Supporters of Orkney’s heritage are celebrating today over the announcement that their plans for a new interactive museum for the county has received massive support.
The museum which will trace the history of Orkney’s under garments has been awarded a grant of over £50 from Hysterical Scotland to establish an exhibition space in Kirkwall. One of the many empty shops in the town has already been earmarked as a suitable location.
Cygnet Swanson, 82, commented:
“It’s great to see the importance of this industry recognised in the development of Orkney’s battle against cauld winds.”
The growth of pants in Orkney has been a fairly recent one as back in the day no one bothered with them many seeing them as mere frivolous trappings of a decadent society. With the rise of women’s skirts it was soon seen to be a necessary garment if modesty was to prevail.
The earliest knickers found in Orkney are thought to have belonged to the infamous Earl Patrick Stewart whose depravity knew no bounds. Due to the association bloomers had with this despot it became a sign of rebellion against his oppression to cast off yer pants and canter about combat style.
The charitable trust set up to put the museum together have amassed a large number for this unique collection. Many of the Long Johns bear the marks of their past proving their authenticity.
Mrs Flett McGinty secretary of the association said:
“The variety of materials used to fashion undergarments is a credit to the ingenuity of the Orcadians. Most popular seem to have been knitted ones which often included a pocket. “
Some of the more interesting items include leather pants, once a thing in the 70s, disposable ones, once a thing in the 80s, and a series of bloomers once worn by Queen Victoria herself which trace the growth of the monarch.
The Orkney News looks forward to reporting further on this exhibition revealing more about Orkney’s connection with local lingerie.
Reporter: Fergus Graemsay