Special Events 2023

They really are special! There’s a science show with a wizard from Kansas and four cowboys, and the story of Tombstone, Arizona, with the gunfight at the OK Corral …  and its microscopical scientific society, and remarkable events elsewhere in art and physics that were going on at the time.

There’s a Tattie Tasting: can rock dust make a difference to their flavour? That’s what they thought in Orkney in 1845 after the eruption of an Icelandic volcano. But we’ll also hear of how another earlier volcano changed the life of Robert Burns.

There’s a Friday evening in Hoy, crossing on the passenger ferry to hear stories from Barra and Shetland, with a light supper as well. A Saturday afternoon on Broad Street in front of St Magnus Cathedral with the beautifully restored cars and engines of Orkney Vintage Club. A Saturday evening there with the sound of the pipes and drums of Kirkwall City Pipe Band. And an opportunity to join the Sunday morning service in the Cathedral, with the light coming in through the stained glass windows and the sound of the choir rising up through the building.

JAKE’S MIDNIGHT SCIENCE CLUB – BRING THE FAMILY!

September 7 → 7:30 pm8:30 pm

… and meet a wizard, four cowboys, and a show that’s come direct from the Royal Institution in London. Dr Steven ‘Jake’ Jacobs, aka Wizard IV, former chief scientist for the Discovery Channel, has brought the four members of the legendary country group Riders in the Sky to help him tell stories of science.

TATTIE TASTING

September 8 → 10:30 am12:30 pm

The dust from Mount Hekla’s 1845 eruption is said to have given Orkney its best-tasting tatties ever. Could rock dust improve the soil and help today’s crop? Several growers in Orkney and Moray have been testing this, and Hospitality students at the college will prepare and serve the mystery tatties for tasting.

SHETLAND COD AND BARRA SANDS

September 8 → 6:45 pm9:30 pm

Take the 6 pm ferry from Stromness for an islands evening, with John Goodlad’s story of the 19th-century Shetland cod fishing boats that sailed to Rockall and Faroe, and a look with Elaine Stewart and Monica MacLeod at the island of Barra, with its own fishing tradition.

THE DOC, THE MARSHAL, AND THE GREAT YEAR OF LIGHT

September 8 → 7:30 pm8:30 pm

Tombstone, Arizona, famous for the gunfight at the OK Corral, also had a … Microscopical Scientific Society. The town was born in the same year as Albert Einstein and faded away in 1887, the year which laid the foundations for his theory of relativity. Howie Firth tells the story, with songs from Riders in the Sky.

VINTAGE RALLY

September 9 → 1:00 pm4:00 pm

It’s a great sight on Broad Street in front of the Cathedral, with an opportunity to see cars that can range in time from a Model T Ford from 1915 to a new electric vehicle of today – and with over a hundred years of vintage vehicles, classic cars and tractors in between, along with the sound of engines in action, and all beautifully restored.

KIRKWALL CITY PIPE BAND

September 9 → 7:00 pm7:30 pm

Kirkwall City Pipe Band with their final parade of the season.

A GOOD OLD-FASHIONED ORKNEY CONCERT

September 9 → 7:30 pm9:30 pm

Take a trip back to the 1950s, when Countrywoman was starting to write for the Orkney Herald – and audiences would enjoy a concert in the Harray Hall. Tonight there’s the West Mainland Strathspey and Reel Society, Robin Nicolson with some classic George Corrigall and David Towers songs, Highland dancing from Josie Gibbon and a sketch by Birsay Drama Club. Emma Grieve provides some Countrywoman readings, and joined by her sister Sarah Jane sings two of Bessie's poems, and it's all ably compered by Harvey Johnston.

SYMPHONIES OF GALAXIES

September 9 → 8:00 pm9:30 pm

Astronomy is one of the rich mix of influences on the Scottish composer Eddie McGuire, in conversation here with astronomer Dr Anne-Marie Weijmans and trumpeter and conductor Bede Williams, both from St Andrews University. He has also played for more than 40 years in one of Scotland’s most distinctive traditional music groups, the Whistlebinkies, and a group of Orkney traditional musicians will help to celebrate the occasion.

SCIENCE FESTIVAL SERVICE

September 10 → 11:15 am12:30 pm

Conducted by Rev. Fraser Macnaughton, with the St Magnus Cathedral Choir.

Miniature Whisky School: PEAT AND WHISKY

September 13 → 9:00 am12:00 pm

See the whole process, from peatcutting at Hobbister to drying the malt over distillery peat fires. Hear about the peat's origins from Dr Chris Marshall of UHI’s Environmental Research Institute, and about its effect on flavour from Dr Barry Harrison of the Scotch Whisky Research Institute.

REVIVING THE LOST

September 13 → 7:30 pm8:30 pm

100 years after Caithness author Neil M. Gunn became excise officer at the old Glen Mhor distillery in Inverness, we go further east along the road to Moray to hear the story of a distillery reborn - Benromach, from its manager Keith Cruickshank and production manager Murdo MacKenzie.

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!