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Playing field in Kirkwall
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Playing field in Kirkwall

Between Earl Thorfinn Street, Clay Loan, King Haakon Street and Earl Sigurd Street to be precise.

A Dougie Cooper picture, date estimated. Who are the bairns?
Picture added on 04 April 2006
We flitted to Earl Sigurd Street after Hatston in about 1974 and many an hour was spent playing in this playing field. Don't ever remember a horse in there though.
The swings were great, going up to the bumpers and jumping off standing up to see could jump the furthest. I would hate to see my own kids trying that now.
I don't recognise the boys but other families there around that time were the Harcus family, the Kirkpatricks and the Campbells.
Added by Bruce Moar on 05 April 2006
Was this the one with the huge slide? It was great fun! Whatever happened to it!?

[Steven Heddle adds: No slide here. There was a high narrow slide at Picky, which has moved to the play area between Summerdale Drive and Quoybanks Crescent (or The Back Field to my generation), and a more home-made but better fun slide with a platform at the top in the field next to Harry Kerr's, between Clay Loan and Manse Road. It went many years ago, more's the pity.]
Added by Alison on 05 April 2006
The picture's from the (early?) 60s. The horse is one of my grandfathers.
Added by Sigurd Towrie on 07 April 2006
Bruce has given a few family names but I would agree with Sigurd - picture dates from 60's going by dress. Kirkpatricks wouldn't have been in King Haakon til later. Other names from the era - Evan and Gordon(?)Monkman, David Coltherd, Alan and Ivor Rorie, Brian Sabiston and his older brother. I certainly mind a horse appearing now and again. Don't know if it was the same horse but one was kept regularly in the small field next to Earl Thorfinn Street (back wall was The Manse), houses were built there maybe 15-20 years ago. Putting a guess to names - Trevor Harcus, Donny Campbell could be two of the boys as they are same age. Quoybanks Crescent boys regularly went to both the King Haakon St and Manse Rd parks, but usually in numbers due to gang culture. Couple of names from Quoybanks was Donny and Lindsay Borwick - grandsons to Sigurds grandfather!
Added by Raymond Grieve on 07 December 2006
Given some more thought to boys - one on right could be Derek Harcus?
Added by Raymond Grieve on 21 December 2006
I think the boys pictured are, from left to right, ??? Bews, from Clay Loan, Donnie Campbell and Phillip Stout. The foal was either 'Toshka' or 'Playgirl' I think
Added by Donnie Borwick on 27 December 2006
I also remember the horse in the small field between 15 & 17 Thorfinn Sreet (there are at least 4 houses in there now). The horse was called Trigger!
Added by Lynn Oag (Moar) 7 April 2007

Added by Lynn Oag on 07 April 2007
My family (the Bain family) lived in Laverock road from circa 1964 to 1967, across from Harry Kerr's Shop. I well remember playing in this field back then, especially on those swings, and the big slide. We moved to Wick in 1967, and I remember sitting on those swings with 2 of my brothers on the day we left. Other families I remember around at that time and likely to have played there were the Allan family (Peter & John and I think Barbara?), the Garrioch's (I hope I've spelt Parrot's surname right!), one of the Clunas boy's from the Manse house, not to mention the 5 kids in my own family at the time, of which I was one. I had blond/fair hair too as a youngster and would've looked pretty much like the kid on the left with the green/lime top on.
Added by Rube Bain on 29 November 2008
Rube - Sorry but you have got the wrong field. In this picture the houses in the background are the back of the King Haakon Street houses. This field only ever had swings in the era you are talking about.
The one you are talking about - next door to Work's Shop which later became Harry Kerr's had the swings away from the slide further up the field. Carry on up the field past the swings there is a lane that takes you out onto Clay Loan.
Added by Raymond Grieve on 29 November 2008
I am sure the boys are trevor harcus, donny campbell and possably pip stout
Added by Kirkwallian on 30 November 2008
Thanks for that correction. Trust me to have a public recollection of the wrong park!! I actually thought I was looking at the back of the Clay Loan houses there. In the park I was referring to, I also remember a 'witches hat' too....a large cone shaped frame that swivelled on a centre pole? Plus I guess the park I'm talking about sloped far more than the pic shown here...down from the lane leading from the Clay Loan towards Harry Kerr's shop and the back of the Laverock road houses. I'd love to see any old pics of Kerr's shop and the area around there from back in those days. Fond memories indeed.
Added by Rube Bain on 30 November 2008
Yes Raymond you are quite right .. i stayed on King Haakon St and know it well ... Helen Hourston (Linklater)
Ps And that wasnt yesterday :))
Added by Helen Hourston on 01 December 2008
Hell yeah...your right Helen...that wasnt yesterday lmao!!
Added by Donnie Borwick on 02 December 2008
yip Rube...you were never welcome among the King Haakon St gang!!! lol (joke)
Added by Donnie Borwick on 02 December 2008
I have some great memories of the "King Haakon St" park. Guy Fawkes night is one of them, cooking tatties in the embers of the fire - funny how they always tasted better! You didn't have the council come out and cut the park grass back then. All the local lads got together and cut it with those old rottery mowers. If we were playing in the Clay Loan park, we could actually hear mam calling us in for our tea - that wis fae Earl Sigurd Street. "Orkney" there's no place like it.
Added by Christina Higgins (nee Cole) on 20 April 2016
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