Join the Hoy community as they take you on a circular trip around the parish. Over thirty voices, some archive recordings and many new, will accompany you as you hear about Hoy, its people and places. Explore the archaeology, folklore, flora and fauna of the area in this immersive tour of a remarkable island parish.
Five journeys for those travelling on foot or in the mind
Each episode has it’s own page full of images and links around the stories heard in the audio.
Dark enchanted isle
From Moaness Pier to Orgil
Arrive by sea and take in the impressive view of the hills of Hoy. Meet the ferryman and watch the pier being built. On this journey you will hear about the shipwrecks of Hoy and the islanders’ rescue missions. Visit the Norse farm at the Bu, pass the medieval Kirk and hear about the bullock pulled mail service, the Hoy Express.
Full contributors details and further information on the stories in episode one here
Rough road to Rackwick
The Old Road
Trace an ancient hill dyke then travel the old peat track between the hills, find Heath spotted orchids and watch mountain hares. Climb up the Cuilags to a crash site that shook the hill, then mount neighbouring Ward Hill on horseback. Linger in Britain’s northernmost native woodland at Berriedale and pass the place where a greedy witch stashed her loot.
Full contributors details and further information here
Hidden valley of light
Wander through the township of Rackwick with its many crofts and pink bouldered beach. Haul your boat up at the nousts and listen to a fisherman’s tales. Meet the crofters, descendants of Covenanters, who eeked out a living from land and sea. Join the artists who found something special in the valley. Survey The House That Was Built In A Day and read the sky at the Rackwick Weather station.
Full contributors details and further information here (available from 15 May).
The Man who was never a boy
The Old Man of Hoy
This journey takes you from Rackwick to visit Hoy’s most famous resident, the sea stack known as the Old Man. Along the way meet another famous resident, composer Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. Avoid the dive-bombing bonxies and meet the birds who call the Old Man home. Relive the first recorded ascent of the Old Man of Hoy in 1966, or second according to local lore, and tune in for the audacious BBC televised climb the year after.
Full contributors details and further information here (available from 22 May).
Many things to many folk
The New Road
This final journey completes our circle taking the new road (if you count a century old as new!). Meet the road builders and hitch a ride on the first motor car. Beware the supernatural creatures of Trowie Glen and stop at the enigmatic Dwarfie Stone where Hugh Miller carved his name. Welcome the return of the Sea eagles, play with the children at the old school and end up back with us at Hoy Kirk Heritage Centre.
Full contributors details and further information here (available from 29 May).
Credits and Thank yous
This project was made possible through Museums Galleries Scotland and Island of Hoy Development Trust support and through our partnership with Orkney Research Centre for Archaeology (ORCA), University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI).
Thank you to Orkney Library & Archive / BBC Radio Orkney / The Estate of George Mackay Brown and Bellavista Publications and Scottish Book Trust for permission to use their material.
The project development and production team are: Script editor, Sound recordist and Editor Mark Jenkins, Kolekto / Consultant and Map developer Dan Lee, ORCA / and Rebecca Marr for Hoy Heritage Centre.
Most importantly we would like to thank the contributors, our valley of voices:
Peter Maxwell Davies
Header image: Ingrid Budge