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06 July 2015Eynhallow Trip - tickets now on sale
Tickets are now on sale in the Orkney Library & Archives, Junction Road, Kirkwall. £22 per person. The trip is on the evening of Wednesday 16th July.
04 May 2015Orkney Heritage Society EGM
There will be an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) on Wednesday 13th May at 7pm. The venue will be confirmed shortly.
The topic is the change of the Society to become a SCIO - Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation.
28 April 20152015 Eynhallow Trip
We are pleased to announce the date for the annual trip to Eynhallow, this year it will be on Wednesday 15th July. Tickets will go on sale from the Archives Department only of the Orkney Library & Archive from 2nd July.
30 March 2015Opinions sought for memorial wall shape
The Orkney Heritage Society is seeking public opinion on the shape of wall proposed to surround the existing Kitchener Memorial, upon which ALL the names of those lost will be inscribed. Plans are available at the Birsay Community Centre, or via this link.
12 March 2015Conference Open Day
The Third Research in Progress Conference will be held in the Orcadian Bookshop Gallery (above the Orcadian Bookshop) in Albert Street on Saturday 14th March. A full programme of talks can be found on the Orkney Heritage Society's Research in Progress page.
Everyone is welcome. It costs £5 for a the full day, £3 for half day. Refreshments will be available.
11 March 2015Orcadian architecture found in the USA?
We were recently contacted by Dr Gunnar Thomson from Seattle, WA:
Prince Henry Sinclair (and the Orkney Island architectural style at Eynhallow) played an important role in building the Old Stone Tower at Newport, Rhode Island.
I have identified the so-called "foundation structure" of the Newport Grant House as a lime kiln on the basis of two vents in the north and south sections that nobody else has seemed to notice. It was the opinion of historian James Isham (1895) that the Old Stone Tower had to be a Colonial windmill on the basis of his belief that the foundation of the Grant House had mortar and arches with triangular keystones -- just like the Newport Tower; and the Colonial Grant House was built circa 1670. Therefore, the Old Stone Tower had to have been built at the same time. My investigation of the photographic archive clearly indicates that there were three sections of an ancient lime kiln; and these are out of alignment with the later Colonial House. Also, Isham noted that Colonial builders often reused abandoned foundations from earlier structures. Prior to my research, nobody has found the industrial-grade lime kiln that was needed to produce lime mortar from oyster shells in sufficient amounts to provide the five tons of lime mortar that was needed to erect the forty-ton Stone Tower. This kiln would appear to be the missing kiln. Anyway, news of this development might provoke a renewed look at the evidence.
Dr Thompson also attached a document regarding the above - link
02 February 2015Eynhallow Trip - dates to be confirmed
The dates of the Society's annual Eynhallow trip will be posted on this website and on our Facebook page as soon as we have a confirmed date.
Tickets can be bought from the Archive section of the Orkney Library and Archive, Junction Road, Kirkwall.
If you are unable to pick the tickets up, please send a cheque for the full amount (to be confirmed nearer the date) to the Society, which you can pick up on the pier at the time of sailing.
As always, please be aware the Eynhallow is an uninhabited island with no facilities. There are no pathways or roads, so waterproof, stout footwear is essential, as is warm and waterproof clothing. As the island is a bird reserve, no dogs are permitted on the trip.
26 January 2015Just Giving update for OHS Kitchener Memorial Project
31 December 2014BEM for OHS President
We are pleased to announce that THE QUEEN has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the British Empire Medal (Civil Division) to Alexander James FIRTH. For voluntary service in Orkney.
Sandy has been our President for many years, and we would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to him and his wife Hilda for this recognition.
We are doubly pleased to see that Bryce Wilson, holder of an OHS occasional award has also been awarded an MBE. Congratulations Bryce!
03 November 2014OHS AGM
The Annual General Meeting of the Orkney Heritage Society will take place on 12 November 2014 in the Friends Room of the St Magnus Centre at 7.00pm.
It will be followed by a free talk by Tom King on the St Kilda Work Party 1987.
You can find the minutes of last year's AGM and Agenda for this year's meeting by clicking on the links below.
03 October 2014John Rae 200 - Conference Proceedings
Orkney Heritage Society is pleased to announce the publication of the John Rae 200 Conference, organised by the Orkney Natural History Society (Stromness Museum) between 28-30 September 2013. The Conference Proceedings have been published as The New Orkney Antiquarian Journal: Volume 7, and is available from the Stromness Museum, Orkney Museum, Orkney Library & Archives and The Orcadian Bookshop. It costs £20.
26 August 2014George Marwick: Yesnaby's Master Storyteller
A new book of writing by George Marwick is to be launched on Tuesday 2 September with a talk by its editors, Tom Muir and James Irvine.
George Marwick, 1836-1912, was born and bred of crofting folk in the isolated township of Yesnaby on the west coast of the Mainland of Orkney, exposed to Atlantic storms but sheltered from 19th century improvements. He became a surveyor and worked in Canada and Hoy before returning to his first love, the people, traditions and folklore of the West Mainland. For a quarter of a century he was a popular speaker on these subjects at local events.
This volume contains all his known writings, many published for the first time. Geordie, as he was known, was not always accurate and his etymology in particular is now dated, but his profuse and detailed records of folklore, local traditions, dialect and archaeology are unique, and provide a fresh and an invaluable contribution to our knowledge of Orkney’s rich heritage.
Tom Muir is Exhibitions Officer at the Orkney Museum and a much-travelled storyteller. He is a writer and broadcaster who has published several books on subjects like Orkney folk tales and the Icelandic Sagas. His book The Mermaid Bride; and other Orkney Folktales has been translated into Japanese and Icelandic.
A retired seafarer and now a keen genealogist, James Irvine has written several books on Orcadian history, including the story of The Breckness Estate. His ancestors lived in Yesnaby long ago, and his great great grandfather, like George Marwick, was a tenant of the same estate.
The launch of the book will take place Upstairs at the Orcadian Bookshop on 2 September at 7.30pm (Entrance up lane) and royalties from the book will go to the Heritage Society.
25 August 2014A New Frontier Talk
On Thursday, 2 September there will be a talk in the St Magnus Centre at 7.30pm, entitled "A New Frontier: Canada's far north and the Orkney connection." It's being given jointly by visitors Neil and Jane McMillan and Len Wilson from Orkney.