Batten down

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 Posted by Mark on Wednesday, 17 December 2014


I shall let you into a little known secret about Orkney:

In the Summer Orkney has a lot of visitors with as much as six thousand arriving in one day if a couple of large cruise ships come in to visit. These numbers have been increasing, and the recent popular article in National Geographic about the dig at the Ness of Brodgar is likely to increase this number. Things have got to such an extent that the council are getting worried about the possibility of civil unrest should these summer visitors not be able to get transport or their desired soft toy puffin.

Because of this the council here have decided to test out some new measures that may be called into place this summer. The main part of this is the erection of large substantial barriers over all public buildings particularly those that might be targeted by irate tourists. I was walking through Kirkwall the other day and took these photos of these test barriers being tried out by the Tourist Information Office.

Obviously they will be taken down and only used if needed so as not to antagonise tourists. There are rumours of a water cannon being shipped to the island as well…….




…… Did that get you going ? Well I just thought I would have a little tease this close to Christmas.

What is actually happening is that this is an annual event and these barriers are there to stop the Orcadians pushing each other through the doors and windows of the shops and various buildings during the Christmas and New Year ‘Ba’. We intend to see this primeval event for the first time this year and shall be taking the cameras and will bring a full report in this Blog.

If you are not sure what the ‘Ba’ is all about take a look at this link.




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