Happy NEw Year

Wishing everyone a happy New Year!

Earlier today the Stromness Community Development Trust released a short film featuring the Yule Log Pull.
Thanks to everyone that came to see it, for those that couldn’t make it we are delighted to share it on here as well – scroll down to watch the video!

Last played in Stromness in 1937, the Stromness Yule Log Pull was revived on Hogmanay in 2017 as part of the town’s Per Mare 200 celebrations. This film features the 2019 Junior and Senior log pulls.

Filming: Fionn McArthur & Mark Jenkins
Editing: Mark Jenkins

Thanks to Orkney.com
Stromness Community Development Trust
The Yule Log Pull Committee

Funded by Event Scotland’s Winter Festivals Fund – Hogmanay

Pitting folk living in the north end of the town against those living in the south, the two teams battle in a tug of war, as the log is dragged through the streets to opposing goals at either end of the town.

Traditionally the Yule Log competition was played late on Christmas Eve by boys and younger men of the town. Their starting point was Graham Place, with the Northenders vying to get to the Pierhead and the Soothenders heading for “Ma Humph’s” pier off Alfred Street — with the log either burned or jettisoned into the sea on arrival. The log for the event was “procured” from a local garden, with a tree being cut down by team members under cover of darkness. Garden owners were often known to guard their trees until well into the night. The practice of obtaining the tree caused much annoyance to local folk and eventually, in 1935, the town council outlawed the cutting down of a tree for the game. For a very short period, the local youths were provided with a log with which to play but, with a vital element of the ‘fun’ lost, the game died out in 1937.

A report in The Orcadian on December 30, 1920, described that year’s game:

“Towards evening the boys fished out a tree, and having attached a couple of stout ropes, the Northenders and Southenders had a tussle for possession. Greatly assisted and encouraged by several enthusiastic women, the log went South, merrily oh! dragged by willing hands amid much shouting and yelling. Then all was quiet.”

Since its revival in 2017 the Yule Log Pull has been jointly organised by Stromness Community Development Trust and Stromness Yule Log committee – made up of an equal number of northenders and soothenders.
The event has continued to evolve and grow interest. In 2018, to celebrate Event Scotland’s Year of Young People, a Junior Log Pull was added to the event. Proving successful, the Junior Log Pull made a welcome return at the 2019 event, along with the addition of two junior captains at the helm.

Welcome to Spring!

We hope everyone is enjoying the spring weather, albeit with a sprinkling of snow and hail here and there!

The transition from winter into spring and the lighter evenings, brings about the seasonal switch off of the pole wraps lights on Ferry Road. Throughout last winter, the lights added a bit of sparkle to our town, brightening up daily commutes and school drop offs.  

Plans are in place to complete phase 2 of the Stromness Community Development Trust’s lighting project. This will see the addition of festive snowflake motifs, on North End Road and John Street during December and January.

At the other end of the town, the redeveloped Southend Play Park is almost ready to welcome back visitors. There has been a small delay to reopening, but we hope to be able to provide a positive update within the next couple of weeks – watch this space!

On Saturday 1st May, the Trust and Stromness Community Business Forum launched the ‘support local’ bags for life initiative. This sees participating businesses give away custom designed bags for life to customers who spent over £30 in one transaction.

Funding for the project was sourced by the Trusts development officer, from the Scottish Governments ‘Scotland Loves Local’ fund.

The bags feature the ‘Our Hometown’ commemorative mural created as part of the Per Mare 200 celebrations, by the Stromness Museum and Stromness Primary School P7 class of 2017/18. The townscape was assembled by local graphic designer Iain Ashman, who was able to rework the design for printing on the canvas bags.
We hope that using artwork produced by the younger members of our community, will create a sense of pride and ownership, and encourage folk to keep supporting their local businesses.
To find out more about the ‘Our Hometown’ mural, follow the link below.

As always, we are keen to hear from members of the community. Whether you are part of a local group or organisation, a business, or an individual with an idea or suggestion. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch through the Contact Us form on this website, or through the StromnessOrkney Facebook page.

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Welcome to the new Stromness community website where you can find out about our local community organisations – Stromness Community Development Trust, Stromness Community Business Forum and Stromness Community Council.

Each organisation has their own page with useful information, projects they are involved with and downloadable documents such as minutes of meetings. Use the menu above to navigate the site. Drop down menus will appear when you hover above the menu headings (you may have to click on the menu when using a phone or tablet). Or you can click directly on the headings and follow the links within each page.

We hope you enjoy reading about developments within the town. If you have any ideas or suggestions please get in touch using the Contact Us page or the link below. The link can also be used to contact any of the organisations on this site. Your enquiry will be sent to Stromness Community Development Trust’s development officer who will forward it on to the relevant organisation.

Photos on the right are from projects and events run by each organisation including – the South End Play Park, Yule Log Pull, Community Bonfire and the town Christmas tree.

This website is maintained by Stromness Community Development Trust and run in partnership with Stromness Community Business Forum and Stromness Community Council.