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Deerness Coastguards
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Deerness Coastguards

The coastuards are pictured that the rocket house at Dingieshowe, which is now up for sale.

The date is an estimate, so more information about that and the names of the men in the picture would be welcome.
Picture added on 14 May 2004
Deerness L.S.A. in 1924

Back L-R Jock Foubister (Garth), Willie Ritch (Fea), Tommy Kirkness (Howes), James Foubister(Garth), Volunteer in Charge James Ritch(Fea), Rob Seatter (Lower Grittley), Robbie Tait (Holland), William Stove(Little Millhouse), James Groat(Nethersands), David Osborne(Gairsty), Dave Spence (North Windbrake), Jim Petrie (Ha').

Front L-R Jim Johnston (Mirland), James Hourie (Kirkhouse), Jock Petrie Stonehall), David Ritch (Fea), James Cromarty (New Holland), Jock Ritch (Grind), Charlie Mowat (Cellardyke).
Added by Jean Skinner on 18 January 2008
Until a couple of years ago we had a boat built by a Wm Ritch, Fea, Deerness. She is a very nice boat and is still in Longhope. Built in 1953, I was told that he used her for creeling but later she was used to do salvage on the blockships by some people fae sooth who let her sink in Weddel Soond, and was raised and sold to Mr T Stout of Westray and spent a long time there. Jacko Leslie took her to Longhope and fished with her. After his death we had her done up by John Mowat, Brims. She is still in good order and a credit to her builder.
Was that the same man as can be seen second right in the back row?
The boat is named Anitra II.
Added by John Budge on 20 January 2008
Pretty sure that is Willie o Fea who built boats I delivered timber to him from Bakie`s woodyard 1956/1968 when I drove the Deerness Co-op lorry.I also had a boat built by Willie called Spray which I sold to Dan Grieve in 1964.
Added by Colin Wylie on 21 January 2008
Yes John Thats William Ritch of Southernwood, next door to Fea where his brother Davie and his wife Maggie lived.
In the 1950's Willie was the officer in charge of the LSA and built his boats in the shed at Southernwood which now belongs to my uncle Kenny Ritch. Although no direct blood relation he was a good friend of our family. My dad John remembers Anitra II in the shed before he launched her. Willie had built a few smaller boats mainly yoles ans dinghies and a square stern boat for the relief of keepers on Copinsay possibly called Osprey, but your boat was the biggest he built in that shed. Willie's main occupation was small line fishing and creeling along with his brother-inlaw Sandy Wylie, working from the geo in Deerness.
Added by Magnus Ritch on 21 January 2008
I forgot to say that Jock Ritch in the front row was my great-grandad
Added by Magnus Ritch on 21 January 2008
To cornfirm that the man second left is Willie Ritch who built boats and his brother Davie is at the fornt of the picture also their father James Ritch fifth from left back row (volunteer in charge at that time). Willie also built the Skua for Eric Linklater which I beleive is in storage at Lyness. Willie and Davie are my grand uncles and James my great grandfather, so I used to visit Fea, Southernwood and Richmond in my younger days.
Added by Jean Skinner on 24 January 2008
Hello my name is Jo Osborne from Cardiff South Wales. I have recently been told by my 98 year old grandmother that our family name originated in Orkney. David Osborne of Garisty is one of the only links to the name I have found so far would be really grateful of any other Osbornes on Orkney information
jo osborne
Added by Jo Osborne on 16 April 2009
Hi Jo. I remember David Osborne living at the Gairsty in Deerness. He was certainly living there in the 1940/50 era when as children we walked past the house going to school. I think he had a sister called Willomena(not sure of the spelling). I also think there could be some relations of David still in Orkney. I could make some enquiries if you wish.
Added by Colin Wylie on 16 April 2009
Hello Colin
I would be very pleased if you could further enquiries about david osborne. We believe we have peacey as a middle name if any use thanks for the help.
much appreciated jo osborne
Added by Jo Osborne on 17 April 2009
James Johnston was my grandfather - famous for playing the fiddle and composing tunes!
Added by Caroline Cormack on 21 May 2009
Hello again Jo Osborne
I have been able to get quite a lot of information about your relatives too much to put on here but if you get in touch with me at
[email protected] I would be pleased to pass it on to you.
Colin Wylie
Added by Colin Wylie on 28 May 2009
thank you colin will contact you on your email address thanks for all the help
Added by Jo Osborne on 02 June 2009
Surely this Jim Johnston is Jimmick's Dad born 3/8/1861? He was my G.Grandma's brother. Does anyone know anything about Charlie Mowat? Coincidentally my Dad was born in Cellardyke and it's rather a small place!
Added by Carolyn Watson-Crisp on 06 June 2009
I would agree that this Jim Johnston(e)in the front row (with an e ? - debateable because it was added at some time) is not my Grandfather but his father.
regards to all
Added by Stewart Cormack on 03 August 2009
For Colin Wylie and Jo Osborne.

I don't know if this information will fit with your knowledge of David Osborne, but my father, James David Osborne Langskaill, was born in Deerness to Wilhelmina and, I think, Charles, Langskaill on 9 July 1908. He attended Kirkwall Grammar School, then Heriot Watt University, where he studied pharmacy. He spent most of his working life as a manager with Boots the Chemist, partly in Kirkwall where my brother, David, was born on 31 January 1948, followed by me in January 1951. (We have two older sisters, who were born in North Berwick - Ann in February 1937 and Alison - known as Wendy - in July 1940). Dad returned to the mainland in 1952, still with Boots, and lived in Dunfermline all the rest of his life. He died in September 1989. Perhaps your David Osborne was his Uncle Davy?


Fiona Langskaill
Added by Fiona Langskaill on 23 October 2009
Hi Fiona

You are correct that David Osborne was David Langskaill`s uncle as i remember and knew David Langskaill when he worked in Boots and was aware of the connection with the Osborne`s from the Gairsty.
Regards Colin Wylie
Added by Colin Wylie on 23 October 2009
We have purchased Cellardyke and are planning to restore it.
We have traced some of the family tree who lived there
And would be very interested to learn anything of the building
Or the family's history
Added by Helen and Andrew Cowing on 09 September 2010
Hi, my name is Marie. My maternal great grandmother was Ann Kirkness of Grindigarth, Deerness, daughter of William Kirkness and Ann Bichan. I have seen New Grindigarth on an old map. Is that the same place? Or is there a Grindigarth and a New Grindigarth. Can anyone help?
Added by Marie Lavery on 30 September 2016
Hi Marie Lavery just noticed query to day Grindigar and new Grindigar are two different places but situated quite close together.Grinddigar is still livable but new Grindiar is a shed.

Added by Colin Wylie on 24 December 2017
Hello Colin
Thanks for your helpful reply. Sorry I have only just noticed this. I wondered about it for some time.
Many thanks again
Added by Marie Lavery on 04 April 2019
Interesting records. Regarding Willie Ritch - does the name Sea Astrid ring a bell??? Build by Willie in 1948. I will shortly post a note about her.
Added by Robert Davidson on 09 January 2020
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The Crop at Burray PierStaff of the Orkney Herald in the 1890sPeace family member?1941 Royal Artillery in DeernessMystery groupLondon Zoo seal-acquisition project #8Arts Theatre entrance no more!Copinsay- the James Fisher Island 1/3 Copinsay- the James Fisher island 2/3 Fair swell at Dingieshowe