On 2 October, 2006, it was two hundred years to the day since the light at Start Point was first lit. It's hard to believe that it was signalling the dangers of our low-lying island to the passing sailing-ships almost nine years before Wellington won the Battle of Waterloo ? a time when Napoleon Bonaparte was the bogeyman frightening Britain. At the turn of this century, major alterations led to the Light being computer-controlled from Edinburgh, with power supplied by solar panels installed in the Lighthouse precincts. In 2006, the Northern Lighthouse Board kindly agreed to mark the bicentenary by allowing a limited number of guided visits to, and up, the Lighthouse. The trips were hugely successful, and so much enjoyed that the NLB agreed to continue these trips in 2007 and 2008. See current Ranger Events information for details of planned trips and how to book.
Keep a sharp eye open as you explore the island and you might catch sight of the odd (very odd!) Trow. Our Trowie Festival was launched at the May Sanday Sunday and will run all summer. More than thirty Trows will be popping up in gardens all over Sanday. You can view a map of Trowie locations in our local shops, or download this A4 one here.[455Kb jpg]
What exactly is a Trow?
"...the archetypal trow was an ugly, mischievous, little creature that resided in the ancient mounds scattered across Orkney.
Although some tales declared that a trow could pass for a human - although usually old, wizened or deformed - in general they were said to be short, ugly, stunted creatures and considerably smaller than a man.
Their traditional grotesque and outlandish appearance is confirmed by some of the names ascribed to them - names such as Truncherface (trencher face) and Bannafeet (bannock feet)" - Orkneyjar "What is a Trow?"
Trow photographs © Roderick Thorne, 2008
Thursday 12th June
Ranger Rod will be leading another walk to Doun Helzie on Sanday today. If you'd like to join him, bring a picnic. You'll explore the caves and arches, and hunt for a Faroese sunset shell. Meet at the sub-station on the Stove Road at 11.30. Phone Rod on 600-341 for more info.
Monday 16th June
Join Sanday's Ranger today on the 3-hour Whitemill Wander. Coastal birds, seals, flowers, and you will certainly hear about and even see the Hogboon of Hellihow. Bring a picnic and meet at the Whitemill car-park at 12 noon. Ring Rod on for more info.
Wednesday 18th June
Photograph © Roderick Thorne, 2008
Rod the Ranger, on Sanday, will be heading for the West side of the island again today, hoping to find seabirds on the ledges. A picnic on the boulder beach, and possibly Puffins on a flypast. Meet him at Villafield at 12.30 if you'd like to join in. If you don't know where Villafield is, ring Rod now on .
Tuesday 24th June
If you're on Sanday today, you're still in time to join Ranger Rod on a morning walk around the coast at Laminess and Pool at the south end. Much of the rock is beautiful red sandstone, and at the end of the walk we'll see the remains of the Neolithic settlement in the eroded coast. Meet at the last turning point on the Laminess road at 9.30 a.m. More info from Rod on
Saturday 28th June
Today is the first guided trip of the year to Start Point Lighthouse on Sanday. Join Ranger Rod and go up the tower with Lighthouse-keeper Andrew Skea. Booking is essential, so call Rod on if you'd like to join in. There'll be transport available from the school upper car-park at 11.00 a.m., or you may meet at the Scuthvie car-park at 11.15.
If you a are on the island and there are no advertised events, Rod iseasily persuaded to take groups rock-pooling, or looking for seal pups - both of which are tide-dependent. Ring , email and/or come round to Nearhouse
Monthly 'Sanday Sundays' are firmly on the summer-season timetable from May to September. On these and many other Sundays you?ll often find live music at the Kettletoft Hotel; jazz, traditional and rock.
The Sanday Sundays for 2008 offer a wide variety of activities:
June 15th: Ball games on Cata Sand/ model boat display at the school
July 20th: Raft Regatta/open gardens
August 17th: Triathlon/craft exhibition
September 13-14th: Arts Festival and Farmers? market on the 14th
Sanday farmers produce a wealth of excellent produce and this is showcased at the regular Farmers' Markets this year. Markets coincide with Sanday Sunday events in May and September, and there may be an additional Farmers' Market in July.
Sanday Sound Calendar of Events: What's On
Header photo of Sanday Raft Race - © Roderick Thorne
Start Point Lighthouse - © Mary Lennie