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The shadowfax was a hydrofoil taken up by the Orkney Steam to evaluate the possiblity of running a fast passenger service to the North Isles. I remember sometime I think in the early 60's going out around the Green Holms with Capt. Burgher at the wheel for an evening trip. Anybody have more info?

[Edwin- I've tarted up the picture to remove the magenta colour cast. Hope thats okay- Steven]
Picture added on 28 March 2007
The Shadowfax was built in Holland and arrived at Kirkwall in late afternoon on Sunday 7 June 1964. She was powered by two 300hp gas turbine engines and, according to a newspaper article at the time, used 54 gallons of fuel per hour! She had a maximum speed of 40 mph.

There were very quickly problems with her engines. In fact the very next day, during a trip around Gairsay, Egilsay and Wyre, she broke down when one of the engines developed a fault. By the middle of July both engines had been sent back to Holland for repair.

With her repaired engines installed Shadowfax made her first operational trip on 25 August 1964. She was called out to Papa Westray to transport a patient to Kirkwall for hospitalisation. The patient, island postman David Groat, was transported to Eastbank Hospital without mishap.

With her rescue mission proving such a success, it was announced that a regular schedule would commence the following week. Journeys were planned to Eday, Stronsay, Sanday, Westray, Papa Westray and North Ronaldsay.

Sadly, the service only lasted for seventeen days. On the 22 September, shortly after leaving Kirkwall pier, one of the engines caught fire. The fire was quickly dealt with by the crew and subsequently turned out to have been caused by an oil leak, but the damage was done. The passengers were transferred to the steamer and, in less than two weeks, Shadowfax was sent back to Holland, never to return.

Added by David Mackie on 29 March 2007
I think she had a fire on board and that was it.
Added by William Watters on 29 March 2007
A full and excellent description of what happened to the Shadowfax.
Added by Edwin Rendall on 03 April 2007
I remember having a trip on her with my sister. We didn't enjoy it at all as it was very bumpy. It went at great speed but didn't skim the waves but bounced off them. Quite frightening but I was only 10 at the time. Naturally we couldn't go outside so we were glade to get back to port for some fresh air! Thanks for bringing back this memory to me.
Added by Barbara (Jolly) Watt on 26 February 2013
Just for info Shadowfax was the name of Gandalf's horse in Lord of the Rings. But you probably all knew that. I don't think that Tolkien was very well-known in 1964.
Added by Jim Eunson on 04 March 2013
Can't make it out properly, but I'll be a monkey's uncle if that says SHADOWFAX on her stern.
(Must go now - my nephew Congo is pestering me for another banana.)
Anonymous comment added on 11 March 2013
The David Groat mentioned in the emergency trip to Papay was my grandad,i remember my mum recalling it and how it was so amasing grandad felt very treated to travell on it..
Added by Heather Violet Richard on 24 April 2013
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