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Roof pattern
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Roof pattern

Nice pattern on the roof of a house in West Castle Street, Kirkwall.
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Picture added on 08 September 2008
This house, like a number in Kirkwall (including mine), has a roof of green Norwegian slate from the area round Voss. I have been told that they came from a shipwreck which would have to have been sometime before 1929. Can anybody authenticate this tale, or was it just a bit of enterprising importing at a particular time.
Added by Leslie Burgher on 09 September 2008
there is loads of this around central kirkwall... try the old energy advice building next to the motorhoose....
Added by Mark Ridgway on 09 September 2008
I've just had a look at the Peace's Almanacs for 1926 and 1937. In both years S. Baikie & Son Ltd. advertise Norwegian slates, as well as Port Dinorwic and Caithness. W.B. Peace & Son Ltd. only advertise Port Dinorwic and Caithness. In the latter year they both advertise asbestos in slate and corrugated sheet form as well. Going further back (I've started so I'll finish...) I find Baikie advertising Norwegian slates in the 1908 Almanac, while in that for 1888 he says he has "Welsh, Ballachulish, Caithness, and Orkney Slates". Is Port Dinorwic slate the blue Welsh slate common in Kirkwall or the more purplish type? And what does a Ballachulish slate look like?
Added by Paul Sutherland on 09 September 2008
Interesting to see your observations about Dinorwick slate as we visited the old slate quarrys and the most interesting museum that is now attached.

I have made a slate as they had a stone cutter on hand- it was lovely stone and so easy to cut. We were told the Welsh slate industry was a victim of its own success as some of the slate mined 150 years ago is still in use today sometimes having been on more than one building.

This Quarry owner had housing, his own foundry to make all the components needed, his own ships for export, even had a hospital as injury on the steep quarry faces with steel sharp rocks were horrendous.

In all a very interesting visit. I would recommend it to anyone who is in North Wales on holiday.
Added by John Budge on 10 September 2008
There's Ballachulish slate on the roof of 24 High Street Paul, it's green with a rounded bottom edge.
Added by Grant Leonard on 10 September 2008
Scottish Slate is grey, fairly thick with an uneven texture and usually laid in diminishing courses. There isn't a lot in Orkney. Balfour Castle is probably the most prominent example. 24 High Street is the same Norwegian slate as above as is the Arts Theatre and a number of other buildings round the Town. There were lots of Welsh quarries and even different parts of the same stone quarries produce different colours. If Baikies are consistently advertising Port Dinorwick, it's a fair bet that's what's mostly around.
Added by Leslie Burgher on 11 September 2008
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