In Print

Newsprint – 1931

1931 January 7 Orkney Herald

CAPT. JOHN CRAIGIE, the popular commander of the steamer Earl Thorfinn, made his last trip to the North Isles as master on Wednesday last week. He has been associated with the Orkney Steam Navigation Company for upwards of 40 years, before which he was skipper of the s.s. Lizzie Burroughs, which belonged to the Rousay Steam Navigation Co. Capt. Craigie has been succeeded by Capt. Robert Gray, who has acted as mate of the Earl Thorfinn for the past two years.

1931 January 28 Orkney Herald

THE COUNTRY IN JANUARY. – The first month, regarded by many the longest and dreariest of the year, is drawing to a close, and as it has been bleak and cold and wet, few will regret its passing. In the country time seems to drag on the back of the New Year after the good cheer and excitement of the festive season. There is little to do and less to amuse, and life is inclined to be stale, flat, and unprofitable. Nights are still long, and days drawing out into twilight do not yet shed much brightness. The weather at this time is usually subject to sudden changes, and all kinds are meted out in quick turns. Wet predominates with grey skies and dark landscapes. Outdoor work is often suspended owing to the sodden state of the soil, and “no sound of busy life is heard.” The dead, dank fields, deserted by man and beast, look dismal, and the drip, drip of the rain from the bare branches of our few trees is depressing. Bright spots are few in the general gloom of the surroundings, and signs of reviving life must be carefully sought for. With the exit of January, however, the snowdrops appear to herald the approach of Spring.

ROUSAY PLOUGHING MATCH. – The annual ploughing match under the auspices of the Rousay Agricultural Society was held on Tuesday, 20th January, on a field kindly granted by Mr Hugh Mainland, Hurtiso, Sourin. Fourteen ploughmen turned out to try their skill – two champions and 12 ordinary. The weather was rainy and disagreeable in the morning, but dried and turned out a very good afternoon and evening. The ground, however, was very wet and in an unsuitable condition for ploughing. Nevertheless, the work done was of a high standard.

The judges were Mr R. Learmonth, Saither, Dounby; Mr J. Scott, Redland, Firth; and Mr J. Sinclair, Moan, Firth, whose awards gave every satisfaction. Mr J. Craigie. Furse, visited the field, and thus permitted the Highland and Agricultural Society’s medal to be competed for.

The society wish to thank Mr Mainland for the use of his field; the judges; Mr and Mrs Mainland for the excellent way in which they entertained the judges and the committee to a sumptuous lunch and dinner, and the ploughmen to refreshments on the field and dinner afterwards; also the donors of the many special prizes, and everyone who helped to make the match such a success. The following is the prize-list: –

PLOUGHING. – CHAMPIONS – 1 and Mr W. Grant’s cup (which now becomes his own property), R. Johnston, Trumland; 2 Sam Inkster, Banks. Feering, R. Johnston; finish, S. Inkster.

ORDINARY. – 1 (and Highland and Agricultural Society’s medal), Stanley Gibson, Knarston; 2 Hugh Grieve, Hurtiso; 3 G. Craigie, Cogar; 4 William Moar, SaviskailI; 5 James Craigie, jr., Falquoy; 6 Hugh Sinclair, Sketquoy; 7 Hugh Robertson, Langskaill; 8 John Petrie, Trumland; 9 David Craigie, Trumland; 10 James Craigie, Furse. Feering, Wm. Moar; finish, Hugh Grieve; best feering on field – medal, R. Johnston (won for second time, it now becomes his own property); best finish on field, Sam Inkster; straightest ploughing, Sam Inkster; P. L. Johnstone’s cup for best ploughed rig, R. Johnston; medal for ploughman under 20 highest in list, George Craigie; youngest ploughman, James Craigie, Furse.

HARNESS. – 1 and medal, Charles Flett, Westness; 2 Stanley Gibson, 3 Wm. Moar, 4 J. Craigie, Furse; 5 Thomas Inkster, Woo; 6 H. Robertson, 7 D. Craigie. Best horses and harness, C. Flett.

GROOMING. – 1 and medal, C. Flett, 2 D. Craigie, 3 J. Petrie, 4 Stanley Gibson, 5 H. Robertson, 6 Wm. Moar, 7 H. Sinclair. Medal for most points, Stanley Gibson.

1931 February 18 Orkney Herald

HEAVY SEAS. – At this time of year it is indeed a very fine day when one cannot see the white waves breaking on the rocks at Scabra Head in Rousay, and on the cliffs of Eynhallow. On Sunday last, however, following a strong wind from the west, a grand and awe-inspiring spectacle could be seen when looking across the white-tipped waves of Evie Sound. Huge waves dashed on the steep rocks of the headland, and, breaking in foam, sent sheets of spray high over the top of the cliffs. When the tide was at the ebb, Burgar Roost was a mass of tumbling, roaring waves, stretching in almost a straight line for more than a mile out towards Costa Head. All day the roar of waves breaking on the rocks of Costa Head and the Birsay coast could be heard like the thunder of distant guns. The sound of these breakers can be heard from six to seven miles away when the weather is calm, which is thought to be a sign of bad weather by the old Evie fishermen.

1931 March 4 Orkney Herald

WORK AND WEATHER. – The weather during the past week has been very stormy. Snow, rain and wind have followed one another with monotonous regularity, making conditions both underfoot and overhead extremely uncomfortable. Work on the land is at a standstill, and activities are confined to the provision of food for the stock. The ground is very wet, and soon farmers will be getting anxious about their ploughing if weather conditions do not take a decided turn for the better. Poultry breeders are having a very trying time. Newly-hatched chickens have to be carefully tended during the snow, as they are quite unable to withstand the cold, and unless warm and well housed, many are sure to die. Incubators have to be given extra heat to counteract frost, as the slightest fall in temperature means disaster to the eggs. Last, but not least of the poultry keepers trials, is the fall in the egg production which is very decided when weather conditions are so severe.

1931 March 25 Orkney Herald


It is with the most profound regret that we have to record the death, on 18th instant. at the age of 62, of David Gibson, retired farmer, late of Langskaill, and latterly of the Bungalow, Rousay. In 1925 he vacated the farm of Langskaill, which the Gibson family had tenanted for several generations, and retired to the Bungalow [just above Avelshay].

Mr Gibson being still a comparatively young man, continued to take an active interest in farming and public work until compelled by failing health to relinquish them. His kindly and genial manner covered a strength of character and integrity of purpose which were appreciated by all with whom he came in contact. Having been brought up in a religious atmosphere he maintained a deep interest in all matters pertaining to the church, and his love of music greatly enhanced his enjoyment of life. Mr Gibson was predeceased by his wife [Jessie Marwick] some years ago, and much sympathy is felt for his surviving relatives.

The funeral took place on Saturday, 21st inst., from Avelshay to the place of interment in Wasbister cemetery. Faithful and devoted friends accompanied the remains the whole distance of 6½ miles to his last resting place, and there he was laid to rest in full view of his old home, Langskaill, where his happy childhood, manhood, and married life was spent. It would seem that he was destined to leave, only temporarily, the old homestead in his declining years to return for his final long sleep.

[There is a distinct lack of ‘news’ coming from the Rousay ‘correspondent’ again this year. Every other island and all the mainland parish correspondents supply items of interest every week. Because of the absence of Rousay news I will continue to scan the newspaper’s columns and extract items which I think will be of interest to Rousay Remembered readers. Below is a typical weekly contribution from the Evie correspondent. Such a shame the eloquent person was not a Rousay resident!]

1931 May 6 Orkney Herald

THE CENSUS COMPLETED. – The census schedules, along with the enumeration and memorandum books having been filled up and totalled, and returned to the registrar, Miss Seatter, the task of cataloguing the nation has, so far as Evie is concerned, been once more accomplished. Though the enumerators’ duties entailed a good deal of trouble and care, they were quite pleasant, especially the delivering and collecting of the schedules at the homes of the people. Householders extended the utmost civility in receiving the enumerators, and presented no difficulties whatever. All seemed to realise and understand that the great count was for the good of the nation and the individual. Some of the districts provided some hill-climbing which proved rather strenuous, but refreshments were always forthcoming, and the panoramic views from the homes on the hills fully compensated for the difficulties of ascent.

FIELDS. – Though the weather continues changeable, and growing conditions poor, there is a decided improvement on the face of the earth of late. Grass has made progress in colour and length, and the braird is making a good appearance on fields first sown. The cultivated fields now all sown and harrowed look neat and finished, and the countryside is assuming a fresh and pleasing prospect. The bright green leaves glitter in the bursts of sunshine which have been so frequent after heavy showers and dull clouds.

THE SEASON ADVANCES. – The fifth month has been ushered in cold and wet, and under conditions wholly unsuitable for the formation of dew. Therefore May morning produced none of that magic face-wash desired by maidens anxious to ensure their beauty for the rest of the year. The old customs of Beltane fires, Maypole dances, and other gay practices having long since disappeared, May has lost its claim to the title of “merry month.” It marks, however, the beginning of summer, and we hail it with joy and hope. While winter yet lingers in its lap we have cheerful expectations which, we hope, will soon be realised. Every day now the sun is heightening in the heavens, and shedding more beams over our northern hemisphere, and the earth, responding to his bright warm rays, will soon radiate a more genial atmosphere which, in due season, will bring forth leaves and flowers and fruit.

1931 June 3 Orkney Herald

PEATS. – In most cases peat-cutting has been now completed, but that does not end the arduous task involved in bringing this particular kind of fuel to the ingle. Not everybody knows of the toilsome “curing” of peats. When the peats are cut they are arranged perpendicularly on the top of the bank in the form of a rampart, and remain thus until they are set. The next stage is to spread them out flat – not touching one another – on the driest space available. Plenty of sunshine and drought is now desired and required, yet not too scorching for all kinds of peat. Two rapid drought is said to be injurious to the black turf, while beneficial to the boggy quality. “Raising,” or setting them up in pairs, comes next, and this should not be done too soon, a good plan being to wait until the peats turn up at the edges. Once up, they must be kept on edge, which calls for constant attention, as through the agency of the weather they will not retain their vertical position. As they cure and harden they are gathered together in heaps, and finally “borne out” or wheeled to the roadside, where they are built in temporary stacks preparatory to being carted home. Bad transit increases the labours and difficulties in quest of peats, and rocky and dangerous roads have to be covered in bringing them to their destination. No wonder one heaves a sigh of relief when the last peat in the stack is thrown up!

CUITHES. – Weather and tides having been most favourable to cuithe-fishing during the past week, a good many boats have plied their oars across the [Eynhallow] Sound en route for the cuithe grounds. Quite a number of young men and maidens indulge in this kind of fishing, which they consider a fine pastime in these calm evenings of beautiful sunsets and rippled seas. Good catches have been landed, and the fish, as yet not too big or coarse, are very acceptable for the table, especially when fish is a scarce commodity. [Courtesy of the Orkney Herald’s Evie correspondent.]

1931 June 17 Orkney Herald

THE 1931 CENSUS – PROVISIONAL FIGURES. – ….. The population of Orkney is down by 2036, or 8.4 per cent., from 24,111 in 1921 to 22,075 this year. In common with the rest of Scotland the females outnumber the males, there being 11,457 females and 10,618 males…..

KIRKWALL ANGLERS VISIT ROUSAY. – Members of Orkney Trout Fishing Association report good catches from their outings last week. On Wednesday nine members were at Rousay on the invitation of Mr Walter G. Grant of Trumland, president of the association, and their total catch was 32 fish, weighing 28 pounds. The biggest catch was taken by Mr Charles Tait, with 8 fish weighing 6½ lbs. On Saturday thirteen members were at Rousay, also on the invitation of Mr Grant, and the catch was 51 fish, weighing 39 pounds. Mr D. Laughton had the biggest basket of 7 fish weighing 6 pounds.

FISH WORKERS ARRIVE AT KIRKWALL. – In view of the herring fishing commencing this week, no fewer than 350 fisher girls passed through Kirkwall on their way to Stronsay and Papa Stronsay last weekend, while a large number travelled by the St Magnus to Lerwick. There was also a large number of coopers and other workers. The girls came from Stornoway, the Highlands, and from Ireland. The first of the girls, numbering 80, came on Thursday morning by the s.s. St Ninian. On their arrival at Kirkwall they were taken charge of by Sister Wray, of the Episcopal Church, who had them conveyed by bus to the St Olaf Institute, where tea and food was provided before their departure for Stronsay. Others came on Friday with the St Ola, while on the same evening over 200 travelled by the St Magnus from Aberdeen, half of them going on to Shetland. Those for Stronsay were conveyed to that island after the arrival of the steamer from Aberdeen. The Shore Street Hall and St Olaf Institute were thrown open for the girls, and Mrs Ballantyne and Sister Wray had preparations made for tea and refreshments for them before their departure that night for Stronsay and Lerwick. A large number of girls arrived at Scapa by the s.s. St Ola on Saturday afternoon, and these were conveyed to Stronsay by the s.s. Earl Sigurd the same evening.

1931 July 1 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – FOREIGN MISSION MEETING. – On Sunday, 21st June, Miss Runciman, the delegate sent by the Woman’s Guild Council, addressed the Sourin and Trumland Churches on missionary work in Rajputana [a former region in NW India, now making up the principal part of Rajasthan]. In spite of stormy weather a good attendance gathered from the different districts, especially at Trumland, where a temporary choir, under Mr Hugh Gibson, Bigland, led the congregational praise in an efficient and pleasing way. A good collection was given in both churches for the funds of the Women’s Foreign Mission. The Rev. D. S. Brown, M.A., presided.

NO J.P. – ln Rousay and Wyre there is no resident Justice of the Peace, and when documents must be signed in the presence of one they must be sent or taken across the sea, which has already happened. As there is in the islands a number of men qualified for the holding of such an office, who could perform its duties with credit to all concerned, the people of the district hope to have this rectified without unnecessary delay. It would help to speed up public business, as also would some road extension in Sourin district and the small pier which is needed at Wyre.

EGILSHAY – COMMUNION. – The sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, for the dispensing of which on 21st June arrangement had been made, could not be held owing to the storm. The boat was unable to put off to Rousay and bring over the minister who was to officiate. The Mission Station is at present vacant owing to the absence of the missionary, Mr Chesterton, on sick leave.

1931 July 15 Orkney Herald

EVIE – WEATHER. – Climatic conditions at present give much cause for grousing, and all sorts of unkind epithets are being hurled at the weather these dull wet days. The sun was completely hid nearly all last week, and a heavy mist hung over the surroundings with north wind blowing raw and cold. It appears that neighbouring places, Kirkwall and Rousay, for instance, were more fortunate in their weather, having brilliant sunshine on Wednesday when Evie was still enveloped in fog. Saturday was gloriously fine. The sun emerging from obscurity dispelled the clouds, leaving blue skies overhead. Spirits rose, and high hopes of improved conditions were entertained – only to be shattered, however, for Sunday brought a return to cloud, mist and rain, and proved one of the most miserable days of the summer. Mid-July, as a rule, brings a change in the weather, usually from dry to wet, as mark St Swithin’s Day – now perilously near – which is often the beginning of a season of rain. Not that we believe in the cult of auguries, but it naturally follows that after the solstice there will be more moisture and less drought. Owing to the abnormal amount of rain through this year one would fain hope that the rule will be reversed and that bright and dry days are now at hand.

OUR FUEL. – Peats are being viewed with dismay at the moment. The recent weather has been most unsuitable for drying purposes, and meantime the “slabs of turf ” remain sodden on the peat banks almost too limp to be propped up, while all the good matter has been washed out. Now that the scorching droughts of early summer are past, and days are shortening, one cannot expect such good drying conditions as would be necessary to form perfect mots, so we will have to be content with something that will burn with the aid of coal, and yet smell of peat.

1931 July 29 Orkney Herald




The annual regatta of the Rousay Sailing Club took place in Viera Sound on Friday, 24th July, the Kirkwall July holiday. There was a fresh full-sail breeze from the south-west, which diminished to a light breeze in the afternoon. Although the sky was dark and overcast in the morning, it became brighter early in the forenoon.

Rousay appeared to be the centre of attraction of holiday-makers, as the majority of those on the s.s. Earl Sigurd landed there. The July holiday is the only monthly holiday on which there is a trip to Rousay.

The large turnout of Kirkwall boats, both sail and motor, greatly enlivened the proceedings. There were also boats from Viera, Gairsay, Eday, Evie and Finstown. The course, unlike that of former regattas, was from the pier to a mark boat off Avelshay Pont, thence to a boat at Skersay Point, Viera, thence to a boat moored off Newhall on the same island and back to pier. All races were sailed twice round the course, with the exception of those for the 14 feet class and the all-comers’ race, which were sailed only once round.

SAILING RACES. – The yachts were the first to race. There were three entries – Trixie (J. Dearness), Skeldro (T. H. Clouston), Sea Imp (T. Fotheringhame). The first yacht to cross the line at 11 a.m. was the Trixie, which held first position throughout the race. The second to cross was the Sea Imp, followed by the Skeldro. On the last round Sea Imp gave up her position to Skeldro. The race ended: – [actual time] Trixie 1h 5m 50s, Skeldro 1h 18m 13s, Sea Imp 1h 20m 13s.

22 Feet Waterline and Under. – In the race for boats of 22 ft. waterline and under there were four entries – Mizpah (W. Grieve), Snowdrop (C. S. Logie), Venus (W. Schollay), Viking (E. Seatter). Venus crossed the line first, followed by Snowdrop, Mizpah, and Viking. Snowdrop soon gained first position from Venus, and in the beginning of the second round Mizpah also passed Venus. Towards the end of the race Venus gained her former position from Mizpah. The race ended as follows: – Snowdrop, 1h 9m 41s, Venus, 1h 10m 53s, Mizpah, 1h 11m 1s, Viking 1h 12m 59s. To the winner of this race a cup was presented by Mr Walter Grant, Commodore of the club.

17 Feet Waterline and Under. – At 11.40 a.m. the race for boats 17 ft. waterline and under was commenced. The entries were as follows: – Ivy (W. Foulis), Annie (F. Craigie), White-Maw (R. Scarth), Foam (S. Gray, Eday), Foam (J. Drever, Kirkwall), Mavis (P. Finlayson), Bulldog (T. Isbister), Motor (D. Gibson), Thora (D. Miller). The Ivy crossed the line first, in which position she held the course to the finish. The times were: – Ivy 1h 6m 46s, Foam (Kirkwall) 1h 11m 22s, Foam (Eday) 1h 12m 17s, Mavis 1h 22m 51s, White-Maw 1h 32m 38s, Thora 1h 35m 4s, Bulldog 1h 38m 13s, Motor retired, Annie retired.

14 Feet Waterline and Under. – The next race, at noon, was for boats of 14 ft. waterline and under. Six boats entered – Tammy Norrie (H. Mainland), Patricia (E. Mackay), Ivy (G. Harrold), Daisy (G. Sutherland), Lily (T. Sinclair), Annie (J. Craigie). All boats sailed well until the third leg of the race was reached, when several boats were caught in the lee of Viera. The following are the results: Annie 50m 52s, Lily 52m 6s, Ivy 53m 9s, Patricia 54m 7s, Tammy Norrie 52m 52s, Daisy 57m 54s. A cup was presented to the winner of this race by the club.

All-Comers’ Race. – At 3 p.m. the seventeen entrants in the all-comers’ race were started, and it was a thrilling sight to witness when all crossed the line in well-spaced formation. The boats were: – Trixie (J. Dearness), Skeldro (T. H. Clouston), Sea Imp (T. Fotheringhame), Snowdrop (C. S. Logie), Venus (W. Schollay), Mizpah (W. Grieve), Viking (E. Seatter), Ivy (W. Foulis), Foam (S. Gray), Foam (J. Drever), Mavis (P. Finlayson), Thora (D. Miller), Ivy (G. Harrold), Annie (J. Craigie). Lily (T. Sinclair), Daisy (G. Sutherland), Tammy Norrie (Hugh Mainland).

It was seen from the first that Trixie would easily outsail the rest. Skeldro and Venus were next, but soon both lost their positions to Ivy, which, in turn, lost second place to Mizpah after the first mark boat. Foam (Eday) took third place in the second leg. In the third leg Ivy lost no time, and soon beat Foam (Eday), which was now fourth, a position which, however, was soon captured by Foam (Kirkwall) on the last leg. The actual finish times were: – Trixie 38m 29s, Mizpah 46m 42s, Ivy (J. Foulis) 46m 46s, Foam (Kirkwall) 47m 4s, Foam (Eday) 47m 32s, Snowdrop 47m 47s, Sea Imp 48m 30s, Mavis 49m 41s, Skeldro 49m 56s, Venus 52m 24s, Viking 54m 0s, Lily 58m 0s, Annie 58m 23s, Daisy 1h 3m 24s, Ivy 1h 5m 3s, Thora 1h 1m 50s, Tammy Norrie 1h 11m 34s.

A cup, to be won three times, was presented to the winner by the club. The winner was also presented with a medal, which is his immediate property.

For special prizes offered in the all-comers’ race for boats 14 ft. waterline and under Lily came first, then Annie, and Daisy third.

Motor Boat Race. – As soon as the all-comers’ race was over the motor boatmen started. The rules, as last year, were to run out dead slow towards Avelshay Point, and on the hoisting of a flag as a signal to return the boats raced at full speed to the pier. The results of the race, for which there were ten entries, are as follows: – 1 Tern – H. Logie, 2 Pixie – E. Mackay, 3 Gwen and Alice – J. Walls, 4 Ivy – J. Foulis, 5 Nellie – H. Johnston, 6 White Rose – T. Sinclair, 7 Jera – H. Aitken, 8 Otter – W. G. Grant, 9 Saga – J. Bews, 10 Peggy – G. W. Marwick.

Mr H. Logie has won for the second time the cup given by Dr Thomson. On winning the cup three times in succession it becomes the property of the winner. A medal was also presented to Mr Logie.

Rowing Races. – To conclude the programme the rowing boats were put in action. Much humour was afforded the spectators by the ladies’ endeavours to row their boats in the desired direction.

Men’s Rowing Race. – 1 Jerry Kelday and Chas. Kelday, 2 Geo. Sutherland and John Johnston, 3 Stanley Gibson and Tom Sinclair. In this race Mr Wm. Foulis, Kirkwall, was awarded a special prize as being the oldest competitor.

Ladies’ Rowing Race. – 1 Anna Johnston and Vera Matheson, 2 Hannah Johnston and Agnes Shearer, 3 Cissie Sinclair and Mabel Sinclair.

Boys’ Rowing Race. – 1 E. Mackay and J. Thomson, 2 W. Moodie and J. Harrison, 3 J. Yorston and J. Gorn.

Men’s Sculling. – 1 T. Sinclair, 2 M. Flaws.

Men’s Single Rowing Race. – 1 Geo Petrie, 2 John Petrie, 3 Stanley Gibson. Mr J. S. Gibson, vice-commodore of the club, presented a medal to the winner of this race.

Presentation of Prizes. – At the conclusion of the rowing races Mrs W. G. Grant, Trumland House, handed over the cups, medals and prizes, for which she was accorded an enthusiastic vote of thanks. Votes of thanks were also accorded the boatmen who had come from surrounding districts, and to the ladies who supplied them with refreshments. On behalf of the visiting competitors ex-Bailie A. J. Grant asked for three cheers for the Rousay Sailing Club. On all sides visitors could be heard remarking what an enjoyable holiday they had spent. Mr J. S. Gibson, vice-commodore, and Mr James Johnston acted as time keeper and starter respectively. Mr Robert Johnston is secretary of the club.

EVIE – ROUSAY REGATTA. – As usual Evie evinced a certain amount of interest in the Rousay regatta held last Friday, July 24th, in Veira Sound, and a number of young folks crossed from this district to witness the sailing gala. The weather was dull and cloudy in the morning, but became brighter as the day advanced. A crowd of spectators gathered at the pier of Trumland and along the shore to watch the races and admire the spread of “white wings” which enhanced the seascape. The wind being light, competition was less keen than it might otherwise have been. There was, however, a large number of entries, and the day’s sport was a great success. Two boats only from Evie competed this time – Bulldog (T. Isbister) and Thora (D. Miller), but neither succeeded in carrying home a prize. The Evie contingent stayed for the dance in the evening, and were well pleased with their jollification.

1931 August 19 Orkney Herald


The number of entries in all three sections – horses, cattle, and sheep – of the Rousay Agricultural Society’s cattle show held in a field on the farm of Banks, Sourin, on Tuesday of last week, showed an increase over last year. This was most apparent in the horse section, which in 1930 had been disappointingly small. Not only was there an increase in the number of stock exhibited at this year’s show, but a decided improvement in quality was evident, the cows especially being exceptionally good. Yearlings alone were not quite up to the size or condition of previous years, but, as the judges remarked, this was probably due to a particularly unfavourable season.

The championship in the horse section was won by Mr John Craigie, Furse, with a very promising three-year-old gelding. Mr D. Moar, Saviskaill, was awarded the reserve ticket for a fine three-year-old filly, rather inferior to the champion in hind action. Mr R. Bain’s cup for best foal, sired by any of his horses, was won by Mr D. Moar with a nice quality bay foal.

The championship medal in the cattle section was won by Mrs Gibson, Avelshay, with a nicely moulded, good class cow with beautiful top. Mr R. W. Corsie’s reserve cow was also a very nice animal, but showed age. The same two cows were placed winner and reserve respectively of the cup presented by Messrs Mainland Bros. for best milk cow.

The arrangements for the show were in the capable hands of Mr John Linklater, who was assisted by members of committee.

The president’s prize for largest number of entries was won by Mr R. Seatter, Banks.

The judging in all three sections was undertaken by Mr T. Clouston, Littlehowes, Holm, and Mr D. Petrie, Midbigging, St Andrews.

After the judging was completed, Mrs Walter Grant, Trumland, presented the cups to the successful competitors in both the Society’s cattle and flower shows.

PRIZE-LIST. Horses – Yeld Mares – 1, 2, and 3 J. Johnston, Trumland; vhc Mainland Bros., Westness. Mares with foal at foot – 1 Jas. Craigie, Housebay; 2 R. Seatter, Banks. Foals – 1 H. Mainland, Hurtiso; 2 R. Seatter, 3 Jas. Craigie, Housebay; vhc John Craigie, Furse. Three-year-old geldings – 1 John Craigie, 2 D Moar, Saviskaill. Three-year-old Fillies – 1 H. Mainland, 2 R. Seatter, 3 John Leonard, Quoys. One-year-old Fillies – 1 H. Craigie, Skockness; 2 Mainland Bros., 3 Mrs Gibson, Avelshay; vhc J. & W. Inkster, Woo. One-year-old Geldings – 1 D. Moar, 2 Jas. Johnston.

SPECIAL PRIZES IN HORSE SECTIONS. – Cup, presented by Mr R. Bain, Halkirk, for best foal, one-year-old, or two-year-old in horse section, sired by any of his horses – D. Moar; reserve, Mainland Bros. Cup, presented by Mr J. Robertson, Edinburgh, for best animal in horse sections – John Craigie (three-year-old gelding); reserve, H. Mainland (three-year-old filly). Medal, presented by Mr R. Miller, for horse shoeing – R. Grieve, blacksmith, Sourin. Cake basket, presented by Messrs J. & W. Tait, Kirkwall, for best foal – H. Mainland; reserve, R. Seatter. Board of Agriculture’s prize for best three-year-old mare – H. Mainland.

CATTLE – Calves, calved on or after 1st Oct. 1930 – 1 H. Mainland, 2 and c R. Seatter, 3 J. Johnston, vhc H. Mainland, hc Mainland Bros. Calves, calved on or after 1st March 1931 – 1 H. Mainland, 2 D. Moar, 3 H. Mainland, vhc R. Seatter. Polled cows – 1, 3, and vhc Mrs Gibson, 2 and hc W. Corsie, Glebe; c Mainland Bros. Shorthorn Cows – 1 and 3 D. Moar, 2 and hc H. Mainland, vhc and c H. Craigie. Three-year-old Polled Cows – 1 and hc H. Mainland, 2 and vhc Mainland Bros., 3 and c H. Craigie. Two-year old Polled Heifers – 1 H. Craigie, 2 Geo. Reid, Tratland, 3 A. C. Gibson, Bigland; vhc J. Johnston, hc and c H. Mainland. Two-year-old Polled Steers – 1 W. Corsie, 2 and 3 R. Seatter. One-year-old Polled Heifers calved on or after 1st Oct. 1930 – 1 and 3 W. Corsie, 2, vhc and c Mainland Bros., hc A. C. Gibson. One-year-old Polled Steers – 1 and 2 Mainland Bros., 3 A. C. Gibson, vhc H. Craigie. One-year-old Shorthorn Steers calved on or after 1st Oct 1930 – 1 H. Craigie, 2 and 3 R. Seatter. One-year-old Polled Heifers calved on or after 1st March 1930 – 1 and vhc W. Corsie, 2 H. Craigie, 3 Mainland Bros., hc and c H. Mainland.

SPECIAL PRIZES IN CATTLE SECTIONS. – Medal, presented by Mr Stanley Firth, Finstown, for best calf in yard – 1 and reserve H. Mainland. Cup, presented by Mainland Bros. for best milk cow – Mrs Gibson; reserve, W. Corsie. Cake basket, presented by Mr J. R. Moir, Aberdeen, for best one-year-old steer or heifer – 1 and reserve W. Corsie. Cup, presented by Mr R. Miller, for best two-year-old heifer – H. Craigie; reserve, A. C. Gibson. Medal, presented by Mr J. T. Flett, for best animal in cattle sections – Mrs Gibson; reserve W. Corsie. Board of Agriculture’s prize for two-year-old heifers carrying their first calf – 1, 2, and 3 H. Mainland.

SHEEP. – Pen of 2 Half-bred Ewes – 1 H. Mainland, 2 and 3 R. Seatter. Pen of 2 Half-bred Lambs – 1 and 3 J & W. Inkster, Woo; 2 and vhc H. Mainland.

Cup, presented by Messrs Reith & Anderson, for best five Iambs – H. Mainland; reserve, J. & W. Inkster.

1931 August 26 Orkney Herald

AEROPLANE LANDS NEAR KIRKWALL. – Something of a sensation was caused when an aeroplane was seen to come down in a field about a mile out of Kirkwall on Saturday forenoon. Instantly a number of wild rumours began to circulate. Report had it that the aeroplane had crashed in flames, and in a short time half the town was labouring under the impression that is had been an airship which had crashed. It was not long before numbers of people were hurrying out to the scene, but once there all anxiety was quickly set at rest. The plane was undamaged and the air-men, Flying Officer E. E. Fresson [Ernest Edmund, known as ‘Ted’] and Engineer Warr, disclosed that they had merely landed to look for a suitable field from which to conduct passenger flights in fortnight’s time. At present Mr Fresson is operating in Wick with considerable success, and it is from there that he flew over to Kirkwall to reconnoitre. He made a good flight of 40 minutes duration against a strong head wind, and executed a perfect landing near Craigiefield despite the unevenness of the ground. After making arrangements Mr Fresson returned to Wick, whence he intends to visit Thurso before coming to Kirkwall. The fliers paid a visit to Orkney a year ago, and their return seems to suggest that they anticipate a successful sojourn. Their machine, belonging to the North British Aviation Company, Hooton Aerodrome, Cheshire, is a 110 h.p. Avro three-seater, in which they have been taking up passengers in various parts of the country. If all goes well Orcadians will be enjoying such “flips” in less than two weeks’ time at the cost of from 5s. 6d. upwards, surely a modest price to pay for such an exhilarating experience as flying. Flying Officer Fresson’s air record is well known, and no passenger need be afraid to put implicit trust in him. He is quite at home in the air, and during the past few years has carried fifty thousand passengers without accident.

1931 September 2 Orkney Herald



Little more than a week ago Flying Officer Fresson, of Hooton Park Aerodrome, Cheshire, had the honour of establishing the first air-taxi between Wick and Kirkwall. He has followed this up by initiating commercial air transport over the Thurso-Kirkwall route, and on Saturday morning a couple of gentlemen from Thurso chartered his plane for the purpose of paying a visit to Orkney’s metropolis.

Shortly after 11 o’clock on Saturday forenoon the now familiar Avro three-seater was seen flying over Kirkwall from the direction of Scapa. It made a perfect landing in a field about a mile out on the Kirkwall-Stromness road, and disgorged its three occupants, Flying-Officer Fresson, Mr P. G. Angus, commercial traveller for Messrs J. & J. Tod & Sons, Leith, and Mr W. J. Montgomery, Government official, Thurso.

Accosted by a “Herald” reporter, Mr Fresson said he had brought his two passengers across the Firth from Thurso, and had, by doing so, established the first passenger service between Thurso and Orkney. The time taken to cover the distance had been 29 minutes good going in a side-wind, which considerably impeded progress. The passengers expressed themselves as being very pleased with the flight.

Mr Angus, who made the journey in order to see a friend in Kirkwall, said he had to get back to Thurso early in the afternoon in order to catch a train south to Inverness, and this, as Flying-Officer Fresson pointed out, was another instance of how air transport scored. To travel from the Scottish Mainland to Kirkwall, fulfil an appointment, and return to Thurso an hour or two later would not have been possible by boat.

Leaving the plane in the field where they had landed the three “birdmen” were conveyed into Kirkwall inside a Government mail van. They took their departure early in the afternoon.

Mr Fresson, who is at present taking passengers up for flips in Thurso, seems to be making a name for himself as the pioneer of commercial flying in the north.

1931 September 16 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PRESENTATION TO TEACHER. – On Friday, 21st August, Miss Mary Ann Rendall, head-mistress of Sourin School, was, prior to her departure to take up duties in Egilshay, made the recipient of a silver tea-service from her assistant and the pupils. Miss [Isabel] Craigie, in a few words, expressed the regret of the children and herself at losing so kind and considerate a head-mistress, and their sincere hope that Miss Rendall would be happy in Egilshay. A senior girl, Isabella Lyon, then asked Miss Rendall to accept this small token of appreciation, and on behalf of the pupils, wished her health and happiness to use it. Miss Rendall suitably replied, thanking Miss Craigie and the children for their useful and unexpected gift, which she would treasure as a reminder of happy associations with Rousay.

TRANSPORT EVOLVING. – More or less interest has been taken here [writes the Evie correspondent] in the flying excursions of the past week, though few or none have indulged in, or dared, a “flip.” Opinions are divided regarding the importance of transport aviation in this area. Many hope the day is not far distant when a flying service will be established for crossing the Firth, believing it would be advantageous in every way. Others, perhaps old-fashioned, deplore the prospect, deeming our beloved islands would lose much of their charm and usefulness in the hands of the speed-fiends. Why all this straining to annihilate time and space? they ask. Time moves not slowly here, nor does our “splendid isolation” make life less pleasant and profitable, while assuredly there is more likelihood of securing the “blue bird” in these restful and peaceful regions – away from the “world’s ignoble strife” – than in the hurly-burly of life.

1931 October 14 Orkney Herald

AURORA BOREALIS. – There was a brilliant display of aurora borealis late on Monday night. It was noteworthy for the rapidity of the movements of shafts of light, of a pale green colour, which appeared to be blown skywards before a strong westerly wind.

1931 October 21 Orkney Herald

ORKNEY COUPLE’S ADVENTURE – ADRIFT IN PIRATE-INFESTED WATERS. – Two Orkney people were among those who had a thrilling experience in pirate-infested waters off the Chinese coast. They were Mr and Mrs George Sinclair, and, at the time of their trying ordeal, they were on vacation from Shanghai, where Mr Sinclair is chief burgh surveyor. Mr Sinclair is a native of Rousay, Orkney, and his wife is a daughter of Mr William Inkster, Kirkwall, for long firemaster at Aberdeen. With twenty-three other passengers of a pleasure ship that struck an uncharted reef, Mr and Mrs Sinclair were adrift in the lifeboat for ten hours. Anxiety was felt for pirates swooping on the scene from their not-far-distant lairs, and a keen look-out had to be kept. The crew of the steamer had remained on board working the pumps, and, at the end of ten hours the inrush of water was conquered and the lifeboat recalled. A Japanese ship that had heard the wireless S.O.S. appeared, and then a French liner, which had steamed for ten hours in response to the radio signal, arrived. The passengers were transferred to the French ship and conveyed to Shanghai. Mr and Mrs Sinclair have been in Shanghai eight years.

[George Sinclair, born in 1893, was the son of Robert Sinclair, Stennisgorn, later Sketquoy, and Margaret Flaws, Hammerfield. His wife was Mary Lillian [Lilla] Inkster, daughter of ‘Fiery Bill’ – William Inkster, Cogar, Aberdeen, later Kirkwall, and his first wife Jean Learmonth, Innister.]

FISHING. – While the work of the field has demanded all our forces, the spoils of the deep have not been sought, and fish therefore has been a scarce commodity of late. Sillocks, however, are still on the grounds [of Eynhallow Sound], and good hauls were landed in the end of the week by some energetic farmers who snatched an hour in the darkening – after quitting the rig – to cast their rods. The sillocks were of good size and quality, and provided a welcome addition to the daily regime. Lobster-trapping and deep-sea fishing have been abandoned meantime. [From the Orkney Herald Evie correspondent]

1931 November 10 The Scotsman

AN ORKNEY MEDICAL OFFICER MARRIED. – Islanders on Rousay, Orkney, yesterday welcomed the bride of Dr Ernest J. M. Michie, D.P.H., Medical Officer of Health on the island, formerly Nurse Elizabeth Goodbrand, of 10 Allan Street, Aberdeen. Mrs Michie was a nurse in Dundee in the hospital to which her husband was attached as resident. Their wedding took place in St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall. It was an all-medico marriage. Dr Bannerman, County Medical Officer of Health for Orkney, gave the bride away, and the best man was Mr Ian H. McCIure, surgeon at the Balfour Hospital, Kirkwall, whose wife signed the register as witness, there being no bridesmaid. Great secrecy had been maintained regarding the hour of the wedding, but, nothwithstanding, a large crowd gathered outside the Cathedral, and when the ceremony was over the few guests battered the happy couple with confetti before they were out of the porch, with the result that waiting photographers secured only pictures of a rushing bride and a pursuing husband.

1931 November 25 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – POPPY DAY. – Poppy Day was held in Frotoft and Brinian on Saturday, 7th November, when £1 13s was collected by Lilla Yorston, Lily Sinclair, Maisie Mainland, Evelyn Pirie, Fred Craigie and John Yorston.

1931 December 16 Orkney Herald

SACRIFICE OF THE FEATHERED TRIBE. – The fine flocks of geese and turkeys which have made lively and gay the farmyards and parks [of Evie] during the past weeks have all suddenly disappeared, and are no more. Slaughtered, plucked and packed, they are now en route for the southern markets, where huge demands will see them scattered far and wide over the length and breadth of the country to provide dinners for the Christmas festival. Absence of foreign supply has made turkeys scarcer this year, therefore the demand is greater, and producers will be expectant of good returns for their consignments.

1931 December 23 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – CHILDREN’S CONCERT. – A children’s concert was held in Frotoft School on Friday evening, 11th Dec., when the agreeable weather in the early part of the evening brought a record turnout of people. The onerous duties of chairman were ably performed by Dr Michie, who, along with Mrs Michie, received a rousing welcome on entering the room. At intervals during the programme violin selections were given by Mr R. Johnston. Votes of thanks at the end of the programme were proposed by Dr Michie, Mr J. S. Gibson, and Mr R. Mainland, after which refreshments were served by an efficient committee and other willing helpers. The room was then cleared, and dancing was enthusiastically engaged in for a few hours. The programme was as follows: –

Opening chorus, children; dance, “Fairy Evensong,” Anna Yorston, Isobel Pirie, and Sally Linklater; sketch, “Great Snakes,” Lilla Yorston. Maisie Mainland, and Evelyn Pirie; action song, “Three Little White Mice,” Isobel Pirie, Sally Linklater, and Anna Yorston; recitation, “Pat’s Purchase,” Fred Craigie; action song, “Organman and Monkey,” Lilla Yorston, John Gibson, David Gibson, and scholars; dialogue, “Alphabet Both Ways,” Sally Linklater and Anna Yorston; duet, “Japanese Love Song,” Evelyn Pirie and Maisie Mainland; song, “We know a lot of boys and girls,” Kathleen Linklater, Dave Gibson, Tommy Linklater, and Jimmy Pirie; recitation, “Peter and the Peppy,” Isobel Pirie; solo and chorus, “Turn ye to me,” Lilla Yorston and scholars; recitation, “I Have a Little Cough, Sir,” Tommy Linklater; recitation, “Twin Duet,” Anna and Hugh Yorston; dance, “Highland Fling,” Lilla Yorston, Maisie Mainland, and Evelyn Pirie; recitation, “The Reason Why,” Kathleen Linklater; action song, “Dirty Boy,” Anna Yorston, Isobel Peace, Sally Linklater, Hugh Yorston, Dave Gibson, Jimmy Pirie; action song, “The Wigwam on the Prairie,” Lilla Yorston, Maisie Mainland, Evelyn Pirie, John Gibson, Fred Craigie, John Yorston; recitation, “Reflecshuns,” David Gibson; “Dutch Dance,” Lilla Yorston, Maisie Mainland, Evelyn Pirie, John Gibson, Fred Craigie, John Yorston; part song, “Lovely Rose,” scholars; dialogue, “Mrs Greylock on the Play,” Maisie Mainland and John Gibson; sketch, “Waiting for the Train,” seniors; closing chorus, scholars.

THE TURN OF THE DAY. – The winter solstice, December 21st, has been reached, and the sun is again returning to us. The turning of the day is specially welcomed in the country, where short dark days have nothing to relieve them. This year, however, the period of darkest days has seemed shorter than usual, owing perhaps to a more generous share of good weather and sunshine. The past week has been exceptionally fine, with days of soft white mists and radiant sunshine, and nights of peerless beauty. Doubtless there will yet be some dark days ere winter passes, but the prospect of advancing light and lengthening days is cheering.

1931 December 30 Orkney Herald

NORTH FAROE SMACK FLOATS OFF ROCKS. – On Christmas Day Mr J. Donovan, Chief Coastguard at Kirkwall, received intimation from Mr Hugh Gibson, Rousay, that the North Faroe smack which went ashore at Kili Holm about three years ago had disappeared that morning during an exceptionally high tide.

A later message from Mr Gibson stated that the vessel had been seen by two Rousay boys floating in the Westray Firth. In order that shipping may be warned of the danger of the derelict, the Coastguards have informed the authorities.