Orkney Image Library

<< back
Stromness from Hoy
The Orkney Image Library

Help us get organised! If we haven't correctly identified which area this picture is best listed under, please select it below and click Done!

view a random pic
Stromness from Hoy

A Stromnessian gazes at his home town, Aug 1980.
The only time I was on top of the Ward Hill, Hoy, and my slides have faded badly. This is an attempt to rescue one taken on self-timer with my camera set on a convenient rock. It was a dull, overcast day weather-wise - fine for hill-climbing, not so fine for photography..
Picture added on 13 February 2012 at 11:22
I love this photo!
Added by Vivienne Rorie on 14 February 2012
Someone likes it - that's great! Thank you Vivienne. I suppose I wouldn't have submitted it if I thought it was total rubbish, but the thick frame around it is deliberately intended to help keep the image small; blowing it up exposes its serious shortcomings.
Added by Ian Hourston on 15 February 2012
I would love it hanging on my wall!
Added by Vivienne Rorie on 15 February 2012
Never be too critical of your own photos Ian. Every picture tells a story!
Added by Neil Johnstone on 16 February 2012
The story some photos tell, Neil, is just 'What a mess he/she made of that!' but thanks for the kind thought. This one perhaps narrowly escapes the 'mess' category, but Vivienne you can judge for yourself; I'll pop a small print in the post. Don't think you'll want to hang it on your wall.
Added by Ian Hourston on 17 February 2012
Before someone else says it, I'd better add a postscript: this photo wasn't taken from the very top of the hill, where the cairn is. There's an old Orkney question that goes: 'You can see every inhabited island in Orkney from the top of the Ward Hill - except one. Which one?' It's Graemsay. The hill is rather flat on top; its shoulders prevent you seeing what lies closest to it at sea-level, and that includes all of Graemsay.
In this shot Graemsay is in plain sight, so I'd obviously moved a little down from the cairn to get a better panorama.
Added by Ian Hourston on 17 February 2012
Ian, I don't think you can see Rysa Little from the top of Ward Hill
Added by Stewart Taylor on 20 February 2012
As I have heard the saying it is Rysa Little that can not be seen from the top as it is under the foreground from the top.
I am not prepared to go up to prove my point.
Added by John Budge on 20 February 2012
Ian, many thanks for your very kind gift. A pleasant surprise when the postman arrived the other day! I love it, thanks again.
Added by Vivienne Rorie on 21 February 2012
You're very welcome Vivienne.

Is Rysa Little inhabited in the usual sense of that word? Unless my memory is even worse than I thought, I'm sure I checked that Graemsay was out of sight from the cairn; but like you John I'm not going back to double-check. Maybe a Graemsay viewer will pop out for a moment and see if the Ward Hill cairn is visible.
Added by Ian Hourston on 21 February 2012
Oh yes the Ward Hill cairn is visible from Graemsay - well I'm guessing the pimple on the top of the hill IS the cairn - but I have no intention of going up there to find out either!
Added by Sian Thomas on 06 March 2012
Thank you Sian, even though your observation, if accurate, blows my long-held pet notion out of the water. I think I'll keep my candle (for the candle-lit supper) in reserve for the moment, pending corroboration. Hope you don't mind.

[This quest reminds me of Captain Cook heading to Tahiti to witness the transit of Venus in 1769 - Steven]

Added by Ian Hourston on 07 March 2012
Steven, I'm not going to the South Seas to check out an old Ford van, even if it does belong to a namesake of mine. Besides, Capt Cook got himself murdered, which is decidedly not on my agenda; I must stay alive until the key question of Graemsay's visibility is incontrovertibly settled one way or t'other. If Graemsay IS visible from the Ward Hill cairn, some viewer is bound to have a photo of the cairn with Graemsay in the background. Do submit it whoever you are - if you exist.
Added by Ian Hourston on 09 March 2012
Next time Graemsay folk are going up the hill I'll ask them to take a picture. confirmation from on the ground that the pimple IS indeed the cairn on top of the hill....and clearly visible from my house on Graemsay. Sorry about that ;-)
Added by Sian Thomas on 09 March 2012
Not at all Sian. Thank you.
Added by Ian Hourston on 09 March 2012
picture #21536 has reminded me that there are several cairns up there. Obviously the only one that counts in the present context is the one at the very top.
Added by Ian Hourston on 12 March 2012
<< back


Stromness Police StationRaymond and Robert HutcheonIsa, Louise, Robert & Ray HutcheonStromness Academy, late 1930sMystery thingWW2 Kirkwall Home GuardStromness HarbourPromenade deck of St Ola IVThe InverlaneAnother fine day in Stromness