“…you did a lot of visiting. Like, you used to visit all your relatives or you would visit folk north on. We always went to visit Willie Nevan, and he would sit and tell you the most fantastic stories. We just used to love visiting him.”Alison Barclay, North Ronaldsay
The North Isles’ histories are bound up in their communities, the local landscapes and traditions, which reflect the unique nature of each isle.
Memories of community life ranged from Kirkwall Grammar School pupils living in the hostel on the mainland, posties delivering essential items, community turbines, island shops, community halls and dances. It seems that the sense of community was heightened during the pandemic.
With the increasing movement of people from other parts of the UK and the world, questions of integration were explored, particularly focusing on the need for families to stay and help sustain Isles’ communities.
When asked about the future of the North Isles, it was met with positivity and hope for the future and whether folk had spent their lives in the islands or have moved to Orkney and settled here, they had a similar attitude towards the quality of life in the North Isles.
- 🔊 Kirkwall Grammar School: Donald and Marlene Mainland, Shapinsay.
- 🔊 Moving to Sanday: Kieron Brogan, Sanday.
- 🔊 Island shop, Westray: Sheila Shearer.
- 🔊 Sanday Show and Industrial Show: George and Norma Brown.
“…like all the other places in in Orkney, we’ve gradually gone from being indigenous, uh, very small islanders to having more people coming in and what should be broadening horizons, but then people are brought up to not like change…I thought that in Orkney we mistook and that we didn’t have classes for indigenous islanders and incomers…where one could understand to some extent the ethos of the other.”Sinclair Scott, North Ronaldsay
“There’s some parts of Rousay obviously that I don’t want to change, you know, that that it’s this sort of community feel and like I say it’s very safe environment…everything I enjoyed about my childhood, I don’t want to change but things do change and you do have to kind of keep up…like the boat and so on…getting more regular sailings…which is good, but it’s kind of that challenge of still retaining that that community feel.”Kayleigh Tipper, Rousay