Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022

We’ve a rich harvest of stories, among them the account of one of the great voyages, six men in an open boat through Antarctic seas on a rescue mission through blizzards, ice and mountainous waves. We will hear about the Orkney connections developed by one of them.

We will look north to the days of the Arctic whaling, and find out more about the design of the ships and the lives of the men who crewed then. We will learn too of a boat designed by an Orcadian naval architect to sail the Northwest Passage.

There is the story too of the Hudson’s Bay Company, and the Orcadians who worked for it, and an afternoon featuring the story of one of them, Dr John Rae.

We will go deep into the past, with stories of the rocks, and stories of transformation in legend, and ahead to the future with a range of scenarios. We’ll hear about scenarios from science fiction, and also about the new field of Transition Engineering, which develops systems and methods to plan practical route maps to a better future.

THE ARCTIC WHALERS

September 2 → 11:30 am12:30 pm

Len Wilson, former boatbuilder, tells the story of ships and men. 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.

THE MAN WHO RAN THE KATHLEEN ANNIE

September 2 → 2:00 pm3:00 pm

Local historian Patricia Long tells the story of the shipwreck on the Muckle Green Holm - and its skipper's longstanding links with Orkney. Polar historian Dr Maria Pia Casarini describes a previous voyage he made: a rescue mission with Shackleton, six men in an open boat, through blizzard, hurricane and mountainous seas.

FROM HOY TO HUDSON BAY AND BACK

September 2 → 6:45 pm9:30 pm

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 Orkney's long links with the Hudson’s Bay Company and the local people. Polar historian Dr Maria Pia Casarini tells the story of the company itself. It's free but remember to book the ferry.

Arrive by sea in this audiovisual presentation of archive photographs and take in the impressive view of the hills of Hoy. Meet the ferryman and land at the pier. Visit the Norse farm at the Bu, pass the medieval Kirk and hear about the Hoy Express. Narrated by John Budge with voices from the Hoy Heritage project, Tales o Hoy.

STROMNESS SHORELINE RAMBLE

September 4 → 10:00 am11:30 am

See some of the Museum’s natural history collection, then set off to the Point of Ness and beyond to see seashells and stromatolites, granite rocks and wildflowers. On the way there are stories about famous naturalists such as Hugh Miller and Robert Rendall, and views across the harbour from the cannon and across Hoy Sound.

GAAN NORT

September 4 → 2:00 pm3:00 pm

Around the North Isles, farmers have been looking back at the changes through their lifetimes in recorded interviews with Dr Tom Rendall and Ailsa Seatter. Sit back and listen to voices, with photographs past and present: Jimmy and Mary Lennie in Sanday, Irvine Miller in Stronsay, Ena Hewison in Eday, and Steven Drever in Westray.

CONCERT: MUSIC FOR THE WINTER QUEEN

September 4 → 7:30 pm8:30 pm

Music from the 17th century and today comes together with the poetry of John Donne, born 450 years ago, and the story of a terrible European war in which modern science was born. It wove together the lives of Donne, Kepler and Galileo, and also the Winter Queen, Elizabeth Stuart, granddaughter of Mary Queen of Scots.

FILM: THE DEER WOMAN

September 4 → 7:31 pm7:45 pm

The need to rethink the human relationship with the natural world is the context of Selena S. Kuzman’s new performance film. It draws on the old Highland stories of deer shapeshifting into women, bridging the human and natural worlds. Costume and headdress are created from found and pre-loved fabrics and objects from the past.

VOYAGE TO THE FUTURE

September 5 → 9:00 pm9:45 pm

Are current global crises taking us into the territory where science fiction turns into reality? Back in the 1990s when historians looked to a peacful and prosperous future, Scottish science fiction writer Ken MacLeod was forecasting a much grittier world ahead. What does he think of the present day, and how does he now see the future?

CONCERT: THE MUSIC OF THE STARS

September 6 → 7:30 pm8:30 pm

Sir William Herschel, who died 200 years ago, discovered infrared radiation and the planet Uranus, built his own reflecting telescopes - and composed symphonies, concertos, sonatas, church music. Astronomer Dr Anne-Marie Weijmans tells his story. Elizabeth Sullivan, Valerie Webster and George McPhee play his music.

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NEXT EVENTS ON

BRINGING THE LIGHT BACK

August 31 → 6:00 pm7:30 pm

WALK: MULL HEAD CIRCULAR

September 1 → 11:00 am3:00 pm

ENGINEERING THE FUTURE

September 1 → 11:30 am12:30 pm

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