Saturday, 29 September 2012

A rainy day in Stromness

It is not the nicest of days in Stromness today, though when the sun shines off the wet street it is kind of bonny.

If you are looking for something to do to keep out of the weather today then you are in luck - as you are just in time to catch the final day of the exhibition 'An Island Gateway', which is on show upstairs in our exhibition room.

Featuring works by local artists John Cumming, Diana Leslie and Rik Hammond, and participants of the community workshops, along with poetry by Morag MacInnes, the exhibition explores the unique identity of Stromness through its architecture and heritage. Further work from the project is also on display in the newly refurbished former Commercial Hotel in Victoria Street, which will be open today from 10am- 2pm for folk to view the building and art work, along with details of the upcoming Stromness website and information about other council projects.

The refurbishment of the Commercial Hotel is part of the Stromness Townscape Heritage Initiative, which has seen many buildings along the street being renovated and restored. This project, and the exhibition, have been supported by Orkney Islands Council, Historic Scotland, The National Lottery Heritage Lottery Fund, Awards for All Scotland, and the European Regional Development Fund.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Internet Access

picture courtesy of 

Well the good news is, we are getting a shiny new  upgrade to our computer system next week -  the bad news is, this means there will be no internet access available for two days.

The dates for your diary are Tuesday 25th and Wednesday 26th September, when there will be no internet access available in either Stromness or Kirkwall Libraries. The WiFi connection will not be affected. 

Apologies for any inconvenience this disruption to our usual service may cause. Please don't worry though, you can still come and see us and we'll lend you some books instead! 

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Stromness Spirit of the Sea

The Orkney International Science Festival may be finishing today but tomorrow sees the first day of a brand new three day series of events, activities and performances here in Stromness.

Stromness Spirit of the Sea aims to celebrate the past, present and future maritime heritage of Stromness, and will have events covering all aspects of this relationship -  including guided sea tours and heritage town walks, sea legends, music and song, arts and crafts,children's workshops, and the chance to taste fresh local food and drink.

Programmes detailing the events are available in Stromness from John Rae Newsagents, Visit Orkney, and Stromness Museum; and from Orkney Television Enterprise, Broad Street, Kirkwall. Tickets for the events are available from John Rae Newsagent in Stromness, OTE in Kirkwall or can be reserved via the website
The events open tomorrow (Thursday 13th September) at the South Pier, with music from Celtic/Scottish folk band Barluath at 10am, followed by the welcome address by Howie Firth at 10.30am.

Looking at the forecast for gale force winds over the next few days it seems that visitors to the events may also get to see Stromness' relationship with the sea at its most spirited! So if you find yourself seeking shelter between events then pop in to the library where we have a range of books about Orkney's maritime heritage, including the wonderful photographic record of Stromness published in 1992, Sea Haven: Stromness in the Orkney Islands by Bryce Wilson and Keith Allardyce.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Bernard MacLaverty and Ron Pretty

Stromness is a hotbed of literary activity this week with two readings by visiting authors over the next two days!

Tonight (Wednesday 5th September) Bernard MacLaverty will give a reading in the Pier Arts Centre at 7.30pm - tickets at the door.

Author of  five collections of short stories and four novels, Bernard MacLaverty has also written versions of his fiction for other media - radio plays, television plays, screenplays. Recently he wrote and directed a short film 'Bye-Child'.

After living for a time in Edinburgh and the Isle of Islay he now lives in Glasgow where he is Visiting Writer/Professor at the University of Strathclyde. He is also employed as a teacher of creative writing on a postgraduate course in prose fiction run by the Research Institute of  Irish and Scottish Studies at the University of Aberdeen.

Then tomorrow evening (Thursday 6th September) acclaimed Australian poet Ron Pretty will give a reading here, in the exhibition room of the Stromness Library, at 7.30pm.

Ron Pretty has published seven books of poetry, the most recent being Postcards from the Centre(July 2010) . He won the NSW Premier’s Special Prize for services to literature in 2001 and received an AM for services to Australian literature in 2002.

This event is supported by the Orkney Library and Archive and The George Mackay Brown Fellowship, entry is free but donations are invited to cover costs.