In The Furious Grip of an Orkney Gale View larger

In The Furious Grip of an Orkney Gale


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Stronsay tales of shipwrecks and strandings.

By Ian Cooper.


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£ 15.00

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As a boy growing up in Stronsay, one of Orkney's outer north isles, Ian Cooper listened with fascination to the stories told by the 'owld folk' about boats of all sizes which through the centuries had run afoul of the many rocks and reefs along the island's coastline. Afraid that these tales might disappear with those who had told them and curious to see what more could be discovered, the author combed Orkney archives and historical newspapers and added the discovered details to eyewitness accounts and local stories, resulting in this book.

The devastating effects of boats and their crews lost without a trace, the destruction of livelihoods, and the coming to terms with loss of life are treated with the reverence they deserve. But for a small island, shipwrecks and strandings have also meant opportunity - for work, for wealth, and for testing one's character - and this book also highlights and celebrates these moments.

Written in a lively, accessible style, 'In The Furious Grip of an Orkney Gale' more than fulfils its intended goal of preserving the heritage of Stronsay for the people of Stronsay - it also opens a window into the many ways that small communities accept and adapt to an environment that constantly reminds them of its power to both harm and bless.

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