The Western Isles – Or There and Back Again III

By Bernie Bell

There’s always an Orkney story…

We stayed at a B&B near Ullapool, called Croft 17, because that’s what it is!

After our exertions, it was good to arrive, tickle Douglas (Bearded Collie), and have a cup of tea while listening to the lambs through the open window.  Another reminder of home.  I like to travel, but I love home.  We’ll be staying at Croft 17 again – it’s very good.  Here’s the view from our bedroom window…..

Croft 17 near Ullapool B Bell

And now to the Orkney story…………….

As I was waiting in the departure lounge for the Ullapool/Stornoway ferry, I got talking with two ladies who were going over to Lewis for a visit.  They were originally from Glasgow, and had been evacuated to Lewis in the war, loved it, and now visit when they can.  They asked where was I travelling from, and when I said Orkney, the memories came flooding back.  Their father had been stationed on Orkney during the Second World War, at Scapa.  His job was to organize the payment of wages.  During the war, there was strict rationing in Glasgow, so he used to send the family food parcels from Orkney, including eggs. He used well-padded and insulated ‘special’ boxes, which the ladies think must have been meant for something else – possibly ammunition!  I asked had they come across ‘Bloody Orkney’,   but, of course, they were small children then, and wouldn’t have been allowed to hear such a thing.  The elder of the two sisters, said she’d look it up on the Internet, and I told them about my ‘Bonny Orkney ‘ alternative – she might have a go at finding that, too. Poetry Corner: Bonny Orkney

Then it was time to board the ferry.

This was their Orkney story, but they have never been here – their war-time memories are of Lewis.

Also in this series:

The Western Isles – or There and Back Again (II)

The Western Isles – or There and Back Again (I)


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