Christmas Past: The Stromness Ba of 1913

Famously, it is Kirkwall that is known for the playing of The Ba on Christmas and New Years Day. But what of Stromness?

This year Stromnessians will be participating in the ‘Log Pull’ (Saturday 31st December) but in 1913 they were competing in The Stromness Ba on Christmas Day.

Here’s what the reporter had to say about it in The Orkney Herald and Advertiser published on 31st of December 1913.


The Ba’s

The weather on Christmas Day was very disappointing, with incessant rain, and in consequence the town was quiet in comparison to what we have seen. That, however, did not dampen the ardour of the lovers of that time honoured scene on the street called ‘The Ba’.

At 10am The Boy’s Ba’ was thrown up and after a severe struggle, was carried to the South End. The Youths’ Ba’ at noon was equally well contested and reached the same goal.

The event of the day, however, was the Mens’ Ba’, at 2pm, which was the keenest contest of all, and surged north and south for about two hours, but the North Enders were reinforced by a number of fresh players, a determined effort was made to bring the coveted prize to the North End, which proved successful, and the honours ended about equal between the South and the North.

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