1871 January 4 Orkney Herald
OWING to the storm which prevailed on Saturday afternoon, the s.s. “Queen” did not leave Kirkwall for Lerwick until 8 o’clock on Monday morning. It was fortunate she was in port, for the gale, accompanied by heavy rain, was one of the severest we have had for a long time.
GAME OF FOOT-BALL. – Contrary to expectation, a keenly contested game of foot ball was played on the street on Monday afternoon. The ball was thrown up at 1 o’clock, and, after a fight of two hours the “down the gates” succeeded in taking it to the quay. On the evening of Christmas day another contest of a similar description took place; which, after a long struggle, ended in favour of the “up the gates.” Thus each end of the town has been victorious.
MEETING OF THE FREE CHURCH PRESBYTERY. – This court met at Kirkwall yesterday…..There was handed in a commission from the Kirk Session of Rousay in favour of Mr William Mainland, farmer, Banks, as representative elder for the current half-year…..Mr Roy moved that the Presbytery meet in private, which, being agreed to, the reporters left.
We understand the first matter taken up in private was a petition from the Deacons’ Court of the congregation of Rousay with reference to certain attacks against the teacher of the Congregational School and the Deacons’ Court. Mr Rose was heard in support of the petition. The Presbytery, considering that the attacks proceeded from parties not connected with the Free Church, were of opinion that these parties had no right to interfere in the management of the Free Church school of Wasbister, and expressed their full confidence that the Deacons’ Court would discharge its duties with a due regard to the interests of all concerned…..
1871 January 11 Orkney Herald
ECLIPSE OF THE MOON. – An eclipse of the moon took place on the evening of Friday last. The sky during the greater part of the time remained quite clear, so that it could be witnessed with the utmost distinctness.
1871 February 1 Orkney Herald
A WEATHER DRUM FOR KIRKWALL. – We understand a drum similar to that used in other towns in the kingdom for announcing the approach of a storm will shortly be erected at Kirkwall. It will be under the superintendence of the Harbour Trustees, and it is probable that the assistant Harbour Master will have charge of it. The information as to the approach of coarse weather will be sent by telegraph direct to Kirkwall by the Meteorological Department in London.
1871 February 8 Orkney Herald
AN ECCENTRIC OX. – On the evening of Friday last an ox, landed from the Rousay packet, and which was being conveyed to a cattle shed in the vicinity of the harbour, took fright, and ran up Bridge Street. He stopped opposite the Kirkwall Hotel, which, after a short survey, he entered by the door of the Refreshment-room, passing through the whole lower flat to the front door. Here he seemed inclined to have a look at the street again, but on second thoughts proceeded up stairs to the Commercial-room, where, after marching round the table, and finding nothing suited to his tastes, he was, after sundry attempts, induced to retrace his steps. On reaching the street he at once took forcible possession of a byre in the neighbourhood, where he was at length secured and safely lodged.
1871 February 15 Orkney Herald
ROUSAY. – THE WEATHER for the past few days has been very coarse, especially on the Sabbath, when the attendance at all our churches was very small. We have had a few very rough Sabbaths this winter, such as, I believe, the oldest inhabitants do not remember the like of.
OUR fishermen have done well at the cod-fishing this winter. There is an abundance of fish when they get out to the Firth; but as the weather has been stormy of late, it has been much against the successful prosecution of the fishings.
FARMERS are beginning to get rather uneasy about their out-door work, the frost having kept the ploughing somewhat behind; but a few weeks of fine weather would put this all right again. We cannot complain, however, as some of us have been getting good prices for our cattle. There are still plenty of good young cattle for sale in the island, many of the best lots not having as yet been offered to dealers, there being plenty of keep. There will probably be a few lots tried at the next monthly market.
ELECTION OF A TEACHER. – On Friday last a meeting of the Deacons’ Court of the Free Church was held at the School of Wasbister, at which the Rev. N. P. Rose presided. A large number of heads of families and others interested in the educational institution of the district were also present by invitation. After deliberation, and in accordance with the expressed wishes of the parents present, as ascertained by a vote taken by ballot, the Court unanimously agreed to elect Mr Campbell as teacher of the school of Wasbister. The question of school fees was also considered, when it was agreed that in future these should range from 1s 6d to 3s per quarter, according to the branches of education the children might be taught; the charge as to the higher branches to be left for arrangement between the teacher and the parents.
1871 March 1 Orkney Herald
THE WEATHER for some time has been exceedingly changeable, a few fine days interspersed with storms of wind and rain. Yesterday morning the wind blew keen from the north-east, and the ground was white with snow, imparting a no very comfortable feeling to those who were congratulating themselves on the prospect of a fine spring and early summer.
WEIR – MONDAY. – THE weather here for the last few days has been very stormy and boisterous, the wind almost increased to a hurricane on Tuesday night, and continued till Saturday morning, when it moderated so as to allow of a boat crossing to the neighbouring island for our newspapers and letters.
LOBSTER FISHING. – This fishing is almost a failure, owing to the coarse weather. At one time it was believed that lobsters all went out to deep water in the cold weather of winter; but, strange to say, we now see about a dozen of boats attending this fishing during the winter half-year.
OUR farmers have sold some cattle for feeding, and realised good prices. We believe there are still some unsold.
1871 March 8 Orkney Herald
FRENCH FARMERS’ SEED FUND. – Mr George Learmonth, Westness, has, we understand, received 4 bushels of oats and £4 9s 6d of money contributions from Rousay for the “Suffering Farmers of France Seed Fund.” We think there has been good judgment shown in collecting money rather than grain or potatoes in Rousay, when the difficulty of transportation is considered. The following is a list of the Rousay contributions: – George Learmonth, 10s; Peter Learmonth, 2s 6d; Robert Pearson, 2s ; Peter Reid, 2s; James Sinclair, 2s 6d; John Kirkness, 2s.6d; John Craigie, 5s; John Craigie, jun., 5s; Magnus Craigie, 2s; James Mainland, 2s ; James Robertson, 2s; Rev. James Gardner, 5s; William Mainland, 5s; James Stevenson, 2s 6d; Mrs Craigie, 2s; George Stevenson, 2s; Alex. Craigie, 2s 6d; Robert Gibson, junr., 4s; Seatter, 12s; James Inkster, 2s; Wm. Gibson, 5s; sundries, under 2s, 10s; Mr Scarth, Trumbland, 4 bushels oats.
1871 March 15 Orkney Herald
SNOW STORM. – We have had a considerable fall of snow during the past few days, accompanied by a keen frost. The wind, which blew strong on Monday night and early yesterday morning, continues in the west.
1871 March 29 Orkney Herald
ROUSAY – MONDAY. SCHOOL EXAMINATION. – The Rev. N. P. Rose, and the Rev. D. McNeil (Holm) examined the Wasbister School on Friday last. There were also present a number of parents and others interested in the school. The children were well out, and the different classes underwent a careful examination, Mr McNeil taking the leading part. Most of the classes made a very creditable appearance, the Spelling, Geography, and English Grammar deserving special notice. A junior Latin class also merits commendation. In addition to the Bible, through the kindness of Mrs Rose, upwards of twenty other prizes were also distributed, many of them valuable.
THE COMMUNION was dispensed in the Free Church on Sunday, Mr Rose being assisted by Mr McNeil, who, in addition to assisting in Rousay, also preached in Egilshay on Thursday evening.
MR GOLD has received the sum of 5s from Mr James Gibson, blacksmith, Rousay, as a donation to the French seed fund.
1871 April 26 Orkney Herald
A MOST EXTRAORDINARY SOIREE! – The following remarkable announcement, in the form of a hand-bill, was circulated a short time ago:— “Soiree. A Fruit Soiree will be held in the Free Church, Rousay, on Wednesday the 19th inst. The Musical Programme will be one of exquisite beauty and grandeur, most of the pieces being selections from Handel’s ‘Messiah,’ Mendelssohn’s ‘St Paul,’ and the ‘Carmina Sacra.’ The Hallelujah Chorus from ‘Messiah’ is one of those stupendous works of art which seems to stand alone from all other things. There is nothing like it in the whole range Music. It is the very perfection of art. ‘We have never listened to it,’ says one, ‘without feeling as if we heard a great voice from heaven.’ Grand as the Chorus is, it never was, so far as we know, ever before performed in Orkney. All the pieces will be richly accompanied by the Harmonium, at which Mrs ——– will preside. Two young Children will sing some Sacred Songs. Mr Leonard, accompanied by Mr Grieve, will sing the beautiful Solo ‘The trumpet shall sound.’ Mr Leonard will also sing alone the prophetic tenor ‘Comfort ye my people,’ which leads into the Recitative, ‘The voice of him that crieth,’ followed the beautiful air ‘Every valley shall be exalted.’ A number of clergymen are expected to be present and deliver Addresses.”
1871 May 3 Orkney Herald
KIRKWALL – MAY MORNING. – Early on the morning of Monday last, a band of music, followed by a large number of young folks, perambulated the principal streets of the town, and afterwards accompanied by a barrow packed with edibles – ascended to the summit of Wideford Hill to see the sun rise, erect a May-pole, and crown a “queen o’ the May.” The ascent was assuredly not by any means an easy one, especially as the good things had to be dragged up; but all obstacles were surmounted, and a large party breakfasted at sun-rise, and joined in the gladsome sports pertaining to the occasion.
1871 May 10 Orkney Herald
THE CENSUS. – Mr Petrie, Sheriff Clerk, having completed the revisal of the various documents connected with the Census, has furnished us with the following abstract of the results in the county of Orkney: -…..Registration District: Rousay, Egilshay, and Weir. Houses (inhabited) 261, (uninhabited) 9, (building) 0; Persons (male), 525, (female) 575; Total 1100; Number of children receiving instruction 226; Number of rooms with one or more windows 504…..
1871 June 7 Orkney Herald
“GUIDSAKE, woman,” said a douce housewife to an honest milk woman the other day, “what sort o’ milk’s this ye’re doin’ us wi noo? The last I got was about a-third water.” “Then ye’re a’ wrang, guidwife,” answered the milk woman, “it’s some ither body’s milk ye’ve been getting – mine’s half-and-half.”
1871 June 14 Orkney Herald
STROMNESS. – The Hudson’s Bay ships are now daily expected, having left Gravesend eight days ago. A great number of young lads go out this season, as usual, as labourers; and still a few more hands are wanted. – The “Reaper” arrived yesterday from Leith, having been a week on the passage, experiencing stormy northerly winds. She brings a large cargo. – Fishing. – Our fishing boats were pretty successful last week in bringing ashore large hauls of ling, skate, haddocks, and cod. If the weather remains fine, another good week’s fishing is expected. – Barber. – What is much wanted here is a good barber; indeed, there is a good opening for one qualified for the work, and whose spare time might also be turned to good account.
1871 June 21 Orkney Herald
GUN LICENSES. – As there appears to be confusion of ideas respecting the gun license and game certificates, it may be well to say that farmers having the permission of their proprietors to shoot hares and rabbits require no game certificate, but must, in consequence of Mr Lowe’s Bill, procure a gun license before they can even shoot hares or rabbits on their farm. Further, if a farmer desires to have his servant shoot rooks or rabbits, a gun license must be taken out in the servant’s name. A farmer can kill vermin, can ‘scare birds,’ but not shoot them, on his farm without taking out a gun license. We noticed the other day that the Inland Revenue Office had decided that crows are not ‘vermin,’ in the sense of the Gun Act. It will be noticed that the Highland Society have petitioned Parliament to declare that both crows and pigeons are vermin in the sense of the Act. We think they should have gone further, and petitioned Parliament to exempt all farmers from the gun tax to the extent of permitting them to shoot on their own farms without a license, so far as they can do so without breach of contract.
1871 July 5 Orkney Herald
WE understand arrangements are being made for a pleasure excursion to Rousay by the “Orcadia,” to take place on Friday the 21st current. It is to be hoped such arrangements may be made as will allow of the day being really observed as a holiday in town.
KIRKWALL GAOL AND LOCK-UP. – We are informed there has been no criminal prisoner in the gaol here for upwards of four months, and that the lock-up has not yet furnished a night’s shelter to a single unfortunate. There is probably no other town of equal size of which the same can be said.
STROMNESS. — The Hudson’s Bay Company’s Ships. – The vessels belonging to the Hudson’s Bay Company, and which have been in Cairston Roads for the past fortnight, sailed on Saturday morning with a fine easterly breeze. The missionary barque, commanded by Captain Linklater, a native of Graemsay, proceeded at the same time for Labrador. She had on board a number of passengers, among whom were two missionaries. – Arrival from Faroe. – The schooner “Isabella,” of Granton, arrived here last week with a cargo of ponies from North Faroe. She had met very rough weather, and had got short of provender before reaching port; in consequence of this a few of the ponies had died on the passage, while a number of those landed were very indifferent looking animals, but after a few sniffs of the fresh air and a feed of hay they speedily recovered. As they were being conveyed to a grass park a short distance out of town a number of them set off at full gallop, followed by a large crowd of boys, creating quite a commotion in our usually sedate city. Before they were overtaken one of the ponies had committed suicide by running into the sea near the Bridge of Waithe. So much for a steeplechase which did not improve many fields, either of turnips or oats, through which the racers passed.
1871 July 12 Orkney Herald
HOLIDAY EXCURSION. – From our advertising columns it will be seen that the “Orcadia” is to take a party of excursionists to St Margaret’s Hope on Friday next week. It was at first proposed to have this excursion to Rousay, but several people having expressed a desire to see the “metropolis” of the county, Captain Robertson decided upon going to South Ronaldshay. It is to be hoped the day will prove fine.
1871 August 9 Orkney Herald
LARGE METEOR. – On Monday evening, about half-past nine o’clock, a large and bright meteor was observed for a few seconds in the south-west.
LAMMAS MARKET. – The formality of “declaring the market” was as usual gone through on Monday, when the town crier perambulated the streets, beating his drum, followed by a crowd of urchins, as probably was the case fifty years ago.
1871 August 16 Orkney Herald
THE LAMMAS MARKET. – This Market commenced to be held yesterday at Sunnybank, the road to which was all day covered with vehicles of all descriptions, conveying passengers to and from the ground. On Monday afternoon the s.s. “Orcadia” arrived from the North Isles, crowded with passengers. Numerous boats, laden with visitors, also arrived on Monday evening and Tuesday morning; while machines of various construction crowded the roads leading into the town, loaded with visitors from the different districts of the mainland. Taken altogether, there seems to have been a much larger Influx of strangers on the present occasion than for many years past. The usual sweetie stands, shooting ranges, and such accompaniments of fairs, are present in abundance. There were also a couple of “Velocipede cirques,” which did a roaring trade all day long. A batch of the light-fingered gentry also put in an appearance, and are reported to have relieved some visitors of their purses and other valuables. The show of cattle was small, and though there were some very good arrivals exhibited, there were many inferior. Horses, however, were in abundance; high prices were asked and given, and the business done was considerable. The number of dealers present was the largest for many years.
1871 September 6 Orkney Herald
ROUSAY. – Wasbister Free Church School. This school, at present under the care of Mr Wm. M. Craigie, interim teacher, was examined on the 21st July last, by Andrew E. Scougal, Esq., Her Majesty’s Inspector of Schools. The following is his report just come to hand:- “My visit this year was the first inspection of this school. The general condition of the school, as regards both discipline and instruction, does credit to its present young but highly intelligent and painstaking teacher. Arithmetic is decidedly the weakest point; geography and grammar of the highest class very creditable; and one boy did remarkably well in Latin (Virgil’s AEneid, Book1.) and Greek (Zenophon’s Anabasis, Book 1.); religious instruction good. The managers are to build offices immediately, to ceil and floor the schoolroom with wood, and to alter the present absurdly high desks. Parallel desks should be substituted if possible. Proper registers should be provided.”
1871 October 4 Orkney Herald
HORNED WHALES. – A rather amusing circumstance occurred in the neighbourhood of Kirkwall on the evening of Monday last. It appears that a number of cattle, which were being driven along the Ayre Road, stepped into the Peerie Sea, where, after disporting themselves for some time, they ultimately got into the current at the Oyce, by which they were dragged under the bridges, and out into the harbour, to the no small consternation of the miller, who could not comprehend what it was upon which the water wheel of his mill was striking so heavily. The tide dragged the cattle well out into the bay, and the twilight giving them the appearance of a shoal of whales, a number of boats quickly got ready to, if possible, effect a capture. On nearing the supposed sea monsters, at least one boatman is reported to have described them to his companions as a “new species of whale with horns,” and it was only after getting close along-side that the horned whales were discovered to be some half dozen cattle enjoying a twilight bath.
1871 November 1 Orkney Herald
ROUSAY PACKET. – The smack-rigged Boat “Osprey” will Sail as a Packet betwixt KIRKWALL and ROUSAY, calling at EVIE and EGILSHAY, twice a week until further notice, leaving Rousay and Evie on MONDAYS and THURSDAYS. Further particulars in future advertisements. DAVID WOOD, Master.
1871 November 29 Orkney Herald
PACKET TO ROUSAY. – The Packet “REAPER” is now Sailing between the EAST and WEST SIDE of ROUSAY and KIRKWALL, calling at EVIE and EGILSHAY, going and returning, leaving Rousay every Monday and Thursday, and Kirkwall on Tuesday and Friday. For particulars apply to JOHN CORSIE, Master.
1871 December 27 Orkney Herald
CHRISTMAS DAY. – On Monday the banks and other public offices were closed throughout the entire day, but with this exception and the game at foot-ball, played as usual on Broad Street – resulting in victory to the “down-the-gates” – nothing occurred to remind one of Christmas. While writing, we have received an anonymous note signed “Fairplay,” in the following terms – “Let the down-the-gates’ play up, and let the up-the-gates’ play down on New Year’s Day, and then we will see what direction the ball will take.” We think a more sensible plan would be for both sides to take to a field and “play,” there being neither science not play in street mobs. It is about time the authorities were stopping these annual riots.