Tuesday 25th February 2020,
Frontiers Magazine

All posts by


A day in the life of an Orkney Yole

In Stromness, where I grew up, the yole was used for fishing and for pleasure trips but in my grandparents’ island, Graemsay, it was also the main mode of transport. There had been a South Isles steamer for many years [...]

July 9, 2016 Stories from the Islands
Nora Thomson and Robbie Mowatt alongside the blockship Rotherford in Burra Sound

Fishing in Graemsay: Lythes, sillocks and cuithes

Through the 20th century the only commercial fishery in Graemsay was lobster, along with the occasional halibut or skate. In the main, whitefish and partan (edible crab) were for the table. The following is from my personal memory, from about [...]

March 18, 2016 Stories from the Islands
Fishermen landing at Rackwick

Fishing in Graemsay: Mackerel lines and lobster creels

The mackerel is a migratory fish that appears round Graemsay waters in July and August. It was only eaten when very fresh and the remainder were kept for creel bait. They feed on sand eels and one of the most [...]

March 17, 2016 Stories from the Islands

The Orkney Yole

Till well into the 1960s the yole played a major part in the lives and livelihood of most Orcadians. No pictures or examples go back beyond the late nineteenth century but we know from references in old papers that it [...]

March 11, 2015 Stories from the Islands, Summer Issue 2017