Roy Pledger
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My name is Roy, I live at Otley in West Yorkshire and I am retired. I am not the best photographer and most of my pics depict the unusual.

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These barriers are a series of four causeways which link the Orkney Mainland to South Ronaldsway via the islands of Burray, Lamb Holm and Glimps Holm, a total length of 1.5 miles. They were built in the 1940’s at the instigation of Winston Churchill as naval defences to protect the naval anchorage in Scapa Flow. They now carry the A961 road from Burwick To Kirkwall. In 1939 the Royal Navy battleship, HMS Royal Oak was moored in Scapa Flow and on 14 October she was sunk in a night time attack by a German U-boat which had entered this natural harbour through a channel between the mainland and Lamb Holm Island. 833 lives were lost and the sunken battleship is a designated war grave marked by a buoy next to Scapa Beach where there is a Memorial Garden. Although the shallow eastern passage into Scapa Flow had been protected by sunken block ships and anti-submarine nets the U-boat was able to navigate around them at high tide and escaped the same way. The barriers were constructed using Italian prisoners of war to provide the labour. The use of POW labour for war effort work was prohibited under the Geneva Convention but their use was justified as ‘improvement to communications between the islands’ which resulted in the present day A961. Gabions enclosing 250,000 tons of broken rock from local quarries were used as foundation and were covered by 66,000 locally cast 5 ton concrete blocks with 10 ton blocks alongside to act as wave breaks. As a war grave, the remains of the Royal Oak are protected by a ‘cage’ and diver’s are forbidden to trespass. However a diver did recover the ship’s bell and after a period of time he handed the bell over to the authorities and it is now preserved in Kirkwall Cathedral as a memorial.

Thi restaurant on the sea front at Partmahamock doesn't have any Michelin stars, but it DOES HAVE TWO MICHELIN TYRES!

This very fine ‘tin tabernacle’ is situated on the tiny island of Lamb Holm in Orkney. During WW11 550 Italian prisoners of war, captured in North Africa, were housed on this previously uninhabited island between South Ronaldsway and The Mainland. They were to be involved in the construction of The Churchill Barriers. Scapa Flow was a strategic Royal Naval base during both world wars and in 1939 a German submarine broke through the defences and torpedoed HMS Royal Oak which together with its 833 men sank into 90 feet of water where it still rests today. Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, ordered four defensive concrete dykes to be constructed across the eastern approach to Scapa Flow and they became known as The Churchill Barriers. Today they carry a road linking the various islands, including Lamb Holm, to The Mainland. The prisoners were housed at Camp 60 in 13 Nissen huts and they enhanced the camp themselves with the use of the readily available concrete and in 1943 the camp commandant authorised the use of two Nissen huts to provide a chapel for the prisoners. The huts were placed end to end and the interior was lined with plasterboard. The prisoners built a concrete façade complete with belfry to conceal the shape of the Nissen huts which they thickly coated in concrete. One of the prisoners, Domencio Chiocchetti, assisted by his fellow prisoners, painted the interior which resulted in a magnificent and spectacular work of art. Chiocchetti also fashioned a statue of St George from barbed wire and concrete which still stands near to the church. In 1960 Chiocchetti returned to Lamb Holm to restore his paintwork. This category A masterpiece is now under the auspices of a preservation committee. This tiny metal heart can be seen on the floor of the chapel close to the altar rail. The story goes that one of the Italian POW's fell in love with a local girl. He was a married man and when the war was over he was forced to return to his homeland. He left a note for his lover telling her that he had left his heart in the chapel.

This very fine ‘tin tabernacle’ is situated on the tiny island of Lamb Holm in Orkney. During WW11 550 Italian prisoners of war, captured in North Africa, were housed on this previously uninhabited island between South Ronaldsway and The Mainland. They were to be involved in the construction of The Churchill Barriers. Scapa Flow was a strategic Royal Naval base during both world wars and in 1939 a German submarine broke through the defences and torpedoed HMS Royal Oak which together with its 833 men sank into 90 feet of water where it still rests today. Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, ordered four defensive concrete dykes to be constructed across the eastern approach to Scapa Flow and they became known as The Churchill Barriers. Today they carry a road linking the various islands, including Lamb Holm, to The Mainland. The prisoners were housed at Camp 60 in 13 Nissen huts and they enhanced the camp themselves with the use of the readily available concrete and in 1943 the camp commandant authorised the use of two Nissen huts to provide a chapel for the prisoners. The huts were placed end to end and the interior was lined with plasterboard. The prisoners built a concrete façade complete with belfry to conceal the shape of the Nissen huts which they thickly coated in concrete. One of the prisoners, Domencio Chiocchetti, assisted by his fellow prisoners, painted the interior which resulted in a magnificent and spectacular work of art. Chiocchetti also fashioned a statue of St George from barbed wire and concrete which still stands near to the church. In 1960 Chiocchetti returned to Lamb Holm to restore his paintwork. This category A masterpiece is now under the auspices of a preservation committee.

This very fine ‘tin tabernacle’ is situated on the tiny island of Lamb Holm in Orkney. During WW11 550 Italian prisoners of war, captured in North Africa, were housed on this previously uninhabited island between South Ronaldsway and The Mainland. They were to be involved in the construction of The Churchill Barriers. Scapa Flow was a strategic Royal Naval base during both world wars and in 1939 a German submarine broke through the defences and torpedoed HMS Royal Oak which together with its 833 men sank into 90 feet of water where it still rests today. Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, ordered four defensive concrete dykes to be constructed across the eastern approach to Scapa Flow and they became known as The Churchill Barriers. Today they carry a road linking the various islands, including Lamb Holm, to The Mainland. The prisoners were housed at Camp 60 in 13 Nissen huts and they enhanced the camp themselves with the use of the readily available concrete and in 1943 the camp commandant authorised the use of two Nissen huts to provide a chapel for the prisoners. The huts were placed end to end and the interior was lined with plasterboard. The prisoners built a concrete façade complete with belfry to conceal the shape of the Nissen huts which they thickly coated in concrete. One of the prisoners, Domencio Chiocchetti, assisted by his fellow prisoners, painted the interior which resulted in a magnificent and spectacular work of art. Chiocchetti also fashioned a statue of St George from barbed wire and concrete which still stands near to the church. In 1960 Chiocchetti returned to Lamb Holm to restore his paintwork. This category A masterpiece is now under the auspices of a preservation committee.

This very fine ‘tin tabernacle’ is situated on the tiny island of Lamb Holm in Orkney. During WW11 550 Italian prisoners of war, captured in North Africa, were housed on this previously uninhabited island between South Ronaldsway and The Mainland. They were to be involved in the construction of The Churchill Barriers. Scapa Flow was a strategic Royal Naval base during both world wars and in 1939 a German submarine broke through the defences and torpedoed HMS Royal Oak which together with its 833 men sank into 90 feet of water where it still rests today. Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, ordered four defensive concrete dykes to be constructed across the eastern approach to Scapa Flow and they became known as The Churchill Barriers. Today they carry a road linking the various islands, including Lamb Holm, to The Mainland. The prisoners were housed at Camp 60 in 13 Nissen huts and they enhanced the camp themselves with the use of the readily available concrete and in 1943 the camp commandant authorised the use of two Nissen huts to provide a chapel for the prisoners. The huts were placed end to end and the interior was lined with plasterboard. The prisoners built a concrete façade complete with belfry to conceal the shape of the Nissen huts which they thickly coated in concrete. One of the prisoners, Domencio Chiocchetti, assisted by his fellow prisoners, painted the interior which resulted in a magnificent and spectacular work of art. Chiocchetti also fashioned a statue of St George from barbed wire and concrete which still stands near to the church. In 1960 Chiocchetti returned to Lamb Holm to restore his paintwork. This category A masterpiece is now under the auspices of a preservation committee.

This very fine ‘tin tabernacle’ is situated on the tiny island of Lamb Holm in Orkney. During WW11 550 Italian prisoners of war, captured in North Africa, were housed on this previously uninhabited island between South Ronaldsway and The Mainland. They were to be involved in the construction of The Churchill Barriers. Scapa Flow was a strategic Royal Naval base during both world wars and in 1939 a German submarine broke through the defences and torpedoed HMS Royal Oak which together with its 833 men sank into 90 feet of water where it still rests today. Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, ordered four defensive concrete dykes to be constructed across the eastern approach to Scapa Flow and they became known as The Churchill Barriers. Today they carry a road linking the various islands, including Lamb Holm, to The Mainland. The prisoners were housed at Camp 60 in 13 Nissen huts and they enhanced the camp themselves with the use of the readily available concrete and in 1943 the camp commandant authorised the use of two Nissen huts to provide a chapel for the prisoners. The huts were placed end to end and the interior was lined with plasterboard. The prisoners built a concrete façade complete with belfry to conceal the shape of the Nissen huts which they thickly coated in concrete. One of the prisoners, Domencio Chiocchetti, assisted by his fellow prisoners, painted the interior which resulted in a magnificent and spectacular work of art. Chiocchetti also fashioned a statue of St George from barbed wire and concrete which still stands near to the church. In 1960 Chiocchetti returned to Lamb Holm to restore his paintwork. This category A masterpiece is now under the auspices of a preservation committee.

There is a fine survivor from former times in the church, in the shape of a 'Poor Loft' which is now blocked off. This area was not for poor people - quite the opposite. People occupying these pews in the 19th century paid a 'pew rent' which was a way of raising money for the Parish Poor Fund. Poor people had to stand in the body of the church.

There is also a fine survivor from former times in the shape of a 'Poor Loft' which is now blocked off. This area was not for poor people - quite the opposite. People occupying these pews in the 19th century paid a 'pew rent' which was a way of raising money for the Parish Poor Fund. Poor people had to stand in the body of the church.

A local story has it that in the 19th century the church beadle allowed an illicit still to be kept in the space under the pulpit!

There is a cholera stone in the churchyard which dates from the cholera epidemic of 1832. The story goes that an elder of the church saw a cloud of vapour hovering above the ground in the churchyard. Believing it to be a cloud of cholera, he threw a blanket or cloth over it and placed the large stone on top to keep it from escaping.

Although this stone is inscribed St Michael’s Well it is not over the well. The northern boundary of Dornoch in Northern Scotland is at a point called St Michael’s Well but this boundary stone does not mark the true boundary. The stone was put in this position, a short distance north of the well, in 1832 by one George Gunn who was land factor to the Duke of Sutherland. Gunn had an ulterior motive for his action because a new law declared that only those living within 7 miles of the Burgh boundary could vote in the local elections. Unfortunately George’s home was at Rhives near Golspie just outside the 7 miles limit, so he had the stone hewn, inscribed and erected within the 7 miles and thus he retained his right to vote.

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