Author Archives: hoyheritage

The Boy Friend


We are very excited to be showing The Boy Friend, Ken Russell’s 1971 film starring Twiggy and with a very special Hoy connection.

The score was arranged by Max while he was staying at Muckle Hoose in Rackwick, Hoy.

The film is certificate U and we will be offering the usual warm welcome at Hoy Kirk Heritage Centre with refreshments and nibbles from 6:30pm.

The event ties in with the Friday evening ferry from Stromness to Moaness departing 5:45pm and returning at 10pm. Book with Orkney Ferries.

Special thanks to West Side Cinema who are supporting this event with their lovely projector and projectionist.

The Boy Friend

Orkney Science Festival event at Hoy Kirk

We’re looking forward to another event from the Science Festival at Hoy Kirk. It’s become something of an annual event, a boat load of folk come over and join in with islanders, have their minds expanded by some interesting talks, enjoy some free refreshments and light supper and return on the 10pm boat happy.

All for free what’s not to like!

This year we are welcoming the wildlife author and photographer Michael Leach with a talk on Polar bears.

In the Steps of the Ice Bear.

Polar bears, the super-predators of the frozen North, may vanish in our lifetime. The ice that supports them, in every sense, is becoming thinner. This talk explores the life of the giant white bear that roams the Arctic wilderness, the seals upon which it depends and its turbulent relationship with humans. We discover its ancestors, the myths that surround it and consider its specialisation for a truly uncompromising environment.

We also welcome Astronomer Royal for Scotland Prof. John C Brown.

Ferry leaves Stromness 5:45pm. Starts at 6:30pm with a light supper. No booking, just come along. It is recommended that you book the ferry with Orkney ferries on 01856 872044



Hearing the call of Hoy

Next Friday 9 August is Story Friday and we have two stories of incoming in coming! Jeff and Avril are going to tell the story of answering the call for families to come to Rackwick in the mid 1970s, and Catherine is going to leave her story about coming to run the Hoy Inn in the 90s. Come along for 11am if you would like to take part, or just to have a cup of tea and listen.

What is Story Friday? It’s a chance for people to come along and record audio of their story to deposit in the Hoy archives. This is a follow on from the Orkney Story Stack project run by Orkney Library & Archive.

Here are a few of the Orkney Story Stack Hoy stories to enjoy.

OSS THOMAS MOAR – THE HOY HURRICANE from Digital Storytelling Residencies on Vimeo.

OSS JEFFREY CLARK – DELIVERY FOR MAX from Digital Storytelling Residencies on Vimeo.

OSS THOMAS MOAR – HOY SCHOOL ON A SNOWY DAY from Digital Storytelling Residencies on Vimeo.

OSS MARGARET MOAR – BALLOONS from Digital Storytelling Residencies on Vimeo.

OSS THOMAS MOAR – RURAL CINEMA from Digital Storytelling Residencies on Vimeo.

OSS MARGARET MOAR – DRIFT CARDS from Digital Storytelling Residencies on Vimeo.

OSS MARGARET MOAR – LOG STORY from Digital Storytelling Residencies on Vimeo.

OSS FRANKIE SINCLAIR – THE BIG CATCH from Digital Storytelling Residencies on Vimeo.

OSS PEARL SINCLAIR – MY HOY CATS from Digital Storytelling Residencies on Vimeo.

OSS FRANKIE SINCLAIR – GREEN SKY from Digital Storytelling Residencies on Vimeo.

And two Graemsay stories from Irene…

OSS IRENE MATHIESON – SCHOOL from Digital Storytelling Residencies on Vimeo.

OSS IRENE MATHIESON – BOAT TRIP from Digital Storytelling Residencies on Vimeo.

Pulderuck and Eve, Ravens and Skylarks

Bog Asphodel and Heath Spotted-orchid were just two of the wild flowers we found on the walk to the Old Man of Hoy with RSPB Warden Lee Shields in July. It was a hot day full of sunny chat. We are planning our next nature walk in collaboration with RSPB for autumn with a trip to Berriedale Wood, we’ll keep you posted.


Great Wood-rush.websize-1401

Heath Bedstraw.websize-1455

We saw three varieties of heather on the walk, Ling, Cross-leaved Heath and this one the Bell Heather.websize-1425

Smero, the Orkney name for Tormentil.websize-1424

And joining the Tormentil here is the Lousewort.websize-1400-2

Bog Asphodel – it’s Orkney name being Pulderuck.websize-1419

We weren’t the only ones on the path to the Old Man, crossing the road was this handsome hairy fellow, the Northern Eggar moth. websize-1414

Skylarks provided a soundscape on the walk.websize-1409

Heath Milkwort.websize-1423

Evidence that the ravens, who escorted us part of the way, had been feasting on Crowberries.websize-1431

Lee showed us the tell tale marked leaves of the Heath Spotted-orchid. One of it’s Orkney names is Eve, with the Northern Marsh Orchid known as Adam.websize-1429websize-1427

Grasses waving to the Old Man where we stopped for a picnic.websize-1443

Angelica, Spoot girs, bursting through.websize-1453

A visit to the RSPB Eagle Watch station at the Dwarfie Stone car park on the way to Hoy Kirk Heritage Centre for a cup of tea before the mainlanders took the ferry back to Stromness. The Sea eagle chick was hanging out on the rock above the nest getting ready to fledge. Lee captured this great footage of the chick the week before watch here.



At Hoy Heritage Centre there was the opportunity to use the Effy Everiss Natural History Library – nearly 150 books, mostly on Flora. Whole books dedicated to dandelions, two on plant galls, a whole shelf given to mosses, fungi, lichen and ferns, and an almost compete collection of the Orkney Field Club bulletins. Did you know that Limnology is the scientific study of bodies of fresh water? All this knowledge available to everyone who visits us. A lovely gift and a great way to remember Effy and her love of Hoy.


Thank you everyone who came on the walk, to the RSPB, to Albert who drove the bus and big THANK YOU to Lee.


Orkney plant names courtesy of Time Dean and Anne Bignall’s The Orkney Book of Wildflowers, just one of Effy’s many books.