‘I’ve sailed onst with an Orkney man,
A deal o’ years ago,’ said Dan,
‘In Clay’s old packet, Kubla Khan.’
– Cicely Fox Smith

OISF in collaboration

We much enjoy collaborating with other festivals, including Orkney Aviation Festival and their organising team. Another Orkney Production, whose online events we are hosting in the new online festival world. They come up each year with fascinating topics from aviation history in Orkney and elsewhere.

Orkney has been involved in many aviation firsts, both from its own need as an island group for aviation links and from the key strategic role played in two world wars by the great anchorage of Scapa Flow. Through this collaboration we have met many interesting people and heard many memorable stories of sea and sky, including the story of HMS Hood and the commemoration of the ship and those who served on her.

Our longstanding collaboration with the Slovenian Science Foundation is very special, and we shared together its 25th anniversary in 2021.

We enjoyed an event some years ago, Stromness Spirit of the Sea, and some years ago sent some speakers to join the Sanday Soulka. We also collaborated with North Ronaldsay Community Association on a programme of midwinter activities in the island and in various other parts of Orkney as well, to highlight the potential of astronomy and dark skies for winter tourism.


Orkney Aviation Festival this year spans past, present and future. The opening day (Thursday 9 September) reports on a new project making Kirkwall airport a testbed for new developments in aviation that can cut carbon emissions. Flights with an electric-hybrid aircraft are already under way, with more to follow, along with hydrogen-fuelled flights and island deliveries with unmanned aircraft.

Sanday Soulka

Each weekend contains a mixture of music, walks, talks, open art and craft studios and the model railway; you’ll have an opportunity to see the island’s photo-archive, Croft Museum and Heritage Centre. The timetable of events is designed to co-ordinate the skills and enthusiasm of many island groups and individuals, and local hostelries will cater for the hungry and thirsty.