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Orkney Heritage Society to demonstrate size of new 17m-high Hydro poles planned for new interconnector scheme.

Orkney Heritage Society plans to erect a full size replica of the double ‘Trident Poles’ that SSE Transmission intend to erect in lines from Redland to Hoy via Finstown and down across South Ronaldsay and across Flotta as part of the new interconnector.

A 17m high replica of a Trident Pole will be hung from a crane at Crantit Farm, St Ola at 12:00 noon on Friday 26th of May. The pole will be near one of the proposed locations of the line of poles which is due to march across St Ola as they come from Finstown down to South Ronaldsay.

The demonstration is intended to alert Orkney residents to the scale of what could be being introduced into the Orkney landscape.

The pole will be left up for approximately 1 hr whilst photos are taken and the public will be encouraged to see the size of the structure from the road.

‘At 17 metres, these double poles will be taller than anything in Orkney today and we felt it would be useful for the people of Orkney to see just how big they are.’ explained Spencer Rosie, Chair of Orkney Heritage Society.

SSET are going to consult in the summer on the route these poles should take, but already they have been in discussions with land-owners. As a result of representations 3 years ago, some of the cables along the proposed route is to be buried, but not all of it. Although more expensive than putting wires on poles OHS is keen to see as much of the proposed route ‘undergrounded’. SSE decided to bury the cables that come in from Hoy up to Scorradale and they have agreed to bury them where they cross the main road at Finstown. As a result of public concerns expressed they are going to bury them at Hoxa on South Ronaldsay among some other places.

‘OHS is keen to let the people of Orkney see what is coming their way unless they tell SSE that they want to see more of the cable routes buried’ explained Spencer. ‘OIC have already agreed to bury their cables from their proposed wind farms to the sub stations which is really welcome and shows great leadership. Ideally we’d like to see SSET bury as much of the other cables as possible.

Burying cables can be more expensive than putting them on poles, but the experience of Denmark was that the cost was justified by increased reliability. ‘Denmark undergrounded all their existing cables in the 1990s after they lost much of their grid due to storm damage like we saw in Aberdeenshire last year’ explained Spencer. ‘As we increasingly rely upon the electricity network for our light, heat and vehicles we think it would be a false economy to put the new cables onto new even bigger poles and leave them exposed to the worsening winds.’ OHS believe that this is the moment to get ahead of the climate problem and also prevent the erection of over 1000 such poles across much of the Mainland and South Isles.’


OHS Eynhallow trip confirmed for Sat 29th July 2023

The Orkney Heritage Society is pleased to confirm the date set for the 2023 trip to Eynhallow.

Saturday 29th July 2023 

Times to be confirmed but approx. check-in at Tingwall ferry terminal 5.30pm, sailing at 6.00pm.

Ticket price £TBC

RSPB staff and volunteers will accompany the trip.



We are leaving sales of tickets a bit later this time due to concerns re: Avian Flu. Last year’s trip was cancelled because of the potential threat to Eynhallow’s bird population. We must go with the RSPB’s decision and leaving the confirmation of the trip and ticket sales until July makes it less likely to have to cancel after selling the tickets and refunding as we did last year!



A link to the ticketing site will be posted here on 1 July 7pm and tickets will be available ONLY via this method.


Reserve dates in case Orkney Ferries choose not to sail owing to weather/technical difficulties: Sun 30th & Mon 31st July.

The ferry departs Eynhallow at c.9.15pm, returning to Tingwall c. 9.45pm. TIMES TBC

A link to the ticketing site will be posted here and tickets will be available ONLY via this method.

Please note:

  • Under 16’s must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Walking is over rough ground, please wear stout shoes and bring warm and waterproof clothing.
  • There are no facilities on the island of any kind.

OHS AGM St Magnus Centre, Kirkwall, 17 November 2022, 7.30pm

Another year has gone by and we are rapidly approaching the OHS AGM, which this year can be held in person in the St Magnus Centre at 7.30pm on Thursday 17th November 2022. 

Following the conclusion of business, Dr Andrew Lind will give a talk entitled,Royalists, Rebels & Clubmen: Orkney and the Carbisdale Campaign, 1649-50.’  This is a much-anticipated talk, which will cover a poorly understood part of Orkney history.

For those that cannot attend in person, you can join online. To receive a link for the meeting via Eventbrite please use this link: 

You will then receive an email in which there will be a link to attend the meeting. This allows us to collect e-mail addresses and so confirm which attendees of the meeting are members.

The 2022 AGM Agenda and supporting papers can be accessed on the OHS website here:

This year the Society has made a big saving in sending out PDF copies of the Newsletter, but we are concerned that some members may not have received their copy if the email to which it was attached went into their junk or spam folders.  Please do check and get in touch if you still have not received your copy of the 2022 Newsletter (email

Also, there are still seven unclaimed pre-ordered copies of HMS Hampshire, a Century of Myths and Mysteries Unravelled.  Please get in touch if you have an order form or know of anyone that has one.  Otherwise, the books will go back into stock.

The AGM provides an opportunity for members to get together to exchange ideas for future activities of the Society.   As ever there is an opportunity to get involved and we are always keen to welcome new board members.
Normally, meetings are held every six weeks on an evening in Kirkwall and last for up to two hours.   Please email or if you would like more information.


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