1909 January 6 Orkney Herald
GALE AND SNOWSTORM. – The gale and snowstorm of last week was experienced over the whole country from the English Channel to Unst, seriously deranging traffic and interrupting telegraphic and postal communication. Many trains were blocked by the snow, and it was not till Friday afternoon that the trains on the Highland line, which had been snowed up since Tuesday morning, got through.
In Orkney the storm took off on Wednesday, and gangs of men set to work to clear the streets of Kirkwall of the snow which in parts lay to a depth of several feet. During that and the following day, assisted by a heavy thaw, the country roads were also made passable.
On Tuesday there was an almost complete telegraphic breakdown, both throughout the islands and with Shetland. Communication was also interrupted between Shetland and the South. With some of the Orkney offices and with Shetland and Wick there was intermittent communication on Tuesday. On Wednesday communication with the South was restored, and on Wednesday night the delayed telegrams were received. The mail steamer St Ola crossed the Pentland Firth on Wednesday, but only returned with Monday’s mails. Crossing again on Thursday she remained at Scrabster till Friday night, when the mail train got through, and then returned with four days’ mails. An increased staff of sorters and deliverers enabled the mail, which was one of the largest ever received at Kirkwall, at one time, to be distributed at the usual hour on Friday morning.
Reports from the country districts show that the snow was severely felt. Houses were in some cases entirely buried in the snow, and great difficulty was experienced in feeding the stock. In Rousay a number of sheep were lost. At Westness considerable damage was done to the steading. In Orphir some sheep were also lost, and near Houton a number of dead sheep, probably blown from Flotta, were washed ashore.
PENSION DAY. The first payments of old-age pensions were made at the Scottish Post Office on Saturday. At Kirkwall there was a rush of pensioners in the forenoon, and a good many claimed payment at the other offices throughout Orkney. In some cases payment had to be postponed as the pensioner did not appear and the person who did appear had not proper authorisation to receive payment. The total number of pensioners in Orkney is 1384, of whom 139 are in the Burgh of Kirkwall, 76 in the Burgh of Stromness, and 1169 in the rest of the county. Nine-tenths of the pensioners received the maximum of 5s per week.
Wur Willock has got raither big
Tae write aboot the soiree,
An’ so I thowt I’d tak’ his place
An’ tell ma peerie story.
In takin’ up ma pen tae write,
There’s wan thing I must mention –
We’re a’ delichted in oor hoose
Since Granny’s got her pension.
At first she couldna think it was
The Government’s intention
Tae gie a cratur sich as her
A reg’lar weekly pension.
But when she got her book o’ cheques
She saw ’twas nae invention;
Five shillings every week tae her
Wad be a welcome pension.
An’ oh! hoo prood oor granny was –
Her mind noo free frae tension –
When in her han’ she grupped last week
A bright croon for her pension.
O, but ye’d lauch tae hear her talk:
She says it’s her intention
Tae gie us presents every one
Oot o’ her weekly pension.
Oor Wull’s tae get a phonograph –
That winerfu’ invention
An’ Jock’s tae get a bicycle
Frae granny’s new fun’ pension.
Then Maggie she’s tae get a dress;
An’ something a’ll no mention
Is promised me, if a’m been guid,
Oot o’ ma granny’s pension.
An’ then am glad tae tell ye this:
It’s granny’s firm intention
Tae mind the kirk an’ help its wark
An’ no tae waste her pension.
The doctors hae a vast o’ drugs
For cure or for prevention;
But the tonic that make’s old folk young
Is the reg’lar weekly pension.
An’ noo I want tae tell ye this –
I think it’s worth tae mention –
That granny’s valued in oor hoose
Since she has got her pension.
She’s brichter and she’s fresher noo,
An’ says it’s her intention
Tae leeve till she’s a huner year
An’ draw her weekly pension.
1909 January 20 Orkney Herald
ROUSAY – A CHILDREN’S ENTERTAINMENT postponed through stress of weather from the previous week was held on Friday the 8th inst., in Sourin School. A Christmas tree had been prepared, and when lit up by Chinese lanterns and other lights, it looked very pretty indeed. The school was well filled, but a good number had been detained at home by the weather, which had been boisterous all day. The Rev. Mr Pirie presided with all his usual skill, and gave a short address to the children. Dr Murchison kindly give a recitation, which was very much appreciated, while the Rev. Mr Abel quite surpassed himself, and altogether delighted the audience after his own inimitable fashion. Miss Marwick and Mr J. W. Grieve also gave some much appreciated piano and violin selections, but the rest of the programme was entirely the work of the children themselves. Throughout, the pieces were exceedingly well performed and heartily applauded, but the action songs, the fan drill, hoop drill, and dumb bell exercises, together with the recitations of the infants might be mentioned as being specially popular. At the close there were the usual votes of thanks, and each child was presented with a gilt off the tree. The following is the programme: –
Children’s chorus, “The Angel’s song”; chairman’s remarks; children’s chorus, Xmas hymn; song, “Do your best,” school children; dumb-bell drill, boys; recitation, “The Little Girl who would not say ‘Please,'” Master Peter Corsie; song and chorus, “A Hunting Song,” Miss M. A. Grieve; recitation, “Little Boy Blue,” Miss Alice Horne; song, “Row weel, my Boatie,” children; trio, “Star of the Twilight,” Misses Lizzie Corsie, Bella Grieve, and Katie Lyon; recitation, “The Torch of Life,” Master David Gibson; hoop drill, children; song and chorus, “The very worst Girl in School,” Miss Annie Harrold; recitation, “Dollies,” by Standard I.; action song, “The Birdies’ Ball,” little children; recitation, “Hanging a Picture,” Dr Murchison; piano and violin selections, Miss Marwick and Mr J. W. Grieve; song and chorus, “Sweet Chiming Belle,” Miss Sybil Seatter; recitation, “A Lecture” (to a doll), Miss Lydia Horne; solo, “Comin’ thro’ the Rye,” Miss Bella Grieve; address, Rev. Mr Abel; recitation, “ Wee Willie Winkie,” Master John Craigie; fan drill, girls; action song, “Jolly song and drill,” children; recitation, “Visitors,” Master George Grieve; solo, “My Bonnie,” Miss Katie Harrold; recitation, “The Fugitive Slave,” Master Willie Corsie; children’s chorus, “Old Folks at Home”; recitation, “The Sea-King’s burial,” Master James Lyon; children’s chorus, “Canadian Boat Song”; recitation, “Grandmamas,” Misses Lizzie Craigie and Mary A. Hourie; recitation, “Are Boys or Girls the best?” Standard I.; piano and violin selections, Miss Marwick and Mr J. W. Grieve.
1909 February 10 Orkney Herald
ROUSAY – CONCERT AND DANCE. – On Friday evening last a concert and dance was held in the barn at Avelshay, where room was kindly granted by Mr [George] Gibson for the occasion. The weather being favourable, there was a large attendance of the islanders. The Rev. A. I. Pirie occupied the chair, and introduced the programme, which was a varied one, and the efforts of the various performers were greatly appreciated by all present. A song composed by Mr Dunardo, to the tune of ” When Johnnie comes marching home again,” was vociferously applauded. During an interval in the programme, tea and cakes were handed round. At the close of the programme, a vote of thanks was moved by the chairman to the Rev. A. Spark for his kindness in assisting in several items of the programme. Mr Spark proposed a vote of thanks to Mr and Mrs [Annabella] Gibson, the singers, the committee in charge of the arrangements, and to all who contributed to the success of the concert, and to the chairman by Mr Gibson, all of which votes were heartily responded to. Miss Veira L. Spark performed her duties as accompanist in a very efficient manner. The barn was thereafter cleared of the seats, and dancing was enjoyed in until about 5 a.m., when a most successful evenings enjoyment was brought to a close by the singing of “Auld Lang Syne.” The following is the programme: –
“The Village Chorister,” choir; chairman’s remarks, Rev. A. I. Pirie; song, “The Rousay Express,” Mr A. Dunardo; recitation, Dr Murchison; “The Banner of Reform,” choir; song, “A Fellum grew in learning,” Mr A. Dunardo; address, Rev. A. Spark; duet, “When ye gang awa’ Jamie,” Miss Veira L. Spark and Mr A. Dunardo; —— dialogue, Messrs Moodie, Horne, and A. Gibson; part-song, “Battle o’ Stirling,” choir; recitation, Dr Murchison; song, “Will you buy my pretty Flowers,” Miss Gibson; recitation, “Old Mother Hubbard,” Mr A. Dunardo; quartette, “Pro Phundo Basso,” Misses Janet Corsie and Gibson, and Messrs Moodie and Gibson; dialogue, “Men and Women’s Rights.” Misses A. Corsie and Gibson, Messrs Logie and Isbister; part song, “All among the Barley,” choir; duet, “De Camptown Races,” Messrs A. Dunardo and Gibson.
1909 February 20 Orkney Herald
ROUSAY – PLOUGHING MATCH. – This match was held on Friday the 12th inst., on the farm of Trumland, on a field kindly granted for the occasion by Mr James Craigie. The weather was all that could be desired and the ground in good condition, consequently the work all over was well done. Eighteen ploughs turned up for competition, including three champions. The ploughmen were well supplied with refreshments on the field and after their work was done. The judges were Messrs John Fraser and Norquoy, Rendall; and Spence, Urrigar, Costa, who awarded the prizes as follows: –
PLOUGHING. – Champions – 1, cup and medal, J. W. Grieve, Faraclett; 2, Tom Gibson, Broland; 3, Hugh Robertson, Scockness. Ordinary – 1 and Highland Society’s medal, John Craigie, Curquoy; 2, John Russell, Brendale; 3, John Seatter, Banks; 4, Alex. Craigie, Nears; 5, Chas. Louttit, Westness; 6, Ben. Moodie, Avelshay; 7, James Russell, Langskaill; 8, Hugh Marwick, Saviskaill; 9, John Marwick, Knarston; 10, Robert Marwick, Essaquoy; 11, Bertie Louttit, Westness; youngest ploughman, R. Mainland, Essaquoy; fest feering, best finish, and straightest ploughing on field, J. W. Grieve, Faraclett; best ploughed rig on field – a massive silver cup to be thrice won, presented to the society by Mr John Logie, estate steward, Trumland, won for the first time by J. W. Grieve, Faraclett, who has also won the Shearer medal, likewise for the first time.
GROOMING. – 1, James Craigie, Trumland; 2, Hugh Robertson; 3, Hugh Marwick; 4, John Seatter; 5, Alex. Craigie; 6, J. W. Grieve.
HARNESS. – 1, Hugh Marwick; 2, J. W. Grieve; 3, Alex. Craigie; 4, Hugh Robertson; 5, John Seatter; 6, John Russell.
A large number of special prizes were distributed among the ploughmen. In the evening the judges, committee and a number of friends were entertained to dinner by Mr and Miss Craigie, Trumland. Mr John Logie occupied the chair, while the duties of croupier were performed by Mr James Gibson, Hullion. The usual loyal and patriotic toasts were given and duly responded to, and a pleasant evening spent. The Committee take this opportunity of thanking the donors of the special prizes and all those who submitted to the funds of the Agricultural Society.
1909 March 13 The Orcadian
Just at a time when most people were congratulating themselves that most of the winter weather was over for the season, Orkney has been visited by a violent snow storm. Snow is lying over the country on the plain to a depth of about six inches, and on Tuesday most of the roads on the mainland were blocked. In this way business has been pretty much at a standstill, mail communication has been interrupted, and all outside work has been stopped.
1909 March 24 Orkney Herald
OLD AGE PENSIONS – A HARD CASE. – “W. J. S. D.” writes as follows to the Scotsman: – The following case will illustrate the injustice of this Act: – There is an old soldier, an Indian Mutiny veteran, resident in the parish of Harray, Orkney. His name is John Curran, locally known as “Soldier John.” Born in Limerick, he joined the 93d Regiment in 1854, served with that regiment in the Crimea and in India, where he saved the life of General Burroughs (the late Sir Frederick Traill Burroughs) at the capture of Delhi. He still bears in his hand the mark of the weapon which he caught as it was aimed at the life of his commanding officer. After ten years service he was discharged at Aldershot, having had an attack of rheumatic fever, and thus being unfit for service; he received a pension of Is. per day for two years. Since that time he has lived in Orkney, to be near his General, who was very kind to him while he lived, and has supported himself by selling small articles among the islanders. He is a well-known and inoffensive character, and everybody has a welcome for “Soldier John.” He is now over seventy years of age, and no longer able to go his rounds regularly, so he applied lately for an old age pension. It has been refused him because he lives at present in a small house rent free belonging to the Parish Council, and locally called the poorhouse – a miserable cot on the bare hill-side. A few years ago he was evicted from a house he lived in for a considerable time, belonging to one of the “peerie lairds” (small lairds) of Harray; the Parish Council, pitying him under the circumstances, allowed him to occupy it rent free, and for this reason he has been refused the pension. The parish minister brought the case before the local Pension Committee, and it was unanimously agreed to give him a pension of 5s a week, but the pensions officer appealed, and the Local Government Board sustained the appeal. There are cases in Orkney where persons having £300, £400, and even £800 in the bank have got pensions of 5s per week. Surely if there is anyone who deserves a pension, it is one like “Soldier John,” who has served his country faithfully, and has honestly endeavoured to provide for himself and his wife all these years. There is universal sympathy for him in the parish, and all who know him say that no person is more needful and deserving. Cases like this show how unfairly the Act, passed in such haste and without due consideration, works in practice. The sooner a change is made in favour of those for whom the hard circumstances of life necessitate some temporary assistance from the parish authorities the better.
1909 March 27 The Orcadian
TO BE LET on Lease, with Entry at Martinmas, 1909, WESTNESS FARM,
in the Island of Rousay, extending to 2904 acres or thereby, whereof 200
acres are good Arable Land, all enclosed. The sheep run is capable of
carrying from 600 to 700 Ewes (Cheviot cross). Mr Logie, Trumland,
Rousay, will show the Farm, and Conditions of Lease may be seen
with him or in the hands of the Subscribers, who will let the farm
as soon as a suitable offer is received.
The present tenant will not be an offerer.
MACKENZIE & KERMACK, W.S.,
9, Hill Street, Edinburgh.
1909 April 10 The Orcadian
NORTH ISLES DISTRICT COMMITTEE.
STATE OF ROUSAY ROADS. – A meeting of the North Isles District Committee of Orkney was held at Kirkwall on Tuesday. Present – Messrs G. Sutherland (in the chair), Logie, and Capt Reid.
The reports of the several island road surveyors, with estimates of the cost of upkeep during the coming year, were submitted…..Rousay, £146 5s., compared with £88 last year…..The reports were adopted with the exception of that on Rousay, in which case the quantity of metal recommended was reduced to bring the cost to £125.
In regard to Rousay roads, Mr Logie said he thought the west side ought to be left out. The rate had to be kept under 9d.
The Chairman – You can’t keep up your roads and keep down your rates. (Laughter). It is a case of what the roads require.
Mr Logie – We cannot give what the roads require all at once. I think we should reduce the west side by 50 yards at least.
The Surveyor – I would only keep the west side road passable. It is not in the right line at all.
Mr Logie – Then we can allow on 20 yards for patching. I think that would be enough.
The Surveyor – Ample.
Mr Logie – How much does that make the rates? We must keep it below 9d.
The Clerk – It does not matter how much the rate is if we do not get it in. (Laughter.)
Mr Logie – I am going on Mr Heddle’s advice. He says some parts of the road should not be repaired.
The Chairman – You must either go by the inspector or not.
Mr Logie – Those who are paying the rates must have a little say.
The Chairman – The whole cry from Rousay is to put the roads in order.
Mr Logie – But we can’t do the whole thing at once.
The Surveyor – You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
The Clerk – You are stultifying yourself, Mr Logie.
Mr Logie – I do not think so. We will reduce the metal for Wasbister as well from 190 to 100 yards.
The Clerk – That makes the estimate £125, so that you are not doing so much after all. Will that be sufficient to allay the revolution? (Laughter.)
Mr Logie – I think so.
The matter then dropped…..
1909 May 22 The Orcadian
ROUSAY. – Mr [George] Meikle, teacher of music, has, during the last two months, been conducting singing classes in connection with the United Free Church in Rousay and Egilshay with remarkable success. The snowstorm in March at first interfered somewhat with the attendance, but the interest and enthusiasm quickly grew. The two classes in Rousay – one meeting in the churches, and the others in Wasbister School – numbered together 86 members, and there were gained 24 elementary, 16 intermediate, and 2 first-grade staff notation certificates. There were also two children’s classes with an attendance of 33, and 15 junior certificates were taken. There were two classes in Egilshay with a roll of 30 pupils and these gained 10 elementary and 5 intermediate certificates. The children’s class in Egilshay had 10 pupils on the roll and two junior certificates were taken. At the close of the classes, public services of song were given in Ritchie and Egilshay Churches. The singing, under the able leadership of Mr Meikle, was very much appreciated by the large congregations in both places of worship.
1909 May 29 The Orcadian
AN ORCADIAN MARKSMAN. – We record, with pleasure, that our countryman, Private John Reid, 5th Scottish Rifles (late 1st L.R.V.), No 8 Company, Glasgow, had top score in a competition held on their range, 8th May. The regulations were the same as Bisley, viz., 6 inch bull at 200 yards and 21 in. bull at 500 and 600 yards. His score which was a most magnificent one – being only 4 points short of the possible – is as follows: – 200 yards, 5, 5, 4, 5, 4, 5, 5 – 33; 500 yards. 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5 – 35; 600 yards, 5, 5, 5, 4, 4, 5, 5 – 33; total 101. Private Reid, who is a native of Rousay, and served his apprenticeship with Messrs S. Baikie and Son, Kirkwall, and worked for Mr S. Baikie, Stromness, has shot at Bisley, but unfortunately in one competition his rifle went off accidentally and spoiled his chances for a prominent prize.
[Marksman John was the son of John Reid and Sarah Sinclair Mainland, Tratland, his father being one of the two boatmen lost in the post-boat tragedy in Eynhallow Sound in 1893.]
1909 May 22 The Scotsman
To be LET for season 1909 or on lease, the FIRST-CLASS SHOOTINGS
and FISHINGS of ROUSAY, in either one or two beats, with Excellent
Well-Furnished Houses. The Trout Fishings can be rented separately,
with one of the Houses, for June and July, which are the best months.
For further particulars apply to
Messrs MACKENZIE & KERMACK, W.S., 9 Hill Street, Edinburgh.
1909 May 29 The Orcadian
The farm of Westness, Rousay, has been let to Messrs Mainland and Stevenson.
[This was John Mainland of the Bu, Wyre and his brother-in-law William Stevenson, Kirbist, Egilsay].
1909 June 23 Orkney Herald
WHAT HAVE I PICKED UP – BY A MAN IN THE STREET.
THE CROFTER AND HIS EGGS – A WIFE’S COMPLAINT. “Crofter’s Wife” writes: – “Since co-operation was started in the parish where I reside eggs have become a luxury. Prior to its advent, the gathering and disposal of the eggs on the croft was considered to be my special privilege, and no one questioned my right to them. But now this is changed. A spirit of competition, fostered by the society, has arisen among the farmers – and my guidman is as keen as anybody, let me say – and each is trying to outdo his neighbour in the quantity he exports of this marketable commodity. It is perhaps hardly correct to say that my guidman knows every hen that is going to lay each day, but he does what he never did before, he removes the eggs from the hen-coops, counts them, and puts them by.” – I’m certain “Crofter’s Wife” will have the sympathy of everybody who knows the drudgery of the life her class leads. But, perhaps, the fad of her “guidman” and his neighbours will soon wear itself out, and then, doubtless, she will come to her own again. I would like, however, to hear what the goodmen have to say on this subject. Make your letters short, please.
1909 June 26 The Orcadian
RAIN AT LAST. – After a period of drought at a season when the fields cannot very well stand too much of anything – rain came, and refreshed the drooping blade. Sown grass, which a week ago looked miserable, has a different colour today while turnips have made rapid strides, and in many cases have had enough moisture for a bit. The oats and bere are greatly improved, and the general appearance of things agricultural is decidedly better. Midsummer day, June 21st, was very fine and extra warm, but the 22nd was simply dreadful. The rain did not bother to come down in drops, for on many occasions it came in sheets to be broken up into smaller quantities on arrival. Joking aside it did rain. What a day for the middle of summer. “We’ll have heat after this,” somebody prophesied. Let us hope we will.
1909 July 10 The Orcadian
DEATHS: – SPARK. – At Kirkwall on 3rd July, Jane Livingston Oatt, wife of the Rev. Alexander Spark, minister of Rousay and Egilshay, Orkney, aged 54.
1909 July 24 The Orcadian
ROUSAY PARISH CHURCH – MEMORIAL SERVICE. – On Sunday (18th) a memorial service was held in Rousay Parish Church in memory of the late Mrs Spark. There was a large and sympathetic congregation. The Rev. Robert Rigg, Congregational Church, Kirkwall, conducted a most acceptable and appropriate service, choosing as the subject of his sermon, “The Christian View of Death.” At the close he said: – My dear brethren to-day we stand within the cold shadow of death. That stern, grim messenger has summoned from your midst one whose life was radiant with sunshine, and whose presence seemed to shed forth a genial warmth. The late wife of your esteemed minister was one whose friendship I was proud to claim; one of those for whose friendship one was all the better and richer – so happy, so hopeful, so entirely self-sacrificing. Her interest in everything that made for the advancement of pure and undefiled religion was very real and unaffected. And the quiet unobtrusive ministry of her life exerted an influence that reached far. The letters of condolence, some of which I have had the privilege of reading, which have been received by the bereaved family, have made that abundantly plain. It was only conforming to the eternal fitness of things that, having lived a life of faith, and hope, and charity, Mrs Spark died a peaceful, fearless, triumphant death. We commend to the God of all grace, comfort and strength the stricken husband and family.”
The Iessons read were Psalm 90 and John ii.i-46. The praise list, which included Mrs Spark’s favourite hymns, was: – Psalm 103, 1-5: Tune, St Paul; Par. 3: Tune, Kilmarnock; hymns, 207, 391, 314. At the end of hymn 314 the following two verses, written by the minister In Memoriam, were sung to the tune of hymn 314: –
Daybreak and morning star –
Star of Eternity –
‘Tis God who calls me to my Home afar
With love that beckons me.
The last adieus how sad to think them here!
On quitting port at last,
I sail away with Christ my Pilot near
Home – borne so fast.
Daybreak and home at last –
That Home where God is light-
From out Earth’s surging sea of sorrows vast
My God guides right.
For Angel choirs ‘mid deepening symphonies
Give music charms for me,
And in Christ’s arms I rest and am at peace
In this Eternity
ROUSAY MANSE CASE. – In the Orkney Sheriff Court on Tuesday, Mr D. J. Robertson, for the heritors of Rousay, informed Sheriff Harvey that the new manse had now been completed. The steading was not yet finished as the material from the old manse, when it was being removed, was to be used for that. Mr Low, for the minister, said the water supply was unsatisfactory. It was quite satisfactory so far as quantity went; but the water had been carried into the manse through uncoated pipes, the consequence being that it was unfit for domestic use, on account of rust. The Sheriff – And how can that be remedied? Mr Low – Only by putting in new pipes. Another important point was the drainage running from the manse to the sea. He did not understand what the objection really was, but that was a matter for an expert. Mr Robertson said uncoated pipes were very commonly used. Mr Low replied that Mr Spark had consulted an expert, whose opinion was that the water was unfit for use. He also sent two samples to Mr Robertson. Mr Robertson – Certainly the water was in a very bad condition at first; but after being used the rust goes away. A great many of the pipes in Kirkwall are uncoated. The Sheriff said he would make a remit to Mr T. S. Peace, architect, to make a report.
1909 August 11 Orkney Herald
Sir Victor and Lady Horsley and party arrived at Trumland House on Saturday last for the shooting season. Mr Bryan, shooting tenant for Westness, and party are expected to arrive to-day (Wednesday).
[Sir Victor Alexander Haden Horsley FRS FRCS (1857–1916) was an accomplished scientist, professor, and surgeon. He was a supporter for women’s suffrage, and was an opponent of tobacco and alcohol.
Sir Victor was born in Kensington, London, the son of Rosamund Haden and John Callcott Horsley R.A. His given names, “Victor Alexander”, were given to him by Queen Victoria.
In 1883 he became engaged to Eldred Bramwell, daughter of Sir Frederick Bramwell. Subsequently, on 4 October 1887, Victor and Eldred married at St. Margaret’s, Westminster. They had two sons, Siward and Oswald, and one daughter, Pamela.
He was knighted in the 1902 Coronation Honours, receiving the accolade from King Edward VII at Buckingham Palace on 24 October that year.]
1909 August 18 Orkney Herald
ROUSAY CATTLE SHOW. – THE Rousay Agricultural Society held their annual cattle show on the farm of Banks [Sourin] on Tuesday, 10th inst. The number of stock forward was much above the average for a number of years. The judges were – Messrs Scarth, Binscarth; and Anderson, jun., Hobbister, whose awards were as follows: –
SPECIAL PRIZES. – Silver cup from Mr J. Gibson, Hullion, for best cow in yard (to be twice won), David Inkster, Furse. Silver medal from Mr Moir, Aberdeen, for best yearling in yard (to be thrice won), David Inkster. Silver medal for best gelding in yard, George Gibson, Avelshay. A prize from Mr Robertson, cattledealer, for best group of three, David Inkster, Furse. A prize from Mr J. Harrold, merchant, Rousay, for best mare in yard, James Craigie, Trumland.
CATTLE. – Shorthorn Cows – 1, Robert Marwick, Scockness; 2, David Inkster; 3, John Scott, Hurtiso; hc, David Gibson, Langskaill; c, J. Craigie. Polled Cows – 1 and hc, David Inkster; 2 and c, G. Gibson, Avelshay; 3, James Russell, Brendale. Two-year-old Shorthorn Queys – 1, John Gibson, Faraclett; 2, P. Sinclair, Bigland; 3, D. Gibson; hc and c, W. Moar, Saviskaill. Two-year-old Polled Queys – 1, D. Gibson; 2, D. Inkster; 3 and c, J. Scott; hc, J. Craigie. Two-year-old Shorthorn Stots – 1, J. Craigie; 2, W. Moar. Two-year-old Polled Stots – 1, P. Sinclair; 2 and 3, Jas. Craigie. One-year-old Shorthorn Stots – 1, G. Gibson; 2 and hc, David Gibson; 3 and c, J. Gibson. One-year-old Polled Stots – 1, J. Scott; 2 and 3, W. Moar; hc, Jas. Craigie; c, J. Gibson. One-year-old Shorthorn Queys – 1, J. Scott; 2, D. Gibson; 3, W. Moar; hc, David Inkster; c, R. Seatter, Banks. One-year-old Polled Queys – 1, D. Inkster; 2, J. Gibson; 3, G. Gibson; hc and c, R. Seatter, Banks. Calves – 1 and hc, R. Seatter; 2 and 3, J. Craigie; c, J. Gibson.
HORSES. – Mares with foal at foot – 1, W. Moar; 2, John Marwick, Knarston; 3, R. Seatter. Foals – 1, G. Gibson; 2, J. Marwick; 3, W. Moar. Yeld Mares – 1, R. Marwick; 2, W. Moar; 3 and c, J. Gibson; hc, Thomas Gibson, Broland. Draught Geldings – 1, G. Gibson; 2, J. Craigie; 3, J. Gibson. Two-year old Geldings – 1, Jas. Craigie; 2, T. Gibson. Two-year-old Fillies – 1, D. Gibson; 2, W. Moar; 3, J. Scott; hc, Hugh Gibson, Oldman; c, R. Seatter. One-year-old Fillies – 1, Jas. Craigie; 2, R. Marwick; 3, D. Gibson. One-year-old Gelding – 1, J. Gibson; 2, D. Gibson; 3, J. Robertson, Frotoft; hc, John Corsie. Knarston.
The committee take this opportunity of thanking the donors of the special prizes; also Mrs [Sybella] and Miss [Marion] Seatter for preparing the cattle show dinner.
1909 August 25 Orkney Herald
SIR VICTOR HORSLEY, Surgeon to the King, who is this year the tenant of Trumland House and shootings, Rousay, has been asked and has consented to deliver a lecture in Kirkwall on Wednesday, September 1st. Dr Clouston of Holodyke will preside. Sir Victor, who is a son of the late J. C. Horsley, the famous Royal Academician, is a distinguished surgeon. He has been Professor Superintendent of the Brown Institution; Secretary of the Royal Commission on Hydrophobia; Surgeon to the National Hospital, for Paralysis and Epilepsy; Fullerian Professor at the Royal Institution; President of the Pathological Section of the British Medical Association; Professor of Pathology at University College; and, since 1906, Emeritus Professor of Clinical Surgery and Consulting Surgeon at University College Hospital, London, along with Dr Mary Sturge. Sir Victor is the author of a work on “Alcohol and the Human Body.” He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, and received the honour of Knighthood in 1902. The subject of the lecture is the effect of alcohol on the human system, a subject the importance of which can hardly be over-estimated.
1909 September 4 The Orcadian
SIR VICTOR HORSLEY’S LECTURE. – Effect of Alcohol on the Human Body. – In presence of a huge audience drawn from all parts of the county, Sir Victor Horsley, the great brain specialist, at present shooting tenant of Trumland, Rousay, delivered a lecture in the Paterson United Free Church, Kirkwall, on Wednesday evening.
Sir Victor’s subject was “Alcohol and the Human Body,” and the meeting was held under the auspices of the Temperance Committees of the Church of Scotland and United Free Church.
Dr T. S. Clouston, of Smoogro, presided, and the platform party included Sheriff Harvey, Dr Dickey, Mr James Johnston, Ex-Provost Spence, Rev. J. M. Ramsay, Dr Bell, Mr John Flett, Rev. John Rutherford, Dr McNeill, Rev. W. P. Craig, Rev. A. W. Watt, Rev. Chas. Runciman, Ex-Provost Sclater, Mr George Sutherland, Colonel Peace, Dr Craig, Mr A. Stewart, etc., etc.
After the singing of a solo, “Honours and Arms” (Handel) by Mr Richardson of London, whose finished interpretations have been delighting Orkney audiences the past few days, Dr Clouston, who was received with loud applause, intimated apologies for absence from the Rev. George Millar, Mr A. Baikie, Convener of the County; Dr Trail W.S; Dr Flett of the Geological Survey; and lastly, but not least, from the head of the medical profession not only in Orkney, but in the North of Scotland. “Dr Logie of this city.” (Applause.) The doctor continued: –
Ladies and gentlemen, – I have always been proud of the medical profession, but there has never been an occasion upon which I have been more proud than I am this evening. The reason of that is that we are to have delivered an important address by one of the great men of our profession. (Applause.) I do hate to bring a blush to the face of Sir Victor, but he is one of perhaps the six greatest surgeons of the world at present. (Loud applause.) He is not only a surgeon but he is also a great physiologist, and what many of you will consider places him on a still higher level – he is a great humanitarian. He has never taken a narrow or technical view of medicine or surgery. He has looked upon it as being the servant of humanity, and in the course of his wide experience and investigation and thought on the subject it has evidently occurred to him that in addition to what he is doing for humanity there is something else he could do, and that is to give at first hand his knowledge, his investigations, his experience, in regard to the relation of alcohol and its effects on human beings. (Applause.) Now, ladies and gentlemen, Sir Victor does not come here expressing any particular theory. He comes here as a scientific man telling us scientific facts. He is prepared to give you facts, the main facts that in his experience alcohol has on human beings. We can form any conclusions we like; but above all things it is necessary, especially for the young, to know the facts of the case. Now, Sir Victor will place facts before us from the point of view of original investigations (Applause.) I took the liberty of saying in the Town Hall last year, without any disrespect to the clergy, that they preached too much, and we of the medical profession too little. (Applause.) I was not in the least aware then that we should hear one of the great leaders in medicine and surgery preach in the largest Church in Kirkwall. I think we are all indebted to Sir Victor, and when we consider he has come to Orkney for a rest, it seems almost cynical to say he is taking a rest by addressing an audience like this. He came here to spend some weeks in the island of Rousay, but his enthusiasm for humanity has brought him to speak to you this evening. I have great pleasure in introducing Sir Victor Horsley.
Sir Victor Horsley, who was received with loud applause, at the outset remarked that he in the first place had to explain who he was not – he did not have the honour of being Surgeon to the King. The subject he was to speak on concerned them all. Not only was he to discuss the effect of alcohol on the human body, but he would also refer to the temperance question from a national and patriotic point of view. He thought they had all been considering the temperance question, to how it would affect them personally, if they became total abstainers. They had left out of sight the much greater question that if they adopted total abstinence to make their body better, what influence was it going to have on the nation, which is a much larger body – the body politic? He was, from these two standpoints to show why they should become total abstainers…..
[After a long and very detailed address] – Colonel Peace proposed a vote of thanks to the lecturer; Dr Bell to the Kirk Session for the use of the Church; and Sheriff Harvey to the Chairman.
Dr Clouston in acknowledging the compliment said it had been an unalloyed pleasure to him to meet his friend Sir Victor Horsley in the capital of the north and he was glad to tell them that they in the north had so captured the hearts of Sir Victor and Lady Horsley – (loud applause) – that they must not be surprised if Sir Victor and Lady Horsley in a year or two were as good Orcadians as any of them. (Laughter and applause.)
1909 October 30 Orkney Herald
ROUSAY MANSE CASE. – This case came before Sheriff Harvey in the Orkney Sheriff Court yesterday (Tuesday). A report was lodged by Mr T. S. Peace, architect, Kirkwall, to whom the Court had remitted to report as to the completion of the new manse, and a minute of objections were lodged by the Rev. A. Spark, minister of Rousay, in regard to the drainage and the pipes used for the water supply. After hearing Mr D. J. Robertson, for the heritors, and Mr T. Peace Low, for the minister, the Sheriff found, in accordance with the report, that the Manse had been completed in a satisfactory manner. Mr Robertson said he did not ask the Court to declare the manse a free manse at this time, as the old manse was to be taken down and the materials used on the steading.
1909 October 23 The Orcadian
Bad Weather for Harvest Week. – Seldom has there been such a continuance of stormy and wet weather during harvest. On one or two of the larger farms the last of the standing crop has to be cut by the scythe. Self-binders or even reapers are out of the question, the ground being so sodden that the machines sink and become clogged.
1909 November 3 Orkney Herald
JUBILEE CELEBRATION OF THE REV. NEIL P. ROSE, M.A.
A FORMER ROUSAY MINISTER.
On Thursday evening, the 21st ult., a meeting was held in St Mary’s U.F. Church, Edinburgh, to celebrate the jubilee as a minister of the Rev. Neil Patrick Rose, M.A., who is an elder in St Mary’s. Among those present were Principal Whyte, Dr Sandeman, St Andrew’s Church; Revs. Messrs Purves, St James’s, Dunbar; Durran, Queen St.; Mrs Rose, Miss Rose, Mrs Davidson.
In the absence of the Lord Provost, the chair was taken by the minister, Rev. George Davidson. B.Sc., who read a number of telegrams and letters from friends who were unable to be present.
Over 50 years ago Mr Rose was connected with Free St Mary’s as a missionary in the time of the Rev. Dr Main. In July, 1858, he was licensed and was appointed to take charge of the congregation at Tarland, Aberdeenshire. Shortly afterwards he received a call from Rousay, in Orkney, which he accepted, and carried on work there for 21 years. In 1880 Mr Rose came to the McCrie Church, Edinburgh, retiring after five years, when the McCrie and Roxburgh congregations were united. Since then he has been connected with St Mary’s, doing work among the congregation, and supplying the places of ministers of the church laid aside by illness. Mr Rose has preached in 61 churches in the city, and 468 throughout the country. He is still hale and hearty, and his reminiscences were greatly enjoyed by the meeting.
[Among the addresses presented to Mr Rose was one from the U.F. Presbytery of Orkney]. Mr [John] Davie, in making the presentation, said….. Fifty years ago the tide of the Disruption was in full flood. The intellectual and spiritual life of the islands centred round the young Church….. Feeling at that time ran high with us, as it did everywhere, and we welcomed Mr Rose as a good acquisition to our strength – a tall, dark-haired, handsome young man, able and commanding. He had listened to the preaching, of the Highland Fathers – Macdonald, Mackay, Kennedy, Gunn – and a spark of the Celtic fire was in him, splendid material to make a minister, indeed, I think, indispensible material. The Celt is without doubt a greater orator than the Sassenach, so we took him to our hearts in our own undemonstrative way, but none the less real because of its quietness. In our moments of deepest feeling we become very silent. We shake hands and say nothing, but we may be relied upon to the last gasp. If you saw us in a small boat, overtaken by a storm, you would see every man at his post, but you would not hear a word spoken. Such are we Orcadians, as Mr Rose has seen us often, and I am sure that he will agree that he never had a more loyal and trustworthy people round him than he had in the island of Rousay. Everyone was his friend, from the hero of Lucknow to the herd boy on the moor. Now Mr Rose was worthy of our loyalty, and has responded splendidly. He has identified himself with us thoroughly, and joined in every scheme which we have for the good of the islands. In this matter I speak from personal knowledge, and I know the trouble he has taken to help young people to get situations in the south; and it is a great satisfaction for him to know how well the Rousay boys have done – the Marwicks, the Gibsons, the Craigies. Mr Rose left us for the richer pastures of the south, but we are proud of that rather than otherwise. We gave Principal Jack to the University of Aberdeen, and we educated Principal Fairbairn in the island of North Ronaldshay, and sent him south one of the foremost scholars of his day. We like to go back upon reminiscences of that kind. The greatest men Scotland has ever had have served their generation in the Church, and we like to think that we in these far off islands of the sea have had some of them. Fifty years is a long time of service, and we are glad to see Mr Rose so hale and hearty, and still able to do such good work for his Church; and I count it a great honour in being present this evening to present to him and his dear wife the congratulations of my Presbytery on this day of jubilee.
Sheriff Watt, K.C., handed over a purse of sovereigns to Mr Rose, and a silver salver to Mrs Rose from their friends…..
Mr Rose in reply said: – Mr Chairman. Christian friends and brethren, I find it difficult, in offering you my warmest thanks, to find words to express the grateful emotions of my heart. You have done me a very great honour, and bestowed very valuable gifts upon me which I feel very unworthy to receive; but since it has been your pleasure to bestow them, I accept them with the utmost cordiality and joy. In the course of a long life, it has been my lot to receive a good many gifts and tokens of goodwill; but nothing in comparison with what you have so kindly conferred upon me this evening. Being in the midst of friends, in the few observations which I take the liberty to make, I feel that I can calculate upon your indulgence, in any imperfections which may be laid to my charge, not in the appreciation of the honour and kindness shown, but in my attempt to return suitable thanks for them. On the ninth of last month (September) I finished the 50th year of my ministry, and on the 29th of the same month, I entered upon the 79th year of my life, and I have to bear testimony that goodness and mercy have followed me during all these years!…..
[Mr Rose then gave a short retrospective view of his life in the holy ministry, this extract referring to his time in Rousay. He was licensed in the month of July 1858, and appointed to take charge of the congregation at Tarland, Aberdeenshire. Eventually a ‘call’ came from Rousay, which he accepted]….. One of my fellow-students remarked “Oh Rose, you are going into voluntary banishment.” Well, I never had cause to regret the choice then made. No minister ever had a more attached congregation. Not long after my settlement, the wave of revival passed over the Orkneys. The great work began in the congregation of Sanday, when I happened to be assisting Mr Armour at the time of the Communion. Owing to the stormy weather I had considerable difficulty and some risk in reaching it. It was Martinmas. I had agreed to conduct the service on Sunday, but it was Sabbath morning ere I got to the manse. Starting on Saturday afternoon in a good boat, with two skilful boatmen, we crossed the Westray Firth, in daylight, and rounded to the south end of the Island of Eday, and took the bearings to Sanday, expecting to catch the tide to carry us up the Sound at Spurness. A fog came down upon us. We sailed so long as we thought we had reached the point wished, when a tide like a mill-lade met us and Iand on both sides. After a tack, the boat came to the same point. The tide was against us. My boatmen got frightened. One of them pulled down the main-sail, while the other turned the boat. I said “Where are we going?” when the answer was “We must try to get into CaIf Sound for the night, as we cannot reach Sanday.” Sailing along, I descried the land on the right side, and suggested that the sail might be hoisted, and we might go ashore. If the land be the Calf of Eday it is a large calf. We sailed into a small creek. One of the men landed and found that it was inhabited as he felt stubble on the field. We pulled up the boat and set out for a house whose light we saw in the distance. After a weary walk across wet fields and ditches we reached what turned out to be the farmhouse of Stove. Mr McKenzie, the farmer, a fine specimen of the Christian gentleman entertained us and made supper. To our joy we found that we were on the island of Sanday, but 8 miles from Mr Armour’s house. Being anxious to reach it, our kind host made ready a pony for me and one of his lads was sent to bring the pony back. It was now 11 p.m. I reached the manse at 2 a.m. Sabbath morning, but Mr Armour was waiting and expecting me.
Years after I had occasion to visit the same locality returning from the Communion at North Ronaldshay. I went to see the creek where we landed. Had we sailed in the course proposed, the tide would have whirled us along to a great reef of rocks that lay between Stove and the Calf of Eday. I needed no proof that we were guided by a divine gracious Providence! Nothing special happened on the Sabbath. There was a large congregation, great expectations cherished, many earnest prayers for a time of refreshing. Drops of the coming shower had been falling in other places. On Monday, observed as a day of thanksgiving, a very large congregation gathered, and at the close of the service Mr Armour ascended the pulpit and said, “As our young brother is to be with us, we shall meet again this evening at 7 o’clock to ‘wait for the promise of the Father.’ ” When the hour of service arrived, the church was crowded. I was asked to open the meeting, and give the address. My subject (so far as I remember) was Luke xv. – “This man receiveth sinners.” &c., the three parables (1) The Lost Sheep, (2) The Lost Coin, (3) The Lost Son. I had not proceeded far when there was such an outburst of emotion that many had to retire to the session room and the vestry, and such prayers and confessions of sin! The meeting was prolonged to a late hour. In fact, the people would not go away, and after being dismissed, they lingered outside at the walls of the church, and when Mr Armour and myself appeared, they clung to us, and said, “Oh, tell us a little more about Jesus !” It was intimated that there would be a meeting on the next evening. The multitude came together, for it was noised abroad that the revival had began. I was asked again to open the meeting, and a similar experience took place. Mr Paul, the U.P. minister of forty years’ standing – a man of seventy – had come with his family. He was asked to address the people. There was a similar outburst. He stated that when he heard of what had occurred he was doubtful, but lifting up both his hands, he thanked the God of Heaven that he had been spared to witness such a season of wondrous power and grace, while tears of joy flowed freely down his cheeks.
The awakening spread rapidly. Next day, on my return home, I had to travel by the sailing packet via Kirkwall. Many on board the packet were under deep conviction, and I got special work to do during the passage. Amongst others who obtained peace was the skipper of the boat. He was in deep distress, but ere we reached the pier, he was a changed man, and became an outstanding witness for Christ. On reaching the town I was beset by several friends, all anxious to hear the news. I was conveyed into the house of a merchant, and earnest questions were asked, but I was unable to utter a single word. After a little rest, however, I recovered my voice, and was able to answer the questions.
On reaching Rousay, I felt a great longing for a similar visitation as I had witnessed in Sanday but a good many weeks passed before the time of the spiritual awakening arrived, and the blessed work began in the school-house three miles distant from the church. We had prayer meetings every evening for about a month, and expectation of a divine baptism. For two weeks I was constantly engaged. I had no time for the usual pulpit preparation. I felt restless on Saturday evening. Rising early before dawn, I walked down to the church. Entering, I had a remarkable experience – felt that God had been working! How dreadful was the place! I knelt down to pray. When I rose from my knees the sun was shining on me through the windows of the vestry where l was. Walking slowly up to the manse, I had to pass through the garden where I had an experience which I could not describe of nearness to my Saviour, and I felt as if the earth was an unfit place for me to live in! As it was too early to awake the inmates of the manse, I walked for some time on the pavement in front, anxious to get a subject for preaching. I wearied for the service though unprepared. From the window of my study I watched the people coming along the hillsides. At length the hour of service arrived, and as I was moving down to the church, one of the elders, quite excited, came running to meet me, and said, “My dear pastor, you will not be able to get into the church, it is so crowded.” In reply, I said, “This will be a memorable day to Rousay,” and so it was. With some difficulty I reached the pulpit. Before I had time to begin the worship, a man in the centre of the church stood up and shouted, “Let us praise God,” and sat down. I thought it was time for me to begin. As I rose to offer the intercessory prayer, what a sight ! What an earnest looking congregation! Some with eyes beaming full of joy, and some with the lines of pain and sorrow for sin, craving for peace! It was a day to be remembered. The word was accompanied with power. The result is known to God. At the communion, which shortly followed, there was a large increase of new members. The Communion Roll went up from 198 to 250.
During that year and the next there was great demand for special services, and I accompanied Mr Armour in a tour of visitation over the islands and preached to very large congregations in Kirkwall, Stromness, and other parishes. Much deep impression was produced. There was no difficulty in getting people to fill the churches, even on week-days, and it was delightful to preach in those days! And it was my privilege for one and twenty years to be spared to minister to a congregation of quickened souls! No doubt we had our trials – ups and downs in spiritual life – but great was our enjoyment. You can readily understand what a wrench it was to be separated from such a congregation. The people of Rousay were kind, obliging, and extremely affectionate, loyal, industrious, and sober. No public houses, no drunkenness, no squalid poverty, no taxes, no rates; no representative of Civil authority, no magistrate, no lawyer, no doctor, no druggist, a quiet, orderly people, intelligent, well versed in a knowledge of God’s Word.
Several proposals were made to move me to a new sphere of labour, especially in connection with Home Missions, but I had resolved not to look at any unless harmonious. At last a call came from the McCrie Church in this city and it was unanimous. I had little knowledge of the congregation and neglected to make special enquiry. I had very great difficulty in accepting it; and after accepting it I was in agony, and I can never forget the strange fear that came over me on my way south when crossing the Pentland Firth…..
1909 November 6 The Orcadian
The Rousay packet boat whilst beating out of Kirkwall Bay on Saturday last stranded on the Iceland Skerry. No damage was sustained, and the boat got off at night, at high water, unaided.
1909 November 10 Orkney Herald
ORKNEY’S NAVAL BASE
NORTH SEA CONCENTRATION.
It is understood, says The Observer that the Admiralty intend to undertake certain works in the neighbourhood of Scapa Flow, in the Orkney Islands, which will better fit that magnificent harbour to act as the base of part of the Home Fleet. During the present year the Home Fleet has spent most of its time in the Orkney Islands, either at Kirkwall, or in Scapa Flow. The latter is a splendid harbour, fifteen miles long and eight miles broad, formed by the juxtaposition of the island of Pomona, South Ronaldshay, Burray, Walls, and Hoy. The object which the Admiralty have in view is, of course, to crown their policy of North Sea concentration and North Sea enclosure. During the last three years the “Arming of the East Coast” has proceeded rapidly. Dover has been completed, Sheerness has been made the base, first of the Home Fleet and then of a division of that fleet forming a fine reserve for the main body. Harwich has become the base at once of the first destroyer flotilla and a flotilla of nine sea-going submarines; Grimsby and the Tyne are to be made torpedo bases; Rosyth is becoming a first class repairing base; Dundee is the headquarters of another flotilla of submarines, while Cromarty is frequently used as the Home Fleet’s base. Wireless stations have been erected at frequent intervals down the coast, and others are to be constructed at Wick and Kirkwall. With the Home Fleet stationed at Scapa Flow, the North Sea will become, in the event of war with a Power of Northern Europe, a British lake. No force which Germany can muster now, or for some years to come, would make its way past the Fleet of sixteen battleships, ten armoured cruisers, and forty-eight destroyers, which comprises the active fully-commissioned strength of the Home Fleet, and, with war confined to the North Sea, British trade would be perfectly safe, while that of our enemy could easily be stifled. One serious drawback to the selection of Scapa Flow as a fleet base is that it is cut off from the mainland, and a base at its best should be in railway communication with the administrative and constructive centres. It is believed that, in order to overcome this difficulty, Wick will undergo some sort of development as a mainland outpost of the real Fleet headquarters.
The weather of October was unusually severe. There were three well-defined cyclones which passed across this county on the 5th, 7th, and 14th, when the wind velocity reached respectively 64, 58, and 75 miles [per hour]. Hail fell during a few days of the first and last weeks. A severe thunderstorm occurred on the 6th. There were only six dry days during the month. Pressure was low. It has only been once lower during the last twenty-five years, viz., 1903. Temperature was normal. The rainfall of 5¼ inches has only been exceeded four times during the last twenty-five years. The rainfall of one inch on the 13th in 2½ hours is the heaviest fall recorded at this station [in Deerness] in so short a time. Hours of sunshine were the highest since 1902. A bright meteor was seen on the 27th.
1909 November 27 The Orcadian
QUARTERLY RETURN OF BIRTHS, DEATHS AND MARRIAGES. – Annexed is the quarterly return of the births, deaths and marriages registered in Orkney and Shetland, during the quarter ending 30th September, 1909, published by authority of the Registrar-General: – ….. Rousay & Egilshay. – Population in 1891, 988; in 1901, 829. Births, 3; deaths, 2; marriages, 2.
1909 December 4 The Orcadian
ROUSAY. – The United Free Church Guild in Rousay opened its winter session with a very successful social on Thursday night. Although the weather was very wet, Ritchie Church was well filled with young people. The Rev Mr Pirie presided and the speakers were the Rev. Mr Abel, assistant, and Messrs Alex. Grieve and John Inkster. The speeches were humorous and well received, and Mr William Grieve gave an amusing reading which was also enjoyed. Mr James W. Grieve, the Guild conductor of praise, led a well-trained choir, and a number of hymns, trios, and quartettes were efficiently and skilfully sung. Miss Reid and her assistants provided as usual an excellent tea.
1909 December 11 The Orcadian
THE WEATHER IN ORKNEY – MONTH OF NOVEMBER. – The month of November has been wet, cold, and generally boisterous. Even the fortnight of fine weather – the Orkney peerie summer – that falls due this month has been withheld, and instead we have been visited with floods. The outstanding feature of the month’s record was the flood of two and a half inches here, and even more in a few other localities, on the 11th and 12th, followed by a snow-storm of nearly a week’s duration. Wind velocity reached gale force only twice. The statistics show that pressure was normal, although unusually changeable. Temperature was 1.6 degrees in defect of the mean. The nights of 14th and 15th, with 29.8 degrees, were the coldest November temperatures for six years. The rainfall of 5.39 inches was the heaviest since 1893, and nearly one and a half inches in excess of the mean. Hours of sunshine were five and a half above the mean.
1909 December 22 Orkney Herald
SNOWSTORM. – A very severe snowstorm began on Saturday, and heavy snow showers continued to fall till yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon, when there was a slight shower of rain. Owing to the stormy wind on Monday morning and Monday night there are many deep drifts a snow, and nearly all the roads throughout the country are blocked. In some cases the rural postmen have been able to make their rounds by leaving the roads and crossing fields, but in several cases this has not been possible. On the plain the snow lies to a depth of nine to twelve inches. The weather has generally been frosty, though there have been slight thaws of short duration.