also in the social life of the district. This movement was heartily supported, with the result that on Thursday afternoon she was presented with a gold wristlet watch by a deputation of the senior girls. Elsie Inkster, Woo, speaking for all in a neat little speech, told how Miss Baikie’s work was appreciated, and Mary Leonard, Quoys, made the presentation in the presence of the school children and a few friends. Miss Baikie, in happily chosen sentences, suitably replied.

1924 March 26 Orkney Herald

SALVING THE GERMAN FLEET. – Mr E. F. Cox. of the firm of Cox & Danks, contractors for salving the German Fleet in Scapa Flow, arrived in Stromness with the mail steamer St Ola on Tuesday evening last week, and, along with a friend, made a round of the fleet on Wednesday, noting the position of each vessel and boarding the Hindenburg. Mr Cox said his manager and a number of skilled workmen, along with salvage vessels and a floating dock will arrive in Scapa Flow in the first week of April, and operations will commence about the middle of the month. The order in which the vessels will be lifted will be decided by the manager, who is an expert in salvage work. Mr Cox also said that the firm had received thousands of letters from workmen from all over applying for work. Mr Cox and friend left for the south on Thursday morning.

1924 April 9 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – SUCCESSFUL CONCERT. – On Friday evening a highly enjoyable concert was held in Wasbister School. The Rev. Roderick Fraser, minister of the parish of Rousay, presided over a large and appreciative audience, who had come Iong distances from all parts of the island to listen to the musical treat provided for them. The programme, which was varied and comprehensive, was as follows: – Selections, Messrs Clouston, Craigie, and Inkster; quartette, “The Village Chorister,” Mrs Moar and Mrs Marwick, Messrs Clouston and Sinclair; dialogue, “The New Farm Hand,” Misses Craigie and Sinclair, and Mr Hourie; trio, “Scotland Yet,” Messrs Sinclair, Clouston, and Inkster; solo, Mr J. Craigie; quartette, “The Battle of Stirling,” Mrs Moar and Mrs Marwick, Messrs Clouston and Sinclair; dialogue, “A Case for the Doctor,” Miss Craigie and Messrs Hourie and Sinclair; reading, Mr H. Sinclair; solo, Mr J. Clouston; dialogue, “Jemima Wins.” Misses Gibson, Leonard, Sinclair, Craigie, and Mr Hourie; duet. “Kentucky Home,” Messrs Clouston and Sinclair; solo. Miss Corsie; selections, Mr Stevenson; solo, Mr H. Sinclair; quartette, “Hark, Clanranald,” Mrs Moar and Mrs Marwick, Messrs Clouston and Sinclair. At the end of the musical programme, tea was served by a band of willing ladies and gentlemen, and greatly appreciated by the audience. The Rev. R. Fraser then proposed a vote of thanks to the artistes and committee, and Mr Robert Inkster proposed a vote of thanks to the chairman, which was given with great heartiness. After tea, dancing commenced, and was kept up with zest for some time. Great praise is due to the organiser, Mr Robert Inkster, Cogar, and the worthy committee for the very capable arrangements they had made and for the pains and work they had taken to make the evening a time to be remembered and to be recalled with pleasure.

1924 April 16 Orkney Herald

THE WEATHER. – During the past week the weather in Orkney was of a very changeable nature. Up to Thursday there was an absence of wind, with bright sunshine, but the keen frosts every morning hindered vegetation, and grass lands are in consequence backward. Sowing, however, has been engaged in on a number of farms throughout the county. On Thursday night the weather took a disagreeable turn, and on Friday morning the higher hills wore a mantle of white. There were again showers of snow on Friday, but Saturday was sunny and cold. Sunday forenoon was fine, but towards mid-day there was a heavy shower of wet snow, followed by others in the early afternoon. The evening was again fine. On Monday rain and sleet fell practically all day, making conditions under foot anything but agreeable. Though there was a low barometer yesterday (Tuesday) morning, the weather was again fair, but cold.

1924 April 23 Orkney Herald



On Thursday evening of last week, Sourin School was crowded out at the welcome home social arranged for the Rev. Roderick and Mrs Fraser. The Rev. George R. Murison, M.A., Stenness, occupied the chair, and was supported by the Rev. R. Richmond, of Shapinsay; the Rev. D. Brown, U.F. Church, Rousay; Mrs Brown and Miss Waterson; Mr John Inkster, registrar, and Mrs Inkster; members of session; Mr Lyon, of Ervadale, and Mr Fred Inkster, of Greenfield.

In his opening remarks the chairman referred to the happy events which had brought them together that evening – Mr Fraser’s induction and ordination, his sojourn amongst them,  and his bringing home his bride.

The choir, under the able leadership of Mr Hugh Gibson of Bigland, rendered hymns, and several solos, trios and quartettes were given.

Mr Fred Inkster of Greenfield, session clerk, then addressed the meeting as follows: – Mr Chairman, ladies and gentleman, I would have preferred if the duty that I have been asked to perform here tonight had fallen to the lot of one more able to do justice to the occasion. However, since the honour has fallen to me, I would like, in the first place, to express my heartiest thanks to the congregation for conferring this honour on me, and I hope that I may, in expressing my sentiments, be expressing the true feelings of all the congregation and friends who have left nothing undone to make this evening a success. At the time of the induction of Mr Fraser, it was not possible for the congregation to give him the welcome they desired, but I am sure that Mr Fraser felt at the time that the welcome was sincere nevertheless. Mr Fraser, being a single man when he first came to us, we all expected that it would not be long before he would be taking unto himself a wife, and that, when he brought home the lady of his choice, we might then have an opportunity of giving them both a very warm welcome. Our expectations proved to be correct, for tonight we have with us the lady whom our esteemed minister has chosen to preside at the Manse, and we now take this opportunity of extending to her our best wishes for her future happiness at the Manse here in Rousay. Accordingly, the congregation, knowing that Mr Fraser would soon be bringing home his bride, wanted this opportunity to give them both a token of their good wishes and esteem. I am sure that I voice the opinion of all here tonight when I say that since Mr Fraser came amongst us in September we have been more and more drawn to him, and have learned to esteem his worth and character at the very highest. I am sure that the more we have been brought into contact with him and see and understand the sterling quality of his character and attainments, the higher he will rise in our estimation and respect. Our most earnest hopes are that he and his lady will be long spared to move in and out amongst us, and I can assure them both of a very hearty welcome in the homes of the people at any time. Mr and Mrs Frazer, I will now ask you to accept this wallet of Treasury notes, which have been subscribed by your congregation and friends. It is our earnest wish that you may both be long spared to move in and out amongst us and that you may find these very useful, and when you look back on this evening you may be reminded of the good wishes that prompted the action, and that you may never at any time have cause to regret casting in your lot with us here in Rousay. (Applause.)

Mr Fraser, in a few words, thanked all for their very great kindness to Mrs Fraser and himself, and expressed the wish that this happy social evening would serve as an indication of the good-will and fellowship which would exist between them and the people of the parish.

Tea was served by an able band of ladies and gentlemen, and was thoroughly enjoyed by all present. The musical programme was then resumed.

On the call of the Rev. R. Fraser, a rousing vote of thanks was accorded to the speakers and the choir, individually and collectively, and to the committee in charge of the tea. When the cheers had died down, Mr Fraser asked for a special cheer for the conductor of the choir, Mr Hugh Gibson, who, since taking over the leadership of the choir some months ago, has rendered yeoman service to the cause of music in the church, both by his interest and enthusiasm and by his particularly fine voice leading the praise.

Mr Inkster, Greenfield, then moved a vote of thanks to the chairman, Mr Murison, which was accorded in a way which reflected the very high opinion held of Mr Murison by the people of Rousay. Mr Murison thanked the company, and made reference to Mr F. Inkster’s speech at the presentation, which he described – and justly so – as “the speech of the evening.” The proceedings were closed by singing Hymn 59 from Sankey’s collection, after which Rev. D. S. Brown pronounced the benediction.

1924 May 7 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – SERVICE OF PRAISE. – The children of Frotoft Sunday-school. under the efficient leadership of Mr D. Mackay, held a service of praise in the school-room on the evening of Sunday, April 27. Rev. D. S. Brown. M.A., was chairman of the meeting, and Rev. R. Fraser. E.C., was also present, who opened and closed the meeting with prayer. An interested and appreciative audience composed of the parents and friends of the children filled the school, and the collection was in aid of the children’s prizes for attendance. The service was greatly enjoyed by all present, as the children sang with freedom and power, while every detail of the arrangements was carried out in a way which was gratifying to see. Mr James Low, superintendent, in an able and evangelistic address, pressed upon the churches the spiritual needs and claims of their young people. Sunday-school prizes were given in the junior class to Ann Sinclair, Banks; John Marwick, Section 1; Rosie Leonard, Nearhouse; Annie Reid, Tratland; Ann Marwick, Section 1; Mabel Sinclair, Banks. Infant Class – James Marwick, Section 1; Hugh Marwick, Section 1; and to Sarah Smith, Section 2. Motto text cards were also distributed to each child in the Sunday-school. Also, in the League of Young Worshippers the first prize was given to Alfred Gibson, Classiquoy, with 46 attendances out of a possible fifty; the second to Ethel Gibson, Springfield, and the third to Annie Reid, Tratland, Frotoft. This Sunday-school has done excellent work during the year of its existence, and its infant class is in the capable hands of Miss Mainland, Cott.

1924 June 25 Orkney Herald



No time has been lost by the firm of Messrs Cox & Danks in their preparations for salving the German Fleet. During the last week the floating dock has been cut and placed in position for lifting the first destroyer, which vessel has already been raised to an upward position, her bridge being now in sight.

The remaining preliminary work of placing cables, etc., in position is now being carried out, and it is expected that in a few days, when the tides are suitable, that the first act in this huge enterprise will be carried out as a successful issue.

On Friday morning last a large hulk, in tow of a powerful tug, passed through Hoy Sound en route for Scapa Flow. It is reported in Stromness that the hulk referred to belongs to Mr Robertson, of Lerwick, and that he has taken the hulk to assist in lifting the four German destroyers purchased by him some time ago.

1924 July 9 Orkney Herald

PICNIC CANCELLED. – The picnic which was to be held at Rousay to-day (Wednesday) under the auspices of Paterson U.F. Church Bible-class has been cancelled.

THE WEATHER AND THE CROPS. – During the past two weeks the weather in Orkney has, from a farmer’s point of view, been of a congenial nature, sunshine and shower alternatively, a condition of things which has made a marked difference on the crops during that time. From several districts we have received reports stating that the bere is ”shooting off.” Turnip singling is general, and as they are all coming on at the same time, farmers will have their hands full keeping them under. Peat carting, too, is being engaged in, carts laden with these being met on many roads on the Mainland.

1924 July 9 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY. – Mrs Grant, Trumland House, has presented a beautiful piano to the Frotoft School for the use of teacher and scholars. Mrs Grant’s gift is much appreciated by the teacher and scholars and the inhabitants of the district.

[Trumland House was in the hands of the Traill-Burroughs family trustees until 1922 when it was purchased by the Grant family of Highland Distilleries/Highland Park whisky distilling fame. The house was used as the summer residence for Mr Walter Gordon Grant, a director James Grant & Co and a board member of Highland Distilleries Co Ltd. Born in Elgin, Moray, in 1886, he lived at Hillhead, St Ola, just south of the Highland Park distillery, and on October 26th 1911 he married Florence Davidson of Viewforth, Kirkwall, daughter of shipping agent Charles Davidson and Mary Dickson Cowan Bain, who was fifteen years his senior.]

1924 July 30 Orkney Herald


Sittings of the Scottish Land Court were held in Orkney Sheriff Court, Kirkwall, on Saturday and Monday. Mr Donald Mackay presided, and Mr W. A. A. Cairns was the assessor…..[On Monday, eight cases were down for hearing, five involving properties in South Ronaldsay – and three in Rousay, the first of which was written badly and did not make sense, so I omit it!]…..

ROUSAY MEAL MILL. – Alexander A. Marwick, Banks, Sourin, Rousay, asked for resumption of the entire holdings occupied by Robert Seatter.

Mr Morrice, who appeared for the applicant, said the ground officer had failed to turn up to give evidence in support of the application for resumption. It was desired to have resumption of two fields of the holding for the purpose letting them with the meal-mill. It was practically impossible to get a tenant for the mill because there was no ground with it. He asked for an adjournment.

Mr J. S. Cormack, for respondent, said the whole grounds upon which resumption was wanted was irrelevant.

The case was adjourned.

NOT OLD AT SEVENTY. – Robert Seatter, respondent in the previous case, asked leave to assign the holding of Banks, Sourin, to his son.

Applicant said he was declared a landholder in 1919. The rent was fixed at £43. The acreage was 65 acres arable and 40 acres outrun. He was 70 years of age.

Mr Morrice – You are a vigorous man?

Applicant – Not now.

Mr Morrice – Have you ever been ill?

Applicant – Not very often.

Mr Morrice – What is to hinder you to carry on this holding?

Applicant – It requires the steady work of two men.

Mr Morrice – When you were ill did you have a doctor?

Applicant – No, we don’t use a doctor unless we are very ill. (Laughter.)

The Chairman – Mr Morrice means to say that an Orkneyman of seventy years of age is as good as any other man of fifty.

Mr Morrice – Have you much money?

Applicant – It does not matter. I think I deserve a rest.

The Chairman – Is there not something in it – that a minister, when he reaches the age of seventy, applies for a colleague and successor? (Laughter.)

Applicant – I started working with a pair of horses when I was eleven years of age.

The Chairman – You think you have earned a rest?

Applicant – Yes.

The Chairman – One of the reasons why you ask the croft to be assigned to your son is old age, and Mr Morrice does not dispute that.

Applicant – He does. (Laughter.)

Mr Morrice – What wages did you pay your son?

Applicant – I don’t like to be impertinent, but I don’t think you have a right to ask that. He got as much as kept him going.

Mr Morrice – I don’t want to ask you any unnecessary or impertinent questions.

Applicant – I think you had better not, because I am becoming about fu’. (Loud laughter.)

1924 August 6 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PARISH CHURCH. – On Sunday evening the Sourin School was crowded by a congregation representative of Rousay and Egilshay, when a service was conducted by the Rev. Roderick Fraser, minister of the parish, and the Rev. W. R. Wood, of Manitoba, Canada, a distinguished native of Veira, read the lesson and addressed the meeting. Mr Wood left the parish over thirty years ago while still a lad in his early teens, and has had a very brilliant career in the Dominion, both as a pastor and as a politician. During his address, Mr Wood spoke on two points, Orkney and Canada. He contrasted the two places slightly, but his object was to find the best in both and understand how the other could use that best for its own moral and spiritual growth and development. In the life of the Orkneys, Mr Wood said that to him the outstanding good features were the (1) wise parental control, (2) the loyal and devoted observance of the Sabbath Day, and (3) the brotherliness, kindness, hospitality and splendid communal life of the Orkneys. Turning to Canada, he noted (1) the home and foreign missionary work of the Churches, (2) the Union of the Presbyterian bodies and the imminent union of Presbyterians and Methodists, and (3) the firm, decisive attitude taken by all churches in the matter of liquor control and Prohibition. Mr Wood’s address was listened to with rapt attention by the congregation, and he shook each warmly by the hand on leaving. We take this opportunity of publicly thanking our reverend friend for his helpful and inspiring message, and that his holiday among the haunts of his schooldays may be a very pleasant one.

[William Robertson Wood lived with his family on the 48-acre farm of Rusness in the 1880s]

1924 August 27 Aberdeen Press & Journal

ORCADIAN RECORDS. OLD CUSTOMS, ANCIENT HOUSES, AND FOLK LORE. – The members of the Orkney Antiquarian Society, if not numerous, are keenly enthusiastic. They compile records of much antiquarian and historical interest relating to parishes or islands, trace place-names to their primitive source, collect and sift traditions, explore and describe pre-historic or little-known antiquities, and collect relics of the by-gone past. Thus are valuable additions made to what is already known of these romantic northern isles.

Volume II of the Society’s Proceedings contains a number of fascinating papers. The late Venerable Archdeacon Craven, who was president the society, writes on some superstitions associated with the Bible. On one occasion he found a copy of the Scriptures in an otherwise empty house in Orkney, and was informed that it was placed there to keep the house from the devil. He also recalls that in his youth old people kept their few treasured papers inside the big Bible.

‘One woman in Kirkwall I heard of had some £20 in her Bible, thinking it safe in such a repository. Alas! faith being now dimmer, it is said a near relation heard of it and stole it. It is also said that the same man hid his money somewhere. It has never been found, as, after all, the precaution was thought to have brought down disaster on the thief.’

Mr J. Storer CIouston deals informatively with ancient Orkney houses, remarking that the subject of early Scottish houses, other than castles, has never been dealt with save in the most fragmentary way. He alludes to, among other dwellings, structure which he believes to be probably the oldest two-storey house in Orkney. It situated in the deserted district of Quendale, in Rousay, and was “abandoned in the year 1846 to the plover and the rabbits.” Further antiquarian notes on Rousay are contributed by Hugh Marwick, while Mr John Fraser is equally illuminating on the antiquities of Sandwick parish. Almost every interesting spot in the parish, he observes, is now easily accessible, as road-making has been most extensively carried out.

A paper by Mr Duncan J. Robertson will greatly interest the student of folklore. Of considerable historic and archaeological value is a series of extracts, some of them rather quaint, from an unpublished manuscript of the Rev. George Low, minister of Birsay, descriptive of Orkney, and written in 1773. This MS. was apparently designed as a sort of introduction to a “History of Orkney” from the earliest times. One extract reads:-

‘The Orkney people had a vast antipathy at mares; they would keep none, were affronted if they rode one, and the names they gave them were those of contempt.’

In these days, when the average length of life has been extended, and the question of “What shall we do with our grandfathers?” threatens to claim popular attention, it is interesting to note that many Orcadians 150 years ago lived to a good old age. Discussing longevity, Mr Low writes:-

‘I have observed many instances of great age even in our times, when luxury prevails more than formerly…..Numbers here live to an advanced age. I have known several, both men and women, above a hundred, the most of these, like Dean Swift [Stulbrugs], had lost their memory, and with it the particular number of their years, and with him we were obliged to compute them by what they remembered.’

The writer also points out that the Orcadians then differed much in their manners, their genius, and the bent of their inclinations from their neighbours on the mainland of Scotland. Their dress, as well as their language, was different, “more resembling those of the Danes and Norwegians, in whose power they were for a long time, than those of the Highlanders of Scotland.”

Other features of this volume are “The People and Surnames of Orkney,” “The Orkney Lands,” “The Orkney Baillie Courts,” and “Life and Work in Moorland Orcadia in Days of Old.”

1924 September 3 Orkney Herald



On Friday Messrs Cox & Danks commenced operations on a third destroyer. Heaving from the [floating] dock started in the afternoon, and with favourable weather conditions the destroyer was towed into Mill Bay at high water. This is the third destroyer raised by the company. Work is also proceeding on another vessel, which the firm hope to be able to raise next week. The Scapa Flow Salvage Company, who have been working on a destroyer near Lyness Pier for the past few weeks, also began lifting on Friday. The vessel was taken into Ore Bay on Saturday. Divers are daily engaged on work on the Hindenburg, and it is reported that an attempt will be made to float the vessel within the next two or three months.

1924 September 24 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – SALE AND FÊTE. – Rousay was en fête on Friday, 12th September, when a grand bazaar was held in the Manse grounds in aid of the Parish Church funds. Favoured with brilliant weather, the sale was huge success, and the huge crowd gathered at the Manse testified to the popularity of the cause. The s.s. Orcadia brought a large number of friends to the sale from Kirkwall. Among those present were Mr and the Misses Robertson, Miss Shordiche and party from Trumland House; Mr and Mrs Walter Grant of Trumbland and Hillhead; Mrs and the Misses Haydon; Mrs Low, Mrs Burnet and Miss Burnet, Westness; Col. Balfour of Shapinsay. and Col. Crawford; Rev. R. Richmond, Shapinsay; Mrs Macpherson, Evie, and Mr Dawson, etc., etc. A large marquee was erected in the grounds, and here stalls and a welcome tea-room were found. The stallholders were: – Cakes and Sweets – Mrs Linklater, Curquoy, and Mrs Marwick, The Glebe; General and Fancy Goods – Mrs Jas. Lyon, Ervadale, and Miss Craigie of Furse. Produce and Household Goods – Miss Craigie, Veira Lodge, and Miss M. Craigie, Greenfield. Tea Room – Mrs Craigie, Cruar, and Mrs Craigie, Corse; Miss Jessie MacMillan and Miss Cathie MacMillan, Trumland House. The side-shows and sports, which were all exceedingly popular, were in charge of the Trumland House party. There were cocoanut shies, a bran pie, wheel of fortune, fishing pond, and square penny; and Mr T. Marwick of the Glebe had charge of a large wheel of fortune, which proved very popular with the men folk. Guessing competitions, etc., were engaged in very heartily, and the following are the prize-winners: – Number of peas in bottle, Mr Shields; cushion competition. Mrs Marwick, Breck; lamp competition, Miss Craigie, Triblo. The preparations for the sale were all carried out in six weeks, so the gratifying result of £62, after paying all expenses, is far more than the most imaginative ever dreamed of. Of the £62, about £4 was received in money donations, the remainder being made on the day of the sale. Great credit is due to the ladies’ committee (who were the stallholders) for the ungrudging efforts they made to assure the success of this first Rousay bazaar – for it is the first sale or bazaar in the history of the island. The committee desire to express their gratitude to all friends who gave so willingly, and especially to Mr Walter Grant and the Misses Robertson and Miss Shordiche for their kind interest.

1924 October 8 Orkney Herald

MOTOR BOAT FOR LAIRD OF TRUMLAND. – Messrs James Maxwell & Son, ship carpenters, Kirkwall, launched from their yard on Thursday a reconstructed motor yacht for Mr Walter Grant of Trumland, Rousay. Originally a ship’s boat, Messrs Maxwell have made her a trim little vessel by adding an upper stroke and decking in the forepart, in which there is now a nice little cabin. Messrs W. & J. Leslie, engineers, Kirkwall, installed a beautiful smooth-running Brooke motor, and on running a trial spin in the bay after launching she made over eight knots an hour.

1924 October 15 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PARISH CHURCH – CHILDREN’S DAY. – In the Parish Church, Sunday was observed as Children’s Day by a special service. The children remained in church during the sermon instead of retiring to the vestry for the Sunday-school, which is held there every Sunday while the sermon is being preached. The Rev. Roderick Fraser, parish minister, gave a very appropriate and interesting address to the young, emphasising the need of attention to the routing out of little faults which he likened to the little foxes, basing his address on the Song of Solomon. ii., 15. He also impressed on the parents the influence of the home. At the end of the sermon, the Sunday-school text cards were given to the scholars by the minister. The sacrament of baptism was administered at the close of the service.

1924 October 22 Orkney Herald

SCAPA FLOW FIND. – The sixth German destroyer has been raised at Scapa Flow by Messrs Cox & Danks, the salvage contractors, of Regent Street, London, who have undertaken to raise 20 more destroyers and, in addition, two German battleships, the Hindenburg and Seydlitz. “We have found some very interesting things in these salvaged vessels,” said Mr G. Atkinson, a director of the firm. “One was a cat-o’-nine-tails with a German officer’s name on it.”

1924 November 19 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – POPPY DAY. – Saturday, 8th November, was observed here as Poppy Day. The senior pupils attending Sourin and Frotoft Schools made their annual appeal on behalf of Earl Haig’s Fund, with the following gratifying results: – Sourin, £1 16s; Brinian and Frotoft, £2 4s 6d. The sum of £4 0s 6d has been forwarded to the head office of the Fund in Edinburgh.

In Print

Newsprint – 1923

1923 January 10 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – WHIST DRIVE AND DANCE. – On Friday evening, the 29th December, a most successful whist drive and dance took place in the Frotoft School-room. The night being fine, there was a large turnout of the young folks, who thoroughly enjoyed the whole proceedings. Eleven tables were occupied, and on the cards being counted the following were declared winners: – Gentlemen – 1st R. Logie, Kirkwall; 2nd Hugh Sutherland; booby, James Sinclair. Ladies – 1st Miss Lily Muir, Kirkwall; 2nd Miss R. Elphinstone; booby, Miss K. Gibson. At the close of the drive tea was served, after which the school-room was cleared and a most successful dance took place, being kept up with great vigour for a few hours. Much credit is due to the committee for the able and efficient manner in which all the arrangements were carried through, thus adding much to the evening’s enjoyment.

SCHOOL TREAT AND CONCERT. – On the evening of Friday the 22nd Dec. at the invitation of Miss Sinclair, teacher, the scholars attending Frotoft School, along with their parents and friends, were entertained in the school-room, which was nicely decorated for the occasion. The duties of chairman were efficiently discharged by Mr Logie, Trumland. The first part of the programme consisted of a concert by the scholars, which was beautifully rendered and greatly appreciated by all present. Tea was then served by a band of willing helpers. Next to make its appearance was a boat, beautifully decorated and lit up, laden with toys for the children, the distribution being performed by Mr Logie in his usual happy style. In addition, a parcel of fruit, presented by the Rev. D. S. Brown, was also given to the children. At the close a special vote of thanks was accorded to Miss Sinclair for her kindness and to Mr Logie for occupying the chair. Annexed is the programme: –

Opening speech, Hugh Marwick; song. “Caller O’u,” scholars; sketch, “Christmas Pie,” girls; song, “Hey, ho the morning dew,” James Marwick; recitation, “The Lily and the Rose,” Annie Reid; song, “The Oak and the Ash,” Minnie Reid; recitation, “His Sister,” John Marwick; song, “Farewell to Fiunary,” scholars; recitation, “The Piggiewig,” Wm. Smith; song, “The Alpine Herdsman,” Wm. Gibson; dance, “The Merry Milkmaids,” M. Sinclair, A. Reid, M. Yorston, Sarah Smith, William Smith, John Marwick, James Marwick, Hugh Marwick; recitation, “Willie’s Hearing,” Wm. Gibson; recitation, “I’m the Boy that Can Do It,” James Marwick, Hugh Marwick, James Yorston, James Hume; song, “A Barcarolle,” scholars; recitation, “The Puzzled Schoolmaster,” James Craigie; duet, “The Bluebells of Scotland,” Mary Yorston and Hugh Marwick; recitation, “Boys,” William Craigie; song, “By the Ganges River,” James Craigie; recitation, “Dolly’s Christening,” Annie Johnston; recitation, “Mother Christmas,” Sarah Smith; duet, “Oh, wert thou in the cauld hast?” Wm. Gibson and James Craigie; song, “Aeroplane,” James Marwick, Hugh Marwick, and James Yorston; sketch, “Blindman’s Buff,” Landlord, James Craigie; Waiter, James Smith; Rogues, William Gibson, William Craigie, William Smith; song, “A Hebridean Sea Reiver’s Song,” scholars; sketch, “Mother’s Darlings,” Mrs Brown, Mabel Sinclair; Mrs Green, Rose Leonard; Harry Brown, William Craigie; Tom Green, James Smith: Gardener, James Craigie.


[Caller O’u (The Boatmen of the Forth)

When winter winds howl, and the sea rolling high,
Our boatmen sae brave all dangers defy
Their last haul on board, they steer for the shore,
Their live cargo landed is soon at our door.

CHORUS:  Caller o’u!  Caller o’u!
Caller o’u frae the Forth
Caller o’u!  Caller o’u!

At night round the ingle sae canty are we,
The oyster lass brings her treat frae the sea;
Wi’ music and sang, as time passes by,
We hear in the distance the creel lassie’s cry.

Success to the boatmen at hame and awa’,
At kirk and at fair there’s nane gaes sae braw;
And lead be their dames, sae blythesome and fair;
Their voice in the evening is music to hear.]

1923 January 24 Orkney Herald

THE STORM. – During the greater part of last week the islands were storm swept. On Friday the storm reached its height, and the mail packet St Ola had to return to Stromness after having been within sight of her destination. On Saturday the elements showed no sign of improving, and again the passage to Scrabster could not be made. The s.s. St RognvaId had a very stormy passage coming north. Leaving Aberdeen at 1 p.m. on Friday she did not reach Kirkwall till nineteen hours later. The St Ola crossed the Firth on Sunday, and the two days’ letters were delivered on Monday morning. No serious damage is reported to have been done to shipping in Orkney waters. A large number of trawlers sought shelter at the various piers.

LAND COURT DECISION. – Alex. James Munro, farmer, Standpretty, Rousay, applied to the Land Court for resumption of the holding of Swandale. The Court issued its decision on Tuesday, and authorised the applicant to resume possession at the term of Martinmas, 1923, for the purpose of personal residence, it being his only landed estate, and of which respondent, Hugh Craigie, is statutory small tenant.

1923 March 7 Orkney Herald

Mr Duncan J. Robertson, hon. Secretary and Treasurer, Balfour Hospital, begs to acknowledge a subscription of £10 from the Rousay Co-operative Society.

ROUSAY – PLOUGHING MATCH. – The annual ploughing match of the Rousay Agricultural Society was held on Tuesday, the 20th inst., in a field on the farm of Woo, kindly granted by Mrs John Inkster for the occasion. Owing to the inclement weather only six ploughs turned up. During the day the ploughmen were liberally supplied with refreshments on the field, and when their work was done. The committee take this opportunity of tendering their thanks to Mrs Inkster for granting the field, to the judges for their services, to Mrs Inkster for the kindly hospitality, and to all those who contributed to the funds of the society. In the evening the judges and committee were entertained to a sumptuous tea by Mrs Inkster. The judges were Messrs John Work, Caskald, Shapinsay, and Peter Swanney, Balfour Village. Shapinsay. Annexed is the prize-list; –

PLOUGHING. – 1 and cup, James Smith, No. 2 Frotoft; 2 John Leonard, Faraclett; 3 William Inkster, Woo; 4 James Gibson, jr., Hullion; 5 James Lyon. Ervadale; 6 Davidson Harrold, Nearhouse; youngest ploughman, James Gibson. jr.; feering, finish, and straightest ploughing, James Smith.

GROOMING. – 1 and medal, Davidson Harrold; 2 James Gibson, jr.; 3 John Leonard; 4 James Smith; 5 William Inkster; 6 James Lyon.

HARNESS. – 1 and medal, Davidson Harrold; 2 John Leonard; 3 James Gibson. jr.; 4 James Lyon; 5 William Inkster. The man with most points, James Smith.

LANTERN SERVICES. – During the past week mission lantern services were held at Frotoft School on Feb. 27th, and at Veira on March 1st, the subject being “Mission work in South Arabia.” Prizes were presented, for attendance, to the successful boys and girls in the League of Young Worshippers at Frotoft at the meeting there, and all the members of it were congratulated on the work which they had done for the church, although most of their homes were about three miles distant from it. There was a good meeting at Veira, with favourable weather, and the school children contributed to the success of it by their singing in parts, and prizes were also presented to the Sabbath-school there, from which a message of goodwill is to be forwarded to Miss Garrioch, missionary at Moukden, Manchuria. The children of Sourin Sabbath-school were also entertained at the Manse on Friday evening, March 2nd, to whom the lantern pictures were shown, and among whom prizes for attendance were distributed. Rev. D. S. Brown. M.A., delivered the address on “Missions,” and Mrs Brown was lanternist.

FAITH-HEALING. – One of a series of address, under the Welfare of Youth Scheme, was delivered in Wasbister School on Sunday night, Feb. 25th, by Rev. D. S. Brown. The address was on “Faith-healing,” and showed how the promise of religion that the prayer of faith shall save the sick is often fulfilled in our day. Dr Grenfell was mentioned as having noticed how an acute case of toothache was charmed away, faith being the sole condition. The ordinary work of the hypnotic healer was also described, with examples. The latest form of this, known as auto-suggestion, practised with marvellous results, through using the now well-known formula of Coué, “with confidence,” before falling asleep and after awakening from sleep, repeating it twenty times: “Day by day, in every way, I’m getting better and better.”…..

1923 March 21 Orkney Herald



The presentation of a Chesterfield easy chair to Mr William Inkster, formerly Firemaster of Aberdeen, by members of Aberdeen, Caithness, Orkney and Shetland Association, and a similar chair for Mrs Inkster, was the feature of the annual meeting of the members and friends of that association in the Central Hall on Wednesday night. The presentation was intended to mark the appreciation of the members of service to the association, Mr Inkster having been one of its founders twenty-four years ago. On one of the chairs a plate is to be affixed bearing the inscription: – “Presented to Mr and Mrs William Inkster by members of the Aberdeen, Caithness, Orkney and Shetland Association as a mark of esteem and regard on the occasion of their returning to the homeland. March 1923.” Mr Swanson, the president, said Mr Inkster was one of the few remaining original founders of the Association 24 years ago. Then and ever since Mr Inkster had been the life and centre of their association, ever ready to welcome members to the meetings. (Applause.)

Mr Fraser, one of the hon. Presidents, in making the presentation, said that Mr Inkster, after an honourable record of public in the city, had retired and decided to go to Kirkwall to stay, and the members had decided to make him a presentation for the active share he had taken in the association’s work, as they all knew. (Applause.) They hoped Mr and Mrs Inkster would long be spared to enjoy the comfort of the Chesterfield chairs in their home. (Applause.)


Mr Inkster, in acknowledging, said he hoped to retain his interest in this association. and would endeavour, even if sea-sick both coming and going, to be present at the next year’s celebrations of the semi-jubilee of its foundation. (Applause.) Mr Inkster, in reminiscent vein, referred to several of those who had been at the formation of the association, and spoke of its progress and the good work it had done in looking after the interests of north folk, in contributing to the funds of the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, which proved so beneficial to many from the Islands and Caithness, and to the great feeling of camaraderie which existed.

Complimentary addresses regarding Mr Inkster’s worth and work were made by Mr H. A. Pole, the association’s treasurer, and Mr J. F. Miller, vice-president, and the chairman read a letter from Mr A. H. Gunn, one of the founders of the association, and also intimated the best wishes for Mr and Mrs Inkster’s happiness from the Rev. A. Irvine Pirie, formerly minister of Carden Place United Free Church, the war-time president of the association…..

1923 May 2 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – CHURCH NOTES. – Rousay U. F. Church has opened a Sunday-school in Frotoft with three teachers, Mr James Low, Westness Cottage, as superintendent. This is the fourth Sunday-school, including the League of Young Worshippers, the fifth organisation for work among the young, which has been set up by this church during the last four years, and all of them are thriving under excellent management in the different districts of this scattered parish. Messrs John Mainland, Westness, Rousay, and William Craigie, Rusness, Veira, were ordained to the office of eldership in Trumland U.F. Church on April 22nd.

1923 May 9 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PRAISE SERVICE. – There was held in Frotoft School, on April 29th, a service of praise by a temporary choir under the leadership of Mr D. Mackay, with a silver collection in aid of the funds of Balfour Hospital. With favourable weather an appreciative audience, consisting largely of young people from all parts of the island, filled the schoolroom, and the sitting accommodation taxed the ingenuity of the promoters. The cantata which had been chosen was entitled “Old Davie,” with Mr John Logie as an efficient reader, who enabled the people to follow with interest and sympathy the fortunes of the old miner, with his sturdy righteousness and evangelical spirit and strenuous fight against adverse circumstances, whose uncanny foresight – and forefeeling – of an impending colliery explosion was not believed and acted upon in time to ward off the calamity. The hymns, which threw light upon the story, were sung in a tuneful and most impressive way by the choir, which did credit to their own careful preparation and to their training under Mr Mackay, without the help of any instrument, so that the sacred song and story gathered force as they went along to the climax, which formed their natural ending, and were received with unusual stillness. Rev. D. S. Brown was chairman.

[Mr D. Mackay was postman Danny Mackay, who lived with his wife Mary at Crusday.]

1923 May 16 Orkney Herald

THE WEATHER. – Never was the well-known saying, “Never cast a cloot till May is oot,” better amplified than during the fortnight that has lapsed of this month. Whatever direction the wind blew from, the temperature was invariably extremely cold. Last Thursday a fierce south easterly gale, accompanied by snow, hail, and heavy rain, swept over Orkney, and continued without intermission all day. On Friday the wind had veered to the north-east, and drier conditions prevailed, but on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday rain fell heavily at intervals, and the air was extremely cold. Yesterday (Tuesday) there was a slight improvement in the weather; the wind, however, was still blowing from a northerly direction, but there were bright periods of sunshine during the day. The cold, disagreeable conditions have seriously checked vegetation, and grass looked better in March than it does to-day. Owing to the wet, farmers are unable to get on with the preparation of the land for turnip sowing.

EX-FIREMASTER INKSTER HONOURED. – On the occasion of his leaving Aberdeen, Mr William Inkster, late firemaster, was met on Tuesday evening of last week by the office-bearers of Aberdeen King Street U.F. Church, with which he was connected, and presented with an American Perfection oil-cooking stove and oven. The presentation was made by the Rev. W. J. M. Macgregor, in the church hall, in the presence of a large company.

Mr Macgregor, in handing over the gift, referred to the many outstanding changes in the life of the church during the 26 years Mr Inkster had been connected with the congregation. Many of these, like the publication of the Church Hymnary in 1898, the Union of the Churches in 1900, the judgment of the House of Lords in 1904, and the local union of Nelson Street and St Andrew’s (forming King Street congregation) in 1909, were questions of wide interest, but each congregation had to consider them and decide their attitude towards them, and in all such deliberations Mr Inkster had taken part. But service as an office-bearer was not the total sum of the congregation’s indebtedness. One service which a minister could appreciate was regular attendance at public worship, and unless hindered by duty or sickness, Mr Inkster’s place was rarely empty. Another unfailing service rendered was the cordial way in which he welcomed strangers who came to the church. In many other ways Mr Inkster had helped the congregation and proved his usefulness.

The presentation perhaps took an unusual form, he added, but the committee had asked Mr Inkster to guide them to what would be of service. He (Mr Macgregor) thought that a cooking stove was a very happy choice, for while the presentation was to Mr Inkster, by the nature of it, Mrs Inkster, [‘Fiery Bill’s’ second wife, Sarah Folsetter, Dale, Evie] whose worth and quiet work they all appreciated, would get the benefit. It was no use putting an inscription upon a stove, for few would have a chance to read it, but if there were it would run: –

Presented to Mr William Inkster by his fellow-office-bearers and friends in King Street United Free Church, Aberdeen, on the occasion of his leaving the city, as a token of appreciation of many services rendered during his long connection with the congregation. – Aberdeen. 8th May, 1923.

Mr and Mrs Inkster were now retiring to their native county, where no doubt they would find many changes from the old days. Their earnest wishes were that Mr and Mrs Inkster might be spared for long years to enjoy the calm and light of eventide.

Mr Inkster suitably replied.

1923 May 23 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – CHURCH UNION SERVICE. – Following the excellent example of the E.C. and U.F. congregations of Eday, there was held here, in Wasbister School on Sabbath afternoon, May 13th, a Communion service which was undenominational. Representative elders from both churches took part in dispensing the sacrament, and Mr Brown conducted the service. There was a good attendance, and the meeting, in the way of promoting good feeling and church unity, was felt by all present to be a success. Now one wishes that such union meetings were common everywhere.

DEATH OF A NATIVE IN CANADA. – The “Goderich Star,” Ontario, Canada, of April 26, contains the following reference to the death of Mrs James Craigie, a native of this island: – “After an illness of about two weeks from influenza, Mrs Jas. Craigie passed away on Sunday last in her 77th year. The deceased was of a quiet, retiring disposition, a home lover, and a regular attendant at the services of Knox Church when in health. She had been a resident of Goderich for the past fifty-two years. She was born in Rousay, Orkney Islands, Oct. 11th, 1846, and was married there in 1870. On coming to Canada Mr and Mrs Craigie settled at Goderich. Mr Craigie had come out the previous year and returned to Scotland to be married, and brought his bride out with him. It is seventeen years since he died. Three sisters of Mrs Craigie’s, Mrs Alex. Craigie, of town, and Mrs Neil Craigie, of Edinburgh, and Mrs John Corsie, of Kirkwall, Scotland, survive, and one brother, Mr William Craigie, of Kirkwall. Of a family of ten Mrs Craigie is survived by six children as follows: Mrs W. A. Doner, of Toronto; Mr James Craigie, of Buffalo; Mrs E. P. Chewning, of Washington. D. C.; Mr John W. Craigie, of town; Mrs W. P. Abell, of town, and Mr Fred Craigie, of town. The funeral was held on Tuesday afternoon. Rev. R. C. McDermid conducting the services and the pall-bearers being the deceased three sons; two grandsons, Mr Oswald Craigie, of Buffalo, and Mr Fred W. Doner, of Toronto, and a nephew, Mr Wm. Craigie, of Toronto. The whole family were here for the funeral, and in addition to those already mentioned, Mr W. A. Doner, of Toronto, also was here. Many beautiful floral tributes came from friends in Washington, Toronto and London as well as Goderich.”

[‘Mrs James Craigie’ was Mary Craigie, the daughter of William Craigie, Fa’doon, later Mount Pleasant, and Janet Inkster, Pow.]




On the eve of his departure from Aberdeen to his native place in Orkney, Mr William Inkster, late firemaster of Aberdeen, was on Thursday night entertained by a number of representative business men of the city and presented with a wallet of Treasury notes, with a handsome pearl ring for his wife. The presentation took place in the Douglas Hotel, and, under the chairmanship of ex-Bailie Todd, the occasion proved an enjoyable one…..

The Chairman, in making the presentation, said the business men of Aberdeen considered that they could not allow Mr Inkster to leave the city without showing some appreciation of his services and the many good turns he had done for the citizens. He gave a sketch of Mr Inkster’s career as firemaster from 1896 to 1921. Mr Inkster, he said, was trained at the Southwark Fire Station, London, and came from there to Aberdeen with the best of recommendations. He mentioned some of the most serious fires that had occurred in Aberdeen during Mr Inkster’s time, and said his handling of them fully justified his recommendations. He spoke also of the erection of the new Fire Station in King Street, and pointed out that Aberdeen was the first city in Scotland to adopt motor fire engines, being closely followed by Glasgow. Apart from his duties as firemaster, Mr Inkster had always been willing and ready to help in charitable and philanthropic objects. That accounted for the fact that the presentation had been subscribed to from many different quarters and by many different classes of society in the city. The testimonial to Mr Inkster would not be complete without including Mrs Inkster, whom they all knew as a lady who was always ready to do what she could to help others. (Applause.) They hoped that Mr and Mrs Inkster would have many years of happiness in their retirement. (Applause.)

A Challenge to the Kingdom: – Mr Inkster, in acknowledging the gifts, said he hoped the Fire Station at King Street would be regarded as a testimony to his career in Aberdeen. His office was his life, and he could challenge the United Kingdom to produce a better staff than they had in Aberdeen. (Applause.) Apart from his official work his greatest concern was in connection with the Lifeboat Institution and the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, and it was his intention, when he got back to his native place, to do something more for the Infirmary. (Applause.) He spoke of the kindness and assistance he had always received from the press, and from the citizens generally. He was glad to be able to leave the Fire Station of Aberdeen one of the best in the kingdom both for equipment and personnel. (Applause.)

Mr James Connor, sheriff clerk depute, adding his tribute to Mr Inkster’s good qualities, pointed out that the firemaster was trained under the famous Captain Shaw. and he believed that Gilbert, in the opera “lolanthe,” had used Captain Shaw’s name simply because he could not get a word to rhyme with ” Inkster.” (Laughter and applause.)…..

1923 June 27 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PRESENTATION OF ADDRESS. – The  Rev. A. I. Pirie, who is senior minister of Rousay U.F. Church. and who was resident there for many years and carried on the active work of the ministry, conducted divine service in Trumland U.F. Church on Sabbath afternoon, June 17th. At the close of it he was presented by Mr John Logie, treasurer of the church, with an  illuminated address from the office-bearers and members, which bore testimony to his long and faithful work as pastor and to the esteem in which he is held, and also Mrs Pirie, by all in the district. Mr Pirie suitably replied. The service was well attended, and was enlivened by a number of sacred pieces which were sung in a tuneful and pleasing way by the choir, with Mr George Gibson as conductor and Miss Baikie as organist. Rev. D. S. Brown, who is Mr Pirie’s colleague and successor, also took part in the proceedings, and referred to the cordial relations which have been maintained by all parties concerned. Reference was also made to the fact that this is the year of Mr Pirie’s jubilee.

1923 August 15 Orkney Herald



Rousay Agricultural Society held their annual show at Banks, Sourin, on Tuesday last week, when there were increased entries both in horse and cattle sections. A special trip was run from Kirkwall by the s.s. Countess of Bantry, which was taken advantage of by about 60 passengers. The day was fairly good until the afternoon, when rain marred the proceedings. Messrs J. & W. Tait’s cup for best mare in yard was won by Mr Thomas Gibson, Broland, and Messrs Flett & Sons’ medal for best gelding was awarded to Mr Thomas Inkster, Nearhouse. The medal presented by Mr John Duncan, cattle salesman, Aberdeen, for best cow in yard was secured by Mr Thomas Inkster, Nearhouse, and a cakestand from Mr Moir, Aberdeen, for best yearling bullock or heifer bred by exhibitor, went to Mr Alan C. Gibson, Bigland. The arrangements for the show were carried out by Mr A. J. Harrold. The judges were: – Messrs D. Petrie, Midbigging, St Andrews; P. Maxwell, Orquil, St Ola; and W. Matches, Papdale, St Ola. Annexed is the prize list: –

CATTLE. – Calves – 1 R. Seatter, Banks; 2 Hugh Craigie, Scockness; 3 A. C. Gibson, Bigland; vhc John Corsie, Knarston; hc Thomas Inkster, Nearhouse; c George Gibson. Avelshay. Polled cows – 1 Thomas Inkster, 2 A. C. Gibson. 3 Wm. Moar, Saviskaill; vhc Geo. Gibson. Shorthorn Cows – 1 Wm. Moar, 2 Thos. Marwick, Glebe; 3 Hugh Craigie, vhc John Gibson, Faraclett. Two-year-old Polled Queys – Geo. Gibson, 2 Alan C. Gibson, 3 Wm. Moar, vhc Robert Seatter, hc and c, Hugh Craigie. Two-year-old Shorthorn Queys – 1 Wm. Moar, 2 Thos. Inkster. Board of Agriculture prize for Two-year-old Heifers – 1 Geo. Gibson, 2 A. C. Gibson, 3 Wm. Moar. Two-year-old Polled Steers – 1 Wm. Moar, 2 and hc Robert Seatter, 3 and vhc Hugh Craigie. One-year-old Polled Queys – 1 and vhc A. C. Gibson, 2 Thos. Marwick, 3 Thos. Inkster, hc Hugh Craigie, c Robert Seatter. One-year-old Shorthorn Queys – 1 Wm. Moar. One-year-old Polled Steers – 1 A. C. Gibson, 2 and vhc Geo. Gibson, 3 Thos. Marwick, hc Robert Seatter, c Thos. Inkster. One-year-old Shorthorn Steers – 1 and 3 Wm. Moar, 2 G. Gibson, vhc John Gibson, hc and c John Corsie. Cakestand – A. C. Gibson (for best bullock or heifer bred by exhibitor). Medal for best cow – Thomas Inkster.

HORSES. – Draught Geldings – 1 and vhc Thos. Inkster, 2 A. C. Gibson, 3 James Craigie, Falquoy, hc John Gibson. Yeld Mares – 1 George Gibson, 2 Thomas Gibson, Broland; 3 Robt. Seatter. Three-year-old Geldings – 1 John Corsie. Three-year-old Fillies – 1 John Inkster, Woo; 2 John Gibson. Two-year-old Geldings – 1 George Gibson, 2 John Corsie. Two-year-old Fillies – 1 James Craigie, Falquoy; 2 John Craigie, Falquoy; 3 George Gibson, Avelshay. One-year-old Fillies – 1 Thomas Gibson, Broland. Board of Agriculture prize – Three-year-old Mares  – 1 John Inkster, Woo; 2 John Gibson. J. & W. Tait’s Cup – 1 Thomas Gibson. Broland. J. Flett & Sons’ Medal – Thos. Inkster, Nearhouse.

Horse-shoeing – James Munro, Standpretty. (Robert Grieve, blacksmith).

SHEEP. – Pair of Ewes – 1 J. Corsie, Knarston; 2 and 3 Robert Seatter, Banks. Pair of Lambs – 1 Robert Seatter, 2 John Corsie, 3 John Inkster, Woo.

1923 September 12 Orkney Herald



The Farm of HURTISO, extending to 63 acres arable and 13 acres pasture;
good Steading and Dwelling-house.
Also, the Farm of HUNCLETT, 47 acres, of which one-half are arable, with
exclusive right of grazing over 80 acres hill pasture.
The present tenants are not purchasing.
For further particulars, apply to JOHN LOGIE, Trumland, Rousay, or
Messrs MACKENZIE & KERMACK, W.S., 9 Hill Street, Edinburgh.

1923 September 26 Orkney Herald



The Presbytery of North Isles met at the church of Rousay on Friday last for the purpose of ordaining the Rev. Roderick Fraser, formerly assistant minister at Alloa, and inducting him to the church and parish of Rousay and Egilshay, which has become vacant through the translation of the Rev. John Williamson to Kirkfieldbank.

Mr Macpherson, minister at Evie, was present, and was associated with the Presbytery.

Mr Richmond, Shapinsay, who acted as Moderator of the Kirk-Session during the vacancy, presided, and preached a powerful and appropriate sermon from the text “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

Mr Murison, the Clerk of the Presbytery, detailed the cause of the vacancy and the steps taken towards filling up the same, and solemnly set Mr Fraser apart to the office of the holy ministry, and admitted him to the church and parish of Rousay and Egilshay, the brethren present giving Mr Fraser the right hand of fellowship.

Mr Murison afterwards addressed the newly-admitted minister, and Mr Richmond the people.

At the close of the service Mr Fraser received a warm welcome from the congregation, and from the elders of the church, Messrs Moar, Inkster, Corsie, and Lyon.

The ceremony of ordination was invested, in this case, with special interest, inasmuch as it is half a century since a minister, who had not been previously ordained, was settled in Rousay. Mr Fraser comes to Orkney with high credentials, and his harmonious settlement in Rousay promises well.

1923 October 24 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – AMERICAN PRESIDENT’S APPRECIATION. – A copy of the Rousay book on Mysticism, “The Faith that Works by Love,” having been forwarded to President Coolidge, U.S.A., his secretary has sent this gracious reply [to its author – The Rev. D. S. Brown, Rousay]: –

The White House.
Washington, Sept. 17, 1923.

My Dear Sir. – I beg to acknowledge on behalf of the President your kindness in sending him a copy of your book. I know that he will appreciate the friendly thought which prompted you to extend this courtesy to him. – Very truly yours.

E. T. CLARK, Secretary.

1923 December 12 Orkney Herald

ORCADIAN HISTORY. – Reviewing Mr J. Mooney’s book, “Eynhallow,” the ‘Aberdeen Press and Journal’ says: – “Despite its unassuming size, this little book represents an important contribution not merely to Orcadian but also to Scottish history and archaeology. Since the discovery by Dietrichson in 1906 that the uninhabited island of Eynhallow, “Holy Island,” was the scene of the Cistercian “Abbey of the Orkneys,” and that substantial ruins of the conventual establishment still remain, a good deal of interest has been taken in this remote but sacred spot, and the ecclesiastical remains have been placed under the Ancient Monuments Department of H.M. Office of Works. In the present volume Mr Mooney has set himself to collect into handy compass all the available information about the past and present condition of the island, and its historical and antiquarian interest. To the task he has brought wide and deep personal knowledge of Orcadian history, and the result is a book which will merit gratitude of Scottish historians and archaeologists.”

In Print

Newsprint – 1922

1922 January 4 Orkney Herald



On Sunday morning last, about 9.15 a.m., Mr George L. Thomson, hon. secretary of the Stromness Lifeboat, received a telegram stating, “Steamer struck and damaged near Keith Hall wreck, Birsay. She is burning flare lights.” Immediately on receipt of the above, Mr Thomson called out the lifeboat crew and notified the Rocket Brigade, all of whom responded to the call in the shortest of time, and the lifeboat left the harbour about 9.40 to render assistance. The weather at the time was very rough, and a heavy land sea was breaking on the shore all along the west side.

While the lifeboat was proceeding on her way, the Rocket Company, in motors, under the direction of Mr William Cooper, were making for Birsay to assist if needed, and Mr Thomson and a party of expert signallers also left by motor for Costa, Evie, and other vantage points, where they could signal and direct the lifeboat on her arrival from Stromness. The lifeboat, however, had made a quick run, and arrived off Costa Head before she was expected. Meanwhile Mr Thomson had arranged for two boats from Evie and one boat from Rousay to be launched and manned to render any assistance possible.

It is most difficult to get the exact particulars of the trawler. Our information, however, is that she struck the rocks about 7.30 a.m., just as the cook was calling the skipper for breakfast, and the very heavy land sea running smashed the boat. After some time she floated off and drifted east with the tide, until she rounded Costa Head, and when immediately off the farm of Midhouse, Costa, Evie, and about half a mile from the head, she came to anchor, but, owing to the damage sustained on the rocks, was making much water, and was settling down.

The crew, after the boat had been smashed, constructed a raft, on which nine members of the crew took their places, expecting, in this way, to save themselves, when the vessel went down. Unfortunately that expectation was not realised, as, when the vessel sunk, the suction was so great that the raft and its occupants were swept down. Two members of the crew, the mate and third hand, could not get on the raft, and clung to a lifebuoy between them until they chanced to get hold of the raft, on which they clung until saved by the lifeboat.

After saving the two men the lifeboat ran down Eynhallow Sound, and transferred the men saved to one of the Rousay boats, by whom they were landed, and driven by Mr D. F. Lennie, of Stromness, to the Post-Office, Evie, where they received every kindness and attention.

It was only after the two survivors had been landed that it was known which vessel it was that had been lost. The survivors told the tale of disaster and suffering, and the loss of the trawler s.s. Freesia, of Grimsby, with all but two of the crew. She was on a passage from North Faroe, bound home, when the disaster occurred.

We understand the Freesia experienced very rough weather at Faroe, and lost her small boat there. She struck the face of the cliff bow-on on Sunday, and, rebounding, lost her propeller and drifted out of control in the direction of Costa Head.

The lifeboat, after nobly doing her duty, made for Stromness, and, when near Costa Head, picked up two bodies, which she brought to Stromness, where she arrived about 6.30 p.m.

More than one member of the lifeboat crew, when the call came, rushed to the lifeboat house without taking any food, and had no opportunity to do so until she returned.

We have already stated that two boats from Evie and one from Rousay were launched and manned, and proceeded towards the raft with the two men on it, but were unable to render assistance on account of the heavy sea in Burgar Roost. They searched the shores of the island of Eynhallow in case there should be any survivors there, but unfortunately without success.

The names of the Evie boatman are: – First boat – Andrew Anderson, sen., Old School; Andrew Anderson, jun., Burnbraes; John Marwick, Quoys; David Hepburn, Newhouse; John Yorston, Orquil; second boat – William Miller, Hestival; Fred Wood, Georth; David Hourston, Grudair; David Hourston, Plover Hall. The Rousay boat was manned by: – George Reid, Tratland; Thomas Sinclair, Cotafea; James Gibson, Hullion; John Gibson, Brough; John Mainland, Cott.

The two survivors of the disaster were brought to Stromness by motor car on Sunday night, and taken in charge by Mr James D. Brown, hon. agent of the Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners’ Society, who lodged them with Mrs Flett, where they had every kindness and attention. They proceeded south by the mail steamer St Ola yesterday (Tuesday) morning.

The names of the saved are: – William Saxby, mate, 403 Wellington St., Grimsby, and Albert Edward Dartnell, third hand, 2 Centre Vale, Nelson Street, Grimsby.


As I looked out to sea about nine o’clock in the morning (says an eye-witness), I saw a trawler drifting past Costa Head. The morning was hazy, and occasional showers made visibility difficult. I was certain that the ship was out of control – no smoke appeared from the funnel, and a slight list to port indicated that the hull was damaged.

My first thoughts were of rescue. A glance at the shore, with this high tide and land sea, showed that the launching of a boat was a human impossibility. “Was there life on board?” “How long would the ship remain afloat?” I found myself asking these questions as I hurried for my telescope.

Gusts of wind blowing fitfully about made it difficult for me to follow with the glass the movement of the ship. I could now see distinctly distress signals flying from the foremast. Immediately I went down to the shore. A number of people had gathered at the boats. Old men, with their long experience of the sea in all its moods, shook their heads. To launch a boat was an impossibility. Helpless, the vessel drifted; every breath we drew seemed to mark a stage which dragged her nearer to her doom. The list became greater and greater. She lurched and sank by the stern. Her forefoot rose out of the water about twenty feet. It remained stationery for an instant, and then the sea claimed her. Black smoke rose from the water and a few oddments of floating wreckage was all that was left of the ship.

We left the shore, and when on higher ground, could dimly discern what appeared to be a raft drifting towards Eynhallow. With the telescope I could see two men on the raft, one clinging to the wood, over which the waves were breaking, the other clutching tightly to his shoulders.

A car left Costa and proceeded in all haste to Evie Pier. Local men put off in two boats, hoping to intercept the raft, should she come through the sound but the ebb tide which had now set in, prevented this. They then landed at Eynhallow, as did a Rousay boat hoping to pick up any survivors who may have been washed ashore.

Intently we watched the movements of the raft, buffeted by the waves, driven by the tempest, two men clung to their frail craft, but despair must have arisen in their hearts, as the change of the tide drove them slowly seawards. The boats at Eynhallow were helpless.

At this critical time, away in the west, hugging the coast, the Stromness Lifeboat, taking risks, pushed her way through the sea, guided by semaphore signals from various points on the coast.

“Go across,” the flags flap out their message. Immediately the lifeboat is headed out, and makes straight across Burgar Roost, where, without the slightest delay, the two survivors were picked up and speedily brought to Evie Pier. At Dale Post Office every comfort was given them.

1922 January 11 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – WHIST DRIVE AND DANCE. – On Friday, 30th December, a most successful whist drive and social evening was held in Frotoft school-room. Notwithstanding the inclemency of the weather, there was a large turn-out of young folks, who thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Under the management of Miss Sinclair and an able staff, the tables for the whist drive were nicely arranged, and the school being beautifully decorated the whole effect was very pleasing. Play started at 7.30, and, on the scores being handed in, the following were found to be the prize-winners: – Ladies – 1 Miss Low, 2 Miss C. Logie and Miss Marjorie Gibson (equal), booby, Miss Maggie Craigie; gentlemen – 1 Mr John Marwick, 2 Mr James Irvine, booby, Mr James Nicolson. After the prizes were handed over to the successful competitors, a most sumptuous tea was served, and the usual votes of thanks being called for and responded to, the school-room was cleared for dancing, which was kept up till an early hour. Much credit is due to Miss Sinclair and her committee for the able way in which all the arrangements were carried through, and, though this is the first whist drive that has been held in this school-room, the hope of all present was that it would not be the last.

1922 February 15 Orkney Herald

HONOUR FOR MR JOHN MOONEY. – At a meeting of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, held in the Library of the National Museum of Antiquities, Edinburgh, on the evening of Monday, 13th inst., Mr John Mooney, J.P., Kirkwall, was elected a fellow. Mr Mooney has been a life-long student of Norse history and antiquities, and the honour now conferred on him is a fitting recognition of his work, not only in keeping green the annuals of Orkney’s misty past, but also in unfolding the story of Eynhallow’s Shrine. This important work Mr Mooney is now engaged upon.

1922 March 8 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PLOUGHING MATCH. – The annual ploughing match of the Rousay Agricultural Society was held on Tuesday last week in a field on the farm of Trumland, kindly granted for the occasion by Mr Fred Inkster. Owing to the heavy fall of sleet on Monday forenoon, the field was not in such good condition for ploughing as it might have been The weather on the day of the match was all that could be desired. There was a fair turnout, and by 10 o’clock fifteen pairs were lined up at their rigs ready to try their skill – all ordinary ploughmen. During the day there was a large number of spectators on the field from this and other neighbouring parishes. A little disappointment was felt when only one of the judges, Mr Robert Ritch, Grind, Randall, turned up, the other one being unable to come through illness. Mr Ritch kindly undertook the judging himself and awarded the prizes as follows: –

PLOUGHING. – 1 and Highland Society’s medal and cup, James Smith, No. 2 Frotoft; 2 James Linklater, Curquoy; 3 Tom Marwick, Glebe; 4 John Leonard, Faraclett; 5 John Gibson, Avelshay; 6 James Lyon, Ervadale; 7 John Marwick, No. 1 Frotoft; 8 Robert Seatter, Banks; 9 David Marwick, Quoys; 10 James Nicolson, Nearhouse; youngest ploughman, James Gibson, Hullion; feering and finish, James Smith; straightest ploughing, Tom Marwick.

GROOMING. – 1 James Nicolson, 2 Tom Marwick, 3 James Gibson, Hullion; 4 James Smith, 5 James Linklater.

HARNESS. – 1 James Nicolson, 2 John Leonard, 3 John Shearer, Trumland; 4 James Taylor, Trumland; 5 James Smith. Best matched pair, James Nicolson; best pair of mares, James Nicolson.

During the day the ploughmen, committee, and judge were liberally supplied with refreshments, and in the evening the judge and committee were hospitably entertained to tea by Mrs [Isie] Inkster. The committee desire to tender their grateful thanks to the kind friends who so liberally contributed to the funds, and to the kind donors of the special prizes, of which there was a large number; also to Mr John Logie, Trumland House, for visiting the field and enabling them to get the Highland Society’s medal. A dance was held on the evening of the match in the barn of Trumland, kindly granted by Mr Inkster, when a large number of young people of the island gathered and spent a few hours’ enjoyment.

1922 March 22 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – LANTERN LECTURE. – There was held in Sourin U.F. Church on Sabbath, 12th March, by the Rousay U.F. Women’s Foreign Mission Committee, a lantern lecture on the “Uncrowned Queen of Calabar.” Mrs Brown was lanternist, and the address was given by Rev. D. S. Brown M.A. A short musical programme was rendered in a pleasing manner by Mr W. Grieve, conductor, by Misses M. A. and J. Grieve, Falldown; by Miss I. Grieve, organist; and by Mr Brown. There was a good and interested attendance, and also a good collection for the U.F. Mission. The meeting was effective.

1922 April 26 Orkney Herald

HEATHER-BURNING. – The extraordinary and protracted spell of wet and stormy weather has not only delayed agricultural operations beyond normal season, but it has prevented the timely burning of heather on the moors. This cannot be done after nesting commences, and heavy penalties are liable to be inflicted for burning heather in close time. On high and wet moors, yesterday was regarded as the latest date for “heather scaumin’.”

1922 May 3 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – WEDDING. – SLATER – COOPER. – A wedding took place in the Wasbister School on Friday, 28th April, between Mr Norman Slater, late cadet R.I.C., and late lieutenant R.G.A., eldest son of the late Col. James Slater, V.D., and of Mrs Slater, Bentfield, Gullane, and Miss Anna May Cooper, school teacher, daughter of the late Mr William Cooper, schoolmaster, Moy, Inverness. The Rev. J. Brown officiated, and the bride was given away by her uncle, Mr David Gibson. The bridegroom was supported by Mr George Sinclair, late lieutenant R.G.A., and Miss Annie Gibson, niece of the bride, acted as bridesmaid. The bride wore a dress of white satin, ornamented with silver, and her veil was of rich bridal net with a wreath of orange blossoms. Her bouquet of daffodils, with white satin streamers, matched the bridesmaid’s dress of lemon coloured crepe-de-chine. According to an old-time custom still kept up in the island, the bride and bridegroom, amidst showers of confetti, set off for a walk, followed by 30 couples of young folks. Meantime the older people, 35 couples, sat down to tea. On returning to the school, Mr and Mrs Slater and the younger generation sat down to a sumptuous tea, after which dancing was heartily engaged in until early morning. Mr and Mrs Slater were the recipients of many beautiful presents, amongst which were several substantial cheques. They leave Orkney to-day (Tuesday) for their new home, which is to be abroad. They have the good wishes of their many friends both in Orkney and the south, and all hope that good luck may attend them to their journey’s end.

1922 June 7 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – DEATH OF MRS MARWICK, TOU. – On Friday, 26th May, Mrs [Betsy] Marwick, Tou, widow of David Marwick, shoemaker, the oldest inhabitant in Rousay, was called away in death at the ripe age of 98. She was in her usual health until the day she died, and, up to an hour or two before age expired, her death was quite unlooked for. She was able to move around every day, and had all her facilities to the very end. She lived all her life at the same house, and for the last forty years never left the island. She will be very much missed by everyone, for her memory was excellent, and people wishing to ascertain any information concerning their ancestors, had only to apply to “Old Betty” – as she was usually called – and if she could not supply the information, no one else could. It is fifteen years since her husband died, and during all these years, she mourned him continually, and her daily wish was to be with him. At that time he was the only shoemaker in the island, and during his lifetime they had a lightsome and happy home, for it was the meeting place of all the men folks in the district; there all the gossip of the place was discussed every evening, and it was as good as a doctor’s tonic to hear the hearty laugh of the old couple. Mrs Marwick is survived by one daughter, Mrs [Anne] Leonard, who is a widow, and has lived with her mother since her father’s death, and to her we extend our deepest sympathy.

1922 July 26 Orkney Herald



On Wednesday morning last week the “oldest man” in Orkney, who has weathered many a storm and many a tide, and yet could look the whole world in the face, although at times he is not dry, met with one of those occurrences which reminds one of the fleeting nature of time. The incident was witnessed by two local fishermen, William Johnston and James Thomson, who at the time were playing at “catching the lobster,” a very popular game round the west at present. During a breathing space in the game one of the twain looked up, and saw that half of the face of this very “old man” had fallen. The noise was like thunder, of the fall of many hundreds of tons of stones. A portion of the top of the “Old Man of Hoy” fell into the sea on Wednesday morning last. We are informed that the portion referred to was at the top where the rock seemed to be split, and the fall will not affect the height of the “Old Man” in any way, beyond making the head a little smaller, though none the less in height.

1922 August 16 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – CATTLE SHOW: – Rousay Agricultural Society held their annual show at Sourin on Tuesday last. Horses showed a decrease, but there was a gratifying advance in the number of cattle forward. The medal for the best one-year-old steer was won by Mr George Gibson, Avelshay, and the special prize for best two-year-old heifer went to Mr Hugh Craigie, Scockness. Calves were a very good lot. Mr William Moar, Saviskaill, secured the medal for the best gelding, while the reserve ticket went to Mr James Craigie, Falquoy.

The judges were: – Messrs D. Petrie, Northbigging, St Andrews; P. Maxwell, Orquil, St Ola; and J. Matches, Papdale, St Ola. The prize-list is as follows: –

CATTLE. – Calves – 1 John Corsie, Knarston; 2 and 3 Alan Gibson, Bigland; vhc George Gibson, Avelshay. Polled Cows – 1 John Corsie; 2 J. Gibson, Faraclett; 3 R. Seatter, Banks; vhc and hc A. Gibson; c John Corsie. Shorthorn Cows – 1 Wm. Moar, Saviskaill; 2, 3 and vhc Hugh Craigie, Scockness. Two-year-old Polled Queys – 1 J. Inkster, Woo; 2 and c G. Gibson; 3, vhc and hc Wm. Moar. Ditto Shorthorn Queys – 1 J. Corsie. Do. Polled Steers – 1 Wm. Moar. Do. Shorthorn Steers – 1 and medal G. Gibson. One-year-old Polled Queys – 1 G. Gibson, 2 John Corsie, 3 R Seatter, vhc A. Gibson, hc W. Moar, c H. Craigie. Do. Polled Steers – 1 H. Craigie, 2 G. Gibson, 3 J. Corsie, vhc A. Gibson, hc and c J Gibson. Do. Shorthorn Steers – 1 J. Inkster, 2 Wm. Moar, 3 and vhc R. Seatter. Board of Agriculture Prizes for Two-year-old Heifers – 1 J. Inkster, 2 Wm. Moar, 3 A. Gibson.

HORSES. – Draught Geldings – 1 J. Craigie, 2 A. Gibson, 3 G. Gibson. Draught Mares (yeld) – 1 J. Corsie, 2 and vhc W. Moar, 3 H. Craigie, hc J. Craigie. Three-year-old Fillies – 1 G. Gibson, 2 A. Gibson, 3 R. Seatter. Do. Geldings – 1 John Corsie. Do. Fillies – 1 H. Craigie. One-year-old Geldings – 1 G. Gibson. Do. Fillies – 1 H. Craigie, 2 G. Gibson. Board of Agriculture Prizes for Three-year-old Fillies – 1 G. Gibson, 2 A. Gibson, 3 R. Seatter.

SHEEP. – Ewes – 1 J. Corsie, 2 R. Seatter. Lambs – 1 and 2 R. Seatter.

1922 August 23 Orkney Herald



Sir Malcolm Smith, K.B.E., M.P. for Orkney and Shetland, opened a tour of his constituency on Wednesday evening, when he addressed an audience of 200 in Stromness Town Hall…..[On Thursday he visited North Ronaldsay, and on Friday it was the turn of Gairsay, Wyre, Egilsay and then Rousay, later that day].

MEETING IN ROUSAY. – In the evening a large and representative meeting, over which Mr James G. Craigie [Clerk, Parish Council & School Board] presided, was addressed by Sir Malcolm Smith in Sourin Public School, Rousay.

Sir Malcolm dealt with the Irish question, the question of unemployment and German reparations. He said that in the midst of all difficulties the Government had been making noble efforts to bring about a state of peace and prosperity in the country, and no-one more so than Mr Lloyd George. He had been unanimously elected as their representative in Parliament as a supporter of the Government, and while he did not say that the Government was, or that any Government could be, a perfect Government, he was satisfied that they had done right in giving the Government their support. Dealing with local questions, he referred to the county roads, and said he was hopeful that a special grant would be got for the reconstruction of roads in outlying districts like this county. As regards fishing, he had done, and would continue to do, all in his power to have the inshore fishing grounds protected for the line fishermen. He was in favour of continuing the embargo on the importation of foreign cattle.

Mr Gibson asked whether Sir Malcolm Smith would assist in getting a grievance with regard to the mail service to Wasbister district remedied. At present the letters for that district lie overnight at HuIlion Post Office before they are delivered. Sir Malcolm replied that this had already been brought to his notice, and suggested that a strong requisition should be made to the postmaster on the subject. If that failed, he was prepared to see the officials in London and endeavour to have an improvement in the service effected.

Rev. Mr Williamson – I am sorry that Mr Gibson did not put his question in a slightly different way. The principal complaint is that the Rousay mails lie at Evie overnight. I would be quite prepared to call at the Post Office for my letters if they were brought to the island daily.

Mr Clouston – Is the member prepared to hurry up the scheme for land settlement?

Sir Malcolm Smith – I am sorry that more progress has not been made in this direction. I have done, and shall continue to do, my utmost to expedite matters.

An Elector – Does the Government intend to take any steps to suppress the efforts of the German agents who try to stir up strife in the industrial classes?

Sir Malcolm Smith – The authorities have this matter fully in hand. I am sorry that they do not always bring the culprits publicly to book.

Mr Gibson – Would it be possible to get a grant for this pier in the way of getting it lengthened? At present there is very little water at the pier at low tide.

Sir Malcolm Smith – Anything of that kind should be stated by the County Council. The people should make representations to the County Council, who might make application to the Board of Agriculture, and if application were made, I would be prepared to back it up.

Rev. Mr Williamson – On the question of old age pensions, do you not think that as the law at present stands it is a premium on sloth?

Sir Malcolm Smith – I quite agree that there is a little inconsistency there; the man who has saved is punished in comparison with the man who has spent every penny.

Rev. Mr Williamson – On the question of the Temperance Act, instead of attacking people who hold licences by closing up one house here and another there. would there not be any way of getting at those who overstep the bounds of temperance? Would our representative take into consideration the question of rationing the individual as regards liquor in the same way as was done in the case of other commodities during war time?

Sir Malcolm Smith – The question of the Temperance Act is a very complicated one, and it is not easy to find a solution which will give satisfaction to all parties. The Act has only been in operation for a short time, and it may be better to let it go on for a little to see how it works.

Rev. Mr Williamson – What do you say on the question of Scottish Hume Rule?

Sir Malcolm Smith – I am in favour of Home Rule for Scotland. The congestion of business at Westminster will never be cured until we have devolution all round.

A vote of renewed confidence in Sir Malcolm Smith having been moved by Mr Gibson, Bigland, and carried with acclamation, the meeting terminated with a vote of thanks to the Chairman proposed by Sir Malcolm Smith.

1922 September 6 Orkney Herald


Any person Trespassing with dog or gun on the Farm or Holm of SCOCKNESS, or fishing for Trout ‘ex adverso’ of the shores of Scockness, Holm of Scockness, Knarston, Gorehouse, Banks, Nethermill, or Lopness, Rousay, will be prosecuted. Quarrying of stones on the foreshores of the above lands is strictly prohibited without written permission from the Subscriber.

JAMES MAINLAND, Factor. Gorehouse, Rousay.

[ex adverso’ means “opposite to” – a term used to describe the position of land or buildings.]

1922 September 13 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PICNIC. – On Tuesday afternoon, September 5th, the school children of Wasbister, Frotoft, Sourin, and Veira, along with their teachers and some friends, assembled in the grounds of Trumland House, on the invitation of Dr and Mrs Barty King, for a picnic. The weather was excellent, and abundant refreshments were provided for, and distributed to all, after which a programme of sports was carried through by the various schools in friendly competition. Prizes were offered to those who were successful, and in addition a gift was provided for each child and a bag of sweets. Before leaving the grounds a hearty vote of thanks was offered, by all, to Dr and Mrs Barty King for a most enjoyable afternoon. Annexed is the prize-list: –

100 Yards’ Races – Boys, 12 and over – 1 William Gibson, 2 John Johnston; girls, 12 and over – 1 Ann Sinclair, 2 R. Craigie and Ruby Flaws (equal); boys, 10 and 11 – 1 John Costie, 2 S. Inkster; girls, 10 and 11 – 1 Mina Flaws, 2 Mollie Flaws; boys, 8 and 9 (1st division) – 1 William Craigie and Neil Flaws; (2nd division) – 1 William Smith and Thomas Inkster; girls, 8 and 9, 1 Mary Ann Petrie, 2 Ena Johnston; boys, 7 years – 1 Spencer Dexter, 2 D. Craigie. Race for boys, 5 and 6 – 1 William Grieve, 2 H. Marwick; ditto for girls – 1 Mary Yorston, 2 Sarah Smith. Sack Races – Boys, 11 and over – 1 John Costie, 2 William Gibson; boys, 10 and under – 1 William Craigie, 2 D. Marwick and S. Dexter. Three-legged Races – Girls, 11 and over – 1 Peggie Leonard and Ann Sinclair, 2 Elsie Inkster and Mary Leonard; girls, 10 and under – 1 A. Flaws and A. Craigie, 2 Margaret Flaws and Mary Wylie. Obstacle Races – Boys, 11 and over – 1 John Johnston, 2 William Gibson. Boys, 10 and under – 1 S. Marwick. 2 Wm. Craigie. Wheelbarrow Race for boys and girls – 1 Ann Sinclair and Wm. Craigie, 2 R. Flaws and G. Petrie. Men’s Race – 1 J. Williamson, 2 Robert Sinclair. Ladies’ Race – 1 Cecila Logie, 2 M. McLennan. Tug-of-War between schools – 1 Wasbister won v. Sourin; 2 Veira won v. Frotoft; 3 Viera won v. Wasbister. Tug-of-War – Trumland House v. Rousay – Rousay won.

1922 September 20 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY. The Women’s Foreign Mission Committee of Rousay United Free Church are sending to the Fund the sum of £10 16s 6d as their contribution from the women of the congregation for this year. The sum shows an increase over the previous year.

1922 October 18 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY YACHT SUNK – On Journey from Woodwick to Veira. – Two men narrowly escaped from drowning on Wednesday of last week. They were proceeding in a yacht, belonging to Mr John Logie, Rousay, from Woodwick, in Evie, to Veira, when the boat struck a skerry and was holed. After considerable difficulty they managed to get her off, but before anything further could be done she sank in deep water. Fortunately the yacht was towing a dingy, and the men managed to board it, and reached the land little the worse of their trying experience.

1922 November 1 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – WELFARE OF YOUTH. – At Frotoft School, on Sunday evening, October 22nd, the third of a series of Welfare of Youth meetings was held. It took the form, particularly, of a service of praise, which was carried through in an efficient manner by a temporary choir with Mr D. Mackay as conductor. An appreciative audience filled the schoolroom and the seating accommodation was insufficient. An address was delivered by Rev. D. S. Brown on the Scriptural command to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread,” in view of these sinister facts of modern civilisation – the struggle for life in congested areas in cities, and the number of unemployed workers.

1922 November 29 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – MARRIAGE. – A company gathered together on the evening of Wednesday, November 22nd, at the house of Mr William Sutherland, blacksmith, in connection with the marriage of his daughter, Miss Maggie Sutherland, to Mr G. W. Marwick, Longhope, at which Rev. D. S. Brown officiated. After the ceremony the young people received a shower of congratulatory telegrams from absent friends. Thereafter a pleasant evening was spent by the assembled company. The chief event in it was the proposing of a toast, which was responded to by all, standing, and in the heartiest fashion, to “Our M.P., Sir Robert Hamilton.”

[The Sutherland family lived at Viera View. The groom, George William Marwick, was the son of William Marwick and Annie Taylor, Corse, later Melsetter. Sir Robert William Hamilton was the then newly elected Liberal M.P. for Orkney and Shetland.]

1922 December 6 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – GUILD SOCIAL. – At Sourin U.F. Church, on Thursday evening, Nov. 30th, the Guild held a social meeting. Rev. D. S. Brown occupied the chair as honorary president, and there was a good attendance of the general public. The meeting was addressed by Messrs Alex. Grieve, president, and by Mr John Inkster, vice-president of the Guild. The meeting was chiefly musical, and the Guild choir, under the efficient leadership of Mr J. W. Grieve, with Miss Bella Grieve as organist, rendered the programme of sacred music in a pleasing and tuneful fashion, which was much appreciated by the audience, and a number of the singers received a recall. A committee of ladies had charge of the refreshments, which were distributed, with tea, during the interval; and all whose labour had contributed to make the meeting a success received a hearty vote of thanks at the close.

In Print

Newsprint – 1921

1921 January 5 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – SCHOOL CONCERT. – On Christmas Eve the children of Sourin Public School gave their annual concert. Although the weather was not favourable, there was a large and appreciative audience. Father Christmas was present, who contributed very fine gifts to the children. He brought the right spirit into the meeting along with him, and it stayed. Every child attending school took part in their section of the entertainment, and did it well; as also did the adults, with songs and recitations in their auxiliary part. A silver collection, which amounted to £5 13s 9d, was taken up during the interval. Hearty votes of thanks were given at the close to Miss Baikie, schoolmistress, for her efficient training of the children, to the performers, and to Mr Brown as chairman. The seats were cleared away after the concert, and Miss Baikie entertained the young folks to a dance and refreshments, which were liberally handed round during the evening. The dance was greatly enjoyed by all.

1921 January 12 Orkney Herald

STORMY WEATHER. – A period of cold, rainy weather, accompanied by high winds, set in over Orkney on Saturday. During Sunday there was incessant rain all day, and at nightfall a strong south-westerly gale broke out, which continued with great violence until Monday forenoon. On account of the heavy sea running in the Pentland Firth, the mail boat St Ola did not attempt the journey to Scrabster on Monday.

1921 February 9 Orkney Herald

SIGNS OF SPRING. – The spring migrants are returning to our shores again. In the beautiful weather of the past week the lark has been heard pouring forth its full-throated song; lapwings in flocks are prospecting the fields; and rooks in the vicinity of Kirkwall are busy preparing their nests. In the mornings the mavis [song thrush] and the blackbird may be heard warbling their flute-like notes, but as yet their songs are only weak and low, earnest of what is to come when the days lengthen.

THE WEATHER. – Dry, sunny weather prevailed over the Orkneys last week, and the ground quickly dried up, enabling farmers to prosecute their outdoor work under favourable conditions. Unfortunately, however, for those who take their livelihood from the sea, strong south-easterly winds also prevailed, and fishing boats never ventured out to sea. However, a number of trawlers took shelter in Kirkwall Harbour, and quantities of their fish were disposed of locally and retailed by hawkers. Owing to the high wind and heavy sea in the Pentland Firth on Friday, the s.s. St Ola did not make the passage south with the mails. The s.s. Hoy Head, which had made a special trip from the South Isles to Kirkwall with visitors to the fat stock show, did not return on Friday, but lay at Scapa Pier until the wind somewhat moderated on Saturday. The weather still continues fine.

1921 February 23 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – CONCERT AND SOCIAL MEETING. – A successful concert and social meeting was held in Wasbister School, on the evening of Feb. 11th. The sitting accommodation was overtaxed, and, as the audience was hearty and enthusiastic and the performers ready with their parts, an enjoyable evening was spent, the trios and quartettes being especially effective. Recalls were numerous, and Miss [Anna May] Cooper, who had much to do with organising the affair, was heartily greeted both by the school children and by the people. During the interval refreshments were distributed and a silver collection was taken to defray expenses. Annexed is the programme: –

Quartette, “Oh, who will o’er the Downs?” Misses Inkster and Cooper and Messrs Clouston and Craigie; solo, “Come home to me,” Miss Sinclair; recitation, “The voting woman,” Miss Cooper; duet, “Till we meet again,” Messrs Sinclair and Clouston; solo, “My bonnie Jean,” Mr Inkster; recitation, “Specially Jim,” Miss Marwick; solo, “Until,” Mrs Sharp; violin and piano selections, Mrs Craigie and Mr Clouston; trio, “Oh gin I were a baron’s heir,” Messrs Clouston and Craigie; solo, “Let the rest of the world go by,” Miss Flaws; duet, “Life’s dream is o’er,” Mrs Sharp and Miss Cooper; sketch, “Wanted a Housekeeper”; chairman’s speech, Rev. D. S. Brown, M.A.; solo, “The road of looking forward,” Mr Sinclair; recitation, “The Price,” Miss Flaws; solo, “My dear soul,” Miss Cooper; reading, “Robbie Doo at Burns’ Supper,” Mr Sinclair; quartette, “Stars of the summer night,” Misses Inkster and Cooper and Messrs Clouston and Craigie; sketch, “Flossie”; piano and violin selections, Mrs Craigie and Mr Clouston; sketch, “The shy young man”; selections by the jazz band; solo, “Give me the moonlight,” Mr Clouston; humorous reading, Miss Cooper; trio, “Kitty of Coleraine,” Messrs Sinclair, Clouston and Craigie. After the usual votes of thanks, the proceedings were in brought to a close by the singing of the National Anthem.

1921 March 2 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PLOUGHING MATCH. – The Rousay Agricultural Society held their annual ploughing match, which has been in abeyance since 1915 on account of the war, on Thursday, 24th ult., in a field kindly granted for the occasion by Mr James Russell, Brendale. Two champions and 11 ordinary ploughmen entered for competition. The work done, considering the unequal ground, was of a high standard. The ideal weather conditions enabled a large number of spectators from both local and neighbouring islands to visit the field. During the day the ploughmen were amply supplied with refreshments, and again when their work was finished, and in the evening the judges and committee were kindly entertained to a sumptuous tea by Mrs Russell. The committee desire to take this opportunity of thanking the general public for their generous support in supplying special prizes, of which there was a very large and varied assortment. The judges were: – Messrs George Scarth, Burgar, and John Spence, Scholha’, Evie, who, after careful consideration, awarded the prizes as follows: –

PLOUGHING – Champions. – 1st and cup for best ploughed rig on field, James Craigie, Falquoy; 2 Thomas Sinclair, Cotafea; best feering – Thomas Sinclair; best finish – Jas. Craigie. Ordinary – 1 and Highland Society’s medal, Alex. Craigie, Langskaill; 2 James Linklater, Curquoy; 3 John Leonard, Faraclett; 4 Hugh Craigie, Scockness; 5 James Lyon, Ervadale; 6 John Marwick, Hullion; 7 David Moar, Saviskaill; 8 Albert Munro, Brendale; 9 Robert Seatter, Banks; 10 Robert Sinclair, Sketquoy; youngest ploughman – James Grieve, Falldown; best feering – Alex. Craigie; best finish – Alex. Craigie; best feering on field – Thomas Sinclair; best finish on field – Jas. Craigie; straightest ploughing – Thomas Sinclair.

GROOMING – 1 David Moar, 2 James Linklater, 3 John Leonard, 4 Alex. Craigie, 5 Hugh Craigie.

HARNESS – 1 John Leonard, 2 David Moar, 3 Hugh Craigie, 4 John Marwick, 5 Albert Munro.

1921 March 9 Orkney Herald

EMIGRATION. – A number of young men sailed from Kirkwall to-day (Tuesday) by the s.s. Rognvald, en route for Canada, while some forty embarked at Stromness last Sunday. We understand that this is but the beginning of a still greater exodus of our youth who are to push their fortunes in Overseas Dominions.

1921 April 13 Orkney Herald

THE ECLIPSE – OBSERVATION AT KIRKWALL. – The much talked about annular eclipse of the sun was observed in Orkney on Friday under the most favourable weather conditions. The sun rose through a thin, filmy haze that hung about the horizon, and, emerging into a sky of brilliant blue, undimmed by any atmospheric obscuration, flooded land and sea with a glorious radiancy. In Kirkwall much interest was taken in the expected phenomenon. As the time drew near for the dark body of the moon to make its appearance on the sun’s edge, groups of people could be seen at vantage places gazing heavenwards through smoked or coloured glasses, and busy housewives with broom or duster in hand, spared a moment or two from things terrestrial to look at things celestial.

At 8 30 a.m. a minute black spot appeared on the edge of the sun, which denoted that the eclipse had commenced. Then gradually the shadow crept onwards. About the middle of the phase the sun looked like a crescent moon, with one of the ends more elongated than the other. Just as the clock of St Magnus cathedral struck the hour of ten, the circle closed and the ring phase was complete. This lasted for about 112 seconds. During the progress of the eclipse the sun’s rays became fainter, a distinctly colder feeling pervaded the atmosphere; and when the annularity occurred, there was a twilight darkness inside houses, and outside the sun cast shadows across the street resembling those seen on moonlight nights. A strange hush seemed to fall over nature. At Berstane plantation, the home of myriads of birds, whose “vocal voices. most vociferous” are heard at all hours during the day, there was for a few moments the silence of night-time. At the farm-house adjacent the cock’s shrill clarion sounded piercingly, and then again all was still. When the eclipse was at its height the planet Venus was easily discernible with the naked eye. Around the sun there was a large halo, or, as it is called here, a “broch,” and, stretching out in a horizontal line from north and south of this circle, were mock suns. (These latter phenomena lasted for some hours after the eclipse was over.) For another hour the shadow could be observed as it passed across the sun, and the final contact occurred a few minutes after 11 a.m.

1921 April 27 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – We understand the trustees of the late General Sir F. W. T. Burroughs, K.C.B., of Rousay, are about to offer the farms on the estate for sale. The present tenants will get the first chance to purchase their holdings. The fishing, which is excellent, and the shooting rights with the moors will be for sale along with Trumland House and grounds.

1921 May 11 Orkney Herald


to be held in the Parish Church, Rousay, on Monday the
23rd day of May 1921, at 11 a.m., for the consideration of: –
1. Repairs on Church.
2. Repairs on Manse.
3. Any other competent business.
Of which meeting public intimation is hereby made.
Minister of Rousay and Egilshay.

1921 May 18 Orkney Herald

FIREMASTER INKSTER RESIGNS – TWENTY-FIVE YEARS’ SERVICE. – Mr William Inkster, the Chief of the Aberdeen Fire Brigade, and a native of Rousay, Orkney, on Tuesday sent to Mr Gordon, Town Clerk, a letter tendering his resignation of the post of Firemaster, which he has filled with zeal and marked ability for a quarter of a century. It is understood that Mr Inkster has taken this step on the advice of his doctor, on account of physical debility, which naturally comes with advancing years, but which has been aggravated is his case by the arduous nature of his duties at fires at all hours, and in all weathers. Mr Inkster, who is 64 years of age, was appointed from the London Fire Brigade to be chief of the Aberdeen Fire Brigade in 1896. The resignation was submitted to Aberdeen Town Council on Monday, but is not likely to take effect for some time, probably that the end of July, as the city cannot be without a head for its Fire Brigade, and there is no one to act in Mr Inkster’s place meantime owing to the illness of Mr Pollock, his deputy, who is in the Royal Infirmary recovering from a serious operation.

1921 May 25 Orkney Herald

FIREMASTER INKSTER’S RESIGNATION. – Firemaster Inkster’s letter of resignation was read at a meeting of the Aberdeen Town Council on Monday last week…..The letter was in the following terms: – “I beg to inform you that on account of the state of my health, and on the advice of my medical adviser, I have resolved to tender my resignation as Firemaster of the city. It is with no little regret, and with considerable feeling of reluctance, that I feel compelled to take this step, but now being in my 64th year, and having met with several accidents during the course of my professional connection with the Corporation, I find that my health is now such as to prevent me from being able to discharge the duties of the office in the manner in which I feel they ought to be carried out. I was appointed Flremaster in July, 1896, at the time when the present Fire Station was but in contemplation, so that I have now completed nearly 25 years’ service in the Corporation. In these circumstances I venture respectfully to express the hope that the Council will be pleased to grant me such a retiring allowance as they may consider to be proper, and that they will keep in view the strenuous and dangerous character of the work of my occupation and my long and responsible service to the city. I may add that if agreeable to the Corporation I should desire to be relieved of my duties at as early a date as will suit the arrangements of the Department.” The letter was remitted to the Watching, Lighting and Fires Committee for a report as to the proposals for filling the vacancy.

1921 June 8 Orkney Herald

ECCLESIASTICAL. – The afternoon service in Paterson U.F. Church, Kirkwall, on Sunday, was taken by the Rev. A. I. Pirie, the venerable minister-emeritus of Rousay U.F. Church. Before entering the ministry of the U.P. Church (now the U.F.) Mr Pirie was for a lengthy period pastor of the Congregational Church, Kirkwall, and on many occasions during these years he occupied the pulpit of Paterson Church. He took as the subject of his discourse on Sunday “The White Hairs of Christ,” basing his remarks on these words from Rev. i. 14, ” His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow.” At the outset of his sermon, Mr Pirie took occasion to recall that it was 50 years since he had first spoken from that pulpit, and referred to the changes that had taken place during that time. He knew the occupants of each pew in those days, and missed the old familiar faces from their accustomed places. He had to admit that these recollections and reflections had a somewhat saddening effect upon him. But in one aspect there was matter for rejoicing – although men may come and men may go, the Church of God endured forever. He counselled the members to do the utmost to strengthen the hands of their young minister and assist him in all his efforts to carry on the work of the Master. Mr Pirie preached a powerful and impressive sermon, which was listened to with the closest attention. It may be literally said of this grand old minister that his eye is not dim neither is his natural force abated. Mr Pirie is, we understand, going for a short period to Rousay to minister to his old flock, who are presently without a settled pastor.

1921 June 15 Orkney Herald

CENSUS DAY – SUNDAY FIRST. – Early in April all preparations had been made for the taking of the census on April 24th. The postponement owing to industrial troubles of Census Day until June 19 necessarily held up all these arrangements, but on Monday last enumerators commenced the task of distributing their schedules to householders, and will be busy all this week. Their task has to be finished by Saturday first, in order to allow the filling up of the papers on the night of Sunday-Monday June 19-20. On the following Tuesday the enumerators have to report the collection of the schedules.

[The 1921 Census should have been taken on 24 April, but was delayed by nearly two months in the wake of the Black Friday strike by railwaymen, coal miners and transport workers. This is the one and only time that the census date was changed.]

1921 June 22 Orkney Herald

SOMETHING NEW IN MOTOR CARS. – There arrived at Kirkwall on Saturday for Mr W. R. Tullock, motor and cycle agent, a Ford saloon car with all the latest improvements, and which is on view at the Ayre Garage. The car has detachable rims, is a self-starter, has electric lights, and is luxuriously upholstered in best quality rexine [artificial leathercloth]. The petrol tank is situated under the driver’s seat. The windows, which run the whole length of the car, open and close from the inside. We understand that the price paid for the car was £425 ex-Manchester.

1921 June 29 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – SERVICE OF PRAISE. – The choir of Trumland U.F. Church, with the assistance of a few friends, held a service there on Sabbath afternoon, June 19th. The Rev. A. I. Pirie, minister-emeritus of the church, who is on a visit to the island, presided; Mr George Gibson, Avelshay, was conductor; Miss [Lydia] Baikie, Sourin Schoolhouse, was organist; and the choir carried through, in an efficient manner, the different items in the service of praise. Fortunately the weather was favourable, and a record attendance came together by road, and by boat from Egilshay and Veira, to show their appreciation of this form of divine worship; and they gave an excellent contribution to the funds of the church.

1921 July 6 Orkney Herald


On Sunday last, a very large gathering of people convened at the Parish Church of Rousay for the unveiling of the war memorial. The War Committee, knowing that the young men whose names are on the memorial scroll had grown up around Mr [Alexander Irvine] Pirie during his long ministry in the islands, and taking advantage of his visitation to Rousay, asked him and Mrs Pirie to perform the unveiling. The Kirkwall Pipe Band, under Conductor [Archie] Forsyth, were present. The service commenced in the Parish Church. The Rev. D. S. Brown and Mr Shepherd read the Scripture lessons, Mr Pirie led in prayer, and Rev. John Williamson preached, taking as his text Galatians vi. 14. [‘But God forbid that I should glory, save in the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world’]. The Dead March in “Saul” was played on the organ by Miss [Janet] Longbotham at the close of the church service. The large congregation was marshalled on the road at the church door, with the ex-service men in front, and, under the leadership of the Pipe Band, marched to the memorial near to the Trumland pier. The bereaved and relatives were accommodated inside the enclosure along with the band and the ex-service men. The proceedings commenced with the singing of the 100th Psalm, led by Mr Hugh Gibson, precentor of the Parish Church. Mr Williamson read the Scripture lesson from Rev. vii., Mr Pirie read the names of the fallen inscribed on the memorial, and Mrs Pirie unveiled the memorial. Mr Brown led in the prayer of dedication.

Mr Pirie, in his address, said that he stood amongst them on that solemn occasion with very mixed feelings. He was thankful that he was able to be with them, and had been invited by the Committee to take part in that service. He felt deep regret that so many of their heroic young boys had fallen in the war, and he felt much sympathy with the bereaved parents and relatives. Before the war they were living calm, peaceful lives never thinking of what was in front of them. Some men of vision, like Lord Roberts and the late Sir Frederick Traill Burroughs, kept telling them of the danger that was threatening; but they continued to live in peace, thinking no evil, until the storm cloud burst upon them. Mr Pirie then proceeded to speak of the intentions of Germany, of the remarkable unity of all classes in the British Empire, the great heroism of the men who went forth to meet the enemy, and the courage and determination of the men and women who remained at home. Proceeding to speak of the victory gained, the preservation of our liberty, and our nationhood, he touched upon the great cost of lives and wealth and the long struggle during the war, and which would continue still for many years in repairing the awful destruction made by the war. He hoped the abiding memorial to these great and costly sacrifices would be the building in concord and brotherly good-will of a better country for all to Iive in. He closed by expressing his deep sympathy with the men who had come back from the war maimed and broken in body and mind and his sincere sympathy with the relatives of those boys who would never return.

The Pipe Band then played “The Flowers of the Forest,” [the moving ancient Scottish folk tune commemorating the defeat of the Scottish army of James IV at the Battle of Flodden in September 1513], and the bugler sounded the “Last Post.” [In military tradition, the Last Post is the bugle call that signifies the end of the day’s activities – and also sounded at military funerals to indicate that the soldier has gone to his final rest.]  The singing of the National Anthem closed one of the largest and most impressive services Rousay had ever witnessed.

The Memorial stands in a clump of trees near the Trumland Pier. It is a Celtic cross of granite, artistically cut and polished, rising some twenty feet from its pedestal. The cross is in Aberdeen granite, but the scroll on which the names are inscribed is of Peterhead granite, inserted at the foot of the cross. The ground around has been neatly surrounded with a stone wall and iron railing, with concrete steps and walk around the Memorial. We understand the plantation of trees and ground within the enclosing wall have been gifted for the purpose by the Rousay Estate Trustees…..

[The newspaper report then went on the record the names of the men inscribed on the memorial, their ages when they fell, and where they lived in Rousay, Egilsay and Wyre. The information has since been corrected and updated]: –

Capt.  A. GRAHAM SPARK, M.C. Manse, 9th K.O.Y.L.I., 9th April 1917, age 28.
Pte. JAMES BEWS Maeness, Egilshay, 2nd Seaforths, 6th May 1917, age 20.
Pte. GEORGE CRAIGIE Triblo, 74th Battalion, Machine Gun Corps,
21st September 1918, age 19.
Pte. JOHN CRAIGIE Bu, Viera, 1/4th Seaforths, between 23rd and 24th
April 1917, age 30.
Pte. JOHN CRAIGIE Ploverhall, 14th (Labour) Cameronians, 1st May 1917, age 27.
Pte. DAVID FLAWS Hammerfield, 2nd Seaforths, 11th April 1917, age 20.
L/Cpl. ALFRED GIBSON Langskaill, 7th Seaforths, 12th October 1916, age 40.
Pte. ALFRED G. GIBSON Avelshay, 130th Field Company, R.E.,
16th February 1916, age 21.
Pte. HUGH GIBSON Oldman, 7th Seaforths, 2nd May 1918, age 18.
Pte. JOHN DAVID GRIEVE Falldown, 1/4th Seaforths, 20th November 1917, age 28.
L/Cpl. GEORGE INKSTER, D.C.M. Knapper, Princess Patricia’s C.L.I., C.E.F.,
17th July 1916, age 35.
Pte. JOHN A.M. INKSTER Essaquoy, 4th (Reserve) Seaforths, 1st July 1918, age 18.
Pte. JOHN LOGIE Grindlesbreck, 1/6th Gordons, 22nd November 1916, age 36.
Engr. ISAAC MARWICK Essaquoy, M.M., S.S. Southford,
25th February 1916, age 59.
Pte. JOHN H. MARWICK Quoys, 58th Battalion, Machine Gun Corps,
7th September 1918, age 21.
Pte. DAVID MUNRO Old School, 15th H.L.I., 17th March 1916, age 28.
Pte. HARRY REID Brough, 3rd Seaforths, 14th May 1917, age 23.
Pte. EDWARD SEATTER Banks, 8th/10th Gordons, 21st April 1917, age 19.


EGILSHAY – WAR MEMORIAL UNVEILED. – On Friday of last week a large gathering of the inhabitants of the island met in the churchyard of the old St Magnus Church for the purpose of unveiling the war memorial erected to the memory of Private James Bews, of Maeness, who laid down his life in the great war. The War Committee invited the Rev. A. Irvine Pirie, who had been their minister for over thirty years, and was, with Mrs Pirie, visiting Rousay, to conduct the unveiling service. The service began by singing the 100th Psalm. Mr Shepherd, the missionary in Egilshay, read the Scripture lesson from the 7th chapter of Revelation. Mrs [Robina] Bews, the mother of the boy whose name is engraved on the obelisk, unveiled the memorial. Mr Pirie, in his address, said he had great satisfaction in being with them on that solemn occasion. He proceeded to speak of the wonderful heroism and cheerfulness of the young men who went forth to the war. These lads were quiet, peaceful lads, with no idea of fighting; but when the call came they went away in their tens of thousands to a life of hardship and danger, and made in many cases the supreme sacrifice that we might possess liberty and their homes and country might be saved. This monument was not necessary to help them to remember the young lad who had gone out from them and given his all. He had grown up amongst them and was well known to them all, but generations would arise who did not know him, and this stone would tell them of a brave and devoted boy who had died for his country, and would help to inspire the coming generations to patriotism and deeds of bravery and self-sacrifice. Mr Shepherd led in the prayer of dedication, and the service was closed with the singing of the National Anthem. The memorial is a very neat granite obelisk, polished on the four sides, standing on a granite and concrete pedestal, the whole height being over 12 feet.

1921 July 27 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY. – Dr Barty King and party arrived by s.s. Countess of Bantry on Saturday for the shooting season, and have taken up residence at Trumland House. This is their second season of the Rousay shootings.

1921 August 31 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PICNIC. – The annual picnic of Sourin School was held on Friday, Aug. 26th, in a field kindly granted by Mr Seatter, Banks. The morning was wet and disagreeable, but as mid-day approached the sky cleared and the races and sports were carried through under favourable weather conditions. The children were treated to milk and buns on arrival at the school and then they betook themselves to the field, where a long programme of races was gone through. A large number of parents and friends arrived on the field in the course of the afternoon, all being greatly interested in each item. After the races were finished all returned to the school, where the picnic committee had ready tea and a bountiful supply of good things which were thoroughly enjoyed by all. The prize-list was then read out by Rev. J. Williamson, minister of the parish, while Mrs D. S. Brown handed out the prizes to the successful competitors. Votes of thanks were given to Mrs Brown and Mr Williamson for giving out the prizes; to Mr Gibson, Avelshay, for superintending and starting the races on the field; to the committee of ladies and gentlemen who looked after the provisions and did all they could to satisfy the inner man at tea-time; and last of all, to Miss Baikie, teacher, who had carried through the picnic so successfully. A most enjoyable dance in the schoolroom was kept up by both young and old for a few hours, bringing to an end a most successful picnic and an excellent afternoon’s outing…..

1921 September 7 Orkney Herald

INVERNESS TRAWLER ASHORE AT THIEVES HOLM. – While proceeding to sea early on Monday morning, the steam trawler Icefloe, of Inverness, which had been in Kirkwall for the weekend, stranded on the southern point of Thieves Holm. An attempt was made to refloat her at high water on Monday, but without success.

WIND-BOUND SCHOONER. – The Danish three-masted schooner Eva (Rasmussen, master), from Allborg to Iceland with cement, put into Kirkwall Bay on Wednesday, windbound. She sailed again on Friday.

THE MOTOR SCOOTER. – The County of Orkney is not far behind in modern methods of transit, but until a week ago we had not had the pleasure of seeing the most modern form of motor conveyance. However, a lady from the south has now arrived with the “scooter,” and we are again up to-date.

1921 September 14 Orkney Herald

THE WRECKED TRAWLER ON THIEVES HOLM. – The Inverness trawler Icefloe, which went ashore on Thieves Holm on Monday week, is still hard and fast. During last week the crew were busy taking the coal out of her bunkers, so as to lighten the vessel. A number of boxes of fish and a large quantity of skate were also landed at Kirkwall. The bulk of her catch, however, was shipped aboard a drifter, which had come to her assistance, and despatched to the southern markets. By the end of the week the tides ought to be suitable for getting her off, but as she lies high up on the beach, having gone on at the top of high water, it will be difficult to get her shifted. So far as can be ascertained, she has received no damage, as she is lying on a ledge of flat rocks. We understand that a powerful trawler is coming north to try and pull her off at the end of the week.

1921 September 21 Orkney Herald

REFLOATED. – The trawler Icefloe, which had been ashore on Thieves Holm during the last fortnight, was successfully refloated on Thursday evening. She was assisted off by the trawler Pride, of Buckie, and taken to Kirkwall The vessel has sustained very little damage, and is making no water. Her bunker coals were put on board on Friday, and she left for the south the same day.

VEIRA – LANTERN LECTURE. – The Rousay U.F. Women’s Foreign Mission Committee held a lantern lecture on “The Growth of the Church in China,” in Veira School, on Tuesday, Sept. 13th. Mrs D. S. Brown, convener of the committee, worked the lantern, and Mr Brown delivered the address. The school was well filled with an appreciative audience, who helped in every way, and especially by contributing liberally to the scheme, to make the event a success. The children also did their share by singing mission hymns in a pleasing way, which showed marked improvement in alto, and John Johnston recited “The Silver Plate.” Eleven of them were also at this meeting presented with certificates of proficiency in catechism, Sabbath School section, from the U.F. Church of Scotland. The meeting was much enjoyed, and the weather was favourable for crossing the sound. As the result of this and of other efforts made during the year, the Women’s Foreign Mission Committee of this church will be able to forward £10 4s to the scheme, which is a threefold improvement upon the work of last year.

1921 September 28 Orkney Herald

RARE FISH. –  Two Kirkwall gentlemen who go sea-fishing for a hobby had an interesting catch in Inganess Bay last Wednesday afternoon. In one of their lobster creels they found a small fish of the “flounder” family which neither of them had seen before. The body was of a reddish brown, mottled, and spotted with very dark brown or black. The fish was taken in to Kirkwall, where it was identified as being a Miller’s Top-Knot. This is a fish rarely if ever, met with in northern waters, but, according to “Yarrell’s History of British Fishes,” it is not uncommon in the West of England. It appears to keep among rocks, where it is not readily distinguished, on account of the similarity in its colour to the seaweed. Yarrell says this flat flab does not attain great size, and the largest seen by him did not exceed seven or eight inches. The fish caught on Wednesday, however, measures 9½ inches by 5¼ inches. It would be interesting to know whether other fishermen have come across this species in our waters.

1921 October 5 Orkney Herald

KIRKWALL LIGHTING. – Rumour has it that the Town Council of Kirkwall is considering the feasibility of lighting Kirkwall by electricity, and that they are negotiating for the purchase of a splendidly equipped power station in the county.

VISIT OF H.M. SHIPS TO SCAPA FLOW. – The battle cruisers Hood and Repulse, the seaplane carrier Argus, and the destroyer Voyager arrived at Scapa Flow on Monday night. They leave for Invergordon on Friday, but are expected to return to Scapa on Monday. The Atlantic Fleet is, we are informed, due at Scapa on Oct. 17, where the Fleet regatta is to take place.

1921 November 2 Orkney Herald

A KIRKWALL-BUILT CHARABANC. – Mr W. Garrioch, coach-builder, Kirkwall, has just completed a fine little charabanc for Mr A. T. Croy, motor hirer, Junction Road, Kirkwall. Built on a Ford ton-truck chassis, and having Dunlop pneumatic tyres, the charabanc will seat twelve persons. A Cape-cart hood, with double extension, side curtains, and Beatonson wind-screen is fitted. The trimming, or upholstery, is in tanned brown rexine over Marshall’s patent spring seats. Painted a Buccleuch grey, with black valance and mudguards, and with nickel-plated fittings on the hood, the charabanc looks a very smart vehicle indeed, and we have no doubt it will be in great demand neat season.

1921 November 9 Orkney Herald

REMEMBRANCE DAY. – Friday first is the anniversary of Armistice Day, now known as Remembrance Day. It is recommended that two minutes‘ silence be observed throughout the country at 11 a.m. on that day. It will be seen from handbills that poppies will be sold that day throughout the burgh for the benefit of ex-Service men and their dependants.

1921 November 30 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – HARVEST SERVICE. – Rousay U.F. Church held its annual harvest thanksgiving service on the evening of 17th November in Sourin School. The weather was favourable, and there was a good attendance. Rev. J. Williamson, E.C., delivered an appropriate address, and the soloists were Rev. D. S. Brown, M.A., and Miss Annie Jane Harrold, Springfield, with Miss Isabella Grieve, Whitehall, as organist.

1921 December 21 Orkney Herald



A heavy gale of westerly wind broke out early on Friday morning, which, on Saturday, culminated in one of the most violent storms experienced in Orkney for many years, and which was accompanied by a very high tide. Every parish and island has its tale of damage done to buildings, farm stacks, and the smashing of boats in the nousts. Happily no serious accident to life or limb is reported.

At Kirkwall the full force of the gale was experienced. and about mid-day on Saturday so high was the tide that the sea made clean breaches over the pier, and for a time the Ayre Road and Junction Road were impassable. On the west side of Kirkwall Pier, between the Orcadia’s sheds and the cross berths, the sea has apparently undermined the facing wall of the pier, for the pavement there shows an opening on the surface, A mooring ring on the east side of the pier, as well as the top of the flag-staff and vane at the Harbour Office, were carried away.

The three jetties at Carness, belonging to the old herring-curing station there, and afterwards used by the Admiralty, have almost entirely disappeared, and the wreckage therefrom strewn over the beach and in some cases washed into the fields bordering on the seashore. The wall of one of the parks of Greenfield, partly destroyed in the gale of November last year, has been further levelled, and the lower part of the field converted into a saltwater loch. The road leading to Kirkwall has also suffered. Parts of the protecting stone facing have been breached or demolished, and at one or two points the road itself has been bitten into by the sea. The part of the road protected by the second seawall has been almost filled up with heaps of seaweed, rising in some cases above the wall itself, which will prove an obstacle to traffic until cleared away. At the farm of Berstane stacks in the stackyard were blown down, both hay and crop, and some of it is lying along the hedges. Stacks were blown down at several other farms in St Ola, while at Tofts the roof of the byre was severely damaged.

With the exception of a bus from Evie and another from Stromness there was no communication by road with Kirkwall on Saturday. The steamer St Rognvald with a large number of passengers, including many students coming home for their Christmas vacation, arrived at Kirkwall Bay on Saturday at 2 a.m., where she lay at anchor for 30 hours, coming to the pier at 10 a.m. on Sunday.

The s.s. Amelia, which was on her passage north from Leith, and had some student passengers on board took refuge near Rattary Head until the storm subsided, arriving at Kirkwall early on Monday morning where she still remains. The s.s. St Rognvald which was due to arrive at Kirkwall this (Tuesday) morning still remains at Lerwick. On Friday and Saturday there was no south mails, the s.s. Earl of Zetland being unable to face the sea in the Pentland Firth. The s.s. Orcadia did not attempt the passage to the North Isles on Saturday, nor did the s.s. Iona arrive from Shapinsay. On Sunday, however, the Orcadia made the passage, returning as usual on Monday.

A number of telegraph poles were blown down. One man, while driving in a gig from Tankerness to Kirkwall on Saturday morning had a narrow escape, a telegraph pole in its fall just grazing his machine. Telegraphic communication was temporarily interrupted, and messages were received very irregularly at Kirkwall Post Office during the day, and the Post Office staff was kept busy on Sunday working of arrears.

Details to hand from outlying parishes and islands give graphic accounts of the havoc wrought when the storm was at its height. In Sandwick, for instance, at the farm of Skaill the tide was so high that it undermined the barn, situated on the links, and about 12 feet of the wall collapsed. The stockyard was inundated, and considerable damage was done to the crop. The meal mill also suffered damage. In Birsay, at the farm of Howan, part of the roof of the stable was blown away, while at Barnhouse, Stenness, the steading received damage.

The North Isles also suffered severely. In Papa Westray part of the roof of a new byre at Holland was carried away, while numerous farms on the west side of the island had a trying time. In Westray part of a roof was damaged at Gill Pier, and the sea at the West Side was the worst experienced in living memory, great rollers breaking on the links, smashing boats in the nousts far above the usual high-water mark. Stronsay experienced an exceptionally high tide, and great quantities of water were blown over the retaining wall in front of the roadway at Whitehall Village. The wall there was damaged and several houses were flooded. Up in the island some stacks were blown over and roofs damaged. A boat was sunk at Rousay, while a large boat at Egilshay, the Warrior, was smashed.

After a wild night, the storm gradually subsided at the approach of daylight on Sunday morning, and in the evening there was almost a perfect calm. The mail boat St Ola, which had been at Aberdeen undergoing her annual overhaul, left that port at 11 a.m. on Sunday, and arrived at Scapa at 2 a.m. on Monday, having called along Wick, taking on board a portion of the accumulated mail. Thanks to the energy of Captain Swanson and his crew, they were able to resume the ordinary daily service at the usual hour on Monday, a great convenience for the Christmas mails leaving Orkney.

TRYING EXPERIENCE OF GRIMSBY TRAWLER. – The G.Y. trawler Chikara encountered the full force of the gale whilst fishing off the Noup Head of Westray. She left Kirkwall early in the week for the fishing grounds after having some repairs done to her boiler. She arrived back again on Sunday in a battered condition. She had lost her trawl, her winch was broken, and the deck burst. The skipper stated that on Saturday night he had given up hope of ever making the land again as the vessel was lying helpless and partially flooded. He put up distress signals for assistance, but no vessel hove in sight. After a terrible struggle he manoeuvred the vessel into smoother waters, and arrived safely at Kirkwall. The crew, having had no sleep for 48 hours, were dead beat. On arrival, the skipper ordered them to go below as soon as the vessel was moored. On Monday there were fifteen trawlers lying at Kirkwall pier, some of which came in the same day. About a dozen trawlers were in on Saturday and Sunday. Several of them proceeded to sea again on Sunday.

In Print

Newsprint – 1920

1920 January 7 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – SCHOOL CONCERT. – The children of Wasbister Public School held a concert on Christmas night. In spite of the snowfall there was a good attendance, over which Rev. D. H. Brown, M.A., presided. Santa Claus was present, who distributed gifts from the Christmas-tree to the children, and tea with refreshments was provided by a committee of ladies. The children had most of the programme to themselves, and under the direction of their teacher, Miss Anna May Cooper, acquitted themselves with credit. They acted the children’s play, “Cinderella,” and made it, with its songs, dances, fairies and droll love making, a thing of beauty. Mrs Sharp, as accompanist, helped especially to make the meeting successful, and was well supported by the violinists, Messrs Craigie and Clouston, and by Mr Hugh Sinclair as soloist. At the close of the meeting Mr Brown expressed the hope that the educational authorities would soon – among other pressing claims – provide all schools with a small American organ, which would give both secular and sacred music a chance at the right time and in the right place. It would also help rural folks to add to the sum of their interests, and to fight successfully with monotony and the long winter darkness.

COLLECTION FOR SHIPWRECKED FISHERMEN AND MARINERS’ SOCIETY. – With reference to the recent collection made in Rousay, Egilshay and Veira on behalf of the above society, the local secretary has received the following acknowledgment from the head office in London: – “18th Dec. 1919 – Dear Sir, – Whilst enclosing formal receipt, I write to express to you, and to all concerned, my committee’s special thanks for the very successful collections carried out recently, which were as follows: – Frotoft and Brinian district, £4 5s; Sourin, £2 14s 6d; Wasbister, £1 12s; Egilshay, £1 13s 3d; Veira, £1 3s 6d – total, £11 8s 3d. We shall be glad if you will make our gratitude known to the public. – I remain, dear sir, yours faithfully, Gerald E. Maude, secy.”

1920 January 14 Orkney Herald

We understand that Dr W. L Paterson, who is practicing at present in Rousay, has purchased the house on Victoria Street, Kirkwall, belonging to Dr R. P. Heddle, and is to commence practice in Kirkwall and vicinity this week. Dr Paterson is a son of John Paterson, M.D., a well-known medical man in Glasgow, and saw three years’ active service is France in the war in the Royal Army Medical Corps, when he was awarded the Military Cross for bravery and devotion to duty.

ROUSAY – ENTERTAINMENT BY SCHOOL CHILDREN. – Miss [Mary Ann] Sinclair, teacher, Frotoft School, with her willing helpers, reached a good level, and scored a splendid success with the social and entertainment held and given last Friday evening in the schoolroom. Though snow was plentiful on hill, road, and in valley, there was a large turnout of children, parents and friends, many coming a long distance. Frotoft School has earned a good reputation in the parish for big endeavours in the way of entertainment, and the children maintained their reputation, and throughout the evening went through their performance with flying colours. Within the schoolroom, suitable scenery, colour, variety, and cheer were in evidence. During the performance and entertainment the children were dressed in costumes and adornments suitable to nation, song, drama, and even recitations. The continual change and variety revealed in arrangement and active, artistic mind; the mind of the audience was captivated, interested, appreciative. The whole entertainment revealed the careful, up-to-date work of Miss Sinclair and her assistants. In articulation, exactness, acting, manners, the children, who carried through the whole performance like figures and parts of a drama, were all that could be desired. They did their work splendidly. The Rev. J. Deas Logie, parish minister, who presided as chairman, made no set speech, but was racy, and in remark and story full of wit and humour. Before and after each item presented, he picked out and emphasised the varied features of each part presented. Mr Deas Logie called for votes of thanks for Miss Sinclair, the committee, the children, and for Mrs Harrold, who presided at the piano. Mr James Gibson, Hullion, in good form, referred to the excellent chairmanship of the minister, and called for a hearty cheer. All the votes of thanks were cordially given. The following programme was carried through: –

Prologue, Minna Reid; song, “The Meeting of the Waters,” scholars; Scandinavian dance, Kathleen Gibson and Maggie Reid; recitation, “The Schoolboy’s Lament,” James Craigie; song and chorus, “Banks o’ Loch Lomond,” Jessie Mainland and scholars; recitation, “Jack and Jill,” infants; song, “Down Rathmin Lane,” scholars; debate, “To Smoke or Not to Smoke,” boys; recitation, “At the Party,” Anna Reid; song, “Happy Little Japs,” four girls; recitation, “When Pa Begins to Shave,” James Smith; song, “The Wonderful Inn,” scholars; recitation, “Occupations,” six girls; song, “The Scottish Bluebells,” scholars; military drill; sketch, “The New Bonnet,” four girls; interval, tea; duet, “l’se gwine down to Dixie.” James and John Craigie; play, “Dick Whittington”; closing speech, Billy Gibson.

EGILSHAY – WELCOME HOME TO EX-SERVICE MEN. – The first day of the year was the day chosen by Egilshay on which to honour local men who had rendered service in the war, by giving them a public welcome home. Of the twelve men of this island who went forth to do their part in upholding the cause of right and justice, only one was called upon to make the supreme sacrifice, and special feelings of thankfulness for so many spared, and of sympathy with the bereaved family were called up by this event. The arrangements were in the hands of a capable committee, and everything was done to ensure the success of the entertainment. Of the fifteen invitations issued, to service men and their wives, eleven were accepted. Mr Shepherd, U.F. Manse, occupied the chair, and Mrs Shepherd acted as hostess. At 5.30 p.m. the large company who had gathered in the school room sat down to tea, service men and their wives having a special table, tastefully decorated with flowers and holly, and laden with seasonable dainties. After tea, Mr Shepherd made a speech of welcome to the men, giving a short historical account of the events in Germany leading up to the Great War, and expressing the gratitude of all to those who had rendered so great service to mankind in helping to quell the spirit of militarism and selfish aggrandisement which had prompted its inception. Thereafter a morocco leather pocket-book, with initials and the following inscription: – “From Egilshay, in recognition of service rendered in the Great War, 1914-1919,” was handed to each man by Mrs Shepherd. Mr T. Mainland replied on behalf of the men, thanking Mr Shepherd for his kind speech of welcome and the people of Egilshay for their gifts and entertainment. A short musical programme was then rendered, four-part songs being sung by a choir, and solos by Mrs Shepherd, Mr W. Mainland, Miss Bews, and Miss Mainland; and a duet by Mr E. Seator and Mr H. Bews. As a compliment to the soldiers, nearly all the songs chosen were of war subjects. After votes of thanks to the chairman, Mr Shepherd, the committee, and the singers, the room was prepared for dancing. This part of the entertainment was much enjoyed by the younger members of the company, and kept up very heartily till the early hours of the morning. It was found that the plentiful supply of eatables procured by the funds collected for the purpose, and also by extra gifts of home-baked dainties from the ladies of the island, were not nearly exhausted at this entertainment. The remainder was therefore handed over to the guests of the evening – the Service-men – to use as they wished. An entertainment of a similar kind was given by them on the following evening, older people and children being specially Invited. Both entertainments were most successful, and reflected great credit on the committee in charge of all the arrangements.

1920 January 28 Orkney Herald

THE SCARLET FEVER EPIDEMIC. –  A special meeting of Kirkwall Town Council was held last Thursday for the purpose of considering the inadequate hospital accommodation consequent upon the scarlet fever epidemic. It was reported that as a temporary expedient the Scapa Seaplane Station had been secured as a hospital. The matter of infection was also gone into, when it was decided not to let the Town Hall for dances after Saturday, 24th inst. The epidemic, which has been prevalent in Kirkwall for some time, appears to be spreading to the outlying districts, outbreaks having occurred in St Ola. Scapa School had to be closed on Monday, 19th inst., for a fortnight through the non-attendance of the scholars. The school will be re-opened on Monday, 2nd February.

1920 February 11 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – WAR MEMORIAL. – The people in Rousay have not been behind their co-inhabitants in the parishes of Orkney in consideration of a memorial to the memory of the young men who died in active service during the late war. The parish of Rousay and Egilshay had a considerable quota of fallen, and a memorial with suitable inscription of the names of the lads engraved is to take the form of a monument. The design of the monument shows at summit a Celtic cross raised on a base of four steps with a scroll on which will be inscribed the names of the fallen soldiers. At a public meeting some months ago, a large representative committee was appointed. Mr John Logie, Trumland House, was appointed convener, while Mr James G. Craigie, merchant, Wasbister, was appointed secretary and treasurer. Egilshay islanders having decided to erect a memorial in memory of the lad belonging to that island who died in active service, Rousay and Veira were divided into four districts for the purpose of collecting contributions to the memorial fund. The result of the collection was: – Frotoft and Brinian, £48 16s 2d; Manse, including Avelshay to Sourin, £102 7s; Wasbister, £36 14s; Veira, £I2 10s; from outside sources, about £40 –  in all, £240 – a very substantial contribution. At a public meeting held recently, and which was largely attended, Mr John Logie, chairman, on the report of the result of the collection and appeal, which was read by Mr James G. Craigie, treasurer, the Rev. J. Deas Logie, parish minister, in speaking to the report, congratulated the Memorial Committee on the results attending their effort, and also the parishioners on their liberal response to the Memorial Fund. Mr Craigie was also thanked for his work as secretary and treasurer. On the motion of the chairman, the Rev. J. Deas Logie and the Rev. D. S. Brown were appointed auditors for the purpose of auditing the accounts, &c , in connection with the memorial scheme. The minute of previous meeting bearing out a declaration to erect the monument on ground known as “The Plantings,” the chairman presented a sketch plan of the portion of ground, with three steps leading up to the level, and surrounded by a railing five feet In height. As the sketch plan was in draft and provisional and subject to addition or modification, the Rev. J. Deas Logie moved that, instead of a temporary railing, a wall two and a half feet high be built, and a railing two and a half feet, properly stayed, be inserted in the wall. This alteration would tend towards stability and permanence. Rev. D. S. Brown seconded. With this alteration, the meeting unanimously adopted the plan. The Memorial Committee, on the motion of the minister, were granted authority and full powers to spend the money in the erection of the memorial monument. The hope was expressed that suitable religious services would be held in connection with the unveiling and dedication ceremony. On the suggestion of Mr John Logie, chairman of meeting, who recognised the importance of a devotional spirit in that connection, it was remitted to the Memorial Committee to make all necessary preparations. It was understood that the Parish Council would accept the work of preservation of the monument. A vote of thanks to the chairman for presiding concluded the proceedings.

FEVER EPIDEMIC IN KIRKWALL – OPENING OF AN EMERGENCY HOSPITAL. – For several months past Kirkwall has been suffering from an epidemic of scarlet fever, and so numerous have been the cases that the fever ward of Balfour Hospital has been unable to accommodate all those – mostly young people – who have contracted the malady. Fortunately the type of fever is a mild one, and there have been very few serious cases. Faced with such a disquieting state of things, which is having a deleterious effect on the trade of the town, the Local Authority recognised the desirability of procuring an emergency hospital wherein patients could be put during the period of convalescence and thereby make room in the fever ward of Balfour Hospital for fresh cases. After some negotiations with the Government, the officers’ quarters, which were vacated at Scapa Seaplane Station, were secured. This large erection was found to be eminently suited for the purpose, and work was at once begun to have it transferred into a hospital, with the result that on Saturday last it was ready for occupation, and on Sunday 14 patients were conveyed from Kirkwall to their new quarters at Scapa…..

1920 February 18 Orkney Herald

FISHING. – There was not much improvement in the weather conditions last week, consequently the catches landed at Kirkwall were again on a small scale. On Thursday two boats had between two and three cwt. of halibut. One boat had a trial for hand-line cod, but only got about half-a-dozen. Her non-success is attributed to the fact that from a dozen to twenty trawlers may be seen at one time on the inshore grounds trawling away as if there were no three-mile limit. Up till a week or two ago there were plenty of fish to be got on these grounds. There were a few crans of herrings and mackerel landed by drifters, which fetched from £2 to £4 per cran.

1920 March 10 Orkney Herald

THE WEATHER. – For some weeks back the weather has been very unsettled, with occasional high winds from the south and west. Last Saturday evening was bright and clear, and did not give any forecast of a change on the morrow. Early on Sunday morning, however, the wind veered round to the north and a gale sprang up accompanied with heavy showers of snow. At daybreak the ground was covered with snow, and the cold was intense. The wind, which abated somewhat during the day, was, however, still strong, and snow showers were frequent. Towards evening a keen frost set in, which lasted throughout the night. Some snow fell during Monday forenoon. The weather is still cold but seasonable. A number of fishing trawlers were compelled to take shelter in Kirkwall Bay over the week end.

NEW KIND OF FUEL. – A consignment of the famous compressed peat fuel has been landed ex St Clair at Kirkwall for Mr James F. Shearer, coal merchant. This is the first of its kind landed in Orkney, and should help considerably to reduce the coal bill. We understand it is very suitable for all classes of domestic purposes. It may be used with advantage in a kitchen range after the day’s cooking is over. Perhaps its chief advantage is that it is most suitable for open grates, as it is clean, burns with a clear flame, and produces great heat with a minimum amount of ash.

1920 March 24 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – MEMORIAL SERVICE. – The Rev. J. Deas Logie, in the Parish Church on 8unday, 14th inst., conducted a special memorial service to the memory of the late Mr Hugh Munro [Old School, Sourin], whose services as precentor in the worship of the Parish Church were much appreciated. Mr Munro was becoming a valuable asset in the leadership of the praise when he was laid aside by serious illness. For over a year he bore his illness with fortitude and Christian resignation, knowing that for him life on earth could not be long, and, realising that, he strengthened mind and heart for the time of parting. Mr Munro was a comparatively young man, and throughout the parish much sympathy has been felt for relatives and at his call in the glory of manhood. His remains, which were laid to rest in the Parish Churchyard, close by the sanctuary where he used to lead the praise, were attended to the grave by a large company. In the absence of the parish minister, who was attending church committees in Edinburgh, Rev. D. S. Brown, U.F. minister, conducted the funeral services. In the Parish Church Rev. J. Deas Logie took as his subject Paul’s analysis of the spiritual and natural laws controlling the spiritual body and natural body. He preached a searching sermon. All the other parts of the service were impressive and memorable. Mr Robert Lyon, elder, led the praise with feeling and appropriate spirit.

FARMERS AND THE BEER DUTY. – A constituent having written Mr Cathcart Wason, M.P. [for Orkney and Shetland], in regard to a farmer’s liability for beer duty on the brewing of home-brewed ale and the hardship of having to pay this duty on beer brewed for their farm labourers and harvest hands, Mr Wason brought the matter before the authorities. He has now received the following reply: – “A farmer may brew beer for his own domestic use, and may supply such of his farm labourers as lodge in his house with part of the beer so brewed for consumption to the ordinary course of their domestic board. If, however, he brews beer for other labourers employed on his farm, liability to beer duty on the beer brewed would be incurred, but the license duty would be at the 4-shilling rate.”

1920 March 31 Orkney Herald

SUMMER-TIME AGAIN. – Summer time came into operation at two o’clock on Sunday morning, and will continue until September 27th. Forgetfulness to put up the clock was not general in Kirkwall; but there were at least one or two lapses. For instance, a certain dairyman was an hour late in delivering his milk to householders in the forenoon. Another gentleman from the country arrived at church in the afternoon, just – as he thought – at the commencement of the service. The congregation was singing a hymn. Imagine the aforesaid gentleman’s feelings when, at the close of the hymn, the benediction was pronounced!

1920 April 7 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – CALL TO THE REV. J. DEAS LOGIE. – The congregation of Farr Parish Church, Thurso, has addressed a call to the Rev. J. Deas Logie, minister of Rousay and Egilshay. The call has been accepted. The appointment has been sustained by the Presbytery. Mr Deas Logie, who has been in Orkney over three years, has done some hard work in connection with the vacant parish churches in the North Isles Presbytery, and has interested himself in educational and other public matters. He also takes a keen interest in the Committee and Assembly work of the Church of Scotland. Before coming to Orkney, the Rev. gentleman was a minister in Kirkcaldy, and at Kinglassie, Fifeshire, his native county, and prior to that held assistantships in important congregations in Leith, Falkirk, and Paisley. By the passing of the ministers of Shapinsay and Rousay to the mainland, all the parish churches within the bounds of the North Isles will have undergone a change of minister, by translation to other parishes, within two years except Stronsay, which is vacant by the retirement of Rev. Mr Dempster.

1920 May 19 Orkney Herald

FIREMASTER INKSTER. – The current issue of Municipal Engineering and the Sanitary Record, in one of a series of articles on “Some Municipal Fire Brigade Chiefs,” contains a biographical sketch by Firemaster William Inkster, Aberdeen. The article describes in racy style the varied and adventurous career of Mr Inkster, and congratulates him on being the first officer to introduce motor fire-fighting apparatus to Scotland. Owing to war conditions, it is pointed out that the Aberdeen equipment is not yet up to requirements, but he may be relied upon to see that existing deficiencies are made good at the earliest possible moment. “Mr Inkster,” the sketch concludes, “has had 23 years’ experience as leader, organiser, and commander of men, and his motto, “Discipline, not tyranny,” has served him in good stead, and earned him the high reputation and respect which he so worthily enjoys.” The article is illustrated by a characteristic photograph of Mr Inkster in uniform and wearing his medals.

ROUSAY – PRAISE SERVICE AND PRESENTATION. – The choir of Trumland U.F. Church held a praise service there on Sabbath afternoon, May 9. The minister presided, and Mr George Gibson, J.P., Avelshay, conducted. There was a good attendance, and also a fairly good collection, which was in aid of the scheme for improving the congregational contribution to the Central Fund. The choir carried through a programme of music in a pleasing and efficient way. At the close, the presentation of a purse with Treasury notes was made by Mr John Logie, J.P., in a happily worded speech, to Mrs J. Harrold, Rose Cottage, who for a number of years did much hard and voluntary service as organist, and who is leaving Rousay. Mr Gibson, as conductor, replied suitably on her behalf. This is the second presentation which she has received during the year, the previous one having been made by the choir on the occasion of her marriage. A helpful and interesting meeting was brought to a close by the choir singing the threefold Amen after the benediction.

1920 May 29 The Scotsman

ORKNEY AND SHETLAND. THE ORKNEYS – The highly attractive sporting and residential estate of Rousay is for sale. The Estate comprises the ISLANDS of ROUSAY, VEIRA, and the HOLM OF SCOCKNESS, and extends in all to about 12,000 Acres. The Gross Rental, including the Assessed Rentals of Mansion-House and sporting rights, is about £2200. The annual burdens may be stated at £700. The Island of Rousay is about 18 miles in circumference. It forms one of the best sporting estates in the Orkneys, including excellent grouse and wildfowl shooting, very fine sea trout and brown trout fishing, and good sea fishing. There are also splendid yachting facilities. There is a commodious and well-built Mansion-House, and a beautifully situated Shooting Lodge. The Furnishings in these Houses can be taken over by a purchaser. Applications for further particulars, &c., may be made to the Subscribers. MACKENZIE & KERMACK, W.S., 9 Hill Street, Edinburgh.

1920 June 16 Orkney Herald

AN ENTERPRISING ORCADIAN IN KILMARNOCK. – The property belonging to Mr J. P. Davie, known as Craighead Spinning Mill, Craighead House, grounds, and cottages, situated at Townholm, Kilmarnock, has been sold by Messrs Smith & Wallace, by private treaty, to Mr Alex. A. Marwick, 124 St Vincent Street, Glasgow. We understand that plans for an up-to-date spinning and dying mill are now being prepared, and hopes are entertained that the first section of the work will be completed by August and the other section will be erected so soon as there are prospects of being able to get delivery of the latest spinning and dyeing machinery. The Mr Alex. A. Marwick referred to is the only son of the late Mr and Mrs John Marwick, Midgarth, Rousay, Orkney.

[Alexander Allardice Marwick left Rousay as a young man, and according to Robert Craigie Marwick in his book Rousay Roots, he was a shadowy sort of figure, spending most of his life in Glasgow. The house at Midgarth, which was a small thatched cottage, came into his hands after his sister May died. “The Duke,” as he was nicknamed because of the airs and graces he adopted, had the old house demolished, and a large two-storey one erected in its place. He ran out of funds before all his plans were completed, and the house was never occupied, except for short holiday periods. No one in Rousay seems to have known the source of Alexander’s apparent wealth – nor how he lost it. At one time he owned several farms in Sourin, including Gorehouse, Banks, Hurtiso, and Scockness. A subsequent owner removed the roof of Midgarth to be used elsewhere, and the walls were demolished at about the same time.]

1920 June 23 Orkney Herald

THE WEATHER, which during the last days of May and first week of June had been of a March-like severity, took a seasonable turn a fortnight ago, and Orkney had the unusual experience of a succession of days with 18 hours of cloudless sky and brilliant sunshine. Last Thursday the wind, which had been blowing freshly from the eastward, veered to the south, and the highest June temperature since 1911 was recorded. On Saturday and Sunday the wind increased almost to gale force, with some fog and rain on the latter day, which, however, was too slight to be of much benefit to vegetation, which is beginning to show signs of the long-continued drought. On Monday and Tuesday summer conditions again prevailed.

ROUSAY – TWO SACRAMENTAL SERVICES.  – On Sunday, 13th inst., in the U F. Church of Trumland, the Rev. Alex. Goodfellow, South Ronaldshay, assisted the minister, Rev. J. S. Brown, by preaching and dispensing the Communion. The day was fine and the turn-out of the people was good. In the evening Mr Goodfellow also preached and dispensed the Lord’s Supper in the church at Egilshay to a good congregation.

FOUR MISSIONARY MEETINGS. – Mrs Goodfellow during the past week addressed four different meetings on behalf of the Women’s Foreign Mission. In Sourin Church, on Sabbath evening, the Rev. Mr Brown presided and introduced Mrs Goodfellow, who gave an interesting address on missions, and advocated the great need for the Church to do more; on Tuesday the island of Veira was visited, when Mr and Mrs Goodfellow addressed a meeting in the island; on Wednesday another meeting was held in Wasbister School; and on Thursday as excellent meeting was held in Egilshay. Very good collections were taken up at all the meetings – £3 10s in all.

1920 June 30 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – SCHOOL PICNIC AND PRESENTATION. – The children of Wasbister School held their annual picnic on June 18th in a field at Langskaill. As the weather was sunny, and the picnic committee had made suitable arrangements, a pleasant afternoon was spent by the children and their friends. The children competed in the usual sports, and also some of the grown-ups for special events. Refreshments were served on this field, and also tea in the playground at the close. The prizes were distributed by Mrs Brown, Sourin Manse. Thereafter the young folks of Wasbister called upon Rev. D. S. Brown to present Miss [Anna May] Cooper, school-mistress, in their name, with a handbag and two bronze vases of beautiful design, as a token of the esteem in which she is held by everybody, in appreciation of her readiness to help in all worthy schemes, and especially in those efforts which sought to promote the comfort and welfare of the young men who fought in the Great War. After Miss Cooper had suitably replied the usual dance was held in the school, to the accompaniment of violin, piano, and pipes.

1920 August 18 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY CATTLE SHOW. – The entries for the Rousay Agricultural Society’s show, which was held at Banks, Sourin, on Tuesday last, were again small, but the quality was of a good all-round standard in both the horse and cattle sections. The weather was of a disagreeable nature, being dull and showery; but, despite these untoward circumstances, the show-yard was visited during the day by a large number of people. A special trip with passengers was made from Kirkwall to Sourin by the s.s. Countess of Bantry. The judges were: – Messrs W. Corrigall, Northbigging, Harray; A. Petrie, St Andrews; and J. lnkster, East Heddle, Firth. Annexed is the prize-list: –

CATTLE. – Polled Cows – 1 G. Gibson, Avelshay; 2, 3 and highly commended T. Inkster, Nearhouse; commended John Corsie, Knarston. Shorthorn Cows – 1 Mrs Reid, Wasdale; 2 A. C. Gibson, Bigland; 3 J. Gibson, Faraclett; hc R. Seatter, Banks. Two-year-old Polled Queys – 1 and 3 A. C. Gibson; 2 J. Corsie, hc and c J. Gibson. One-year-old Polled Queys – 1 and 2 A. C. Gibson, 3 T. Inkster, hc J. Craigie, Glebe; c J. Gibson, Faraclett. One-year-old Shorthorn Queys – 1 J. Craigie. One-year-old Polled Stots – 1 and 2 T. Inkster, 3 and hc J. Gibson, c John Craigie. One-year-old Shorthorn Steers – 1 James Inkster, Woo. Calves – 1 A. C. Gibson, 2 G. Gibson, 3 J. Corsie, hc and c J. Gibson.

HORSES. – Draught Geldings – 1 Co-operative Society. Yeld Mares – 1 T. Inkster, 2 R. Seatter, Banks; 3 J. Corsie, hc H. Gibson, Oldman; c G. Gibson. Mares with foal at foot – 1 J. Craigie, 2 J. Corsie, 3 J. Gibson. Foals – 1 J. Craigie, 2 J. Corsie, 3 J. Gibson. Three-year old Geldings – 1 D. Gibson, Langskaill; 2 A. C. Gibson, 3 G. Gibson. Three-year-old Fillies – 1 J. Corsie, 2 J. Scott, Hurtiso; 3 H Gibson. Two-year-old Geldings – 1 T. Inkster, 2 R. Seatter, 3 D. Gibson. Two-year-old Fillies – 1 and 2 J. Corsie. One year-old Geldings – 1 T. Inkster. One-year-old Fillies – 1 G. Gibson, 2 T. Inkster, 3 A. C. Gibson, hc J Craigie, c R Seatter.

SPECIAL PRIZES. – Messrs Reith & Anderson’s prize for Best Pair of Year-old Cattle – A. C. Gibson. Medal for Best Cow in Yard – G. Gibson. Board of Agriculture prize for Two-year-old Queys – 1 and 3 A. C. Gibson, 2 J. Corsie. Highland Society’s Medal for Two-year-old Queys – A. C. Gibson. Medal for Best Gelding in Yard – Rousay Co-operative Society. Best Mare in Yard – T. Inkster. Special Prize for Best Showing Animal in Horse Section – G. Gibson.

SHEEP. – Ewes – 1 and 3 J. Corsie, 2 R. Seatter. Lambs – 1 and 3 J. Corsie, 2 R. Seatter.

1920 September 8 Orkney Herald

THE STORM. – Following a period of very fine weather, a storm of high velocity broke out on Saturday morning, and continued with unabated violence until late in the evening. The wind, which was from the west, was accompanied with heavy rain, but towards evening veered to the north. Havoc was wrought in gardens and allotments, where vegetables, &c., were torn and twisted, and in many cases utterly ruined. A number of boats in the harbour dragged their moorings, and were in danger of being dashed to pieces, but, with willing assistance, the owners managed to get them hauled up on the pier. The St Rognvald, which arrived from Aberdeen in the morning, lay in the harbour all day, and did not proceed to Shetland until the gale abated. The Amelia, from Leith, had a very stormy passage crossing the Moray Firth, and arrived in Kirkwall shortly before midnight, being 7 hours over the usual time taken for the voyage.

1920 September 15 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PICNIC. – The school children of Veira, Wasbister, Frotoft, and Sourin, along with their teachers and some friends assembled in the grounds of Trumland House for a picnic on August 31st, at 3 p.m., being invited by Dr and Mrs Barty King, who are at present residing there. The weather was enjoyable and the children were in high spirits. Abundant refreshments were served before and after the sports, and the programme was carried through with great eagerness and friendly rivalry by the children of the four schools. At the close the prizes were distributed by Mrs Barty King. Thereafter three hearty cheers were called for by Rev. D. S. Brown and were given to Dr King and to Mrs King, and also to the Trumland people for their kindness, and for the orderly way in which all arrangements were carried out, which brought to a close a social event which, by the agreement of those who were present, was felt to be the best of its kind for many years in this place…..

1920 October 6 Orkney Herald

STORM – DELAY IN SHIPPING. – The weather, which, for a lengthened period, has been very fine, took a turn for the worse during the middle of last week. A steady fall in the barometer, with darkened sky, gave indications of a coming storm. The wind, which was south-east, began gradually to gain in force, and culminated on Saturday in one of the wildest storms which has been experienced in Orkney for some time. On Saturday the wind blew all day with gale force, increasing in intensity on Sunday and Monday, and a very heavy sea was running. The North of Scotland Company’s steamer St Ninian, which left Kirkwall on Saturday morning for Aberdeen, had to take shelter in Inganess Bay, from which place she returned to Kirkwall pier on Sunday afternoon, and still remains there. The s.s. St Rognvald, belonging to the same company, left Kirkwall on Saturday afternoon for Lerwick, and, after a rough passage, arrived there on Sunday morning, but was unable to make the pier until Monday afternoon. There was no communication with Kirkwall or Scapa by sea on Monday, and the town was entirely without sea-borne mails that day. A number of trawlers have also, through the stress of weather, taken shelter in Kirkwall harbour. There is to-day (Tuesday) some abatement in the gale; but, as there is no appearance of the sea running down, the St Ninian still remains in harbour. The mail steamer St Ola has, however, left Scapa with the Orkney mails on board for Scrabster.

“POOTIE” AND SILLOCK FISHING IN KIRKWALL BAY. – While fishing for “pooties” from a boat anchored off Kirkwall Pier last, Wednesday evening, a cod weighing 6 lbs. was hooked and brought on board. There is a run of small codlings (or “pooties”) at present in Kirkwall Bay, and excellent sport is being obtained by amateur fishermen, who bring ashore hauls of from two to four scores nightly when the weather is suitable. Sillocks are also plentiful, and takes ranging up to 15 scores have been got by rod and fly.

1920 November 17 Orkney Herald

THE WEEK OF REMEMBRANCE. – The week of remembrance carried the mind of the nation back to the conclusion of the Great War, in which this country had 762,749 killed, 275,301 missing, and 2,110,659 wounded. In the heart of the Empire the solemn observance of Armistice Day has been marked by the unveiling of the Cenotaph in Whitehall by the King, and the burial in Westminster Abbey of the remains of an unknown soldier killed in the war. In the four and a half years during which the struggle went on, all classes made equal sacrifices for victory, but, in the main, the war was won by the fidelity and courage of the common soldier, and the inflexible resolution of the common citizen. It is therefore right and fitting that due honour should be paid to the memory of a plain and undistinguished warrior, who, by giving his all to save his country, is worthy to rest among our noblest dead in Westminster Abbey. ln the churches, also, on Sunday, there were tributes to the memory of the dead, and thanksgiving for deliverance from the horrors of war. To those who gave up their lives we can pay naught but reverence, but the nation also owes a debt to the living, and it is something of a national reproach that two years after the war we should have more than 250,000 ex-service men unplaced in industry, and without work. In 1914 and 1915 definite promises were made to many of these men that they would be re-established in civil life after the war, and not until those promises have been wholly redeemed can the nation be said to have discharged its solemn obligations. A third extension of the out-of-work donation by the State carries on the payment of a weekly allowance to ex-Service men until the end of next March, but it is not doles or charity that are wanted, but efforts on the part of the State and private employers to find permanent work for those who served in the war…..

1920 December 8 Orkney Herald

CITIZEN’S LAPSE OF MEMORY. – In this enlightened age, one could hardly credit the idea of anyone mistaking the days of the week. Yet we are told that a citizen of Kirkwall was seen hurrying up to church last Saturday, dressed in his Sunday clothes. Arrived at the church gate and finding it closed, he took off his hat, scratched his head, and stood in a brown study for a moment or two. Apparently realising that he had made a mistake, he looked furtively around to see if he had been observed, and then hurriedly took his departure homewards. Needless to say the man is a bachelor.

1920 December 29 Orkney Herald

The weather in Orkney during the Christmas season has been of a most atrocious character. All through last week – with the exception of Thursday, when a short spell of frost set in – high winds and rain made the days dismal and dark, and gave one little pleasure to be out of doors. However, Christmas shopping had to be done, and the brilliantly-lit windows, with their profusions of dainty and useful goods, made tempting appeals to the eye, and there was no Iack of variety to choose from; but money is not so plentiful as in the years that are past – Kirkwall, like other places in the south, is suffering from the reaction after the war – and the buying of merely ornamental articles seemed not to be much in evidence; the Christmas gift this year, as a rule, consisted of something that would be of service to the recipient – not an article of luxury only. However, while some shopkeepers say that trade on the whole has been fairly good, others lament that they have done very little in the way of drawing extra customers.

When every shopkeeper has done his level best to display his wares to advantage, it would be unfair to particularise, be critical in our remarks, or to draw comparisons. With very few exceptions, these displays are on the lines of those of former years. One of the most notable exceptions, however, is that to be seen in one of the windows of Messrs Cumming & Spence, bakers and grocers, Albert Street. This particular window is a great attraction, particularly to children. Seated around a table loaded with dainties are three figures representing children. One – Mabel – is the hostess; the other two are her guests. They are gracefully sipping their tea from the daintiest of china cups. The following dialogue ensues; – “O, what lovely dainties we have got,” says one young lady, and the other replies, “Yes, aren’t they? Where did you get them from, Mabel?” “Ma got them from Cumming & Spence’s,” replies Mabel, “and the says none can beat them.” The conception and carrying out of this pretty display was, we understand, the work of one of the firm’s girl assistants.

Rain fell heavily during the forenoon and afternoon of Christmas Eve, but cleared up somewhat in the evening. The streets, however, were sloppy, the air raw and cold; and the great bulk of the citizens preferred the comforts of the fireside to promenading the streets…..

MEN’S BA’ – DOWN-THE-GATES TRIUMPH. – The great event of the day was the men’s ba’. As the hour of one o’clock drew near, all pathways led to the Broad Street. Last Christmas the ba’ was won by the Down-the-Gates, and there was a rumour afloat that an extra effort was to be made by the Up-the-Gates to turn the tables upon their opponents this year. To view the tussle a great crowd had gathered at every vantage place on the Broad Street. Both sides were out in great strength, and it was evident before the start that there was to be an immense trial of strength. Punctually as the Cathedral clock struck the hour the ba’ was tossed from the Market Cross, but it never reached the ground, as a forest of hands was held up to catch it in mid air. Then commenced a struggle grim and great. For an hour and three-quarters the crowd swayed first a yard or two below the cross, then up above it for the same distance. The sides were so equally matched in strength – there must have been several hundreds engaged in the struggle – that it was evident that victory depended upon the side who had the most endurance, as there were no fresh players to draw upon. Early in the struggle there was seen coming up the street a band of Christy Minstrels. They had been landed from H.M. telegraph steamer Alert, anchored in the bay, and had apparently come ashore bent upon putting some life into what they thought was a sleepy town. They stood for a moment looking at the swaying, surging crowd; then one or two of them ventured to take part in the game; but little of it satisfied them. Such a game is only for the Sons of the Vikings; and the slim, willowy Englishmen are not built to endure such a strain as was entailed on those who battled on Christmas Day for the time-honoured trophy. As we said, the struggle lasted on the Broad Street for an hour and three quarters. At this time the crowd was opposite the Post Office Lane. The Up-the-Gates, despairing of ever negotiating the upward incline that led to the top of Broad Street, concentrated all their strength in one great effort to carry the ba’ down Post Office Lane into Junction Road. In this they succeeded. Here the struggle was renewed with even greater intensity than ever. For a minute or two it seemed as if the tide was on the upward turn, as the ba’ was carried a yard or two up and beyond the place of exit. But the “Doonies” were not to be robbed of victory. They saw the time had come for a great exertion. Like a solid phalanx they closed round the ba’, and with a mighty heave they carried all before them, and the downward move began. Slowly, shadily, the crowd moved harbourwards, every inch of the ground being contested by the “Uppies,” who would not give in, although by this time they knew that the game was lost. It wanted just a quarter to four, and dusk was setting in, when at last the ball was thrown into the harbour, and another victory recorded for the “Down-the-Gates.” All through the contest the utmost good humour prevailed, and there is no untoward incident to record. The ba’ was awarded to Alex. Walls, seaman, who carried it home in triumph. Thus ended one of the most prolonged tussles in living memory.

In Print

Newsprint – 1919

1919 January 1 Orkney Herald

CHRISTMAS. – Christmas Eve was boisterous and rainy; but, despite these adverse atmospheric conditions, the streets of Kirkwall presented quite an animated appearance, as people hurried to and fro making purchases for the festal day. A number of the principal shop-windows were brilliantly lighted up as in pre-war days, and goods were displayed in the most attractive manner. A large business appeared to be done. Carol singers from the Salvation Army were out as usual, and were heartily received and compensated at the various houses at which they made calls. Christmas Day was a public holiday in town; but, although the weather showed considerable improvement, there were few people to be seen out of doors at any time during the day, and the streets had a very deserted-looking appearance. All classes in the community have been working at high pressure during the war, and advantage was evidently taken of the holiday to have a restful time at home. The usual services were held in St Olaf’s Episcopal Church. The Electric Theatre gave several exhibitions during the day, and drew good houses.

1919 January 8 Orkney Herald

AN INCIDENT AT KIRKWALL HARBOUR. – The quietude of Kirkwall was suddenly broken into on Saturday afternoon by the simultaneous blowing of sirens by a number of steamers lying in the harbour. For about a quarter of an hour the noise continued in various keys, and people rushed to the pier to endeavour to find out the meaning of this extraordinary outburst. Various rumours got afloat, one of which was that the ex-Kaiser had been assassinated, and the crews of the vessels had taken this method of expressing their satisfaction at the exit of Wilhelm Hohenzollern. We understand, however, that the real cause for the noisy outbreak was nothing more than a parting send-off to one of H.M. patrolling vessels which was leaving for the south, her part In the war having come to an end.

1919 January 15 Orkney Herald



The London correspondent of the Liverpool Daily Post and Mercury gives an account of the extraordinary conditions which still prevail on board the German warships both in the German ports and at Scapa Flow. The ships, he says, have been allowed to get into a filthy condition, and have lost their seagoing and fighting qualities. Even the battleship cruiser Mackinsen, which is nearly completed, was found in such an appalling state that it is described as an offence to the nostrils over a considerable area, while the big ship Baden arrived for interment at Scapa the other day in hardly better condition. The same applied to the surrendered warships lying In Scapa Flow. Each of the big vessels has a German nucleus crew of about 150 men to guard them against casualties from storms. It was all we could do to raise steam on these great battleships and battle-cruisers for the passage to the Orkneys owing to their disgraceful condition, and in many cases the German crews show not the slightest inclination even to keep their ships tidy and sanitary. Their conduct is compared to that of the Russian revolutionaries. If an officer wishes to give an order he has to address the crew through the medium of the Workmen’s Council, to whose orders in turn the crew pay no attention whatever. The hardest work they care to do is fishing.

1919 January 29 Orkney Herald

SHORTER SERMONS. – During the war there has been a tendency to shorten church services. One reason was that the war calls made on the clergy put an increasingly heavy burden upon the ministers who remained at home. The curtailment of the services was made in the sermon. Without assistance a clergyman could not take two long services and preach two long sermons on Sunday as well as conduct his Bible-class and fulfil his mid-week engagements without seriously injuring his health. The experience of the clergy at the front is that three quarters of an hour for each service is a most useful limit.

1919 February 5 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY. – On Sunday last the Rev. J. Deas Logie, minister of the parish, conducted services in Wasbister and Frotoft schools, thus completing the circuit of the island. The Rev. D. S. Brown, minister of the United Free Church, preached in Trumland and Ritchie churches. The day was ideal, and the attendances good at all the services.




The surrendered German war vessels at Scapa are showing great deterioration as the result of the neglect of them by their crews. The Germans will do nothing that is not absolutely compulsory. It is learned that Admiral von Reuter, growing tired of his sojourn at Scapa, made signals that he wished to return home. Of course permission was refused, but on the request being repeated he was asked the reason for his desire. His reply was, “I am sick.” Whether he meant that literally or intended to convey the idea that he was sick of his surroundings was not quite clear, but he was permitted to return, and apparently found the home conditions less attractive than they had been, for he has returned to Scapa. Another German naval officer who is there is well known as the former commander of a Zeppelin.

1919 February 12 Orkney Herald

IN MEMORIAM: – In loving memory of Frances Glen Mitchell Deas Logie, married 1905, parted 10th February 1918. – Sleep, beloved; rest in Jesus.

I wish you were beside me
As of old,
Sitting by the fire this night
As of yore.
I’d give up much I’ve cherished,
For your sake.
All my world I’d fling away
For my mate.
We shall meet just as we parted
A year ago.
Young and bright and happy-hearted:
Loving so.
Good-bye, beloved; daily remembered:
Good-bye, sweetheart; yet not good-bye;
We’ll meet again on glad re-union day.

– Inserted by her mourning husband, Rev. John Deas Logie, Minister of Rousay and Egilshay Parish.

1919 March 5 Orkney Herald

SNOWSTORM. – The intense cold experienced in Orkney during last Saturday and Sunday, with a considerable fall in the barometer, culminated on Monday morning in a sharp snowstorm. For several hours snow fell with great intensity, and there being a high wind there was considerable drifting throughout the countryside. At the beginning of the storm, the wind was easterly, but it veered round to the south. Towards midday on Monday the sky cleared and the sun rapidly melted the snow, with the result that the streets of Kirkwall were in a very sloppy state, which rendered locomotion very difficult. But this condition of the atmosphere did not last long. ln the afternoon the wind went round to the north-west, and a keen frost set in, which still continues. There has been no renewal of the snowstorm. The motor lorry conveying the south mails from Stromness to Kirkwall had a difficult journey, encountering many wreaths on the way; but it surmounted all obstacles until, about a mile and a-half from its destination, it met an obstruction in the shape of an Admiralty motor car which had got stuck in a wreath, and so completely blocked the road that further progress was impossible. On Tuesday morning the road was cleared, and a passage made for the lorry, which arrived at Kirkwall with the mails shortly after 9 a.m.




In the House of Lords on Wednesday, Lord Islington called attention to the statement recently made that the Conference in Paris was contemplating the sinking of all the German naval ships now in British custody at Scapa, and asked if there was any probability of this policy being carried out.

Lord Lytton (Civil Lord of the Admiralty) said the question of what was to be done with the German Fleet was one of considerable difficulty. It was for the Paris Conference to decide. A point to which the British Government attached the greatest importance was that these ships should not continue to form part of any of the naval armaments of the world. There was only three courses open, either to sink the ships or to have them broken up, or to put them up for auction. He did not know whether it was an economic proposition to break up the ships. It was a question for experts if it would pay to use the material composing the ship for any other purpose. No doubt the Conference would decide in favour of that course. Personally, he favoured the sale of the ships by auction to be used as scrap.

1919 March 15 The Scotsman

ORKNEY – TRUMLAND HOUSE (FURNISHED ) IS TO LET for the coming season, along with the SHOOTINGS and FISHINGS of the ISLAND OF ROUSAY; probable bag, 300 brace grouse and large number of snipe and other wild fowl. The trout fishing (both brown and sea trout ) is a feature; June and July are the best months for brown trout fishing in the lochs, and, if desired, these months can be made the subject of a separate let. Apply to Messrs MACKENZIE & KERMACK, W.S., 9 Hill Street, Edinburgh.

1919 March 19 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – SERVICE OF PRAISE. – A service of praise was held by the U.F. Church in Wasbister School, on the evening of Sabbath, March 9. Mr James H. Shepherd, Egilshay, presided. and Miss Baikie, Sourin School, was pianist. Mrs Shepherd and Mr Brown sang solos and, along with Misses Grieve and Craigie from Sourin U.F. Choir, carried through with credit the programme of sacred music before an appreciative audience, who also entered heartily into the service of praise. A collection was taken for the organ fund of Sourin U.F. Church.

1919 March 26 Orkney Herald

SUMMER TIME. – This popular innovation comes into force for the current season on the morning of Sunday first, when clocks should be advanced an hour. Summer-time will continue this year until the night of Sunday-Monday, September 28-29. This advance of clock-time by one hour has proved a great boon to the people and has enabled them to have an hour’s more daylight in the evenings. Its adoption, which was at first tried as an experiment, will doubtless now be continued permanently, as it has been received with widespread approbation. A week, however, has been cut off as compared with last year, but the time is longer than in either 1916 or 1917.

RENDALL – HEATHER BURNING. – Fire was set to the hill last week, and hundreds of acres were burned, as were peats which had not been carted home owing to the wet summer. It illuminated the neighbouring parishes for miles around, the flames leaping in the air in tongues some say from twelve to twenty feet high.

1919 April 2 Orkney Herald

SUMMER-TIME came into force on Sunday. There was evidence, from the poor attendance at the churches in Kirkwall in the forenoon, that several people had evidently forgot to put the clock up an hour before retiring to rest on Saturday night.

EGILSHAY – ORGAN FOR THE U.F. CHURCH. – The section of Rousay U.F. Church which worships in Egilshay held a meeting of office-bearers there after divine service on Sabbath, March 16, and resolved to introduce instrumental music. They also raised on the spot the sum of £7 as a contribution towards purchasing an American organ. The sister congregation, in Sourin U.F. Church, Rousay, is also arranging for an organ there.

1919 April 30 Orkney Herald

THE WEATHER. – Very unseasonable weather has been experienced in Orkney during the past eight days. High winds and snow showers, alternating with sleet and rain, have been of daily occurrence, and the cold has been most intense. Farm work, in consequence, has been greatly interfered with, and very little seed has up to now been put into the ground. On Sunday a gale of north wind blew all day, which increased in the evening to storm-strength, and continued with unabated fury all that night, and showed very little abatement during Monday. On Sunday evening the Admiralty chartered ketch Ellen Amy Innes broke from her moorings at Kirkwall Pier and drifted ashore at the Ayre beach, where at high water the seas were taking a clean breach over her. Although she was lying on a shingly beach, the continuous buffetings that she received strained several of the planks in her sides, and when she was towed off yesterday (Tuesday) morning, it, was found that she was making a considerable amount of water. The mail steamer St Ola did not cross the Pentland Firth on Monday, and the mails were brought over by the Fleet mail-boat. Although the storm had subsided yesterday, the weather showed little signs of improvement, and sleet fell all day.

1919 May 14 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – ECCLESIASTICAL. – Rededication services have been conducted by the Rev. J. Deas Logie, minister of the parish, and Rev. D. S. Brown, minister of the United Free Church. Communion services were conducted in the Parish Church and at Wasbister by the parish ministers and in the Ritchie Church by the United Free Church minister. The public schools at Frotoft and at Sourin have been examined in Bible knowledge by the Rev. J. Deas Logie. Mr Deas Logie, who fully intended being present at the second meeting of the Education Authority, was unexpectedly called south owing to the death of his mother. He hopes to remain south over the period covered by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

1919 May 28 Orkney Herald

EGILSHAY. – The Sacrament was held in the U.F. Mission Station here on May 18th, by Rev D. S. Brown, M.A., Rousay, when six young people joined the membership of the Church, and there were six baptisms. This little congregation was found to be in an efficient state, and among its other qualities has developed the grace of giving. Its contributions during March, and for all purposes, were over twenty-one pounds, and it is introducing instrumental music. A meeting of the office-bearers was held on the 20th to find ways and means for defraying the cost of some needed repairs on the Church and Manse.

1919 June 4 Orkney Herald




John M. Harrold, Brinian, Trumland, Rousay. Area of holding, 4 acres arable, and 2 roods above Trumland; rent, £4 for 4 acres, and 10s for 2 roods.

Mr Cormack – Applicant died in November, and made over his holding to his daughter and son.

Mr Robertson, for the Trustees, said – The man has a shop and the land is merely an adjunct.

The case was continued.

William Mainland Low, Hunclet, Rousay. Area of holding, 24 acres arable, 39 acres outrun; rent, £24.

Examined by Mr Cormack, applicant said: – I became tenant at Martinmas 1910. I got no lease, but was told by the late tenant that the acreage was 24 acres arable. Of the arable land some is fair and some pretty thin and rocky. The 39 acres outrun is partly heather with spots of rough grass. Putting all patches together it might be about an acre. There are 10 acres of good pasture between the arable land. The hill ground is unfenced, and we have to herd the cattle. My stock is 2 horses, 5 milch cows, 4 stots, 5 calves, 6 sheep. The buildings belong to the estate, which has done nothing to them. They are in a poor condition. The dwelling-house is very damp. I would like to have the walls cemented and the slates of the roof pointed. The stable needs a new roof and fittings renewed. The roof of the byre is done. The floor would require to be relaid. The barn roof is in the same condition. When I entered the tenancy Mr Logie said that he would help me to repair the buildings. I got very little assistance. We got the chimney-head sorted, a part of the dwelling house gables pointed, and a small window for the stable. I purchased last year between £5 and £6 worth of manure, and this year £14. We sell no grain. The farm is steep and rocky, and very bad to work.

By Mr D. J. Robertson – Besides the outrun of 39 acres, we have 60 acres of hill ground. Other people graze their cattle there. I have never turned them off. We never use the land. I knew that it was let with the farm. We did put cattle on it a few times at first, but had to stop it, as it gave us a lot of trouble to find the cattle. They can take that land from me. The average stock is 12, but I must sell two, as I cannot keep them. The previous tenant kept more stock than I do, but they were smaller beasts; I sold nine lambs last year; I got 39s each for them. I sold 2 pigs, for which I got £8 each. We keep about 50 poultry. I could not say how much grain they get. I could not say how many dozen eggs we sold. At first I offered £20 for the farm, but had eventually to offer £24 to get it. Myself, wife [Elizabeth], and daughter [Lilly] work the place. The farm is not paying much better than before the war. The price of everything has gone up. I made no complaint about the building. I got the stable window when I asked for it. I don’t know how old the dwelling-house is. It is not very old. I bought the wire fencing from the previous tenant. It is now my property.

By the Court – In 1918 I sold 3 cattle, and got £16 to £18 apiece for them, and got £21 for another. These are the prices in the island.

John Logie, estate steward, examined by Mr Robertson, said – I have been estate steward for thirteen years, and have been in General Burroughs’ employment since I was 14 years old. I know the whole estate. The rent of Hunclet up to 1899 was £28. It was reduced to £24 when James Robertson became tenant. When Robertson sold off in 1910 he had 15 head of cattle. I received offers for the farm. I got one of £20 from this man, who latterly offered £24. I took him in preference to others. The dwelling-house is a new house; the other houses are old. I should say that Low’s cattle would fetch about £20. I keep poultry, and buy all food, and it pays us very well. Half the eggs are clear profit. The prices in Rousay were from 2s 6d to 4s 6d or 4s 10d last year. The value of eggs shipped from Rousay was about £7000 per annum, and a good crofter hen would lay 220 to 240 eggs with decent treatment.

The case of John Robertson, Banks, was withdrawn.

Paterson Craigie, Veira Lodge, Rousay. Area of holding, 3 acres arable, 3 acres outrun; rent, £15.

Mr Cormack said the applicant died on 12th August 1916. He left a holograph bequest, dated 17th June 1916, leaving the holding to Ann Elizabeth Craigie, his daughter. She has only now been intimated to the estate.

Mr Robertson – In this case the estate objected on the ground that it is not a holding under the Act.

Mr Cormack – There is one son [Robert] who is 52 years old, and does not reside on the holding, but resides in Manchester.

Ann Elizabeth Craigie, in reply to Mr Cormack, said – I am a daughter of the late Paterson Craigie, who became tenant in 1890. There was a lease for seven years at a rent of £15, and the rent was paid by my father and latterly by myself. The arable land is fair good land, and the outrun is natural grass. Our stock is 2 cows, 2 calves, and 1 ewe. We have a calf extra just now; we could not sell it because we could not get a price for it. The dwelling-house is a seven-roomed house, and is not in very good order, and the outhouses are worse. All the buildings require looking after. My father always said that he bore half the expenses of the repairs. The fence belongs partly to the estate and partly to us.

By Mr Robertson – The house was used as a factor’s house. The six acres are all enclosed. We have one permanent lodger. He does a good deal of work. We took summer lodgers at one time. My father let the house to shooting tenants on three occasions, and he got half the rent. My father carried on a little blacksmith’s shop at Veira Lodge, but was almost retiring when he took the Lodge. He sometimes went to the fishing.

John Logie, in reply to Mr Robertson, said: – Veira Lodge was the factor’s residence. General Burroughs, when he first came to the island, lived there. It was at first his intention to add to the house, but he eventually built another. The six acres of land is laid out as a garden. When the factor left Veira Lodge it was let to Paterson Craigie at a low rent of £15. It was let to him on the understanding that he was to keep lodgers. He did keep lodgers, and has had a boarder for several years. When the Lodge was let to a shooting tenant we arranged with Paterson Craigie to remove to a small house in the garden, so that the shooting tenant might have the house.

By the Court – At present I am living at Trumland House as caretaker. There is no other factor’s house on the island.

By Mr Murray – Shortly after General Burroughs’ death in 1905 notice was given to Craigie that he would have to remove from Veira Lodge. Lady Burroughs said that she was not going to take up residence at Trumland House, and that notice to Craigie was allowed to lapse.

By Mr Robertson – The rent is for the house and not for the land. The dwelling house was papered and painted immediately before a shooting tenant came.



The Court resumed their sitting on Monday, when the further hearing of applications on Rousay and Veira estate were heard. Mr D. J. Robertson appeared for the estate, and Mr J. S. Cormack for applicants.

Robert Seatter, Banks, Sourin, Rousay, applied as statutory small tenant to fix a first equitable rent. Acres, 65.390 acres arable, 41.217 acres outrun; rent, £50.

Mr Robertson – There are £200 of arrears.

By Mr Cormack – I entered the farm at Martinmas 1893 on a lease for 19 years at a rent of £50. I have been a yearly tenant since 1912. My stock is 3 horses, 1 year-old horse and foal, 6 cows, 8 year-olds, 6 calves, 1 bull, 5 ewes, 10 lambs. The buildings belong to the proprietor. I put in 90 chains of drains, for which I received 2s per chain. I put in another 11 chains, for which I got nothing. I was always complaining about the state of the buildings, but it did not help me. The wire fencing on the holding belongs to me. £8 to £10 were spent on artificial manures yearly.

By Mr Robertson – I offered for the farm. I saw the buildings before I went in. I asked that something should be done to them, and would not sign the lease until a promise was made that something would be done. There were two breaks in the lease. I did not take advantage of them. In 1904 I asked permission to give Banks up, as I wanted a better farm, but did not get it, so I remained at Banks.

By the Court – I did not pay rent because I was waiting for the decision of the Court.

Mr Robertson – For five years he has paid no rent at all.

The Chairman – There was no reason why you should not have paid your rent.

By Mr Robertson – I was asked for payment, but I made no payment. The poultry are fed off the farm. We put all the ware we can get on the land.

John Logie, estate steward – Since 1904 the estate spent £16 14s on the holding. This holding lies along the shore, and with certain winds there is plenty of ware to be got. In 1910 the tenant gave twelve months’ notice that he was to leave, but shortly after that the Land Act passed, and he remained. When he gave off the farm in 1910 there were several offers for the holding, but these were not made in writing.

Mrs Christina Munro, Old School, Sourin, Rousay, applied to Court to fix a first equitable rent. Area, 3½ acres arable, 2 roods outrun; rent, £6 10s; arrears, £28 15s.

Applicant was represented by her son, who, in reply to Mr Cormack, said the stock was 1 cow, 1 calf. His father became tenant at Martinmas, 14 years ago, at a rent of £6 10s. His father repaired the walls of one end, and re-roofed the house with Caithness slates, and got no assistance from the estate.

By Mr Robertson – My father was ground officer to General Burroughs. He also was inspector of roads and collector of rates. Woo fell vacant in 1890. General Burroughs gave the farm to my father and lent him £200 to stock it. My father became bankrupt, and General Burroughs lost £100, and he allowed my father to go to the Old School.

By Mr Cormack – My mother is prepared to pay any arrears that may be fixed by the Court. In the first tenancy my father built a byre and got £5 assistance. That would have been about 25 years ago.

John Logie, estate steward, in reply to Mr Robertson, said the late Mr Munro came to Rousay at the request of General Burroughs to superintend the making of roads in the island. General Burroughs had borrowed £45,000 for that purpose. When the Old School became vacant, Munro got it, and he was also appointed ground officer. Woo fell vacant, and Mr Munro took it. Mr Munro became bankrupt and the estate lost money. The Old School was let for £6 10s to a neighbouring tenant, and after a time it became vacant. I had several offers for it, amongst others Mr Munro. I was instructed by the trustees of the estate to have no dealings with him, but Lady Burroughs made a special appeal to the trustees to give him the Old School, and that was done and the rent paid until the Land Act was passed. The arrears are now £28 15s.

William Sabiston, Redlums, Rousay, applied to be determined whether he was a landholder or statutory small tenant. Area, 2 acres 3 roods arable, 1 acre 2 roods outrun; rent £3 10s; arrears, £9 10s.

In reply to Mr Cormack applicant said: – I entered Redlums at Martinmas 1902. The outrun is a piece of worthless ground. My stock is 1 cow, 1 calf, and 1 work stot. The rent when I took the farm was £4, and I had about an acre of ground in another farm. I have repaired the dwelling-house and put in a new door and gable and skylight. The outgoing tenant took away the door. The proprietor never put a penny on the building.

By Mr Robertson – It was Mainland’s representatives that took the door and fixture away after I took the place. I got no chance of taking on the fittings. I gave up keeping sheep as they spoiled the croft. I have 10 acres of hill grazing as well.

Mr John Logie – Sabiston took the place on the understanding that he would take the fittings, but he refused to take them, and the landlord refused also.

1919 June 11 Orkney Herald



Part of the evidence laid before the Scottish Land Court at their sittings in the Town Hall, Kirkwall, on Monday last week was reported in our last issue. A number of other applications came before the Court the same day.


John Gibson, Broland. Area, 32 acres arable, 20 acres outrun; rent, £19; arrears, £36 10s. This was an application to fix compensation to the tenant on renunciation or removal. Applicant said: – I succeeded my father In 1900, who succeeded his father. Seven or eight acres are fair land, but the rest is poor, clayey land. The pasture is just rough natural grass. My stock is 2 horses, 4 milk cows, 4 year-olds, 4 calves, 1 sheep, 2 lambs. The first rent I remember was £12, but the land was afterwards squared, and the rent raised. In 1900 I had a lease for five years at a rent of £24; in 1907 the rent was reduced to £19, the present rent. My grandfather and father built the buildings without estate assistance. I reclaimed 9½ acres land out of rough ground. I was paid 2s a chain by the estate for putting in drains.

By Mr Robertson – The 9½ acres reclaimed land are still under cultivation. I got into arrears because we thought it best to wait for the Court’s decision.

Mrs Ann Johnston, Kirkhall, Trumland, Rousay, applied to the Court to fix a first fair rent and also for permission to assign the holding. Acreage, 4 acres arable; rent, £4.

Mr Robertson, for the estate, objected to the assignation, because applicant is not a landholder.

Samuel Inkster, son-in-law, examined by Mr Cormack, said: – I have resided on the holding for about 17 years. The acreage includes houses and land. The stock is 1 cow. We keep a horse part of the year, and have to buy food for it. My wife’s grandfather was the first tenant. He built the house and took out the land. We got wood, lime, flags and cement for repairing and re-roofing the dwelling-house. All the work was done by Mrs Johnston. A new byre was built from the foundation and enlarged, and a new roof put on. Mrs Johnston got 10s for slates. Some of the old couples were used. During my residence 7½ chains drains were put in, for which we got 2s per chain. It is an arrangement between my wife, myself, and Mrs Johnston that she should reside with us the rest of her days. If it was not to keep her I would not reside on the place, which does not keep me fully employed. I take any job I can get.

Mr Logie, in reply to Mr Robertson, said – The holding was occupied by Mrs Johnston’s father-in-law. When he died he made it over to his daughter Jane, who was tenant for about a year. She married John Mowat and is still alive. When the farm became vacant there were several applications, and amongst others Charles Johnston, who was employed at the home farm. We were in London at the time, and General Burroughs consulted me with regard to a tenant. I knew the condition and suggested that he should let the place to Charles Johnston, which he did.

At the sitting of the Court on Wednesday, James Russell, Brendale, Rousay, applied for an order to determine whether he is a landholder or statutory small tenant. Area of holding, 36 acres arable, 35 acres outrun; rent, £25; arrears, £109. Stock – 2 horses, 4 milk cows, 6 year-olds, 6 calves, 4 ewes, 3 lambs.

In reply to Mr Cormack, applicant said: – I kept back the rent because I did not get what I bargained for. My father became tenant in July 1889 under lease. On the expiry of the lease he became a yearly tenant. His rent was £30, and that was the rent paid until I entered at Martinmas 1910. £5 was taken off the rent, and I was to put up a new dwelling-house and byre before I became tenant. The byre was put up that year, but the dwelling-house was not finished until the following winter. My brother was to have been tenant, but he died before he could enter. Several small farms were to have been included with Brendale, and the rent was to have been fixed by Mr Logie and myself afterwards. Only one of these small places, Knapper, was added; that was at Martinmas 1912. I pay additional rent for Knapper, with which the Court is not concerned. The dwelling house belongs to the estate. I carted a lot of rubbish away from the back of the house. My father built an addition to the stable. The estate supplied the wood, lining, and roof flags. We had to cart the flags for a distance of 6 or 7 miles. The estate employed a man to roof the stable. I carted the material and assisted the man along with a third man. The estate wanted me to put up a byre, as it was thought I could get it done cheaper than them, which I did, costing the estate £50 12s 7d. The barn is in a bad state of repair. It belongs to the estate. If you were going to repair it you would not know where to begin. Part of the bargain was that I was to get a new barn, but that was not done. I also asked for an implement shed, as the implements had to lie outside all winter. About 12 acres are fair, arable land; by putting on a lot of artificial manure you get good results. Seeds and manures this year cost me £40.

By Mr Robertson – Knapper used to carry 1 cow, 1 year-old, and 1 calf. When the byre was built it was with the view of Knapper being added to Brendale. I did not succeed my father. My brother died in 1909 or 1910. I don’t know whether he had any agreement or not. I made a new agreement with the factor, and agreed to do all the carting and quarrying in connection with the byre, and all the carting in connection with the dwelling-house. I also did the carting for the stable. I paid up my father’s arrears. I have a breeding sow, and sold 7 young pigs and got 30s each for them. I have about 50 or 60 poultry. I took down a field dyke and put it on the land. All the fencing belongs to me. I am prepared to pay up the arrears.

John Logie, estate steward, in reply to Mr Robertson, said – This man’s father is still alive and resides with his son. I made an arrangement with the brother, John Russell, that he was to get the farm. A new steading and byre were to be put on. The byre was to go up in the first place. The same agreement applied to this man. We were to erect a dwelling-house as soon as we could, the tenant to do the quarrying, and the arrears were to stand over until the byre was built, and the value of the byre was to stand against the arrears, and any balance on either side was to be paid over. For the stable the estate was to provide the material and Russell was to get skilled labour and do the carting and quarrying, and he was to get a reduction of £5 in consideration of his doing the carting and quarrying. The estate was to renew the barn, except the carting and quarrying and cutting out the foundation. I agreed to carry the land straight to the public road, and that is how Knapper came in. The other small places do not come in. Russell was too far behind with the quarrying. I told the estate mason to go on with the work as soon as he knew the stones were quarried, but the stones have never been quarried and the foundation never made.

By Mr Cormack – The arrangements were all verbal. The arrears were to be paid up, and certain work done by the tenant. There has never been a stone quarried for the farm.

Hugh Pearson, Kirkgate, Wasbister, applied for a revaluation. Area of holding, 7 acres arable, 19 acres outrun; old rent, £5; fair rent, £4 18s. Stock – 2 milk cows, 2 year-olds, 2 calves, 3 ewes, 3 lambs. Applicant, examined, said: – The farm cannot keep so many. I have grazing on another farm. I am £9 9s in arrears. My father was the first member of the family on the place. I do not know what like it was when he went there. The first rent was £2 10s, and there was another croft with it. This was taken away, and the rent remained the same. In 1878 the rent was raised to £6. We got no land, but half an acre was added the year afterwards. We tried to reclaim a bit of the land, but it was so wet that we let it go back again. We could not get quarrying stones for drains. I do not know the reason for this, but I  think it was a general rule with crofters in Rousay, but we were never told the reason. My father and myself put up all the buildings. We got slates for the roof of the dwelling-house, cement, lime, and iron strainers. In the summer time we have to carry water, but in winter we have plenty.

By Mr Robertson – My father did not get wood for the dwelling-house. My brother was a joiner, and he took the wood from Kirkwall.

Mr Logie, in reply to Mr Robertson, said – No tenant was ever refused stone for draining. There was a restriction put on the crofters for stone for building, but this embargo gradually fell off, and the tenants are now under no restriction for drains or building. They have only to get permission.

Robert S. Sinclair, Skatequoy and Stennisgorn, Wasbister, applied to be declared a landholder and to have a first fair rent fixed. Area of holding, 54 acres arable, 136 acres outrun; rent, £38; arrears, £33 as at last term.

Examined by Mr Cormack, applicant said: – The factor said that is was 60 acres arable, but I disputed that, and had it measured by Mr J. G. Craigie and my son. Almost half of the 54 acres is fair good soil, but one of the best fields is almost useless on account of weeds. The other half is in some years of very little use, as it is oatsick land. I grow no white oats. About half will grow murtle oats and the other half small grey oats. The average weight of murtle oats is 32 or 33 lbs., and the grey oats 28 lbs. if a good year. The out-run is poor enough, and consists of shingle, stones, short heather, with little grass. We only get use of it for two months in the year. My stock is 3 horses, 2 year-olds, 1 pony foal, 7 cows, 7 calves, 7 year-olds, 3 two-year-olds, 22 ewes. Seven of the cattle should have been away. I made an arrangement with my next neighbour that I would pay for the fence between her and her next neighbour, and in return I would get grazing for sheep. The family’s first tenancy was for Stennisgorn. My father’s uncle was the first tenant; his name was Hugh Marwick. My father succeeded to the tenancy between 1844 and 1850. Skatequoy was let with Stennisgorn in 1889. The proprietor wished the two places to be put together. My father paid £62 for the two places. Skatequoy was a croft. The buildings were to be made satisfactory for the two places. I have thatched the roof of the dwelling-house, and done all the repairs except the sorting of the chimney-head. I put up a new byre and turnip-shed. A stable was put up suitable for the holding. The old stable belongs to the estate. I got £8 from the estate. I think it was arrears cancelled. I built a dairy and hen-house. I have heard my father say that he built all the dykes on the place except half of the march dyke. I heard him say that he also put in 630 chains of drains in Stennisgorn. All the fencing belongs to us. I made a mill-course, which is now disused, as I put in an oil-engine. I demolished a field dyke, dug out a dung court, put the earth from the dyke in it, and afterwards put it on the land; this improved the land. I have made 34 chains of new roads. Since the application was lodged I put an addition to the barn, took down an old kiln, and added 13 feet to the stable. I put a new floor in the stable from end to end. I built an implement shed. When the rent was £62 my father was not grossing his rent. I could not say when it was reduced. I became tenant in 1904 at a rent of £52, and continued to pay that until 1907, but found it was too dear, so gave it off, but afterwards took it for five years at a rent of £38.

By Mr Robertson – A Mr Gibson was at Skatequoy before my father; he was no relation. My father built the only house on Stennisgorn. I do not know whether he got assistance from the estate. My father reclaimed all the land on Stennisgorn except 7 acres and his rent was at that time £4. In 1853 my father took a lease of Stennisgorn at a rent of £24. Each tenant was allowed to retain one-third of the rent for nine years for fences, drains, and ditches. I got no consideration for drains made before 1853. In 1855 I got £9 2s 10d; in 1856, £9 17s 3d; in 1857, £9 2s 6d ; in 1858, £7 1s 1½d. In 1894 £20 was paid for repairs on buildings at Skatequoy and Stennisgorn. In 1896, £8 was paid for the extension of a stable at Skatequoy. In 1897 my father took a lease of the farm for 10 years at a rent of £52. In 1898 the rent was reduced to £38 on consideration that during the first two years of the tenancy I was to erect a new byre and turnip shed at Skatequoy. I did not pay over £20 for the byre, but could not say what my labour would amount to. I am certain that my estimate for byre and turnip shed was under £70.

Mr Logie, examined by Mr Robertson, said – It was the wish of the man’s father that the two farms be joined. The rent he offered was £50, and the rent of Stennisgorn was £31 18s. Some sums were paid for dykes. The boundary dyke was put up by the estate. There was a low wall between Stennisgorn and Saviskaill which was taken down; this was the boundary wall. The late Mr Seatter employed Mr Sinclair to build the wall. He estimated the cost of the byre, etc., at £70, and the reduction of £14 for five years was just that amount.

Robert A. lnkster, Cogar, Wasbister, Rousay, applied to be declared a landholder and to fix a first fair rent. Area of holding 27½ acres arable, 16¾ outrun; rent £20, arrears £65.

In reply to Mr Cormack, applicant said – The biggest part of the land is poor land. One field had stopped growing altogether. I put artificial manure on it, and it is doing better now. My stock is 2 horses, 1 colt, 1 foal, 3 cows, 3 one-year-olds, 3 calves, 1 two-year-old, 1 old cow in calf, 4 ewes, 1 pig. That is about the usual stock; we are keeping one young horse, and we will sell the older one. My grandfather, William Inkster, had the farm first at least in 1858 at a rent of £4. That was before squaring. He had a little better land than we have now. About 1867 the rent was raised to £16; no extra land was got so far as I am aware. That rent continued to be paid for some years. In 1877 a lease was entered into at a rent of £24; that rent continued to be paid until 11 or 12 years ago. It was then reduced to £20, the present rent. The original walls of the dwelling-house were built by my grandfather. My father added a room on one end, and got no assistance. I put on a new roof, built a room at the back, put on all inside fittings, supplied all windows and two new doors. I got £12 from the estate and a new back kitchen door. I put a new roof on the barn and potato shed. I got a roof and four new couples from the estate. My father built the stable. I put up a new byre and got £10 from the estate. My father put up a hen-house, calves’ byre, gig and implement shed. I put up a pig’s house, but got no assistance. My father reclaimed two parks of about 3 acres next the outrun. Two fields below the road were reclaimed and part of a third. I do not know the amount of drains put in, and do not know if anything was paid for draining. I myself have put in 15 chains of drains. I built all the upper dykes except 6 chains, and built the lower dykes, and got £16 from the estate. The fencing is all my own. I carted earth from the roadside and some from the foundation of the new byre, and put it on the field that would not grow. This year I have spent £20 on manures. The land grows some murtle and some white oats.

By Mr Robertson – I have made no claim for improvements made by my grandfather. In 1903 I became joint-tenant with my father. We got everything asked for in the way of repairs.

Mr Lowe, in answer to Mr Robertson, said that altogether £110 had been expended on the croft.

Mr Cormack – Applicant said that he could not afford to pay the rent and also pay a man to help to work the holding. He does nothing outside his croft. His sister is not able, on account of rheumatism, to assist him in the work.

John Corsie, Knarston, Rousay, applied to fix a first equitable rent and also to become a landholder under the Act of 1911. Areas of holding, 30 acres 1 rood 24 poles arable, 13 acres 3 roods 25 poles outrun with grazing on Knitchin and Kingerley Hills.

In reply to Mr Low, applicant said – I became a yearly tenant of half of Knarston at Martinmas 1911. My son, George Corsie, succeeded his grandfather, Simpson Skethaway, to the other half of Knarston. The half occupied by me was formerly occupied by John Gibson. My stock is 2 horses, 1 year-old foal, 3 cows, 2 two-year-olds, 3 one-year-olds, 3 calves, 3 ewes, 5 lambs, 1 pig. I have always kept as much stock as the farm will carry. If it was not for the hill ground I could not keep the stock I do. At the time I took the farm at £16, the buildings were not in a good state. The buildings belong to the estate. The dwelling-house needed new slates on the roof, and the middle required to be celled. We require a barn, for there is no barn; the estate made a byre of it. The byre requires an extension of four stalls. The stable is done, and it only holds two horses. We require a new stable and byre. We require potato, hen, and milk houses, and a granary. We have grazing on Knitchen and Kingerley hills. I have grazed on Glifter for 33 years without any objection. The neighbours do not object. There is a bit of ground between Knitchen and Knarston about which there has been a dispute. If I am cut off from Glifter I would have to put a herd out with the cattle every day as the cattle would come down on other farms. I am quite willing, with regard to that bit of land, to leave it to the Land Court to define the rights. I have grazed there until three years ago when Grieve objected. About twelve other people graze on that hill: all cattle go to the hill. I put sheep to the hill during the winter, but not in summer. I made an arrangement to clean half the ditch, and the estate was to clean the other half. I cleaned a lot, and got paid for it.

By Mr Robertson – My son, who succeeded to the other half of Knarston, is a boy. The whole stock on both places belongs to me. Practically I agreed to take the place. I sometimes stay on my son’s farm and sometimes on my own. I shift about; when it is very cold I go down below, and when it is warm up above.

By Mr Low – My intention was to get buildings sufficient to work the holdings as a whole.

Mr Logie – Since 1913 three farms on the estate have been let at higher rents – Rusness, former rent, £18, let for £22; Breckan, Wasbister, former rent £14, let for £16; Cavit, former rent £26, let for £28.

1919 June 18 Orkney Herald

THE WEATHER. – The long-continued drought has at length come to an end, and heavy rainfalls have been experienced in Orkney during the last seven days. On Thursday and Friday sharp thunderstorms passed over the islands, accompanied by vivid flashes of lightning. The rain has wonderfully revived the growing crops, but on many fields the ravages of the grub can be plainly seen. Turnip sowing has now been almost completed, and farmers will only be too pleased if a period of warm weather follows upon this welcome rain. Grass, which was suffering much from the cold, dry weather, is now looking remarkably well again. Potatoes in gardens and allotments are fast growing to maturity, and in some cases, the shaws [the parts of a potato plant that appear above the ground] are even flowering.

1919 June 25 Orkney Herald




News reached Kirkwall early on Saturday afternoon, from Houton, Orphir, that the German warships interned in Scapa Flow were in a sinking condition; and that a number, in fact, had by that time disappeared beneath the waters. At first scepticism prevailed as to the truth of the information, people being slow to believe that the Huns would dare to do such a dastardly trick, after surrendering their fleet so ignominiously at the time of the armistice, when such an end to their naval power would then, at least, have had some glamour of romance about it. But who can analyse the German mentality? It is a thing apart and savours much of the mentality of the brute creation.

In a short time, people from Kirkwall were on their way to Houton Bay – a distance of about 12 miles – and the sight that met their gaze on arrival there confirmed the story of the latest German perfidy. Battleships, cruisers, and destroyers, which had for over six months lain there peacefully at anchor, were now in every stage of foundering – some on their beam ends, others with bow or stern raised heavenwards, before they disappeared into the depths below. We understand that ten of these leviathans took the final plunge in the course of one hour, so well had the Huns planned this great coup. It was a scene of majestic yet tragic grandeur.

A touch of pathos was added to the exciting episode. The crews, in a spirit of bravado, had hoisted the German battleflag on all the doomed vessels; and this flag, which had been disgraced by the cowardly surrender of the Hun warships without a flight last November, now once again waved proudly at the masthead of each warship, and remained there until the waters engulfed it.

The time for this mad venture had been chosen with marvellous cunning. A British fleet of battleships had left their anchorage in the Flow early on Saturday morning for the purpose of putting to sea for gun practice; and it would appear that immediately after their departure the Huns had set about carrying out the plan of sinking the entire fleet of interned vessels They had calculated upon the impossibility of any small craft which remained in the Flow being able, once the battle-ships were in a sinking condition, to render any effective help in towing the vessels into shallow water; and this surmise was only too correct. To sum up the extent of the destruction which the Huns have done to their surrendered fleet – all the German battleships and cruisers have been sunk, except the Baden; five light cruisers have been sunk; eighteen destroyers were beached – three of them just below Smoogro House, Orphir – four are afloat, and the rest have been sunk.

The sea for a time around the sinking ships was alive with German sailors. Some were on rafts, others in boats; while a large number, with life-belts on, threw themselves into the water. Of these latter many were drowned, as it was impossible to keep afloat in water which by this time was covered with a thickness of oil emitted from the reservoirs of the doomed ships. We understand that a number of others were killed or wounded while trying to effect their escape seawards, and who would not surrender when called upon to do so. Those who were rescued or captured are now detained in safe custody.

On Sunday and Monday several rafts were washed ashore at Holm. There were no men on board these, but on each raft were tins of biscuits, bottles of light beer, a pistol for firing off distress signals, and a night light.

A good deal of criticism is being passed on the British Admiralty for their apparent laxity in allowing German crews to man the interned warships, and thus giving them the opportunity to effect the destruction of these vessels. However, there will likely be a strict enquiry into all the circumstances. In the meantime the naval authorities at Longhope are very reticent in giving any details for publication.

We understand that a German transport arrived at Scapa Flow a week ago with reliefs for the crews of the interned vessels; and it may be – and, indeed, it is quite probable – that the plot to sink the vessels was hatched in Berlin, with a view of delaying the signing of the peace. What good Germany can derive from this act of treachery one fails to see. The punishment must ultimately be borne by herself; and it will only harden the hearts of those who inclined to be merciful to this defeated, disgraced, and contemptible nation.

1919 July 2 Orkney Herald




“Peace is signed!” Such was the joyful news that reached Kirkwall on Saturday afternoon at five o’clock. The first message to get through was one from the Bulletin, Glasgow, to the Leonards, booksellers. Shortly thereafter we received an official message through the Press Association, which put all doubts at rest.

The momentous tidings spread like wildfire throughout the town, and soon all was bustle and animation in the streets. As if by the touch of a fairy’s wand, strings of flags appeared, stretched across the principal thoroughfares; and fuel was added to the enthusiasm by scores of vessels in the harbour and bay simultaneously blowing their sirens.

As the evening wore on the crowds became more dense, and there was one seething mass of humanity from the top of Albert Street to the harbour. Sailors, soldiers, and airmen were much in evidence, as also were their American comrades. The spirits of the crowd were very high, but the revelry never went beyond harmless fun. Bands of young men and women marched in procession, and, in open spaces, sang and danced to their hearts’ content. A merry lot of R.M.L.I. men, headed by one of their number beating a kettle-drum, was much in evidence. Whiles they marched, and whiles they danced, and, in the end, finished off by giving an impromptu vocal concert in Albert Street, which was much appreciated by the large crowd which surrounded the singers. A triumphal car, packed with airmen, made its passage through the streets, its coming being heralded by the blare of bugles and the ringing of bells. The vendors of flags must have done a roaring trade, for almost everyone of the promenaders was displaying on his or her person or carrying in the hand one or more of the flags of Britain or her allies. To add to the noise made vocally, instrumentally, and by the ships’ sirens, there was the noise of the bursting of rockets, the cracking of squibs and other varieties of fireworks. There can be no question but that for some hours pandemonium reigned. All the ships in the harbour and in the bay were gaily dressed with flags, and coloured lights and rockets were set off from a number of these vessels, but, owing to the bright twilight the effect of these was to a great extent lost. The crowning act of the evening was enacted about 11 o’clock, when the effigy of the Kaiser was burned. This took place at Harbour Street, and the cremating was done to the accompaniment of jeers and groans from the large crowd who witnessed it. Unfortunately, rain set in about 9 o’clock and somewhat marred the fun. But, in spite of that, peace evening in Kirkwall will be one that will be long remembered.

1919 July 9 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – LIEUT-COMMANDER J. A. SHEARER, of the Royal Air Force, recently called at the office (says The Proceedings of the Institute of Certified Grocers) fresh home from the Continent. He is member, of whom the institute may well be proud! When war broke out he was in Rhodesia, and he was seen on service in German West Africa. Subsequently, he came to England and trained as a flying officer. He is far too modest to tell of his doings in France, but this we know, that he gained the Distinguished Flying Cross with the observation balloons. May the gallant officer long live to enjoy his honours! A correspondent writes: – I may add that he had three brothers and a brother-in-law in the Army as well – Bob (Corpl.), Jim, Dave, and Charlie – and all of them saw very heavy fighting in Belgium, Flanders, France, and Jim in Italy. Bob was severely wounded in the left leg, and was a year in hospital, and the wound is not quite healed yet. Jim (Corpl.) has been demobilised; he joined before he was eighteen years old. Dave is still in the army, Sergeant over 100 Chinamen cleaning up the aftermath of war. He is the youngest of the four, being only 20 years old a day or so ago. So good luck to Rousay for rearing such boys as those.

[The lads were the sons of farmer, cutter and tailor John Shearer, Sanday, and Lydia Marwick, Corse, Rousay. At the time of the 1901 census the family were living at Cott, Frotoft. John Alexander Shearer was born in 1888; Robert, in 1892; James, in 1897; and David, in 1899. Unfortunately I could not find any details of brother-in-law Charlie.]

1919 July 23 Orkney Herald




Sir W. Watson Cheyne, the Lord-Lieutenant of Orkney and Zetland, is commanded by the King to communicate the following message to the people of Orkney: –

Buckingham Palace.

To Sir W. Watson Cheyne, Lord-Lieutenant of Orkney and Zetland.

I desire you to express my admiration of the courage and endurance displayed by the Sailors, Soldiers, and Airmen of your county during the past five years of war.

I am grateful to all the brave men and women of the County of Orkney for their devoted and patriotic service.

I once more express my sympathy and that of the Queen with the relatives of the gallant men who have given their lives in their country’s cause, and our earnest hope that the sick and wounded may be restored to health.

I rejoice with you today at the restoration of peace, which I trust will bring to us all unity, contentment, and prosperity. –


Saturday was generally observed throughout the United Kingdom as Peace Day. While the Government suggested that the day should be set apart as one of national rejoicing, it was left to local authorities and communities to organise the celebrations in their own way. Kirkwall Town Council took the matter in hand as soon as it was known that a day had been fixed for the historic event; but the time being short in which to attempt anything on an elaborate scale, they naturally built up their programme on lines in which simplicity predominated. The programme for the day was a procession in the forenoon, sports in the afternoon, a cycle parade in the evening, and, later, a bonfire….. In almost every parish in the county celebrations were held on Saturday. These, as a rule, took the form of a picnic and sports for adults and children, finishing up with a bonfire and dance in the evening. That some of the bonfires were of huge dimensions could be seen from Kirkwall, those in Firth, RendaII, Rousay, and Shapinsay being particularly distinguishable.




The following decisions in Orkney cases have been issued by the Scottish Land Court: – …..


Hugh Pearson, Kirkgate, Wasbister, Rousay. Old rent, £4 18s; equitable rent, £4.

William Marwick Low, Hunclet, Frotoft, Rousay. Old rent, £24; equitable rent £23.

Note . – The applicant has made no improvement, but the proprietor has preferred to make him a landholder, and as a landholder he is now required to provide and maintain the necessary buildings.

Ann Elizabeth Craigie, Veira Lodge, Rousay. Old rent, £15.

Note.—The main objection by the landlord to the application is that this is not a holding. At first sight the subjects appear to conform to the definition in the Landholders Acts, for the land, excepting for some portions that might be excluded as woodland, is mainly agricultural, and as to the residue pastoral. Had the dwelling-house been at all of the kind that is usual on a small holding of six acres, then would not have been the smallest difficulty in overruling the objection made, but the dwelling-house is historically the factor’s house, and is the only one on the estate. It was used as such for many years, and was even occupied for a short time by the late proprietor himself before he built the existing mansion-house. Owing to the fact that since the late proprietor’s death the mansion house has been occupied by sporting tenants only, the present land steward and factor reside in it, or in a gate lodge when the mansion house is occupied, because he also acts as caretaker. The house in question has two storeys, and is fairly commodious. The whole of the land is surrounded by a high wall, and plantation of trees and shrubs have been made for amenity. The subjects appear to be rather of a residential than of as agricultural character. On the whole, the Court is satisfied that their inclusion within the operation of the Act would not only be a hardship to the proprietor, but would be unwarrantable on any fair construction of the law…..


Robert A. Inkster, Cogar, Rousay. Former rent, £20; equitable rent, £20. Arrears £65, ordered to be paid.

John Gibson, Broland, Rousay. Former rent £19; equitable rent, £18. Arrears £36 10s, to be paid.

David Gibson, Faraclett, Rousay. Equitable rent, £12 10s…..

1919 July 30 Orkney Herald

SALVAGE AT SCAPA – RAISING SCUTTLED GERMAN SHIPS. – Contracts have been placed by the Admiralty with the Liverpool Salvage Association for the salvage of the scuttled German fleet in Scapa Flow, and the work is already in progress. The science of salvage work has been developed to such an extent that the possibilities of success are far greater to-day than they were even twelve months ago. Many of the German ships are in comparatively shallow water, and they will be recovered with little difficulty. But even those which are in a depth of water may not be beyond the reach of the salvage parties. Divers have already been at work, and the whole area, together with the position of the sunken ships, has been carefully charted, ready for operations on an extensive scale. Captain Young, the chief officer of the Liverpool Salvage Association, is personally superintending the work at Scapa Flow, and Liverpool experts have the utmost confidence in this officer, whose experience in the salving of sunken ships is unique. No decision has yet been taken with regard to the trial of the German officers of the ships sunk at Scapa. The battleship Baden has been salved, and those which were beached are now in working order. Very little has been done with the others.

ROUSAY – FROTOFT CHILDREN’S PICNIC. – The annual children’s picnic was held in Frotoft district, at and around the Schoolhouse, last Friday afternoon, under the most favourable weather conditions. A large turn-out of children, parents, and visitors assembled in the schoolroom and on the green. The day was ideal, and the proceedings in connection with this annual event interesting. A good number of races, varied and amusing, were indulged in to the joy of the children and the delight of the adults. The children generally had the satisfaction of receiving prizes as a reward. Praise is due Miss Sinclair and a willing, active committee for the manner in which provision was made for the large company, and the enjoyment derived from the picnic and entertainment. The Rev. J. Deas Logie, parish minister, was present by request of the committee during the afternoon and evening, took part, guided the proceedings, and added by his presence and good cheer to the pleasure of the day’s outing. Mrs Paterson handed out the prizes to the successful children and adults who had run in the races and taken part in the sports. Miss Sinclair and the committee, Mrs Paterson, and the Rev. J. Deas Logie were all heartily thanked for their efforts at providing a good picnic and sports. The young folks afterwards enjoyed a dance, which is always a feature for a few hours at each annual picnic.

1919 August 6 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – WASBISTER DISTRICT PICNIC. – On Tuesday 29th July, the Wasbister annual picnic for the children, which was well attended and patronised by parents, friends and visitors, was held. All through, the day was all that could be desired. The children, as usual in picnics, were there at the appointed time, ready for enjoyment and, no doubt, appreciation. A picnic comes to be as much a test of skill and endurance in races and sports, as tests are applied to the child’s progress in education. But the sports are not limited to children; adults take part in the sports and share in the fare of the prize-list. A district gathering means the giving of enjoyment, and getting enjoyment. It means a day off, and a day’s outing. Miss [Anna May] Cooper, teacher in the Public School, had everything ready, with the help of a committee of ladies. The Rev. J. Deas Logie, parish minister, Rev. D. S. Brown, United Free minister, and Mrs Brown, Rev. Mr Taylor, Paterson Church, Kirkwall, and his family, who are on holiday, and other visitors, assembled to enjoy and give enjoyment. A pleasant afternoon and evening were spent. In front of the schoolhouse the large company gathered on the green, and after prayer offered by Rev. Mr Brown, tea was served. Then came the prize-list. Mrs Brown obligingly gave out the prizes to those who were successful in races and sports. On the call of the minister, votes of thanks were given Miss Cooper, the ladies’ committee, Mrs Brown, and all who contributed to the pleasure of the outing. At the call of Mr Mark Kirkness, the Rev. J. Deas Logie was thanked for his presence and interest in the proceedings of the day. For some hours afterwards dancing took place. Messrs Magnus, Alex, and Hugh Craigie and Hugh Inkster supplied the music, which was as pleasing and graceful as the dances. A day off, the spirit, soul, heart in motion, even through mechanical channels, is a day well-spent.

SOURIN DISTRICT PICNIC. – Rousay reached the third and last in its series of picnics in the out-of-doors celebration of the annual event at Faraclett farm on Friday, August 1. Mr [John] Gibson kindly granted the use of his farm buildings and ground for the occasion. After the morning’s rain and thick clouds, there was a scattering above of the clouds, the ceasing of the rain; then came a day’s sunshine and cool breeze. All’s well! Rousay was in luck again. Miss [Lydia] Baikie, teacher in the Public School at Sourin, had marched the children from the school, and had everything necessary for the day’s outing and enjoyment at hand, and ready visitors from the south were there, accompanying the parents and friends. Mr Louttit, from Edinburgh, the Rev. J. Deas Logie, Rev. D. S. Brown, and Mrs Brown were present, to lend by their presence encouragement and helpfulness. The adults had a fine view of the races and sports that were carried through under the guidance and direction of the minister of the parish. The day sped on, merriment went on, enjoyment increased. The only hitch was the tug-o’-war – no rope at hand could stand the test of twenty strong men. An item in the races was the challenge by the venerable Mr [Robert] Marwick, of Scockness, in the spirit of youth, to the minister for a run. The challenge was accepted. The run left nothing to be desired as an event. After sports and races came tea, and then the prize list. Mrs Brown gave out the prizes. Votes of thanks were given Miss Baikie for her care and attention; to the ladies’ committee for their service; to Mrs Brown for her kindness in handing the prizes; to Mr Gibson for the use of his ground; and to everybody for their best behaviour. Mr Alan Gibson moved a vote of thanks to the Rev. J. Deas Logie for his interest and energy. Thanks were returned also on behalf of all contributors. Dancing was engaged in for some time by the youths and maidens. Mr Gibson was untiring in his efforts to make everybody as comfortable as possible. Thus ended a pleasant day.




James Russell, Brendale, Sourin, Rousay. Former rent,£25; equitable rent, £27.

Note. – A new Barn is decidedly required. The stable would be improved by making four stalls into three, bringing back the heel posts and renewing stall fittings. The representative of the estate at the inspection agreed to carry out these alterations as soon as he could get wood, and the equitable rent has been fixed on the footing that this is done.

Robert Sinclair, Skatequoy and Stennisgorn, Rousay. Former rent, £38; equitable rent, £46.

Note. – The objection that the holding exceeded the statutory limits was not supported by evidence. The roof of the dwelling-house on the holding is not in good order. The proprietors have undertaken to make it wind and water tight before the coming winter and to put on a new roof as soon as wood can be got on reasonable terms. There is no cartshed or granary. These, in all the circumstances, are not absolutely necessary, but it would be a desirable improvement to have them provided. Otherwise the holding is now very suitably equipped with buildings. For the new byre and turnip shed erected by the tenant in accordance with the lease of 1907, fair consideration has been given by the landlord in the form of reduction of rent from £52 to £38 for the five years of the lease. The equitable rent now falls to be fixed under normal conditions without reference to any agreement whereby the tenant is required to provide buildings without assistance from the landlord. Under the circumstances it has almost inevitably been raised, though it has not been quite restored to its former figure.

William Sabiston, Redlums, Rousay. Former rent, £3 10s; equitable rent, £3.

Note. – Some of the land on this holding is fair quality but the houses are very poor. The tenant, however, has asked for no repairs.

Christina Munro, Old School House, Sourin. Former rent, £3 5s; equitable rent, £5.

Note. – The dwelling-house on this holding is not good. The roof may last for some time longer, but some repairs to the ceiling and some wall plaster are urgently required to put the house into tenantable order. If these repairs – which are not extensive – are not done within a reasonable time, the tenant will be entitled to apply to the Court to be made a landholder. At the hearing exception was taken to the applicant’s title to the holding, but by minute subsequently lodged the exception was waived and applicant accepted as tenant.

1919 August 13 Orkney Herald

THE SCUTTLED GERMAN FLEET. – In the House of Commons on Wednesday the First Lord of the Admiralty, in reply to Commander Bellaire, said no attempt was made to salve the sunken German ships at Scapa. The salvage operations only concerned those vessels which had been beached in shallow water before they had time to sink. The cost, which would not be large, was being met provisionally out of the Navy Votes [Royal Navy accounts administration]. The ultimate incidence of the charge would be settled between the Allies. Only one salvage vessel lent by the Salvage Association was employed for two weeks getting these ships off, and the operations were now practically ended.

ROUSAY AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY SHOW. – The entries for the Rousay Agricultural Society Show at Sourin on Wednesday last were very small. The quality of the animals exhibited was of a first-class standard. Mares were prominent and some fine breeds were displayed. Mr J. Harrold acted as secretary and Messrs Scarth, Burgar; J. Wood, Aikerness; and J. Inkster, East Heddle, were the judges. The principal awards were: –

CATTLE. – Polled Cows – 1 George Gibson, Avelshay; 2 James Corsie, Knarston; 3 and highly commended Robert Seatter, Banks; commended J. Scott, Hurtiso. Shorthorn Queys – 1 A. C. Gibson, Bigland; 2 William Orr, Saviskaill; 3 J. Scott, Hurtiso. Two-year-old Queys  – 1, 2, and hc G. Gibson; 3 and c D. Gibson. Two-year-old Shorthorn Steers – 1 and 2 Geo. Scott. One-year-old Polled Queys – 1 and 3 A. C. Gibson; 2 G. Gibson. One-year-old Polled Steers – 1 and 3 A. C. Gibson; 2, hc, and c D. Gibson. One-year-old Shorthorn Steers – 1, 2, and 3 R. Seatter.

HORSES. – Yeld Mares – 1 and 2 G. Gibson; 3 D. Inkster, Furse; hc and c Wm. Moar. Mares with Foal at Foot – 1 and 2 Thomas Inkster, Nearhouse; 3 J. Scott, Hurtiso. Foals – 1 and 3 Thomas Inkster; 2 Wm. Moar; hc John Craigie. Three-year-old Fillies – 1 G. Gibson; 2 R. Seatter; 3 J. Corsie; hc Wm. Moar. Two-year-old Geldings – 1 D. Gibson; 2 A. Gibson; 3 G. Gibson; c Wm. Moar. Two-year-old Fillies – 1 John Craigie; 2 John Scott. One-year-old Fillies – 1 and 2 John Corsie; 3 Wm. Moar; hc Thos. Brown.

SPECIAL PRIZES. – Best Cow in Yard – George Gibson. Best Gelding – John Corsie. Best Mare – John Craigie, Glebe.

EGILSAY – PRAISE SERVICE. – On the evening of Sabbath, August 3rd, a praise service was held in Egilshay U.F. Church. A party of about a dozen members of U.F. choir, Sourin, Rousay, being favoured by good weather, crossed the sound to Egilshay, and combined with a local choir in carrying out a programme of sacred music with marked success. The choirs sang sometimes together and sometimes separately, and solos, duets, and quartettes were also sung. Rev. D. S. Brown. M.A., Rousay, presided over a meeting which was well attended, and the audience helped most heartily in the congregational singing, which also formed part of the programme. The collection, which was liberal, was in aid of repairs of Egilshay Church. This is the second deputational visit made by Sourin choir, and both have been successful. They have been undertaken as an experiment to see if it is possible for neighbouring districts or churches to help one another in this way. It would, perhaps, form a pleasing variation in the routine of ordinary church services by improving church music and the attendance, and also the finances of the church.

1919 August 20 Orkney Herald

STEAMER PURCHASED FOR ORKNEY. – The Orkney Steam Navigation Company have purchased a steamer called “The Countess of Bantry.” The vessel, which has hitherto been employed in the West Highlands, is slightly larger than the “Fawn” previously owned by the company. She will take the place of the “Orcadia” while that vessel is away getting an extensive overhaul and repair, after which it is believed she will take up the Rousay and North Ronaldshay trade. She left Oban yesterday for Kirkwall.



John Corsie, Knarston, Sourin, Rousay, applied to the Court to fix a first equitable rent. Former rent, £16; equitable rent, £18.

Note. – Some hill pasture known as “Glyfter” was claimed by the applicant as part of the hill grazing to which he had a right along with other tenants. From the evidence led, however, and from leases produced it is clear that this grazing was let to the tenant of Avelshay farm some years before the passing of the Crofter’s Act in 1886 and has been part of that farm to the present time. The applicant’s evidence, which was not supported, is quite ineffective to displace the evidence as to “Glyfter” being part of Avelshay farm. It was arranged at the inspection that the access road to the hill pasture which had not previously been well defined should run from the public road alongside the Glebe march ditch and should extend half a chain in width throughout. The applicant having a right to erect a fence, if he should desire, along the west side of the public road from the south of the well to the access road and alongside the access road…..

1919 September 10 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – SERVICE OF PRAISE. – A service of praise was held in Sourin U.F. Church on Sabbath, August 31st, at 5 p.m., by the combined choirs of Trumland and Sourin Churches. The Rev. Mr Taylor, of Paterson U.F. Church, Kirkwall, was chairman of the meeting; Miss Baikie, Schoolhouse, was organist; and Rev. D. S. Brown, M.A., acted as conductor for the combined choirs. As much labour had been spent by the singers in the way of preparation, the programme of nineteen items was carried out like clockwork. As the weather was favourable for this scattered district, there was a good attendance, who felt the impressiveness of the service, and who helped to make it that, by their sympathetic support of the musical folks, and by their own hearty congregational singing. One noticeable feature in this pleasing and spiritual service – besides the liberal collection, which was given for repairs – was the alto singing in both choirs. This is too often wanting in rural churches, when the beauty and worth of alto is not appreciated as it should be. The event, which is creditable to all parties, also goes to show, along with other recent happenings, that sacred music is improving in the district; and the hope may be expressed that it is only a symptom of that wider movement in the same direction, which would strengthen the whole church for its great work in difficult times.

1919 September 24 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – THE NEW CHURCHYARD. – The ground or churchyard of the Parish Church has been recently opened for burials. Two burials have already taken place. The opening of the new churchyard, in which hitherto no burials took place, will supply the necessity for a new burial ground in Rousay parish. The continued state of affairs with regard to prevailing method of burials, the congestion in the old churchyard and burial places, of which there are strangely in this parish a good number compared to other parishes, is proverbial, and amounts almost to a scandal. Burials have taken place in some of these burial places for hundreds of years, fresh burials taking place where remains had formerly been laid. The churchyard at Egilshay and the graveyard at Wasbister are the only two places in the pariah out of the six where burials should be allowed to continue to take place – these only appear to be in line with the conditions of burial prevailing in other parishes in Orkney and elsewhere. The minister and kirk session have a legal duty to perform in making sure that those who are responsible by law or accepted “care and management” must maintain the burial places in a “seemly and orderly condition.” The churchyard of Veira, the churchyard at Westness, and the graveyards at Chapel [Glebe] and Scockness should undoubtedly be closed, with the limited safeguard of permitting a few aged folks to be buried beside partners. Patience on the part of the minister and kirk session of Rousay and Egilshay kept them from compelling the heritors to provide a new churchyard for “parishioners’ interment,” or calling upon the Local Government Board to order these burial places to be closed. The opening of the churchyard of the Parish Church now opens the way for the automatic stopping of burials in the congested places mentioned without further summary action, supplies a central churchyard as a burial place for the districts embracing Sourin, Veira, Brinian, and Frotoft on that side of the island, saves considerable expense to the ratepayers, by obviating any tendency for a public cemetery, which would involve in either ground building of walls, laying out of ground, maintenance and upkeep at a time when taxation will rise and reach a considerable sum of money, due to war, national, and educational expenditure. Credit is due the minister and kirk-session of the parish for their prompt action in meeting the situation by the opening of the ground or churchyard of the Parish Church, which will thus save the heritors’ and taxpayers’ pockets additional expenditure otherwise required by necessity, law, and public decency. Jurisdiction naturally remains with the minister and kirk-session, as common in Scotland in law and practice in the parish churches, where churchyards are enclosed round the parish church in which public worship is held. Parishioners are requested to take note of the intimation by advertisement which appears in the first page of this issue of the Orkney Herald.



IT IS HEREBY INTIMATED that the Churchyard of the Parish Church is now open for burials. Burials have already taken place. All parishioners may have free lairs on application to the Minister of the Parish, or, in his absence from home, from Mr JOHN CRAIGIE, The Glebe, who possesses a mandate to act, and will attend when a lair is required. The only expense will be the Gravedigger’s Fee. On behalf of the Kirk Session and by its authority thereof.

JOHN DEAS LOGIE, Session Clerk,
Minister of Rousay and Egilshay.
20th Sept. 1919.

1919 October 1 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – THE CHURCHYARD. – A correspondent writes: – It seems incredible to learn that with a new parish churchyard now open, there should be a hole-and-corner attempt to contemplate a burial place in the near vicinity of the Parish Church and in the district. Historians would require to go back to the tribal or pagan period for anything so vicious in tendency to beat such an absurdity, perversion of common-sense, and ordinary decency on the part of a small coterie of men in a Christian, Presbyterian community. Rousay parish, unlike most parishes in Orkney and elsewhere throughout Scotland, has had a burial place in each district; such burial places are in process of closure, and the new churchyard, a very desirable site approved by the late General Burroughs, and given partly with that object in view, and who had it consecrated by a Bishop (Episcopalian), though consecration is not a Presbyterian form, has given intense satisfaction to the parishioners as a whole. It would seem that a small clique who, if they could, it would appear, would revive a pagan spirit, a Druid form and spirit of a thousand and a half years ago, is suggesting a counter burial place to the parish churchyard. The majority of parishioners are as good a type and class as can be found anywhere in Orkney, and the hope is becoming general and strong that they will end such unworthy tactics cradled and fostered by a few men with a Guy Fawkes’ motive, who seem to walk backwards, and cannot be happy unless they are against the Government, and opposing whatever tends towards unity, peace, happiness, and goodwill of the parish. Even a central parish churchyard for “parishioners interment” is evaded, and they seek thus to prey upon the gullibility and weak-kneed of those who listen to them, and whom they seek to influence. It would be no surprise to learn that this small party contemplate a counter-heaven to the Christian’s heaven; as for a counter other place below, that project might be considered unnecessary. It would certainly be unwelcome to the good folks of Rousay, and they will belie their credit and honour and good faith, and their respect for the memory of Sir Frederick Burroughs if they do not forthwith absolutely absolve themselves from such contamination of spirit, and decline in a case that now absolves the heritors from putting their hands in their pockets, to be influenced to put their own hands as parishioners and rate-payers into their own pockets by the gentle pressure of a side show of men. Let such men pay for their side-show out of their own pockets, not other people’s. It is expected that the parishioners will shake themselves clear from such a mad project, and maintain their self-respect and esteem; otherwise, sacred, Christian burial will be dragged down to the level of the savage spirit, method, and environment. Some men seem not to know what Christianity is and means; for them Presbyterian union, which will make drastic changes, is one hundred years ahead. Union will at least benefit Wasbister with a church, and mean one church less on the manse side of the island. Hence the advantage of a central parish churchyard.

1919 October 8 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – MEMORIAL FOR THE FALLEN. – A war memorial to commemorate the gallant men from the parish of Rousay and Egilshay who, in the late great war, laid down their lives for king and country, is under consideration. A committee has been appointed. A general feeling exists that the best site in the parish for such a sacred memorial monument is in the Parish Church churchyard. To secularise the memorial and make it devoid of the religious element in worship, dedication, and preservation within sacred precincts would be sheer paganism. Such a sacred memorial, it is felt, concerning the memory of the fallen, should not be detached from the religious, hallowed associations around a church where God is worshipped and revered every Lord’s Day. A churchyard is for “parishioners’ interment;” it is now open for burials; but the minister and kirk-session offer no objections to the memorial monument being placed in the church-yard, but rather welcome the desire to place it there, and hope the desire will be realised. The late General Sir Frederick Burroughs, who with shrewd foresight gave the ground for a churchyard, which now saves the heritors such a lawful provision and expense on their part, and who, it is stated, would have been buried there himself had he died in Orkney, has had his sacred wish fulfilled in the churchyard open since May for burial purposes, and it would be fitting and an honour to his memory, he who was a man of war as well as a man of God, were the war memorial monument contemplated placed on a prominent site in the parish churchyard in remembrance of the men who fell in the war, and who were brought up in Christian, Presbyterian homes in the parish. Only the narrowest, shallowest, prejudiced mind, with little depth of sacred, religious devotion, would offer objection to such a religious proposal, which it is hoped will be carried out in unity and quiet submission of spirit in honour of the lads and to the glory of God. The suggestion of a few men to place the monument near the pier head, a rendezvous for horses, cattle, sheep, and pigs, only reveals what manner of men they are, and how devoid they are of grasping the religious side in the memory of the fallen men, what we owe to God, and how little some men know of their own religion. After all, strip away the outward garb of civilisation and we have pagans.

1919 October 15 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – ENTERTAINMENT AT WASBISTER TO THE RETURNED SOLDIERS AND SAILORS. – On the 19th ult., an entertainment was given to the returned soldiers and sailors. The weather, which had been very boisterous, cleared up in time to allow the invited guests to arrive. The school-room was beautifully decorated with flags, ever-greens and flowers. Over 90 guests sat down to tea. The tea tables were tastefully ornamented with flowers, which, along with silver dishes lent by ladies of the district, gave a festive air to the tables, which were sumptuously spread with delicious home-baked scones, cakes, pastries, and other dainties. Grace was said by Mr John Sinclair, and then tea was served by the committee. When this repast was over, the chairman, Mr James G. Craigie, in a kind and appropriate speech, welcomed the soldiers back to Rousay and to civil life. He spoke of what they had done for the community and for humanity, and in the name of the Wasbister people thanked them for their services. As a sign of the districts appreciation, it was desired, he said, to give the soldiers an evening’s entertainment and also a small gift as a mark of the district’s gratitude. Each soldier was then presented with a letter wallet, with his initials on the cover and an inscription on the inside. When this ceremony was over, Mr Craigie called for a vote of thanks to the committee for the splendid way it had carried out the arrangements for the entertainment. This was heartily responded to, and Mr George Sinclair, on behalf of the soldiers, thanked Mr Craigie for his kind words and the Wasbister people for the splendid reception they had given. The soldiers deeply appreciated the kindly feelings which had prompted those at home to welcome them so warmly. He also thanked them for the fine gift they had each received, for they had not looked for reward, as they had only done their duty. The schoolroom was then cleared, and a dance followed, which was kept up to an early hour. During the evening solos were given by Misses Flaws and Cooper, and Messrs Clouston and Sinclair. The songs were splendidly received and heartily encored. Those who did not dance had an opportunity for conversation or games to the schoolhouse. Supper was served later, and during the evening light refreshments were handed round. Music was supplied, on the violin by Messrs Magnus Craigie, J. Craigie, J. Clouston, H. Sinclair, H. Inkster, G. Sabiston, and on the piano by Mrs Marwick, Miss Cooper, and Mr R. Inkster. The evening was a complete success, and thanks are due to the committee, who spared no pains to make the entertainment the best which has taken place in the district. This opportunity is taken of thanking all those who helped in any way to make the evening such a success. Owing to the too generous supplies of home-baked delicacies, it was found impossible to distribute what remained, so on the Monday evening following, another social evening took place; this time some of the guests of the previous evening attended to the catering and serving. The school children were specially invited, and the evening passed off as successfully as the preceding one.

1919 November 12 Orkney Herald

THE WEATHER. – Late on Friday evening a strong breeze of north-easterly wind gradually increased into a moderate gale, which subsided somewhat in the early hours of Saturday morning, but shortly after daybreak, however, it suddenly developed into a gale of unusual severity, accompanied by heavy showers of snow, and continued with unabated violence until late in the afternoon, when the wind veered round to the southeast, and the gale as suddenly spent itself. The North Isles steamer Countess of Bantry, the Clansman, and the mail steamer, Earl of Zetland, were unable to sail on Saturday morning. A number of fishing trawlers which took shelter in Kirkwall Bay left again on Sunday. Part of the retaining wall at the Ayre Road, which was subjected to heavy onslaughts of sea, was washed away, and some damage done to the road.

1919 December 31 Orkney Herald

THE CATHEDRAL CLOCK. – On Christmas Eve the Cathedral clock was lit for the first time. Seen from the western approaches of Kirkwall, it has a striking resemblance to the moon, and to the uninitiated it could quite easily be mistaken for that orb, as it stands high above all the other lights of the town, and is much larger and has a subdued white light not unlike the moon. In fact, when first seen it was mistaken for same, and quite naturally so, as at a distance it appears to hang In the eastern sky.

CHRISTMAS. – The first post-war Christmas in Kirkwall is likely to be long remembered by the inhabitants. Christmas Eve portended a really old-fashioned Christmas, as throughout the day a keen frost set in and hardened up the snow which had already fallen throughout the week. All the principal business shops were brilliantly lighted up, and most of them had their windows tastefully decorated for the occasion. As was natural, there was a large number of people on the move, and the majority of the shops appeared to be doing a brisk trade. It was quite evident the citizens were bent on blotting out the memory of the past five years by making the first peace Christmas as happy as possible.

It would really appear as if Nature had granted a special concession to the day of peace and good-will, as the dawn of Christmas morning was the finest and most appropriate one Kirkwall has seen for many a year. The weather conditions of the previous week were of the worst kind, and such an acceptable change gladdened the hearts of all. People were astir by good time, especially the younger element. This was no doubt attributable to the event of the day, namely, the ba’-playing on the streets. As the old-fashioned game had been in abeyance during the war, keen interest was being manifested in the forthcoming games. According to custom, the ba’s were exhibited in shop windows prior to the eventful day.

BOYS’ BA’. – The boys’ ba’ was thrown up at 10 a.m., and after few minutes’ play it was apparent it was destined to follow the course of its predecessors, as within fifteen minutes the Up-the-Gates succeeded in getting it off Broad Street, and as the street near the National Bank was one sheet of ice, nothing could stop the enthusiastic rush. At this juncture many of the older Down-the-Gates’ supporters, disgusted with the poor fight put up by their side, left the scene and returned to their respective homes. The ba’ was more than half-way to its goal before it took a halt, and when it did so, alas! few boys could be seen in the seething mass. It would take a long stretch of imagination to call a married man – with boys of his own – a boy. Nevertheless, one of these so-called boys was discovered in the ranks of the Up-the-Gates. This was heaping insult on injury, and demanded some sort of retaliation; and, accordingly, the Down-the-Gates put in their boys too – not married boys, by the way. This appeared to have the desired effect, as the tide began to slowly turn, and a hard backward fight ensued. Realising it was impossible to regain lost ground on the slippery streets, the Down-the-Gates succeeded in forcing play down a side-lane to Junction Road, but on arrival there it was discovered that the ba’ had mysteriously disappeared. Up went the cry, “She’s gone, boys!” The truth was soon learned. One of the Down-the-Gates, seeing an opening, forced a passage and made off with the trophy, hotly pursued by his opponents. In his excitement he threw the ball to one of them, who, of course, endeavoured to reach the desired goal. His progress was arrested at the County Buildings, and the Down-the-Gates, being alive to the dramatic turn of events, grasped the opportunity and never relaxed their efforts until the much-coveted prize found repose in the harbour. In previous years there was no difficulty in finding a suitable ship’s mast whereupon to hoist the prize, but war has changed all that, and this Christmas Kirkwall Basin cannot boast of one smack. The difficulty was got over by using the flag-staff at the Harbour Office. The usual harangue took place as to who should get the ba’. The majority favoured a small lad named [James] Cooper, and consequently it was handed over to him.

MEN’S BA’. – The men’s ba was thrown up at 1 p.m. The result of the play was thought to be a foregone conclusion, as many years have elapsed since this ba’ was won by the Down-the-Gates. The Up-the-Gates were out in strength, and the Down-the-Gates were conspicuous by their absence when the ba’ was thrown up. Confident of success the “Uppies” commenced their usual surging tactics with the object of making a non-stop run. Where the Down-the-Gates came from it is difficult to tell, but they arrived in force. It was quite apparent the majority of these had no intention of participating in the game as their dress belied such intention. It turned out a tough affair, and the struggle on Broad Street lasted for fully half an hour. The Down-the-Gates, realising they had a chance, fought a hard battle and won. So exciting was the game that the women folk could not keep out of it, and quite a number of flappers could be seen pushing towards the harbour. It was a great game, and apparently enjoyed by all. The outstanding feature was the good-will that existed on both sides, and none of the former drunkenness and fighting was apparent. The trophy, by general consent, was handed to Peter Harcus, a veteran player for the Down-the-Gates.

In Print

Newsprint – 1918

1918 January 2 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – SERVICE OF PRAISE. – On Sunday evening, 29th December, a service of praise was held in Trumland Church for the purpose of raising funds to supply comforts for the Rousay soldiers. A choir, under the leadership of Miss Hourston, gave a large programme, consisting of choir pieces, duets, solos, and quartettes. Miss Jeannie Harrold acted as accompanist. The Rev. Mr Webster, probationer, occupied the chair, and, during an interval in the programme, delivered a very suitable address on “Praise.” The collection, which amounted to over £4, was handed over to the Frotoft and Brinian Ladies Committee…..

PRESENTATIONS. – On the occasion of leaving Frotoft School to take up duties in Hundland School, Birsay, Miss Hourston was waited upon by a deputation representing the parents and children in the district and presented with a beautiful silver teapot and silver-mounted Wedgewood jug. Mr Mainland, Westness, member of the School Board, in making the presentation, spoke highly of the excellent work Miss Hourston had done since coming to Frotoft, and expressed keen regret at her leaving, remarking that it would be bad at the present time to fill her place. Miss Hourston suitably and feelingly replied. On the previous day, Miss Hourston was met by the members of the Trumland Church choir, in Rose Cottage, and presented with a beautiful dressing case as a mark of their appreciation for the part she had taken in the work of the choir since coming to Rousay.

1918 January 9 Orkney Herald

FIREMASTER INKSTER HONOURED BY THE KING. – Firemaster William Inkster, who has been awarded the King’s Police Medal, is a native of Orkney [known as ‘Fiery Bill’, of Cogar, Rousay]. He joined the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, London, in 1889, and passed through the various grades, and latterly had charge of the carpenters’ department, and mechanic shop. In 1896 he was appointed to his present position as firemaster of the City of Aberdeen out of a list of 43 applicants, and he supervised the construction and equipment of the present Fire Station. He has assisted personally in saving life at various fires in the city, and on one occasion was nearly asphyxiated. Firemaster Inkster, through his skilful management in the distribution of his men and appliances at large outbreaks, has been instrumental in saving valuable property. By request he has organised fire brigades and private brigades in several institutions and establishments in the north. On the recommendation of the late Sir E. M. Shaw, Firemaster Inkster was selected to carry out the reorganisation of the fire brigades at Balmoral Castle and Abergeldie Castle on the King’s estate. He was president of the Association of Fire Brigade Officers from 1912 to 1913.

SNOWSTORM. – The most severe snowstorm of recent years began on Sunday morning, and continued, with little or no interruption, on Monday. During the forenoon of Sunday the fall was of a sleety nature; but as the afternoon wore on, the wind increased, a severe frost set in, and the sleet was changed into a blizzard, which came down in a blinding sheet that soon obliterated every landmark on the countryside, and heaped itself up in wreaths wherever there was a sheltered place. There was very little cessation of the storm on Monday, and every road leading into the country was blocked. The mail car attempted the journey from Stromness to Kirkwall early in the morning, but when a mile out of the former town it got stuck in a wreath, and further progress was impossible. There was no communication with Kirkwall from any of the outlying parishes on Monday by coach or car. On the sea the conditions of things were no less severe. The mail steamer did not cross the Pentland Firth, nor did the s.s Orcadia attempt the passage from the North Isles. On Sunday the wind blew from the east, but gradually veered to the north-east, from which direction it blew with gale force all day on Monday. To-day (Tuesday) the storm shows no signs of abating, and the drifts are piling themselves up to great depths in the outlying districts. If these conditions continue for any length of time, much suffering must necessarily be entailed on people in the country, far removed from means of renewing their household supplies.

ROUSAY – CONCERT. – A concert held in Wasbister School on Christmas night was largely attended. The collection taken was devoted to comforts for the Rousay soldiers on active service. The Rev. J. Deas Logie, F.I.B.P., parish minister, presided, and gave a short address on “Patriotism,” with special application to the interpretation given by the various nations at war. The programme was varied, entertaining, interesting, and well appreciated by the large audience present.

Under the tuition and guidance of Miss Anna May Cooper, of Wasbister School, a well prepared playlet was splendidly given and interpreted by scholars. The fairy play was “The Fairy Gifts.” The characters were as follows: – Mortals – Peter (a cobbler), Willie Flaws; Jean (his wife), Ethelyn Inkster; Marjorie Daw (daughter), Lillah Inkster; Jack, the Hunchback (son), James Craigie; Simple Simon (son), Hughie Sinclair; Immortals – Fairy Queen, Anna B. Sinclair; Fairies – Bluebell, Maggie J. Grieve; Buttercup, Minnie A. Inkster; Cowslip, Rita Craigie; Elves – Dragonfly, George Craigie; Cockchafer, George Laird; Ladybird, John Marwick. The playlet was in six scenes. The following seniors strengthened the evening’s enjoyment, and added spirit and spice to the pleasure of the evening: – Quartettes, “The Gipsy Queen,” Mrs Moar, Miss E. Craigie, Messrs Kirkness and Inkster; “Alice, Where Art Thou ?” Messrs Kirkness, Clouston, Inkster, and Sinclair; “My Mountain Home,” by all artistes in preceding quartettes; solos were rendered: – “Up from Somerset,” by Hugh Sinclair; “Cam’ ye by Athol ” Mrs Moar; “Wee Hoose ‘mang the Heather,” Mr Clouston; “Keep the Home Fires Burning,” Miss Cooper; duet, “Tell us, oh! tell us,” by Miss E. Craigie and Miss Cooper; trio, fantasia on songs of Burns, Mrs Moar, Miss E. Craigie, and Mr R. Inkster; sketches: – “The Troublesome Servant,” William Craigie and John Clouston; “The Broken Mirror,” Hugh Sinclair, James Marwick, and Miss Cooper; “Laying a Trap,” Misses B. Craigie, Helen Mary Craigie, A. Cooper, Pearson, Clouston, and Mr Hugh Sinclair. These sketches were delightfully entertaining. A reading, “Bobby Banks’ Bother,” was given by Mr Clouston; a recitation, “John Tibbie’s Dispute,” by Miss M. J. Clouston, and violin and piano selections by Mr and Mrs Alex. Craigie completed the evening’s entertainment.

Votes of thanks were accorded all the parties for the enjoyment of songs, stories, music, readings, recitations, and the efforts to please and delight. A pleasant evening was concluded with words of appreciation from the chairman, and the singing by artistes and audience of “Auld Lang Syne.”

1918 January 16 Orkney Herald

RENEWAL OF SNOWSTORM. – Weather of the most Arctic kind has been experienced in Orkney for a week and a-half. The first phase of the snowstorm, which began on Sunday, the 6th inst., continued with varying intensity until the afternoon of Tuesday, the 8th inst. Long before the storm subsided, all roads were hopelessly blocked by wreaths of snow, and Kirkwall was completely cut off from communication with the outlying districts. On Wednesday a slight thaw set in, but little impression was made on the mounds of snow which lay piled up to great heights across the roads. This thaw was of very short duration, and from Wednesday to Saturday the whole country was bound in the iron grip of a most intense frost. While these conditions remained the weather was mild, and the mail steamer resumed her passage across the Pentland Firth, and the local mails were taken by drifter from Stromness to Scapa.

On Saturday, however, the barometer began to fall, and in the evening the second phase of the snowstorm commenced. At first there was little or no wind, and consequently no drift; but early on Sunday morning the wind, which had been easterly, suddenly changed to the north-north-west, and almost immediately attained the force of a gale. From then onwards to daylight a most severe blizzard was experienced. The snow accumulated to great heights, and many people could be observed on Sunday forenoon digging a passage of outlet from their houses. In two of the churches in Kirkwall – the King Street U.F. Church and the Congregational Church – there was no service; while those attending the Cathedral and Paterson Church constituted a record in the smallness of their numbers. In the former, in the forenoon, there were only eight worshippers; while in the latter only twenty-six people braved the discomforts of a journey to church. The second diets of worship in these churches were only a little better attended. The usual two services were held in St Olaf’s Church, but the attendances were very small.

When the storm ceased on Sunday, a period of comparative calm prevailed, which lasted until Monday afternoon. Then a change in the weather again took place. The wind shifted to the south-east, the sky became black with the gathering clouds, and the third phase of the storm – equal, if not exceeding in violence, those which preceded it – broke out. The snow came down in blinding sheets, carried along by the gale, and none ventured out of doors except those on urgent business. A gang of labourers had been at work early in the day clearing a pathway in Kirkwall streets, but their labour was in a short time reduced to nought. For hours the storm continued; and the quantity of snow that now lies on the ground has seldom been equalled in living memory. If this state of matters continues, there will be a period of hardship in store for many people. Already there is a scarcity of milk, butter, potatoes, and butcher meat, as dairymen and farmers cannot get to town with their produce. Today (Tuesday) the wind has again backed to the north, from which direction a gale is blowing. The snow has meantime ceased to fall, but the air is bitterly cold.

1918 January 23 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY PARISH CHURCH. – On the last Sabbath of the Old Year, the Rev. J. Deas Logie, parish minister of Rousay and Egilshay, conducted divine service, after the usual service at noon in the Parish Church, and in the evening in Wasbister School. There was a record attendance. On the first Sunday of the New Year, in the Parish Church, the minister conducted the special service, as requested by the King in all the churches throughout His Majesty’s Dominions. The King’s letter and call to the Empire was read, the congregation upstanding. The form and order of divine service for the humble day of prayer, intercession, and thanksgiving issued by the Committee on Aids to Devotion, in accordance with the instructions of the General Assembly, was used throughout the service. The Rev. J. Deas Logie based his message for the New Year on “The Power of Recollection in Religion.” The membership, finances, and attendances of the parish church have never been so strong and flourishing for many years as they were during the year 1917. Nine of the old folks have had the income from the Fowlis Bequest divided amongst them; each person received a sum of money to buy something for themselves. By this yearly gift the memory of the donor is perpetuated. The elders of the Parish Church undertook the distribution in their district, at this seasonable time, a remembrance much appreciated by the old folks.

1918 February 13 Orkney Herald

MEN BORN IN 1900 CALLED UP. – Proclamations have now been posted up calling upon every Reservist who was born in the year 1900 to report himself for the purpose of joining the Colours on the receipt of a notice from the military authorities.

LIGHT IN EVENING SKY. – The zodiacal light is now strongly displayed in the western sky about two hours after sunset. It consists of a slanting beam of cone-shaped light stretching up from the horizon and faintly suffused among the stars in its outer limits. It will be readily found a little north of the sunset point if the atmosphere is sufficiently clear. This light probably represents a great assemblage of meteoric atoms dimly reflecting the sun’s rays.

1918 February 20 Orkney Herald


In loving memory of Sapper Alfred George Gibson, who died of wounds in 17th Hospital, Boulogne, February 16th, 1916, aged 21.

Mourn not the brave, the bright, the true,
Who have promotion found;
In the strife they fell, but all is well,
With honour they are crowned.

For right and truth they firmly stood,
Nor fell back to the rear;
Self-sacrificed for others’ good,
Now, Christ’s “Well done,” they hear.

How small our offering, and how mean,
Placed by the side of theirs
Who made the sacrifice supreme;
Where, where is room for tears?

Then mourn the fallen not as dead,
Let every tear be dried;
In Christ they rest for ever blest;
Yes, blest and glorified.

Avelshay, Rousay.

1918 February 27 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – CONTRIBUTION TO THE Y.M.C.A. AND COMFORTS FOR ROUSAY S0LDIERS. – The following is a letter received by Miss Baikie, Schoolhouse, Sourin, from Sheriff Mercer in acknowledgment of the receipt of £3, being the proceeds of a concert held in Sourin School on Aug. 29th: – “County Buildings, Kirkwall, 8th Oct. 1917. – Dear Miss Baikie, – I learned on my return to Kirkwall of your remittance, during my absence, of £3, being, the contribution from a concert organised by you to the work of the Y.M.C.A. Will you accept my hearty thanks, on behalf of the Y.M.C.A., for this kind help which you have so willingly given to the invaluable work it is carrying on on behalf of our soldiers and sailors. Too generous an acknowledgement cannot be made of the patriotic service given to this object by the profession in Orkney. – I am, yours sincerely, John S. Mercer.” During the past week, the sum of £6 2s 6d, 14 pairs of socks, and 1 pair of mitts have been collected in Sourin in aid of the Rousay soldiers. In a week or two, a parcel containing comforts will be despatched to each Rousay soldier.



LOGIE – At the Manse of Rousay, on the 10th February, 1918, Frances Glen Mitchell Deas Logie, beloved wife of the Rev. John Deas Logie, minister of the parish of Rousay and Egilshay. – Much loved and deeply regretted. – Her remains were conveyed to Kirkwall, where they lay in St Magnus Cathedral, February 12th and 13th, and were laid to rest in Orquil New Cemetery, Kirkwall, on 13th February 1918. – “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord.”

1918 March 6 Orkney Herald

STORMS AND TELEGRAPHIC DISRUPTION IN ORKNEY. – Following a period of settled and spring-like weather, there was a return again last week to severe wintry conditions. On Wednesday a strong westerly gale blew all day, which was accompanied by heavy rain. Early on Thursday morning the wind changed to a northerly direction, and about 3 a.m. a terrific storm, which lasted for several hours, burst forth with startling suddenness. The rain had changed into sleet – a sleet of a consistency that stuck to wherever it fell like a mass of glue. This is the particular substance which telegraph linesmen dread, because it gathers in large masses on the wires, and thus presents a greater body to the wind, with a resultant strain on poles and wires. The storm had not been of long duration when contact was lost in Kirkwall Post Office with other telegraph offices in the county. The extent of the damage was afterwards ascertained to be of an unprecedented nature, with the consequence that the whole telegraph and telephone systems in the county were dislocated. The Kirkwall to Stromness lines suffered heavily. For miles along the road, the poles and wires lay in a tangled and confused mass. The lines stretching to the East Mainland fared as badly; and from the North and South Isles details have come of similar breaks in the lines of wires. In face of such a serious breakdown, the small staff of linesmen at the disposal of the postal authorities were quite inadequate for the work of repair, with the result that Kirkwall was completely isolated, both insularly and with the south, from communication by means either of the telegraph or the telephone. Consequently we were without our usual supply of telegraphic news from Thursday until Monday forenoon.

The wind continued boisterous all day on Thursday, and March came in like the proverbial lion. However, on Friday the weather became more, settled, and a period of calm weather, with bright sunshine, has prevailed ever since.

1918 March 13 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PRESENTATION. – On Friday evening, 22nd ult., a few friends, nominated by the subscribers, called at Trumland House, and Mr Robert Marwick, Scockness, after making a few kindly remarks, presented Mr [John] Logie with a packet of Treasury notes subscribed by the islanders in grateful appreciation of his kindness in giving the free use of his yacht for carrying purposes during the months of July, August, and September of last year. Mr Logie replied feelingly, voicing the appreciation of the spirit which prompted the very handsome gift. He had given the use of his yacht freely in the circumstances without any thought of reward beyond the little benefit the services might confer. Now he could only thank the subscribers for the very substantial way in which they had seen fit to acknowledge and appreciate what was done; and if no better means of conveyance were available in the incoming summertime they were welcome to the yacht. The deputation was very hospitably entertained by Mr and Mrs Logie, and a very pleasant evening was spent.

[John Logie at this time was estate land steward and caretaker of Trumland House.]

1918 April 10. Orkney Herald

NOT TOO OLD AT FIFTY. – Fit men over military age and up to fifty years of age are urgently wanted for the Army, principally for home service, and special conditions are being offered. Men who are not liable under the Military Service Acts, but enlist voluntarily in the Royal Garrison Artillery or the Army Service Corps (Motor Transport), will be guaranteed service at home, and as near their homes as it is possible to place them. They will not be transferred to any other branch of the service without their written consent. There are vacancies, too, for elder men in the Royal Air Force and the Royal Engineers (Inland Water Transport). These men will be liable for service at home or abroad, but there are very interesting occupations open to them in connection with our latest fighting arm. Any recruiting official will gladly give information to prospective recruits from civil life or to discharged non-commissioned officers and men who, though under no obligation, are prepared to enlist voluntarily in response to the present call.

FALLEN IN ACTION. – Lieut. Robert G. N. Gibson, M.C , Royal Scots (killed), was the eldest son of Mr James Gibson, S.S.C., 21 Tantallon Place, Edinburgh, a descendant of the Gibsons of Langskaill, Rousay. He was 26 years of age. Last year, while serving with an English regiment, Lieut. Gibson was recommended for, and obtained, a captaincy. Shortly afterwards he won the Military Cross under circumstances of great gallantry. He was wounded in the neck about the same time, and was in hospital in England for several weeks. Returning to Edinburgh, he was at home for fully a month. On reporting himself for duty he was attached to his old regiment, and returned to his company rank. He has since been on foreign service. He quite recently completed a special course of infantry training. When the war broke out he was a Territorial, and was studying for the legal profession. His younger brother, Reggie, also a lieutenant in the Royal Scots, was killed at the Dardanelles in June 1915. Both brothers were Watsonians, the elder being one of the original members of the Cadet Corps, and the younger a former captain of the famous school, who was studying at the University of Edinburgh with a view to the Bar when the war broke out. Mr Gibson and his family are well-known in Orkney, and his many friends here have a keen sympathy with them in this their second sacrifice to the world war and civilisation. The two officer sons were students in law cut off in the flush of youth and professional promise.

[The Gibson brothers were the sons of James Gibson and Minnie Brilliant Gray, Dundee. James, born in 1858, was the son of Nicol Gibson, Langskaill, and Janet Marwick Harcus, Lingro. Nicol, born in 1811, was the son of David Gibson, Langskaill, and the second of his four wives, Isabel Mainland, Testaquoy, Wyre].

1918 April 17 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PARISH CHURCH. – The Rev. John Deas Logie, minister of the parish, conducted the communion services last Sunday, and dispensed the Sacrament to a good attendance of communicants present at the Lord’s table. A number of additional members were added to the Parish Church roll.

EXAMINATION OF SCHOOLS. – The Rev. J. Deas Logie has completed the examination in Bible knowledge and Shorter Catechism of the scholars attending the public schools within the parish, of Sourin, Frotoft, Wasbister, and Veira. Mr Shepherd, of Egilshay, examined the scholars at Egilshay.

1918 May 1. Orkney Herald

CHARLIE CHAPLIN CALLED UP. – Habitués of Kirkwall Electric Theatre will be interested to learn that the famous cinema star, Charlie Chaplin, has been called up, and expects to be mobilised in June. Although a British citizen, he has waived his right to be incorporated in a British regiment, and expects to fight in France under the Stars and Stripes.

1918 May 15 Orkney Herald


Firemaster William Inkster, an Orkney man, who had his training in the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, and has held, with conspicuous success, the post of Firemaster of Aberdeen Fire Brigade for 22 years, was on Wednesday presented with the King’s Police Medal. The interesting ceremony took place at the meeting of the Town Council, and was carried out by Lord Provost [James] Taggart, as Lord Lieutenant of the County of the City. The proceedings had a picturesque note. The firemaster and six firemen – all the members of the party were in full uniform – proceeded to the Townhouse on one of the Brigade’s engines, and Boy Scouts furnished a guard of honour. The Lord Provost was in his Lord-Lieutenant’s uniform. The audience included the Firemaster’s daughter, Miss Inkster, in the khaki of an officer in the signals department of the Queen Mary’s W.A.A.C. in France; ex-Bailie Todd, and others.

LORD PROVOST’S TRIBUTE. – The Lord Provost said, as Lord-Lieutenant of the County of the City, he had been desired by the Secretary for Scotland to take part in a very interesting ceremony, and, on behalf of His Majesty, to present the King’s Police Medal to Mr William Inkster, Firemaster of the City Fire Brigade. (Applause.) The medal, which was awarded under a Royal Warrant, dated 7th July 1909, was given to members of police forces and fire brigades who had been recommended for special recognition in connection with their services. Mr Inkster joined the Metropolitan Fire Brigade in 1889, and after passing through various grades, was placed in charge of one of the departments. In 1896, he was selected out of a large number of candidates, and appointed to his present position as Firemaster of the City Brigade – at a time when the Council were contemplating the erection of a new fire station. He was largely responsible for the arrangements in connection with the new station, which, when completed, was considered to be one of the most up-to-date establishments of its kind in the kingdom. When the new premises were completed, Mr Inkster organised the permanent staff of firemen, and the department had since been maintained in a high state of efficiency. (Applause.) He had shown great skill in the management, and extinguishing of fires, by which much valuable property had been saved, and in the course of carrying out his duty Mr Inkster had personally assisted in saving life at various fires throughout the city. Mr Inkster was recommended by the late Captain Shaw, of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, in connection with the organisation of the fire brigade at Balmoral Castle and at Abergeldie, and carried out the arrangements for this purpose with marked ability and success. He had also organised a number of private fire brigades in connection with industrial and other establishments within the City and County. The award of the medal, which he was now about to present, had been fully merited by the energy and capacity which Mr Inkster had shown in the discharge of his duties since he was appointed firemaster of the city. (Applause.) Mr Inkster’s professional service in connection with brigade work extended for a period of 29 years, of which 22 years had been given to the City of Aberdeen, and he thought the Council and community would hear him out in saying that they had been fortunate in securing and retaining the services of a firemaster of Mr Inkster’s abilities. (Applause.)

The Lord Provost then pinned the medal on Mr Inkster’s tunic, and concluded – Mr Inkster, I have very great pleasure in presenting you with the medal which His Majesty has awarded to you, and in offering you my most cordial wishes for your continued happiness and success. (Applause.)

There was hearty applause as the firemaster left the Council Chamber with the detachment of the Brigade.

[The Lieutenancy Area of Aberdeen City was formerly known as the County of the City of Aberdeen – not to be confused with the County of Aberdeen, which is now known as Aberdeenshire.]

1918 May 22 Orkney Herald

GOOSEBERRY PICKING STOPPED. – The Food Controller has issued an Order prohibiting the picking of gooseberries for sale and the sale of any gooseberries. The restriction remains in force in Scotland until June 10th.

CURRANTS AND RAISINS EXPECTED. – Housewives who have lately had to be content with currantless cakes and puddings will be glad to hear that there will probably soon be a distribution of raisins, currants, and sultanas when the Ministry of Food has collected sufficient stocks. A fair quantity of Greek currants will also be released shortly for public consumption. A considerable stock of currants bought last January in Greece has not come over yet, simply through the lack of shipping, and difficulties and risks are too great to make it worth bringing them overland.

SCARCITY OF GRASS FOR FODDER – APPEAL TO HOUSEHOLDERS. – In view of the scarcity of fodder for horses and cattle at the present time, it is essential that no available source of supply, however small, should be overlooked, and all householders who have grass lawns on their premises can help in the matter. The Board of Agriculture for Scotland suggest that those who have lawns of considerable extent should refrain from mowing them regularly, and should let the grass grow till it can be utilised as hay. In establishments where the lawns are too small to make the foregoing suggestion practicable the householders might make arrangements, where possible, for the grass as mown to be utilised by local horse owners and dairy-keepers.

1918 May 29 Orkney Herald

EMPIRE DAY. –  Friday was observed as a general holiday in Kirkwall, to commemorate the anniversary of the birth of Her late Majesty Queen Victoria. The weather was all that could be desired for holiday-making, and there was a great exodus of people to the country. Special sea trips were run by the s.s. Orcadia to Rousay and the s.s. Iona to Shapinsay, which were well patronised; while every available vehicle was engaged by private parties for excursions into various parts of the Mainland. During the day the town presented a very deserted appearance.

1918 June 19 Orkney Herald

ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE – FURTHER LOCAL AWARDS. – Included in the list of the King’s Birthday appointments to the Order of the British Empire are a number of Orcadians and others resident in the county who have distinguished themselves in work for the Empire. The following have been made Officers of the Order…..

Mr Duncan J. Robertson, County Clerk of Orkney. In his official capacity, Mr Robertson has had much of the spade work to do in bringing into operation the various war schemes of the Government. He is Clerk of the War Pensions Committee, Secretary of the District Agricultural Executive Committee, Clerk and Executive Officer of the Local Food Control Committee, and Clerk of the Local Tribunal of Orkney…..

Miss Veira Spark, Q.A.R.N.N.S., daughter of the Rev. Alex. Spark, formerly minister of the parish of Rousay and Egilshay, has been awarded the Royal Red Cross, 2nd class. Miss Spark qualified at London, and has held appointments in the R.N. hospitals at Plymouth, Malta, and Deal. She has been promoted to the new R.N. hospital at Larbert.

[Q.A.R.N.N.S.: – Queen Alexandra’s Royal Naval Nursing Service]

1918 June 26 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – HOMECOMING OF A VETERAN SOLDIER. – Amongst the soldiers who came on leave last Wednesday was Sergt. Charles Corsie, S.A.N.L.C. [South African Native Labour Corps], a native of Rousay. He has been nearly 20 years in South Africa, during which time he has seen much service both in the Boer War and with the Mounted Police. Since then he has been on several hunting expeditions through Basutoland. Later, he was employed as inspector of roads by the municipality of Johannesburg, where he had settled down. On the outbreak of hostilities he again volunteered and served with the Forces in East Africa until 1917, when he went to France with his regiment. After about a year’s service in various parts of France, he got a few days’ leave and came home to spend them with his friends in Orkney. Sergt. Corsie, who is a son of the late Mr William Corsie and of Mrs Corsie, Albert Street, Kirkwall, appears to enjoy the soldier’s life, and his views of the war are very optimistic. He left on Friday morning to return to France.

[Charles, born on October 11th 1868, was the fifth youngest of the 13 children born to William Corsie, Nears, later Brendale, and Ann Smeaton Leonard, Digro]

1918 July 17 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – DEATH OF PRIVATE JOHN INKSTER. – Much sympathy has been expressed with Mr and Mrs John [and Jane] Inkster, Essaquoy, Rousay, in the death of their eldest son [18-year-old John Angus Munro Inkster], which took place at Loanhead Hospital on July 1st. He only left the island on June 13th, for the purpose of joining the 4th Seaforths at Inverness. From the latter place he was sent to Glencorse, where he became suddenly unwell. On Saturday, June 29th, he was admitted into Loanhead Hospital; but he never rallied, and on the following Monday his parents received the sad news that he had died that afternoon. Deceased was a very quiet, inoffensive young man, and was loved by all who knew him. The body was sent home for interment in Rousay. The funeral took place on Friday, 5th July, from Trumland Pier to Scockness churchyard, and was attended by a large number of islanders.

1918 July 24 Orkney Herald

IN MEMORIAM. – In loving memory of our dear son, George Inkster, P.P.C.L.I., killed in action on July 18th 1916.

Two long years have come and gone
Since our dear loved one was called home;
But he is always in our mind,
For in our hearts he was enshrined.

He was the last of three dear sons
Whom God was pleased to take;
And ofttimes, when we think of them,
Our hearts feel like to break.

They all three lie in foreign lands,
Whose graves we will never see;
But they were very dear to us,
And will remembered be.

And when we feel cast down,
We seem to hear them say,
“Keep up your hearts, our parents dear,
We will meet again some day.”

Knapper, Sourin, Rousay.

1918 September 25 Orkney Herald

Letters to the Editor


SIR, – We, North Isles merchants, have recently had a visit of two representatives from the Food Committee. They have scrutinised our books to see if therein could be found an extra penny of charge on any of the controlled goods. Now as these goods have to be brought from Kirkwall per s.s. Orcadia, and as our freight bills are mounting up weekly – in fact, about four times the amount charged in pre-war times, some of us having a monthly bill of from £8 to £9 to pay, which means about £100 per annum – we therefore wonder if we have to sell such goods on a par with our town’s merchants, who have no such bill to meet. If so, it simply means that in less than six months’ time we shall have to appear before our sheriff as bankrupts. It seems a choice between two evils, and we wish to know which is the greater. – I am, &c., NORTH ISLES MERCHANT.



SIR, – Last week we were favoured by the visit of an inspector. At first this officer was regarded as a preposterous, prying impostor, who should be sent about his business double-quick time. But, alas! we live in a world of changes. Now he is received with open arms by the average housewife, welcomed as a friend. He is shown into the “ben end,” and quite a homely chat springs up, in which local prices, profiteers, &c., figure conspicuously. Result – Mr Inspector leaves with some very valuable information. Gossip has it that some essential foods are 6d per lb. above controlled prices in this island. It does seem a pity that in these times we should need officials to protect the dependents of our fighting men against this cancer ever in our midst. It is high time our magisterial bench took a more serious view of such cases. What is a paltry fine? as a correspondent in your contemporary said. It is poor consolation to the robbed to see his hard-earned cash paid over to clear the robber. What is needed is imprisonment without the option of a fine. In the case of second offenders, Food Committees should take action, and stroke all such off their list of registered retailers. – Yours, &c., HILL 60.

1918 October 16 Orkney Herald

CALL FROM ROUSAY U.F. CHURCH TO REV. D. S. BROWN, BURRAY. – At a meeting of the United Free Church Presbytery of Orkney, held at Rousay last Wednesday, a call from the congregation of Rousay U. F. Church to Rev. D. S. Brown, Burray, was considered. The Presbytery unanimously resolved to sustain the call.

MILITARY MEDAL AWARDED TO A ROUSAY SOLDIER. – We observe, from a list of awards of the Military Medal published in the London Gazette, that this decoration has been conferred upon Gunner Alexander James Munro, R.F.A., Rousay.

1918 October 30 Orkney Herald


Events have gone forward with great rapidity during the past week. Mr [U.S. President Thomas Woodrow] Wilson on Thursday issued his “last word” to Germany, which was equivalent to unconditional surrender; on Sunday the German Government replied, asking for the terms on which an armistice will be granted. There the matter rests and the whole world is waiting in tense anxiety for the next development, which will settle the question of peace now or war to the end. The time for slippery German diplomacy has passed. We are the victors, and only the spoils of the victor will satisfy us…..

1918 November 6 Orkney Herald

DEATHS: – GRIEVE – Previously reported wounded prisoner of war, 20th-23rd November 1917, now officially reported killed on that date, No. 12611, Pte. John David Grieve, 4th Seaforth Highlanders, aged 28 years, second beloved son of Mr [William] and Mrs [Christina] Grieve, Falldown, Rousay. – Sadly missed and deeply mourned.

“He died that we might live.”

1918 November 13 Orkney Herald



The Prime Minister [David Lloyd George] made the following announcement on Monday: – The armistice was signed at five o’clock this morning, and hostilities are to cease on all fronts at eleven a.m. to-day.

The following wireless news was transmitted through the wireless stations of the French Government on Monday:- Marshal Foch to Commander-in-Chief. – Hostilities will cease on the whole front as from November 11th at eleven o’clock, French time. Allied troops will not, until further orders, go beyond the line reached on that date and at that hour. – (Signed) Marshal Foch.



GREAT REJOICINGS. – The first intimation that an armistice was signed was made known in Kirkwall about 9.30 on Monday morning by the blowing of sirens on naval vessels in the harbour. The news had apparently come through at that early hour by a wireless message to the naval authorities, for it was some hours later before any Press message was received. Once the glad news was known, Kirkwall streets became a scene of great animation. Mingled with the ships’ siren notes were the joyous peals from the bells of St Magnus, and on all hands could be witnessed the people’s gladness that at last the end had come to the long period of bloodshed. Numbers of people must have had their flags ready at hand for such an occasion, for in a very short time flags and streamers were flying all over the town, from public as well as private buildings. At mid-day the town-crier proclaimed, by authority of the Town Council, a half-holiday in the burgh; and in the afternoon all places of business were closed.

1918 November 20 Orkney Herald

The Great War is now over and Prussianism is dead. The harvest of death is reaped, and the fields of life are shorn and bare. As we write, the wonder of the miracle overwhelms us. We are almost too happy to rejoice; and to-day we face the reaction of these latter years of pain and bloodshed with full hearts. We have now stepped into that new world of which hitherto we have but dreamt. But the barns of heaven are full to overflowing with the golden youth of the world, and War, the reaper, stands with ruddy sickle, his dark work finished. His crop is gathered in, and the shorn fields shiver beneath the rays of the wintry sun. Yet the picture is not all shadows. If War has not yet departed, we turn to welcome Peace, who has come into her own again. Even now she, with Love and Hope, is sowing the precious seeds which shall ultimately blossom out into a far richer harvest in the days that are yet to be. We have set a real Peace upon a real throne. We have – stupendous thought – knocked the irons off the enslaved millions of Germany, and we may now look forward to a world reconstruction beyond our wildest dreams.

But it is as yet too soon to think of the great task which lies before us. We cannot forget the fallen brave. As the flags fly and the drums beat, we think of the vacant chairs, miss the well-known and loved faces, and listen in vain for the voices of our great dead. For it is they who, under the providence of God, have made this wonderful day possible. By land, sea, and air they have held our land inviolate against a cruel and bloody enemy, and in doing so have made the supreme sacrifice. Their courage, endurance, patience in suffering, and sacrifices were beyond words. The magnitude of their success has over-whelmed us. It is fitting, therefore, that we remember them to-day as we thank that great host of heroes still with us, who with them stood between us and oppression diabolical in its purpose and conception. We cannot think of these brave young lives laid down on the altar as lives wasted, and we love to cherish the hope that they have greater work to accomplish in the realm into which they have now passed.

It is fitting to-day that we write for ever upon our hearts the deeds of our unchallenged Navy and our Mercantile Marine, as well as our “Contemptible Army,” and that young arm of both services, our magnificent Royal Air Force. They have proved to the world what we already knew – that the day of heroes is not yet past, and have shown that the spirit which animated our forefathers in the great struggle for freedom still burns brightly in the bosom of their children. All through these fateful years the Navy, silent and heedless of praise or blame, has eaten like a consuming cancer into the body of Germany, and has made it possible for our glorious Army to bring a just retribution upon our foes. Between them they have cut down the God of War, so that now, in the day of our triumph, we can, through our smiles, tears, and prayers, cry to him as he lies prostrate, with his discomfited and disillusioned servitors around him –

“Dark Reaper, get thee gone!
Close thou the door:
See o’er its portals now
A Heavenly Hand doth write
The fateful letters: – Nevermore!”

The world is free. The long night of oppression is past, and Liberty has ascended her throne. Under her rule we shall, please God, move forward to that high destiny which awaits us. We have still titanic tasks before us – tasks great enough to cause our hearts to quail – but this day is the day of our rejoicing, and we can look forward in confidence, for °God is in his heaven, and all is well.” Certainly in these latter days He hath set His sign and seal upon Liberty. Let us ring the joy-bells with full and gladsome hearts, for the Prince of Peace hath come into his own, and the God of Love is supreme. Henceforth Right and not Might shall rule a sane and re-born world.


THE INFLUENZA EPIDEMIC. – The schools still remain closed in Kirkwall, and the influenza epidemic shows little signs of abating. In many homes three or four of the family are suffering from attacks, and a number of deaths are reported. The town and parish was last week in the unfortunate position of being without an available doctor, the whole medical staff being incapacitated by illness from visiting their patients. Steps are, we believe, being taken by the authorities to get additional medical aid in view of the abnormal amount of sickness now prevalent in Kirkwall and its vicinity.

1918 November 27 Orkney Herald



Part of the 70 German warships which have surrendered left the Firth of Forth on Friday afternoon for Scapa Flow, and have arrived there. The vessels are, the Press Association understands, to be sent north in four batches. Perhaps never before has there been so mighty a concentration of ships of war as will be occasioned by this operation. Scapa Flow is quite capable of accommodating even this enormous combination of fleets. It was here that the British Grand Fleet was first concentrated at the outbreak of war in August 1914, and it is fitting that the last act in the world-drama should be enacted here. As soon as the ships reach Scapa, the German crews, who now man them, will be sent back to their own country, and the ships placed under the surveillance of the Allies.

THE INFLUENZA EPIDEMIC. – The influenza epidemic in Kirkwall and vicinity, though still serious, shows some signs of abatement. Since the outbreak there have been a large number of deaths caused directly or indirectly through this malady. In a number of homes there have been double bereavements; and in one case even three of a family – a father and two sons – have died from the effects of pneumonia following upon an attack of influenza. Kirkwall and Scapa schools are still closed, and will remain so until Monday, 2nd Dec.

1918 December 4 Orkney Herald

SCAPA FLOW. – Probably no place in the British Isles has been before the public eye more in the last few days than Scapa or Scalpa Flow, in the Orkneys, where our Grand Fleet has found a safe and splendid anchorage for the past four years. Yet the geographical knowledge of some of our southern, and especially English, contemporaries concerning this now famous harbour is still rather hazy. But the Flow must have been known to ship-masters for ages (says the Manchester Guardian). Harald Haarfager, the Scandinavian Jarl who subdued the Orkneys in A.D. 875, must have used it, being a mighty seaman. In 1468 the islands were pledged to Scotland. The great harbour is frequently mentioned by Scott in “The Pirate,” where it is called Scalpa Flow, and from what is written there we infer that seamen used it for some hundreds of years before that. Orcadians have become so accustomed to the sound of the running waters that a story is told of a certain party on a visit to Edinburgh who left the bathroom tap running all night to have in their ears the best substitute for their beloved Scapa!




The last of the surrendered German vessels left the Forth last Tuesday for Scapa Flow. At noon the battleships Kaiser, Grosser Kurfurst, Kron-prinz, and Kaiserin, weighed their anchors. They were escorted by the British battleships Revenge, Resolution, Royal Sovereign, and Royal Oak. Following the heavier vessels were the four remaining German light cruisers, including the Koln and the Brummer, also escorted by the corresponding vessels of the British Fleet. A number of the German destroyers, as has already been intimated, left on Friday and Saturday. The battle-cruisers followed on Sunday, accompanied by the British First Battle Cruiser Squadron. The same afternoon a further detachment of destroyers proceeded north. On Monday about midday a number of the German battleships weighed anchor, and were accompanied north by the Second Division of the First Battle Cruiser Squadron. On Monday afternoon at 4 o’clock several German light cruisers left the Forth, accompanied by the Second Light Cruiser Squadron. The weather on Tuesday, although dull and wet, was fairly clear on the sea, and the departing vessels, whose departure was witnessed only by a few persons apart from the Fleet, diminished to a small size in the distance before they became invisible.

All the German ships of the line, destroyers, and light cruisers, surrendered to us for interment, are reported at the Admiralty to have taken their places in Scapa Flow. About 25 Germans remain on each vessel as a maintenance party. The rest of the crews await the German transport to take them back to Germany. No transport has arrived as yet. The presumption is that the Germans do not have a merchantman fit to cross the North Sea. Experts who have examined the ships of the line comment upon the multitudinous bulkheads below the water-line, which make them, as we found at Jutland, practically unsinkable. No surprises in guns or instruments are yet known to have been detected. The Germans have left their admittedly wonderful and mysterious fire-direction apparatus behind when they sailed.

1918 December 25 Orkney Herald

THE WEATHER. – The mild, open weather which has been the rule ever since Armistice Day, has now come to an end, and severe, wintry conditions have set in. To-day (Tuesday) a heavy gale of wind is blowing from the west, accompanied with frequent showers of sleet, and the roads and streets are in a very sloppy state. Christmas Eve will not be an ideal one from the point of view of those who have their shopping to do, more particularly for those who have to come from long distances to town.