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Lyness Naval Museum, Hoy, Orkney (iv)

The big former oil tank at Lyness now houses a large video screen showing films about Scapa Flow and the ships which once used it, plus several exhibits of large(ish) military machinery.

A troop carrier with US markings and searchlight in background:-

Troop Carrier, Lyness Naval Museum, Hoy, Orkney

A DUKW (or Duck) + Crane:-

DUKW + Crane, Lyness Naval Museum, Hoy, Orkney

Wheeled anti-aircraft gun. Not the best photo I’ve ever taken:-

Anti-aircraft Gun, Lyness Naval Museum, Hoy, Orkney

Signs outside pointed to an air-raid shelter. We followed them to the entrance:-

Emtrance to Air-raid Shelter, Lyness Naval Museum, Hoy, Orkney

It was quite extensive inside. This is a view of the corridor:-

Air-raid Shelter Corridor, Lyness Naval Museum, Hoy, Orkney

I suppose the rooms may have been furnished with chairs or bunks but they don’t look very prepossessing now:-

Air-raid Shelter "Room", Lyness Naval Museum, Hoy, Orkney

Lyness Naval Museum, Hoy, Orkney (ii)

More external exhibits at Lyness Naval Museum, Hoy, Orkney.

A naval mine:-

Naval Mine, Lyness Naval Museum, Hoy, Orkney

Oil pipes:-

Oil Pipes, Lyness Naval Museum, Hoy, Orkney

A propeller from HMS Hampshire:-

Propeller HMS Hampshire

The last remaining oil tank at Lyness. Now houses museum exhibits:-

Oil Tank, Lyness Naval Museum, Hoy, Orkney

Lyness Naval Museum, Hoy, Orkney (i)

The Scapa Flow Visitor Centre and Museum is almost directly ahead of you as you disembark from the ferry at Lyness, Hoy.

It’s not very prepossessing from the outside but is packed with exhibits relating to the miltary use of Scapa Flow in the two World Wars.

Scapa Flow Visitor Centre

Several naval guns lie in the forecourt:-

Naval Gun , Lyness Naval Museum, Hoy

Gun, Lyness Naval Museum, Hoy

Third Gun, Lyness Naval Museum, Hoy, Orkney.

Fourth Gun, Lyness Naval Museum, Hoy, Orkney.

Fifth Gun,Lyness Naval Museum, Hoy, Orkney.

You’ll see in the first picture two information boards. This board relates to the complex as a whole:-

Information Board,Lyness Naval Museum, Hoy, Orkney.

Also exterior to the main museum is this example of anti-torpedo netting:-

Anti-Torpedo Netting, Lyness Naval Museum, Hoy, Orkney

Keiss War Memorial

Keiss is in Sutherland, Scotland, on the A99 between Wick and John O’Groats. The War Memorial stands a bit away from any houses in a square plot of land beside the road.

Keiss War Memorial, Sutherland

It is inscribed, “Keiss Quoad Sacra Parish. The dedication is “To the memory of the fallen in the Great War 1914-1919,” and towards the base, “Also 1939-1945,” below which are six names for that second conflict. You can also see here that flat, almost treeless, landscape of north-east Sutherland, which acts as a kind of preview for Orkney:-

Keiss War Memorial Closer View

View towards village, showing Great War names:-

Keiss War Memorial Names

View towards North Sea, showing Great War names:-

Keiss War Memorial

The Causeway at Birsay, Orkney

I was reminded this week of the causeway from mainland Orkney to the Brough (island) of Birsay.

Brough of Birsay, Orkney

The causeway allows access to the island at low tide. You can just see it under the water’s surface to the middle left of the photo above.

At the time of my previous post I didn’t include the video I made of a river of sea water which flowed from north to south under the causeway about halfway across. Below I remedy that omission. Click on the picture to get to the video.

Sea "River" Under Causeway at Birsay, Orkney

Scapa by James Miller

Britain’s Famous Wartime Naval Base

Birlinn, 2000, 191 p.

 Scapa cover

As its subtitle implies this is a short history of the use of Scapa Flow in Orkney as a base for British naval operations. These had marginal beginnings in the Napoleonic Wars but the emergence of Germany as a potential enemy and a threat to North Sea and Atlantic shipping during the run up to the Great War led to proposals for the main British fleet to be stationed there. The outbreak of war saw these brought to fruition and Scapa and Orkney quickly became a home to thousands of men – and in World War 2 many women, who on their nights out were apparently strictly chaperoned. The locals were also in great demand for dances and such. Unlike in the rest of the UK in wartime food was reasonably plentiful on Orkney due to its fertility. Eggs were in good supply and there was never a shortage of mutton!

The book is replete with photographs, with a readily accessible text. The caption to a photo of the men of the Ness Battery in front of a hut mentions the strap designed to hold the hut down during strong winds.

The main incidents are all here; the HMS Vanguard explosion, the loss of HMS Hampshire, the collision of HMS Opal and HMS Narborough, the internment of the German High Seas Fleet in 1918, its Grand Scuttle in 1919, the sinking of HMS Royal Oak, the building of the Churchill Barriers and the Italian Chapel. A quick, easy history of the UK naval presence in Orkney.

Pedant’s corner:- fiand (find – all five instances of this word in this book were spelled in that odd way,) Grand Fleet commander Admiral Sir George Callaghan (is referred to thereafter as Cunningham,) stripped the ships off anything of use (stripped the ships of anything of use.)

Barony Mill, near Birsay, Orkney

This is the last working mill in Orkney but it isn’t commercially viable. It opens in the summer for tourists but does grind grain in winter – the local bere barley etc – for some local consumption and to keep the tradition going.

The young lad that showed us round (off to University later this year) said it was his grandmothe who was the last full-time miller there. Pictures of her at work were on the walls. Quite a thing back then for a woman to be in a job like that.

Barony Mill, near Birsay, Orkney

Old water wheels. They may get round to recommissioning these one day:-

Old mill wheels, Barony Mill

I took four videos. Click on each picture to get to its video.

Water Wheel:-

Barony Wheel Driving Wheel

Gearing:-

Gearing, Barony Mill

Lower level workings:-

Barony Mill, Lower Level Workings

Upper level workings:-

Barony Mill Upper Level Workings

Evie War Memorial

Evie is a small village close to the Broch of Gurness in the north of mainland Orkney.

This simple pillar stands to the side of the A 966 road from Evie to Birsay.

War Memorial, Evie, Orkney

The inscription reads, “In memoriam. Died for King and Country in the Great War 1914-1919.”

Inscription, War Memorial, Evie, Orkney

The names on the memorial all date from 1917 and 1918:-

Names, War Memorial, Evie, Orkney

More Names, War Memorial, Evie, Orkney,

Ness Battery, Stromness

The main World War 2 defence artillery battery for the Sound of Hoy was the Ness Battery. A few buildings remain. They have that vaguely Deco style of a lot of World War 2 fortifications. We missed the guided tour so didn’t get the full access. We’d only gone out for an evening stroll.

Ness Battery, Stromness

Ness Battery, Stromness  2

Ness Battery, Stromness 3

Shore Battery. Atlantic/Pentland Firth beyond:-

Shore Battery, Ness Battery, Stromness

Graemsay and Hoy from Ness Battery:-

Graemsay and Hoy from Ness Battery

Birsay, Orkney

The parish and village of Birsay lies at the northwestern end of the mainland of Orkney.

Just off the mainland is the Brough of Birsay. Brough means island:-

Brough of Birsay, Orkney

A causeway allows access to the island at low tide. You can just see the causeway under the water’s surface to the middle left of the photo. The island has a Stevenson lighthouse on it.

Rocks and a standing stone at Birsay:-

Rocks at Birsay, Orkney

More rocks and a small bay at Birsay:-

Rocks and Bay at Birsay, Orkney

The remains of the Palace of a notoriously harsh Earl of Orkney are the main attraction in Birsay itself.

From road in:-

Earl's Palace, Birsay, Orkney, from Road in.

Reverse view:-

Earl's Palace, Birsay, Orkney

Interior 1:-

Earl's Palace, Birsay, Orkney Interior 1

Interior 2:-

Earl's Palace, Birsay, Orkney, Interior 2

Interior 3:-

Earl's Palace, Birsay, Orkney, Interior 3

We did wander round the graveyard of St Magnus Church, and took a walk down to the beach behind it.

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