Motorbikes and Bicycles

Rousay folk on their favourite modes of transport.

Edie Marwick was one of the first women in Rousay to own a motorbike. The model is an Edinburgh registration BSA S26 500cc, 3-speed manual gears, kick start, and chain-driven. Bought new it would have cost in the region of £50 – but a restored machine [without sidecar] went for £8,650.00 at auction in June 2017. Edie and her husband James [in the sidecar], lived at Rognvaldsay, just up from the pier, in the 1930s.

Dr Boyle off to see a patient c1929

Above left: Jim Marwick and his older brother John with a bicycle at Grain c1939.
On the right: Jim & Maggie Grieve, Greenfield, on a BSA 500 Sloper 1932 vintage

Douglas Craigie, Hunclett, on his 1920s AJS 349cc side-valve motorcycle, with Minnie Reid, Tratland, and two young visitors.

Samuel Inkster, Gorn, Scar, and later Kirkha’. 1876 – 1953

Mabel Sinclair, Banks, Frotoft, with her friend Girlie Logie, Ivy Cottage. The interesting thing about this picture is the fact the BS licence plate was registered for a car!

Postman James Campbell Bruce Craigie, Deithe, in the 1920s

George Craigie, Falquoy; Minnie Reid, Tratland; Annie Johnston, Breek;
Hugh Sinclair, Sketquoy; and Hugh Robertson, Langskaill,
with a1920s BSA motorcycle and sidecar

Ellen Mary Hourie, Braehead; Kathleen Craigie, Furse; Chrissie Russell, Brendale; Netta Sinclair, Sketquoy; Front – Netta Russell; Reenie Hourie

Jock Harrold, Rose Cottage, on his Edinburgh registered 1923 Raleigh 350cc, 2.75 HP. Fitted with a single-cylinder side valve engine, chain-cum belt drive, Sturmey-Archer gearbox with hand change lever, girder forks, flat tank, and luggage grid.

Nana Waterston, a relation of the Rev David Simpson Brown, Sourin Manse, on one of the first motorcycles and sidecar combinations in Rousay – a 1926 BSA 4¼ hp 557cc side valve

A young Archer Clouston with his bike on the road above Knarston c1935

Trumland Estate gamekeeper Mackie Hourie pictured at Hulllion c.1960 with his1930s Rudge-Whitworth Special 4-valve 499cc motorbike. It had a cast iron open valve cylinder head, parallel inlet valves and parallel exhaust, rockers on cast pillars, 18mm side plug, and 8” front & rear brakes, coupled with steel shoes.

All photographs are from the Tommy Gibson collection, and credit goes to Jean Tulloch / Orkney Vintage Club for help in identifying the motorcycles.