Local News

Christmas Past: The Christmas Eve Stromness Yule Log Contest of 1946

The Yule Log Contest in Stromness is taking place this year on Saturday 31st December 2022. This event was cancelled for two years due to the Covid pandemic. It’s a revival of an event which was once a tradition in the town – however, it was also unable to take place in the past, not due to Covid, but due to a war.

In 1946 The Stromness Yule Log contest was brought back as an event for the town.

The Yule Log is a kind of tug of war between the North End and the South End, using a lopped tree instead of a rope. Where the tree comes from is nobody’s business.

The contest takes place, of course, on Christmas Eve, and is sharp and exciting whilst it lasts.

The North End youngsters endeavour to pull the Log over the North Pier and the South End youngsters to Humphrey’s Pier.

There are no rules to be broken and no prizes to be gained, but all those who in past years have participated in this annual Christmas Eve celebration of the Yule Log, remember it with enthusiasm.

Unlike the Ba in Kirkwall which takes place in broad daylight, the Yule Log is struggled for after night fall on Christmas Eve. So all babies and elderly people are urged to remain indoors while the contest is in progress.

Orkney Herald and Advertiser December 17th 1946

The starting off place for the event was the exact middle of Graham Place which you can see pictured in the poster below from an exhibition held in 2021 about the history of that part of the town .