Crofting Connections and pupils from Orkney’s small island schools, in partnership with the Scottish International Storytelling Festival, gathered at the library in Kirkwall on Monday 7th November to celebrate the stories of the past and to dream the stories of the future in six of Orkney’s very special islands – islands rich with archaeology, culture, history and wildlife and home to very special communities of people of all generations.
Pupils from Hoy, Rousay, Papay, Eday, Shapinsay and North Ronaldsay discovered their past and imagined their future with storytellers Tom Muir and Fran Hollinrake.
They shared tales of “seals and lighthouses, sheep and croft houses, big ferries and tiny planes, beaches and moorland, fisher-folk and crofter-folk, knitters and weavers, children and grandparents, shepherds and gardeners, wind-turbines and peat-banks, owls and fulmars, hens and hen harriers, pebbles and seashells, fiddlers and dancers, kirks and schools……”
They explored what is special about each island – making it different from the others – and what is common to them all – sheep, beaches, ferries etc. Children from different island schools worked in groups to share stories ideas and dreams of the future. Here are pictures of some of the discussions.
Children brought a packed lunch supplemented by tasters of bere bannocks, Westray cheese and charcuterie from Rousay.
The children came up with a diagram of what they would like to keep on their island with what they dreamt of having.
This was a rare opportunity for the 60 pupils and teachers from these islands to come together and share their stories on crofting. Teigan from North Ronaldsay shared some of her thoughts on the day in their school blog here