In Print

Newsprint – 1938

1938 January 1 Aberdeen Press & Journal

DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION IN ORKNEY. – Dr Hugh Marwick, Orkney’s director of education, who has been honoured with the O.B.E., is an outstanding Scottish educationist. A native of Rousay, he graduated M.A. in 1909 and D.Litt. in 1926 at Edinburgh University. He was headmaster of Kirkwall Secondary School from 1914 until 1929, when he received his present appointment. A devoted student of archaeology, he is the author of a number of important antiquarian articles.

1938 January 26 Orkney Herald


Gusts of 100 miles per hour, the highest ever recorded in Orkney, were registered at Kirkwall Meteorological Station during the gale which swept the county on Saturday night and Sunday morning.

From every district come reports of widespread damage, of innumerable stacks and henhouses overturned, of roofs stripped and of telegraph wires down, but one of the most amazing features of the gale is the small amount of really serious damage left in its track – so far as Orkney is concerned, at any rate.

The wind velocity at midnight was 43 m.p.h. This rose rapidly till at 2 a.m. a gust of 75 m.p.h. was recorded. A gust of 97 m.p.h. was recorded 15 minutes later, and the peak strength was reached at 2.45 a.m. with 100 m.p.h. From that point the wind gradually fell away till it died down altogether on Sunday afternoon…..

Few farms remained scathless There was scarcely one which did not suffer overturned stacks or henhouses. On one farm as many as fourteen stacks had to be rebuilt and from Shapinsay comes the story of a henhouse blown out to sea.

In Kirkwall a number of empty barrels were blown off the pier and drifted ashore at the Mount. One small boat broke adrift in the basin, but was not seriously damaged. The roof of a large shelter at Kirkwall Gas Works was removed bodily and hurled, intact, for some distance.

Some anxiety was felt for a 12-year-old boy, who had not returned to his home at Orquil at a late hour. Searchers found him clinging to a fence, almost buffeted and breathless, unable to make headway against the wind.

A motorist, stranded on the Stromness road at 2 a.m. on Sunday owing to engine trouble, found the hurricane a distinct advantage, for his disabled car was bowled along before the wind, as far as Finstown, at 20 m.p.h. It’s an ill wind…..

[Nothing from Rousay, or indeed Evie – but there was a wee snippet or two from….]

WYRE. – A storm of short duration but unusual severity was felt on early Sunday morning, states a message from Wyre. Stackyards suffered most, several stacks being blown over. Wooden henhouses were also smashed to pieces. Some houses had slates stripped. The gale was south-westerly at first, later becoming westerly.

WYRE. – Farm Work is far advanced for this time of year. Most of the lea land is ploughed, and about half of the stubble land.

1938 February 2 Orkney Herald

NATURE’S FIREWORKS. – The finest display of “Merry Dancers” (Aurora Borealis) seen in Orkney for many years took place on last Tuesday evening. An unusual feature was the amount of glowing red colour showing principally in the west and north west. Through the rosy glow shafts of pale green light weaved and danced.

FIRTH – WEATHER. – The weather for the past week has continued very changeable, at times very wild. Strong winds have been experienced, accompanied by terrific showers of sleet and hail. On several occasions thunder has been heard, and flashes of lightning after dark have been seen on many evenings. The brilliant display of “Merry Dancers” was seen to advantage last Tuesday night, and much admired by many here. Not for long have we seen such a beautiful picture. More than one resident in our village witnessed for the first time in their lives the mysterious Aurora Borealis, and were enthralled with the beauty of the phenomenon.

SOUTH-RONALDSAY – NORTHERN LIGHTS. – An exceptionally fine display of the Aurora Borealis was witnessed  here on Tuesday evening for over two hours. About half past six, a great bank of red appeared in the west with white beams shooting up to the zenith. In the east the sky was very bright, with banks of green here and there, and soon all the sky from the west and east to the south was a mass of changing red, green and the usual white light of the aurora. At times the light was as good as that of a full moon. This was the finest display of the Northern Lights seen here for over thirty years.

1938 February 9 Orkney Herald


STOCK. – 2 Half-grown Garron Mares (both 4 years old and supposed in foal), Half-Garron Horse (3 years old), Horses all about 15 hands high; 2 Cows in milk, Two-year-old Stot in forward condition, 2 one-year-olds, 2 Calves, 4 Ewes in Lamb, 2 Tups, Sow, 9 Young Pigs, 2 Feeding Pigs.

IMPLEMENTS. – 2 Box Carts, Fanners, set Iron Harrows, S.T. Harrows, “Albion” Reaper, Scuffler, Plough, 2 Henhouses, Boat (9 feet keel), Blacksmith’s Vice, Taps and Dies, Potatoes.

FURNITURE, &c. – “Singer” Sewing Machine, “Tilly” Lamp, Tables, Chairs, Bookcase, Box Bed, Washstand, “New Lister” Cream Separator, E.O. Churn, Pails, Books, and a variety of other articles.

Sale to commence at 10 o’clock. – Five months’ credit on approved bills for sums of £5 and upwards, or discount thereon for cash. – s.s. Earl Sigurd leaves Kirkwall Pier at 7 a.m. on morning of Sale, returning immediately after sale.



Square-stern Boat 10½ feet keel; A.J.S. Motor Cycle, O.H.V. and Sidecar; 6 h.p. Engine; Band Saw (wood frame); “Triumph” Motor Cycle without Engine; some Morgan Car Wheels. – T. SMITH PEACE, Auctioneer.

1938 February 23 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – SERVCE OF PRAISE. – On Sunday, 13th February, in the Ritchie Church, the third of a series of services of praise was held. Rev R. R. Davidson, M.A., officiated, and Mrs Paterson presided at the organ. To the choir, trained and conducted by Miss Florence M. Pexton, is due much credit for the manner in which the members persevered by attending practices under very adverse weather conditions, but they were amply rewarded by the creditable manner in which they rendered their pieces. The following list of praise was enjoyed by an appreciative congregation: – Psalm 145, tune “Wareham,” congregation; Psalm 24, tune “St George’s, Edinburgh,” choir; hymn, “Still the Night,” choir; Psalm 100, tune “Zion’s Temple,” choir; solo, “Nearer my God to Thee,” Miss Pexton; hymn, “Thou Hidden Love,” choir; Psalm 133, tune “Eastgate,” choir; hymn, “Jesus, lover of my soul,” congregation; male trio, “My Times are in Thy Hands,” Messrs R. Inkster, W. Grieve and J. Craigie; hymn, “Be still my soul,” choir; Psalm 23, tune “Orlington,” choir; ladies’ quartette, Paraphrase 43, tune “Stracathro,” Mrs Gibson, Mrs Grieve, Miss Sutherland and Miss K. Craigie; Paraphrase 65, tune “Desert,” choir; hymn, “Abide with me,” choir. An inspiring address appropriate to the occasion was delivered by the Rev R. R. Davidson, based upon the text from Mark xiv. 26, “And when they had sung a hymn they went out to the Mount of Olives.” At the close Mr Davidson thanked Miss Pexton for having generously given her services in forming a choir. He also expressed the wish that the choir would continue to give assistance at the praise in the House of God. Thanks were also expressed to Mrs Paterson for the efficient manner in which she presided at the organ, and also to Mr R. Inkster, to whom is due the credit of having first conceived the idea of the service of praise and whose enthusiastic support helped to make the service a success.

1938 March 2 Orkney Herald


Any Person found trespassing with dog or gun, or damaging dykes in pursuit of rabbits, on the lands of Hobbister, Orphir, or Lesliedale, Highland Park, Mayfield, Hillhead or Crantit, St Ola, or Trumland Rousay, will be prosecuted.

THOS. PEACE LOW Solicitor, Kirkwall. Factor

1938 March 23 Orkney Herald

RENDALL – GENERAL NOTES. – On all sides, sights and sounds of spring are now apparent. The farmer’s busy season has begun, as ploughing, carting out farm manure, clearing fields of turnips and potatoes, must all be done. Both turnips and fodder seem to be plentiful this season. Grass fields are now showing a healthy green tinge. In gardens, the show of crocuses is over, and daffodils and primroses are in bloom, while the green foliage of many more early flowers is making a brave show. Chickens are numerous, and wild birds are preparing to set up house, as on calm evenings, lapwings, plovers, snipe, and many more add their quota to the volume of bird song.

DEATH OF EMINENT SCOTS ARCHAEOLOGIST. – A well-known Scottish archaeologist, Mr John Graham Callander, LL.D., F.S.A. (Scot.), Director of the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland, Queen Street, Edinburgh, died on Friday at his residence, 11 Osborne Terrace, Edinburgh. He had been in poor heath for some time, but continued to discharge his official duties until a few weeks ago. Born at Falkirk in 1873, Mr Callander spent the greater part of his boyhood on his father’s farm in Aberdeenshire, where he early developed great interest in the numerous archaeological objects to be found over the fields in many parts of the county. Mr Callander had an extraordinary wide knowledge of the archaeology of Scotland, and knew many parts of the country intimately. As a member of the Royal Commission on Ancient monuments in Scotland he travelled over the whole of the Western Isles and also over Midlothian and East Lothian. His papers to the “Proceedings” of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland were of great value, and he will be remembered for contributions on the Bronze Age in Scotland and Neolithic pottery in Scotland. During recent years he visited Orkney in the summer season and conducted important excavation work in conjunction with Mr Walter G. Grant of Trumland, Rousay. Reports on these excavations have been published with great promptitude in the “Proceedings” of the Society of Antiquaries.

 1938 March 30 Orkney Herald



Stromness lifeboat was launched shortly after 7 p.m. on Wednesday, in response to a call from the Coastguard Station, Kirkwall, which reported a vessel ashore at Wyre. The vessel was stated to be badly damaged, and the fear was expressed that she might get into difficulties when the flood tide set in. Mr George L. Thomson immediately ordered the lifeboat to be launched, and she was away promptly.

Visibility was bad at the time, and it was arranged that lights would be shown on the Points of Burgar and Aikerness to assist the lifeboat in proceeding through Eynhallow Sound. The assistance of two Evie men, Mr John Yorston and Mr William Hourston, who are resident in Stromness, was secured, and they, along with three members of the lifeboat committee, and the shore signalmen, proceeded to Evie in two cars. The prearranged lights were exhibited, and although visibility was very poor at times, which occasioned some delay, the lifeboat successfully located the wreck.

The vessel proved to be the Peterhead drifter Confide, at present engaged in line fishing in Orkney waters. She was ashore on Wyre Skerries, but the sea was smooth, and she was in no danger.

After the lifeboat left Stromness, Mr Thomson received a message from Kirkwall Coastguard Station to the effect that the information regarding the stranded vessel having sustained damage was incorrect. This information could not be passed on to the lifeboat as her wireless receiving set had broken down. The transmitting set was in working order, and at 11 p.m. a message was received to say that she had been alongside the stranded vessel, but that no assistance was required.

Shortly afterwards, Mr Cursiter, motor mechanic, located the trouble in the receiver, which proved to be a faulty valve. This was replaced, and messages were exchanged between the lifeboat and the shore station at Stromness.

At 1.15 a.m., visibility was still very bad, and it was decided that the lifeboat should wait for improved weather conditions before making the return passage. She therefore stood by the stranded vessel until she refloated about 4 a.m., and accompanied her through Eynhallow Sound. The drifter then proceeded to the fishing grounds and the lifeboat to Stromness, where she was housed about 7 a.m.

The shore party wish to take this opportunity of thanking the good folks of Burgar and Aikerness for their assistance and hospitality.

1938 April 20 Orkney Herald

TELEGRAPH COMMUNICATION PARALYSED BY MAGNETIC STORM. – Telephone and telegraph communication between Orkney and the South and between Orkney and Shetland was severely affected by magnetic disturbance on Saturday. Till early afternoon lines throughout the North of Scotland were practically unworkable. Strong earth currents made trunk telephone calls from Kirkwall impossible, and telegraphists at Kirkwall Post Office were able to get through only to a few places intermittently, and then with a struggle. In Kirkwall Telephone Exchange earth currents caused the bells to ring for short periods, as though subscribers were calling up. The magnetic storm which thus affected Orkney circuits was one of the most severe and widespread ever experienced. Its effects were felt all over Great Britain and America, being accompanied across the Atlantic by the most brilliant display of aurora of the century. There is a definite connection between the appearance of sunspots, aurora borealis and magnetic disturbance.

1938 May 4 Orkney Herald

THREE MOCK SUNS, one above and one on either side of the sun, the three being linked by a halo, were plainly visible, with varying degrees of brilliance, throughout most of Orkney on Sunday afternoon and evening. A fourth sun dog, below the sun, was barely visible in the early afternoon, and later sank below the horizon. This phenomenon is believed to be caused by light refraction due to the presence of ice particles in the upper atmosphere. Sunset on Sunday was followed by a prolonged and beautiful afterglow.

EVIE – WEEKEND IN EYNHALLOW. – Mr D. J. Robertson with a family party spent the weekend in Eynhallow, this being Mr Robertson’s first visit to his bird sanctuary this season. Bright sunny conditions favoured his short stay in the island.

1938 May 25 Orkney Herald

EMPIRE DAY. – Friday was observed in Kirkwall as Empire Day. All places of business were closed, and as the weather was bright and bracing, large numbers of people availed themselves of the many facilities for spending a day in the country. Excursions were run by motor buses to the East and West Mainland parishes, and these were largely taken advantage of. Steamer trips were run to all the North Isles except Rousay, and the newly acquired steamer Ailsa sailed from Scapa to South Ronaldshay and Burray. Under the auspices of the Kirkwall and District Small Bore Rifle Club an excursion was run to Flotta, Lyness, and Longhope by the s.s. Hoy Head, and the vessel had a full complement of passengers. When approaching Lyness Pier, the steamer circled round the ex-German battleship Grosser Kurfurst, recently salved by Messrs Metal Industries Ltd., and the excursionists thus obtained an excellent view of this immense vessel lying bottom up, but afloat, about 100 yards from the pier, and many snaps were procured. The Grosser Kurfurst, by the way, may be the last of the German ships to be salved.  

EVIE – SURPRISE TO FISHERS. – Last Friday afternoon some lobster-fishers motoring up Eynhallow Sound en route for the fishing grounds were surprised to see a small basking shark between them and the Evie shore. It would have been about fifteen feet long. This is the first time they have observed this voracious specimen in these near waters.

[We are now into the month of June, and since January Rousay’s ‘correspondent’ has been all but silent. So, I continue to rely on that eloquent wordsmith from Evie to tell us what is going on in his neighbouring parish. He’s always good for a read…..!]

1938 June 8 Orkney Herald

EVIE – HOLIDAYING. – Mr Duncan J. Robertson, O.B.E., is at present in Eynhallow spending his annual summer holiday of four to six weeks in the bird season. He is accompanied by his daughter, Mrs Jenkins. Among the visitors to the island last week was Miss Frances Pitt, ornithologist.

FISHING. – Lobster fishing is now at its height, and during the last fortnight, the lobster boats have been out at sea early and late in close pursuit of their object – setting and hauling their creels, not always in ideal conditions but often facing severe buffetings in stormy seas. Their efforts have been fairly well rewarded with occasional very good catches. The cuithe season is here again and a few boats have been out trying their luck, but so far have not been very successful.

WORK AND WEATHER. – The sowing of turnips has fully occupied the farmers during the past week. To begin with, the soil was rather too moist but improved later, and good progress has been made. The weather has been very mixed – one day wet, the next shine, and settled summer conditions are long of coming. The country, however, is looking well generally, and grass and oat fields are flourishing, the oat crop showing evenly green, minus any signs of attack from grub. Peats have not fared well with repeated drenchings of rain, and the curing process has become protracted, and their quality impaired.

1938 June 29 Orkney Herald

EVIE – WEATHER. – The storm of last Tuesday, Midsummer Day, was the worst summer gale of recent years. Squally all day, the wind reached its greatest velocity in the evening, then accompanied by driving rain. Eynhallow Sound was as rough as any day in winter, and some small craft out on the waves in the height of the gale had a tough time making their way to land against the heavy breakers. Considerable damage was done to vegetation, to gardens in particular, herbaceous borders being shattered and broken, and a wreckage of leaves, stems, &c., strewn all over. Weather conditions continue unsettled, and June of this year will be long remembered as a cold, wet, unsummery month.

1938 July 6 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY, EGILSHAY AND WYRE DISTRICT NURSING ASSOCIATION. – At a meeting of the Executive Committee of the above Association, held in Sourin School on 1st July, it was decided to hold a free gift sale of work on 2nd September. Gifts may be handed to the lady members of the committee in each district, or to the secretary, Miss Kathleen Gibson, Hullion. Further details will be given at a later date.

1938 July 30 The Scotsman


[By Professor V. Gordon Childe, D.Litt., D.Sc.]

An incomparably vivid picture of the domestic life of a self-sufficing “Stone Age” community has been afforded by the sand-embalmed village of Skara Brae, on the Mainland of Orkney. Only, the villagers were so self-sufficing that the age of the settlement in relation to other monuments of Scottish prehistory was debatable. A new village of the same kind, discovered this year by Mr W. G. Grant at Rinyo, on Rousay has settled this controversy. Its latest occupation and that of Skara Brae are dated to the period of transition from the Stone to the Bronze Age in Britain. Both may provisionally be put 3500 years ago. Moreover, Rinyo has not, like Skara Brae, been partially washed away by the Atlantic, but is probably intact. Its complete excavation will therefore give a full picture of a Stone Age village as a whole where deductions can be made as to the size, the social organisation, and the economy of such an ancient community as nowhere else in Western Europe. Complete excavation will take many years. In the meantime one season’s campaign in bad weather has already enormously enriched our conceptions of Stone Age life in Britain .

Shelter of the Cliff: The site is not like Skara Brae, on the shore, but seems to have been chosen for the shelter afforded by a steep brae, which rises, in places as a cliff, some 20 feet, immediately east of the ruins. The rock, outcropping in the cliff would provide the settlers with convenient building material. They undoubtedly did quarry the easily split stone, but how much of the quarrying near Rinyo is really prehistoric still remains to be settled. Below the brae the first occupants found a gentler slope of deep soil washed down from above on which they built their dwellings. To secure anything like a level floor for these the land had to be terraced. For this purpose flagstones were piled up in layers, or banks of refuse, supported by slabs on edge, were heaped up. Even so, the house floors slope down noticeably from east to west; and rain water collecting on the hill above is liable to trickle down over the site and seep through the joints of the rock, as the excavators have found to their cost this summer. To counteract this inconvenience an elaborate drainage system, comparable to that at Skara Brae, was constructed.

Stone Age Furniture: On the terrain thus prepared houses were built of quarried slabs, laid in courses as in a dry-stone dyke. The walls have been much denuded by agricultural operations, but the general outlines are clear. The best-preserved dwelling, hut A, is a rectangle with rounded corners some 14 feet long by 11 feet wide, enlarged by a recess 4 feet wide in the west wall. It was entered through a paved doorway, 2 feet wide, west of the centre of the north end wall. In the middle of the room thus entered, the visitor sees a square hearth, framed with kerb-stones set on edge, close west of which a main drain passes under the floor. A sump near the south-east corner of the hearth communicated with the principal conduit by a subsidiary channel under the hearth.

Just south of the latter three stones set in the floor frame is the socket for a post, from which vessels could be hung over the fire. On either side of the fireplace are enclosures separated from the rest of the room by stone slabs on edge. Similar enclosures, partitioned off by wooden slabs, serve as beds in Norwegian peasant houses, and those at Rinyo are clearly just stone versions of such beds. In the southeast corner of the room a cubical box, formed of carefully squared slabs, has been let into the chamber floor. It was found still covered with its square stone lid, but contained nothing but earth that had trickled in under the lid. Finally, in the rear wall are foundations for a dresser, presumably consisting, like those at Skara Brae, of two tiers of shelves.

The Clay Oven: Of course, all these articles of furniture are just translations into stone – the only material available on a treeless island – of wooden constructions. In other parts of Great Britain where trees grew, contemporary dwellings may have been just as commodiously furnished with articles that have perished. To the east of the dresser, a second doorway led through the rear wall into another chamber, B. This occupies the highest point uncovered this year, and is built partly on a platform of slabs, piled up to level the floor. Only a small hearth, a cubical stone box, and a dilapidated bed survive. To the west, at the foot of the terraces on which A and B stand, are ruins of a third dwelling, C; but ploughing has damaged them so badly that only a hearth, a post-socket, a cubical stone box, and short segments of walling can be clearly identified.

The fireplace, over three feet square, was full of a tough mixture of peat-ash, burnt bone, and miscellaneous refuse, save for a hole, eight inches wide, in which a cooking pot could be sunk. The round stone lid for such a pot was found on the brink of the hole. Immediately in front of the hearth stood a clay oven partially sunk in the hut floor upon a slab of slatey stone. It measured 1 foot 8 inches square inside. Its walls were so hard-baked that they could be removed bodily. Thereupon, a shallow depression, hollowed out in the supporting slab and exactly corresponding to the plan of the oven, was revealed. It looks as if it had been cut out, but perhaps the hollow is due to the disintegration by heat of two or three skins of the laminated stone where it was not protected by the clay. In any case, such a clay oven is a new item in the list of Britons’ Stone Age furniture. An exactly similar slab was found under the floor of room A, and another in a fourth chamber, D, so that ovens may have stood in all houses.

Bone arid Pottery Fragments: The solidity of the dwellings, their abundant furniture, and their careful drainage enhance our admiration for the prehistoric Orcadians’ capacity. Of course, they were disgustingly untidy, though not more so than their Norse successors two and a half millennia later. Unburnt bone hardly survived at Rinyo, but everywhere trodden into the floors were bits of burnt bone, teeth, and ghosts of unburnt bones of sheep and cattle, as well as a few pieces of stag’s antler and whalebone blocks. Numerous pieces of pumice stone, often grooved, had evidently been used for sharpening bone pins. Flint scrapers littering the floors, had served for dressing the skins that the villagers wore as garments. Fragments of pottery, often richly decorated with applied strips, were scattered everywhere,

Below the floors of the structures just described, are remains of an earlier occupation. Right under the wall of chamber A we found a hearth and segments of wall on virgin soil. They were built in the same style and on the same plan of those of the later structures, and the relics recovered suffice to prove that they were built by the direct-ancestors of the later villagers. The projected exploration of these deeper levels, presumably older than the transition to the Bronze Age to which the latest occupation can be assigned, may give clues as to the relation between the settlers at Rinyo and the builders of those monumental burial vaults, generally termed “neolithic,” of which Rousay has yielded so many imposing examples.

1938 August 17 Orkney Herald



Brilliant weather favoured annual cattle and flower and industrial shows of Rousay Agricultural and Horticultural Society, held at Sourin on Tuesday. The event attracted crowds of visitors from all over the island, and from the mainland by the steamer Earl Sigurd.

Championships in the stock sections were won by Mr G. Reid, Tratland, in the horse section, and Mrs Gibson, Avelshay, in the cattle classes. Mrs Gibson has now won the championship trophy outright.

Officials in charge of the agricultural display were: – Messrs Robert Mainland, Nearhouse, president; Robert Seatter, Banks, vice-president; Ronald Shearer, Curquoy, treasurer; John Linklater, Blossom, secretary; John Craigie, Furse; James Craigie, Falquoy; David Moar, Saviskaill; Hugh Robertson, Langskaill; John Mainland, Westness; George Reid, Tratland; Robert Johnston, Trumland; Hugh Mainland, Hurtiso; Hugh Craigie, Scockness; Samuel Inkster, Wasdale.

Judges were: – Messrs J. G. S. Flett, Nistaben, Harray; James Sinclair, Graemeshall, Holm; and J. R.  Clark, Millfield, St Andrews (horses, cattle, etc.); Miss McVicar, Kirkwall (produce).

Mr Seatter of Banks kindly gave the use of the park.

Industrial and flower show officials were – Catering – Mrs Gibson, Bigland; Mrs Inkster, Wasdale; Mrs Shearer, Curquoy; Mrs Donaldson, Gripps; Miss Annie Craigie, Houseby; Miss M. Grieve, Cruannie; Miss C. Grieve, Cruannie; Mrs Grieve, Cruannie; Miss C. Russell, Brendale.

Stewards – Mrs Kirkness, Quoyostray; Miss Craigie, Furse; Mrs Mainland, Nearhouse; Mr Gibson, Hullion; Mr Craigie, Pier Cottage; Mr Inkster, Woo.

Assistant Secretary, Mr J. W. Grieve, Whitehall; treasurer, Mr Shearer, Curquoy; secretary, Mr John Linklater, Blossom.

Judges were: – Handicrafts, Mrs Ronald Slater, Kirkwall; flowers and vegetables, Mr John Sclater, Kirkwall; baking, Mr R. S. Spence, Kirkwall.

Judges Comments. – Interviewed by the “Orkney Herald” on the horse, cattle and sheep sections, the judges said that the horse section was a good all round show, and although lacking in numbers, the quality on the whole was excellent. The champion, a three-year-old filly, was a stylish animal, being a good mover and up to a fair size, and would quickly develop into a nice brood mare. The reserve was a prize-winning brood mare, which showed a rather lean condition, and was thus at a great disadvantage. That animal was of a good size, and a fine mover, but would be required to be in better bloom. The champion gelding, a four-year-old, was the outstanding gelding in the show, and was sure to develop into a big useful lorry horse. The reserve, a yearling, showed good promise, with nice flat bone and well developed muscles. That animal only required time.

The cross section cows were the best class in the yard, being a very good class. The three-year-old cows were a good class, the leader outstanding. The cows were judged in two classes, three-year-olds and younger, the latter class being very fine. The leader in the three-year-old cows class was an outstanding animal, which finally became champion. A splendid yearling steer won the butcher’s cup. The calves class were a good, even lot.

The half-bred lambs were a good, show, and the ewes, although a small entry, were of fairly good quality.


SHEEP. – Pen of Two H.B. Ewes – 1 James Lyon, Ervadale; 2 R. Seatter, Banks; 3 John Inkster, Woo. Pen of Two H.B. Gimmers – 1 James Lyon. Pen of Two H.B. Lambs – 1 John Inkster, 2 and 3 James Lyon, 4, 5 and 6 R. Seatter.

CATTLE. – Calves (1st October) – 1 Hugh Mainland, Hurtiso. Calves (1st March) – 1 J. Linklater, Blossom; 2, 3 and 4 H. Mainland. Polled Cows – 1 J. Linklater, 2 Mrs Gibson, Avelshay; 3 H. Mainland, 4 and 5 J. Craigie, Falquoy; 6 H. Sinclair, Knarston. Shorthorn Cows – 1 James Craigie, 2 and 3 H. Mainland. Three-year-old Polled Cows – 1 Mrs Gibson, 2 J. Harcus, Gorehouse; 3 H. Sinclair. Three-year-old Shorthorn Cows – 1 J. Linklater, 2 and 3 H. Mainland. Two-year-old Polled Queys – 1 H. Mainland, 2 Mrs Gibson, 3 and 4 H. Sinclair, 5 James Craigie. Two-year-old Shorthorn Queys – 1 Geo. Reid, Tratland. One-year-old Polled Queys – (1st October) – 1 and 2 H. Mainland. One-year-old Polled Steers (1st October) – 1 Mrs Gibson, 2 H. Mainland, 3 J. Harcus. One-year-old Polled Queys – (1st March) – 1 and 2 H. Mainland. One-year-old Polled Steers (1st March) – 1 and 2 Hugh Mainland. Work Stots – J. Harcus. Department’s Special Prizes for Queys – 1 Geo. Reid, 2 Mrs Gibson, 3 H. Sinclair. Highland Society’s prize for Best Calf – H. Mainland. Highland Society’s prize for best One-year-old Cattle – Mrs Gibson.

HORSES. – Draught Geldings – 1 John Craigie, Furse; 2 James Craigie, Falquoy. Yeld Mares – 1 H. Sinclair, 2 John Leonard, Quoys. Mares with Foal at Foot – 1, 2 and 3 James Johnston, Trumland; 4 Geo. Reid. Foals – 1 and 2 James Johnston, 3 Geo. Reid. Three-year-old Fillies – 1 Geo. Reid, 2 Jas. Craigie. Two-year-old Geldings – 1 Jas. Johnston, 2 John Craigie. Two-year-old Fillies – 1 Jas. Craigie, 2 W. Corsie, Glebe; 3 Jas. Lyon, Ervadale; 4 Sam Inkster, Wasdale. One-year-old Geldings – 1 H. Mainland. One-year-old Fillies – H. Mainland. Ponies – J. Linklater, 2 Sam Inkster, 3 H. Sinclair, 4 Tom Donaldson, Gripps. Department of Agriculture’s Special Prizes for Three-year-old Fillies – 1 Geo. Reid, 2 James Craigie.

SPECIAL PRIZES. – Cup, presented by Mr John T. Flett, Kirkwall, for best animal in horse sections – Geo. Reid; reserve, Jas. Johnston. Cup, presented by Rev. D. D. Davidson, The Manse, for the best animal in cattle section – Mrs Gibson (becomes her own property): reserve. J. Linklater. Cup, presented by Mr Robert Marwick, for best animal in horse sections under £20 rental – Cup and reserve – Geo. Reid (becomes his own property). Cup, presented by Mr Geo. Robertson, for the best milk cow, under £20 rental – Cup and reserve, J. Linklater (becomes his own property). Cup, presented by Mr Wm. Bertram, saddler, Kirkwall, for best Clydesdale mare in yard – Geo. Reid; reserve, James Johnston. Cup, presented by R. Garden, Ltd., Kirkwall, for best mare with foal at foot – Cup and reserve, James Johnston (now becomes his own property). Cup, presented by Mr John Kemp, jeweller, Kirkwall, for the best one-year-old colt or filly – Cup and reserve – H. Mainland. Cup, presented by the Northern Farmers Co-operative Society, Ltd., for the best pair of yearlings – Cup and reserve, H. Mainland. Cup, presented by Mr Ralph Miller, for best two-year-old quey carrying her first calf – Geo. Reid; reserve, Mrs Gibson. Cup, presented by David J. Inkster, for the best Shorthorn cow in yard – James Craigie (now becomes his own property); reserve, J. Linklater. Cup, presented by Messrs T. Smith Peace, Kirkwall, for Shorthorn under 2½ years old – Geo. Reid. Cup, presented, by Messrs P. C. Flett & Company, Kirkwall, for the best cow in yard – Mrs Gibson; reserve, J. Linklater. Cup, presented by Dr Paterson, Brinian House, for the best cog-fed calf – H. Mainland; reserve, J. Linklater. Silver Rosebowl, presented by the O.A.D.S., for the best four cattle drawn from any section – Mrs Gibson; reserve, H. Mainland. E.P.N.S. Vase, presented by Messrs William Shearer, seed merchants, Kirkwall, for the best gelding in yard – John Craigie; reserve, H. Mainland. Cup, presented by Messrs Reith & Anderson, Aberdeen, for best five lambs – James Lyon; reserve, John Inkster. Barometer presented by Mainland Bros., Westness, for the best foal in yard – 1 and reserve, James Johnston. Medal, presented by Mr William Brough, jeweller, Kirkwall, for the best pair of ewes – James Lyon; reserve, R. Seatter. Medal, presented by Mr Stanley Firth for best animal in sheep sections – Medal and reserve, James Lyon. Medal, presented by Mrs Graham, for the best animal in cattle sections, under £20 rental – J. Linklater (now becomes his own property); reserve, G. Reid. Medal, presented by Mr Wm. D. Reid, for the best gelding in yard – John Craigie; reserve, H. Mainland. Medal, presented by Mr Ralph Miller, for horse-shoeing – James Johnston; reserves, Geo. Reid and John Cormack. Medal, presented by Mr A. W. K. Baikie, for the best butcher animal – Mrs Gibson; reserve, H. Mainland. Biscuit barrel, presented by Messrs J. & W. Tait, Kirkwall, for best pony – John Linklater; reserve, Sam Inkster. Prize of 10/-, presented by Mr Rob Roy Macgregor, for most entries – Hugh Mainland. Prize of 7/6, presented by Mr Stanley Firth, for most successful exhibitor – Hugh Mainland.


JUVENILE SECTION. – Embroidery – 1 Dorothy Mainland, Sourin School; 2 Edith Gibson, Sourin School; 3 Evelyn Clouston, Wasbister. Sowing (plain) – 1 Jean Marwick, Sourin; 2 Irene Hourie, Wasbister, 3 Evelyn Clouston. Knitting – 1 Edith Gibson, Sourin; 2 Dorothy Mainland; 3 Evelyn Clouston. Fretwork – 1 John Harcus, Gorehouse; 2 Angus Harcus, Gorehouse. Handwriting – 1 William Donaldson, Wasbister; 2 Thelma Shearer, Sourin; 3 David Leslie, Wasbister.

INDUSTRIAL SECTION. – Home-spun Wool – 1 Mrs H. I. Gibson, Bigland. Home-spun Socks – 1 Mrs H. I. Gibson; 2 Mrs Donaldson, Vacquoy. Embroidery – 1 Mrs H. I. Gibson; 2 Miss Cissie Sinclair, Banks; 3 Miss Annie M. Craigie, Scockness. Hand Sewn Article – 1 Miss Kathleen Grieve, Cruannie. Machine Sewn Article – 1 Mrs Hourie, Maybank. Knitting (fancy) – 1 Molly Mainland. Knitted Jumper (Fair Isle jumper) – 1 Mrs Grieve, Cruannie. Knitted Jumper – 1 Mrs H. I. Gibson; 2 Miss Kathleen Grieve; 3 Molly Mainland, Hurtiso. Knicker Stockings – 1 Molly Mainland. Ladies’ Knitted Stockings – 1 Miss Mary Reid, Gripps. Men’s Knitted Socks – 1 Mrs H. I. Gibson; 2 Mrs Kirkness, Quoyostray; 3 Mrs Craigie, Furse. Special Prizes – Best piece of knitting – Molly Mainland, Hurtiso; best piece of handiwork – Mrs H. I. Gibson (embroidered cloth).

BAKING. – Bere Bannocks (8) – 1 Miss Craigie, Scockness; 2 Miss Gibson, Lopness; 3 Mrs Marwick, Braehead. Oat-cakes (thick) – 1 Mrs H. I. Gibson; 2 and 3 Molly Mainland. Oatcakes (thin) – 1, 2 and 3 Molly Mainland. Girdle Scones – 1 and special and 3 Mrs H. I. Gibson; 2 Mrs Marwick, Braehead. Oven Scones – 1 Miss Cissie Sinclair; 2 Mrs H. I. Gibson; 3 Mrs R. Shearer, Curquoy. Drop Scones – 1 Miss Craigie, Scockness; 2 Mrs H. I. Gibson; 3 Mrs Gibson, Lopness. Sweet Currant Scones – 1 Miss Cissie Sinclair; 2 and 3 Molly Mainland. Pancakes – 1 Molly Mainland. Shortbread (thick) – 1 Molly Mainland, 2 Mrs R. Shearer; 3 Mrs Inkster, Wasdale. Shortbread (thin) – 1 Molly Mainland; 2 Mrs Inkster. Rock Cakes – 1 and 2 Molly Mainland; 3 Mrs Marwick, Braehead. Queen Cakes (16 entries) – 1 and 2 Cissie Sinclair; 3 Mrs W. Grieve. Cheese Cakes – 1 and 2 Molly Mainland; 3 Mrs Shearer. Swiss Roll – 1 and 3 Mrs Shearer; 2 Cissie Sinclair. Sponge Cake – 1 Mrs Marwick; 2 Kathleen Grieve, Cruannie; 3 Cissie Sinclair. Madeira Cake – 1 Mrs Shearer; 2 Mrs Inkster, Wasdale; 3 Cissie Sinclair. Victoria Sandwich – 1 Mrs Inkster; 2 Cissie Sinclair; 3 Mrs Shearer. Gingerbread – 1 and special Mrs H. I. Gibson; 2 and 3 Molly Mainland. Sultana Cake – 1 Cissie Sinclair; 2 Mrs H. I. Gibson; 3 Jeannie Donaldson, The Glebe. Fruit Cake – I Mrs Shearer; 2 Mrs Inkster; 3 Miss Inkster, Cogar.

DAIRY PRODUCE. – Fresh Butter – 1 Mrs G. Reid; 2 and 3 Miss Thora Kirkness. Salt Butter – 1 Mrs G. Reid, 2 and 3 Mrs Craigie, Scockness. Table Butter – 1 and 2 Miss Thora Kirkness. Sweet Milk Cheese – 1 and 3 Mrs H. I. Gibson; 2 Mrs Craigie, Scockness. Hen Eggs – 1 and 3 Mrs H. I. Gibson; 2 Molly Mainland. Duck Eggs – 1, 2 and 3 Mrs H. I. Gibson. Strawberry Jam – 1 and 2 Molly Mainland; 3 Mrs Craigie, Furse. Apricot Jam – 1 and 3 Molly Mainland; 2 Miss Thora Kirkness. Rhubarb and Cloves Jam – 1 and 2 Molly Mainland; 3 Mrs Craigie, Furse. Rhubarb and Ginger Jam – 1, 2 and 3 Miss Thora Kirkness. Rhubarb and Fig Jam – 1, 2 and 3 Miss Thora Kirkness. Gooseberry Jam – 1 Mrs Craigie, Viera Lodge; 2 Mrs H. I. Gibson; 3 Mrs J. Stanley Gibson. Plum Jam – 1 Mrs Craigie, Furse; 2 and 3 Mrs H. 1. Craigie. Gooseberry Jelly – 1, 2 and 3 Mrs H. I. Gibson. Grapefruit Marmalade – 1, 2 and 3 Miss Thora Kirkness. Rhubarb and Apricot – 1, 2 and 3 Miss Thora Kirkness. Black Currant Jelly – 1 Mrs Craigie, Furse; 2 Miss Thora Kirkness. Black Currant Jam – 1 Mrs Craigie, Viera Lodge; 3 Molly Mainland. Plain Rhubarb Jam – 1 Mrs Craigie, Viera Lodge; 2 Mrs Sinclair, Cogar; 3 Mrs Marwick, Braehead. Damson Jam – 1 and 2 Mrs J. W. Grieve. Rhubarb and Gooseberry – 1 Mrs H. I. Gibson; 2 Mrs Craigie, Furse. Lemon Curd – 1, 2 and 3 Molly Mainland.

FLOWERS AND VEGETABLES. – Cabbages – 1 and 3 Hugh Yorston, Post Office; 2 Dorothy Mainland. Cauliflower – 1, 2 and 3 Hugh Yorston. Turnip (white) – 1 and 2 Miss Thora Kirkness; 3 Irene Hourie. Turnips (yellow) – 1 Jas. Sinclair. Cabbage (lettuce) – 1 and 2 Hugh Yorston; 3 Mrs Craigie, Furse. Lettuce (cos) – 1, 2 and 3 Hugh Yorston. Parsley – 1, 2 and 3 Hugh Yorston. Radish – 1, 2 and 3 Hugh Yorston. Leeks – 1 and 2 Hugh Yorston; 3 Jas. Sinclair. Beet (long) – 1, 2 and 3 Hugh Yorston. Beet (round) – 1, 2 and 3 Hugh Yorston. Carrot (long) – 1 and 2 Jas. Sinclair; 3 Mrs H. I. Craigie. Carrot (stump root) – 1 Hugh Yorston…..

[and so continued the very long and very comprehensive list of prize winners]

THE JUDGES ENTERTAINED. – Mr [Robert] Mainland presided at a little gathering, at which the judges were entertained. The chairman expressed the Society’s thanks to those who had officiated in that capacity.

Replying to the toast of the Judges, Miss McVicar said she had to thank them for asking her to Rousay to judge in the dairy produce section. In some sections the exhibits were disappointing; the butter was rather a small section, with the cheese rather better. It was difficult to judge the latter produce, as they were all very good. The jams were a big entry, and with regard to that she suggested that each competitor should be allowed one pot of jam in each class, because she was sure some ill-feeling might arise through the same person getting the first, second and third prize with jam all from the same boiling. In the butter section, she believed there had been a lot of people disheartened through the same people winning the prizes year after year. She suggested that a championship class should be entered for the for the first prize winners, which would give other people a chance. Quite a number of shows she had attended had adopted that system, especially where the same people were getting the prizes all the time.

Mr Sinclair said he had been very pleased to be at Rousay to judge at their show, along with the other gentlemen. He had been satisfied with the quality of stock which had been placed before them. He would like to see the exhibitors putting more stock into the show. He was sure there was a lot of cattle in the island just as good as those which had secured the prizes that day.

Remarks on Stock Exhibits. – Mr Flett said be thanked them for honouring the toast of the judges, and personally he wished to thank the Rousay Agricultural Society for asking him back to Rousay to judge; it was always a pleasure for him to come to Rousay. Regarding the quality of the stock placed before them, it had been of a very high standard; there was no question about that. Although the numbers were rather lacking, he hoped that their showyard, which he thought capable of housing the Highland Show, would show a large increase next year.

Mr Clark said he had to thank them for asking him to Rousay: it was the first time he had judged at their show, and he had enjoyed himself very much. The standard of the exhibits was very good, and he expressed the hope that they would go forward and attract more entries, to make their show a bigger success. – Mr Linklater, the secretary, Mr Grieve, Mr Inkster, and Mr Gibson also spoke.

Mrs Walter G. Grant of Trumland gracefully presented the prizes, before a large and interested gathering, and was cordially thanked, on the call of Mr Linklater.

1938 August 31Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – SOURIN SCHOOL PICNIC AND SPORTS. – Sourin School picnic and sports was held in a field at Banks, Rousay, on Friday. 19th August. Although the weather in the morning did not look too promising rain held off until all the events were finished.

The children’s races commenced at 1.30 and every race was keenly contested. Mr Harrold and Mr Grieve acted as starters. When the children’s events were finished milk was served and shortly afterwards the adult sports began.

Miss Kirkness won the ladies’ championship with 14 points out of a possible 15. Runners-up were Miss Shaw and Miss Cooper, each with 5 points. The men’s championship went to Mr H. Robertson with 11 points, runner-up being Mr T. Inkster with 7 points.

This year a medal was given for competition among boys 17 and under. The events were keenly contested, and Mr H. Yorston with 8½ points – a lead of one point over Mr S. Moar – ran out winner.

After tea was served in the hall, Miss Sutherland, Wasbister Schoolhouse, handed over the prizes to the successful competitors. Chocolate, a gift from Mrs Grant, Trumland House, was received by each child with great appreciation. Votes of thanks to Miss Sutherland for presenting the prizes, and to Mr Seatter, Banks, for the use of the field were heartily responded to. Mr Davidson proposed a vote of thanks to the committee. At the successful dance which followed Mr T. Inkster and Mr J. Linklater acted as M.C.’s. Music was by the Wasbister Band. The dance ended by singing “Auld Lang Syne.”

The committee take this opportunity of thanking the anonymous donor of the medal for the boys’ championship, all those who gave milk and all who helped in any way.

[It is clear Rousay does not have a resident ‘correspondent’ – unlike nearly every other island and mainland parish – and the above shows and annual events are covered by a visiting Orkney Herald reporter. I shall continue to plough through every issue of his weekly newspaper – in the hope a ‘newsworthy’ story from Rousay crops up. In the meantime, I will continue to use items from neighbouring parishes, which give a flavour of life in Orkney at the time.]

1938 September 28 Orkney Herald

FIRTH – HARVEST. – Harvesting operations, which commenced at the beginning of the month, are still in progress, and, although one or two farmers have finished reaping, generally speaking in most cases the end is yet a long way off. The past week of fine weather has gone a long way to lighten the load, but, in spite of fine weather conditions, harvest work this year requires all the pull that possibly can be put into it. Almost every desirable method of harvesting has been adopted in an endeavour to deal with laid and twisted crops, and in many cases the scythe has had to be resorted to after all other means have failed. The crop in stook appears to be bulky, and in many cases of good quality. Nevertheless, there are considerable patches of crop which will be far from profitable either for straw or grain. Bere is more promising. Some of this crop has already been secured in stackyards. A continuance of the present fine weather would confer an immense boon on the farming community, and go a long way to mitigate the handicap under which the farmers have been placed owing to the failure of the binder to deal with the crop, and the utterly inadequate staff to tackle the job in the old-fashioned way. Pastures are still showing sufficient herbage to provide for the needs of farm stocks; in fact, the last week has shown an improvement in this direction. An absence of clover after hay, however, is noticeable on many fields. Turnip fields are looking well, and roots appear to be healthy. Some varieties of potatoes are reported to be under the average.




The following notice was posted outside the Drill Hall, Kirkwall, on Monday evening: –

“226th Battery A.A. (T.A.)
All men of this unit are called up as a precautionary measure,
and will report at once to Headquarters, Junction Road.”

A full muster reported, and preparations were made for the battery to move should the occasion arise.

Men of the unit also reported for instructions at 9 a.m. this (Tuesday) morning, but were dismissed shortly afterwards. A certain number also reported at 2 p.m. They are to parade again at 7 p.m.

Until further notice, the local Territorials have instructions to muster at the Drill Hall (former Electric Theatre), Junction Road, Kirkwall, once daily at 7 p.m., and to hold themselves at all times in readiness to answer a call at the very shortest notice.

In the case of emergency, it is not anticipated that, in the first instance, they will be sent outside the county.

The calling up of the Orkney Territorials was carried out in accordance with a national precautionary measure announced on Monday afternoon to the effect that, throughout the country, men of anti-aircraft units and coast defence units of the Territorial Army had been called up. Certain defence units of the Auxiliary Airforce, the fighter squadron, and balloon barrage squadron (but not bombers, so far), and the Observation Corps, were also called up.

Officers and men of the Royal Air Force were recalled from leave.

News of the calling up of the Orkney Territorials, though not altogether unexpected, in view of the grave developments over the weekend in the international situation, was received in the county with a certain amount of dismay, and tended to increase the pessimistic view generally held regarding the outcome of the present crisis. It was Orkney’s most vivid reminder of August 1914.

1938 October 5 Orkney Herald


Orkney achieved a commendable black-out on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, when orders were given that the use of lights out of doors, between the hours of 9 and 10.30 p.m., was prohibited. Windows were to be darkened and not even the faintest gleam of light was to be visible outside.

On Wednesday thick haze made the black-out all the more effective, though actually householders were more successful in concealing their lights on the second occasion.

The black-outs were of an experimental nature, notification having been received by Chief Constable Colin W. Campbell, Kirkwall, on Tuesday afternoon that the experiments were to be carried out.

Poor visibility on both occasions prevented Naval war planes observing the black-out from the air, but as seen from the ground, on Wednesday night at any rate, country districts were more effectively blacked-out than Kirkwall. Here, either through misunderstanding of the instructions or failure to realise the strictness with which the measures were to be observed, several householders allowed a certain amount of light to escape from windows and doors on Wednesday evening. Police, however, and civilian members of A.R.P. Observer Corps and air raid wardens, who were on duty, notified offenders as to what was required of them. The result was that on Thursday evening almost a perfect black-out was achieved throughout the county…..

The police were set a formidable task in notifying every householder in the county of the black-out, with barely 30 hours’ notice. In Kirkwall and Stromness police officers distributed the warning by means of door-to-door calls. The town bellman and cinema screen were also pressed into service in the county town. The East and West Mainlands were covered by motorists and motor cyclists acting as special constables and air raid wardens. In the North and South Isles and parts of the mainland postmen and other volunteers did splendid work. Others who proved effective helpers in spreading the warning were sub-postmasters or mistresses, teachers, merchants and ministers.

“Warning” at 9 p.m. and “All Clear” at 10.30 were sounded by the sirens of Highland Park Distillery and Glaitness Laundry.

1938 October 7 Aberdeen Press & Journal

Rousay Jam and Embroidery. – “All for one, one for all, united we stand, divided we fall.” This motto was commented on by the president, Miss Inkster, at Rousay W.R.I., Orkney. The special item on the programme was a talk on embroidery given by Mrs Shearer, Sourin Schoolhouse. She had with her a selection of very fine pieces of embroidery, and these she used to illustrate her remarks. Rhubarb jam entries were judged by Nurse Shaw and Mrs Sinclair, Cogar. The winner of the first prize was Mrs Gibson. Bigland.

1938 November 16 Orkney Herald

FIRTH – WORK AND WEATHER. – The weather over the week-end improved slightly on the sample we have been getting for some time back. Harvest work is being carried out whenever there is any chance. Much crop is still to be seen on the fields in “disses” and “stooks.” Great difficulty is being experienced owing to the bad state the crop is now in, and, indeed, it is questionable if it can now be secured in condition to be of any use. Wet, sprouting and rotting, much of it is long past the stage at which it could be regarded as profitable. The potato crop also is now being considered to be below the average. Owing to the waterlogged state of the ground it has been impossible to progress with the lifting, and it looks as if much of the crop will have to remain in the drills over the winter.

1938 November 23 Orkney Herald




Stromness lifeboat, the L.S.A. [Life Saving Apparatus] companies of Rousay, Westray and Kirkwall, two fishery patrol vessels, two Orkney North Isles steamers, a trawler and an American steamer all responded to the call for assistance sent out by the Hull trawler Cheriton, which struck the Skea Skerries in the Westray Firth during a south-westerly gale on Saturday afternoon.

The Cheriton, exposed to the full force of the gale, was in a position of the gravest danger. Later, in a sinking condition and with no steam she freed herself from the skerries and was beached in a comparatively sheltered bay near Scockness on the north-east corner of Rousay. The crew were taken off in a motor boat by members of Rousay L.S.A. Company, under Volunteer-in-Charge John Cormack.

Early on Saturday afternoon coast watchers on Westray saw the Cheriton aground on Skea Skerries. On receiving information by telephone, Kirkwall coast-guards informed Stromness lifeboat, which set out about 3 p.m. on the 30-mile journey to Skea Skerries. The coastguards broadcast a message, via Wick radio, to all shipping in the vicinity, giving the Cheriton’s position. About 4 p.m. an American steamer, Scanmail, radioed that she was eighteen miles north-east of Noup Head, and proceeding to the help of the Cheriton. About 4.15 the Grimsby trawler, Indian Star, radioed that she would reach the Cheriton in three or four hours’ time. About 4.45 Wick radio received a message from the Cheriton that she was filling with water and heeling over. The crew were trying to launch their small boat, and their situation was very dangerous.

The Fishery vessel Betty Bodie, with the Kirkwall life saving apparatus and crew on board, left for the scene of the wreck, and at the same time the Fishery cruiser Freya and the s.s. Earl Thorfinn left Westray. After a fruitless search of Westray Firth, the Betty Bodie received information that the vessel was ashore and in no danger, and returned to Kirkwall. Kirkwall L.S.A. Company were under command of Station Officer Browning and Coastguard Evans.

Drifts Off Skerry. – About 6 p.m. the Cheriton, which had drifted off the Skea Skerries in the direction of Rousay, radioed that she was full of water, that she had no steam, and requested the assistance of a lifeboat. The crew sent up distress rockets. Shortly afterwards the stokehold fires were flooded out, and the crew had barely enough steam left to beach the vessel at Ham Bay, Rousay.

The crew of the trawler were taken off the vessel by the Rousay Life-Saving crew by motor boat, and were given hospitality in various houses in Rousay. The captain, mate and chief engineer of the Cheriton remained on board until the last possible moment, when they were taken off by a motor boat from the “Freya,” and were accommodated on board for the night. Several members of the crew were taken to Kirkwall on s.s. Earl Sigurd on Sunday afternoon, but left again the following morning to see whether there was a possibility of salving their belongings.

The vessel is not badly damaged, and is expected to be refloated within a short period.

Seen From Westray. – Just before dark, writes our Westray correspondent, the trawler could be seen. The sea was washing completely over her, and she was considered to be in grave danger. Some time after dark her lights could not be seen, and it was feared that she had gone down.

As soon as the wreck was reported the Rocket Life-saving Brigade, under the charge of Mr James Rendall, was called out, and the s.s. Earl Thorfinn and the fishery cruiser Freya left Pierowall to render assistance. The trawler, evidently washed off the skerry as the tide came in, was able to reach Rousay.

The Rocket Brigade returned to the station about 9 p.m. S.s. Earl Thorfinn took shelter in Kirkwall Bay and arrived at Gill Pier about 9 a.m. on Sunday. The Stromness lifeboat is believed to have been seen off the Rapness and Skelwick shores.

Another Stormy Trip for Stromness Lifeboat. – Stromness lifeboat had another stormy trip to the North Isles on Saturday, writes our Stromness correspondent, when she was called to the assistance of a trawler ashore on Skea Skerries, Westray Firth. A message giving information regarding the wreck was received by Mr George L. Thomson, hon. secretary of Stromness lifeboat, from Kirkwall Coastguard Station about 3.30 p.m. on Saturday. The crew were immediately summoned, and the lifeboat was launched at 3.55 p.m. in charge of Coxswain Greig.

There was a gale of south-westerly wind at the time with a very heavy sea. It was realised that a vessel ashore on Skea Skerries in these conditions would be in the very gravest danger, and every effort was made to reach the vicinity in the shortest possible time. It was decided, therefore, not to trouble with wireless messages until the lifeboat reached the scene of the wreck.

Mr John Rae and Mr John G. Sinclair proceeded to Birsay in order to signal any later information to the lifeboat as she passed there. No new information of any value was available when the lifeboat passed the Brough shortly after 6.30 p.m. In a way this was fortunate, as it would have been quite impossible for the lifeboatmen to have read a Morse signalling lamp owing to the heavy seas.

Very bad weather conditions were experienced after rounding the Brough of Birsay. Lightning and showers of hail at times made visibility practically nil.

The lifeboat carried on towards Skea Skerries, but could find no trace of any vessel in distress. After continuing the search for some time she got into wireless communication with H.M. fishery cruiser Freya, which had herself been in touch with the wrecked trawler by wireless. The Freya informed the lifeboat that the trawler had floated off Skea Skerries with the flood tide and was now beached in a safe position in the Bay of Ham, Rousay, and did not require the services of the lifeboat.

The lifeboat then started on her homeward journey, west about, in the face of the gale. She reached Stromness about 3 a.m. on Sunday, and was berthed at the South Pier, being taken back on to her own slipway at 10 a.m.

1938 November 29 The Scotsman

A LOCUST IN SCOTLAND. – [At a meeting of the Royal Physical Society, in the Council Room of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, Synod Hall, Edinburgh]…..Mr Waterston also exhibited a remarkable visitor which came to Scotland last September – the Old World locust, which had been captured alive on the island of Rousay, Orkney, and sent to the Royal Scottish Museum for identification. The specimen, a female, belonged to the solitary phase, and it was quite unusual for specimens of this phase to migrate. The speaker outlined the “phase” theory of locust migration and recalled occasional migrations of locusts in Scotland  dating from 1748 onwards. It had previously been assumed that such migrations were composed of locusts belonging to the true migratory phase, and the detection of the solitary phase in Orkney had raised a problem worthy of close study.

1938 December 7 Orkney Herald


FRED. T. INKSTER desires to thank the Electors of Rousay, Egilshay, and Wyre for their renewed confidence in him by returning him unopposed as their representative to Orkney County Council. – Greenfield, Rousay.

1938 December 14 Orkney Herald

EVIE – SILLOCKS IN DECEMBER. – During the past week there hits been an absence of storms, and the unruffled waters of Eynhallow Sound have been enlivened by small craft out fishing for sillocks. These little fish are rare here at this season, their grounds being usually deserted much earlier. Though small fry they are very desirable for the table and welcome when other fish are scarce. Good catches have been brought in of good size and quality, and dried sillocks will appear occasionally on the bill of fare throughout the winter.