Five cars, laden with handbell
equipment, 12 ringers and four helpers travel from Dunkeld to The Royal Burgh of
Dornoch. The first concert of the tour took place in Dornoch Cathedral, the 13th
Century Parish Church, before a most appreciative audience, with a retiring
collection towards the upkeep of The Cathedral
Continued the journey to Thurso,
on the northern mainland of Scotland, and boarded the ferry MV Hamnavoe for the
crossing to Stromness, Orkney.
Ferry MV Hamnavoe
Some of the Group on
Sailed past the
distinctive 449feet high red sandstone sea stack of The Old Man of Hoy.
Concert in Stromness
Parish Church, with a retiring collection for The Thyolo (Malawi)
Project – a great audience. In Viking times Stromness was called
Hamnavoe (the name of our ferry), which means “a peaceful or safe
Free time during the day to
Crossed the Churchill Barriers to
visit The Italian Chapel on the island of Lamb Holm.
The chapel was created from two
Nissen huts by Italian WW II Prisoners of War. It is truly a magnificent work of
art, which the Orcadians promised to care for when the prisoners of war left
Orkney in 1945.
Some of the Group
outside the chapel
Caroline inside the
Also explored Kirkwall, the
islands’ capital, and St. Magnus Cathedral, one of Orkney’s most distinctive
landmarks. Construction began in 1137 to build the “finest Church the North had
ever seen”, which now belongs to the people of Kirkwall.
Evening concert in
the East Church’s King Street Halls. A few members of The City of
Kirkwall Pipe Band also performed in this concert, the retiring
collection being for the Band’s funds. The hall was full and the
audience included children who ring in a handchime group at a
Kirkwall Primary School.
Ringers in the
East Church Kirkwall
Visit The Ring of Brodgar
– one of the best preserved stone circles in the UK and thought to date
from around 2,500 – 2,000 BC
Some of the group at the
Ring of Bodgar
Also visited The Bay of
Skaill, on the shores of which is Skara Brae, the best preserved
Neolithic village in Northern Europe. Skara Brae , approximately 5,000
years old, was inhabited before the Egyptian Pyramids were built and
flourished many centuries before the construction of Stonehenge.
Journey home after a
Orkney is a wonderful place
to visit. There are many, many interesting places, the people are friendly and
welcoming, our accommodation was superb, the food is delicious, the art and
craft work is of an extremely high standard and, to our great satisfaction,
everyone loved the handbell music.