Culture

Looking Up, in Kirkwall Part 3: Albert Street and Bridge Street

By Bernie Bell

And so, onto Albert Street, where we noticed the pleasing symmetry of the niches on the top story of the Bank of Scotland building, opposite another green plaque, commemorating Malcolm Laing, on the wall of The Tree Shop

Then, ‘Si Deus Nobiscum’ over the door of Hourston’s jewellers – this  Latin motto turned up a number of times – not surprising, as it is the motto which accompanies the Kirkwall Coat of Arms.

Albert St Kirkwall B Bell 3

We passed a little mermaid, on the wall of the Little Island gift shop…..

Albert St Kirkwall B Bell mermaid

And colourful heraldic beasts, on the wall of the Custom House.

As we approached the turning into Bridge Street, on the side of Scholes Chartered Accountant, in Parliament Close, is a green plaque mentioning the original Orkney Ting – or  Parliament.

Albert St Kirkwall B Bell 6 Parliament

The Brig, a wonder-full shop, in fact, it deserves to be called an emporium, selling yummy thing to eat, forms the corner here, and, way up on the corner pediment, a vaguely art nouveau date plaque, and, just round the corner, two plaques commemorating Robert Randall, and with the Kirkwall coat of arms, Si Deus Nobiscum again.

Turning round, just some…weird chimneys!

Bridge St Kirkwall B Bell 2 chimneys

Then, turning right round, on the wall of the Frozen Food Centre, there is a small, barely decipherable stone, which says, simply ‘The Bridge’ – maybe this was the first street sign, for Bridge Street?

Bridge St Kirkwall B Bell 3 Bridge sign

We were now nearing the end of Bridge Street, but there were still a few more to find. Two carvings over the premises of The Orkney Creative Hub, at number 25,

And, above the door of what use to be the Herd Law Practice, a carving of…well…what is it?

Bridge St Kirkwall B Bell 6

And, finally, a green plaque marking the site of William Schollay’s Ship Inn on the wall of the Dil Se Indian restaurant.

Bridge St Kirkwall B Bell 7 Walter Scott

By the time we got to the end of Bridge Street, we were tired, cold and hungry! So, if you’d like to wander along the harbour front, to look up  and see if you can spot anything of interest, please do!  We doubled back a little bit, and went up Bridge Street Wynd to the Storehouse Restaurant – which also holds some Kirkwall history – for fish and chips.

Another, though slightly different to the usual, Grand Day Out, Gromit!

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