SHETLAND COD AND BARRA SANDS

September 8 → 6:45 pm9:30 pm

Hoy Kirk

Take the 6 pm ferry from Stromness for an islands evening, with the story of the 19th-century Shetland cod fishing boats that sailed to Rockall and Faroe, and a look at the island of Barra, with its own fishing tradition which today includes langoustines as well as white fish.

Elaine Stewart and Dr Monica MacLeod from Barra show scenes from the island, including the beach where the Loganair plane lands and the castle in the sea where the ferry arrives.

Photography of Barra by Elaine Stewart

John Goodlad tells the story of The Cod Hunters and the 19th-century Shetland boats – the Faroe smacks – that sought the cod shoals, from Rockall to Faroe, Iceland to Greenland. They used baited lines, then salted the catch on board. Dried salted cod from Shetland was sold to the Basque country, and live cod (kept in tanks) to the London market. They also smuggled Faroese brandy and tobacco.

There’s a light supper to start the evening – and admission is free.

The ferry departs from Stromness Pier at 6 pm, and then returns from Moaness Pier in Hoy at 10 pm. Bookings are essential in view of much demand: go to Orkney Ferries online or phone 01856 872044.

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