Whatever happened to Miss Morris?

 Otago Daily Times (New Zealand), Issue 10585, 4 February 1896, Page 2

SCOTLAND (From Our Own Correspondent.) Edinburgh, December 19.
General News

Miss Morris, M.D., of Berlin, and L.R.C.P., E., has been appointed medical officer of the island of Flotta, Orkney. This is stated to be the first public appointment held by a lady doctor in the north.

From The National Library of New Zealand http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz

The Scapa Flow Mystery – Fisherman Found (1929)


Mr John Sabiston, Little Curries, Flotta, Orkney, who was reported missing on Wednesday, was found lying in his small boat yesterday morning at Point of Ayre, Deerness, in a dazed condition. He could give no coherent statement as to what had occurred. A man in sea boots, who stated his name was Sabiston, landed from a small boat at Smogro, Orphir, on Wednesday, and after asking for a drink of water at a house in the vicinity left in his boat, stating he was going to Flotta. He was seen on Wednesday night off Hoxa Skerry, Scapa Flow. Where he had been from then until yesterday morning is a mystery.

[Prior Article]

From The Scotsman, Friday 29th March 1929 – page 7. By kind permission of Scotsman Publications Ltd.

Missing Fisherman (1929)

28 March 1929


A STRONG westerly wind prevailed in Orkney on Tuesday, and Mr John Sabiston, Little Curries, Flotta, who left St Margaret’s Hope between 7 and 8 o’clock in the evening to return home has not been heard of since. Grave fears are entertained for his safety.

Mr Sabiston has been working his lobster creels in the vicinity of Nevi Skerry, in Hoxa Sound, the south-eastern entrance to Scapa Flow, when, owing to the increasing strength of the wind, he ran before it and sought shelter in St Margaret’s Hope, South Ronaldshay. It is believed he intended staying the night in the village of St Margaret’s Hope, but with the moderation of the weather conditions in the evening he apparently changed his mind and set off home in his yawl.

The first indication that anything was amiss came from an inquiry from the island of Flotta to St Margaret’s Hope, asking if the whereabouts of Mr Sabiston were known. Captain Laird, of S.S.. Sutors, which was on passage from the island of Burray to Scapa pier, yesterday morning stated that he sighted the dinghy in Scapa Flow, but at too great a distance for the purposes of identification.

In the course of telephonic inquiries to Flotta yesterday afternoon it was ascertained there was still no news of Mr Sabiston, and his continued absence was causing great anxiety. He is about 50 years of age, lives by himself in a little cottage by the shore, and is a relative of the Rev. James Sabiston, parish minister of Orphir, Orkney.

[Follow-up Article]

From The Scotsman, Thursday 28th March 1929 – Page7. By kind permission of Scotsman Publications Ltd.

An Orkney Regatta (1937)

Monday, 6th September 1937.

A regatta at Flotta, Scapa Flow, resulted: –

Sprit sails – 1, Aval (W. Sutherland); 2, Newho (G. Barnett); 3, Wanclett (W. Sabiston); 4, Saraquoy (W. Sutherland.)

Lateen Sails – 1, Orback (M. Ross); 2, Damhou (J. Flett); 3, Millbank (P. Simpson); 4, Greenfly (W. Work.)

All-comers – 1, M. Ross; 2, G. Barnett; 3, R. Barnett; 4 W. Sutherland.

Rowing Men – 1, H. McBeath, J. Flett, R. Flett (cox); 2 W. Sutherland, M. Ross, J. Sutherland (cox); 3, D. Flett, W. Sutherland, E. Sutherland (cox.)

Women – 1, Mary Sutherland and Cecelia Work with Robert Flett as cox; 2, Ethel Rosie and Mary Rosie with Wm. Robertson as cox; 3, Lily Simpson and Annie McCaughey with H. McBeath as cox.


From The Scotsman, 6th September 1937, Monday, page 3. By kind permission of Scotsman Publications Ltd.

Picnics and Sports – Flotta (1928)

From the Orkney Herald, 29 Aug 1928.

On Friday, 24th August, the school picnic was held at the Bu’, on a field kindly granted by Mr Malcolm Ross. The weather was at its best, and therefore ideal for the purpose. The children were marshalled at the school at 2 p.m. Overjoyed with the half-holiday, and eagerly anticipating a good time in the afternoon, they presented a bright merry band as they marched in joyous spirits to the picnic ground, accompanied by their teachers and members of the committee, the oldest of them at the same time helping to carry some of the “necessaries” to the field. On their arrival there they were arranged in order and served with a liberal supply of milk and cakes.

After a short interval the programme of sports was entered upon. These proved interesting and amusing, and were well contested. To begin with the various events were confined to the children, but as the afternoon wore on parents and friends gradually put in their appearance, until there was a large crowd assembled. The programme was then altered to admit of sports for adults and children alternately. Thus interest for all was maintained throughout a long and varied programme. The “bun” race was as amusing as ever, while the egg-and-spoon race proved that to run with real eggs would be a costly affair owing to the number of breakages that would inevitably take place. The great attraction of the afternoon, however, was undoubtedly the pillow fight. The bouts amongst the boys were enjoyed by the spectators and raised shouts of laughter. The competitions amongst the men were also well contested and kept the onlookers in happy mood, the bout between young Joe and Mac fairly captivating the crowd. At the boot race the men declared they had a grievance, because ladies threw the boots, which had to be taken off for the occasion, too far apart. However, they came up smiling again for the next contest. The two items, putting the stone and the high jump, were really well contested, the winner of the first event throwing the stone (nearly 18 lbs.) 23 feet 3½ ins., and the winner of the latter clearing 3ft. 11 ins. Some good running was also witnessed amongst the lady competitors. The last item of the sports programme was a sprint for all-comers, which was very well run.

About 5 o’clock there was a short interval for tea for all. The children were handed out “baggies” of good things, and were delighted no doubt on finding some unexpected caramels and sweets extra in the bag. These were generously gifted by Miss Leslie. The older people had tea and cakes served out to them by the members of the committee. All appeared to enjoy the tea, and thereafter the games were continued to the end. Mr Robertson acted as starter throughout. Thus a happy and successful sports day came to an end.

The arrangements for the picnic were under the charge of the teachers, assisted by Mrs Robertson, Schoolhouse; Misses Mary Simpon, Bu’; Bella Taylor, Orback; and Maggie Sutherland, Whanclett; and Messrs Joseph Simpson, Bu’; John Sutherland, Whanclett; and Thomas Sutherland, Standing Stones. Valuable assistance was also rendered by Mrs Joseph Simpson, Bu’, who kindly prepared the excellent tea which was served, and to her the committee extend their cordial thanks.

Later in the evening a dance was held in the Templar’s Hall, which was well attended. The music was supplied by Messrs Robert Rosie, Saraquoy, and Wm. Work, Greenslide. Mr Peter Simpson discharged the duties of M.C. efficiently. Tea was served at a suitable interval, and was enjoyed by all. The dance was kept up to an early hour, and was very enjoyable. On the call of Mr Robertson a hearty vote of thanks was given to the musicians for so kindly obliging with the violin music. Similar votes of thanks were given to the M.C. and to the energetic committee. The singing of “Auld Lang Syne” brought a very happy evening to a close.
Appended is the prize list:-



Flat Races –
13-14 years – 1 John Simpson, 2 Allan Simpson, 3 John Barnett;
12 – 1 John Flett, 2 Leonard Norquoy, 3 Sydney Barnett;
9-10 – 1 Herbert McBeath, 2 Wm. Sutherland, 3 David Flett;
7-8 – 1 Ian Simpson, 2 Alfred Sutherland, 3 Daniel Rosie;
Infants – 1 James Vigar, 2 John Ross, 3 Alex. Flett.

Three-legged Races –
Seniors – 1 John Barnett and David McBeath, 2 John Simpson and Alan Simpson, 3 John Flett and Tom Barnett;
Juniors – 1 Cecil Simpson and David Flett, 2 Herbert McBeath and Wm. Sutherland, 3 Ian Simpson and Eric Sutherland.

Musical Chairs –
Seniors – 1 Sydney Barnett, 2 Alan Simpson, 3 David Work;
Juniors – 1 Cecil Simpson, 2 Alfred Sutherland, 3 David Flett.

Egg-and-Spoon Race –
1 Sydney Barnett, 2 Tom Rosie, 3 David Flett.

Bun Race –
Seniors – 1 Alan Simpson, 2 John Simpson;
Juniors – 1 Cecil Simpson, 2 Wm. Sutherland, 3 Daniel Rosie.

Pillow Fight –
1 John Barnett, 2 John Sutherland, 3 Tom Rosie.



Flat Races –
14 years – 1 Barbara McBeath, 2 Mary Ross and Maggie Rosie (equal);
12-13 – 1 Clara Simpson, 2 Nellie Rosie, 3 Mabel Sutherland;
9-10 – 1 Dorothy Isbister, 2 Ethel Rosie and Lily Simpson (equal);
8 years – 1 Letitia Barnett, 2 Maggie Flett;
7 years – 1 Dorothy Foulis, 2 Annie Sutherland, 3 Mary Sutherland.

Three-legged Race –
Seniors – 1 Celia Work and Nellie Rosie, 2 Lizzie Flett and Barbara McBeath, 3 Mabel Sutherland and Jeannie Rosie;
Juniors – 1 Jane Simpson and Dorothy Foulis, 2 Maggie McBeath and Lily Simpson, 3 Annie Sutherland and Maggie Flett.

Musical Chairs –
Seniors – 1 Margaret Ross, 2 Jeannie Rosie, 3 Nellie Rosie;
Juniors – 1 Mary Sutherland, 2 Margaret Simpson, 3 Thomasina Ross.

Egg and Spoon Race –
1 Nellie Rosie, 2 Mary Ross, 3 Clara Simpson.

Sack Race –
1 Clara Simpson, 2 Barbara McBeath, 3 Nellie Rosie.

Bun Race –
Seniors – 1 Margaret Ross, 2 Maggie Rosie;
Juniors – 1 Margaret Simpson, 2 Thomasina Ross, 3 Dorothy Isbister.

Skipping Races –
Seniors – 1 Clara Simpson, 2 Mabel Sutherland, 3 Jeannie Rosie;
Juniors – 1 Margaret Simpson, 2 Maggie McBeath, 3 Thomasina Ross.



Three-legged Race (ladies and gents) –
1 Miss Maggie Sutherland and John Sutherland, 2 Miss Bella Taylor and Peter Simpson.

High Jump –
1 Ronald Barnett (3ft. 11 ins.), 2 John Sutherland.

Young Men’s Race –
1 Ronald Barnett, 2 Peter Simpson.

Ladies’ Race –
1 Miss A. Baikie, 2 Miss Hope Sutherland.

Putting the Stone (about 18 lbs.) –
1 Thomas Sutherland (23 ft. 3½ ins), 2 William Sabiston.

Married Ladies’ Race –
1 Mrs Robertson, 2 Mrs Harms.

Egg-and-Spoon Races –
Ladies – 1 Miss Ella Simpson, 2 Miss A. Baikie;
Men – 1 Peter Simpson, 2 Thomas Flett.

Musical Chairs –
Ladies – 1 Miss Hope Sutherland, 2 Miss A. Baikie;
Men – 1 Albert Flett, 2 James Sutherland.

Boot Race –
1 Roland Barnett, 2 Alex. Isbister.

Men’s Pillow Fight –
1 Peter Simpson, 2 Joe Simpson.

Blindfold Races –
Ladies – 1 Miss Maggie Sutherland, 2 Miss Bella Robertson;
Men – 1 Roland Barnett, 2 Malcolm Ross.

Men’s All-comers’ Race –
1 Roland Barnett, 2 Thos. Flett.

Ladies’ All-comers’ Race –
1 Miss A. Baikie, 2 Miss Mary Simpson.


Thanks to Shelagh and Bob Stirling for digging this one out of the Kirkwall Archives.
Illustrations by Andrew Hewitt.

Orkney – Seven Lives Lost (1842)

A most melancholy accident occurred here last week. It appears that, on Thursday, the 3d instant, a boat went from the Island of Flotta to St Margaret’s Hope upon some business, and on their return in the evening; the wind blowing hard, with rain, when opposite the Stanger Head, Flotta, the boat swamped, and all on-board perished, consisting of three males and four females. The accident happened quite near to the shore. A boat put off to their assistance, but too late to save any of them. The boat was afterwards washed on shore, as was also one of the female bodies. Among the persons lost was a man named Malcolm Ross and his wife, of Flotta. One of the females has left seven children. These are the only particulars we could learn by the mail boat last Sunday, and we had no mail from Orkney since. – John o’Groat Journal.

From The Scotsman, 19th March 1842, Saturday, page 3. By kind permission of Scotsman Publications Ltd.