In Print

Newsprint – 1928

1928 January 4 Orkney Herald



The fleeting hours of 1927 were favoured with ideal weather conditions and bright moonlight, and the streets of Kirkwall were filled with a merry throng all evening. At 11.30 the Town Brass Band and the City Pipe Band marched through the streets playing lively airs, and were followed by great crowds. At 11.50 both bands took up positions on the Kirk green, and just before the clock struck, the Brass Band played “Auld Lang Syne,” followed by the National Anthem. Thereafter there was much handshaking amongst the crowd, wishing each other a Happy New Year. The bands then retired, and the crowds gradually dispersed from Broad Street, after which a good deal of first footing took place.

On Sunday, suitable reference to the advent of the New Year was made by the ministers of the various denominations in Kirkwall. The day was fine and seasonable, but a gale sprang up in the evening, accompanied by snow and sleet and, we understand, the wind reached a velocity of over 70 miles an hour about eleven o’clock, after which it gradually fell away.

New Year’s Day falling on a Sunday this year, Monday was observed as a general holiday, and, as usual, the principal events were the ba’s. Following a very boisterous night, the day broke clear and bright, with little wind, but shortly before 9 o’clock there was a heavy shower of rain. It cleared away, however, and the weather throughout the day was all that could be desired, being mild and calm, with some sunshine.



BOYS’ BA’. – The first ba’, for boys of 14 and under, was thrown up at the Market Cross at 10 a.m., when there was a goodly array of youngsters and a large number of spectators. From the outset of the game the Down-the-Gates appeared to be the superior side, in numbers at least, and the ball commenced to move towards the lower end of Broad Street. The Up-the-Gates, however, put up a stubborn resistance, and progress was slow. Not content with urging the boy players on to greater efforts, girls of both sides, many of them obviously over the prescribed age of fourteen, joined in the fray. The Down-the-Gates, however, more than held the balance, and, progress becoming more rapid, the Castle Hotel was reached twenty minutes from the start. Five minutes later the ball was forced into Albert Street, and at 10.40 it was opposite our publishing office. The Bridge was reached at 10.50, and the leather was given up at the Harbour Office at 11 o’clock to Ronald Muir, who, carried shoulder high, threw it into the Basin according to time-honoured custom, from which it was fished out by a boatman and once more handed to the boy, who carried it home in triumph.

MEN’S BA’. – The men’s ba’ was thrown up from the Market Cross at one o’clock. The Down-the-Gates appeared to be in a considerable minority, but for about five minutes they held the Up-the-Gates against the parapet wall of the Kirk Green. Centring the ball, the Uppies gained some ground. Then the Doonies gained a bit, but after ten minutes’ play the ball was at Tankerness House. The Down-the-Gates had the best of the next quarter of an hour, the ball being again opposite the cross at 1.25, and five minutes later was at Mr Tom Kent’s shop. There was then a period of give-and-take play, the advantage lying with the Up-the-Gates, and at 1.40 the ball was back at the Post Office.

The Up-the-Gates surged the ball up to Messrs J. and W. Tait’s, but the Doonies again succeeded in gaining some ground, and at 1.45 were back at the Town Hall door. The players then crossed over to the other side of the street, and a surge was made upwards as far as the Covenanter’s Fountain from which they crossed over to Messrs J. and W. Taits, where, centring the ball, the Down-the-Gates gained some ground. and after an hour’s play the ball was at Messrs Kirkness and Gorrie’s shop. Five minutes later the ball was back opposite the Cross, and for the next quarter of an hour play consisted of sallies from side to side of the street with short rushes up and down, little or no advantage being won by either aide.

At 2.25 the players were in Post Office Lane. Emerging from there, the ball was pushed along the front of the Post Office to the Town Hall door, through which a section of the players holding the ball disappeared. Two minutes later the leather was again in play in Broad Street, and at 2.35 was at Tankerness House. From there the Uppies surged the ball across the street towards Palace Road, and then with a clever manoeuvre the Up-the-Gates holding the ball broke away at 2.40 and rushed it through the narrow entry into Victoria Street, leaving the bulk of the Down-the-Gates behind them. Save for a temporary check, during which the ball disappeared for a few minutes up Rendall’s Close, progress was now rapid, and, at ten minutes past three the ball was at the Clay Loan. Twenty minutes later it was at the Old Castle, where it was presented to William Makinson, jr., amid cheers. The game was one of the stiffest played for many years, and was witnessed by an unusually large crowd.

1928 January 11 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – SERVICE OF PRAISE. – A very successful service of praise was held in Wasbister Public School on Sunday, Dec. 25th. Rev. D. S. Brown, of the U.F. Church, presided, and gave a very interesting address during the evening. Although the day was stormy, the schoolroom was well filled. The school children had the room very tastefully decorated with evergreens, etc., and being well lighted looked very pretty indeed. The programme, which was varied, was very well rendered, and the male pieces were all that could be desired, but owing to bad colds some of the lady singers were unable to be present. Mr R. A. [Robert Alexander] Inkster acted as conductor and organist. It is hoped that a similar service will be given in the near future…..

1928 January 25 Orkney Herald




On Thursday morning about 4 o’clock a call came through to Longhope that a vessel was in distress to the eastward of the Pentland Skerries. The secretary of the lifeboat got into communication with the coxswain, who immediately proceeded to call out the crew.

About a mile away, the wedding of the second engineer of the lifeboat was in progress, the younger men of the crew being there; and when the enjoyment was still at its height, a rocket was observed – the warning that the lifeboat’s services were required.

The call of duty was responded to at once. Luckily, members of the company had resorted thither on bicycles, and these were brought into service at once, and in the shortest of time the members of the crew, including the bridegroom, set out for the lifeboat shed, the bridegroom only changing his coat for an ordinary jacket, the others getting into their oil-skins and lifebelts in their black suits and white shirts. Whoever heard of a Brims man delaying when duty calls.




The boat was launched with her full crew, and set out and picked up the steamer which had been showing distress signals. Being dark at the time, they could not make out her name, and her defects having apparently been made good, she was just getting up steam and going slowly ahead. So heavy was the sea that sometimes the lifeboatmen could see the steamer’s forefoot. At the time the steamer was sighted she was about fifteen miles south-east of the Pentland Skerries. Owing to the heavy sea, sometimes the lifeboat had to be slowed down to half-speed.

When it was ascertained that the vessel required no help, a course was set for Holm, where the coxswain communicated with Brough Ness. As there were no signs of any other vessel in distress, the lifeboat left for home, Longhope Pier being reached at 2 p.m.

This is the first real trial the crew have had of the lifeboat, and she fully came up to their expectations, the engine running all the time without a hitch.

1928 February 1 Orkney Herald



A serious accident occurred at Scapa banks, near the distillery, on Monday evening, through which a schoolboy named Hugh Marwick, only son of Dr [Hugh] Marwick, headmaster of Kirkwall Burgh School, sustained a fracture of the base of the skull, from the effects of which he died yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon.

It appears that the boy had cycled to Scapa after school hours, and was observed by a young woman amusing himself near the edge of the cliff. She spoke to him, warning him of his danger, and passed on.

On her return, however, though she saw the boy’s bicycle standing against the dyke, he was nowhere to be seen. Fearing the worst, she looked over the cliff and saw him lying on the beach beneath. Seeing that the boy was unconscious, she hurried to Scapa Distillery, from where a doctor and St Andrews Motor Ambulance were phoned for.

The boy was afterwards carried to the house on the shore, and on the arrival of the doctor and ambulance was conveyed to Garden Memorial Hospital.

Much sympathy is felt for Dr and Mrs Marwick in their sad and sudden bereavement. The funeral, which takes place on Friday, will be a public one.

[Young Hugh was just 12 years of age when he died. His father Hugh was born at Guidal, Sourin, and was married to Jane Barritt]

1928 February 8 Orkney Herald

VEIRA – THE LATE MR DAVID INKSTER. – There passed away at Cavit, Veira, on Tuesday of last week, after a short illness, Mr David Inkster, formerly of Furse, Wasbister, Rousay. Mr Inkster was born in Rousay, and lived there until about four years ago, when he came to Cavit. He was of a kindly, retiring, and obliging disposition, and although he did not take a very active part in public affairs, he was at one time a member of School Board of Rousay and Egilshay, and of the Parish Council. He was also an office-bearer in the United Free Church of Rousay. Mr Inkster was the second son of the late Mrs [Mary] Inkster, of Cogar, who, it will be remembered, died in April last in her 91st year, and a brother of the Rev. John Inkster. D.D.. of the First Presbyterian Church, Toronto, and Councillor William Inkster. Kirkwall, who have within the past eight months lost by death no less than five other near relations. Mr Inkster was married to Isabella Sinclair, of [Stennisgorn] Rousay, by whom he is survived. They had a family of eleven, seven of whom are in this country and four in America. Much sympathy is felt for Mrs Inkster and family in their bereavement.

1928 February 15 Orkney Herald



In common with the rest of the country, the weather in Orkney last week was of a most disagreeable description, there being a succession of gales, with rain, sleet, thunder, and lightning. Following a morning with bright intervals of sunshine the wind rose on Wednesday afternoon, increasing as darkness came on, and between 2 and 3 o’clock on Thursday morning a velocity of 85 miles per hour was reached. In many parishes stacks were blown over, henhouses overturned, and in a few cases roofs were damaged but fortunately there was no shipwreck or loss of life. Two men, however, were seriously injured in cycle accidents caused by the strength of the wind. The first took place at Finstown, about 8 o’clock on Thursday morning, when a man on a push bike collided with and knocked Mr Sinclair, tailor, to the ground, who sustained a fractured skull and was removed to Balfour Hospital. The other accident was in Orphir, when a motor cyclist was thrown off his machine. He sustained a fractured nose and other bruises, and after medical attention was also conveyed to Balfour Hospital.

The mail steamer St Ola was unable to cross the Pentland Firth on Thursday, and a number of trawlers were forced to seek shelter at Kirkwall, Stromness, and Longhope. The steamer Orcadia was lying at Westray Pier when the storm broke, and her position, exposed as she was to wind and waves, was anything but a comfortable one. Fortunately the storm only reached its height some time after high water, so that the danger to her hull was considerably lessened. Captain [John] Craigie [Laro, Rousay], however, deemed it advisable to leave the pier as soon as possible. He did so at daylight, and proceeded on his usual Thursday round to Kirkwall. Arriving at Whitehall Harbour, Stronsay, he found the pier awash, with spray going over the stores. It was, therefore, impossible to go alongside, and he abandoned the attempt and made straight for Kirkwall, arriving there after a very awkward and stormy passage, taking over 2½ hours from Stronsay…..


ROUSAY – PLOUGHING MATCH. – The annual ploughing match of the Rousay Agricultural Society was held on Wednesday last in adjoining fields on the farms of Woo and Brendale, kindly granted by Messrs Inkster and Russell for the occasion. The weather in the morning was doubtful in character, but as the day advanced conditions improved, and the match was carried through in favourable circumstances. Nothing daunted by the unfavourable morning 21 competitors, including one champion, turned out to try their luck. After the heavy rain the fields were not in good condition for ploughing, but notwithstanding this the work all over was well done.

The judges were Mr Thomas Sinclair, Banks, Frotoft; Mr Thomas Gibson, Broland, Sourin, and Mr Alex. Craigie, Turbitail, Wasbister, who after a careful and painstaking manner awarded the prizes as follows: –


ORDINARY. – 1 and Highland Society’s medal, Malcolm Hourie, Innister; 2 Samuel Inkster, Woo; 3 James Craigie, jun., FaIquoy; 4 David Craigie, Nearhouse; 5 Thomas Sinclair, jun., Banks, Frotoft; 6 Albert Munro, Banks, Sourin; 7 George Craigie, Cogar; 8 Stanley Gibson, Bigland; 9 James Sabiston, Gripps; 10 George Logie, Hurtiso; 11 Hugh Grieve, Westness; 12 Thomas Marwick, Quoys; 13 Charles Flett, Glebe; 14 John Marwick, Westness; 15 George Laird, Langskaill. Youngest ploughman, George Laird; best feering, George Craigie; best finish, Malcolm Hourie; best finish on field, Robert Johnston; straightest ploughing, Malcolm Hourie; Mr Bertram’s cup for best ploughed rig on field, Malcolm Hourie; Dr Thomson’s medal for ploughman under 20 highest in the prize-list for ploughing, George Craigie.

HARNESS. – 1 and Mr John Scott’s medal, John Petrie, Trumland; 2 Hugh Grieve, 3 David Craigie, Nearhouse; 4 Samuel Inkster, 5 Charles Flett, 6 James Craigie, 7 Hugh Robertson, jun., Langskaill.

GROOMING. – 1 and Messrs Flett & Son’s medal, John Petrie, 2 David Craigie, 3 Hugh Grieve, 4 Hugh Robertson, Langskaill; 5 George Laird, 6 George Petrie, Nearhouse; 7 Samuel Inkster. Special prize for best harness in everyday use, Samuel Inkster. The medal for grooming being won for the second time by John Petrie, now becomes his own property.

During the day the ploughmen, committee, and judges were liberally supplied with refreshments, and in the evening the judges and committee were hospitably entertained to tea by Mr and Mrs Inkster, Woo.

The committee take this opportunity of thanking Messrs Inkster and Russell for the use of the fields, the judges for their care in picking the winners, to Mr Mark M. Kirkness for visiting the field and enabling the Highland and Agricultural Society’s medal to be competed for, Mr Bertram for his cup, Dr Thomson for his medal, Mr John Scott and Messrs Flett & Son’s for their medals, and also the donors of the special prizes, and all those who so liberally contributed to the funds of the society.

ROUSAY – WHIST DRIVE AND DANCE. – Under the auspices of the recently formed Rousay Recreation Club, a very successful whist drive and dance was held in the Recreation Hall on Friday evening of last week. Twenty-two couples sat down to play whist, and after sixteen hands had been played the scores were counted. Dr Thomson, chairman of the club, then called upon Miss Craigie, M.A., to hand out the prizes to the winners, who were as follows: – Ladies – 1 Miss Gibson, Hullion; 2 Miss Johnston, Breck. Gentlemen – 1 Mr G. W. Marwick, Trumland Pier; 2 Mr T. Inkster, Woo. After refreshments had been served dancing was engaged in and kept up with great zest until early morning. The singing of “Auld Lang Syne” brought a most enjoyable evening to a close. A solo by Miss Matheson and two step dances by Miss Craigie were very highly appreciated, and added not a little to the success of the evening. To the ladies for their generous contribution of home-bakes, and for supervising in the kitchen, the members of the club desire to express their thanks: also to the violinists and to all who helped to make the club’s first entertainment such success.

1928 March 7 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – LEAP YEAR BALL. – A highly successful leap year ball was held in the Rousay Recreation Hall on Friday evening, 2nd March. The hall was brightly and artistically decorated for the pleasant occasion, and the colourful effect thus produced added gaiety and brilliance to the scene, which was one of carefree merriment and unflagging enthusiasm from start to finish. One was forcibly reminded of Byron’s line, “No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet,” for dancing was commenced at 8 p.m., and continued with great zest and enjoyment until 2.30 a.m. A sumptuous tea and supper, consisting largely of much appreciated homebakes, were served by an able committee of young ladies, and fruit also was served at intervals during the evening. The duties of M.C. were efficiently carried out by Mrs Grieve, Miss Mathieson, Miss Craigie, and Miss Stout. The success of the evening was in no small measure due to the generous and untiring efforts of the fiddlers, too numerous to mention, who supplied music throughout, and to them, along with the ladies who so kindly assisted in making the tea, a vote of thanks was warmly accorded. Thereafter three cheers were called for and heartily given by the gentlemen, to the ladies for organising such an enjoyable ball, and the singing of “Auld Lang Syne” brought a very happy evening to a close.

1928 March 21 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – CONCERT. – A children’s Concert was held in Frotoft School on Friday, 9th March, when Mr [John] Logie, Rose Cottage, presided over a very large audience with his accustomed ease and ability. Violin and pianoforte selections, given by Messrs James Johnston, Robert Johnston and Harry Logie, formed a pleasing and much appreciated interlude. At the close of the programme Mr Logie called for votes of thanks to the performers and all helpers, while a vote of thanks was accorded the chairman on the call of Mr [David] Gibson, Hullion. After tea the schoolroom was cleared and dancing engaged in for a few hours. Annexed is the programme: –

Opening chorus, scholars; chairman’s remarks; song, “In Praise of Islay,” scholars. Recitation, “The King’s Breakfast,” Lily Sinclair and Lilla Yorston; duet and chorus, “The animals went in two by two,” James Marwick, James Yorston and scholars; dance, “Dance Espagnole,” Mary Yorston, Lily Sinclair and Lilla Yorston; recitation, “The Market Square,” Maisie Mainland; solo and chorus, “Shenandoah,” Hugh Marwick and scholars; duet, “I have ten tiny fingers,” Anna and Hugh Yorston; dance, “In a Monastery Garden,” Lily Sinclair, Maisie Mainland and Evelyn Pirie; solo “Rolling down to Rio,” James Marwick; recitation, “At the Zoo,” John Gibson; song, “Dicky Bird Hop,” senior boys; solo and chorus, “The Peat-fire flame,” Mary Yorston and scholars; dance, “French Tango,” Lily Sinclair and John Gibson; chorus, “Ye Highlands and ye Lowlands,” scholars; recitation, “If I were King,” John Yorston; song, “Dream Angus,” scholars; recitation, “Boys’ Rights,” James Marwick; solo and chorus, “The wonderful fan,” Lilla Yorston and scholars; dance, “Highland Fling,” James Marwick, Hugh Marwick, and James Yorston; violin and pianoforte selections, Messrs J. Johnston, R. Johnston, and H. Logie; play, “A Peep into Fairyland,” (artistes – Caroline Gorn, Molly Gorn, Lily Sinclair, Lilla Yorston, Maisie Mainland, Evelyn Pirie, Hugh Marwick, James Gorn, Fred Craigie); “Goodnight,” scholars.

1928 April 11 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – SERVICE OF PRAISE. – In order to improve the music of Sourin Church about a dozen of its members and friends have been practising every fortnight since January with marked success; and they agreed to end their labours for the present, before seeding time began, by holding a service of praise in the church. This took place on Sunday, April 1st., with good weather conditions, and was attended by a large and appreciative audience from the different districts. As much work had been spent in the way of preparation, the programme fulfilled the expectations of those who came to hear it, and this church has set up for itself a new standard of musical efficiency which in its future efforts it will seek to surpass. As the meeting was also held to further community singing, part of the programme was allotted to the congregation present, and their hearty rendering of it was good to hear. Also a junior choir recently formed from Sourin Sunday-school found a place for itself in the list, and helped by its good music and alto singing to make the service a success. A collection of £4 2s 4d was given for the repairs of the church. Those who took part in the solos and duets were: – Mrs Russell and Mrs Lyon, Misses Matheson., I. Craigie, and Waterston; Messrs R. Grieve, J. W. Grieve, H. Gibson, and Rev. D. S. Brown, who also conducted. Miss Waterston was organist. One could not help thinking, after it was over, that services of this type should be held oftener, especially in rural districts. They would hasten the Union of Churches, as singers are un-denominational, and would help the church to regain its proper hold of the people.

1928 May 9 Orkney Herald




Within a few days of the 60th anniversary of the arrival of the s.s. Orcadia at Kirkwall to displace the earlier steamer of that name, the Orcadia was herself superseded on Thursday by the arrival of the new steamer Earl Thorfinn, built for the North isles Trade by Messrs Hall, Russell & Co., Aberdeen. Under the command of Captain John Craigie, and manned by the crew of the Orcadia, this fine vessel left Aberdeen at 6.25 on Wednesday evening.

ARRIVAL AT INGANESS BAY. – The Earl Thorfinn, after a smart run north, anchored in Inganess Bay the following morning, having averaged 11 knots all the way, and that with the tide longer against her than with her.

There everything was put in ship-shape order and bunting hoisted on all signal halyards. The anchor was then weighed, and the vessel proceeded to Kirkwall, where, as pre-arranged, she was due at 10.30. When the Earl Thorfinn was opposite Hellyar Holm Lighthouse the keepers signalled a welcome, to which Capt. Craigie responded by a blast on the steam whistle. The lightkeepers also dipped their flag and Captain Craigie responded.

ENTHUSIASTIC WELCOME AT KIRKWALL. – By this time all roads in Kirkwall led to the harbour, where a vast crowd of people gathered to watch the new vessel steam up the bay. Flags were flying, both on ships and buildings, and a general air of expectancy prevailed. As the vessel drew near photographers were busy with their cameras, while expressions of admiration of her graceful appearance were heard on all sides. Cheers were raised as the vessel glided alongside the quay, and these were acknowledged by Mr Donald Bertram, manager of the company, who was on board.

INSPECTION BY DIRECTORS. – After the vessel had berthed, the directors went on board, and on being shown over the vessel by Mr Bertram and Captain Craigie, they were more than satisfied with everything they saw. Half an hour later the vessel was thrown open to visitors, a privilege which some hundreds of people took advantage a during the day.

DESCRIPTION OF VESSEL. THE DECKS. – The Earl Thorfinn is modelled on beautiful lines, and is finely fitted for the trade for which she has been built. Her registered tonnage is 130, and she is 150 feet in length, and 27 feet wide, giving ample accommodation for passengers, cargo, and live stock. Her main deck is flush from stem to stern, and her fore deck and boat deck, which are connected by a gangway over the well deck, are on the same level. Extending from the bridge to the stern, the latter gives one the impression of the deck of a Clyde or Thames excursion steamer, there being ample seating accommodation, as well as room to promenade. On this deck are the wheelhouse, with steam steering gear, and the captain’s cabin. The former is a roomy compartment, containing the compass and pigeon holes for signal flags, as well as a special tell-tale gear for indicating whether or not the ship’s navigation lights are lit, also engine-room telegraph and speaking tube.

The latter is a handsome apartment fitted up with sleeping berth, chest of drawers, washstand, mirror, and wardrobe. Above the wheelhouse there is an upper navigation bridge with engine-room telegraph, writing-desk and chart table combined, and steam steering wheel.

PASSENGER ACCOMMODATION. – Descending to the main deck, one enters the smoke-room, a large, handsomely-upholstered compartment with curtained windows at either side and patent ventilators. A companionway leads down to the saloon, a roomy compartment with a cheerful aspect of comfort and completeness, and carpeted with cork linoleum.

The ladies cabin, in a corner of the saloon on the starboard side, and containing a table, has also a neat, comfortable appearance. The steward’s pantry is most conveniently situated at the after end of the saloon, while his galley, in contrast to that on the Orcadia, is also in close proximity to the cabin. Lavatories, containing porcelain hand basins, and fitted with hot and cold water, are most conveniently placed near the ladies’ cabin, as well as near the saloon. The officers’ quarters, containing rooms for the chief engineer, mate, and steward, are entered from the main deck at the stern.

The second-class passengers are accommodated in the steerage, between decks forward, and here the accommodation is a great advance on that of the Orcadia, being light and airy, while there is a small cabin for ladies on the port side containing lavatory, mirror, etc.

CREW’S QUARTERS. – The crews’ quarters, containing seven sleeping berths, are under the main deck, and these, too, are a great improvement on those of the Orcadia.

CARGO AND CATTLE SPACE. – There are two large holds forward of the stockhold for the stowage of goods, and a winch and a derrick capable of lifting five tons, as well as a working derrick for two tons. There are three horse boxes under the bridge, with canvas shelter. The cattle are accommodated under the boat deck, at either side of the boiler casing, and here also are canvas shelters. But the most noticeable improvement is the passage along their heads – a passage which not only enables passengers and crew to pass that way, but will be most useful should cattle require to be seen to, watered or fed. The fore hold is also fitted up for the conveyance of cattle.

THE ENGINEROOM. – The Earl Thorfinn is propelled by a triple expansion engine of 666 horse power at 135 revolutions per minute, steam being supplied at 180 lbs. per square inch by a marine boiler with three furnaces. On her trial trip she averaged 11 knots, a speed which was easily maintained on the passage from Aberdeen to Kirkwall. It is also worthy of note that not once on the trip did the fires require cleaning, while the engine bearings have not had a drop of water on them since the engine was erected.

We understand that the steamer, which is lighted by electricity, is a fine sea boat, and is in all respects a credit to designer, builders, and to the Orkney Steam Navigation Company.

CAPTAIN CRAIGIE. – Born at [Laro, Frotoft] Rousay in 1866, Captain John Craigie joined the steamer Lizzie Burroughs as A.B. in 1884, and sailed in that capacity and as mate till April 1892, when he transferred to the s.s. Fawn when that steamer replaced the s.s. Lizzie Burroughs on the Rousay, Egilshay and Viera route. In the autumn of 1892 he passed for mate in the home trade, and from then he acted as captain of the s.s. Fawn. In 1894 he passed for captain, and on the retiral of the late Captain John Robertson he was transferred to the s.s. Orcadia.

Captain Craigie has just recovered from a serious illness, his first duty on his return being to bring north the new steamer Earl Thorfinn. A skilful and cautious navigator, Captain Craigie well merits the confidence of the travelling public, whose good wishes follow him to his new post as captain of the s.s. Earl Thorfinn.

1928 May 23 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – FORTHCOMING BAZAAR. – With a view to raising funds to provide pianos for Wasbister and Sourin Schools a bazaar is being organised, to be held in Sourin about the end of August. It is earnestly hoped that this endeavour will be supported by all who are interested in the island. Contributions in money or kind will be gratefully received by the following ladies: – Mrs Kirkness, Quoyostray; Miss Inkster, Cogar; Mrs Sinclair, jr., Sketquoy; Miss Mathieson, Schoolhouse, Wasbister; Mrs Brown. The Manse; Miss J. Reid, Wasdale; Mrs Grieve, Digro; Mrs Corsie, The Glebe; Miss Rendall, Schoolhouse, Sourin; Mrs Inkster, Greenfield; Miss Logie, Pier Cottage; Mrs Gibson, HuIlion; Miss Sinclair. Newhouse; and Mrs W. Costie, 12 Main Street, Kirkwall.

1928 June 20 Orkney Herald

ANTIQUARIAN DISCOVERY IN ROUSAY. – At the beginning of last week the excavation was begun on the structure traditionally known as the “Work,” situated close to the old kirk and the derelict house of Skaill. The operations have already disclosed the ground floor of a square tower, with walls from 7 to 8 feet thick enclosing a small chamber. From one corner of this chamber an underground passage has been traced, running beneath the east side wall and passing into the field above. The entrance to the tower was on the first floor, and in clearing the accumulation of debris before this, a block of red freestone was discovered bearing the arms, initials, and mitre of Bishop Adam Bothwell, together with fragments of what had apparently been a red freestone doorway. The arms presumably had been over this. The stone can be dated with certainty as between 1560 and 1568, but the “fortalice” is mentioned in a charter four years before, and the stone and doorway were evidently inserted in a much older building. The original date cannot yet be determined, but it is hoped that by the time the excavations are completed further light may he thrown on that point. One or two other interesting features have already been partially disclosed, and the whole find will throw light on a hitherto obscure period of Orkney’s history.

1928 July 4 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – FROTOFT U.F. SABBATH SCHOOL. – A service of praise was held by the children of Frotoft Sabbath-school on Sabbath, June 24th, at 6 p.m. Mr John Logie presided, and the Rev. D. S. Brown addressed the school on the place which children should fill in the music of the church. Mrs Brown, The Manse, presented prizes for attendance to Sarah Smith, Annie Reid, Maisie Mainland, Lily Sinclair, Lilla Yorston, and also to James Marwick, John Gibson, and Hugh Marwick. The other members of the school also received gifts of books. The service of praise was carried out by the children in a pleasing and tuneful way under the leadership of Mr D. Mackay, and Miss Mainland, Cott, presided at the piano. This Sabbath-school has been in existence for about five years, and has prospered with Mr James Low as superintendent. It meets fortnightly, and Mr Low is at present organising another Sabbath-school in Wasbister to meet on the alternate Sabbaths.

1928 July 11 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PRESENTATION TO ROUSAY DOCTOR. – On the evening of Wednesday, June 27th, a very Interesting event took place in Rousay Recreation Hall, when Dr Thomson was presented with a beautiful Jacobean oak sideboard, armchair, and four dining-room chairs by the inhabitants of Rousay, Egilshay, and Weir, on the occasion of his leaving the island to take up a new appointment.

A choir, under the able leadership of Mr Johnston, Trumland, had got up a splendid programme, which kept the audience interested and amused for nearly two hours.

Mr Gibson, Hullion, occupied the chair, and during the interval in the programme made a few well chosen remarks regarding the object of the meeting. He said that Dr Thomson, by his kindly manner and medical ability, had endeared himself to everybody in the three islands. They were all very sorry he was leaving. When it became known he had accepted the appointment at South Ronaldshay, it was resolved that they should, in some tangible form, show their appreciation of the interest that he had taken in everything that was for the benefit or welfare of the people. By his skill, tact, and homely manner he had won the trust and confidence of all those who required his medical aid. He took a great interest in the social life of the parish. He was specially interested in the young people. Being an ex-Serviceman, he was associated with the Rousay branch of the British Legion, and was the means of organising a concert to aid them to clear the debt on their hall. He started a recreation club for the youth of the place, took a keen interest in the football club, of which he was vice-president for three years, being also an enthusiastic player. The sailing club was also supported by him as vice-commodore.

Mr Gibson then called on Mrs Grant, Trumland House, (who, along with Mr Grant, had associated herself with the presentation), to ask Dr Thomson to accept the sideboard and chairs from the inhabitants of Rousay, Egilshay, and Wier, as a token of their esteem and appreciation of the interest he had taken in the welfare of the community during his residence in the parish.

Mrs Grant, in a charming manner, asked Dr Thomson to accept the gifts, after which she read the inscription on the sideboard.

Dr Thomson feelingly replied. He said Mr Gibson had said too many nice things about him, but he appreciated their very great kindness in presenting him with such a handsome gift. He was very fond of the place and the people, and if he had been an older man he would have liked to settle down here. But he didn’t have enough to do, and was leaving for a larger sphere of usefulness. During his three and a-half years’ stay he had visited almost every house in the three islands, and had met with kindness everywhere. He was leaving for one reason only – it was too small a practice for a young man.

After the programme had been brought to a close, the Chairman proposed a very hearty vote of thanks to Mrs Grant for making the presentation, and to Mr Johnston for organising and taking such an active part in the whole proceedings. Mr Kirkness proposed votes of thanks to Miss Sinclair, teacher, for so ably acting as accompanist; to Mrs Corsie, Glebe, for the use of her piano, and to Mrs Craigie, Cruar, and Mrs Corsie for attending to the commissariat department.

Mr Johnston, Trumland, proposed a vote of thanks to the chairman.

“God Save the King” was then sung by the whole company (which numbered almost two hundred), after which a sumptuous tea was served.

When the hall was cleared dancing was engaged in for a few hours. Annexed is the programme: –

Chairman’s remarks; chorus, “Will ye no come back again?” choir; solo, “The Mountains of Mourne,” Mr H. Sinclair; song, “Danny Boy,” Mrs J. Grieve; duet, “The keys of heaven,” Miss Matheson and Mr R. Johnston; reading, Mr Hugh Sinclair; solo, “Little brown jug,” Mr J. Grieve; sword dance, Miss Craigie; solo, “Little Demoiselle,” Miss Matheson; sketch, “Cousin Kirsten, Matchmaker,” Misses Gibson and Mainland, Messrs Craigie, Johnston, and Petrie; presentation; solo, “The Lea Rig,” Miss Lily Low; trio, “Willie brewed a peck o’ maut,” Messrs W. Gibson. R. Johnston, and J. Craigie; duet, “I’se going back to Dixie,” Messrs W. Gibson and J. Craigie; solo, “Turned up,” Mr R. Johnston; sketch, “Tanks,” Mrs Grieve and Miss Craigie, Messrs Grieve and Petrie; “God Save the King.”

1928 July 18 Orkney Herald

MOTOR CYCLE ACCIDENT. – A somewhat serious motor cycle accident occurred on the Stromness Road near Finstown on Wednesday afternoon. Mr Robert Mainland, Rousay, who had crossed Eynhallow Sound by boat, was proceeding to Kirkwall on his motor cycle for medicine for one of his horses, and when opposite the road leading to Rossmyre, he collided with a dog which had run across his path. He was thrown violently into the roadway, and sustained several cuts about his head and rendered unconscious. Fortunately, some roadmen were in the vicinity, and they went to his assistance. A passing motor brought word to Kirkwall for the motor ambulance, and Mr Mainland was shortly afterwards removed to the Garden Memorial Hospital. On inquiry on Monday we learned that he was progressing satisfactorily.

ROUSAY – SAILING CLUB. – The annual meeting of the Rousay Sailing Club was held at Trumland Pier on the evening of Wednesday, the 4th inst. There was a good attendance of members present. The financial report was submitted by the treasurer, showing the funds of the club to be in a healthy position. The following office-bearers were appointed for the ensuing year: – Commodore, Mr Walter G. Grant, Trumland House; vice-com., Mr John Logie, Rose Cottage; secretary, Mr Robert Johnston, Trumland; treasurer, Mr Charles Logie, jr., Ivy Cottage, along with the existing committee. The annual regatta was fixed for Wednesday, 1st August, and this year the committee have decided to give a cup in each of the sailing races, to become the property of the winner. They are also giving a challenge cup for the all-comers’ race, which must be won three times, not necessarily in succession, before becoming the property of the winner. It was also decided to have a single men’s sculling race this year in addition to the ordinary rowing race. The committee will, as usual, open a tea room at the pier for the convenience of visitors. All the races are open to anyone wishing to take part, and the committee trust a good number of boats will turn up to compete for the handsome prizes offered.

1928 August 8 Orkney Herald

FORTHCOMING PRESENTATION TO CAPT. JOHN CRAIGIE. – An interesting function is to take place on the deck of the s.s. Earl Thorfinn at Kirkwall Pier on Saturday afternoon, when, shortly before the vessel’s departure for the North Isles at 6 o’clock, her captain is to be made the recipient of a valuable gold watch and chain and a wallet of Treasury notes, as a mark of the esteem in which he is held by the members of the general public. The presentation is to be made by Mr William MacLennan, convener of the county.

ROUSAY REGATTA. – The annual regatta of the Rousay Sailing Club took place in Veira Sound on Wednesday, 1st August. The day proved rather calm for an ideal regatta day. However, 19 competitors came forward to contest the several races. The course was the usual triangular one, being from a mark buoy off Trumland Pier, round a mark buoy off Point of Avelshay, thence Point of Viera, and back to Trumland Pier.

This year the club presented three cups for competition in the several sailing races, which cups became the property of the winners, while for the all-comers’ race a challenge cup, to be won three times, was also given. There were three special money prizes to boats under 14 ft. entering for the all-comers’ race. In addition to the usual rowing races, there was a single sculling race for the men, for which there were three entries. The motor race was also keenly contested, the rules being to steam out at full speed, and return home “slow.”

The first race to start was for boats 14 ft. and under, for which there were 10 entries – namely: Annie, Lily, Daisy, lvy, Mary, Tammy Norrie, Rose, Mary Annie, Surprise, and Ina. All the boats made a good start on the gun being fired, and had a fine appearance on the run down to Avelshay mark boat. On re-appearing on the run to Point of Veira, it was noticed several changes had taken place in their positions, and their finish at Trumland Pier was as follows: –

Annie – J. Craigie, Cruar (Cup) 0h 54m 53s
Surprise – T. Sinclair, Banks 0h 59m 1s
Ina – James Cooper, Egilshay 0h 59m 5s
Daisy – D. J. Logie, Ivy Cottage 1h 1m 22s
Ivy – George Harrold, The Hall 1h 1m 34s
Mary Annie – Sam Mainland, Evie 1h 3m 53s
Tammy Norrie – Hugh Mainland, Hurtiso 1h 12m 49s
Mary – J. Leonard. Quoys 1h 17m0s
Lily and Rose Retired.

The second race was for boats 17 ft. and under, for which there were 7 entries, viz., Boat Yawl, Bull Dog, Annie, Maisie, Thora, Ceska, and Ann. All the boats, with the exception of Bull Dog and Thora, got well away on the starting gun being fired. Again in this race there were several changes of positions during the two rounds, one noticeable thing being a mis-calculation of the straight of the tide in rounding the mark boat at Trumland Pier on the second round, which materially altered the positions on the prize-list. The Boat Yawl from Eday was fortunate in getting first place, and thus carrying off the Cup. The following were the results: –

Boat Yawl – S. Grey, Eday (Cup) 1h 37m 14s
Maisie – J. Mainland, Westness 1h 37m 57s
Annie – A. Craigie, Veira 1h 41m 17s
Thora – Wm. Miller, Evie 1h 49m 5s
Ceska – D. Gibson, No 3 Frotoft 1h 58m 9s
Bull Dog – T. Isbister, Costa Retired
Ann – Neil Flaws Retired

For the 22 ft. race there were only two entries, Snowdrop and Viking. The Snowdrop this year again took the lead throughout the race, and finished an easy winner. The finish was as follows: –

Snowdrop – C. Logie, jr., Ivy Cottage 1h 18m 7½s
Viking – E. Seatter, Egilshay 1h 27m 50s

The last sailing race for the day was the all-comers’, for which there were 14 entries. The rule for this race was once round the course. The Snowdrop again took premier position, the Viking being second and Yawl Boat third. For the special prizes offered in this race for boats 14 ft. and under Surprise came in first, Tammy Norrie second, and Ivy third.

At the close of the sailing races the rowing races took place. In the ladies’ race each boat carried a steersman. The men’s rowing race was from Trumland Pier to Veira and back to Trumland Pier. The following are the results of the rowing races: –

1 Misses Cissie and Mabel Sinclair.
2 Annie Craigie and Bella Flaws.
3 Hanna Johnston and Vera Matheson.

1 E. Craigie and S. Craigie.
2 Fred Kirkness and Hugh Marwick.
3 John Gibson and G. Sinclair.

1 C. Craigie and Geo. Petrie.
2 J. Hourston and J. Mowat.
3 Stanley Gibson and Sam Inkster.

1 Alex Logie.
2 Tom Sinclair.
Retired – John Mainland.


The motor boat race was the last to take place, the winners being as follows: –

1 Harry Logie, lvy Cottage.
2 James Grieve, Westness.
3 G. W. Marwick, Merchant.
Retired – C. Logie. jr., Ivy Cottage.

The club, as usual, opened a tea room at the pier, which was well patronised and much appreciated by the visitors, Miss Cilla Logie and Miss Marjorie Gibson carrying out all the arrangements in a most efficient manner. The s.s. Orcadia made two trips to Rousay on the day of the regatta. In the forenoon she brought a large picnic party, and at 2 o’clock in the afternoon again arrived with a full complement of passengers.

After the races were over the prizes were handed to the successful competitors by Miss Logie, Rose Cottage, for which she was accorded a hearty vote of thanks. Votes of thanks were also given for the secretary and his committee and for the ladies who had so ably presided in the tea room. The committee take this opportunity of thanking all those who subscribed to their funds, or in any way helped to make the regatta a success. A most enjoyable dance was held at Trumland Farm in the evening.

1928 August 15 Orkney Herald




An interesting function took place on the deck of the s.s. Earl Thorfinn at Kirkwall Pier on Saturday afternoon, when shortly before the vessel’s departure for Sanday and Stronsay at 6 o’clock her captain was made the recipient of a handsome gold watch and chain and a wallet of Treasury notes as a mark of the esteem in which he is held by the members of the general public.

Mr John Hewison occupied the chair, and the presentation was made by Mr William MacLennan, O.B.E., convener of the county of Orkney. Amongst those present were Mrs [Elizabeth] Craigie; Col. T. Smith Peace, chairman of Orkney Steam Navigation Coy.; Mr W. L. Hutchison, of Graemsay, director; Mr John Tinch, director; Mr Donald Bertram, secretary; Mr W. Cowper Ward, Sanday; Mr John Logie, Rousay. There was a very large number of the general public on the pier as well as passengers on the steamer.

Receipt of the following telegrams was intimated: – From Rev. J. Oliver Ritchie, M.A., Paisley – ” May ye aye hae a wind in your sails.” From Mr Elmslie Henderson, nephew of the late Mr Omand of Tirlot, Westray – “Thinking of you, wish could be present.”

Mr John Hewison, in opening the proceedings said: – Ladies and Gentlemen. – As you are aware, we are met here to do honour to Capt. John Craigie, and for the purpose of giving expression to our high appreciation of the services he has rendered to the public of the North Isles. Capt. Craigie has for over 36 years ably and faithfully devoted himself to the service of the Orkney Steam Navigation Company, and has during that period commanded one or other of their steamers: and now having won the esteem and confidence alike of his employers and of the travelling public and North Isles shippers, he has been promoted from the good old Orcadia to the command of the splendid new ship, the s.s. Earl Thorfinn, a distinction of which he may well be proud, and one which you will all agree he has fully earned. (Applause.) We tender to Capt. Craigie today our heartfelt congratulations, and wish for him many years of prosperity, good health, and good luck in which to carry on the responsible and sometimes difficult work of his profession. (Applause.) The testimonial to be presented to Capt. Craigie by the convener of the county of Orkney, Mr Wm. MacLennan, O.B.E., consists of a valuable gold watch and chain and a wallet containing £44. The following islands have liberally contributed towards the fund: – Westray, Papa Westray, Eday, Sanday, Stronsay, Rousay, Egilshay and Veira. l may add that Kirkwall shippers have not been behind hand in their liberality, and representatives are here this evening to do honour to the occasion. There is much that one could say in praise of the commander of the Earl Thorfinn, but it will be better said by Mr MacLennan, to whom we are all greatly obliged for coming here this evening to make the presentation. I hope that at the close of these proceedings you will give Capt. Craigie three hearty cheers, and that you will repeat those cheers for the chairman, Col. Peace, and the directors of the Orkney Steam Company, to whom, under the efficient and courteous management of Mr Bertram, we are so greatly indebted. I have now much pleasure in requesting Mr MacLennan very kindly to make the presentation to Capt. Craigie. (Applause.)

Addressing Captain Craigie, Mr MacLennan said: – It is indeed to me a most pleasing task to be on this occasion entrusted to be the spokesman of a very large number of people from the North Isles and Kirkwall, who desire to show their esteem and appreciation of you as a man and a mariner. For upwards of 40 years you have been associated with the steamer services to the North Isles of Orkney – in your younger days on the Lizzie Burroughs, and afterwards succeeding in command of the Fawn and the Orcadia, and now of this handsome and elegantly-fitted ship, the Earl Thorfinn, to the command of which we heartily congratulate you and also the company for owning such a vessel. (Applause.) During all these years a great number of people have travelled under your care and responsibility – myself very frequently amongst the number during the last 30 years. I can therefore speak with full knowledge of how much my fellow passengers at all times appreciated your uniform courtesy and consideration for their comfort and safety on all occasions: and whether in storm or in fog, they had always complete confidence in your careful foresight and skilful navigation. Or again in fine weather, you were always accessible for historic and interesting description of the beautiful North Isles, as well as for pleasant and informative conversation to while away the time between ports. Furthermore, you proved yourself at all times most accommodating to shippers of goods and live stock, and invariably did everything possible for their convenience when at all possible. It may be said that one of the chief consolations in life is for a man to know that in the execution of his duty he has earned the appreciation and goodwill of his fellow men and women, and am sure I am expressing the feeling of all present when I say that you have done this to an eminent degree, which is tangibly vouched for by the presentation I am about to make you. (Applause.) To mark this appreciation of your services and the esteem in which you are held by the general public, I have therefore now, in name of the numerous subscribers, the very great pleasure of asking your acceptance of this magnificent gold watch, along with a substantial wallet of notes, and to express the hope and wish that you may be long spared in health and strength to continue to navigate this beautiful ship, the Earl Thorfinn, to and from the North Isles for many years to come, and that when you look at this watch, as you will frequently have to do in navigating from point to point, it may remind you of the many friends in the North Isles and Kirkwall who wish you well and every success in the future. (Applause.)

In reply, Capt. Craigie said: – Mr MacLennan, ladies and gentlemen and friends, – My heart is too full to express in words my thanks to you for these beautiful and useful presents. It is useless to attempt to say how glad I am to know that my humble services have been appreciated in the North Isles and in Kirkwall. It has given me a fresh incentive to carry on what has been my lifework. l tender to you my sincerest thanks from the depths of my very heart. (Applause.)

Colonel T. Smith Peace said it had given him much pleasure to be present and to see Capt. Craigie receive this mark of appreciation from the general public of the North Isles and of Kirkwall. It was an honour well earned, and well deserved. Capt. Craigie was the most careful and most efficient shipmaster he ever knew, and under his command passengers had no cause for fear. He remembered some excitement in the Harbour Office many years ago. The weather was bad, the Fawn, Capt. Craigie’s old boat, was engaged on some nasty work, and those in the Harbour Office were wishing she were back. Captain George Robertson came in, and said “Don’t be afraid of the Fawn. There’s no fear of her with Craigie aboard.” (Applause.) He hoped that Capt. Craigie would long be spared to navigate the s.s. Earl Thorfinn. ( Applause.)

Mr John Logie, Rousay, and Mr W. Cowper Ward, Sanday, also spoke eulogistically of Capt. Craigie both as a man and as a mariner.

Mr Cowper Ward proposed a vote of thanks to Mr MacLennan for making the presentation, which was enthusiastically accorded, and Mr D. Bertram called for a like compliment to the chairman. Cheers were then given for Capt. Craigie on the call of Mr John Logie, and the proceedings terminated with a further three cheers for the Orkney Steam Navigation Company on the call of Mr Cowper Ward.

1928 September 12 Orkney Herald


Now we bid adieu to summer
With her green and fairy leaves
And we forward look to autumn
With her full and ripening sheaves

Harvest fields are round us waving
With their wealth of golden grain
Joyous sight unto the labourer
After all his toil and strain

Yet again we sigh for summer
With her sweet and fragrant flowers
Bright blue sky and snowy cloudlets
Swiftly sped those golden hours

Harvest work will soon be calling
Forth to labour we will roam
Pile the sheaves within the stackyards
Then the joy of harvest home

C. S.   August 1928



GOOD NEWS. – Midges object to FLYPIC.
Buy a bottle to-day and enjoy your outdoor
recreation. 2/- and 1/-, with sprayer.
J. Wilson & Son, King Street, Kirkwall.

1928 September 19 Orkney Herald




Wednesday last was a gala day in Rousay. The occasion was a bazaar held in the Recreation Hall, Sourin, and sports in the field adjoining for the purpose of raising funds to provide for pianos for Sourin and Wasbister Schools. There was a very large attendance of islanders, and their numbers were augmented by over 200 from Kirkwall, who took advantage of the free passage by the s.s. Orcadia offered them by the promoters of the sale. The hall was tastefully decorated, and the stalls groaned with an assortment of goods too numerous to mention. The tea-room, needless to say, was crowded all afternoon.

OPENING CEREMONY. – Mr Mark Kirkness, member of the Education Authority, presided at the opening ceremony. The purpose of the bazaar, he said, was to raise funds to provide pianos for each of the Sourin and Wasbister Schools. A few years ago Mrs Walter Grant very kindly presented a piano to the School Management Committee for use in Frotoft School. This instrument had proved so beneficial for school work and so useful at social gatherings that the other two districts determined to raise funds for pianos for their schools as well. Various means of doing so were thought of, but it was eventually decided that a bazaar would be the quickest way to raise the necessary money, and, judging by the amount of work and goods displayed on the various stalls that day, their object should be well within reach. In name of the School Management Committee he thanked all those who had contributed so handsomely. Mr and Mrs Grant very kindly arranged with the Orkney Steam Navigation Co. to run the steamer Orcadia to accommodate intending visitors from Kirkwall. That was a big item in itself – an item for which Mr and Mrs Grant deserved their best thanks. (Applause.) Mr and the Misses Robertson, Trumland, had also all along taken a big interest in the bazaar, and were to superintend the sports that afternoon. Lady Hamilton, Mrs Low, Westness, and Dr Thomson had also contributed very handsomely to the sale. They had with them that day Dr Hugh Marwick, a native of Rousay who had risen to a high position in the educational world. He was also noted for his research in the survival of Norse words and placenames in Orkney. Dr Marwick had kindly consented to open the bazaar, and he had much pleasure in asking him to do so. (Applause.)

PRIDE IN BEING A ROUSAY-MAN. – Dr Marwick, who received a most cordial welcome, said: – Ladies and gentlemen, first and foremost let me set your minds and my own at rest! I am not going to make a speech. My wife assures me I couldn’t if I tried, so you need be under no apprehension. Had I been asked a week or two ago if I could open a bazaar I might perhaps have answered as the Scotsman did when he was asked if he could play the fiddle: “I dinna ken,” said the cautious fellow, “I’ve never tried.” Today, however, I know better, and should promptly reply with a decisive and emphatic “No.”

Why then, you ask, should I come here at all. Well, that is what I must try to explain. In the first place, I was asked to come by one of your teachers here, an exceedingly persuasive person and one of my old pupils for whom I have the very highest esteem. I was naturally highly flattered by the request, and when she said she would be very disappointed if I did not come I felt it very difficult to refuse.

“THE BONNIEST ISLAND.” – But in spite of the honour of the invitation, and in spite even of Miss [Isabella] Craigie’s persuasive words, I might not have consented had it not been for a reason still more impelling. This is a bazaar which has been organised by Rousay folk for the benefit of Rousay boys and girls – and perhaps, for all I know, for some who are no longer boys and girls. Most of the articles you see around for sale are of Rousay production, and as far as possible every Rousay man and woman and child has been roped in to assist. What more natural than that I should be expected to do my share? Though I no longer have the privilege of living in Rousay, I am proud to think I am Rousay born and bred [at Guidal]. And that, believe me, is no mean honour. He is a poor creature who is not proud of his native place – though few have the privilege of boasting such a birthplace as Rousay. (Applause.) Only a few days ago I was speaking to a Kirkwall friend who has lived all his life in Orkney and knows it uncommonly well. He had been in Rousay a long time ago, but had only vague memories of what it was like till he visited it again this summer. Then his eyes were unsealed. “It’s the bonniest island of the lot; there’s no doubt about it.” Such was his emphatic conclusion.

And I hardly think many would dispute his verdict. Even among Orcadians themselves, if a vote were taken each one would doubtless give his first vote for his own native district; but of the second votes I am convinced Rousay would have an overwhelming majority. And no wonder, for where else will you find in equal compass such wealth and diversity of beauty?

WONDERFUL PLACENAMES. – Orcadians, as a rule, are not remarkable for poetic talent; I least of all. But had a Walter Scott been born here instead of in Edinburgh – how he would have immortalised the hills and lochs, the burns and the flowers, the magnificent cliffs and geos of Rousay. And what wonderful names they have – many of them now, I fear, almost forgotten – Kierfea, Mansmasshill, Blotchniefield, and Knitchen! Yes, these are familiar enough to you all. But how many of the younger generation have ever heard of the Burn o’ Suso – the largest burn in the North Isles, and the second longest, I suppose, in Orkney. And how many of you remember the Hass o’ Ither Hellyie, or Kirsty Paavie’s Pow, or Handimidkathy, or Watnasker, or Steenivestifal, or the Hass o’ Gousdie or the Well o’ Cannamesurdy? Fine mouth-filling designations every one – but all of them on the verge of oblivion. I want to impress on every one of you as strongly as I am able the need of preserving these old names. They should be regarded as a sort of island heritage handed down from unknown ancestors – heirlooms, as it were, of which we are the trustees for future generations.

But, you remind me, I promised not to make a speech. Well, neither I am; I am only explaining why I am here to-day. It was a sense of what I owe to Rousay that obliged me, so much against my desire – to officiate here to-day – to do what little I can in furtherance of any project for the welfare of the island.

ROUSAY DETRACTORS. – Of course Rousay has had its detractors. In the course of some digging among old papers in the Sheriff Court Record Room at Kirkwall I happened to come across a very scurrilous description of Rousay men. I think I have seen descendants of some of them in this gathering, so I had better not mention names. But it appears a certain Sourin man had the courage to take a second wife – from another island. As not infrequently happens, she did not get on too well with her stepchildren – or even, I am sorry to say, with her husband. The eldest stepson had taken the next farm, and somehow or other his stepmother believed he had been helping himself without permission to her property and that of his father. She had been so ill-advised as to mention the fact outside – as women will – (laughter) – and to call her stepson a thief.  The stepson thereupon sued her for libel. In her defence before the Sheriff she reveals a very unhappy lot, for “her husband, she is sorry to say, is “one of the roughest and most boisterous as well as stoutest carles in the island of Rousay, where your Lordship knows there are many pretty rugged gentlemen.” But that was in 1807. A long time ago. And besides, you will note she was not a Rousay woman – and hence prejudiced.

I think I need say no more. I haven’t made a speech, but I hope I have explained sufficiently why I came here today, and I have now much pleasure in declaring the bazaar open. Ladies and gentlemen, open your pockets also and make this bazaar the success it so well deserves to be. (Applause.)

Mr A. C. Gibson, Bigland, called for votes of thanks to Dr Marwick for opening the sale and to Mr Kirkness for acting as chairman.

COMMITTEE, STALLHOLDERS AND ASSISTANTS. – These were heartily accorded, and the sale, then commenced. Miss Craigie, Sourin School, acted as bazaar secretary, and the members of committee were Mrs Kirkness, Quoyostray; Mrs Corsie, Glebe; Miss Mathieson, Wasbister School; Miss Sinclair, Sketquoy; and Miss Rendall, Sourin School. The stallholders, each of whom had numerous assistants, were: – Cake and Candy – Mrs Gibson, Hullion. Dairy Produce – Miss Reid, Wasdale. Fancy Goods – Mrs Corsie. Children’s Stall – Mrs Grieve, Digro. Parcels Stall – Miss Mathieson. Flowers and Vegetables – Miss Logie, Pier Cottage. Plain Goods – Mrs Kirkness. Hardware – Mrs Sinclair. The Misses Robertson were in charge of the cocoanut shies, and Messrs R. W. Marwick, Scockness, and Sam Inkster, Wasdale, of the shooting stall: Mr Hugh Sinclair, Vacquoy. supervised the candle-lighting competition; and Mr Charles Logie, Trumland Pier, the nail-driving. Mr Robert Johnston and others assisted with other novelties.

The sports were held under the supervision of the Misses Robertson, Trumland House; Mr T. H. Bowhill (who skated for Great Britain in the Olympic games this year); Mr A. J. Stevenson (international cricketer, who plays for Scotland); and Mr Neil Robertson, who acted as starter. Mr Robert Johnston, Trumland Farm, also assisted. The prizes were given by Mr James Robertson, Trumland House.

THE SPORTS. – The events were keenly contested, and the teams for the tugs-of-war and relay races were very evenly matched. The following were the winners: – Tug-of-War – Wasbister married men beat Sourin married men. Girls’ Sack Race – 1 Mary Mainland, 2 Margaret Lyon. Boys’ Sack Race – 1 Armit Sinclair, 2 James Wylie. Girls’ Potato Race – 1 Margaret Laird, 2 Mary Yorston. Boys’ Potato Race – 1 Spencer Dexter, 2 Armit Sinclair. lnter-district relay race, for which eight teams entered – Final – 1 Kirkwall (J. Wallace., Andrew Work, A. Buchanan, and S. Horne). 2 Westness, 3 Sourin, 4 Trumland. Three-legged Race – 1 Armit Sinclair and Spencer Dexter, 2 John Wylie and James Gorn. Open Tug-of-War – Frotoft beat Sourin, and Wasbister beat Frotoft. The winning team were – J. Craigie, J. Clouston, A. Donaldson, M. Hourie, J. Marwick, H. Marwick, H. Sinclair, and R. Sinclair.

Guessing Competitions – Winner of Cake, Mrs Russell, Brendale; winner of doll, Miss Monica Bogue. Kirkwall; winner of bottle of sweets, Mr R. Sinclair, Sketquoy; winner of lamb, Mr M. Kirkness, Quoyostray. Winner of Lamb in Raffle, Mr Robert Logie, Myres. Nail Driving Competition – Ladies – Miss J. Marwick, Kirkwall; gentlemen – Mr S. Inkster, Wasdale. Candle Lighting Competition – Ladies – Miss E. Gibson, Avelshay; gentlemen – Mr A. Craigie, Turbitail. Shooting Competition – 1 Mr K. Alexander, Egilshay: and Mr J. Mainland, Egilshay; 3 Mr P. Swanney, Egilshay.

Rain fell towards the close of the sports, but the programme was carried through in its entirety. The day finished up with a dance in the Recreation Hall.

The piano fund now stands at £119 10s. In addition to proceeds of sale, contributions were received from Canada, Australia, and Unst, Shetland.

The Committee which organised the bazaar wish to tender their sincere thanks to all who in any way, by gift, purchase, or otherwise, helped to make their undertaking a success.

1928 September 26 Orkney Herald



Intimation reached Kirkwall on Monday morning that a North Faroe smack had gone ashore on Kili Holm the previous night at 10.30 whilst passing through the Westray Firth, and that her skipper had landed at Rousay to wire his owners.

The s.s. Orcadia proceeded to the wreck on Monday afternoon to render assistance. The vessel, which proved to be the motor-auxiliary smack Vesthavet, of North Faroe, bound from Trangesvaag to Grimsby with nearly 200 tons of dried fish, was found to be lying full of water on the reef between Kili Holm and Egilshay.

She was in a very exposed and dangerous position, but her skipper declined the assistance of the Orcadia, saying that if the vessel were towed off he was afraid she would sink in deep water.

The crew of seven were still aboard when the Orcadia left for Kirkwall, but had landed all their belongings at Egilshay. It was their intention to stick by their vessel. The Vesthavet, which is a vessel of 76 tons register, is presumed not to be insured.

1928 October 3 Orkney Herald

FAROE SMACK ON KILI HOLM LIKELY TO BECOME A TOTAL WRECK. – All hope of salving the North Faroe motor-auxiliary smack Vesthavet, which went ashore on Kili Holm on Sunday night, 22nd September, has practically been given up. The vessel is now lying in a very bad position, her keel and garboard strake* having broken away. During the week the s.s. Orcadia made several trips to the wreck, and succeeded in salving over 20 tons of fish. The crew of six left the ship on Tuesday, and, with the exception of the captain, sailed from Kirkwall for the south by the s.s. St Ninian on Friday afternoon. During their stay in Kirkwall the crew were looked after by Capt. Cooper, agent for the Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners’ Society, and provided with warm clothing.

[*Garboard strake: the first range of planks or plates laid on a ship’s bottom next to the keel.]

1928 October 24 Orkney Herald

SALE OF WRECK. – The wrecked motor fishing vessel Vesthavet of North Faroe was exposed for sale at Egilshay on Tuesday of last week. The vessel was sold as she lay stranded on Kili Holm in one lot, with all the gear, appliances, and materials then on board, including a 90 h.p. “Bellendu” crude oil motor engine. The purchaser was Mr George Robertson, Kirbist, Egilshay, and the purchase price was £26. Mr T. Smith Peace was the auctioneer.

1928 November 14 Orkney Herald

SCAPA FLOW SALVAGE. – Since the raising of the German battleship Seydlitz from the depths of Scapa Flow (writes the London correspondent of the “Scotsman“), salvage has been proceeding on another 25,000 ton ship of the German fleet, the Kaiser. Next March those in charge of the salvage operations expect to make a start on an even bigger ship, the Hindenburg, of 28,500 tons. Remarkable success has attended the efforts to raise the fleet which was scuttled so sensationally on its surrender in 1919. Although the salvage work has only been in progress four years, two battleships and twenty-six destroyers have been raised and towed into harbour. The Seydlitz, the last to be raised, now lies anchored in Gutter Sound, having been temporarily held up by the tides on her way to Lyness Pier. According to Mr E. Cox, the engineer who has been in charge of the operations, and who is now in London, she will be towed next spring to Rosyth Dockyard, where she will be broken up.

1928 November 21 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – ARMISTICE SUNDAY. – An excellent service was held on Sunday, Nov. 11, in Trumland U.F. Church in connection with the Day of Remembrance. People gathered from all parts, and a temporary choir led the hearty singing. Rev. D. S. Brown was the preacher, and a good collection was taken for the Earl Haig Fund: also the “Great Silence” was kept. The unusual address had for its title, “That God has chosen for man the way of hardness which leads to glory,” and dealing with the text (Col. 1. 24) that we are called “to fill up that which was behind of the sufferings of Christ for His body’s sake, which is the Church.” It showed how this had been done by our British youth who gave their lives in the war for the sake of others, and how under peace conditions their successors need the same toughened and hardy spirit, both in Church and State, to help on the nation’s progress and the kingdom of God. The service ended with the National Anthem. Many young people were present, and to them, and to such as they, it was a real call to become loyal, strenuous, believing workers; to create and also to maintain man’s faith in man upon which so much depends, and for themselves a bright future and for the race which they would help to make of worth. One of its illustrations which stuck to us was that of a verse written on the fly-leaf of a book found on a youth who made the great sacrifice: –

“Just as I am, young, strong, and free,
To be the best that I can be
For truth and righteousness and Thee.
O Lamb of God, I come.”