A Look Back At Fishernet Orkney


3 days, 4 film screenings, 2 tours, two talks, an exhibition, trips around the harbour, food tastings and a parade of flags. It was quite a busy weekend.

Over 60 people attended Friday night’s reception, enjoying free wine and cheese and a wonderfully evocative seascape of music and poetry performed by musician James Watson and author Yvonne Gray.

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The reception was followed by a UK premiere of ‘Coastal Life’ (‘Å seile sin egen sjø’) – a warm, often amusing insight into the lives of some of the people that reside along the coast of Norway, a film about people, about dreams – and about traditions that perhaps are on the wane. Our ping-pongometer scored a very well received 4.6/5.

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Saturday morning saw the opening of the weekend long exhibition at the Old Commercial Hotel, showing the fishing cultural heritage of Orkney and in particular Stromness, featuring archive photographs and an aquarium display from Heriot Watt ICIT. The exhibition was created by Aquatera who also resurrected the fishing heritage trail leaflet, which saw many people down the street enjoying aspects of Stromness featured in the leaflet.

25 people packed into the natural history gallery of Stromness Museum to hear an illustrative and enlightening talk by Dr. Jennifer Harland, who took us through 1,000 years of fishing in Orkney, from Viking deep-sea fishing to the recent rise and fall of the herring industry.


Our afternoon screening was a step back in time courtesy of the Scottish Screen Archive, where we saw a selection of films depicting fishing, boat building and life on the sea. There was glimpses of Stromness in a couple of the films, with ‘Bank Ahead’ having a strong Orkney theme as it was about Orkney’s floating bank, The Otter Bank. After the screening, Jack Drever from Orkney Historic Boat Society gave an insightful talk on the restoration of the Otter Bank, currently on display at Scapa Flow Visitor Centre. Our ping-pongometer scored a very high 4.3/5.

Our evening screening was the Norwegian documentary ‘There Will Be Oil’ (‘Det Vil Bli Olje’), which had people discussing it’s issues long after the credits rolled. Our ping-pongometer scoring a healthy 3.9/5.

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Sunday saw 12 people joining a tour at Stromness Museum by curator Janette Park, who delved into the cultural foundations of Stromness through objects held in the museum collections. It was great to see the objects connected to these stories, and the audience often added their own contributions too.

The weather couldn’t have been better for the activities at the Pierhead, and Stromness was buzzing! Orkney Fishermen’s Society joined up with The Ferry Inn offering samples of crab and soup, ice cream and of course local beers.

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The RNLI took around 50 people on tours on the lifeboat.

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Volunteers from Orkney Yole Association took out dozens of people, under sail and by motor, on trips around the harbour.

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And the EFSA Parade of Flags was a welcome sight, as they launched the start of their European Boat and Line Class Championships here in Stromness.

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We rounded up a perfect day with a 40th anniversary screening of the blockbuster ‘Jaws’, bringing one time Stromness resident Robert Shaw back to these shores via the big screen. Our ping-pongometer scored a very high 4.4/5.

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Farewell to Fishernet Orkney for now, we hope we can bring it back to these shores again.

2 thoughts on “A Look Back At Fishernet Orkney

  1. Stewart Taylor says:

    Congratulations Mark on you success in making a great weekend for the people of Orkney and it’s visitors, Stromness Lifeboat would be proud to assist you whenever you decide to repeat this event

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