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Old Ba picture
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Old Ba picture

I found this photo when I took out the old mantlepiece in a house in Bridge Street Wynd. It looks like the throw-up for the ba' in the early fifties, can anybody supply any information?
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Picture added on 20 December 2011 at 17:13
This picture is in the following groups
The Ba
Charlie Smith wearing a jacket left edge of the picture, hands clasped ready to celebrate a Doonie Win
Added by David Tullock on 20 December 2011
Looks like Doey Craigie at the front for starters
Added by Bruce Moar on 20 December 2011
Vinnie Linklater in second row behind Doey Craigie?
Added by Fred Grieve on 23 December 2011
On Doey Craigie's left side is one of the Muir "boys" in what looks like army uniform. He used to live in Thoms Street.
On Doey's right side is very like Tucker Miller who lived in BRIDGE STREET WYND at this time. Could this have been his photo by any chance?
Standing near Charlie is Bobby Sinclair from St Rognvald Street and near to him is one of the Herdman "boys"from Thoms Street. I'm sure I see my uncle Tom Hourston standing behind one of the upraised arms. Could that be Stevie Twatt from Lingro second (Approx) from the right?
Added by Peter Burges on 28 December 2011
Could that be Bill Bews the docker front left 2nd row - face half hidden, wearing a bunnet.
Added by Raymond Grieve on 30 December 2011
Note the distinct lack of barricades on the Post Office windows, also not too many non- Kirkwall residents to be seen "in the Ba" - if any at all.
Added by David Tullock on 04 January 2012
David I mind your uncle Maurice and Sandy Budge telling me that the Post Office was open to 1pm. Can't mind if that was both Christmas and New Year's Day. they always said closing the front door was done with almost military precision, heaven help the clerk that attempted to close the door a few seconds early.
As a Ba player Sandy always had to do a quick change into his Ba clothes after the Post Office closed. He said he always had this vision that the Ba would end up in the Post Office as some customers would be delaying their exit from the building.
Cant imagine that nowadays due to the size of the game.
Added by Raymond Grieve on 04 January 2012
Strange photo! Not how "separate" the players are - not the tight packed, expectant scrum of nowadays. Perhaps more gentlemanly days. Ha! Ha!

Added by Sandy Windwick on 04 January 2012
Quite sure that's Bill Bews too Raymond.
Comes to my 77 year old mind that the Post Office could have been open at the time for mail was delivered on Christmas Day in those days.
Ba barricades were not necessary on the windows because the windows were a bit above average shoulder height.The space where mail was posted was protected.
I wonder if this photo could have been taken before 1950?
Added by Peter Burges on 04 January 2012
Maybe they were a bit more discriminating in those far off days David.
Added by Neil Johnstone on 04 January 2012
Arthur Herdman to the left of Bill Bews
Added by Bob Kelday on 05 January 2012
When did it change from being a game for those who were born in Kirkwall to what it has become now, a free for all?

I'm pretty sure thats my grandfather Bill Bews at the back.
Added by Billy Cardno on 05 January 2012
Could that Tucker Laird looking to the right of the picture, immediately below the right side of the window with "Office" above it?

Could the man peeping over Bill Bews's shoulder be "Chuffy" Muir?
Added by Fred Grieve on 06 January 2012
Peter - I can mind "peedie" Jock Craigie delivering mail to our house on a New Years Day and my father giving him a dram.
When I joined the Post Office in 1974 older staff like Jackie Brodie talked about having to go back to work about 6pm to receive the mail off the "Ola". That was at the old parcel office near Dowell's yard which later became the knitwear factory.

Added by Raymond Grieve on 07 January 2012
Ba people: Answer Billy's question. I am not a Ba player mesel (too much of an athlete) but I think that there wis always "country wans" who (came in fur)/(played in) the ba. Information.......?
Added by Sandy Windwick on 08 January 2012
There have been folk from outwith Kirkwall playing as far back as records go. Pages 22-24 of JDM Robertson's Uppies and Doonies book gives some interesting information on that and also on how big the game was back in the late 19th century.
It's often said there is nothing new in the Ba' although I think that way back then players would've been happy to exchange a handshake with their opponents before and after the game was played!
Added by Bruce Moar on 09 January 2012
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