Sanday in Bloom –


the Soulka weekend


Thanks to colossal support from residents


(and especially to the hosts of Open


gardens, studios, model railway) and from


the many visitors attracted by the lure of a


Sanday Soulka, the island was really


buzzing with action at the weekend.


Visiting artistes drew packed houses – No










Dennis Alexander’s


Scotch Broth (for youngsters)




and Songs, Stories and Downright Lies,




and Dickie Hall’s fascinating illustrated talk about


day-to-day life on an Antarctic base –


Dingle Days.



Saturday afternoon began with junior


games, then senior netball and inter-parish


football – Lady victorious, happy and


glorious. The Queen met the Mad Hatter


at a stunning Fancy Dress parade;



the Soulka-man was there,



and so were the glamour-boys and girls of





- even the Grim Reaper on horseback



leading a colourful array of


Saddle Club members.



Rangers – Still


Game – were one of three superb floats.




Oz Renewables....



... and Rod the Ranger distracted by Birds/Burds


The Antarctic theme continued at Heilsa


Fjold, where an expedition tent set up on


the grass,




and supervised by Dickie Hall


and Ian Potton (ex-Loganair, now


Antarctic, pilot) and Dr. Petra Potton had a


continual stream of visitors, while an


exhibition inside contrasted modern life


with the conditions endured by Captain


Scott a century ago.


Stromness Pipe Band gave a superb


performance as the crowd gathered for the



start of the Fun Run/Walk/Cycle/Cavalry in


aid of the RNLI – and our own William


Sichel – resplendent in Olympic Torch-


bearer’s tracksuit, was able to manipulate


both Torch and foghorn to set off participants.





After that, there was a brisk


trade at all of the many stalls as Rock the


Bikeshed opened up. At last the Soulka,


like the St. Magnus Festival, has become


international; we had an Italian stall selling


wooden flowers,



and the queues were


almost as long as those heading for the


Lifeboat Guild’s hot dogs and hamburgers.


We were delighted to welcome the Young


Westray Band,



first live act on the


Bikeshed stage; then later Sanday’s Fancy


Brothers  with Ali Make-Em




urging us to


remember the Pantomime chorus. Graham


(Skid) Clarke had the most hectic weekend


of anyone – he was one of the Sanday


Ranger float – not Still Game, but the Burd


Watchers (and how the Ranger must envy


them their close-ups of that pair of


Red-rumped Swallows), then he


masterminded Sanday’s victory at the Eday


Fives, and returned for the Bikeshed gig!


The Soulka Grand Raffle Prize Draw was


followed by the auction of a Bill McArthur


seascape – and together these two events


helped to keep the Soulka balance-sheet


positive. Special congratulations to the


lucky winner of the very rare Soulka-mug,


and to the young lady whose daughter felt


a cookery-book would be a good birthday


present, but whose man thought she’d


prefer the beautiful painting of Lopness


Bay. The Lifeboat Guild haven’t yet done


the final reckoning, but are confident that


they raised over £600 during the weekend!



Sunday night at Kettletoft was scheduled


for ‘relaxing and unwinding’ – but the


throng was still in party-mood to enjoy


further appearances from Nunatak


and Dennis Alexander.



Don’t forget, there’s one more Soulka.


Following Show Day on Friday 3rd August,


there’s the big Saturday Sea-Angling


competition – and the open-air barbecues


and Strip-the-Willow; then the fantastic


Feast of Orkney fare on Sunday. If you


didn’t see all of the island’s 40 verge-side


planters this time, they will be even more


colourful next time.



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