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Memorial to the crew of the 'Maggie'
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Memorial to the crew of the 'Maggie'

Today I managed to get a photograph of this memorial to the crew of seven who perished in the herring boat "Maggie". The Maggie was wrecked in the Westray Firth in 1890 0n the 21st June, and all the crew were from "Waas". The Robertson's were and still are our "neebours". Owld Malkie that I remember lost his faither in the "Maggie". Being one o six children who had to survive without a bread winner it must hiv been very hard in them days.

Names of the dead and the house they came from as near as I can tell were John Manson skipper (Stoop), Malcolm Robertson (Myre), John Johnston (?), Alexander Swanson (Burnhouse), Donald Stout(?), William Robertson(Myre?), John Thomson a boy(?). If anyone can give more information please feel free to do so or contact Capt Fred Johnston who is reserching the history at this time.
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Picture added on 19 April 2010 at 12:20
John Johnston was from Sandsdale. He was married to a Maggie Johnston. They had two children, Jessie Ann and James, who lived at Sandsdale until quite recently.
Added by Fred Johnston. on 19 April 2010
John Thomson was a son of Donald and Isabella Thomson of Netherhouse. They had five other children, who died at a very young age, but others survived including Jimmy Thomson of the Borrowstone, who I remember well. The family lived at the Borrowstone in the 1991 census, so would have been there when John was lost.
Added by Fred Johnston. on 19 April 2010
Donald Stout who died at the age of 22, was a son of John and Ann Stout of Misbister. I think that he would have been a brother of Mrs Malcolmson, who was the teacher at the Brims school for many years.
Added by Fred Johnston. on 19 April 2010
Fred, would the Boy John Thomson have been a brother tae owld Tampie o the "Bowrowstoon"?.
I mind Jimmy and Jessie Ann o Sandsdale fine, a jolly pair they were.
Added by John Budge on 19 April 2010
Quite recently Fred I dont think so!! Jessie Ann died about 1957-58 and Jimmy only a short time after her, so by my thinking they have both been gone 50 years or more. What a nice pair they were Jimmy was always poking fun at his sister and her likwise at him. I can remember how well handed they both were. Jimmy used the Adse, or as my Grandfather called it a "Fiteatch"with great precision and was a very good worker in wood. So nice to remember these good folks o yesterday isnt it!.
Thank you Fred for all that information I'm sorry it took me so long to get myself doon tae the Kirkyerd,bit aal be doon there long enough in the future so thats why it took me long tae get the stone photographed!!!.(What a load o s**t)
To sum up the names and where these men came from it seems as follows- John Manson skipper (Stoop)-Malcolm Robertson (Myre)-John Johnston (Sandsdale)-John Thomson (Borrowstone)-Donald Stout (Misbister)-Alex Swanson (Burnhouse)-William Robertson (Myre?)is this all correct Fred?.

[Hey John, any more cursing and I'll amend your name to John B***e :-) - Steven]
Added by John Budge on 19 April 2010
Yes John, that's right. I mentioned the 1991 census in the above thread. I obviously meant the 1891 census.
Added by Fred Johnston. on 19 April 2010
Owld Tampie o "The Borowstoon" wiz a deeker wiz he no!! I mind he used tae chow as much o his fag as he smoked then there was his House Keeper Mrs Barns, (dont know if there wiz ever a Mr Barns!!). Wid she been a Fiddler? she gead home at nite tae her hoose and lit the lamp then gead back up tae tuck in owld Tampie!!if yae ken whitt I mean!!.Owld Tampie used tae say, "Eh whitt by guid yae know". A Bobby that wiz here told owld Tampie off for using his tractor like a car wae Mrs Barns sittan on the lift arms!!, Tampie said "Eh whitt by guid ye know, I paid £500 furr this tractor and I will do what Iver the hell I want wae hid!!.
Added by John Budge on 20 April 2010
John, this would probably have been Mary Barnes that you are refering to. She was married to George Fiddler my Grandmothers brother.She was the last resident of 'The Wells'.
Added by Neil Johnstone on 20 April 2010
Your bringing back memories John as I had forgotten all about Mrs Barns. Folk tried to be a bit more hidden in those days.

My grandad Grieve made a set of harrows for old Burrowstoon and he never got paid so when on holiday went a visit to see if he could get some joy but was told that he had paid him. Grandad who was a very religious man said to him "Burrowstoon you are a stranger to the truth" and that was the end of it. Grandad was a great one for saying "I'm not the Judge" so I suppose a higher judge knew who was telling the truth.

Jimmy O' Sandsdale was as deaf as a doorpost and used to give us a lift home from school on his tractor and trailer. We all used to shout as loud as we could to get him to stop at each house. Not so easy to get him to hear when their was just one or two left on the trailer but the Royal was the end of the journey anyway if I remeber correctly.

Added by Beryl Simpson on 20 April 2010
Yes John, that's right regarding the crew. I didn't realize that Jessie Ann and Jimmie died so long ago. As Willie Farquhar said when his wife threw the clock at him. Time flies!!!!!
Added by Fred Johnston. on 20 April 2010
As ye say John - so nice to mind those good folk o' yesterday - it disna feel like 50 year ago!!
Added by David Watters on 21 April 2010
Slight correction to your great stories above, It would hiv been owld Tampie who gave you a lift on his trailer not Jimmy o Sandsdale- the only transport Jimmy o Sandsdale hid wiz a push bike. My have the times no changed, the school staff wid go balistic if an owld deaf farmer was tae stop at the school gate and load up number o bairns on an owld rickity trailer today- the cops wid hiv him hauled in and pitten on the sex offenders list!!.
When Tampie shipped a beast Mrs Barnes sat on the tractor wae the halter tae the coo, so if the beast stoped she wiz hauled of and Tampie sailed on oblivious tae her plight, he never looked ahint and as you say Beryl he wiz as deaf as a paet.
Added by John Budge on 22 April 2010
Neil there is a brand new house as Wells is now and the old hoose has been extended to a large property also.
I hope I did not cause offence to your families good name by mentioning the good lady's nucturnal habits. A few years ago I met a man from Canada who claimed to be I think a nephew o owld Tampie", dashed if I can recall his surname first name was Jack, might have been Sinclair?.
Added by John Budge on 22 April 2010
More on owld Tampie, he aye gead tae the Longhope regatta and like all the owld men wid do on the big day they all bragged of there sailing skills, noo Tampie had a yole her name escapes me just now well she wid oot sail anything else aroond acording tae him!!I never saw this wonderfull boat in the water, he got Ikee Waters tae do her up and she never sailed oot o the stack yard at Burrrowstoon!!. At the sale after he died she was bought by Davy Swanson fae Scarfskerry, Ray Kirkpatrick towed her across the Firth wae the "Delightfull" tae Scarfskerry. I dont know what became o her after that.
Added by John Budge on 24 April 2010
So far as I know there is still to be seen, in the now disused graveyard of the old Cross Kirk, at the Westside in Westray, a memorial to "The Maggie of Longhope" and her crew.
Added by T Tullock on 24 April 2010
George Fiddler was not married to Mary Barnes - she was his sister according to my mother Nettie Taylor
Added by Silvia (Taylor)Woodall on 25 April 2010
I remember the Burrowstoon yole sailing at regatta's, but cannot remember her name.
Added by Fred Johnston. on 26 April 2010
Thanks to Silvia the confusion has now been sorted out. And yes John, I'm sure the Wells has changed greatly since I took photos of it several years ago.
Added by Neil Johnstone on 29 April 2010
Fred so far is unable to find where the remains of the Swanson man was interred- do they lie in Westray or here in Waas? I dont think there is a head stone in Ousna Kirkyard.
Added by John Budge on 01 June 2010
No John, there is no headstone for Alexander Swanson in the Ousna Kirkyard and he is not mentioned on the memorial in the West Side Kirkyard, Westray either. The names on it, are Johnston, Manson and Stout. Is it possible that his body was never found?
Added by Fred Johnston. on 08 June 2010
Again on a stone in Ousna the following reads--

Samual Stout aged 26 years
Donald Stout aged 22 years lost on the Maggie
Mother Ann Aug 1915
Father John May 1915

Were they all from "Misbister"?.
But you are correct Fred I can,t find any trace of the Son of Henry Swanson (Burnhouse)
Added by John Budge on 06 July 2010
Henry Swanson had a very hard life here on The Burnhouse. The then laird fae Melsetter took away from him the best land o this ferm and gave it tae the farm below- this was not an uncommon thing to do in the days before the crofting reform act gave the tenant greater power.

I have not been able to find a grave stone to Henry or the son who perished in the "Maggie". Did the family leave "Waas" or was there resting place unmarked??.
Added by John Budge on 08 July 2010
I stand corrected on Donald Stout. Although he had a sister of a similar age and the same name as Mary Ann Malcolmson ( Stout), they were different people. Donald did come from Misbister and would have been a Grand or Great Grand Uncle of Margaret Reid and Mary Walls.

I visited the West Churchyard in Westray last Thursday and saw the grave stone erected to the memory of John Johnston, John Manson and Donald Stout. Unfortunately, I did not have my camera.
Added by Fred Johnston on 26 July 2010
I've located then added a picture from Westray Westside Cemetery...

its at picture #24540 & picture #24541

Added by Richard Johnston on 17 December 2010
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