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Funeral procession on Broad Street
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Funeral procession on Broad Street

Date estimated.
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Picture added on 14 August 2008
Fascinating. Later in the 20s I'd say (W T Sinclair, not the Castle Hotel), but no later than 1930 (the building it was taken from was demolished that year). The unmistakable figure of John Mooney is at the front of the main group of mourners. W. J. Heddle, Town Clerk is the middle of the three men on the right. J. Storer Clouston, in top hat, is behind the big Austin and just to the right of the man in uniform, and I think it may be Provost John M Slater a bit further back. I've never seen a photo of Colonel Fred Buchanan in his younger day, but could he be the middle officer on the right of the hearse? The shops seem to be closed for the occasion (the blinds are down). I have some ideas whose funeral it might be, but I'll need to check on a couple of things first. Meanwhile, I believe the hearse was kept in a shed which later became Costie's Pavilion. That must have been a reassuring sight for the patients in the Balfour Hospital on the other side of the street (now the West End Hotel)!
Added by Paul Sutherland on 14 August 2008
I wonder if it might be the funeral of Colonel T. Smith Peace (died May 1930), auctioneer, County Assessor, Town Councillor and prominent Volunteer/Territorial. He is not to be confused with T. S. Peace, architect and wood merchant, who died four years later.
Added by Paul Sutherland on 14 August 2008
Paul, two things which narrow down the time of year:
Trees in leaf, so maybe between May and October.
Short shadows behind the horses and nearest pedestrians, June or July?
That's a very short gentleman near the car, who was he?

Added by Dave Smith on 14 August 2008
Just an observation- isn't the quality of these old photos fantastic! The big version shown here is nice and contrasty, hardly any grain, and it's just a scan of an ancient 6"x4" print (using an Epson Perfection 3500 Photo scanner, if anyone wants a recommendation).
Added by Steven Heddle on 14 August 2008
Dave, the short gentleman is John Mooney, the historian and director of R Garden Ltd (1862-1950), as I said, an unmistakable figure - and a remarkable man too.
Added by Paul Sutherland on 15 August 2008
Well that was a good guess. This is indeed the funeral of Col. T. Smith Peace, which took place on Friday 30th May 1930 at 2 pm. This photo, by Tom Kent, was printed in "The Orcadian" of 5th June. The pall bearers were former officers of the Orkney R.G.A., Major T. S. Peace, Major F. Buchanan, Major John Mackay, Major J. G. Marwick, Lieut. J. M. Moar and Lieut. J. M. Shearer. Presumably the procession has just left the deceased's house at 43 Albert Street. Can anyone say when funeral services in church became the norm and when the practice of mourners following the hearse on foot all the way to the cemetery stopped?
Added by Paul Sutherland on 26 August 2008
Very interesting information Paul, a large portrait of this gentleman( T. Smith Peace) hangs up in my granny's livingroom at 43 Albert St. After reading your info I realised that would be the chap in the portrait and indeed it is. My granny was about 6 at the time but unfortunately remembers nothing of the funeral itself.
Added by Chris Shearer on 27 August 2008
While finding the above information in the 1930 newspapers I also came across some items of relevance to other pictures on the site, so I may bore you all with the details in the next few days. Meanwhile, I found that the building from which this photo was taken was demolished that summer. Also that year Liptons bought the house at the foot of the Strynd (visible at the top right) and converted the ground floor into a shop. In November an anonymous letter was published in the "Orkney Herald" criticising the Town Council for allowing it. The letter writer's complaint was not, as one might expect today, that an old building had been spoilt by having a modern shop front added to it, but that the council had not had it demolished to widen the street.
Added by Paul Sutherland on 31 August 2008
I'll add a third question on funeral practices for good measure: when did women start attending Kirkwall funerals? I'm sure the days when Kirkwall funerals were only attended by men, usually took place from the house and were followed on foot are within the memory of some of the older contributors to the site.
Added by Paul Sutherland on 02 September 2008
Longhope and Lyness women always went for as long as I can remember. My mum grew up on Rousay and she said "it was different in the North and South Isles and that women didn't go to funerals in Rousay"
Added by Beryl Simpson on 03 September 2008
How strange that you made these comments Beryl, I was going to say that our mother used to say the women started to go to funerals in the war time and did at times take cords as the men were away engaged in the war effort or working at Lyness.(I know that this common practice to day).
It is my thought that Hoy is a bit differant from other parts of Orkney in that it has seen so many changes due to the fact our population has been very transient now for generations.
Hoy has had as big a population at one time as lives on all of Orkney today.
Added by John Budge on 03 September 2008
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