Our island adventure will start with the ferry from Houton where we can look out for seabirds and cetaceans. Once on Flotta, we will enjoy a leisurely walk round the island enjoying the scenery and a wide variety of wildlife. Bring a picnic. Please note the ferry fare is included in the price. Medium Full Day (7:40 am – 5:15 pm), Medium, £75pp (incl ferry fare) The walk must be booked in advance and the payment is non-refundable. A booking link will appear here. We will announce in advance when booking will open for all
ONLINE Our whole society depends on measurements, billions of them every day. From the GPS on our phones, thorough precision healthcare and advanced manufacturing, to the more mundane weights and measures at the local market, we all rely on an accurate and trustworthy measurement system. The system is maintained by metrology – the science of measurement – which also aims to improve measurement accuracy over time. Prof. Richard Brown, the Head of Metrology at the National Physical Laboratory, describes the work of metrology and the continual support it provides to sustain
Phoenix Cinema, Pickaquoy, Kirkwall Len Wilson, former boatbuilder, tells the story of the men who manned the whalers, including James ‘Cutty’ Wilson and the wreck of the Wildfire amidst ice floes in Davis Strait. Naval architect Dennis Davidson of Murray Cormack Associates describes how the ships were strengthened to withstand the pressure of the ice and brings the story up to date with his own design of the aluminium motorboat Polar Bound in which the sailor and explorer David Cowper has made four transits of the Northwest Passage.
Phoenix Cinema, Pickaquoy, Kirkwall On 30 September 1924 the schooner Kathleen Annie ran aground on the Muckle Green Holm, south of Eday, with a cargo of spirit. Her master was Commander Frank Worsley, a man of immense courage who had captained Shackleton’s ship Endurance in the Antarctic. When the ship was crushed by ice, he skippered the small boat that went on an epic journey to South Georgia to seek rescue. He would later command the Quest on Shackleton’s final voyage, a century ago. Local historian Patricia Long tells the story of
ONLINE In a lifetime’s career in marine salvage, Alec Crawford has explored wrecks from remains of the Spanish Armada to the SS Politician, the vessel made famous in the film Whisky Galore – and also the White Star Liner Oceanic, which, when built in 1899, was the biggest and most luxurious ship in the world. Widely regarded as an 'undiveable' wreck, lying somewhere off the remote island of Foula, it was one of the ultimate underwater challenges.
Orkney Theatre, KGS, Kirkwall Dr Raymond Lamb Memorial Lecture Orkney Earls in Norse times had wealth and power, and the Orkneyinga Saga tells of various gatherings for feasting and drinking, with Orphir mentioned several times. Excavations at the Bu have provided insights into the possible location of an earl’s hall. A clue comes from a horizontal mill, fallen into disuse and filled with remains of cooked food: choice cuts of meat suggest a place of feasting nearby. Dr Colleen Batey of UHI’s Institute for Northern Studies and Prof. Ingrid Mainland of
Hoy Kirk Take the 6 pm ferry from Stromness for a journey to the old Nor’ Wast. Curator Janette Park of Stromness Museum tells the story of the long Orkney links with the Hudson’s Bay Company and the people of the region. Polar historian Dr Maria Pia Casarini tells the story of the company itself. You can see the Hoy Heritage Centre exhibition about the life of William Sinclair Ritch from Rackwick in Hoy, who joined the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1872, had a family in Canada with his Cree wife, Sophia
ONLINE Arrive by sea and take in the impressive view of the hills of Hoy. Meet the ferryman and watch the pier being built. On this journey you will hear about the shipwrecks of Hoy and the islanders’ rescue missions. Visit the Norse farm at the Bu, pass the medieval Kirk and hear about the bullock-pulled mail service, the Hoy Express. Narrated by John Budge with voices from the Hoy Heritage project, Tales o Hoy.
Orkney Theatre, Kirkwall How the salt fish trade connected Shetland with the rest of Europe for more than two hundred years. John Goodlad, who has worked in the seafood industry all his life, describes how salt fish from Shetland became one of the staple foods of Europe and powered the economy of the islands. The story ranges from the wild waters of the North Atlantic, the ice-filled fjords of Greenland and the remote islands of Faroe – to the dining tables of London’s middle classes, the bacalao restaurants of Spain and
The Orkney Club, Harbour Street, Kirkwall There’s a second part to the great story of the Shetland salt fish trade – this is the inspiration that it has given many artists, novelists, poets, film makers and musicians. A great Scottish poet went fishing for herring in Shetland, and a famous Faroese artist painted the fishermen of his home village at work. The story also includes a lost fiddle tune, played by distant-water cod fishermen, and reinvented in recent years. John Goodlad in conversation with Spencer Rosie explores the art and the music,
ONLINE Join Eric Walker for an hour of information about what to look for and how to recognise it. There will be pictures, star maps, and the opportunity to ask questions about stars and planets, and using a telescope. Eric, who’s the chair of Highlands Astronomical Society, will show images taken from his own back-garden observatory and from the Orkney sky this week. He’s looking forward to news and information from wherever you are.