1921 January 5 Orkney Herald
ROUSAY – SCHOOL CONCERT. – On Christmas Eve the children of Sourin Public School gave their annual concert. Although the weather was not favourable, there was a large and appreciative audience. Father Christmas was present, who contributed very fine gifts to the children. He brought the right spirit into the meeting along with him, and it stayed. Every child attending school took part in their section of the entertainment, and did it well; as also did the adults, with songs and recitations in their auxiliary part. A silver collection, which amounted to £5 13s 9d, was taken up during the interval. Hearty votes of thanks were given at the close to Miss Baikie, schoolmistress, for her efficient training of the children, to the performers, and to Mr Brown as chairman. The seats were cleared away after the concert, and Miss Baikie entertained the young folks to a dance and refreshments, which were liberally handed round during the evening. The dance was greatly enjoyed by all.
1921 January 12 Orkney Herald
STORMY WEATHER. – A period of cold, rainy weather, accompanied by high winds, set in over Orkney on Saturday. During Sunday there was incessant rain all day, and at nightfall a strong south-westerly gale broke out, which continued with great violence until Monday forenoon. On account of the heavy sea running in the Pentland Firth, the mail boat St Ola did not attempt the journey to Scrabster on Monday.
1921 February 9 Orkney Herald
SIGNS OF SPRING. – The spring migrants are returning to our shores again. In the beautiful weather of the past week the lark has been heard pouring forth its full-throated song; lapwings in flocks are prospecting the fields; and rooks in the vicinity of Kirkwall are busy preparing their nests. In the mornings the mavis [song thrush] and the blackbird may be heard warbling their flute-like notes, but as yet their songs are only weak and low, earnest of what is to come when the days lengthen.
THE WEATHER. – Dry, sunny weather prevailed over the Orkneys last week, and the ground quickly dried up, enabling farmers to prosecute their outdoor work under favourable conditions. Unfortunately, however, for those who take their livelihood from the sea, strong south-easterly winds also prevailed, and fishing boats never ventured out to sea. However, a number of trawlers took shelter in Kirkwall Harbour, and quantities of their fish were disposed of locally and retailed by hawkers. Owing to the high wind and heavy sea in the Pentland Firth on Friday, the s.s. St Ola did not make the passage south with the mails. The s.s. Hoy Head, which had made a special trip from the South Isles to Kirkwall with visitors to the fat stock show, did not return on Friday, but lay at Scapa Pier until the wind somewhat moderated on Saturday. The weather still continues fine.
1921 February 23 Orkney Herald
ROUSAY – CONCERT AND SOCIAL MEETING. – A successful concert and social meeting was held in Wasbister School, on the evening of Feb. 11th. The sitting accommodation was overtaxed, and, as the audience was hearty and enthusiastic and the performers ready with their parts, an enjoyable evening was spent, the trios and quartettes being especially effective. Recalls were numerous, and Miss [Anna May] Cooper, who had much to do with organising the affair, was heartily greeted both by the school children and by the people. During the interval refreshments were distributed and a silver collection was taken to defray expenses. Annexed is the programme: –
Quartette, “Oh, who will o’er the Downs?” Misses Inkster and Cooper and Messrs Clouston and Craigie; solo, “Come home to me,” Miss Sinclair; recitation, “The voting woman,” Miss Cooper; duet, “Till we meet again,” Messrs Sinclair and Clouston; solo, “My bonnie Jean,” Mr Inkster; recitation, “Specially Jim,” Miss Marwick; solo, “Until,” Mrs Sharp; violin and piano selections, Mrs Craigie and Mr Clouston; trio, “Oh gin I were a baron’s heir,” Messrs Clouston and Craigie; solo, “Let the rest of the world go by,” Miss Flaws; duet, “Life’s dream is o’er,” Mrs Sharp and Miss Cooper; sketch, “Wanted a Housekeeper”; chairman’s speech, Rev. D. S. Brown, M.A.; solo, “The road of looking forward,” Mr Sinclair; recitation, “The Price,” Miss Flaws; solo, “My dear soul,” Miss Cooper; reading, “Robbie Doo at Burns’ Supper,” Mr Sinclair; quartette, “Stars of the summer night,” Misses Inkster and Cooper and Messrs Clouston and Craigie; sketch, “Flossie”; piano and violin selections, Mrs Craigie and Mr Clouston; sketch, “The shy young man”; selections by the jazz band; solo, “Give me the moonlight,” Mr Clouston; humorous reading, Miss Cooper; trio, “Kitty of Coleraine,” Messrs Sinclair, Clouston and Craigie. After the usual votes of thanks, the proceedings were in brought to a close by the singing of the National Anthem.
1921 March 2 Orkney Herald
ROUSAY – PLOUGHING MATCH. – The Rousay Agricultural Society held their annual ploughing match, which has been in abeyance since 1915 on account of the war, on Thursday, 24th ult., in a field kindly granted for the occasion by Mr James Russell, Brendale. Two champions and 11 ordinary ploughmen entered for competition. The work done, considering the unequal ground, was of a high standard. The ideal weather conditions enabled a large number of spectators from both local and neighbouring islands to visit the field. During the day the ploughmen were amply supplied with refreshments, and again when their work was finished, and in the evening the judges and committee were kindly entertained to a sumptuous tea by Mrs Russell. The committee desire to take this opportunity of thanking the general public for their generous support in supplying special prizes, of which there was a very large and varied assortment. The judges were: – Messrs George Scarth, Burgar, and John Spence, Scholha’, Evie, who, after careful consideration, awarded the prizes as follows: –
PLOUGHING – Champions. – 1st and cup for best ploughed rig on field, James Craigie, Falquoy; 2 Thomas Sinclair, Cotafea; best feering – Thomas Sinclair; best finish – Jas. Craigie. Ordinary – 1 and Highland Society’s medal, Alex. Craigie, Langskaill; 2 James Linklater, Curquoy; 3 John Leonard, Faraclett; 4 Hugh Craigie, Scockness; 5 James Lyon, Ervadale; 6 John Marwick, Hullion; 7 David Moar, Saviskaill; 8 Albert Munro, Brendale; 9 Robert Seatter, Banks; 10 Robert Sinclair, Sketquoy; youngest ploughman – James Grieve, Falldown; best feering – Alex. Craigie; best finish – Alex. Craigie; best feering on field – Thomas Sinclair; best finish on field – Jas. Craigie; straightest ploughing – Thomas Sinclair.
GROOMING – 1 David Moar, 2 James Linklater, 3 John Leonard, 4 Alex. Craigie, 5 Hugh Craigie.
HARNESS – 1 John Leonard, 2 David Moar, 3 Hugh Craigie, 4 John Marwick, 5 Albert Munro.
1921 March 9 Orkney Herald
EMIGRATION. – A number of young men sailed from Kirkwall to-day (Tuesday) by the s.s. Rognvald, en route for Canada, while some forty embarked at Stromness last Sunday. We understand that this is but the beginning of a still greater exodus of our youth who are to push their fortunes in Overseas Dominions.
1921 April 13 Orkney Herald
THE ECLIPSE – OBSERVATION AT KIRKWALL. – The much talked about annular eclipse of the sun was observed in Orkney on Friday under the most favourable weather conditions. The sun rose through a thin, filmy haze that hung about the horizon, and, emerging into a sky of brilliant blue, undimmed by any atmospheric obscuration, flooded land and sea with a glorious radiancy. In Kirkwall much interest was taken in the expected phenomenon. As the time drew near for the dark body of the moon to make its appearance on the sun’s edge, groups of people could be seen at vantage places gazing heavenwards through smoked or coloured glasses, and busy housewives with broom or duster in hand, spared a moment or two from things terrestrial to look at things celestial.
At 8 30 a.m. a minute black spot appeared on the edge of the sun, which denoted that the eclipse had commenced. Then gradually the shadow crept onwards. About the middle of the phase the sun looked like a crescent moon, with one of the ends more elongated than the other. Just as the clock of St Magnus cathedral struck the hour of ten, the circle closed and the ring phase was complete. This lasted for about 112 seconds. During the progress of the eclipse the sun’s rays became fainter, a distinctly colder feeling pervaded the atmosphere; and when the annularity occurred, there was a twilight darkness inside houses, and outside the sun cast shadows across the street resembling those seen on moonlight nights. A strange hush seemed to fall over nature. At Berstane plantation, the home of myriads of birds, whose “vocal voices. most vociferous” are heard at all hours during the day, there was for a few moments the silence of night-time. At the farm-house adjacent the cock’s shrill clarion sounded piercingly, and then again all was still. When the eclipse was at its height the planet Venus was easily discernible with the naked eye. Around the sun there was a large halo, or, as it is called here, a “broch,” and, stretching out in a horizontal line from north and south of this circle, were mock suns. (These latter phenomena lasted for some hours after the eclipse was over.) For another hour the shadow could be observed as it passed across the sun, and the final contact occurred a few minutes after 11 a.m.
1921 April 27 Orkney Herald
ROUSAY – We understand the trustees of the late General Sir F. W. T. Burroughs, K.C.B., of Rousay, are about to offer the farms on the estate for sale. The present tenants will get the first chance to purchase their holdings. The fishing, which is excellent, and the shooting rights with the moors will be for sale along with Trumland House and grounds.
1921 May 11 Orkney Herald
I HEREBY CALL A MEETING of HERITORS of ROUSAY and EGILSHAY
to be held in the Parish Church, Rousay, on Monday the
23rd day of May 1921, at 11 a.m., for the consideration of: –
1. Repairs on Church.
2. Repairs on Manse.
3. Any other competent business.
Of which meeting public intimation is hereby made.
Minister of Rousay and Egilshay.
1921 May 18 Orkney Herald
FIREMASTER INKSTER RESIGNS – TWENTY-FIVE YEARS’ SERVICE. – Mr William Inkster, the Chief of the Aberdeen Fire Brigade, and a native of Rousay, Orkney, on Tuesday sent to Mr Gordon, Town Clerk, a letter tendering his resignation of the post of Firemaster, which he has filled with zeal and marked ability for a quarter of a century. It is understood that Mr Inkster has taken this step on the advice of his doctor, on account of physical debility, which naturally comes with advancing years, but which has been aggravated is his case by the arduous nature of his duties at fires at all hours, and in all weathers. Mr Inkster, who is 64 years of age, was appointed from the London Fire Brigade to be chief of the Aberdeen Fire Brigade in 1896. The resignation was submitted to Aberdeen Town Council on Monday, but is not likely to take effect for some time, probably that the end of July, as the city cannot be without a head for its Fire Brigade, and there is no one to act in Mr Inkster’s place meantime owing to the illness of Mr Pollock, his deputy, who is in the Royal Infirmary recovering from a serious operation.
1921 May 25 Orkney Herald
FIREMASTER INKSTER’S RESIGNATION. – Firemaster Inkster’s letter of resignation was read at a meeting of the Aberdeen Town Council on Monday last week…..The letter was in the following terms: – “I beg to inform you that on account of the state of my health, and on the advice of my medical adviser, I have resolved to tender my resignation as Firemaster of the city. It is with no little regret, and with considerable feeling of reluctance, that I feel compelled to take this step, but now being in my 64th year, and having met with several accidents during the course of my professional connection with the Corporation, I find that my health is now such as to prevent me from being able to discharge the duties of the office in the manner in which I feel they ought to be carried out. I was appointed Flremaster in July, 1896, at the time when the present Fire Station was but in contemplation, so that I have now completed nearly 25 years’ service in the Corporation. In these circumstances I venture respectfully to express the hope that the Council will be pleased to grant me such a retiring allowance as they may consider to be proper, and that they will keep in view the strenuous and dangerous character of the work of my occupation and my long and responsible service to the city. I may add that if agreeable to the Corporation I should desire to be relieved of my duties at as early a date as will suit the arrangements of the Department.” The letter was remitted to the Watching, Lighting and Fires Committee for a report as to the proposals for filling the vacancy.
1921 June 8 Orkney Herald
ECCLESIASTICAL. – The afternoon service in Paterson U.F. Church, Kirkwall, on Sunday, was taken by the Rev. A. I. Pirie, the venerable minister-emeritus of Rousay U.F. Church. Before entering the ministry of the U.P. Church (now the U.F.) Mr Pirie was for a lengthy period pastor of the Congregational Church, Kirkwall, and on many occasions during these years he occupied the pulpit of Paterson Church. He took as the subject of his discourse on Sunday “The White Hairs of Christ,” basing his remarks on these words from Rev. i. 14, ” His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow.” At the outset of his sermon, Mr Pirie took occasion to recall that it was 50 years since he had first spoken from that pulpit, and referred to the changes that had taken place during that time. He knew the occupants of each pew in those days, and missed the old familiar faces from their accustomed places. He had to admit that these recollections and reflections had a somewhat saddening effect upon him. But in one aspect there was matter for rejoicing – although men may come and men may go, the Church of God endured forever. He counselled the members to do the utmost to strengthen the hands of their young minister and assist him in all his efforts to carry on the work of the Master. Mr Pirie preached a powerful and impressive sermon, which was listened to with the closest attention. It may be literally said of this grand old minister that his eye is not dim neither is his natural force abated. Mr Pirie is, we understand, going for a short period to Rousay to minister to his old flock, who are presently without a settled pastor.
1921 June 15 Orkney Herald
CENSUS DAY – SUNDAY FIRST. – Early in April all preparations had been made for the taking of the census on April 24th. The postponement owing to industrial troubles of Census Day until June 19 necessarily held up all these arrangements, but on Monday last enumerators commenced the task of distributing their schedules to householders, and will be busy all this week. Their task has to be finished by Saturday first, in order to allow the filling up of the papers on the night of Sunday-Monday June 19-20. On the following Tuesday the enumerators have to report the collection of the schedules.
[The 1921 Census should have been taken on 24 April, but was delayed by nearly two months in the wake of the Black Friday strike by railwaymen, coal miners and transport workers. This is the one and only time that the census date was changed.]
1921 June 22 Orkney Herald
SOMETHING NEW IN MOTOR CARS. – There arrived at Kirkwall on Saturday for Mr W. R. Tullock, motor and cycle agent, a Ford saloon car with all the latest improvements, and which is on view at the Ayre Garage. The car has detachable rims, is a self-starter, has electric lights, and is luxuriously upholstered in best quality rexine [artificial leathercloth]. The petrol tank is situated under the driver’s seat. The windows, which run the whole length of the car, open and close from the inside. We understand that the price paid for the car was £425 ex-Manchester.
1921 June 29 Orkney Herald
ROUSAY – SERVICE OF PRAISE. – The choir of Trumland U.F. Church, with the assistance of a few friends, held a service there on Sabbath afternoon, June 19th. The Rev. A. I. Pirie, minister-emeritus of the church, who is on a visit to the island, presided; Mr George Gibson, Avelshay, was conductor; Miss [Lydia] Baikie, Sourin Schoolhouse, was organist; and the choir carried through, in an efficient manner, the different items in the service of praise. Fortunately the weather was favourable, and a record attendance came together by road, and by boat from Egilshay and Veira, to show their appreciation of this form of divine worship; and they gave an excellent contribution to the funds of the church.
1921 July 6 Orkney Herald
UNVEILING OF ROUSAY WAR MEMORIAL
On Sunday last, a very large gathering of people convened at the Parish Church of Rousay for the unveiling of the war memorial. The War Committee, knowing that the young men whose names are on the memorial scroll had grown up around Mr [Alexander Irvine] Pirie during his long ministry in the islands, and taking advantage of his visitation to Rousay, asked him and Mrs Pirie to perform the unveiling. The Kirkwall Pipe Band, under Conductor [Archie] Forsyth, were present. The service commenced in the Parish Church. The Rev. D. S. Brown and Mr Shepherd read the Scripture lessons, Mr Pirie led in prayer, and Rev. John Williamson preached, taking as his text Galatians vi. 14. [‘But God forbid that I should glory, save in the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is cruciﬁed unto me, and I unto the world’]. The Dead March in “Saul” was played on the organ by Miss [Janet] Longbotham at the close of the church service. The large congregation was marshalled on the road at the church door, with the ex-service men in front, and, under the leadership of the Pipe Band, marched to the memorial near to the Trumland pier. The bereaved and relatives were accommodated inside the enclosure along with the band and the ex-service men. The proceedings commenced with the singing of the 100th Psalm, led by Mr Hugh Gibson, precentor of the Parish Church. Mr Williamson read the Scripture lesson from Rev. vii., Mr Pirie read the names of the fallen inscribed on the memorial, and Mrs Pirie unveiled the memorial. Mr Brown led in the prayer of dedication.
Mr Pirie, in his address, said that he stood amongst them on that solemn occasion with very mixed feelings. He was thankful that he was able to be with them, and had been invited by the Committee to take part in that service. He felt deep regret that so many of their heroic young boys had fallen in the war, and he felt much sympathy with the bereaved parents and relatives. Before the war they were living calm, peaceful lives never thinking of what was in front of them. Some men of vision, like Lord Roberts and the late Sir Frederick Traill Burroughs, kept telling them of the danger that was threatening; but they continued to live in peace, thinking no evil, until the storm cloud burst upon them. Mr Pirie then proceeded to speak of the intentions of Germany, of the remarkable unity of all classes in the British Empire, the great heroism of the men who went forth to meet the enemy, and the courage and determination of the men and women who remained at home. Proceeding to speak of the victory gained, the preservation of our liberty, and our nationhood, he touched upon the great cost of lives and wealth and the long struggle during the war, and which would continue still for many years in repairing the awful destruction made by the war. He hoped the abiding memorial to these great and costly sacrifices would be the building in concord and brotherly good-will of a better country for all to Iive in. He closed by expressing his deep sympathy with the men who had come back from the war maimed and broken in body and mind and his sincere sympathy with the relatives of those boys who would never return.
The Pipe Band then played “The Flowers of the Forest,” [the moving ancient Scottish folk tune commemorating the defeat of the Scottish army of James IV at the Battle of Flodden in September 1513], and the bugler sounded the “Last Post.” [In military tradition, the Last Post is the bugle call that signifies the end of the day’s activities – and also sounded at military funerals to indicate that the soldier has gone to his final rest.] The singing of the National Anthem closed one of the largest and most impressive services Rousay had ever witnessed.
The Memorial stands in a clump of trees near the Trumland Pier. It is a Celtic cross of granite, artistically cut and polished, rising some twenty feet from its pedestal. The cross is in Aberdeen granite, but the scroll on which the names are inscribed is of Peterhead granite, inserted at the foot of the cross. The ground around has been neatly surrounded with a stone wall and iron railing, with concrete steps and walk around the Memorial. We understand the plantation of trees and ground within the enclosing wall have been gifted for the purpose by the Rousay Estate Trustees…..
[The newspaper report then went on the record the names of the men inscribed on the memorial, their ages when they fell, and where they lived in Rousay, Egilsay and Wyre. The information has since been corrected and updated]: –
Capt. A. GRAHAM SPARK, M.C. Manse, 9th K.O.Y.L.I., 9th April 1917, age 28.
Pte. JAMES BEWS Maeness, Egilshay, 2nd Seaforths, 6th May 1917, age 20.
Pte. GEORGE CRAIGIE Triblo, 74th Battalion, Machine Gun Corps,
21st September 1918, age 19.
Pte. JOHN CRAIGIE Bu, Viera, 1/4th Seaforths, between 23rd and 24th
April 1917, age 30.
Pte. JOHN CRAIGIE Ploverhall, 14th (Labour) Cameronians, 1st May 1917, age 27.
Pte. DAVID FLAWS Hammerfield, 2nd Seaforths, 11th April 1917, age 20.
L/Cpl. ALFRED GIBSON Langskaill, 7th Seaforths, 12th October 1916, age 40.
Pte. ALFRED G. GIBSON Avelshay, 130th Field Company, R.E.,
16th February 1916, age 21.
Pte. HUGH GIBSON Oldman, 7th Seaforths, 2nd May 1918, age 18.
Pte. JOHN DAVID GRIEVE Falldown, 1/4th Seaforths, 20th November 1917, age 28.
L/Cpl. GEORGE INKSTER, D.C.M. Knapper, Princess Patricia’s C.L.I., C.E.F.,
17th July 1916, age 35.
Pte. JOHN A.M. INKSTER Essaquoy, 4th (Reserve) Seaforths, 1st July 1918, age 18.
Pte. JOHN LOGIE Grindlesbreck, 1/6th Gordons, 22nd November 1916, age 36.
Engr. ISAAC MARWICK Essaquoy, M.M., S.S. Southford,
25th February 1916, age 59.
Pte. JOHN H. MARWICK Quoys, 58th Battalion, Machine Gun Corps,
7th September 1918, age 21.
Pte. DAVID MUNRO Old School, 15th H.L.I., 17th March 1916, age 28.
Pte. HARRY REID Brough, 3rd Seaforths, 14th May 1917, age 23.
Pte. EDWARD SEATTER Banks, 8th/10th Gordons, 21st April 1917, age 19.
EGILSHAY – WAR MEMORIAL UNVEILED. – On Friday of last week a large gathering of the inhabitants of the island met in the churchyard of the old St Magnus Church for the purpose of unveiling the war memorial erected to the memory of Private James Bews, of Maeness, who laid down his life in the great war. The War Committee invited the Rev. A. Irvine Pirie, who had been their minister for over thirty years, and was, with Mrs Pirie, visiting Rousay, to conduct the unveiling service. The service began by singing the 100th Psalm. Mr Shepherd, the missionary in Egilshay, read the Scripture lesson from the 7th chapter of Revelation. Mrs [Robina] Bews, the mother of the boy whose name is engraved on the obelisk, unveiled the memorial. Mr Pirie, in his address, said he had great satisfaction in being with them on that solemn occasion. He proceeded to speak of the wonderful heroism and cheerfulness of the young men who went forth to the war. These lads were quiet, peaceful lads, with no idea of fighting; but when the call came they went away in their tens of thousands to a life of hardship and danger, and made in many cases the supreme sacrifice that we might possess liberty and their homes and country might be saved. This monument was not necessary to help them to remember the young lad who had gone out from them and given his all. He had grown up amongst them and was well known to them all, but generations would arise who did not know him, and this stone would tell them of a brave and devoted boy who had died for his country, and would help to inspire the coming generations to patriotism and deeds of bravery and self-sacrifice. Mr Shepherd led in the prayer of dedication, and the service was closed with the singing of the National Anthem. The memorial is a very neat granite obelisk, polished on the four sides, standing on a granite and concrete pedestal, the whole height being over 12 feet.
1921 July 27 Orkney Herald
ROUSAY. – Dr Barty King and party arrived by s.s. Countess of Bantry on Saturday for the shooting season, and have taken up residence at Trumland House. This is their second season of the Rousay shootings.
1921 August 31 Orkney Herald
ROUSAY – PICNIC. – The annual picnic of Sourin School was held on Friday, Aug. 26th, in a field kindly granted by Mr Seatter, Banks. The morning was wet and disagreeable, but as mid-day approached the sky cleared and the races and sports were carried through under favourable weather conditions. The children were treated to milk and buns on arrival at the school and then they betook themselves to the field, where a long programme of races was gone through. A large number of parents and friends arrived on the field in the course of the afternoon, all being greatly interested in each item. After the races were finished all returned to the school, where the picnic committee had ready tea and a bountiful supply of good things which were thoroughly enjoyed by all. The prize-list was then read out by Rev. J. Williamson, minister of the parish, while Mrs D. S. Brown handed out the prizes to the successful competitors. Votes of thanks were given to Mrs Brown and Mr Williamson for giving out the prizes; to Mr Gibson, Avelshay, for superintending and starting the races on the field; to the committee of ladies and gentlemen who looked after the provisions and did all they could to satisfy the inner man at tea-time; and last of all, to Miss Baikie, teacher, who had carried through the picnic so successfully. A most enjoyable dance in the schoolroom was kept up by both young and old for a few hours, bringing to an end a most successful picnic and an excellent afternoon’s outing…..
1921 September 7 Orkney Herald
INVERNESS TRAWLER ASHORE AT THIEVES HOLM. – While proceeding to sea early on Monday morning, the steam trawler Icefloe, of Inverness, which had been in Kirkwall for the weekend, stranded on the southern point of Thieves Holm. An attempt was made to refloat her at high water on Monday, but without success.
WIND-BOUND SCHOONER. – The Danish three-masted schooner Eva (Rasmussen, master), from Allborg to Iceland with cement, put into Kirkwall Bay on Wednesday, windbound. She sailed again on Friday.
THE MOTOR SCOOTER. – The County of Orkney is not far behind in modern methods of transit, but until a week ago we had not had the pleasure of seeing the most modern form of motor conveyance. However, a lady from the south has now arrived with the “scooter,” and we are again up to-date.
1921 September 14 Orkney Herald
THE WRECKED TRAWLER ON THIEVES HOLM. – The Inverness trawler Icefloe, which went ashore on Thieves Holm on Monday week, is still hard and fast. During last week the crew were busy taking the coal out of her bunkers, so as to lighten the vessel. A number of boxes of fish and a large quantity of skate were also landed at Kirkwall. The bulk of her catch, however, was shipped aboard a drifter, which had come to her assistance, and despatched to the southern markets. By the end of the week the tides ought to be suitable for getting her off, but as she lies high up on the beach, having gone on at the top of high water, it will be difficult to get her shifted. So far as can be ascertained, she has received no damage, as she is lying on a ledge of flat rocks. We understand that a powerful trawler is coming north to try and pull her off at the end of the week.
1921 September 21 Orkney Herald
REFLOATED. – The trawler Icefloe, which had been ashore on Thieves Holm during the last fortnight, was successfully refloated on Thursday evening. She was assisted off by the trawler Pride, of Buckie, and taken to Kirkwall The vessel has sustained very little damage, and is making no water. Her bunker coals were put on board on Friday, and she left for the south the same day.
VEIRA – LANTERN LECTURE. – The Rousay U.F. Women’s Foreign Mission Committee held a lantern lecture on “The Growth of the Church in China,” in Veira School, on Tuesday, Sept. 13th. Mrs D. S. Brown, convener of the committee, worked the lantern, and Mr Brown delivered the address. The school was well filled with an appreciative audience, who helped in every way, and especially by contributing liberally to the scheme, to make the event a success. The children also did their share by singing mission hymns in a pleasing way, which showed marked improvement in alto, and John Johnston recited “The Silver Plate.” Eleven of them were also at this meeting presented with certificates of proficiency in catechism, Sabbath School section, from the U.F. Church of Scotland. The meeting was much enjoyed, and the weather was favourable for crossing the sound. As the result of this and of other efforts made during the year, the Women’s Foreign Mission Committee of this church will be able to forward £10 4s to the scheme, which is a threefold improvement upon the work of last year.
1921 September 28 Orkney Herald
RARE FISH. – Two Kirkwall gentlemen who go sea-fishing for a hobby had an interesting catch in Inganess Bay last Wednesday afternoon. In one of their lobster creels they found a small fish of the “flounder” family which neither of them had seen before. The body was of a reddish brown, mottled, and spotted with very dark brown or black. The fish was taken in to Kirkwall, where it was identified as being a Miller’s Top-Knot. This is a fish rarely if ever, met with in northern waters, but, according to “Yarrell’s History of British Fishes,” it is not uncommon in the West of England. It appears to keep among rocks, where it is not readily distinguished, on account of the similarity in its colour to the seaweed. Yarrell says this flat flab does not attain great size, and the largest seen by him did not exceed seven or eight inches. The fish caught on Wednesday, however, measures 9½ inches by 5¼ inches. It would be interesting to know whether other fishermen have come across this species in our waters.
1921 October 5 Orkney Herald
KIRKWALL LIGHTING. – Rumour has it that the Town Council of Kirkwall is considering the feasibility of lighting Kirkwall by electricity, and that they are negotiating for the purchase of a splendidly equipped power station in the county.
VISIT OF H.M. SHIPS TO SCAPA FLOW. – The battle cruisers Hood and Repulse, the seaplane carrier Argus, and the destroyer Voyager arrived at Scapa Flow on Monday night. They leave for Invergordon on Friday, but are expected to return to Scapa on Monday. The Atlantic Fleet is, we are informed, due at Scapa on Oct. 17, where the Fleet regatta is to take place.
1921 November 2 Orkney Herald
A KIRKWALL-BUILT CHARABANC. – Mr W. Garrioch, coach-builder, Kirkwall, has just completed a fine little charabanc for Mr A. T. Croy, motor hirer, Junction Road, Kirkwall. Built on a Ford ton-truck chassis, and having Dunlop pneumatic tyres, the charabanc will seat twelve persons. A Cape-cart hood, with double extension, side curtains, and Beatonson wind-screen is fitted. The trimming, or upholstery, is in tanned brown rexine over Marshall’s patent spring seats. Painted a Buccleuch grey, with black valance and mudguards, and with nickel-plated fittings on the hood, the charabanc looks a very smart vehicle indeed, and we have no doubt it will be in great demand neat season.
1921 November 9 Orkney Herald
REMEMBRANCE DAY. – Friday first is the anniversary of Armistice Day, now known as Remembrance Day. It is recommended that two minutes‘ silence be observed throughout the country at 11 a.m. on that day. It will be seen from handbills that poppies will be sold that day throughout the burgh for the benefit of ex-Service men and their dependants.
1921 November 30 Orkney Herald
ROUSAY – HARVEST SERVICE. – Rousay U.F. Church held its annual harvest thanksgiving service on the evening of 17th November in Sourin School. The weather was favourable, and there was a good attendance. Rev. J. Williamson, E.C., delivered an appropriate address, and the soloists were Rev. D. S. Brown, M.A., and Miss Annie Jane Harrold, Springfield, with Miss Isabella Grieve, Whitehall, as organist.
1921 December 21 Orkney Herald
ORKNEY SWEPT BY WILD WESTERLY GALES.
HIGH TIDES AND CONSIDERABLE DAMAGE DONE.
A heavy gale of westerly wind broke out early on Friday morning, which, on Saturday, culminated in one of the most violent storms experienced in Orkney for many years, and which was accompanied by a very high tide. Every parish and island has its tale of damage done to buildings, farm stacks, and the smashing of boats in the nousts. Happily no serious accident to life or limb is reported.
At Kirkwall the full force of the gale was experienced. and about mid-day on Saturday so high was the tide that the sea made clean breaches over the pier, and for a time the Ayre Road and Junction Road were impassable. On the west side of Kirkwall Pier, between the Orcadia’s sheds and the cross berths, the sea has apparently undermined the facing wall of the pier, for the pavement there shows an opening on the surface, A mooring ring on the east side of the pier, as well as the top of the flag-staff and vane at the Harbour Office, were carried away.
The three jetties at Carness, belonging to the old herring-curing station there, and afterwards used by the Admiralty, have almost entirely disappeared, and the wreckage therefrom strewn over the beach and in some cases washed into the fields bordering on the seashore. The wall of one of the parks of Greenfield, partly destroyed in the gale of November last year, has been further levelled, and the lower part of the field converted into a saltwater loch. The road leading to Kirkwall has also suffered. Parts of the protecting stone facing have been breached or demolished, and at one or two points the road itself has been bitten into by the sea. The part of the road protected by the second seawall has been almost filled up with heaps of seaweed, rising in some cases above the wall itself, which will prove an obstacle to traffic until cleared away. At the farm of Berstane stacks in the stackyard were blown down, both hay and crop, and some of it is lying along the hedges. Stacks were blown down at several other farms in St Ola, while at Tofts the roof of the byre was severely damaged.
With the exception of a bus from Evie and another from Stromness there was no communication by road with Kirkwall on Saturday. The steamer St Rognvald with a large number of passengers, including many students coming home for their Christmas vacation, arrived at Kirkwall Bay on Saturday at 2 a.m., where she lay at anchor for 30 hours, coming to the pier at 10 a.m. on Sunday.
The s.s. Amelia, which was on her passage north from Leith, and had some student passengers on board took refuge near Rattary Head until the storm subsided, arriving at Kirkwall early on Monday morning where she still remains. The s.s. St Rognvald which was due to arrive at Kirkwall this (Tuesday) morning still remains at Lerwick. On Friday and Saturday there was no south mails, the s.s. Earl of Zetland being unable to face the sea in the Pentland Firth. The s.s. Orcadia did not attempt the passage to the North Isles on Saturday, nor did the s.s. Iona arrive from Shapinsay. On Sunday, however, the Orcadia made the passage, returning as usual on Monday.
A number of telegraph poles were blown down. One man, while driving in a gig from Tankerness to Kirkwall on Saturday morning had a narrow escape, a telegraph pole in its fall just grazing his machine. Telegraphic communication was temporarily interrupted, and messages were received very irregularly at Kirkwall Post Office during the day, and the Post Office staff was kept busy on Sunday working of arrears.
Details to hand from outlying parishes and islands give graphic accounts of the havoc wrought when the storm was at its height. In Sandwick, for instance, at the farm of Skaill the tide was so high that it undermined the barn, situated on the links, and about 12 feet of the wall collapsed. The stockyard was inundated, and considerable damage was done to the crop. The meal mill also suffered damage. In Birsay, at the farm of Howan, part of the roof of the stable was blown away, while at Barnhouse, Stenness, the steading received damage.
The North Isles also suffered severely. In Papa Westray part of the roof of a new byre at Holland was carried away, while numerous farms on the west side of the island had a trying time. In Westray part of a roof was damaged at Gill Pier, and the sea at the West Side was the worst experienced in living memory, great rollers breaking on the links, smashing boats in the nousts far above the usual high-water mark. Stronsay experienced an exceptionally high tide, and great quantities of water were blown over the retaining wall in front of the roadway at Whitehall Village. The wall there was damaged and several houses were flooded. Up in the island some stacks were blown over and roofs damaged. A boat was sunk at Rousay, while a large boat at Egilshay, the Warrior, was smashed.
After a wild night, the storm gradually subsided at the approach of daylight on Sunday morning, and in the evening there was almost a perfect calm. The mail boat St Ola, which had been at Aberdeen undergoing her annual overhaul, left that port at 11 a.m. on Sunday, and arrived at Scapa at 2 a.m. on Monday, having called along Wick, taking on board a portion of the accumulated mail. Thanks to the energy of Captain Swanson and his crew, they were able to resume the ordinary daily service at the usual hour on Monday, a great convenience for the Christmas mails leaving Orkney.
TRYING EXPERIENCE OF GRIMSBY TRAWLER. – The G.Y. trawler Chikara encountered the full force of the gale whilst fishing off the Noup Head of Westray. She left Kirkwall early in the week for the fishing grounds after having some repairs done to her boiler. She arrived back again on Sunday in a battered condition. She had lost her trawl, her winch was broken, and the deck burst. The skipper stated that on Saturday night he had given up hope of ever making the land again as the vessel was lying helpless and partially flooded. He put up distress signals for assistance, but no vessel hove in sight. After a terrible struggle he manoeuvred the vessel into smoother waters, and arrived safely at Kirkwall. The crew, having had no sleep for 48 hours, were dead beat. On arrival, the skipper ordered them to go below as soon as the vessel was moored. On Monday there were fifteen trawlers lying at Kirkwall pier, some of which came in the same day. About a dozen trawlers were in on Saturday and Sunday. Several of them proceeded to sea again on Sunday.