In Print

Newsprint – 1902

1902 January 1 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – CONGREGATIONAL SOIREE. – The Ritchie U F. congregation had a very enjoyable soiree on Friday last. There was a fair attendance, although the afternoon was showery and the evening very dark, which prevented not a few from being present. After opening psalm and prayer, the Chairman, Rev. Mr McLeman, voiced the disappointment of the meeting that Rev. Mr Cheyne, St Andrews, was unable through sickness to be present. Thereafter speeches, at once stimulating, instructive, and amusing, were given by Rev. Messrs Tripney, Kirkwall; Whyte, Deerness; Pirie and McLeman, Rousay. During the interval a supply of cake, fruit, &c., was handed round. A large part of the pleasure of the evening was due to the very efficient choir trained and led by the congregational precentor, Mr William Grieve, Falldown. After the usual votes of thanks, the meeting concluded with the benediction.

1902 January 22 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY. – At the annual meeting of the Rousay Agricultural Society held in Sourin Public School on the 11th inst., the following members of committee were appointed to act for the ensuing year: – Chairman, Mr John Gibson; secretary and treasurer, Mr A. Learmonth; Committee, Messrs A. Munro, Woo; R. Marwick, Scockness; D. Marwick, Housebay [Essaquoy]; Geo. Gibson, Avelshay; J. S. Gibson, Hullion; D. Gibson, Langskaill; W. Muir, Saviskaill; R. Sinclair, Skatequoy; D. Inkster, Furse; and John Russell, Brendale. The treasurer’s report was submitted, and the society financially was found to be in a flourishing condition. The usual business of the meeting being transacted, it was resolved to hold the annual ploughing match sometime in February.

YOUNG MEN’S GUILD. – At the weekly meeting of the Rousay Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Guild on the 13th inst., Mr J. S. Gibson read an interesting paper on the crofter and land question which was much appreciated The members afterwards engaged in a “hat” night, which led to some lively and interesting discussion, principally on the South African War.

1902 January 25 The Orcadian

DESTRUCTION OF A CROP AT ROUSAY. – A fire of a serious character occurred at the farm of Woo, Rousay, tenanted by Mr Alexander Munro, late on Friday night, by which several stacks of oats, &c., were destroyed. It is not known how the fire occurred, but there seems to be a feeling prevalent that it was the work of an incendiary, and the police are investigating the matter. Mr Munro, who lives in a house a short distance from the steading, received the alarm early on Saturday morning, from Mr John Russell, Brendale, who had seen the flames from his house. A number of neighbours were speedily attracted to the spot, and though every effort was made to extinguish the fire, it had got such a hold that all that could be saved was a large stack of hay and a small stack of oats. Much praise is due Mr Russell for so promptly giving the alarm, and to those who so heartily gave their assistance in the trying emergency.

MUSIC CLASS. – In the music class conducted by the Rev. Mr Spark the following have gained the elementary certificate of the Tonic Solfa College, London, viz:- Eliza L. Spark, Minnie Gibson, John Gibson, and Edith A. A. Spark.

1902 January 29 Orkney Herald

A gale of exceptional severity broke over the Orkneys on Saturday forenoon. Shortly after 10 o’clock the wind, which up to that time had been moderate, suddenly increased in strength and blew with great violence from the north-west. At Kirkwall the waves were soon breaking in solid masses of water over the pier, Shore Street, and the Ayre. As it was also about high water when the gale broke out, Junction Road and some of the low-lying parts of the town were flooded. At Shore Street the parapet wall opposite the Queen’s Hotel was broken down, and the sea was breaking upon the hotel and sweeping through its entrances. The houses along the Ayre also suffered considerably from the weight of water, windows being broken and interiors flooded. A little beyond the houses at the Ayre a portion of the parapet wall was broken down.

The storm put a stop to all traffic by sea on Saturday. The steamer Orcadia, which left Kirkwall in the morning for the North Isles, was caught by the storm when between Stronsay and Sanday, and on reaching Sanday remained there instead of proceeding to Westray. The steamer Fawn, running between Kirkwall and Rousay, was unable to make her usual round, and remained at Kirkwall till Sunday morning. And the mail steamer St Ola, which was on the point of leaving Scapa for Scrabster when the storm burst, was forced to remain there till the following day, when she returned to Stromness. Several fishing boats belonging to Banff and other East Coast ports took shelter at Kirkwall and Holm, and some anxiety has been felt as to the fate of other boats which were in their company that morning. It is supposed that they would run for the Cromarty Firth. At Stronsay some slight damage was done to the roadway near the pier, and the south pier at Eday also suffered.

The wind fell somewhat towards evening, but still continued to blow strong. During the night there was a heavy fall of snow, which, though not enough to block the roads, in some places made traffic difficult. More snow fell on Monday night, and there were several showers yesterday. Telegraphic communication to Sanday and Shetland has been interrupted.

ROUSAY – GUILD MEETING. – The opening meeting for the session of the Ritchie U.F. Guild was held on Thursday last, when the president, Rev. Mr McLeman, read an interesting, instructive, and very helpful essay of “A plea for a more scientific education.” Several of the members took part in the discussion that followed. The secretary, Mr William Grieve, gave a short humorous reading, and with the help of our “fail-me-never” choir we had altogether a very pleasant evening.

1902 February 5 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – CONCERT. – A very successful concert, under the auspices of the Rousay Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Guild, took place in Wasbister Public School on the evening of Friday last. The night being fine, there was at large turnout from the neighbouring districts, who much enjoyed a long and varied programme rendered by a choir under the able leadership of Mr H. Craigie. The Rev. A. I. Pirie acted as chairman, and opened the programme with a few very appropriate remarks, pointing out the benefits that could be derived from guilds in general, and hoped that the Rousay guild would long continue to flourish. Annexed is the programme: –

Part-song, “Hail to the Chief,” choir; reading, “Saunders McGlauschan’s Courtship,” Mr J. Clouston; quartette, “The old Folks at Home,” Mrs Gillespie, Miss Marwick, Messrs Sinclair and Clouston; recitation, “A Charming Woman,” Mr J. Leonard; part-song, “The Rhine Raft Song,” choir; song, Mr Wotherspoon; song and chorus, “St Giles Bonnie Bells,” Mrs Gillespie and choir; dialogue, “A cure for Jealousy,” Misses Marwick and Inkster, Messrs Inkster and Leonard; reading, “Mortification,” Mr J. Leonard; part-song, “Auld Edinburgh Cries,” choir; song and chorus, “Four Jolly Smiths,” Mr R. Sinclair and choir; reading, “Kirsty McNab’s Wudden Leg,” Mr A. Leonard; part-song, “Hark! Clan Ronald’s Pibroch,” choir.

At the close Mr Pirie thanked the choir and performers for their able rendering of the several items on the programme, and expressed the hope that they might again give the people of Rousay an opportunity of coming out to hear them. Mr Wm. Learmonth, vice-president of the Guild, also thanked the performers in a short neat speech. After votes of thanks had been accorded to Messrs Pirie and Learmonth, tea was served by the committee. Ample justice having been done to the good things provided, the school was cleared and a dance was engaged in, which was kept up with much spirit till the sma’ ‘oors. Much credit is due to the committee for their kind attention to all and sundry.

1902 February 15 The Orcadian

GREAT SNOWSTORM. – The heaviest snowstorm which has been experienced in Orkney for many years set in on Thursday night last week. Fortunately the wind, which was from the north-west, was very light, so that, though the snow fell to a great depth, there was no drifting. On Friday morning there was a fresh fall of snow, and that day it lay on the ground to a depth of seven inches around Kirkwall, whilst in some of the country districts it was said to be a foot in depth. Since then snow has fallen more or less daily, and occasionally there has been some drifting with the result that all the roads in the county are blocked. All the daily and mail coaches have stopped running, and business in Orkney is at a standstill. The country postmen have been making their usual journeys on foot, and in some cases they have had to get assistance. The barometer stands high, and on Thursday morning had an upward tendency, with every appearance of a continuance of the wintry weather. Between the snow showers bright sunshine is being experienced. There does not seem to be any near prospect of the roads being opened up in the County, as they are so badly blocked they could only be cleared, it is said, at considerable expense.

1902 February 19 Orkney Herald

CROFTERS ACT (AMENDMENT) BILL. – The bill to amend the Crofters Holdings (Scotland) Act, which Mr Cathcart Wason introduced in the House of Commons a few weeks ago, has not yet been circulated, but will probably be circulated in a few days. The measure, we understand is identical, or almost so, with the bill which Mr Wason prepared last year. The London correspondent of the ‘Scotsman’ says that to this year’s bill a memorandum will be prefixed describing the condition of crofters’ life which it is proposed to deal with. The chief purpose of the bill is to counteract the recent decision of the Court of Session. Crofters have, it is stated in the memorandum, been from time immemorial, and are still, in the habit of using their crofts for occupation other than purely agricultural or pastoral. The decision of the Court of Session is to the effect that the crofter must not so use his holding, and, therefore, it is said it “strikes at their very existence and social life.” Crofters can now be interdicted “for interchange with each other of labour and goods, for curing and drying fish, carpenter or blacksmith work, boatbuilding or repairing, weaving or knitting, mending or making clothes or shoes, except for themselves, and acting as postmasters or telegraph clerks.” The bill proposes, in accordance with this memorandum, to authorise a crofter to use one-fourth of his outrun for petty industries, and also for dealing in groceries and other provisions, the landlord being absolved from liability for compensation in respect of buildings erected for these purposes.

1902 February 22 The Orcadian

THE WEATHER. – A rapid thaw set in in Orkney last Saturday, and men were immediately employed to clear the various roads in the mainland. The work was done so expeditiously that most of the roads were open for traffic on Monday, and communication with the outlying districts has now been secured. Towards the end of last week mails for Firth and Rendall were carried by sea, and some of the small shops in country districts had to get supplies of goods by parcel post to meet customers’ wants. In one parish, which gets most of its goods through vans, there was a great dearth of paraffin, and some families had to be content with what light they could get from their fires. The snow has now almost disappeared, and the weather to-day (Thursday) is very pleasant and springlike.

1902 February 26 Orkney Herald

EYNHALLOW FORESHORE. – In the House of Commons on Friday Mr Cathcart Wason [member of parliament for Orkney] asked the President of the Board of Trade if the petition of 63 fishermen from the parish of Evie, Orkney, protesting against the grant of the rights and interests of the Crown in the foreshore of Eynhallow Island to the proprietor of the island has been received, and if the same will receive due consideration.  Mr Gerald Balfour [replied] – The petition has been received, and will be duly considered by the Board of Trade.

A FRENCH STORY OF MR CATHCART WASON, M.P. – The following is translated from ‘La Petite Gironde,’ a French newspaper, of 1st March 1902: – “Foreign News. – England – A Member of Parliament Who Knits. – For some days M. Wason, member of Parliament. for Orkney, in the House of Commons, has accustomed himself, to the great amusement of his colleagues, to take out during the debates a little sachet, and from it take some knitting needles, a ball of worsted, and to set to work to knit stockings. When he was questioned by the other legislators on the subject he answered that, feeling very wearied with listening to speechifying, he set to work to knit stockings to while away the time till the vote was taken. The doctors had prohibited him from reading, which would injure his eyesight, and as he is neither permitted to play at cards nor ping-pong during the debates, he knits. As they say, it is much better than to spend the time at the public house.”

1902 March 5 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PLOUGHING MATCH. – The annual ploughing match of the Rousay Agricultural Society was held on Thursday last on a field on the farm of Saviskaill kindly granted by Mr [Walter] Muir for the occasion. Seventeen ploughs were forward for competition. The judges –  Messrs Scarth, Burgar; Yorston, Orquil; and Mowat, Schoolhall, Evie – were unfortunately unable to get across owing to the stormy state of the weather, and the committee were obliged to appoint local judges, namely, Messrs George Gibson, Avelshay; David Marwick, Essaquoy; and John Cutt, Trumland, and they deserve great credit for the thorough way in which they performed their duties. The ploughing, we may add, was of a different kind to anything we have previously seen at a match in Rousay, at special rule being that all ploughing had to have an inch of back, but notwithstanding the change, some very good work was to be seen on the field. A large number of special prizes were handed in for distribution. Annexed is the prize list: –

PLOUGHING. – 1, Highland and Agricultural Society medal, Tom Sinclair, Westness; 2, John Sinclair, Saviskaill; 3, James Craigie, Innister; 4, James Leonard, Avelshay; 5, James Craigie. Falquoy; 6, John Leonard, Grips; 7, Thomas Inkster, Westness; 8, John Shearer, Trumland; 9, John Gibson. Faraclett; 10, Robert Paterson, Scockness. Best feering, John Sinclair, Saviskaill; best finish, Tom Sinclair, Westness.
HARNESS. – 1, John Leonard, Grips; 2, Robert Paterson, Scockness; 3, John Sinclair, Saviskaill; 4, John Gibson, Faraclett; 5, John Shearer, Trumland; 6, Tom Sinclair, Westness. GROOMING. – 1, John Pearson, Saviskaill; 2, Tom Sinclair, Westness; 3, John Sinclair, Saviskaill; 4, Thomas Inkster, Westness; 5, John Shearer, Trumland; 6, A. Cruickshank, Trumland.
Best matched horses, John Pearson, Saviskaill; best matched mares, John Shearer, Trumland; most valuable horses and harness, John Sinclair, Saviskaill; youngest ploughman, David Moodie, Ervadale.

At the close of the match the judges along with the committee and a few friends were kindly entertained to dinner by Mr and Miss [Isabella] Muir. The usual toasts were given and responded to. Mr and Miss Muir were thanked for their kind hospitality and for the liberal way in which they had supplied refreshments to the ploughmen and others during the day. A very pleasant evening was spent. The committee take this opportunity of thanking all those who contributed to the prize-list and in any way helped to make the match a success.

ROUSAY – RITCHIE U.F. CONGREGATIONAL GUILD. – This bright and pleasant Guild meeting was held on Thursday last. The principal event of the evening was an essay by our deservedly popular secretary, Mr William Grieve, Lower Mill, on our nearest neighbour, “The Moon.” The subject was treated in a way calculated to arouse fresh interest in that most fascinating of all sciences, “Astronomy,” while the choir’s rendering of several pieces of music was beyond all praise.

1902 March 15 The Orcadian

ROUSAY – ENTERTAINMENT. – A concert in aid of the funds of the Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners’ Royal Benevolent Society took place in the Frotoft Public School on Friday the 7th current. The night was very fine, and a large company turned out to the entertainment. The chair was taken at 7 p.m. The Rev. A. I. Pirie acted as chairman in his usual able and agreeable manner. In the course of his opening remarks he strongly urged the claims of the Society on all in any way connected with the sea, and also on the public in general. Mrs Broadbent acted as accompanist, and did so with such good effect that she earned the praise of everyone present. She also contributed very much to the evening’s enjoyment by giving two pianoforte solos and a number of songs, all of which were rendered in excellent style, and were heartily applauded. A recitation by Dr Broadbent, was rendered in splendid style, and received a hearty encore. Mr McKay’s song, “McAllister’s Bonnet,” also received a well deserved encore. The dialogues and readings were also well performed, and kept the company in roars of laughter. In fact the whole performance was well done, and reflected great credit on all those taking part in it. Votes of thanks were given to the performers, chairman, and accompanist, after which Mr Gibson, in the name of Captain Craigie and himself, honorary joint agents for the Society, thanked the company for coming forward in such numbers in order to help a very deserving cause. The meeting came to a close about 10.15 p.m., every one being highly pleased with the evening’s entertainment. The programme consisted of two parts, with a service of fruit and cake during the Interval.

1902 March 29 The Orcadian

Mr. H. C. Gibson, Rousay, Orkney, is second on the list of prize-winners in the junior division of Dr Cathcart’s class of clinical surgery, at the Edinburgh School of Medicine.

[Hugh Craigie Gibson was the son of Robert Gibson, Langskaill, and Isabella Craigie, Hullion. Born in March 1875, he married Louise Catherine Smith in December 1905.]

1902 April 2 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – GUILD MEETING. – The monthly meeting of the Ritchie U.F. Guild was held on Monday last. There was a good attendance. Mr McLeod, teacher, Sourin Public School, read an essay on Tennyson, which gave abundant evidence of careful thought and wide reading on the subject. Several other contributions were rendered, the most amusing being a reading in the Orkney dialect, which was received with hearty bursts of laughter.

1902 April 9 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY. – Notwithstanding the recent stormy weather farm work is well advanced, and with fine weather farmers will soon be able to begin sowing.

On Friday evening three young men, Messrs James Leonard, John Leonard, and Archibald Leonard, Cruannie, Sourin, were entertained at a farewell supper prior to their departure for Canada. The chairman and other friends spoke in high terms of the character of the young men, and expressed regret at their departure and best wishes for their success and welfare in the colony to which they are going.

[It appears Archibald McCallum Leonard was the only one of the brothers who permenantly settled in Canada. He married Margaret Jean Gibson, Broland, and they had seven children, born between 1906 and 1914 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Both James Leonard and his brother John died in Rousay, James in 1904 at the age of 28, and John in 1910, aged 31.]

1902 April 16 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY. – The Communion was arranged to take place in the Ritchie U.F. Church for Sabbath last, the Rev. Mr Webster, Kirkwall, assisting, but owing to the inclemency of the weather it had to be postponed. In spite of this, however, the people in the immediate districts were well out both at the forenoon and evening services conducted by Mr Webster, whose earnest, helpful discourses were much appreciated. He also baptized Mr McLeman’s little daughter [Beatrice] at the close of the forenoon service.

1902 April 30 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – GUILD MEETING. – The members of the Ritchie U.F. Guild spent a delightful evening together on the 17th inst. Being the closing meeting for the session, the programme was unusually bright and varied. During the first part of the evening, Mr Alexander Grieve read a most excellent essay on “Care,” later on embodying in verse advice both kind and stimulating. The short break was well employed in disposing of tea and good things, which, judging from the rest of the contributions, had the usual cheering effect, the readings being spirited and amusing, while some of the pieces given by the choir were very fine.

1902 May 7 Orkney Herald

WAR CASUALTIES OF THE SEAFORTHS. – Since the outbreak of the war in South Africa, upwards of 2000 men have left the depot of the Seaforth Highlanders at Fort George for the front. Nine officers and 169 rank and file of the Seaforths were killed; 15 officers and 537 rank and file wounded; and 31 rank and file succumbed to disease. The 2nd Battalion of the Seaforths has seen very hard fighting at the front. At present the members of the gallant regiment are engaged in blockhouse duty.

ORKNEY COUNTY COUNCIL. – The statutory general meeting of the County Council of Orkney was held in the County Building, Kirkwall on Friday. Present – Col. Balfour, convener, in the chair; Dr Sinclair, Rev. Messrs Cheyne, Dickey, and Murrison, Capts. Baillie and Hewison, and Messrs Sutherland, Grant, MacLennan, Reid, Johnston, Middlemore, Stewart, Gibson, and Baikie…..

PROPOSED ASYLUM FOR WILD BIRDS. – Mr MIDDLEMORE submitted the following motion – “That the County Council of Orkney petition the Secretary for Scotland to issue an Order under the Wild Birds Protection (Scotland) Act protecting all wild birds on the island of Eynhallow during the whole year for a period of at least three years, but excepting therefrom snipe, golden plover, wild duck, widgeon, teal, pochards, and scaup ducks.” It was, he thought, known to all of them that the island of Eynhallow was noted for its wild birds, which came over in enormous numbers in the nesting season. He believed that every bird that existed in Orkney was found there, and he was told that some sorts were found there that were not found elsewhere. As an object of interest and an object lesson in natural history, Eynhallow was of very considerable importance. A few years ago, when he was tenant of it, he was, while residing at Westness, constantly visiting it, and the island was protected; but during the last four years the island had been practically swept entirely of eggs. He believed the eggs were sent south and sold as plovers’ eggs. There were a few green plovers on the island, but not many. That was a state of things he wished to end. He therefore approached the Crown authorities and asked them to give him a Crown grant of the foreshore on the understanding that if they did that he would appoint permanently a keeper to prevent egg-stealing. Against that petition for a Crown grant a petition was signed by upwards of sixty objectors, chiefly, he thought, on the ground that they would be deprived of bait from the shores of the island That was entirely a mistake. The question of bait did not come in for a single moment. Every public right would have remained absolutely intact. He thought that if the matter were put before the petitioners the old objection would not be revived. Anyhow, he wanted to meet prejudices that were honestly held, though he believed they were unfounded. So he went to the Society for the Protection of Wild Birds, and they advised him to petition the Secretary for Scotland through the County Council to declare the island an asylum for all wild birds. That would give him more than if he got a grant of the foreshore. He therefore decided, supposing the Council adopted his motion, not to press his petition for a Crown grant further on the Board of Trade. He would press the present matter on the Council as one of the greatest importance. It was very important that rare specimens of birds should be preserved and not become extinct. It was very desirable that, instead of studying stuffed corpses in a museum, they should be able to study the birds in their natural habitats and at the most interesting season – the nesting season. And, lastly, it was of great importance to attract visitors to Orkney. Much of Orkney’s wealth was derived from visitors, and the more that were attracted to the islands the more would the general well-being of the people increase. On these grounds he had pleasure in recommending the motion he had made to the County Council.

Mr SUTHERLAND seconded the motion.

Mr MACLENNAN was prepared to accept the motion if all wild birds were included, but not if exception were made. If Mr Middlemore would not agree to that, he would move that the Council do not petition as proposed. He moved that the birds excepted in Mr Middlemore’s motion be included in the protecting order, or otherwise that the Council refuse to petition in terms of the motion.

Mr STEPHEN, in seconding, said that if Eynhallow was made an asylum for wild animals – (laughter) – they might cause a lot of trouble to people in the neighbourhood. If it was to be a breeding place for black-backed gulls, hooded ravens, eagles, and that sort of animals, which knew a young sheep, the people in Evie might raise questions about it. Mr Sutherland lived on something else than farms, but perhaps he might know something about the loss caused to farmers by some kinds of birds. Mr Middlemore was a gentleman quite independent of wild birds or anything else. Mr Stephen thought they should be careful. Mr Stephen made some reference to a place on the Loch of Swannay where wild birds bred, and suggested that Mr Middlemore put a Forth Bridge to Eynhallow. (Laughter.)

Mr MURRISON agreed with much that Mr Middlemore had said. All shared to some extent in the interest he took in the matter, which was of very considerable importance. It was a pity to see all the birds destroyed by poachers stealing the eggs, and what could be done by the Council to prevent that should be done. Mr Middlemore did not say why he was to except certain birds, and he (Mr Murrison) was rather inclined meantime to support Mr MacLennan’s motion that there should be no exception. He assumed that the public had no special interest in the island, and that carrying out the proposal would not be interfering with any special right they had. If it did he should not like to do it. He also suggested that as this was a poor county Mr Middlemore might be at any cost of advertising or other expense in carrying out the proposal.

Mr MIDDLEMORE could not accept Mr MacLennan’s suggestion that there should be no exception. It would deprive sportsmen of shooting snipe. Nor could he undertake to pay the cost of county advertising. Many a county, if an offer like his were made to it, would almost be ready to agree to find a keeper. He was to do that, and he could not incur further expense. If his motion was accepted with the exceptions, well and good; if not, it fell to the ground.

Mr STEWART thought it was unfair to ask Mr Middlemore to be at the cost of advertising. All were more or less interested in the subject of natural history and this was a good offer to have the island protected at Mr Middlemore’s expense. Mr Middlemore was to provide a keeper to prevent depredations of the eggs. The island would thus be properly protected for three years, and this would give rare birds a chance of multiplying. He (Mr Stewart) had recently the pleasure of listening to an interesting essay on bird life on Sule Skerry. The light-keeper said that rare birds were becoming fewer there since the lighthouse was erected. If that was the case, it was desirable that there should be some other asylum for them to breed in, and here was an offer to provide it.

Mr MURRISON had in view, in suggesting that Mr Middlemore might pay the cost of advertising, the possibility, if the motion came to anything, that other similar motions might be brought forward.

Mr Stephen rose to speak, but was called to order.

Capt. BAILLIE asked if Mr Middlemore could not attain his end without troubling the Council.

Mr MIDDLEMORE replied that he could not proclaim a close time all the year round.

The amendment was then put to the meeting and carried by 8 votes to 5, and Mr Middlemore thereupon withdrew his motion.

Mr MACLENNAN asked if it would be competent to request the Secretary for Scotland to issue such an order in opposition to the proprietor of the island.

The COUNTY CLERK replied that it would be quite competent. The Council could ask, but their request would not be granted without the proprietor’s consent.

Some other important business was transacted, and a vote of thanks having been awarded to the convener, the meeting ended.

1902 May 14 Orkney Herald

Letters to the Editor


SIR, – I notice in your issue of last week the report of a meeting of the County Council of Orkney, at which Mr Middlemore, seconded by Mr Sutherland, brought forward a motion asking the Council to petition the Secretary for Scotland to issue an order under the Wild Birds Protection Art, protecting all Wild Birds on the island of Eynhallow for a period of three years. Mr Middlemore, in the course of his remarks, said that every bird that existed in Orkney was to be found on Eynhallow, and he tried to throw some reflection on those who petitioned against giving him a grant of the foreshore, for which he applied some time ago, by saying that there was so much egg-stealing carried on, and that it was most important as an object lesson to those interested in natural history to have the place protected against egg-stealing. In reply to Mr Middlemore’s statements, I may point out that I have lived within easy access of Eynhallow for a good number of years, but was not aware of the fact that so much egg-stealing was carried on; and, further, I am of opinion that such is not the case. As to the species of birds he wishes protected, if he considers the common and wild duck, locally known as “dunters,” need preservation, then I may point out to him that there is no need for such a proceeding, as either of the two species are very abundant throughout Orkney, and there is no fear of them becoming extinct. I should also like Mr Middlemore to point out to me the rare species of birds frequenting Eynhallow he wishes to protect. Probably he may have come across some in his wanderings on Eynhallow, but I have never heard of any, and shall await his reply with interest. Mr Middlemore, I am afraid, has some other motive in bringing forward the motion. How Mr Sutherland came to second a motion regarding a subject of which he must be entirely ignorant, I fail to see. However, I now, with your permission, give both these gentlemen an opportunity of replying through the medium of your paper, when probably I may have a little more to say on the subject, as I consider that the motion brought forward was altogether uncalled for. – WESTNESS.

1902 May 28 Orkney Herald

DEATH OF A 93rd VETERAN. – The Dundee Advertiser says: – The death took place under tragic circumstances in Dundee on the night of Monday the 19th inst. of Moses Taggart, one of the few remaining Dundee veterans who saw service in the Crimean War. Taggart was walking down Whitehall Street when he was observed by several other pedestrians to stagger and fall. Assistance was at once forthcoming, and Taggart, was carried into a close nearby, but he never rallied, death ensuing almost immediately, as it afterwards transpired, from sudden failure of the heart’s action. The tragic event caused a great sensation in the locality, a large crowd collecting in Whitehall Street and High Street. Moses Taggart was well known in Dundee, where he had resided for nearly half a century. He was a native of Arbroath, but while yet a young man came to Dundee to follow his trade of a handloom carpet weaver. Some years before the outbreak of the Crimean War, Taggart enlisted in the old 93rd [Sutherland Highlanders] Regiment, then quartered in Dundee. When war was declared, Taggart accompanied his regiment to the Crimea, where he was under fire in most of the principal battles of the campaign. He was one of the famous Thin Red Line that checked the Russians’ advance at Balaclava. Lieutenant (now General) Burroughs, was in command of the company in which Taggart was enrolled, and it was the latter’s good fortune on one occasion to render a signal service to his officer, which resulted in a life-long friendship. The troops had concluded a hard days fighting, and the Lieutenant asked one of his men to find him a draught of pure water, the ordinary supply being derived from a well the water in which was stagnant. The man to whom the Lieutenant made the request replied insolently that the Lieutenant could drink the water that was considered good enough for the soldiers. Taggart, who was close by, overheard the conversation, and immediately volunteered to swim across the river and bring Lieutenant Burroughs a supply of wholesome water. This he did, and the service was never forgotten by his superior, who wrote to Taggart regularly. It was chiefly through his influence and that of Sir John Leng that the veteran some years ago received a well-earned Crimean pension. Taggart is survived by a widow and one daughter.

1902 June 4 Orkney Herald




All over the country the news of terms of peace having been signed was received with demonstrations of joy. Owing to Kirkwall Telegraph Office not being open on Sundays except for an hour in the morning, our messages announcing that the Boer delegates had signed the terms of surrender, which were sent off from London on Sunday afternoon, only reached us shortly after seven o’clock on Monday morning. The news spread quickly, and soon flags were being hoisted to staffs, streamers strung across the streets, and other decorations made in honour of the event. The Town Council met in the forenoon and resolved to recommend a half-holiday, a recommendation which was very generally carried out, nearly all places of business being closed at 3 p.m. Unfortunately rain fell heavily during the afternoon. In the evening there was a parade of Volunteers. At the Market Cross the National Anthem was played, and cheers given for the King and Queen. The Volunteers and a few private gentlemen were afterwards entertained by the Town Council in the Town Hall, when the loyal and patriotic toasts were proposed and enthusiastically responded to. At night there was a display of fireworks from the Cathedral, the Town Hall, and Tankerness House, from the Coastguard Station and vessels in the harbour.

1902 July 2 Orkney Herald



An immense sensation was caused throughout the country on Tuesday last week by the wholly unexpected announcement that the King [Edward VII] was ill, and that the Coronation, so long looked forward to with much pleasurable anticipation, had been postponed within two days of the great ceremonial. The first brief telegraphic announcement which was issued about noon caused intense excitement, and was, indeed, in the first instance received with a feeling of incredulity. Many were quite aware from what had been previously published that His Majesty was not in the best of health, and that he was taking the greatest care to reserve his strengths for the arduous duties incumbent on him during the Coronation ceremony, but they could hardly credit the intelligence that His Majesty’s condition was so serious. The very fact that he had travelled from Windsor to Buckingham Palace on Monday without apparent discomfort led everyone to hope that His Majesty’s health was so far restored as would enable him to undergo the fatigue inseparable from the approaching solemnity. Hardly, however, had the first shock which the sad tidings gave rise to subsided, ere the official bulletin was issued, stating that the King was suffering from perityphlitis [inflammation of the peritoneum covering the cæcum and appendix], and an operation was necessary. This was shortly afterwards followed by other official telegrams stating that the operation had been successfully performed, that the King had borne it well and that a large abscess had been evacuated, though it would be some days before it could be said that His Majesty was out of danger…..

1902 August 2 The Orcadian

ROUSAY REGATTA. – The annual regatta of the Rousay and Veira Boat Club was held in Veira Sound on Friday last. The course was round a buoy at Grand, thence to Sourin, and back round a buoy at the pier. The first race was for boats 16 feet and under. The finish was as follows, with corrected time:- 1, Thistle, J. Johnston; 2, Alice, C. Logie; 3, Jean Ann, W. Wood; 4, Ceska, J. Gibson; 5, Wilsons, T. Wilson. The second race was for the club cup, but as there were no boats to compete against the Annie (J. Logie) it did not come off. Six entries for boats of 22 feet waterline and under. The result was as follows: 1, Annie, J. Maxwell (silver medal); 2, Hero, M. C. Grieve; 3, Sigurd, General Burroughs; 4, Lily, R. Miller; 5, Sarah Ann, J. Mainland; 6, Mary, W. Sutherland. In the all-comers race the finish was:- 1, Annie, J. Logie; 2, Annie, J. Maxwell; 3, Hero, M. C. Grieve; 4, Sigurd, General Burroughs; 5, Lily, R. Miller; 6, Alice, C. Logie; 7, Thistle, J. Johnston; 8, Ceska, J. Gibson. The following were the results of the rowing races:- Boys – 1, George Mainland and Alex Donaldson; 2, David Munro and David Yorston; 3, Fred Sinclair and J. Craigie. Ladies – 1, Misses Kemp and Fraser; 2, Misses Inkster; 3, Mrs Giles and Miss Inkster; 4, Misses Gibson and Robertson. Men – 1, Geo. Reid and Robert Graham; 2, James Harrold and Magnus Flaws; 3, George Harrold and Magnus Flaws. Mrs Burroughs presented the prizes to the successful competitors. A dance in connection with the regatta was held in the evening.

MUSIC CERTIFICATE. – Archibald Graham Spark has just obtained by written examination the Intermediate Certificate of T. S. C. [Tonic Sol-fa College], London.

GUILD RESULTS. – In the Church of Scotland Guild Prize Competition, Veira Lickley Spark gained a book prize with 81 per cent., and Archibald G. Spark gained a certificate with 72 per cent.

The communion in the Parish Church takes place here on 10th August next, when Rev. Mr Spark will be assisted by Rev. Theodore Marshall, D.D. from Edinburgh, who will also (D.V.) preach in Wasbister School at 6 p.m.

1902 August 16 The Orcadian

ROUSAY. – Coronation Day was observed generally as a holiday throughout the island. In the forenoon a service was conducted in the Trumland U.F. Church by the Rev. A. I. Pirie. In the evening all the children attending the various schools, along with nearly 250 of the inhabitants were kindly entertained by General and Mrs Burroughs. A bonfire was lighted at Taverso Tuick near Trumland with the singing of “God Save the King,” and hearty cheers given for the General and Mrs Burroughs. After the firework display the party returned to Trumland House where refreshments were again served, and a great display of fireworks to celebrate the auspicious occasion were also put up during the evening. Before the bonfire was lighted, and after the presentation of Mrs Burroughs’ annual prizes, refreshments were handed to all present.

[The coronation of Edward VII and Alexandra of Denmark as King and Queen of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions took place at Westminster Abbey, London, on 9 August 1902].

1902 August 20 Orkney Herald

DEATHS: – INKSTER. – At 268 King Street, Aberdeen, on the 16th inst., Jane Laurie Learmonth, beloved wife of William Inkster, firemaster, aged 44 years.

1902 August 30 The Orcadian

[The Orcadian carried a weekly column revealing the history of the Birsay Church, written by Alexander Goodfellow. The following is a story concerning a maritime mishap in the notoriously turbulent waters of Eynhallow Sound].

BIRSAY CHURCHYARD. – Here Is an additional gravestone belonging to this place which ought to have been noticed in a former article. The stone is well worthy of a place here, and if the “sad tale” concerning the departed is anything like true, we will still believe that “truth is stranger than fiction!” There are many high as well as low tragedies in human life. The stone itself is a dark blue slab of highland slate bearing a rather remarkable inscription –

Here Lies
The Remains of
Who departed this Life
The 16th day of Jany 1801
Aged 74 years
The Above was late
Tenant in Istabest.
His son GEORGE
Who died AT SEA year 1779
Aged 20 years.
To All you Who do this see
Learn to Live As you’ll
Wish to die.

The son George who was drowned was a pushing fellow and he became mate of the ship before he was out of his apprenticeship. At this time we are referring to his vessel was passing through Enhallow Sound, between Rousay and Evie, on her way to port when she was wrecked. He knew the coast better than the captain and might have piloted the ship safely through that intricate channel if the skipper had allowed him. But as the story goes the master kept his own command, with the result that the vessel was lost near to the Enhallow land. Then the island was inhabited and the people might have saved the crew and passengers with their cattle tethers, but, like the Cornish wreckers, they preferred to busy themselves more about the precious cargo than the precious crew. Geo. Mowat was said to have been a good swimmer and could have saved himself, but there were woman among the passengers, one of them being his ‘lady love,’ and he was anxious to save her. One he might have saved, but some of the others hung on to her and they all sank together – lover and loved. When the bodies came ashore the islanders followed the barbarous custom of helping themselves to what they found on the shore and on the bodies of the men and women. Those shipwrecked people were all, but one, buried in Evie Churchyard in a group by themselves. The exception was George Mowat whose body did not rise with the rest. The poor father when he heard of this did his best to recover the body of his son, and his exertions were crowned with success. It is said that he spent a barrel of oil in trying to smooth the troubled waters in order to see the bottom where the ship was wrecked, and there the son’s body was discovered. It was brought up from the deep and carried to Birsay churchyard and buried there beside the dark blue stone. “After life’s fitful fever he sleeps well.”

1902 September 24 Orkney Herald


[The three candidates in the 1902 Orkney and Shetland by-election were: Cathcart Wason (Independent Liberal), Thomas McKinnon Wood (Liberal), and Theodore Angier (Liberal Unionist)].


Mr McKinnon Wood continued his canvass of the constituency by addressing meetings in Rousay and Shapinsay on Monday. He addressed a large and enthusiastic meeting in Sourin Public School, Rousay, in the forenoon. Mr D. Gibson moved that General Burroughs, C.B., take the chair.

General BURROUGHS, in introducing Mr McKinnon Wood, said he had much pleasure in taking the chair at this meeting. Mr Wood was, he said, a distinguished member of our country. His forbears were connected with these isles. Perhaps Mr Wood’s views and his (the chairman’s) would not coincide on many points. He had much pleasure in introducing Mr Wood.

[Born in Stepney, Wood was the only son of Hugh Wood, a merchant and shipowner, by his second wife Jessie McKinnon, daughter of Reverend Thomas McKinnon. Hugh Wood is on record as being baptised on September 29th 1811 in Rousay – or possibly Wyre, where three Wood familes were living at Rusness and Castlehall. After moving to Kirkwall, where he was employed as a draper in Bridge Street, Hugh Wood, his wife and young daughter moved south, to London].

Mr WOOD, who was received with applause, at the outset referred to his family connections with the island of Rousay. He said that while he never hesitated to express his convictions, he always had the good fortune to be on personally friendly terms with his opponents. He appreciated very highly the compliment General Burroughs paid him in taking the chair at that meeting. (Applause.) The issues of this by-election were somewhat different from the general election. The Government came into power on a war issue, but they have gone further and introduced several measures for which they had no mandate – the English Education Bill was one, and the new taxation was another. In referring to the Corn Tax, he said that he agreed with Sir Henry Fowler, who said that if it had been a choice between beer and bread or tobacco and bread, he would have voted for a tax on beer and tobacco, or if it had been a choice between bread and an extra penny on the income tax, he would have voted for the extra penny. He was in favour of the fundamental principles of Liberalism which went to lighten the taxes on the poor. Discussing the principles of the Education Bill, he said that if we were to keep our own in competition with foreign nations we must look after our secondary education. He objected to denominational teaching at the expense of the ratepayers. Mr Wood criticised Mr Wason’s political position, and stated that he had been asked to contest this constituency long before Mr Wason had changed his position. Mr Wason, he said, would be voting in one lobby on education and in another on Free Trade. As an Orcadian, Mr Wood could promise that the interests of Orkney would be dealt with by him, not in a perfunctory manner, but by every means in his power he would strive to forward the interests of the constituency. (Applause.)

General BURROUGHS – Are you in favour of abrogating the decalogue? [doing away with the Ten Commandments]

Mr WOOD – No.

General BURROUGHS asked how Mr Wood could reconcile the eighth commandment with the Crofters Act? (Hisses.)

Mr WOOD replied that that was a question, with all due respect to the Chairman, on which he did not take the same view as the Chairman. (Loud applause.)

Rev. A. SPARK – Would you exclude the Bible from schools?

Mr WOOD – No; certainly not. It is a question of distinctive denominational teaching. While the Bible is the best book for children, yet the distinctive dogmas of the various sects are beyond the minds of children. He thought that the priest was the very worst person to have control of education.

Mr McLEOD, teacher, moved that Mr Wood was a fit and proper person to represent the constituency in Parliament, which was seconded by Mr Gibson, Avelshay, and carried with enthusiasm.

General BURROUGHS moved a vote of thanks Mr Wood for his address, and said that although of course he could not agree with all Mr Wood had said nor with the motion that he was a fit and proper person to represent them in Parliament, perhaps they would not get a better.

Mr GIBSON, Hullion, moved a vote of thanks to General Burroughs for occupying the chair.



In the afternoon Mr Wood addressed a meeting in the Wasbister Public School. Mr J. G. Craigie, parish clerk, occupied the chair. Mr Wood dealt with the record of the Government as regards the administration of the public departments and said a Government was to be judged not only by the reforms which it had brought in but also by the way in which it had managed the affairs of the country. We must judge the Government by what we know. We have had a great war and we are able to judge the Government by its conduct of the war. The Government has not distinguished itself by a war which they said would cost ten millions, but which had cost £230,000,000. They did not understand the kind of enemy they had to meet – who were a very mobile enemy. It was a great error to allow the Boers to collect so large an amount of arms. General Butler informed the Government that if they were to engage the enemy they would require to send out 130,000 men. The Government thought about a fourth of that number would be sufficient. Lord Salisbury said that he could not be expected to know that the Boers imported guns in piano cases. The Government, Mr Wood said, did not send out the proper artillery. He referred to the transport of horses, and instanced one case in which 200 horses out of 500 were lost as there was not a veterinary surgeon on the ship. Referring to the reform of the War Office, he said that it ought to be conducted on business principles. There was a want of thoroughly educated officers. They were brave but they did not have the education to conduct a war in modern scientific ways. It was very difficult for the private soldier to rise to be an officer. To be an officer in our Army you must be possessed of private means. He wanted to democratise the service. If you compare men in the Navy you will find that they are more highly-trained practical like men than in the Army. An officer in the Navy must be educated to manage his ship else she will be wrecked. (Applause.)

Mr WOOD, in reply to a question as to his views on trawling, said that the law should be more strict. It was no use punishing the captain of the trawler. You must get at the owners, and in order to do this you must make the punishment such that it would not pay the owner to poach.

In reply to a question as to polling booths, Mr Wood said that it rested with the Sheriff, whose duty it was to fix the polling stations. He certainly thought it a hardship that they had to go to Kirkwall to vote.

Mr BEGG wished to know the mind of the people as to whether or not they wished a polling booth in the island. A vote was taken, and the majority of those present were in favour of a polling station the island.

On the motion of Mr Gibson. Langskaill, seconded by Mr Inkster, Little Cogar, a vote of confidence in Mr Wood was carried with acclamation. The meeting closed with a vote of thanks to Mr Craigie for presiding.

1902 October 4 The Orcadian

MR WOOD’S “LIBERAL” FRIENDS. – Short as Mr McKinnon Wood has been on the field, he has shown by his actions where he means to curry favour. At Rousay he had for chairman of his meeting a landlord who has closed a blacksmith’s shop on a croft, and has thereby forced all the farmers in that district, when they want a horse shod, to travel a distance of nearly twelve miles to get it done. At St Margaret’s Hope Mr Wood had another laird In the chair – Mr J. G. Moodie Heddle – a gentleman who has shown the utmost hostility to Mr Wason’s little bill for the amendment of the Crofter’s Act. At Longhope Mr Wood had a very cordial welcome from another land magnate, the gentleman who got from the Government the rights to the foreshore fishings around his estate. Our contemporary, inadvertently no doubt, published the fact that General Burroughs had presided at Mr Wood’s meeting at Rousay, but our readers would notice that in reporting the meetings held at St Margaret’s Hope and Longhope the names of the chairmen there were never mentioned. What was the reason of this silence? Crofters and fishermen will have no difficulty in drawing their own inference. We think no higher testimonial could have been given to Mr Cathcart Wason for his services in Parliament than that these gentlemen should be using their influence in support of Mr Wood’s candidature.

1902 October 22 Orkney Herald

A SUCCESSFUL ORKNEY STUDENT. – At the bursary competition, open to students entering any of the three colleges of the United Free Church, Alex. Irvine Pirie, M.A., Rousay, has secured the second bursary. This entitles him to the Hamilton Scholarship of £50 for the current session, and a bursary of £30 for next session. Mr Pirie has entered New College, Edinburgh.

1902 November 12 Orkney Herald

TO BE LET, on Lease, for such number of years as may be agreed on, with
entry at Martinmas 1902, the FARM of CURQUOY and LAND of BRITTANY,
including Green of Kugro Grazings, extending to about 30 acres arable and
310 acres pasture. The present tenant will not be an offerer.
Mr A. Munro, Sourin, Rousay, will show the Farm on receiving due notice,
and Conditions of Lease may be seen with him, or in the hands of the
Subscribers, who will receive offers at once, and the Farm will be let
so soon as a suitable offer is received.
9, Hill Street, Edinburgh

1902 November 15 The Orcadian

THE COUNTY ELECTION. MR WASON IN ROUSAY. – On Tuesday, Mr Wason addressed a meeting at Sourin, Rousay. The farmers and crofters were busy taking in their crops, but there was a fair attendance, and the meeting was very enthusiastic.

The chair was occupied by the Rev Mr McLeman, U.F. Minister, who, in introducing Mr Wason, referred to his great services to the constituency during the time he had represented them in Parliament, and especially the noble way he had fought the battle of the crofter and fisherman.

Mr Wason addressed the meeting on his reasons for throwing over the Government party, the Education Bill, Temperance Legislation, the Irish Question, Compulsory Land Purchase, the Crofters Acts, and the Importation of Foreign Cattle.

Questions were then invited, when the Rev. Mr Spark asked the following:- Are you in favour of Compulsory Laid Purchase over the whole United Kingdom.

Mr Wason – Certainly.

Mr Spark – Would you favour a ten-mile limit for Trawling.

Mr WASON replied that he would assist any legislation which would help to put down the depredations of the trawlers, but explained the difficulties at present in the way of extending the limit. He hoped, however, an arrangement would soon be arrived at with other powers whereby certain important areas would be entirely shut against trawlers. He considered trawling at night and on the Sabbath should be made illegal, and the heaviest possible punishment meted out to trawlers breaking the law.

Mr Spark also asked some questions in regard to making education part of the Civil Service of this country, the House of Lords, &c., all of which Mr Wason answered to the satisfaction of those present.

Mr Spark then said that after the excellent address Mr Wason had given them, and the very satisfactory way in which he had answered the questions put to him, he had great pleasure in moving that Mr Wason was a fit and proper person to represent this constituency in Parliament. He considered that Mr Wason had shown that he was fitted for being member for Orkney and Shetland. The motion was seconded by Mr John Inkster, Swartafield, and carried unanimously.

Mr Wason also addressed meetings at Rapness, Westray, on Saturday evening and at Egilshay and Frotoft, Rousay, on Tuesday.

1902 November 22 The Orcadian

THE ELECTION. – The polling in the Orkney and Shetland election is now over, and though the result will not be known till Tuesday afternoon, the fate of the candidates is now sealed. The contest has been the most prolonged and most bitter in our experience, but it may be hoped that with the opening of the ballot boxes all bitterness will disappear. So far as we know, there has never before been a three-cornered election in the county, so that people are somewhat chary in making prognostications of what the ballot-boxes contain. At the close of the poll on Wednesday night, however, a red-hot Woodite, who was evidently speaking what was on the mind of the heads of the party, gave the following forecast:- Wood, 1600; Wason, 1400; and Angier, 1200. This, in a way, is a most flattering result for Mr Wason. That gentlemen rose from a sick bed to carry on the contest, and was in ill-health all the time. He fought his battle single-handed, refusing outside aid whenever it was offered, whilst his opponents had the support of political associations, and what-ever machinery these could bring into being. It might truthfully be said of him that he had against him the Press of the Kingdom from London to Lerwick, with one single exception. Ranged against him was every sort of selfish interest, but Mr Wason put a stout heart to a stey brae, and fought gamely to the end. We are not going to attempt to forecast the result – none but fools would attempt such a thing in a contest like this – but we do say that no candidate ever fought a better battle against such tremendous odds, and if Mr Wason has not won, we think most people will grant that he deserved to. A contest such as this one is well-fitted to bring out all that is best and worst in the character of a man. What we admired most in Mr Wason in all the trying ordeal through which he has gone, was the fact that never in any of his public speeches did he ever refer to either of his opponents by name, and certainly he never in the remotest way said anything of them that could have wounded the most tender and sensitive nature. However, it was a pity that some of his opponents did not reciprocate. However, it was Mr Wason’s misfortune to be the popular candidate, and we suppose he was looked upon by both opponents as the most dangerous man – hence all the bitterness. Even now that the polling is over nine people out of ten give their verdict in favour of Mr Wason, but all such guessing is idle, as the ballot boxes will hold the secret they contain till next Tuesday morning, and for ourselves we can only express the hope that the best man has won.

1902 November 26 Orkney Herald


The result of the poll in the Orkney and Shetland election was declared at the County Buildings, Kirkwall, yesterday (Tuesday) at 1.20 p.m., as follows: –

Wason (Independent) – 2412
Wood (Liberal) – 2001
Angier (Unionist) – 740

Majority for Wason over Wood – 411…..

1902 November 29 The Orcadian

THE ELECTION. – The election contest in Orkney and Shetland is now past and over. The hard-fought and nobly won battle reflects all credit on the victor. Mr Wason fought single-handed against tremendous odds, and his achievement – a majority of 411, which was all his friends and supporters could have hoped for, and far beyond what his opponents admitted to be possible – will stand out as a record in electioneering…..

SHIPPING ACCIDENT. – Last Saturday the little steamer Firefly, which had been chartered by the Orkney Steam Navigation Company, ran ashore in the vicinity of Saltness [just south of The Galt, Shapinsay]. The Firefly was returning in the evening from her second trip to Rousay that day. The rocks at the place where the accident occurred are flat, and the vessel got off undamaged with the rising tide nine hours later.

1902 December 3 Orkney Herald

SEVERE GALE. – A severe gale from the south east began last Friday night, and has continued with little abatement ever since. The steamer St Rognvald had a very stormy passage from Aberdeen to Kirkwall that night, and instead of proceeding to Lerwick lay at Kirkwall all Saturday, starting on Saturday night when the storm had taken off somewhat. The Orcadia did not leave Kirkwall for the North Isles on Saturday morning, but left on Sunday morning; and the Fawn was unable to come to Kirkwall from Rousay on Saturday. On Sunday and Monday the wind was lighter, and the Orcadia from the North Isles and the Fawn from Rousay returned to Kirkwall. On Monday night, however, there was a renewal of the storm, and yesterday (Tuesday) the St Ola was unable to cross the Pentland Firth with the mails, and the Fawn was unable to leave for Rousay.

1902 December 10 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY. – Mr [Hamilton] Horne, Trumland Farm, member of the Highland and Agricultural Society, has received intimation from the secretary of their intention to allow a grant of £15 to the Rousay Agricultural Society.

1902 December 31 Orkney Herald


ALTHOUGH seed-time was earlier in 1902 than it was during the four previous years, harvest was notwithstanding the latest in the memory of most men. Cold weather in May checked the grass and braird and gave the grub a chance to work havoc in many fields of oats. Some fine weather about the end of June improved matters, and, except on poor ground, oats looked well at the end of the month. During July the weather was cold and fine alternately, and while oats on deep, good soils were a fair crop, there was a poor crop on shallow, poor soils. Bere was in ear by this time and looking fairly well, The first half of August was cold, wintry weather, and for about two or three weeks oats struggled to come into ear, but made little or no progress. The latter half of the month, however, was fine and warm, and about the end of the month, when farmers usually are beginning harvest, the oats were little more than in ear. During most of September the weather was fine and all the crops made good progress. At the end of the month bere was a fair good crop and some of it cut. Oats were also a fair good crop, but only beginning to change colour. The weather was good during October and the first half of November, and those farmers who waited patiently until about the middle of October cut their crop in a fairly ripe state, but many were afraid to wait and they cut their crop in a very green state. Dry stormy weather towards the end of November enabled farmers to secure their crops in capital condition. A gale on the morning of the 1st November shook about a seeding off some of the uncut grain. Fortunately most of the ripest was cut before this. There is a good average bulk of straw, but oats are below an average both in quantity and weight; the average being about 36½ lbs. per bushel, and the price at present 16s per qr., with a variation of 9d per lb. Turnips were sown in good time and in fair order, and have turned out a fair good crop, although a good number, especially of the Swedes, have begun to go to seed. This is likely caused by a second growth after the crop being checked by the cold weather in August. Seed from transplanted turnips is the best cure for this. Potatoes also are a fair good crop. Grass was a short bite all season, but cattle were healthy and throve fairly well notwithstanding. Hay is a short crop, and selling at from 7d to 8d per stone of 22 lbs. Fat cattle have sold well all year, especially during the autumn, prime beef realising in Aberdeen 36s to 40s per cwt. live weight. Store cattle, owing to the cold, hard spring, were stiff to sell in spring, the price being much the same as in 1901, but prices improved in June, and continued so during the rest of the season, especially for cattle in forward condition. Small lean cattle have been a dull sale all season. Horses were back on last year’s prices. Smaller size foals sold from £8 to £10; good foals, £12 to £13, and up to £15 10s; one-year-olds, £12 to £22; two-year-olds, £18 to £30, and three-year-olds and good horses up to £50. Fat lambs sold from 20s to 30s – about the same price as last year. Half bred lambs, sold early, realised about 20s on an average, but those sold later on realised about 2s per head less, the average for the season being about 18s – about 2s less than last year.

ROUSAY – GUILD MEETING. – The Ritchie Congregational Guild had their opening meeting on Friday, 12th inst. There was a good company present. Rev. Mr McLennan, president, was in the chair, and was supported by Messrs Louis McLeod, Schoolhouse, Sourin; Alex. Grieve, Nethermill; John Inkster, Swartifield, vice-presidents; William Grieve, Schoolhouse, Veira, secretary. Miss Jessie Reid, Wasdale, treasurer, was convener of committee and deserves much credit along with her helpers for the excellent tea provided. The evening sped away all too quickly, with short speeches, recitations, readings, while the musical part displayed both taste and skill. Mr James W. Grieve, guild precentor, had all the honours, not only for training and conducting the choir, but for a reading which afforded all much amusement. Hearty votes of thanks brought to a close a thoroughly enjoyable and helpful service.