The removal of items (especially large ones) and placing them elsewhere was commonplace as part of the devilment at Halloween in Orkney. Mostly this was uneventful except for the owner of the items. Sometimes, however, it could be reckless. Such was the case in the Halloween of 1929 in South Ronaldsay.
“The old time Halloween custom of removing farm implements from one part of the island to another was not forgotten by the youths last Thursday night. All over the island carts, ploughs, lorries, wheelbarrows, etc were shifted, and in once case a motor car was removed.
Although the owners of the properties disturbed on Halloween take it all in good part, the persons who carry through these pranks should exercise every care so that the implements – or whatever it may be at the time – is in no way damaged.
A cart which had been sent down the steep brae from the farm of Howatoft on Thursday night is none the better from its rough passage. The cart must have been travelling at a terrific speed, as one of the shafts was three feet in through an earthen dyke, while the other shaft was twisted about a foot higher up on to the top of the dyke.
It is hoped the next time more care will be taken.”
Reference: The Orkney Herald and Advertiser, November 6, 1929
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