In Print

Newsprint – 1945

1945 January 2 Orkney Herald


The Editor and Staff of the “Orkney Herald” extend to all readers their heartiest good wishes for heath and prosperity in 1945.

To those splendid men and women who serve in H.M. Forces in all parts of the world with such steadfastness and devotion we say “Good health, good luck and may God bless you and keep you to return, as soon as possible, to all whom you have left behind and whom you hold so dear.

For those who are left at home to carry on their magnificent work for final victory our wish is for continued good health to enable them to supply our fighting men with all they need, so that once and for all the world may be rid of the foul and tyrannical doctrines of Nazism and Fascism.

And lastly, to those who must wait and watch for the return of their dear ones, we say “Be of good cheer and pray for the moment when the sun will shine again to drive away the last dark cloud of war so that Peace may be restored to a battle scarred and agonised world.”

May God be with you in your vigil, and may His blessing be with you in 1945 and always.

1945 January 9 Orkney Herald

STROMNESS NEWS – HOGMANAY. – Hogmanay Sunday was clear and cold. Towards midnight it became overcast and a slight drizzle set in. Quiet reigned during the last hours of the dying year; respect for the Sabbath bred in every British bone restrained any wild outbreaks of feeling. The pious section of the population took in the New Year in church; all other sections, the vast majority, welcomed it wherever they were standing – in dance-hall, canteen, home, or open street. The whisky famine had been mourned far and wide between Christmas and the New Year. Soon after midnight, however, a surprising number of bottles made an appearance – the result, as someone suggested, of hoarding all through the spring and summer. We observed nobody, however, who could be described as hopelessly drunk, and anyone who was inebriated reached that state in a sober dignified fashion, which was quite commendable. Stromness and Kirkwall have recently been described as the modern “Sodom and Gomorrah,” and certainly to anyone unacquainted with the rites of Hogmanay in Orkney, the streets and bye-laws of Stromness during the early hours of 1945 must have seemed inhabited by the depraved and the double-damned denizens of the lowest circles of the underworld. Intoxicated voices and the unsteady tramp of intoxicated feet kept honest citizens awake long after the usual hour. By seven in the morning most of the revellers had returned home, and the early morning light caught the last of them as they staggered, crawled, or were carried home to early breakfast. New Year’s Day, of course, was spent in disgusting in-action by the sober citizens of Stromness, and in sad attempts to regain sobriety by the swilling ones. Several of the latter category (by far the larger, we fear) repented on January the first, and swore never to touch drink again. But I quite agree with you, dear readers – we’ve heard that story before! We wish our readers a very happy New Year, and join with them in the fervent hope that 1946 will dawn on a world at peace.

1945 January 16 Orkney Herald

STROMNESS – HARBOUR FROZEN. – On Wednesday morning last a large part of the inner harbour was frozen over. An old Graemsay man of seventy years, who visited Stromness that day in his motor-boat, said he never remembered Stromness harbour frozen to such an extent before. When we passed on this opinion to a middle-aged Stromness man, he ridiculed the idea. He said he remembered two or three occasions of far thicker frost. But whatever it was like in the past, it was certainly very frosty last Wednesday morning. The wireless announcer spoke of a terrific snowstorm over the Straits of Dover. ln Orkney it was beautifully sunny and crisp – which is only one more proof of the superiority of Orkney’s climate to that of any other region in Britain.

1945 January 30 Orkney Herald



Orkney, like the rest of Britain, was last week in the grip of the most severe prolonged spell of Arctic weather for many years. All over the county roads were blocked and traffic held up. Few of the blocks were of long duration, but most roads were closed intermittently throughout the period. Even after more than a week only one traffic lane was available on most routes and great care was necessary.

Owing to interruptions to railway services in the North of Scotland, communication with the South by surface route was at times cut off, but on no day was Scottish Airways service between Inverness, Orkney and Shetland unable to get through, though some services were delayed. At Aberdeen, on the other hand, snowfall was such that Allied Airways were unable to operate. An aircraft which left there on Thursday, 18th January, was still in Orkney at this week-end.

There were few accidents due to the wintry conditions, and all bar one were of a minor nature. The exception was a sledging mishap on Clay Loan, Kirkwall, on Wednesday evening, as a result of which a member of the W.R.N.S., a Glasgow girl, sustained severe head and body injuries. At the time of going to press she was progressing as well as could be expected.

Writing on Friday a West Mainland correspondent reported: – We are completely snowed up here, with the worst snow block for many years. The frost, too, has been most severe. Most of the ordinary farm roads are full of snow, and moving is difficult except on foot, and even then not very easy. The public roads are not good either. Some attempt at clearing has been made here and there, but these roads are in poor shape for the reasonable safety of the public.

[The Stromness correspondent writes] ….. THE SNOW. – After ten days of looking at flawless snow-scapes, we are all beginning to long once more for the sight of good black earth; all of us, that is, except the children, who are “snow-borne” most of the day and night. There are not so many snowmen this year as formerly. Children nowadays are not satisfied with this mild form of amusement. They prefer to throw freezing ammunition at elderly gentlemen going home from work. And, of course, we daren’t blame the dear little things, as they are merely copying (in their own innocent fashion) their elders on the battlefields of Europe. Setting out to Kirkwall by bus in this weather is an adventure, and should only be attempted by men of steel. By this time probably the worst is over; and everyone you meet says we’ve had enough snow to last us till next year.

1945 February 6 Orkney Herald

EVIE – FARM. – The farmers have had a harassing time in the severe wintry weather of the past weeks, and are concerned about the delay in field operations. Ploughing already in arrears has been further delayed by the recent snow, and some hard work will have to be done to make up for lost time.

WINTRY CONDITIONS, – January 1945 has passed, leaving a memory of exceptionally severe wintry weather, which persisted throughout its course. Not for many years have we experienced such a long spell of snow and Arctic conditions. The rigours have been felt more keenly in the open spaces than in the town, and country folk have been greatly inconvenienced. But a snowfall is not without interest, and in the white world there were days of beautiful snowscapes with frosty decorations that claimed admiration. The discomforts, however, brought forth many maledictions. With roads blocked traffic ceased for a time and for some days there were no mails. All outside work came to a standstill, and with life stagnant a loneliness brooded over the place. Shopping presented a problem when stores dropped low. At the farms difficulties had to be faced in attending to the cattle and other livestock when water and turnips became frozen. All social functions had to be postponed, including Burns celebrations. With the advent of February we look forward to signs of spring, and as Candlemas was not bright and fair we hope that “maist of the winter has been and mair.”

1945 February 13 Orkney Herald

LOCAL AND DISTRICT NEWS – HELD OVER. – Owing to late arrival and non-arrival of copy, several items of news, mainly from the districts, have had to be held over.

[It is obvious there has been no ‘Rousay correspondent’ for a very long time. Articles do appear on a very irregular basis, and I am guessing they were written by the minister, for his name appears in every one at least twice! So, with such a dearth of island news I will continue to extract items of interest from Orkney in general, especially the ever-present scribe from Evie. His eloquent description of weather and farming would have been very similar for folks living either side of Eynhallow Sound…..]

EVIE – FARM. – The farmers, after strenuous days round the steading contending with the recent hard conditions, have lost no time in diverting their energies to the soil since the black earth appeared, and the plough teams have been busy turning up the sod. Looking round the fields one can see a considerable expansion of furrows. Housewives are engaged with their incubators preparing for chick-hatching.

THE THAW. – The snow is over and gone, and the earth restored to its normal appearance. Everybody welcomed the thaw, which was termed a moderate one, and the ill effects were negligible. The frost broke up slowly and the water was gradually released preventing a sudden torrent descending from the hills, which would have resulted in damage to roads and property. In the milder atmosphere which ensued there was the breath of Spring, but winter still holds sway over the land. From its covering of snow the grass emerged wilted and bleached, and the wet bleak fields, yet unrelieved by a spot of green, present a dreary aspect indicative of the season.

1945 February 20 Orkney Herald

ECCLESIASTICAL EPISODES No. 17. – After the Disruption of 1843, when the “Free Kirk” broke away from the Established Church of Scotland, many ministers in Orkney, as elsewhere, who had identified themselves with the schism, found themselves without any churches to preach in. Accordingly, on Sundays, when the weather permitted, they preached to their congregations in the open air. Sermons in those days took several hours to deliver. One Orkney minister whose name has not come down to us, was in the midst of a prolonged discourse on Hell and its horrors to a sleepy Sunday afternoon congregation, when a Whitemaa swooped out of the blue and dropped its usual load on the minister’s bald head. Many members of the congregation were so bold as to laugh – the ladies tittered, the children squeaked, and the men guffawed with merriment at the minister’s misfortune. The minister, however, was not a man to lose his head in such ludicrous circumstances. “My friends!” he thundered out, ” laugh to your heart’s content; but at the same time don’t forget to render thanks to God that he didn’t make cows fly!”

1945 March 6 Orkney Herald

EVIE – HIGH WINDS AND HEAVY SEAS. – Last week was characterised by high winds and heavy seas, and much blew in with the lion showing his teeth. The worst seas of the winter were witnessed in Eynhallow Sound. At Scabra Head the surge rose high in huge columns of spray which spread over the cliffs scattering the spindrift far over the land, and the narrow channel between Eynhallow and Rousay was a seething cauldron. The Rousay mail service was greatly interrupted, and on several occasions when an attempt was made to cross the Sound the boat landed at Aikerness, not being able to touch the Evie Pier, which was lashed by heavy land seas. Eager expectations of a spoot ebb were dashed by the tumult of the waters.

1945 May 15 Orkney Herald


VICTORY ! Shout it out from the house-tops and across the fields and over the seas. Let it resound from end to end of the earth. Let it echo down the arches of the years. Cry it jubilantly in your hearts and whisper it humbly in your prayers.

This is a victory greater than all the victories of history, greater than all the triumphs of Alexander and Julius Caesar, of Saladin and Genghis Khan, of Napoleon and Wellington. No battle honours inscribed on our centuries-old colours can compare with this.

We have fought the enemy wherever he was to be found. We fought him in the Middle East and North Africa. We fought him in Italy and Greece. We fought him through France and across the Low Countries until we ran him to earth in his own land, on the soil in which Germany’s dream of worId domination lies buried for ever.

France and Poland were at our side when we first took up the challenge. We battled on when we were alone, when our aircraft were few, when our Army was small, and when our commitments were great. We fought beside Russia and America when those nations were drawn into the struggle. Our victory is a victory of all the United Nations, but it is one which could never have been won without the stout hearts and strong arms of our own people.

It is in the hour of our supreme triumph that we shall be tested. This is no time for inflated pride, for “frantic boast and foolish word,” no time to rest on our laurels, to imagine that all that remains for us is to harvest the fruits of our labours.

There will be no fruits for our labours in the material sense. Our reward will lie in the satisfaction of knowing that we have helped to save civilisation and of seeing the free and happy faces of nations that, through our efforts, have been born again.

In difficulty and disaster we acquitted ourselves well. Let us show that in victory we can act with the same steadfastness, the same restraint, and the same dignity as we displayed to the world in the hard days that are past.

First, therefore, let us give thanks that we have been the instruments of justice and humanity. Then let us dedicate ourselves, in all humility, to the task which we took up in 1939: the task of ensuring that the Rule of Law shall prevail in every corner of the globe.

For we must not forget the enemy in the East. Before the Rule of Law again prevails throughout the world the Japanese have to be beaten as thoroughly and as completely as the Germans. With our Allies we shall work towards this – the final victory.


The European war is over. Two of the Axis Powers are broken and crushed in ignominy. It is only a matter of time before Japan shares their inglorious fate. After five and a half years of the bitterest struggle in history, there is a natural reaction against the tempo of war. We all need rest. We all want to forget the evils and horror brought about by the vile Nazi dictatorship.

Yet the time has not come for us to relax. The freedom for which we have been fighting will be held firmly within one grasp only if we tackle the problems of peace with the same vigour that we tackled the war.

1945 May 22 Orkney Herald



While we rejoice soberly at our victory in Europe – remembering still that the Japanese war is still to be won and that the tale of our dead is yet incomplete – we can remember the ordinary people of this country with a great and humble pride.

If they accepted compulsion, they did it, not in the German fashion, like slaves, but cheerfully, knowing what sacrifice they were making, understanding that the temporary loss of their liberty was a trifling matter compared with what their fate would be if they fell. And there was one liberty that they never surrendered: the freedom to grumble, to criticise, to speak their minds on whatever subject they chose.

When the women were mobilised in 1941, they heard the order with a kind of grim satisfaction. To-day, they can look back in a record unparalleled by any other nation – for in what other country have women been conscripted on equal terms with men? Out of 16 million women between the ages of 14 and 60, nearly eight million were engaged, by 1944, in some form of National Service. In addition, some 900,000 were in part-time work. Then, a million women, most of them housewives, banded themselves together into the Women’s Voluntary Services, and quietly went about their honoured task as the nation’s maids-of-all-work. There is an epic touch about the story of this great endeavour, which, like all those other great voluntary efforts which seemed to spring up overnight as the need arose, played a never-to-be-forgotten part in the saga of the last five years.

The Observer Corps were in being when the war broke out, and the Luftwaffe learned to its cost how great was their efficiency. The demand came for a Home Guard – “that band of murderers,” as Hitter called it in a helpless fury. Men responded in their hundreds of thousands, and, before the war was over, the Home Guard had become a highly-trained citizen army, a million and three-quarters strong. When officers were needed for the youth training corps, more than enough came forward.

Wherever we turn, there is a tribute to pay. To the magnificent men and women of the National Fire Service and the Civil Defence the nation owes a special word of praise. And not to be forgotten are the anonymous men, women and children who transformed the prosaic jobs of collecting salvage and savings into a triumphant progress.

More than 22 million civilian removals were recorded in Britain during the war. Many of these came about because the work of a man or woman could be utilised to better advantage in another part of the country. Yet this hardship, like so many others brought about by the war, was accepted as a matter of course.

The people of this country who performed such prodigies have well deserved their days of rejoicing.

1945 July 3 Orkney Herald

HELD OVER. – Owing to pressure on our space and time, numerous articles, letters to the Editor, and items of local and district news have been held over. Some of these will be out of date by the time our next issue appears, but we heartily thank all correspondents for their interest and help. – Ed.

[This particular eight-page edition of the Orkney Herald contained three pages of advertisements, three-quarters of a page of ‘local and national’ news – and five pages of political comment in support of Liberal candidate Major Joseph Grimond in the forth-coming General Election ! ]

1945 June 12 Orkney Herald

LEARNING THE WAYS OF PEACE. – When the lights go on at night we remember the imperative duties that only a short time since encircled us – the blackout, the fire-watch, the first-aid post, and safeguarding the children as far as possible from the danger that might come in the darkness.

All that is behind us. Ways of peace lie ahead. The evenings are our own once more to be spent as we choose. Children, too, who follow the spirit of the times will soon forget their warlike games and play, in every sense, at peace.

The paths of war have led us to the lanes of peace. Some we pray never to retrace. One road, however, that opened in September, 1939, and broadened into a highway we can continue to follow. That is the road of good comradeship, wide enough to let us all pass through together and Iong enough, we hope, to take up to a happier state.

1945 July 17 Orkney Herald

STROMNESS – THE ECLIPSE. – The eclipse of the sun which occurred last Monday afternoon, and which was to have been slightly more spectacular in Orkney than in other parts of Britain, was a disappointment after all, on account of the heavily overcast sky. Air passengers to Orkney had the good fortune to see the partial eclipse perfectly from above the clouds. We on terra firma merely saw that it became slightly darker towards the peak period of eclipse. Some people swear that it also became colder for an hour or two, but we’re inclined to be sceptical on that point. Some extreme parties go so far as to say that all the bad weather we’ve been experiencing since is solely due to these unnatural heavenly manifestations; whereas it would be just as reasonable to blame the “Caretaker” Government for it. However, there’s no doubt that the amateur astronomers of Stromness were, last Monday, extremely disappointed men.

1945 July 24 Orkney Herald

OPINION. – In two days’ time we will know the name of our new M.P. We have done our best to ensure that it will not be Basil Neven-Spence, but we are forced to recognise that his re-election is by no means an impossibility. We are of opinion that Major Neven-Spence is an excellent and honourable gentleman – but he is tied to a party for which we hold no brief, and it is therefore necessary to eject him.

His Liberal opponent, Major Joseph Grimond, is a man who will go far in the world of politics. He is a fine orator, a brilliant thinker, and, most important of all, he has the tremendous energy of youth. If Orkney and Shetland elects him (and many people say that it will) we will have acted wisely and well. But whether Major Grimond is to be our next M.P. or not, a brilliant Parliamentary career is certain for him.

Mr Prophet Smith, the Labour candidate, is also young and energetic, without possessing the wide culture of his Liberal opponent. We are of opinion that Labour made a great mistake in contesting the constituency on this occasion. Their chances of success are somewhat remote, and by forcing a three-corner election they have gravely endangered the Liberal prospect of victory – a prospect which would have amounted to an overwhelming certainty in the event of a straight Liberal-Tory fight.

Meantime we have good reason to suppose that Major Grimond will top the poll on Thursday.

“The Orcadian,” our Tory contemporary, persistently underestimates the intelligence of Orcadians. This is a Liberal paper. We support a Liberal policy. We also take a liberal and high view of the intelligence of our readers. We do not think (like the “Orcadian”) that all Socialists are lazy and greedy. Some of them – a small minority – are. But the greater part of the Labour Party is sincere and honest. We could, if we thought poorly of our readers’ intelligence, describe the Tories, en masse, as parasitic and stupid. Some of them are, and some of them are not. It will be the Liberal policy to educate them away from their parasitic propensities and from their obtuseness, whenever and wherever these undesirable factors are in evidence.

People who fondly imagine that the Liberal Party is a dying organism, are in for a rude shock within the next few years. We prophesy that in another half-century from now it will be the Tory Party which will suffer annihilation; and the Liberal Party, which has been in abeyance for two and a-half decades, will once more be great in the councils of the nation. Already we see that this new “birth of freedom” is quickening the Liberal Party. In the forthcoming Parliament there will be many more Liberal M.P.s than in the 1435-45 Parliament. “The Orkney Herald” watches the renascence of the Liberal Party with delight and enthusiasm.

[General Election result, July, 1945: Orkney and Shetland
Basil Neven-Spence, Unionist – 6,304
Jo Grimond, Liberal – 5,975
Prophet Smith, Labour – 5,208]

1945 July 31 Orkney Herald

OPINION. – The unexpected and complete success of the Socialists in the General Election proves, if anything at all, that the people of Britain are heartily sick of the Tories. It also proves that the popular press, claiming to be omniscient, really knew very little about the mind of the electorate. The “Orkney Herald” was quite prepared for a Neven-Spence victory in our northern constituency; and, much though we loathed Toryism, we never doubted that his election, especially in view of the split anti-Tory vote, was a real possibility. The narrow margin of the Tory’s success in Orkney and Shetland proves that Liberalism is still a potent force in the north, and that Labour is also a power to be reckoned with. Faced with only one candidate, Major Neven-Spence would have been completely obliterated. His “more-than-last-time” majority, promised by the “Orcadian,” dwindled to a very shaky three hundred. In the next election, make no mistake, we will be saying adieu for good to Major Neven-Spence…..

[I am now under the assumption that the Rousay ‘correspondent’ is a supporter of the Conservative party – and therefore sends his island news for inclusion within the columns of The Orcadian newspaper. Unfortunately the British Newspaper Archive is yet to make digital copies of that newspaper from 1912 available on-line.

With the war over, annual events such as the the Rousay Cattle Show resume,  and a representative from the Orkney Herald visited the island to ‘cover’ the day’s proceedings – as we see below…..]

1945 August 14 Orkney Herald


A successful revival of Rousay Cattle Show was held on Tuesday, 7th August, in a field kindly lent by Mr R. Seatter, Banks.

The weather was dull, with drizzle during the forenoon, clearing up later in the day. This was the first show held in Rousay since the outbreak of war in 1939. The entries in the cattle sections were higher than in 1939. Fewer horses in the younger classes took down the horse entries. The sheep section was again higher entries than in 1939.

The judges spoke of the high quality beasts put forward, and made special remarks on the exceptionally good show and quality of the draught mares, and also one-year-old colts and fillies.

The judges were Mr Learmonth, Pow, Sandwick, and Mr Wood, Skaill, Sandwick.

The show arrangements were carried out by Messrs David Moar, Saviskaill; John Mainland, Westness; James Lyon, Ervadale; Armit Sinclair, Langskaill; Robert Seatter, Banks; Robert Johnston, Trumland; William Corsie, The Glebe; James Russell, Brendale; Robert Mainland, Nearhouse; George Reid, Tratland; James Craigie, Falquoy; John Craigie, Furse; with Ronald Shearer, Curquoy, as Secretary.

In the afternoon a stock judging competition, open to persons up to 25 years of age, was held, there being 26 competitors.

The following were the prize-winners: – 1 (equal), with 29 out of 36 points, David Gibson, Nearhouse, Rousay; James Mainland, Sound, Egilshay, and Tom Linklater, North Tofts, Egilsay. 2 (equal), with 28 points, Elsie Donaldson, Tratland, Rousay, and Hugh Mainland, Midskaill, Egilshay. 3, with 27 points, Archer Clouston, Trumland, Rousay. 4 (equal), with 26 points, Thelma Shearer, Curquoy, Rousay, and John Mainland, Nearhouse, Rousay. 5 (equal), with 25 points, William Mainland, Hurtiso, Rousay; Ronald Stevenson, Westness, Rousay; and Edward Seatter, Banks.

Arrangements for the stock judging competition were carried through by Mr Watt, County Organiser, and assistants. An interesting demonstration on stock judging was given by Mr Learmonth, Pow, Sandwick.

The catering for the show was efficiently carried out by the ladies of the Horticultural Committee, under its convener, Mrs H. Gibson, Bigland, president of the Horticultural Society.

The show prizewinners were:-

CATTLE SECTION. – Polled Bulls – 1 Robert Johnston. Polled Cows – 1 J. Harcus, 2 Miss M. A. Munro, 3 Wm. Corsie, 4 R. Johnston. Shorthorn Cows – 1 Miss Mainland, 2 W. Corsie, 3 J. Munro, 4 R. Slater. Three-year-old Polled Cows – 1 W. Corsie, 2 R .Johnston, 3 W. Alexander. Two-year-old Polled Queys – 1 J. Harcus, 2 R. Johnston, 3 W. Corsie, 4 R. Johnston. Two-year-old Shorthorn Queys – 1 C. Flett, 2 R. Seatter. Two-year-old Polled Steers – 1 Mrs Mainland, 2 W. Corsie, 3 Mrs Mainland, 4 W. Alexander. One-year-old Polled Queys (1st Oct.) – 1 J. Harcus, 2 J. Munro. One-year-old Shorthorn Queys (1st Oct.) – 1 R. Johnston. One-year-old Polled Steers (1st Oct.) – 1 W. Alexander, 2 R. Johnston, 3 R. Seatter. One-year-old Shorthorn Steers (1st Oct.) – 1 R. Seatter. One-year-old Polled Queys (1st Mar.) – 1 R. Johnston. One-year-old Polled Steers 1st Mar.) – 1. J. Harcus, 2 R. Johnston, 3 Mrs Grieve, 4 W. Corsie. One-year-old Shorthorn steers (1st Mar.) – 1 J. Munro, 2 and 3 R. Seatter. Calves (1st Oct.) – 1 and 2 W. Alexander, 3 and 4 R. Seatter. Calves (1st Mar.) – 1 W. Alexander, 2 R. Seatter.

HORSE SECTION. – Draught Geldings – 1 W. Corsie, 2 J. Lyon. Draught Mares – 1 G. Reid, 2 R. Johnston, 3 W. Corsie, 4 J. Craigie. Two-year-old Geldings – 1 E. Craigie. Two-year-old Fillies – 1 G. Reid, 2 J. Lyon, 3 R. Seatter. One-year-old Geldings – 1 R. Johnston. One-year-old Fillies – 1 and 2 J. Craigie. Garrons – 1 J. Munro, 2 S. Inkster.

SHEEP SECTION. – Pen of Two Cross Ewes – 1 R. Seatter. Pen of Two Cheviot Ewes – 1, 2 and 3 R. Johnston. Pen of Two Cross Gimmers – 1 R. Seatter. Pen of Two Cross Lambs – 1, 2 and 3 R. Seatter, 4 R. Johnston. Best Five Lambs – 1 R. Seatter; reserve, R. Johnston.

SPECIAL PRIZES. – Cup presented by Mr John T. Flett, for Best Animal in Horse Sections; to be won three years – George Reid, Tratland; reserve, John Craigie, Furse. Cup, presented by the Rev. R. Davidson, for Best Animal in Cattle Sections; to be won three years – Robert Johnston, Trumland; reserve. W. Alexander, Scockness. Cup, presented by Mr William Bertram, for Best. Clydesdale Mare in Yard; to be won three years – George Reid, Tratland; reserve, John Craigie, Furse. Cup, presented by Messrs. P. C. Flett Co., for Best Cow in Yard; to be won three years – 1 William Corsie, The Glebe; reserve, Mrs Mainland, Hurtiso. Cup, presented by Mr George Johnston, M.R.C.V.S., for Best Shorthorn Cow; to be won three years – Mrs Mainland, Hurtiso; reserve, W. Corsie, The Glebe. Cup, presented by Dr Paterson, for Best Cog-fed Calf; to be won three years – 1 and reserve, William Alexander, Scockness. Cup. presented by T. S. Peace, for Shorthorns under 2½ years old; to be won three years – R. Johnston, Trumland; reserve, Charles Flett, Quoys. Cup, presented by the Northern Farmers Co-operative Society, for Best Pair Yearlings; to be won three years – Robert Johnston, Trumland; reserve, J. Harcus, Gorehouse. Cup, presented by Mr John Kemp, jeweller. for Best One-year-old Colt or Filly; to be won two years – John Craigie, Furse; reserve, Robert Johnston, Trumland. Cup, presented by Messrs Reith & Anderson, for Best Five Lambs; to be won three years – Robert Seatter, Banks; reserve, Robert Johnston, Trumland. Silver Rose Bowl, presented by O.A.D.S., for Best Four Cattle drawn from any section; to be won three years – Robert Johnston, Trumland; reserve, John Harcus, Gorehouse. Vase, presented by Mr Wm. Shearer, seed merchant, for Best Gelding in Yard; to be won three years – Robert Johnston, Trumland; reserve, Wm. Corsie, The Glebe. Medal, presented by Mr A. W. K. Baikie, for Best Butcher Animal; to be won two years – Mrs Mainland, Hurtiso; reserve, William Corsie, The Glebe. Medal, presented Mr Stanley Firth, for Best Pair of Ewes; to be won two years – Robert Seatter, Banks; reserve, Robert, Johnston, Trumland. Medal, presented Mr W. D. Reid, for Best Animal in Cattle Section under £20 rental; to be won two years – 1 and reserve, John Harcus, Gorehouse. Medal, presented by the late Fred. Inkster, for Best Animal in Sheep Section; to be won two years – 1 and reserve, Robert Seatter, Banks. Medal, presented by Mr Alex Heddle, butcher, for Best Calf in Yard; to be won two years – 1 and reserve, William Alexander, Scockness. Medal, presented by Mr John Foulis, butcher, for Best Garron; to be won two years – James Munro, Breval; reserve, Sam. Inkster, Kirkhall. Most Successful Exhibitor – Mr Robert Johnston, Trumland. Most Entries – Mr Robert Johnston, Trumland.


FISHING NOTES. – During the great dearth of fresh fish in the past few years, the local fishermen have turned more and more to lobster fishing for a living. Lobster fishing, on the whole, is remunerative, and in wartime especially, the local lobster fishers have been well paid for their wares by the wholesale fish merchants of the south. The lobster fisher has his worries, too; for the shellfish must be transported alive to their destination. This calls for speed of a high order, and the Orkney lobsters are usually in Glasgow the day after they are caught. It’s remarkable how long these crustaceans wilI remain alive out of their element. The present month of August, however, is the worst time of year of them. Many of them die on the way south, and are consequently quite useless, because they putrefy very rapidly after death. Indeed, unless the lobsters are boiled while alive (cruel fate !) they will be tainted, and unfit to eat. So August is the most worrying month for the lobster fishers. If any of their fish die en route, all their hard work will have been in vain. When you are enjoying the sunshine and the pleasant warmth of mid-August, spare a thought for the poor lobster fishers, who can only be sure of a profit in the cool weather. For them, August is the only really dangerous month of the year.

1945 August 21 Orkney Herald


On August the fifteenth ended the Second World War, which began on September the third, 1939. For almost six years Britain has poured out her strength and her manhood to make this victory certain. Our losses have been grievous; but, had we hesitated to make the necessary sacrifices, our people would have been defeated and sent into a shameful slavery. To-day the evil nations of the earth, with all their satellites, are humbled to the dust. To-day the victorious Allied Nations are supreme on earth. This has come about because they had faith and trust in the innate dignity and goodness of Man, and because they had the courage to fight for their ideals. The future peace of the world depends on good relationships and mutual trust existing between the victorious nations. If they quarrel with each other, another World War of incredible magnitude will result; and of its outcome no man dares to contemplate. Intelligent thinking and discussion among the common people will go a long way towards pressing the world’s peace, which is now more precious than it has ever been.

The powerful Empire of Japan, with a native population of a hundred millions, half civilised, half barbaric, declared war on Britain and America in a typically cynical way. Without one word of warning, their aircraft, on the morning of December 7th, 1941, destroyed the American Naval Base of Pearl Harbour. The Japanese statesmen who planned that treacherous blow at the heart, did not foresee the swift and terrible vengeance that would fall on them almost four years later. The stricken cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are eternal monuments to the futility of treachery in diplomacy and war. The Japanese sowed the wind, and reaped the tempest. May such be the fate of all tyrants!

Symbolic of the new light that has dawned on the world, we in Orkney notice with pleasure that, as the dark time of year draws on, the notorious “black-outs” are no more. The sight of a town in the late Autumn evenings blazing with lights, induces extravagant pleasure. It means for us that the dark sinister things of earth have been overcome; and the simply kindly things reign in the homes of men once more. In our northern islands the “black-out” was a severe imposition, borne cheerfully while it was necessary. May it never, never, be necessary again.

STRANDED ON TRIP TO U-BOAT. – Fog resulted in the stranding of 120 people at Kirkwall last Tuesday night. They had been taken by naval drifters from the islands of Eday, Sanday, and Stronsay to visit the submarine U776. One drifter, after safely retuning its 40 passengers to Rousay, grounded in the fog. Visitors to the submarine during the day totalled 2000, and a formal welcome was extended to the boat by Rear-Admiral Patrick Macnamara, C.B., C.B.E., Flag Officer, Orkney, and the members of Orkney County Council, Kirkwall Town Council, Stromness Town Council, and Orkney Harbour Commissioners. In conjunction with the visit of the U-boat there was held an exhibition of naval photographs showing scenes from the South Pacific to the Arctic, and including a pictorial record of the four-years job of constructing causeways that link the islands of South Ronaldshay and Burray with the Orkney mainland, blocking the eastern approaches to Scapa Flow, and providing highways over which traffic now runs. The submarine left Kirkwall on Thursday night for Lerwick, Shetland, taking with her two members of the Kirkwall Sea Cadet Corps.

[Launched in March 1944, U-776 participated in just one war patrol, during which no ships were sunk or damaged. In May 1945 the vessel surrendered at Portland, Dorset, and was later designated N-65, a British N-class submarine. It toured the East coast of the UK, during which it was visited by 73,960 persons. No charge was made for viewing the vessel, but collecting boxes placed aboard raised a sum of £6,195 for the King George’s Fund for Sailors. During the two-day visit to Kirkwall 3,500 folk donated a total of £247 – an average of just under 1s 5d per head.]

1945 August 28 Orkney Herald

KIRKWALL FISHERMEN’S MISHAP. – Anxiety was felt on Wednesday night for the safety of three occupants of the fishing boat Gwen-Alice, Messrs Alex. Walls, James Deerness and David Linklater. The boat should have returned about 9 p.m. Search was instituted through the Coastguard look-out stations, but no trace of the boat was obtained till after dawn when she was seen making for Kirkwall under sail. The June (Mr Charles Kelday) went out and towed her home. It transpired that the Gwen-Alice had sustained a damaged shaft coupling. She sheltered throughout the night in Saviskaill Bay, Rousay.

1945 September 18 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – NATIONAL BIBLE SOCIETY – Orkney Auxiliary. – The Hon. Treasurer, Mr W. J. Heddle, solicitor, Kirkwall, begs to acknowledge the sum of £1 6s 6d, being the amount collected for the current year in the island of Rousay on behalf of the above Society, and to thank Mrs Lily Miller, Schoolhouse, Wasbister, for her kind services.

STROMNESS. – The Stromness Welcome Home’s Evie-Rousay Trip, fixed for last Thursday, had to be cancelled. Reason: the tickets were not being sold. It seems that the lateness of the season was against the trip, and uncertainty as to what the state of the weather would be. As it happened last Thursday (the Stromness September holiday) was a lovely sunny day, ideal for a large picnic. Another reason why tickets did not sell was undoubtedly the high price asked (12s 6d each). We hope Rousay people will not feel insulted that Stromnessians last week declined to visit their lovely island. We’ll probably be going in the spring-time.

1945 October 9 Orkney Herald

On Friday, 19th October

STOCK. – 2 Cows in calf, Feby and May, calvers; Stot in forward condition; 2 Fostered Quey Calves.
CROP. – 4 coles of Hay, Turnips, by the Drill.
IMPLEMENTS. – Plough, scuffler, set Zig-zag Harrows, Grubber, Turnip Sower and Scarifier, Cart, Sledge, Harness, Lister Cream Separator with Stainless Cups, Churn, Plough Trees, 2 H.P. Universal Petter Petrol Paraffin Engine and Mill, Barn Fanners, Bushel Measure.

Sale to commence at 11.30 o’clock.
Five months’ credit on approved bills for sums of £5 and upwards,
or discount thereon for cash.
T. SMITH PEACE, Auctioneer.

1945 October 16 Orkney Herald

EVIE – WINTER APPROACHES. – With October here and Summer-Time over, there is a sense of winter in the air these days, and fires have become comfortable and friendly. Darkness falls suddenly in the afternoon, and there is already a long night. Country folk are now turning their thoughts to indoor entertainments.

HARVEST NEARS COMPLETION. – The continued spell of suitable weather has enabled the farmers to speed up with harvest operations, and now most fields are cleared of stooks and the grain safely garnered. The barnyards, replete with rows of huge compactly built stacks towering high, are a sight to gladden the hearts of the toilers of the soil. Not for many years has there been such a fine harvest.

1945 October 30 Orkney Herald

THANKSGIVING WEEK. – Saturday opens the Orkney £100,000 Thanksgiving Week of National Saving. In town and country throughout the Islands the Post Offices and Banks will register the pounds, shillings and pence which the Orkney folk aim to invest for the furtherance of national reconstruction. Backed by Orkney’s great record in those national savings schemes, the people of the county will go all out to achieve another success.

EVERY penny available should be invested, between November 3 and November 10, in the Orkney £100,000 Thanksgiving Week.

The week of thanksgiving, set in a winter scene, offers something different from all the previous savings schemes promoted in Orkney.

The tranquil nights afford time for reflection upon the victory for which we now give thanks.

The stormy nights emphasise that a penny or a pound invested may some day prove to be your best friend.

Most of the strangers within the gates during the past six years having now departed, this is Orkney’s first effort, and the success or failure of the Thanksgiving Week scheme therefore lies within the power of the Orkney people alone.

As Orkney in one of the national savings “Weeks” gifted over £10,000 in addition to investing hundreds of thousands, this year’s aim of £5000 in gifts for local purposes, and £100,000 in investments, for the national wealth, and the profit of the investor, should not be beyond our achievement.

The campaign will be set in motion on Broad Street, Kirkwall at 2.30 p.m. on the afternoon of November 3. The National Anthem will begin the proceedings before the main west door of St Magnus Cathedral, the brass band of Kirkwall Salvation Army leading the assembly. Irrespective of weather conditions, the brief and informal religious service will go on…..

Facilities for making investments on Saturday, the opening day, will be confined to the Aberdeen Savings Bank, 1 Castle Street, Kirkwall, and the Post Offices in Kirkwall and throughout the county.

During the succeeding days of the week there will be the full and normal facilities of all the Banks as well as the Savings Bank and the Post Offices.

In the Orkney local districts, in common with Scottish custom this year of thanksgiving, there are no local targets.

Proceeds of entertainments are going to the local welcome home funds.

All are asked to GIVE generously for the welcome home, and to INVEST wisely for national reconstruction…..


AN APPRECIATION. – On leaving Orkney to be demobilised, I should like to say that I will always treasure the memories of my stay on the Mainland. The country which I have come to like extremely well with its gently rolling hills, its colourful braes and very fertile fields, will ever form a pleasant picture in my mind. Although I have travelled far afield, never have I seen such wonderful sunsets or sunrises as I have in Orkney. The still and placid beauty of Orkney is seen at its best, on a summer’s evening, but when Orkney wears its cloak of moonlight or its winter snow suit, it is also very beautiful. Not to see it in rain however, would create a wrong impression, for rain sets the beauty of the country.

I was stationed at Twatt and for six glorious months had my wife and son with me, residing in Birsay, but not only is it for that reason that the Birsay and Marwick district has an especially warm corner in my heart whenever I think Orkney.

Above all, I should like to pay a tribute to the people of Orkney. The kindness and hospitality of the Orcadians has to be experienced to be believed. One of the very few advantages which war brings, is that many are enabled to meet such Christian folk as the Orcadians. Nowhere could one find more industrious, peaceful and loveable people as these dear folk, and I leave Orkney, but I hope not for the last time, with the knowledge that the close association I have had with so many Orcadians has taught me much in the way to happiness and a contented way of life.


ECCLESIASTICAL EPISODES. – Fishermen are by far the most superstitious of our Orkney population. Why this should be so is not immediately apparent, but when we remember that the fisherman’s trade is the most dangerous by far in the islands – that he quite literally takes his life in his hands whenever he goes to sea – and that his livelihood depends entirely on the elements of luck – then we realise why the Orkney fisherman is as interested in charms and omens. No fisherman will go to sea in the morning if he meets a minister before embarking. For any fisherman the sight of a minister is the extremest symbol of bad luck. Anthropologists (some of them!) trace this notion back to pagan times. In those days the heathen priest always visited the savage hunter or fisherman, and warned him if the omens were bad. The custom was so deeply ingrained that it persists to this day. The modern fisherman sees in the innocent minister taking his early-morning stroll, the bringer of bad tidings. And without a word he goes home and prays to the Almighty to keep ministers at home in the early morning, when honest fisherfolk go to sea.

1945 November 20 Orkney Herald


FINAL TOTAL £209,600

All the Orkney Welcome Home Committee areas are gratified by the result achieved by the county, and by their own districts, in the Thanksgiving Week. The final total was £209,600 8s 6d. Major J. W. Dickson, M.B.E., the County Secretary and Treasurer of the scheme, announced the final figure last Tuesday.

The warmest thanks of the county organisation, and of the local welcome home committees, is extended to all who worked for the success of the “Week,” and all who loaned or gifted money.

Below we give details as issued by the Finance Committee of the county organisation (Mr Norman Williamson, convener), based on information supplied by Major Dickson…..[Orkney Herald]

[There followed a long list of mainland parishes and island totals – Rousay’s contribution being £2,959 10s 0d. There has been no information in this newspaper regarding how this money was raised.]

1945 November 27 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – DONALDSON TRUST AND HAIG FUNDS. – Mrs Harcus, Frotoft School, has received acknowledgment of £9 0s 3d collected in Rousay for the Donaldson Trust. From the sale of Poppies, the sum of £8 15s 6d was realised. All those who helped with both collections are thanked for their kind assistance.

[Established in 1850, the Donaldson Trust has provided supported education and care throughout its history and has now established itself as the leading charity for neurodiversity in Scotland.]

1945 December 4 Orkney Herald

DANGER TO LIFE. – As a result of over five years training for war in Scotland there are still unfound “blind” shells and grenades in various places where troops have been exercising with live ammunition. Every effort has been, and is being, made to find these and destroy them. Everyone is asked to report any unusual looking object which might be a bomb, shell or mine to the nearest police station. Children, especially, should be warned not to touch unusual objects, but to report them to their parents.

1945 December 18 Orkney Herald

A mild epidemic, variously known as “gastric flu” or just plain “sickness,” has in the past few weeks claimed thousands of victims in Orkney. Characteristic symptoms are vomiting, diarrhoea, and slight fever. After forty-eight hours of misery, more or less intense, the sickness passes away, and the victim is apparently none the worse. Epidemics, after war, exercise a morbid fascination on some mentalities. After every major international conflict in Europe in the past, giant ghastly diseases have swept the continent and thinned considerably the population of every country. The terrible influenza which ravaged and de-populated Europe after the First World War, also made itself felt in Orkney. Many people of all ages died after a brief hectic illness. It is only natural, therefore, that the authorities are anxious about any epidemic which may break out after the Second World War. The starving war-torn countries of Central Europe are ideal breeding grounds for a mortal epidemic. Already attempts are being made to segregate British soldiers from German civilians in the present winter. The only thing to do now is to hope and pray that nothing happens.