“A public dinner in Robert Learmonth’s honour was held at Samson’s Lane in Stronsay on 15th December 1857 “
The ‘Improving Lairds’ and the Learmonths of Housebay: Robert, followed by his son Donald Horne Learmonth.Part 2
From Records of a bygone age by Ian Cooper
The ‘Improving Lairds’ and the Learmonths of Housebay: Robert Followed by His Son Donald Horne Learmonth
“uniformly of the finest quality of deep land, a good clay loam, and they are farmed in a style that cannot be surpassed anywhere in the kingdom.”
One fine summer’s evening many years ago, on Thursday 15th May 1862, James Brown, a blacksmith from the cottage of Hunday in Stronsay, and farm servant Peter Miller, also from Hunday, decided to go on a fishing trip off the nearby headland of Burgh Head.
“A couple of weeks ago, I decided I would need to do my bit to preserve one of the old Orcadian traditions and go to the spoots.”
Strictly speaking this isn’t a record of a bygone age at all, as ‘gaan tae the spoots’ is still a pastime enjoyed by a dedicated but seemingly ever decreasing group of folk, although apparently not taken as seriously as in days of yore.
“There is quite an intriguing story behind the stranding and loss of the 215 ton Canadian three-masted barque Agil almost 150 years ago and the events which followed.”
“As enthusiasm for the show gathered momentum, wood and rope was purchased to make stock pens, donations of cups for prize-winners were sought and judges found, with arrangements put in place for the ‘steamer’ to call along Stronsay with invited guests and visitors on ‘Show Day’.”
“The importance of a successful harvest and the holding of festivals to celebrate this have been going on for thousands of years all over the world”
On 2nd of February 1883, the Bremen registered barque Charlotte left Antwerp bound for New York with a cargo of pig iron, steel wire and a large number of empty petroleum casks.