Thursday, 25 December 2014

Advent Quiz - Day 25

Merry Christmas to all our readers! 

Wishing you all a joyful festive season and many happy hours of reading in 2015.

The Stromness Library is now closed for the holidays but will re-open on 5th January 2015 at 2pm.

Just to clarify that we are still in the old library at Hellihole Road for the moment and will give you plenty of warning when we know the date of our move to the new library building at the Pier head. 

In our final question of our Advent Quiz we want to take you back to a time before even this library was built and let you see how the view up Hellihole Road looked then.

Question 25

In the photo the two children are standing where the library is now, and the camera is looking up Hellihole Road. The building furthest away with its gable end facing us is no longer standing, having been demolished in 1937, but can you tell us what it was?

(hint - the photo is taken from the book Stromness Late 19th Century  Photographs, or if you walk up Hellihole Road there is a plaque marking the place where the building stood.)

So ends our Advent Quiz for 2014, we hope you've enjoyed it as much as we have. 
Don't forget to go back and work on any of the questions you might have missed, there is a fabulous prize for the person with the most correct answers. 
You have until 31st December to submit your answers as comments below each day's post. 
The answers will be published, and the winner announced on 5th January 2015.

Good Luck!

Answer: The Subscription School

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Advent Quiz - Day 24

Question 24

Which old Stromness custom, which came to an end in 1936, used to take place in the town on Christmas Eve? 

Post your answer as a comment below. 
Entries close on 31st December.
Answers will be published and the winner announced on 5th January 2015.

Answer: The Yule Tree, which was fought over between Northenders and Southenders in a tug-of-war.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Advent Quiz - Day 23

Question 23

George Mackay Brown wrote 'Per Mare:The Stromness Pagent' from which the following is an extract. But can you tell us in which year it was performed?

Tall houses, with gardens and piers,Where the stylish merchants lived, Small slipways for the fishermen, A new kirk, inns and ale-houses,The street uncoiled like a sailor's rope from north to south.And closes swarmed up the side of the hillAmong gardens and clouds, And closes stepped down to the harbourAnd the nets and whitemaas. 
(hint - have a look in the book Stromness Late 19th Century Photographs)

Post your answer as a comment below. 
Entries close on 31st December.
Answers will be published and the winner announced on 5th January 2015.

Answer: 1967

Advent Quiz - Day 22

Question 22

While Stromness Public Library has been in Hellihole road for 108 years the Orkney Library has been on the go a peedie bit longer - can you tell us the year it was founded?

(hint - have a look at the library logo)

Post your answer as a comment below. 
Entries close on 31st December.
Answers will be published and the winner announced on 5th January 2015.

Answer: 1683

Advent Quiz - Day 21

Question 21

What is the name of the knitting group that meets in Stromness Library on alternate Monday's from 5-7pm?

Post your answer as a comment below. 
Entries close on 31st December.
Answers will be published and the winner announced on 5th January 2015.

Answer: Yap and Yarn

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Advent Quiz - Day 20

Question 20

Can you tell us the title of the novel by Fiona McInnes published in 2014, which is set in Stromness?

Post your answer in the comments below.
Closing date for entries is 31st December. 
Answers will be posted and the winner announced on 5th January 2015.

Answer: Iss

Advent Quiz - Day 19

Question 19

How many books can an adult member of Stromness Library borrow at one time?

Post your answer in the comments below.
Closing date for entries is 31st December. 
Answers will be posted and the winner announced on 5th January 2015.

Answer: 12

Advent Quiz - Day 18

Question 18

Who was the last writer in residence for George Mackay Brown Fellowship, who was based at Stromness Library?

Post your answer in the comments below.
Closing date for entries is 31st December. 
Answers will be posted and the winner announced on 5th January 2015.

Answer: Nalini Paul (2009-10)

Advent Quiz - Day 17

Apologies for the break in service over the past few days. Getting caught up all in one go today, it it will keep you busy over the weekend :-)

Question 17

Can you name the architect of the new Stromness Library building?

Post your answer in the comments below.
Closing date for entries is 31st December. 
Answers will be posted and the winner announced on 5th January 2015.

Answer: Malcolm Fraser

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Advent quiz - Day 16

Question 16

For many years George Mackay Brown wrote a weekly column for the Orcadian, and a selection of these were later published in a series of volumes. On 26th October 1972 he wrote about 'The Public Library':

Stromnessians, it seems, are not making full use of their Library. The number of borrowers is only about half of Kirkwall's. It is not that the folk in the west are more uncultured than their fellow-Orcadians; but perhaps over the decades they have fallen out of the habit of reading.

Can you prove GMB wrong by naming the book in which this was published in 1975?

Post your answer as a comment below.
Entries close on 31st December.
Answers will be published and the winner announced on 5th January 2015. 
Don't forget there is a fabulous prize for the most correct answers. 
If you're stuck on any of the questions then a trip to the library, a look back through this blog and a visit to the Orkney Library and Archive website may help!

Answer: Letters from Hamnavoe

Monday, 15 December 2014

Advent Quiz - Day 15

Question 15

The Stromness Library Reading Group meets on the last Wednesday of the month from 7-8pm in the exhibition room. This month we meet on 17th December to discuss The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford. 

But which month and year did the group first meet?

(hint have a look at the Orkney Library and Archive website)

Post your answer as a comment below.
Closing date for entries is 31st December so you still have lots of time to go back and catch up with any questions you might have missed.
Answers will be published and the winner announced on 5th January 2015.

Answer: April 2005 

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Advent Quiz - Day 14

Question 14

Can you name the artist who painted this portrait of George Mackay Brown which hangs in the Stromness Library?

Post your answer as a comment below.
Closing date for entries 31st December.
Answers will be published and the winner announced on 5th January 2015.
Don't forget there is a fabulous prize!

Answer: Fred Schley

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Advent Quiz - Day 13

Question 13

Can you name the collection of Orkney books bequeathed to Stromness Library in 1928?

Post your answer as a comment below.
Entries close on 31st December.
Answers will be published and the winner announced on 5th January 2015.

Answer: The Garson collection

Friday, 12 December 2014

Advent Quiz - Day 12

Question 12

Although now stored in the Orkney Archive, the Stromness Library for many years had an original 1725 copy of -  An account of the conduct and proceedings of the late John Gow alias Smith, Captain of the late pirates, executed for murther & piracy committed on board the George gally, afterwards call'd the Revenge; with a relation of all the horrid murthers they committed in cold blood; as also of their being taken at the Islands of Orkney, and sent up prisoners to London. 

Can you name the author?

Post your answer as a comment below. 
Closing date for entries is 31st December, so don't forget to go back and answer any days you may have missed. If you are stuck then a look back throught the blog and/or a trip to the library will help!

Answers will be published and the winner announced on 5th January 2015.

Good Luck!

Answer: Daniel Defoe

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Advent Quiz - Day 11

Question 11

The picture above, from the Robertson collection in Orkney archive, is on display in Stromness Library. It shows a tinker family camping in Stromness, but can you identify where in Stromness this is?

Answer: The stone building at the rear of the picture is the old slaughter house, and the area pictured is now the site of the new Stromness Primary School.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Advent Quiz - Day 10

Question 10

Can you name the Orcadian artist who painted the 'Portrait of an Old Woman' which hangs in the Stromness Library?

Post your answer as a comment below. 
Entries close on 31st December. 
The answers will be published, and the winner announced, on 5th January 2015. 
Good Luck!

Answer: Stanley Cursiter

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Advent Quiz - Day 9

Question 9

In 1992 the book Sea Haven: Stromness in the Orkney Islands was published. Can you tell us the name of the photographer, the author of the text, and who wrote the foreword?

Please post your answer as a comment. 
Closing date for entries is 31 December 2014.
Answers will be published, and the winner announced, on 5 January 2015.

Answer: Photographer- Keith Allardyce
              Text - Bryce Wilson
               Foreword - George Mackay Brown

Monday, 8 December 2014

Advent Quiz - Day 8

Question 8

Can you name each of these cats who were once library regulars?



Please post your answers as a comment below. 

Answer: 1. Bubbles  2. Seamus

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Advent Quiz - Day 7

Question 7

If you borrow one of our older books you might have noticed a library end plate on the back cover with the following inscription:

"It is time for you to send the book back; if you liked it, you must have had enough of it by now; if you dislike it, more than enough."

But who wrote this?

Answer: Sidonius

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Advent Quiz - Day 6

Question 6

Today we are getting the Christmas Tree and decorations out, which means that George Mackay Brown will be getting in the festive spirit by donning his Santa hat and tinsel. 

But can you name the sculptor who created this bronze bust of the poet?

Post your answer in the comments below, and if you are only just joining in then don't forget to go back and catch up with the previous questions. 

Closing date for entries is 31st December and there will be a fabulous prize for the most correct answers. 

Good luck!

Answer: Tuck Langland

Friday, 5 December 2014

Advent Quiz - Day 5

Question 5

Who made the bequest to the people of Stromness which paid for the building of the Stromness Public  Library in Hellihole Road?

(Clue: you don't need to enter the building to find the answer!)

Post your answer in the comments below. 
Closing date is 31 December 2014.

Answer: Marjorie Skea (or Corrigall)  

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Advent Quiz - Day 4

Question 4

© the artist
photo credit: Orkney Islands Council
This painting of Tam McPhail by Calum Morrison hangs in the children's section of the library. But can you tell us the title of the painting?

Answer: The Bookseller of Stromness

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Advent Quiz - Day 3

Question 3

"The Death of ? ?
Tailor, Town Librarian, Free Kirk Elder"

Can you name the Stromness Librarian whose name is missing from the title of the George Mackay Brown poem above?

Don't forget to post your answer as a comment below. 

Closing date for entries is 31 December 2014.

Answer: Peter Esson

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Advent Quiz - Day 2

Day two of our Stromness Library advent quiz. 

Post your answer in the comments and you could win a fabulous prize!

Competition closes on 31st December, answers and winner will be published on 5th January 2015.

Good Luck!

Question 2

Can you identify this former Stromness Librarian, photographed by Gunnie Moberg?

image: Gunnie Moberg
Answer: John Broom

Monday, 1 December 2014

Advent Quiz - Day 1

Can you believe it's that time of year again? 

As we count down the days until 25th December we are also reflecting on the fact that this will be our final Christmas in the old Stromness Library building. 

As a result this year's advent quiz will celebrate all things Stromness Library related, and if you are having trouble with any of the answers then a visit to the library will help. Our exhibition about the history of the library will run all throughout December. 

You can enter by commenting on each day's post (comments will not be published until after the competition ends), closing date for entries is 31st December.

Answers will be published, and the winner announced, when the library re-opens after the holidays, on Monday 5th January 2015.

There will, of course, be a fabulous prize for the person who gets the most correct answers. 

Good Luck!

Question One

Early photo of Stromness Library from Robertson collection. Orkney Archive

In which month and year did the Stromness Public Lending Library open in Hellihole Road? 

Answer: February 1906

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Favourite Five

It's been a bit quiet round here lately, which is largely due to the fact we've started the first stages of preparing for our move to the new library. Extra training means we've often not been at our usual post behind the issue desk, though some of our colleagues from the Kirkwall Library have been enjoying a taste of life in Stromness in our absence. 

With our move to the new building looking like it will happen early in 2015 we are keen to  find ways of marking this momentous occasion. We came up with the idea of the 'New Chapter' project which will gather material for an exhibition celebrating the history of the old library, through stories, images, and archive material. 

Of course the history of the library in Stromness, as with any library,  is not just about the building, but is part of a wider community history which weaves together the stories of the people who have used and loved it. 

We would love to hear your stories and reflections on the library- perhaps you can still remember your favourite book you borrowed as a child? or have fond, or not so fond, memories of a particular librarian? can you help us name all the folk who lived in the upstairs flat? was there a library cat before Bubbles and Seamus?

Some of you may remember the exhibition on the official history of the building, which the wonderful staff of Orkney Archive put together for our centenary in 2005, this is now on display upstairs in the exhibition room so do come along and have a look. Alongside the exhibition we have set out paper for you to record your own stories of the library and to tell us about your favourite book in five words to be included as part of our 'Favourite Five' display (see the poster below for more details!)

So do please get in touch either by emailing, give us a ring on 01856 850907, or pop past the library for a yarn - be part of the next chapter in the Stromness Library story. 

Friday, 12 September 2014

Strange Happenings In the Library

There have indeed been some strange and exciting happenings over the past 24 hours, and not all of them in the library. 

However the excitement hasn't ended yet, as tomorrow the Wirdsmit group will be holding a creative writing workshop in Kirkwall Library led by Amber Connolly.

The title of the workshop is 'Strange Happenings in the Library' and will explore 'tales of the unexpected, strange and surreal that don't come off the shelf', and is open to all young writers aged 8-12 years. 

The workshop is a free event and to book a place please call Amber Connolly on 01856 811313.


Wednesday, 10 September 2014

24 Islands/ 24 Hours

There is great excitement in Kirkwall library today as the special guests start to arrive for tomorrow's 24 Islands/24 Hours events. 

You can download the full programme of events from the Orkney Library website  and keep up to date with all the fun on the Orkney Library and Archive Facebook page.

One event that our Yap and Yarn members might be interested in is 'Flotta in Print: an evening of knitting, war, oil & art', when local knitting designer Elizabeth Lovick speaks about her new book Centenary Stitches, and Rebecca Marr, from the Gunnie Moberg Archive will read from Flotta related literature accompanied by Gunnie Moberg images of the terminal. 

This event takes place in the Flotta community centre starting at 7.30pm. The ferry will leave Houton at 6.15pm and arrive back at 10pm. 

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Science Festival

Tonight the 24th Orkney International Science Festival begins here in Stromness with the event 'Hope's Beautiful Daughters' an evening of songs, music, and storytelling with Slovenian singer-songwriter Katarina Juvancic, jazz guitarist Dejan Lapanja, and local storyteller Tom Muir. The performance takes place at the Stromness Town Hall from 7.30pm-9pm. 

You can pick up a full programme of festival events here at the library, or you can view the programme on the festival website 

To celebrate we have created our own mini Orkney Science Festival display of books, from Orkney Shore by Robert Rendall to the intriguingly titled Why Moths Hate Thomas Edison

Events for young scientists include the excitement of Saturday's Family Day in the King Street Halls, as well as Science with Wizard IV tomorrow in the Kirkwall Town Hall from 5-6pm, and Ten Ways to Explain the Universe (in your kitchen) on Wednesday 10th September from 5.15pm-6.15pm in the King Street Halls.

Should you feel inspired to try your own kitchen experiments we have a range of science experiment books to keep junior scientists safely entertained. 

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Shows Over

Here we are, the week after the Shows and the weather already thinks it is winter. Our feelings could perhaps be summed up by this Giddy Limit strip by Alex Leonard.

No.207. The Orcadian 13th August 2009

But with a week to go before the schools go back we are determined to squeeze ever last drop of fun out of the summer, so even if the weather is less than sunny you'll still get a warm welcome at the library. 

There is still time to complete  the Mythical Maze Summer Reading Challenge, so get reading and come along to the library to exchange your returned books for stickers, a bookmark, wristband and fortune teller. All those who complete the challenge will also get an invite to our award event, which will take place in Kirkwall library on Saturday 23rd August with special guest, local writer and storyteller Fran Flett Hollinrake, and a presentation of certificates and medals. 

We also still have our holiday reading display up, with books to keep you and your little ones entertained, whatever the weather.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Show Season

Here we are in August already, and in the words of George Mackay Brown*, 'The "Show Season" is on us once more. How quickly the cycle of the year turns!'.

Stromness Library will be closed on Thursday 7th August for the annual public holiday for the Dounby Show. As ever the hope is that the weather will be kind. 

Writing forty years ago, in The Orcadian , George Mackay Brown was both looking forward to the delights of 'The Show Season' and reflecting on memories of Dounby Shows past:

...may the Dounby Show be blessed this year with sunshine and tumultuous crowds. Here, if anywhere, it is possible to see, gathered into one small field, a swatch of the typical Orkney - laird, merchant, farmer, seaman, countrywoman, student, bairn...
If I try to think of any one happy Dounby Show out of the past, it is almost impossible, for all those August days unfold like a single fan covered with gay patterns. Even when the gate is finally closed in the show park, and the patient beasts are loaded for home, the day keeps an afterglow. 

Whatever the weather may bring on Thursday we hope your day out at the Dounby Show is full of happy memories.

quotes from George Mackay Brown, 'The Show Season, 8.8.1974' in Letters from Hamnavoe, 2002,Steve Savage Publishers Ltd, p.166. 

Saturday, 12 July 2014

The Knitter Scientific

It's been a wonderful week of weather here in Orkney, with visitors and residents alike enjoying sunny strolls along the street in Stromness. We've enjoyed meeting those who have taken a break from the sun to visit the library, both new visitors and familiar faces. 

It was particularly nice to get chatting to a regular visitor who turns out to be a fellow knitter and Ravelry member Westendangela from Dundee. Combining her job as a biochemist with her passion for all things woolly she has been using knitting to bring her research to life. 

Her most recent project,  as part of the Women in Science Festival, involved creating a knitted display for her local yarn shop representing the human  blood stream when dealing with the sleeping sickness (her area of research) , with knitted red blood cells, white cells, Trypanosomes, the flu virus, and the DNA helix. 

knitted Trypanosome being attacked by antibodies

We are hoping Anglea might be able to join us at Yap and Yarn on a future visit to Orkney, but in the meantime she has very kindly left us a knitted Trypanosome of our very own. 

While researchers like Angela are studying the behaviour of the Trypanosome parasites, in the hope of developing more effective drug treatments, charity MSF (Doctors Without Borders) is responsible for supplying and distributing the drugs currently used to treat Sleeping Sickness, the disease caused by the Trypanosome parasite.

Sleeping Sickness is a devastating disease spread by the Tsetse fly, which  poses a risk to 60 million people in 36 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. To find out more about Sleeping Sickness and the role of the Trypanosome parasites visit the MSF website, where you can also donate to support the work of MSF in offering treatment to those suffering from this, and other, neglected tropical diseases. 

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Mythical Maze

It's the first day of the school summer holidays and of course it's raining! But never fear the library is here to save the day, with the launch of this year's Summer Reading Challenge Mythical Maze!

For children aged 4-11 this free scheme will keep you reading all through the holidays as you collect stickers to complete your Mythical Maze poster. For every two books read you will receive a set of stickers and a special gift, and if you read six books and collect all three sets of stickers, you will be invited to a special closing event which will include an author visit, crafts, and a presentation of certificates and medals to all who complete the challenge. 

Visit the Mythical Maze website to find out more about the challenge and share book reviews and recommendations with other readers. 

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

There's a moose loose aboot this - library!

The weather on Sunday may not have been kind to St Magnus Festival goers, but it hardly mattered to those lucky enough to have tickets for the Arne and Carlos Knitting Workshop in the Stromness Academy Library. 

Becky has returned buzzing with excitement, and inspiration for even more knitting projects - members of the Yap and Yarn group beware!

Apart from providing help and encouragement to workshop participants, as they tackled their very own Magnus the mouse, Arne and Carlos shared photos of the beautiful garden they have created at their home in the Norwegian mountains. 

A wonderful afternoon of knitting passed all too quickly, but before they left  Arne and Carlos were kind enough to sign the library copy of their book Knit-and-Crochet Garden - which is now available to borrow again, as Becky has bought her own copy. 

 Becky also got a photo with the superstar knitters, along with the original Magnus.  

Arne, Carlos and Magnus with a rather over excited library assistant!

Becky assures us that her own Magnus will soon be finished and ready for a photo call, however when we demanded a progress photo this is what we got:

In the meantime if anyone else has finished their Magnus please send us a photo so we can share them here and motivate Becky to get further than some disembodied legs - looks like poor Magnus has had an unfortunate accident at the paws of the library cat.

Maybe we could tempt Arne and Carlos back to visit the Yap and Yarn group when we move to the new Stromness Library?!

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Midsummer, St. Magnus, and a (knitted) mouse

Despite the low cloud, the slightly chilly air, and a lack of sun, it is in fact midsummer. Here in Orkney this means not only an excuse to celebrate what George Mackay Brown described as 'the over-brimming of the year's well of light'*, but also to enjoy this year's St Magnus International Festival

Today in Stromness Town Hall at 5.30pm the first performance of this year's Johnsmas Foy will take place, when Sarah Jane Gibbon will direct 'The Raven Banner, Twelve Valkyries & a Ghost Army'. This will be a commemoration of the 1000th anniversary of the Battle of Clontarf, through song, poetry, story-telling and Old Norse writings performed by Sarah, along with poet Emma Grieve, composer Aimee Leonard and storyteller Tom Muir

For those who would like to know more about how midsummer and Johnsmas were traditionally celebrated, then we would recommend Midsummer, Johnsmas and bonfires on the UHI Centre for Nordic Studies website and also the excellent articles on Orcadian Bonfire Traditions  and A Year of Orcadian Tradition from the Orkneyjar site. 

In a break from tradition this year's St Magnus Festival features two workshops by Norwegian knitting celebrities Arne & Carlos. These have proved so popular that both Kirkwall and Stromness workshops have sold out, but we know that at least some of our library Yap and Yarn group members have been lucky enough to get tickets - including our library assistant Becky. During the workshop Arne & Carlos will be leading participants through their pattern for Magnus Garden Mouse, from their latest book Knit-and-Crochet Garden, which is, of course, available from the library.

We hope Becky will bring her Magnus into the library for a visit when he is finished and we'll try to get a photo to show you. If anyone else has knitted Magnus do please send us a photo and we'll share them on the blog. 

 Arne and Carlos

Magnus Garden Mouse

So it's going to be a busy weekend here in Stromness, but however, and where ever, you are going to be celebrating, we hope your solstice, St Magnus Festival, and Johnsmas  are full of midsummer magic.

*  from "Solstice of Light" in Under Brinkie's Brae, 1979, p.147

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

More friends from afar

Well dear readers we're feeling very cosmopolitan here in Stromness Library this week. Following our visit from Milli from Finland,  *waves at the Etela-Haaga Library folk*, we received a lovely email from Mike Goldstein  from America, who had visited us back in 2008. Mike sent us a lovely photo of Seamus, one of the cats who used to live next door to the library and adopted us as his second home.

We were delighted to hear from Mike, and asked if we could share his photo with you, in case anyone else remembers Seamus, or even had the dubious pleasure or being drooled on/ covered in ginger fur/ nuzzled/scratched/ or bitten by him. 

Seamus was quite a character with a bit of a split personality. He would rub himself affectionately against your legs or jump up on your lap to be petted, but could get very grumpy if you dared to shift him off a chair he had chosen for a nap. We even took to bringing in a pair of leather gardening-gloves to work,  in case he objected to being put out when it was time to go home!

Unfortunately Seamus' owners moved house, and following Bubbles' tragic accident we have been without a library cat for quite a while now. Maybe we will be adopted by one when we move to the new library?!

We were very interested to read about Mike's research at Cornell University, where he is Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of the Eleanor J. Gibson Laboratory of Developmental Psychology. His research focuses on  the development and evolution of communication, taking a comparative approach studying both human infants and songbirds, to try to better understand the mechanisms by which communicative development takes place.

We look forward to welcoming Mike back to Stromness in the future, as he plans to return to carry out research in Orkney. He is interested in studying the effect of a noisy environment on vocal learning, and hopes that making recordings of the seabird colonies in Orkney will help him to get an idea of the acoustic challenges faced by young birds in a large breeding colony. 

It is so lovely to hear from library visitors and blog readers from far afield - it really makes us feel like part of one big library family :-)

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Library family Moomintroll

There is something about working in a library, it doesn't matter where you go, you always find yourself looking for other libraries to visit. We get lots of  visits from library staff on holiday in Orkney and today we had a lovely visit form Milli from Etela-Haaga Library in Helsinki, Finland. 

It was interesting to compare notes with Milli on the similarities of our experiences of working in smaller branch libraries, and the role of the library in our communities. We were delighted to be able to issue Milli with her very own Orkney Library card as a visiting member, and look forward to welcoming her back on her next visit to Stromness. 

It was great to discover the Etela-Haaga Library has a Facebook page  and we loved this photo of the staff dressing up as characters from the Moomin books, as part of the celebrations marking the centenary of Tove Jansson's birth.

Visit the Tove 100 website for details of other events marking the birth of Tove Jansson.

 If by some chance you haven't met the Moomins yet then come to the library where we can introduce you to the magical world of Moomintroll, the Snorkmaiden, Snufkin, Sniff and all their friends and family. 

© Moomin Characters™

Friday, 6 June 2014

Diana Leslie exhibition

A familiar sight around Stromness is local artist Diana Leslie, who can be seen out in all weathers working at various locations around the town. Tomorrow, Saturday 7 June sees the start of her latest exhibition, 'Pitch' at Northlight gallery in Stromness, where the public will get the chance to see the finished pieces until Saturday 14 June. 

We are looking forward to seeing familiar local landmarks from the artist's perspective, but for those of you who won't make it along here is Diana's  painting of the Northlight gallery in Graham Place, and a link to her website where you can find out more about the artist and her work.

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Orkney Ocean Energy Day

Well that's the last day of May and it's hard to believe that it will be June tomorrow. The summer months in Stromness bring a new busyness to the street, with visitors exploring the piers and closes while the local cats rest between photo-shoots :-) We wonder how many holiday snaps feature Rosie the cat sunning herself in Graham Place? 

As well as those visiting the town on holiday there are many who come to Stromness for work or study, including of course those involved in the marine renewables sector. While most folk in are aware of the presence of marine renewable activity in and around Stromness, a public open day on Tuesday 3rd June, organised by The European Marine Energy Centre Ltd (EMEC), wil offer the opportunity to find out more about the work taking place in Orkney,  visit some of the test sites and see energy devices in action. 

The full programme of events can be downloaded from the EMEC website, but perhaps of particular interest to Stromness folk will be the chance to see inside EMEC's substation and Aquamarine Power's power station at the EMEC Bilia Croo wave test site at Outertown. The Billia Croo site will be open to the public from 4-6pm and the meeting point is the car park.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Happy Folk Festival!

We would like to wish you all a very happy Orkney Folk Festival weekend! 

Whether you are looking forward to hearing one of the many visiting acts, enjoying a session with some of our very own home grown Orkney talent, or just soaking up the atmosphere as Stromness buzzes with life and music, don't forget to visit the Stromness library, where you can borrow CDs of many of the star performers from previous years. 

Did we mention that CD loans are now FREE!

So there's even more to enjoy in Stromness this Folk Festival weekend - all we need now is the sun to come out! 

Friday, 16 May 2014

In the garden

With the sun shining, and life bursting out all over, many of you will already be in the thick of garden planning and planting. For those who may need a bit of inspiration or expert advice we have created a display of gardening books, covering all aspects of horticulture from choosing garden plants to expert advice on growing vegetables and herbs .  

For many in Stromness, living 'crammed into that huddle of stone between Brinkie's Brae and the sea'*, access to garden space is limited or unavailable, however the Stromness Community Garden project offers a solution. 

The aim of the project is to:
to offer affordable growing spaces for the local community within a supportive environment. The aim is to provide a dynamic community space combining allotment style plots, a communal polytunnel, a community garden hub and areas of wild and shelter belt planting. Membership fees are low (£5 per annum) and rental on plots is offered at a rate per square metre, designed to attract gardeners who wish to work a small plot as well as those who want to work on a bigger scale. Concessions are offered to older people and disabled people as well as to students and those on lower incomes. Members are not compelled to have a plot and can enjoy the communal garden.
The Community Garden is situated on the Brownstown Road and below is a site plan, and photo showing the shelter belt which has already been planted:

Shelter belt planting progresses after fencing, hardstanding and shed in place (March 2014)

This Saturday  (17 May) there will be a workday at the community garden from 9am-1pm, when all who can are invited to come along and help to lay the ecopaving for the car park area. 

Details of how to become a member of Stromness Community Garden Society are available on their website.

*George Mackay Brown,  'Introduction' in Stromness:Late 19th Century photographs, (1972)