Orkney Cover

An Orkney Boyhood
By Duncan Cameron Mackenzie

Publisher: NMS Enterprises Limited
ISBN 13: 978-1-905267-54-5
Pages:144
Illustrations: 20 black and white
Dimensions: 5" x 7 2/3"
Price: $14.95

"...it is a combination of the familiar...and the unfamiliar which makes An Orkney Boyhood such a joy."
-Undiscovered Scotland



•Of interest to social historians.
•Island life - wherever it is - exerts a fascination

Duncan Mackenzie presents his own well written story of growing up on the island of Burray when electricity and piped water were only just arriving and when peat cutting and beachcombing (and even small scale marine salvage) provided a supply of pocket money to local children.

Many visitors come to Orkney, a group of islands lying off Scotland's northern tip, where the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean meet, to find their family roots, as well as to see some of Europe's most fabulous archeological sites and Viking structures.

For Mackenzie, childhood was full of unusual adventures and traditional customs unknown in many other parts of the world. Reading this delightful memoir reminds us of the way things used to be, when life was simpler and joys were perhaps richer. This is his story of town hall movies, of neep (turnip) hoeing competitions, of making an electric blanket and collecting scrap metal on the beach to sell; of fishing off the end of the pier; of encountering jelly fish at Scapa Flow, of being lowered into the well to sort out the family's water supply one dry summer, of fights and looking after the hens; of cutting peats and making wooden boats with sails to travel to near islands. A highlight of the Orkney year was the traditional New Year's Day Ba' Game ('more like a small scale civil war') which could have from 200 to 600 players and last up to nine hours.

See the full review in Scottish Life Magazine.


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