In Print

Newsprint – 1933

1933 January 4 Orkney Herald

EVIE – OCTOGENARIAN PASSES. – We regret to record the death of Mr Magnus Clouston, merchant, Dale, which occurred last Wednesday morning rather suddenly at the age of 85. A native of Rousay, Mr Clouston came to Evie a young man and married Isabella Brown, daughter of the late William Brown, merchant. They were the first couple married by Rev. Alex. Macgregor Rose of revered memory. In their early married life they made their home in Kirkwall, later in Finstown, and finally at Dale, Evie – Mrs Clouston’s old home – to which they returned on the death of her mother, and where they have carried on the business of general merchant ever since. In addition to shop duties, Mr Clouston for many years had a contract for part of the roads, giving good service in this direction till advancing years rendered him unfit for strenuous labours of the hands. Quiet and genial of manner, he was much liked and respected by all the neighbours, and his familiar figure will be much missed among his circle of friends in the community. He is survived by his wife and grand-niece, for whom sincere sympathy is expressed in their bereavement. The funeral, to Evie Churchyard, took place on Saturday.

[Magnus was born at Moan, Wasbister, on August 23rd 1847, the son of farmer David Clouston and Janet Alexander, Breckan.]

1933 January 18 Orkney Herald

AIR PILOT FINED. – A novel charge was heard at Duns Sheriff Court, when Ernest Fresson, air pilot, was fined £2 for having used a field for the purpose of taking up passengers which was not a licensed aerodrome. Mr Fresson is, of course, well-known in Kirkwall as a director of the Highland Airways, Ltd., the company whose aim is to establish an air service between Kirkwall and Inverness.

[Duns is a town in the Scottish Borders, and was the county town of the historic county of Berwickshire.]

1933 January 18 Orkney Herald

SPEED THE PLOUGH – ROUSAY. – The annual ploughing match of the Rousay Agricultural Society was held last Friday on fields kindly granted for the occasion by Mr John Inkster, Woo, and Mr Robert Seatter, Banks. The weather being ideal and the ground in good condition, there was a record turnout for competition, comprising one champion and twenty-seven ordinary. Mr Robert [Stevenson] Mainland [Nears], president, kindly visited the field, enabling the Highland Society’s medal to be competed for.

During the day the ploughmen, judges, and committee were liberally supplied with refreshments, and in the evening a sumptuous dinner was served by Mrs [Jane] Inkster.

Messrs John Spence, Schoolha’, Evie, and William Learmonth, Saither, Dounby, acted as judges, and their decisions, which gave complete satisfaction, are as follows: –

PLOUGHING – CHAMPIONS. – 1 Samuel Inkster, Wasdale.

ORDINARY. – 1 and Highland and Agricultural Society’s medal, Stanley Gibson, Banks; 2 Hugh Grieve, Falldown; 3 William Moar, Saviskaill; 4 David Craigie, Trumland; 5 James Craigie, Falquoy; 6 Neil Flaws, Westness; 7 Hugh Robertson, Langskaill; 8 Armit Sinclair, Hurtiso; 9 George Grieve, Saviskaill; 10 James Craigie, Furse; 11 George Petrie, Glebe; 12 James Smith, Tratland; 13 Albert Munro, Brendale; 14 John Marwick, Innister; 15 Charles Flett, Trumland: 16 Hugh Craigie, Scockness; 17 Fraser Moar, Saviskaill; 18 William Inkster. Woo. Best ploughed rig, Stanley Gibson; feering on flat, Fraser Moar; feering in furrow, David Craigie; best feering on field, David Craigie; finish, Stanley Gibson; best finish on field, Stanley Gibson; straightest ploughing, Stanley Gibson; neatest ends, James Craigie.

HARNESS. – 1 Neil Flaws, 2 Gordon Sinclair, 3 James Craigie, Furse; 4 John Marwick, 5 Hugh Robertson, 6 Andrew Anderson, 7 Fraser Moar.

GROOMING. – 1 Hugh Robertson, 2 Charles Flett, 3 John Marwick, 4 Stanley Gibson, 5 Fraser Moar, 6 John Donaldson, 7 John Berston.

SPECIAL PRIZES. – Medal for feering, David Craigie; medal for finish, Stanley Gibson; cup and medal for best ploughed rig, Stanley Gibson; medal for harness, Neil Flaws; medal for grooming, Hugh Robertson; medal for best harness in everyday use, James Craigie, Furse; medal for straightest ploughing, Stanley Gibson; medal for ploughman under 18 years highest in prize-list, James Craigie, Furse; medal for ploughman who has ploughed the most times at matches, Charles Flett; medal for most points, Hugh Robertson (now becomes his own property); best turnout (horses and harness), Neil Flaws; best matched pair, Neil Flaws; best pair of horses, David Craigie; youngest ploughman, Hugh Craigie (15 years); oldest ploughman, Albert Munro.

The society takes this opportunity of thanking Mr and Mrs Inkster and Mr and Mrs [Elizabeth] Seatter for their hospitality to all; the judges for their valuable services; the donors of special prizes, and Miss Ruby Shearer for presenting the prizes.

1933 February 1 Orkney Herald

EVIE – A WORD FOR WINTER. – Winter simulates all the seasons on certain days, and Sunday was like summer with bright sunshine and blue sky. Its beauty made one think that a winter day can be as fine as any summer day – with more moods perhaps. Someone said, “The more level rays of the sun give a more caressing warmth and burn gentler on the pupils. The morning light is still tender when we rise, and we have more time for the sunset. We enjoy, too, the lights of both heaven and earth. When the crimson and saffron afterglows are fading the lights of the stars twinkle out in the distance in the familiar constellations as Orion and the Plough.” The leafless trees to many are more beautiful than when in foliage, they veil but do not hide the flowing stream or the moon rising behind them. You can see the wood and the trees.

THE SEASON. – By an old arrangement of the seasons the end of January coincides with the end of winter, and Candlemas Day on Thursday marks the beginning of spring. It is too early, however, to assume that “the winter is past and the time of the singing of birds is come.” The saying that “If Candlemas day be bright and fair, half of the winter’s to come and mair,” often proves too true, and this year, whether the day be fair or otherwise, the greater part of winter must lie ahead, for as yet there have been no severe weather conditions like real winter. The early part was characterised by wind and rain (always healthy), and later drier and calmer conditions set in. Recently, and for many days, exceedingly fine weather has prevailed with a steady and high barometer – mild during the day and ground frosts at night. The conditions are very similar to those of this time last year. Whatever February may have in store – fill the dyke it may be – the sun is ascending, giving brighter and longer days, spring is in the earth, and things unseen are growing under our feet. Already the snowdrop has appeared with its beautiful white blossoms spread over the grass, and crocuses are showing green tips. [Orkney Herald Evie correspondent]

1933 February 8 Orkney Herald

WEATHER AND HEAVY SEAS. – While it is never safe to forecast the weather here, it looks now as if our fine settled conditions are at an end, and weather of a more wintry type at hand. In these first days of February at least we have had a taste of winter in the various sorts of wretched weather experienced – a modicum of snow, short-lived, and much cold rain have lowered the temperature, and the atmosphere has been very cold and damp. Winds, too, have been piercing, and strong north-westers have howled in our chimneys, making us pile on the fuel, and peat stacks have shrunk from the onset. The wind rose to gale force on Thursday and blew strong all day. Its effects were most seen on the sea, which was lashed into fury, a fine exhibition of its wrath being witnessed at Scabra Head, Rousay and Eynhallow in the grand spectacle displayed by the mighty seas as they pounded and challenged the cliffs, rising in fantastic shapes to a great height and spuming over the headlands, scattering clouds of spray far over the land. When this particular quarter presents such a picture it is an index of the state of the Pentland Firth, and it is easy to decide whether or not the St Ola can cross. [Orkney Herald Evie correspondent]

1933 March 1 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – MAINS’S WOOIN’. – The Rousay Amateur Dramatic Society gave most enjoyable performances of “Mains’s Wooin’ ” on Thursday and Friday evenings, 16th and 17th Feb. The players acquitted themselves very ably, and each one acted his or her part in a manner which left nothing to be desired. The Rousay Recreation Hall was well filled both nights – about 300 people all told – and the general verdict was that they would like to see it again. The characters were: – Mains, Robert Johnston; Shepherd, Hugh Gibson; Dominie, John Mainland; Cobbler, James Grieve; The Laird, George Sutherland; Mains’s Man Peter, Tom Sinclair; Mr and Mrs Anderson (married couple), James Mainland and Miss Mathieson; Daughters, Miss Isobel Craigie and Miss Violet Johnston; Policeman, George Petrie; Gamekeeper and Sergeant, James Craigie; 1st Poacher, George Craigie; 2nd Poacher, Hugh Marwick; Mains’s house-keeper, Mrs Hugh Gibson; Old Wife, Mrs James Grieve; Piper, Fred Kirkness; Harvesters and Maidens, Misses Reid, Brown, Gorn, Mainland, Lyon and Sinclair. The scenery, which lent a most artistic appearance to the surroundings, was very kindly lent by the St Margaret’s Hope Dramatic Society for the occasion. Great credit is due to Dr and Mrs Michie for the way in which the performance was carried through from start to finish. No pains were spared to bring out the talent in Rousay, and it may be truly said the artistes gave of their very best. Their untiring efforts, however, were amply re-paid by the appreciative audiences. Between the scenes selections were rendered by the Dramatic Dance Band – Messrs R. A. Inkster, Craigie, Clouston, Craigie and Moar – and the music was outstanding in quality. The musical parts of the drama were conducted by Mr James Johnston, accompanied on the piano by Mr R. A. Inkster. “Mains’s Wooin’ ” is by far the best performance ever staged in Rousay, and being based on northern life, it was all the more easily followed by one and all. After singing the National Anthem, a short dance for the youths, or any who cared to trip the light fantastic, brought a very successful evening to an end. The drawings, which were very good, will go to Balfour Hospital.

1933 March 8 Orkney Herald

FIREBALL SEEN BY ORCADIANS. – A large number of Orcadians witnessed a beautiful and unusual phenomenon on Sunday night about 7.45, when a fireball shot down through the sky, leaving a trail of flame and sparks behind it. The sky was turned into a bluish-purple. The meteor was seen from a wide area. It appeared to fall into the sea off Rousay.

1933 March 15 Orkney Herald

CALL TO ROUSAY. – Rev. A. Burnett, interim moderator during the vacancy at Rousay, intimated at the meeting of Orkney Presbytery to-day (Tuesday) that the congregation had accepted as their minister Rev. R. R. Davidson, M.A. The call was signed by 230 members and 74 adherents. The Presbytery agreed that the induction services take place on Wednesday, 12th April at 12 o’clock noon. Rev. A. Burnett will preach, and Rev. J. Anderson will give the charges to minister and congregation. Commissioners from Rousay were: – Mr H. Mainland, for kirk session; Mr R. Gibson, for deacon’s court; and Mr J. Johnston, for the congregation.

1933 March 22 Orkney Herald

EVIE – MOTOR CAR SMASH. – Some excitement was caused in this neighbourhood last Friday morning by a motor car accident near Orquil. The car belonged to Mr D. Dunnet, dentist, Kirkwall, who was driving. Along with a friend, Mr Dunnet was en route for Rousay, and was speeding along to catch the mailboat when at the bend of the road at the Manse gate the steering gear ceased to function, and the car crashed into the garden wall with great impetus. So great was the impact that it knocked down the pillar of solid masonry and part of the wall, while the rear end of the car was lifted about three feet from the ground. The occupants were practically unhurt, which was nothing short of miraculous, but the car was badly damaged and had to be removed to town by lorry.

1933 April 5 Orkney Herald

SALVAGED BATTLESHIPS SOLD. – Mr E. F. Cox, of Cox & Danks, Ltd., scrap merchants and salvage experts, of Stevenson Road, Sheffield, who has in the past 10 years raised 32 German warships from the bottom of Scapa Flow, has decided not to proceed with the raising of the 10 ships which still remain there. Mr Cox’s chief feat was to raise the 28,000-ton Hindenburg, the largest ship ever recovered from the bed of the sea. The operation took nine months and cost £75,000; and the vessel was sold as scrap for £70,000. The last two ships Mr Cox will handle are Von der Tann and Prinz Regent Luitpold (20,000 tons and 25,000 tons respectively). They were brought to the surface 18 months ago, and have now been sold to Metal Industries, Ltd., of Rosyth, whither they will be towed in the early summer.

ROUSAY – VISIT OF AGRICULTURAL EXPERTS. – Mr Allan and Miss Grant, North of Scotland College of Agriculture, Kirkwall, visited Rousay recently and delivered very beneficial lectures at well attended meetings. Miss Grant spoke on chicken hatching and feeding, and Mr Allan on some of the best kinds of oats to use, as well as on grass seed mixtures. This was their first visit to Rousay, and they made an excellent impression. Mr Allan lectured in Sourin on 28th ult., and the folks were so delighted that they could have listened for another hour. He was accorded a very hearty vote of thanks on the call of Mr Inkster, Woo. Miss Grant lectured in Frotoft on 28th ult., and in Wasbister on 29th. An able speaker, she explained every detail in the hatching, feeding, and rearing of chickens so well that the audience felt there was little more to ask. Everyone was very favourably impressed with the new instructress, and she was very warmly thanked for her most useful and instructive lectures. A butter-making class for the summer months was discussed with Miss Grant, and if classes can be formed, not only of ladies but of young men as well, these would he most beneficial. At some future date Mr Allan may also start a class.

1933 April 19 Orkney Herald



Mr J. Graham Callander, LL.D., Director of the National Museum of Antiquaries of Scotland, contributed the following article to the “Scotsman” of Thursday last: –

On the southern shore of the Island of Rousay are no less than six ruined brochs which are situated within a distance of four miles as the crow flies. On the Mainland of Orkney, on the opposite side of Eynhallow Sound, are five more. The three most westerly of these Rousay brochs, grouped within a line less than 500 yards long, lie on the farm of Westness, belonging to Mr Walter G. Grant, F.S.A.Scot., of Trumland, who during the last four years, with the assistance of practically only one man, has nearly completed the excavation of Mid Howe, the central one of the group.

Mid Howe broch occupies the full breadth of the inner end of a rocky promontory which falls down in natural flagstone steps to the sea, and which is bounded on either side, by a geo (a narrow ravine admitting the sea.) The base of the broch is about 24 feet above Ordnance Datum. The broch has an outer defence in the form of a well-built wall with a slight batter on the outside, measuring 7 feet high on the outside and from 15 feet to 25 feet thick, which stretches a distance of about 40 yards right across the base of the promontory. Near its south-east end an entrance passage, nearly 4 feet wide, pierces the wall, and widens out thereafter into a long walled passage running tangentially towards the southern part of the main circular building.

Where the passage widens there is a check on either side, probably to keep a door-slab in position. The continuation of this passage, which was the main access to the broch, is obscured by fallen material and later structures. Near the inner end of this passage are steps cut in the rock leading down to near the edge of the narrow, perpendicularly-sided geo which defends the broch on the south. The whole area between the main building and the outer defence, which at its narrowest part is about 20 feet in width and at the ends about twice as much, is occupied with numerous small cells and chambers, mostly with curvilinear walls, and showing no regularity in size or plan. To the north-west of the broch are further buildings, the outer sections of which have disappeared through sea erosion.

The Main Building. – The main building of the broch is, as usual, almost circular, its internal diameter averaging about 30 feet. Facing slightly to the north of west is the lintelled entrance through the wall, which on the north side is 14 feet in thickness and on the south rather less. About 9 feet in are checks for a stone door, one on each side, the outer part of the passage being 3 feet 6 inches in width and 6 feet 6 inches in height. On the right is a low, narrow opening leading into a domed cell, between which and the passage is a small square opening suggestive of a bar-hole, but there is no corresponding cavity in the opposite wall. On the left is another low opening, which gives access to another domed chamber. From its inner end stretches a narrow gallery within the thickness of the wall, but it has been deliberately blocked up by later occupants of the broch. Beyond this obstruction the continuation of the gallery can be traced, on the ground level, at different places round nearly three-quarters of the building.

In the inside of the broch the wall maintains a height of from 9 feet to 13 feet 6 inches, but originally it must have been very much higher, as the whole of the inner court was quite filled with fallen stones. There is a scarcement at a height of 11 feet measuring in places 18 inches in breadth, but dying out on the south-western arc.

On the north-east, 5 feet 9 inches above the floor, is a doorway that leads into a small cell on the left, and to a staircase which curves round to the right. The stair, of which fifteen steps rising 5 feet remain in position, presumably gave access to a higher gallery within the wall. Traces of this are to be seen on the south-east and south sections of the building, but whether these sections were a continuation of the gallery from the stair is in doubt, as it is blocked by a rectangular chamber in the wall, with an entrance from the inside of the broch at the scarcement level. Above the inner part of the main entrance is a narrow chamber opening into the inner court, but owing to the destruction of the wall at this place it is impossible to say whether it was entered from an upper gallery. It may be suggested that it had been constructed to allow of the defence of the main doorway being strengthened from above, as there is a wide slit in one part of the lintelled floor.

Later Additions. – The most striking features of the broch as now excavated are the secondary structures erected by the successors of the original builders in the central court. Large flagstones were extensively used, and the way in which they were incorporated with ordinary building shows the amazing control that the broch dwellers had over their material. The central court is roughly divided into two semi-circular areas by a series of tall, broad slabs set on end, and maintained in position by narrow slabs of equal height placed between them at right angles. In places this division had been heightened by ordinary building actually perched on the tops of the flags!

At the inner end of the main entrance passage is what might be termed a lobby, formed of slabs set on end, with a door on each side giving access to the two large semi-circular areas. The socket-stone of the door on the north side still remains in position. In both of these chambers is a rectangular slab-lined water tank sunk into the floor, and beside each tank are two hearths belonging to two different periods of occupation, the upper being superimposed on the lower one. Near the centre of the northern compartment is a cistern, 8 feet deep, hewn out of the rocky floor, which is closed by a large shaped slab. On the southern side of the court is a drain covered with flags, but the outlet has not been traced. Round the wall of both compartments there has been a series of small box-like cubicles, entirely formed of slabs and resembling houses of cards.

Dexterity of the Builders. – The most interesting piece of structure built during the later occupation of the broch is a casing wall and its adjuncts, erected against the inner wall on the northern half and extending from the north side of the entrance as far as the doorway of the staircase. Half-way along is a small alcove with a corbelled roof about 12 feet high. On the south side of this structure the wall consists of a big slab, 7 feet 6 inches in height, with 5 feet of regular building set up on the top. The east end is a more wonderful piece of masonry, as it consists of three slabs set on end above each other, with a few inches of building between and a larger thickness above all. One can hardly imagine how the flagstones were kept in position while the domed roof was being constructed. The ingenuity and dexterity of the builders of this work is beyond all praise, and shows that this early people were far removed from a state of savagery.

In the out-buildings much use was made of slabs in strengthening the walls, and in forming trough-like structures and small cubicles. Small recesses or aumries appear in many of the chambers. In one of these there were found the remains of a furnace and fragments of crucibles, showing that the casting of metals had been one of the industries carried on here.

There was no scarcity of good building stone in the immediate neighbourhood of Mid Howe, as for a long distance to the east and west the rocky shore consists of flagstone which could be easily levered off. One can see still where the slabs had been skinned off the rocks.

Relics Found. – A considerable number of typical broch relics were discovered during the excavations, both in the main and in the subsidiary buildings. Bones were numerous, and included those of the horse, ox, sheep, red deer, wild cat, fox, Orkney vole, whale, grey seal, common fowl, goose, duck, gannet, shag, heron, oyster-catcher, and fish. Perhaps the most important was part of the skull and horn-cores of an ox believed to be “bos frontsus.” This seems to be the first record of this animal from Great Britain.

Amongst the other relics were long-handled weaving combs, chisel-ended implements, awls or borers and pins of bone, dressed or cut red deer antlers, whorls, polishers, whet-stones, hammer-stones, pot lids, mortars, rotatory querns, and fragments of saddle querns, of stone; pins, a ring, and part of a brooch of bronze; a piece of polished hematite and some very decayed iron, part of a shale armlet, several pieces of Roman pottery, and a Roman patella (cooking-pan) of bronze, crushed into fragments. A lot of shards of hand-made native ware, from which it was possible to restore three different pots, were also found.

The Date of the Brochs. – This excavation did not reveal any information regarding the date when the fully-developed broch was first erected. The presence of relics of Roman origin showed that the broch dwellers were in touch with the civilisation of that people, but that was all. Nothing was discovered to support the new theory that the brochs were suddenly invented as defences against Roman slave-raiding expeditions, and that hundreds of them, in the north and west, might have been built within a very short space of time. Than the broch, no finer defence erected by a primitive people is known, and it is reasonable to believe that its evolution must have lasted over a considerable period. Seeing that in one of the southern brochs – Torwoodlee, in Gala Water – which must be much later than many of those in the far north, Roman pottery dating to the first century A.D. was found, it follows that many in the north must have been built long before Julius Caesar landed on the south coast of England in 55 B.C.

It is many years since an excavation on such a large scale as this has been attempted on a prehistoric site in Scotland by a private individual, and so Mr Grant has earned the cordial thanks of all interested in Scottish archaeology. He and his assistant, Mr James Yorston, are to be heartily congratulated on the patience and skill displayed in their work, and on their having cleared away such a mass of fallen material without bringing about the collapse of so much precarious structure.




Last Wednesday Orkney and the North of Scotland were swept by a severe gale, accompanied by heavy showers of rain and sleet.

The R.M.S. St Ola crossed the Pentland Firth despite the heavy seas that were running. It was thought, however, that the “Ola” would not make the return trip. The Post Office received word that the steamer would leave Scrabster at 6 p.m. and later this time of departure was postponed until 10 p.m.

The St Ola arrived at Stromness in the early hours of Thursday morning. One of the passengers on board was Sir John C. Watson, Sheriff-Principal of Orkney, Zetland, and Caithness.

Sir John’s business was that of re-installing Sheriff-Substitute Brown at Kirkwall, which necessitated his arriving in Kirkwall early on Thursday morning.

But for this fact the St Ola would probably not have returned from Scrabster at all on Wednesday, so threatening was the weather.

A party of ministers representing the Presbytery of Orkney at the induction of the Rev. R. R. Davidson in Sourin Church, Rousay, were stranded in the island until the following day, their motor boat being unable to cross Eynhallow Sound to the Evie shore.

Several fences in Kirkwall and district were blown down by the fierceness of the wind, but despite these conditions a game of football went on in the Bignold Park pitch – perhaps it would be more correct to say – went on off the pitch, for it was exceedingly difficult for the players to keep the ball within the lined area…..



Rev. R. R. Davidson, M.A., was inducted last Wednesday at Sourin Church, Rousay, in the presence of a large and representative gathering. Rev. Alexander Burnett, Old Church, Firth, was the preacher at the induction. (Mr Burnett was interim-moderator at Sourin.)

The charges to the minister and congregation were given by Rev. John Anderson, B.D., St John’s, Firth. Others present were: – Rev. G. F. Cox, St Michael’s, Harray, Clerk to the Presbytery; Rev. D. S. Brown, Rev. G. A. Dalgleish, M.A., Culsalmond, Aberdeenshire, a former minister of King Street Church, Kirkwall; Messrs John Corsie and Hugh Mainland, the congregation’s elders on the Presbytery.

[Mr Burnett preached from Luke v. 4, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets – and finished his sermon with the following words] ….. To-day you are making a fresh start. You have got a new minister, and there stretches out before you great opportunities for service. Whatever your experience has been in the past, let nothing deter you from going forward in faith and whole-hearted consecration.

The actual ceremony of induction followed, and Mr Davidson received the right hand of fellowship…..

1933 May 3 Orkney Herald

SMALL BOAT’S DASH FROM ROUSAY. – A Rousay fisherman on Sunday afternoon made a dash to Kirkwall in a small boat with his young son, upon whom an immediate operation for appendicitis was necessary. The hospital authorities at Kirkwall were notified, and on the boat’s arrival at the pier the patient was conveyed by ambulance to Balfour Hospital. [No names mentioned]

1933 May 10 Orkney Herald

MONOPLANE’S EPOCH-MAKING FLIGHT TO ORKNEY. – The Inverness to Orkney Air Service, a project planned for the best part of two years, came officially into being on Monday when Lieut. E. E. Fresson, director and chief pilot of Highland Airways, Ltd., in the air-liner “Inverness,” carried from Inverness to Kirkwall (Wideford), in little over an hour and a quarter, three passengers and a cargo of newspapers. At Kirkwall the pilot and his passengers, including Sir Edmund Findlay, proprietor of “The Scotsman,” were welcomed by Mr J. Storer Clouston, Convener of Orkney, and Provost J. M. Slater, Kirkwall…..[Orkney Herald]

[An account of the proceedings followed, but, due to the minute type and over-inking, a majority of it was illegibile!]

1933 May 24 Orkney Herald

DEATH OF EX-FIREMASTER INKSTER. – It Is with deep regret that we have to record the death of Mr William Inkster, ex-firemaster, Aberdeen, which took place at his residence, 7 Willowburn Road, Kirkwall, on Friday. Mr Inkster had been in poor health for some time, and his death was not unexpected.

Born at Cogar, Rousay, in 1859, Mr Inkster was apprenticed as a ship’s carpenter with Messrs Stanger, shipbuilders, Stromness. For some years afterwards he sailed as carpenter in the foreign trade, after which he joined the London Fire Brigade. Here his experience afloat stood him in good stead, and he quickly rose to a position of responsibility in the brigade.

In 1899 Mr Inkster was appointed Firemaster of Aberdeen, and under his direction the Fire Brigade quickly became one of the most efficient in the country. On his retiral from the Brigade in 1923 Mr Inkster was presented with an illuminated address, signed by the civic head and other dignitaries in the granite city.

Though an exile for many years Mr Inkster lost none of his love for Orkney, and on his retiral in March 1923 he and Mrs Inkster, also an Orcadian, returned to the isles of their birth and settled down to enjoy the evening of their days in Kirkwall.

On the eve of their departure from Aberdeen Mr and Mrs Inkster were entertained by the members of the Aberdeen, Caithness, Orkney and Shetland Association, and presented with Chesterfield easy chairs. The presentation was intended to mark the appreciation of the members of service to the association, Mr Inkster having been one of its founders twenty-four years before.

In Kirkwall, Mr Inkster quickly took an interest in public affairs, and in November 1924 he entered Kirkwall Town Council, where, among other things, his advice in re-equipping Kirkwall’s Fire Brigade was invaluable. Owing to ill-health Mr Inkster resigned in March 1929.

Deceased was twice married. His first wife was Miss Jane Learmonth, daughter of Mr William Learmonth, Faraclett, Rousay, who died about thirty years ago. His second was Miss Sarah Folsetter, daughter of Mr Folsetter, Dale, Evie, and she died a few years ago. Mr Inkster is survived by three daughters by his first wife, all of whom reside abroad, viz., Lilla, wife of Mr George Sinclair, who is engaged in the Public Works Department, Shanghai; Annie, wife of Mr Alex Boothe, Durban, South Africa; and Ruby, wife of Mr Isaac Marwick, Johannesburg.

The funeral, which took place from Willowburn Road, Kirkwall, to Evie, on Monday, was largely attended.

EVIE – FUNERAL OF MR WILLIAM INKSTER. – lt was with regret we learned of the death of Mr William Inkster, late firemaster, Aberdeen, at his home at Willowburn Road, Kirkwall, last Friday. Mr Inkster was a well known figure here, being associated with Evie through his wife, Miss Folsetter, of Dale, who predeceased him some years ago. The funeral took place on Monday, when his remains were interred beside those of his wife in Evie Churchyard. The cortege, on arriving from Kirkwall, was joined by several friends from this district and Rousay who came to pay a last tribute to one who was much esteemed and respected. The service at the grave was conducted by the Rey. Mr Davidson, minister of Rousay, and Mr James M. Ferguson, Evie. There were many beautiful wreaths.

FISHING. – Lobster fishing is now at the zenith, and has been attended with fair success recently. There has been a complete cessation of stormy seas, and hauling the creels has been managed with comparative ease. All round Eynhallow there hasn’t been a ripple during the last week. Cuithe-fishing has been tried, but as yet without success.

1933 May 31 Orkney Herald

EVIE – EYNHALLOW RECEIVES VISITORS. – We were pleased to observe that Mr D. J. Robertson, O.B.E., and family party crossed over to Eynhallow last Friday for their annual stay in the island. Their bungalow has been newly reinforced and renovated, and forms a very comfortable residence. In this quiet resort, where now the silence is only broken by the cry of sea-fowl and the murmur of the sea, they spend a very happy holiday. Ample opportunity is afforded for an increasing interest and knowledge of the life and habits of the wild birds – a subject to which Mr Robertson is greatly devoted, and we shall be looking forward to more articles on ‘Birds’ from his pen. Mr Robertson makes great use of his camera when on the island, and it would be a privilege to see his wonderful collection of photographs of birdland.

1933 July 19 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – DAIRY CLASS. – A very successful and enthusiastic dairy class has been going on in Wasbister School for over a week. Mr Allan, county organiser, intended to form a class in Sourin and Wasbister, but the numbers were so large in Wasbister that Sourin had to be carried over until next year. A record class of 29 members, divided in two mixed sections – 16 ladies, 13 men – is doing splendid work. The attendance of the class is perfect up to the present, which reflects great credit on the tactful manner of Miss Grant, the new instructress. Her keen eye passes nothing with a view to bringing all her class to as high a standard of proficiency as possible. The Rousay folk, especially Wasbister, have never turned out so well to any of the agricultural lectures as they have done since Mr Allan became organiser. Thanks to his untiring efforts, 17 members joined in Sourin district, with a prospect of some more. This is easily the largest dairy class ever formed in Orkney, and we wish it every success.

[I’m sure folk who bought the Orkney Herald every week were thrilled with the following inclusion within the columns of the newspaper – assuming they could read it! My eyesight has suffered greatly wading through the minute, over-inked type-setting…..]

1933 July 26 Orkney Herald

VISIT OF WELL-KNOWN OPTICIAN. – For the past 26 years Mr AIfred Peters (Governing Director of the well-known firm of Leadbeater and Peters, consulting opticians, of Sheffield, with branches established in ten other towns and cities in the North of England), has been visiting Orkney for the special purpose of making scientific eye-examinations and supplying glasses at reasonable charges to those who are needing them. Our readers will see from our advertising columns that Mr Peters is again to visit Orkney, attending at Kirkwall, Stromness and Dounby between August 11th and 18th inclusive. The fact that Leadbeater & Peters have been established for 70 years, and that Mr Peters has been associated with the firm for the past 43 years, and is a member of the Sheffield City Council, is a guarantee that satisfaction will be given.

SALVAGE OPERATIONS AT SCAPA TO BE RESTARTED. – Salvage operations on the remaining German warships in Scapa Flow are to be restarted. – “The Bulletin” understands, Mr Cox, of Cox and Danks, Sheffield, the firm that has already raised 31 vessels from the bed of the Flow, has sold part of his salvage gear at Lyness to a company with headquarters in Glasgow and depots at other centres. Altogether 13 ships of heavy tonnage still lie on the sea bottom of Scapa Flow. Some are in water over 30 fathoms deep, while one at least shows nine feet above the water at times. The names of the sunken ships are: – Derflinger, Kaiserin, Karlsruhe, Bayern, Koln, Brummer, Markgraf, Konig, Dresden, Kronprinz Wilhelm, Konig Albert, Kaiser Friedrich der Grosse, and Grosse Kurfurst. These vessels, of over 20,000 tons each, lie near the north end of Cava Island.

1933 August 2 Orkney Herald

MINISTER FOR EVIE AFTER SIX YEARS. – Last Tuesday forenoon, in St Nicholas Church, Evie, the Rev. John Black Allan, B.D., was inducted as minister of the united charge at Evie. With this induction there terminated a six years’ vacancy…..Rev. R. R. Davidson, M.A., of Rousay preached the sermon, and the interim-moderator at Evie, Rev. William Barclay, M.A., St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall, inducted and delivered the charges to the new minister and congregation…..

In the evening an enjoyable soiree to celebrate the induction was held in Evie Central Church. There was an excellent turnout, which, as several speakers during the evening remarked, augured well for Mr Allan’s ministry…..Mr Allan then called upon Mr Davidson, from Rousay, their closest neighbour, to say a few words. They had all appreciated very much Mr Davidson’s services that morning at the induction.

Mr Davidson wished the congregation all success under their new minister. Rousay was so close to Evie, and the two had so many common relationships, that it was good that a minister from Rousay should offer congratulations to Mr Allan on his coming to Evie, and wish him success during his ministry.

“I am glad,” pursued Mr Davidson, “that Mr Allan has found out already that the Orkneys are the centre of the world, though Rousay, of course, was the centre of the Orkneys. (Laughter and applause.) He hoped Rousay and Evie would continue to get on well together. On behalf of the Rousay congregation he had to wish Mr Allan all success (Applause.)…..

1933 August 2 Orkney Herald

[An account of the annual Rousay Regatta appeared on page 5 of this issue – but a majority of it is impossible to read due to the size of type-face and this time under-inking! This is such a shame, for there is so little ‘news’ coming out of Rousay at this time – compared to all the other islands and mainland parishes which are featured every week. Instead we have to rely on a paragraph from the Evie wordsmith to get a flavour of the regatta.]

The Rousay Regatta never loses interest, and always proves a happy event. This year, as usual, Evie figured in the competitive list, and on the morning of the race six boats set sail from this side to enter the contest, running before a strong wind, and battling with very stormy waters. By the time they all reached Trumland Pier weather conditions had somewhat ameliorated, but not sufficiently to admit of all crafts entering the race. The Mariannie (John Hourston) gained 3rd place in the 15 ft. class, the Winnie (John Mowat) finishing 4th in the same class. In the motor boat race Evie secured first place, the cup and medal being awarded to Jean (David Miller). An addition to the Evie contingent was the speed-boat Swift – owned by Mr N. Mowat, Stromness – which aroused considerable interest and excitement.

1933 August 16 Orkney Herald



This year’s cattle show at Rousay, held on Tuesday of last week, easily maintained the high standard set by last year’s show as regards both numbers and quality of entries. The show was held under the auspices of the Rousay Agricultural and Horticultural Association in a field on the farm of Banks, kindly granted by Mr R. Seatter. The morning was marred by frequent showers and a westerly gale, but the afternoon was quite pleasant.

Compared with last year’s show the number of entries was, if anything, larger. There were forward almost 100 cattle and 50 horses.

Judges Comments. – Commenting on the quality of the exhibits, the judges, Messrs Charles Hourston, Beaquoy, Dounby, and William Learmonth, Saither, Dounby, remarked that they were very pleased with all they saw. Perhaps the younger animals were not in the best condition, but the older cattle were very good. The best class was that for polled cows, followed closely, however, by the two-year-old polled heifers.

The champion of the cattle sections was a black polled cow from Avelshay. She was an animal of splendid quality, shown in good bloom, and, according to the judges, was fit to compete in any show in the county. The animal also won the cups for the best milk cow and the best cow in the yard.

Horses Good Generally. – As a whole the horse entries were a good lot, but the outstanding class was that for three-year-old mares.

The champion of the horse section was a two-year-old gelding from Falquoy. Although only of fair size, he had plenty of weight and had good strong bone – altogether a very nice type of animal. The reserve for the championship, and winner of the Highland Society’s medal for the best breeding animal, was a three-year-old from Tratland, which showed good breeding characteristics, though rather on the small side.

Presentation of Prizes. – At the conclusion of the show the cups and special prizes were presented at the School by Mrs William Corsie, Glebe.

Before embarking on the s.s. Earl Sigurd, the judges were entertained to dinner by the officials in the Schoolhouse.

Show Officials. – Officials of the Association who were busy in the showyard were: – President, Mr Robert Mainland, Westness; vice-president, Mr Hugh Mainland, Hurtiso; secretary and treasurer, Mr John Linklater, Blossom; ring stewards – Messrs Robert Mainland, Nearhouse; John Craigie, Furse; Robert Seatter, Banks; Hugh Craigie, Scockness; Hugh Robertson, Langskaill, and James Lyon, Ervadale…..

[There followed a very long prize list, which again was very difficult to decipher!]

1933 August 23 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – EARLIEST HARVEST ON RECORD. – Cutting is in full swing in the district of Wasbister, and the oldest inhabitant cannot remember harvesting so early – and murtle oats at that. Cutting commenced on the 9th inst., and given another week of good weather most of the crop will be in stock. The grain is very ripe and good, but straw will be short. There is as yet plenty of pasture, and all the animals are still lying out. Apart from the early harvest, there has been a scarcity of water, and springs have dried that were never known to be dry before. Potatoes are of very good quality, but not as bulky as last year.

LAST OF THE PICNICS. – The last of the picnics took place last week in the Sourin district. The crops there are not so far advanced as in other districts, and the folks will not be prevented from holding their annual holiday.

DEPARTING VISITORS. – Dr and Mrs Inkster and family, Toronto, left the island on Wednesday on their homeward journey. [This was John Gibson Inkster, Cogar, and his wife Alice Rowsome]. They will make some short visits to friends on their way to Glasgow, where they join their boat on the 2nd September. They enjoyed every minute of their stay in Rousay, and appreciated the kindness shown them by many friends and relations, and the younger members of the family were very loath to leave. A friendly farewell dance was held in the Wasbister School on Tuesday evening, and it was hoped the Inkster family would come back soon for a longer stay. Mr and Mrs George Robertson. Langskaill, who have been home on holiday from England, left Rousay on Tuesday, and were to fly across from Kirkwall.

1933 October 4 Orkney Herald

HIGHLAND AIRWAYS TO CARRY MAILS. – It is announced that Highland Airways Ltd., who have been carrying on a regular daily aeroplane service from Inverness to Kirkwall since the beginning of the summer, have come to an arrangement with the Postmaster-General for an air mail between Orkney and the Scottish mainland. The present intention is that the contract will become operative next year between May 8 and September 16.

1933 November 8 Orkney Herald

EVIE – WINTER IMMINENT. – That we are heading on to winter has been very evident during the past week, unsettled weather of a very wintry character having prevailed. Skies changed their aspect, hard, dark clouds taking the place of the light fleecy ones to which we had been so long accustomed, and the air had a snell touch. Cold northerly winds, sometimes reaching gale force and accompanied by bitter showers of hail and sleet, swept over the countryside, battering everything. The conditions over the weekend were wet and stormy. Much rain fell on Friday and Saturday nights, and showers continued on Sunday, diminishing towards evening as the moon came up. All the burns were swelled, showing the most water for at least six months, and wells were overflowing. The roads were well washed, and water stood over the fields, giving a very moist appearance to the surroundings. It now seems certain the drought has ended.

SEASON. – Summer now seems definitely in retreat, and we may say good-bye to it for good. The approach of winter has been very marked during the past fortnight, and these last days have been distinctly Novemberish – cold, wet and stormy, dark and drear. This period between seasons lacks interest, and is generally agreed to be the dullest of the year in the country. Drab and torpid, things present a sharp contrast to the harvest time – just past – with all its rich colouring and activities. Leaves are now all on the ground, and trees stand gaunt and bare. Fields are brown and sodden, and overhead are cloud-laden skies which bring darkness down at an early hour. In such conditions we are reconciled to short days, and welcome the long nights with indoor comforts and recreations, which, in the warmth and glow of fires and lamps, and the cosiness of drawn curtains, are all the more appreciated and enjoyed when the wind is howling in the chimney and the rain beating on the window.

1933 November 14 The Scotsman


– Discovery in the Orkneys –


An important discovery of what seems to be a Neolithic burial place has been made in the Island of Rousay, one of the Orkney group. Excavations have been carried on for some time by a private resident in the island, and visits of inspection have been made by representatives of H.M. Office of Works. The discovery, it is understood, is regarded as one of great importance.

Stone burial chambers have been uncovered containing no fewer than twenty skeletons. Along with these have been found examples of pottery and other relics which, may have an important bearing on a knowledge of the period in this remote area .

The chambers in which the bones were found were constructed of broad flat native stone, which is still used for roofing most of the dwellings on the island, and which is found lying on the shore in broad slabs, practically ready for use when employed for such purposes.

Rousay is one of the Orkney group, lying to the north-east of Mainland. It is roughly circular in shape, and has a diameter of about five miles. The tides race through one of the straits with great speed, making the passage practically unnavigable, and tremendous waves frequently beat on the shores. Apart from the high winds which sweep over the island, it has a pleasant climate. It has rising ground, and there are a number of stunted trees. Agriculture is carried on, and there is a considerable amount of lobster fishing round the coasts.

It is expected that the Office of Works will take over the care of the newly discovered Neolithic relics.

[The Orkney Herald made no mention of this discovery at Midhowe Cairn!]

1933 November 22 Orkney Herald

EVIE – WEATHER. – Few folk have a good word for November, but it is speeding along, and more than half of it spent without much cause for complaint. In the short days of the past week there have been quite a creditable number of hours of sunshine, and conditions altogether favourable till Saturday, when the temperature fell and a change for the worse set in. A threatening forenoon resulted in a stormy and wet evening, and Sunday was an out-and-out day of rain, the wettest and roughest of the season. Skies were so heavy and black that it was dark in the early afternoon and lamps were lit before 3 p.m.

1933 December 6 Orkney Herald

EVIE – FISHING AND FARMING. – Sillocks are plentiful round our shores, and some good hauls have been landed recently. The fish are still in fine condition, showing good livers. Daylight is now very short and outdoor work on the farm is reduced to a minimum. Ploughing is therefore making less speed, but as tillage began early this season, a considerable extent has already been ploughed. The farmer, however, has much with which to occupy his time, and many orra* jobs are being attended to.

[*orra – left over]

1933 December 13 Orkney Herald

EVIE – CHRISTMAS BUSTLE BEGINS. – Preparations for the festive season are already in progress. At the moment there is a stir in the poultry yards – a raid on the poultry quarters – the effect of which will be a wholesale slaughter of turkeys, geese, and other fowls for Christmas market. By the end of the week poultry stocks will have been sorely depleted and large consignments dispatched. Unfortunately, quotations are not good enough, and it is feared prices will not equal those of last year, as over production will likely result in a glut in the market. Signs of Christmas are now evident at the Post Office, where there is an increase in the outgoing mail, and every day now will add to the duties of the postmistress.

[I will continue to use these interesting and informative descriptions of everyday life in Evie all the time there is not a single word forthcoming from Rousay, Egilsay and Wyre!]

1933 December 20 Orkney Herald

EVIE – OBITUARY. – The funeral of Mr William Logie, Mount Pleasant, Rousay, took place last Saturday from the County Home to Rousay, via Evie. Mr Logie was associated with Evie as a postman. He, with a partner, crossed the Rousay mails for many years, and during his term of service he was a familiar figure on the shore road. His genial disposition and quiet manner gained for him many friends in this district, and much regret has been expressed at his passing. The end came suddenly, as only the other day Mr A. Anderson, Old School, received a letter from him, sympathising with him in his road accident, also a bundle of papers for perusal. The letter was long, bright and newsy. “My sight is giving me no trouble, my health is good, and I am working in the garden every day,” described his health.