From Hoy to Hudson Bay and Back

William Sinclair Ritch of Rackwick in Canada where he worked for the Hudson’s Bay Company for 38 years.

Hoy Heritage Centre at Hoy Kirk launched its programme for the year with a new exhibition which opened on Friday 15th April. From Hoy to Hudson bay and back tells the story of William Sinclair Ritch who travelled as a young man to Canada to work for the Hudson’s Bay company returning to Rackwick four decades later.

The exhibition traces William’s family with his Cree wife in Canada and later the family back in Orkney. The exhibition is made possible by William’s granddaughter Vera Sclater who donated his photograph albums revealing a remarkable story of distance and closeness. The exhibition, made in partnership with Stromness Museum and supported by the OIC Culture Fund, will run until September.

Film Night ‘Hoy’

On the evening of Friday 22 April Hoy Heritage Centre will time travel back fifty years when a group of students from University College London’s Film Society came to Hoy to make a film. ‘Hoy’ the film, shot in 1972, will be screened at Hoy Kirk with special guest Philip Normington who produced the film. The extraordinary documentary features many of Hoy’s weel kent faces including Isaac Moar, Mary Ritch, Jack Rendall and Tommy Moar.  The film came to light after one of the sound recordists on the student crew, Peter Shirley, made a return visit to Orkney in 2021, his first trip back since the film was made. The evening will start at 6:30pm fitting in with the ferry from Stromness. Those unable to come to the live event can enjoy the film at

Related stories: Full Circle: An Orkney family reunited after 200 years separated by distance and culture ( Final Part)

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