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BEA Office
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BEA Office

The British Airways Office where Ridgeways are now with Liptons across the Street and the Bank of Scotland after they bought out the British Linen Bank. You see the Bank sign over where Klaize is now.
Picture added on 25 March 2007
According to a Bank of Scotland website the merger with the British Linen Bank took place on 1st March 1971. So this must date from after that, but before TSB/Aberdeen Savings Bank moved to the shop on the left and Liptons was replaced by Templetons further down the street (is that the builders' hoarding you can just see?) And can anyone remember when the railing was removed from the Big Tree?
Added by Paul Sutherland on 26 March 2007
I'm pretty sure the British Linen Bank was on Castle Street in what used to be the Commercial Union building and is now occupied by Radio Orkney.
Added by Whassigo on 26 March 2007
To narrow the date further I thought I'd see when BEA became British Airways. It seems the name changed on 1st September 1973, but the formal takeover was on 1st April 1974. But who's to say when they changed their signs?!
Added by Paul Sutherland on 26 March 2007
Just to confuse things, didn't the Bank of Scotland move back into the building where Klaize is for a period while the current premises were refurbished, comparatively recently (i.e. sometime in the 80s)?

And what bank was in the Dunfermline Building Society office (on Bridge Street) before the TSB and Aberdeen Savings Banks?

And what bank was where the Hydro is now?
Added by Steven Heddle on 26 March 2007
The Royal Bank was on Castle Street and the Commercial Bank was where the Hydro Shop is. The Royal and the National Bank merged and became the Royal Bank of Scotland working out of the National Bank. The Linen Bank was definitely as the picture and Paul would be right with his dates. I only thought it was in the 60's
Added by Edwin Rendall on 26 March 2007
More confusion ........Argyll Foods acquired Presto, Liptons, and Templetons in 1982. By 1985 all of the Liptons stores were either trading as Presto or had been closed.
I think that the Aberdeen Savings Bank had moved to the castle street branch by 1973
Added by John Brown on 26 March 2007
A century ago there were four banks in Kirkwall. The National Bank of Scotland was in the current Royal Bank premises (these had been the house of the Bank's first agent, Capt John Baikie, who had set up shop in 1825 in a house across the street where Spence's car park is now). The Commercial Bank of Scotland was where the Hydro is now (they had started in Bridge Street, in the upper part of Scott & Miller's I think, in 1826, moving to Albert Street some time in the 1860s). The Union Bank of Scotland was in the current Bank of Scotland premises which had been built for them in 1863, eight years after Robert Scarth of Binscarth had started the agency where the Alliance and Leicester is now. Finally, the Bank of Scotland was in Drever & Heddle's offices where Woolworths is now, having been there since about 1860. Then, round about the time of the first World War, TP & JL Low became agents for the North of Scotland Bank and shortly afterwards Fred Buchanan, solicitor, became agent for the Royal Bank. His office was in the same building as Foubister & Bain. I think Farrow's Bank may have had a branch in Junction Road too, but they went bust. Before the second world war the Aberdeen Savings Bank was in Castle Street, but I don't know if that was where Radio Orkney is. Certainly the Royal Bank was in Radio Orkney's building post war, when Aberdeen Savings Bank was in Bridge Street. The British Linen was a fairly late arrival in Kirkwall. Their premises, seen here, had previously been a doctor's surgery. The Bank of Scotland moved across the street to where Alliance and Leicester are, before taking over the Union and British Linen; the National and Commercial amalgamated and were then taken over by the Royal; and the North of Scotland amalgamated with the Clydesdale and their branch moved next door. Now, Steven, I bet you're sorry you asked!
Added by Paul Sutherland on 27 March 2007
Thanks Paul, and as a bonus it answered the question I had asked about what was there before Woolies. Although it may be wrong to assume that D&H were there right until Woolies moved in.

Now my perennial question- what were Victoria Street and Albert Street called before Victoria and Albert were on the go?
Added by Steven Heddle on 27 March 2007
Paul/Steven, I am very impressed with the information you supply not only to this picture but to the site in general, I dont suppose you would be willing to share your reference material, it would help me greatly in a wee project I am working on.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Added by Das Sutherland on 27 March 2007
The Aberdeen Savings Bank was in the building which now houses Radio Orkney. My late father was a counter clerk in there prior to being called up to serve in the Royal Navy in WW2. When he went back to the Bank after the war he was not allowed to serve at the counter owing to his "unsightly tattoos" of bluebirds which were clearly visible on his hands, he and the then manager agreed to disagree on the subject of tattoos and the rest as they say "is history"
Added by David Tullock on 27 March 2007
The rooms above Lipton's were occupied by Mrs. Hay, and the window above the Lipton's sign is the room where she served lunches.
I ate there most working days from the mid-1950's till early 1964.
She had two long tables, one for the women and one for the men!
Added by Isobel Irvine on 27 March 2007
When the Bank of Scotland current premises were being refurbished in the 1980's - around 1984/85? - business was carried out from the old Flett & Sons premises in Bridge Street - now occupied by Voluntary Action Orkney.
Added by Jackie Harrison on 27 March 2007
I think Woolworth's bought Drever & Heddle's offices in the late 1950s and the lawyers moved to what had been the Union Bank manager's house. As for your other question, Steven, I think they were just called "The Street", or as old title deeds refer to it (if I remember right) "the King's (or Queen's) High Street of the Burgh of Kirkwall". Until the 19th century there was really only one street to speak of, going from the shore to the Long Corner and latterly to what is now High Street. However, there were various ways to identify parts of the town without formal street names: the town was divided into three parts, Burgh, Midtown and Laverock; within these there were descriptive place names such as the Ramparts, the Shore, and the Brig, while the Broad Street was referred to as such long before the town was neatly divided into street names; closes too had names often according to who lived there. As for when Victoria and Albert were honoured, the streets were so named at least by the time of the Census in June 1841, so I will make a wild guess and suggest it was done to mark their wedding in February 1840. The town council minutes will probably give the answer.
Added by Paul Sutherland on 27 March 2007
Das, Kirkwall in the Orkneys is a good start.
That comment you made on the closing of the Pheonix nearly brought a tear to my eye. You're almost becoming poetic in your old age!!

Added by Bruce Moar on 28 March 2007
The penny post, introduced in January 1840, would have been an incentive to clarify street names too.
Added by Paul Sutherland on 28 March 2007
Re. David Tullock's comment on the Aberdeen Savings Bank. I remember mother taking me and my earthly savings to open my first bank account in the Aberdeen Savings Bank which was not the building that radio Orkney is in. The bank was actually at the rear of the present Clydesdale Bank which has a side door on Castle Street. The main building if I remember right was empty at the time. Bill Barrack was the manager.
Added by Edwin Rendall on 29 March 2007
From memory, The Aberdeen Savings Bank did collections each week at the Papdale Primary School in Kirkwall. So it became the first bank account for a lot of the Kirkwall school children in the 1960's. When we went to the bank with any extra money etc, it was down in Bridge Street in the building now occupied by the Dunfermline Building Society.
Added by Alastair Kelday on 30 March 2007
I remember the school collections. a brown envelope with your name on it. A good way of saving then, but what a work it must have been for the bank!
Added by Alison on 31 March 2007
Following on from my second comment on 27 March 2007 I checked the Town Council records and found that the streets were officially named to aid the enumerators in the 1841 census. The Sheriff-substitute of Orkney at the time, Charles Shireff (yes, Sheriff Shireff), had written to the Council suggesting it, with the result that at the back of eleven on the morning of 1st June 1841 the Magistrates and Councillors set off to "perambulate the town" naming the streets as they went, after which they ordered appropriate signs to be painted and hung. I could find no record of their deliberations or their decisions, other than the census itself. It would be interesting to know which names existed already. Title deeds would reveal a lot (although recent changes in Land Registration mean many old ones are likely to be lost or destroyed, leaving just the official copies in the registers, which are harder to trace and often less informative). You can imagine the councillors setting out from the old Town Hall and saying, "It's always been called the broad street as long as I can mind, so let's call it 'Broad Street'". Next, the parts of "the Street" either side of it. In a patriotic age, what could be more natural than Victoria and Albert? But was there an argument between up-street and down-street councillors as to who should get the reigning monarch and who the mere consort? More patriotism at the Clay Loan, which wasn't called that at all, the whole of it being called Union Street. Wellington may have been patriotism or maybe politics (he had been Tory Prime Minister). Perhaps inspiration began to flag as the councillors became footsore - Main Street, High Street, Back Street (now Buttquoy Place as discussed elsewhere). Curiously there was also a Back Road with four households in it. This was 20 years before Junction Road was built. Perhaps it was what is now Copland's Lane. As for Sheriff Shireff, he found himself living in King Street (though perhaps the street had that name unofficially already).
Added by Paul Sutherland on 08 March 2009
Paul was almost on the right track when he said the streets got their name in 1840 and linked it to the 1841 census. As he says the street had no name , simply the king's Highway. The Town Council decided it would make enumerating the census easier if the streets were given names, so in 1841 out they went and traversed the streets and named them.
Added by David Partner on 08 April 2015
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