Leslie's of Australia & New Zealand


Welcome to the Orkney Islands

Birth place of my mother

Old Man of Hoy

(left) Hoy Island, the first major view of the Orkney's from the Ferry.   The cliffs are the highest in Great Britain. 

As we pass (right) "The Old Man of Hoy" stands out, welcoming us to the islands.

Finally we arrive at Stromness (right & far right) on the main land (main island), with it's long, winding, main street, and a myriad of small stone houses dating from the 17th century.   Stromness is home for the main ferry terminal between the Orkney's and Scrabsters in Scotland.

Then it's a quick drive to the main city of Kirkwall with it's tiny streets and the shopping area, all

dominated by St Magnus Cathedral. A lot of the original houses in the area date from the

16th to 18th centuries. St Magnus Cathedral was built in the 12th century.

One of the real surprises of the Orkney's is the history available for all to see, going as far back as Neolithic man.   Skaill House (right) dates from the 17th century when first established by Bishop Graham in the 1620's.   The Earl's Palace (far right) built in the 16th century by Earl Robert Stewart, half brother to Mary Queen of Scots.   The Broch of Gurness (below) is a "round house" stronghold, and was occupied from the iron age through Pictish times.  
Maeshowe, a chambered cairn (below) is a Neolithic tomb, built about 2750BC.   You are able to enter the chamber with a guide.
The Neolithic village at Skara Brae (above) dates back 5000 years, to about 3100BC.   The village was revealed in 1850 when a storm washed away the sand dunes.
The Ring of Brodgar (right) is 5000 years old, 103.7 metres in diameter, and surrounded by a ten metre wide three metre deep stone cut ditch.   The ring is located with clear views in all directions. (my father is standing to the left of the steps)

One of the highlights of the trip was meeting my second cousins (my mothers cousins) Sue Collinson. (pictured below with her nephew John)


Apart from being a great guide and showing us all the local sites, she took us to a cemetery in Deerness, I believe, where we found the grave of William Young, my great, great grandfather, along with a plaque commemorating the death of his wife Elizabeth Bichan Spence and one of their daughters Kathleen J. V. Young. 

The grave site is pictured below (centre) and a photo of how it appeared in 1949, when the commemoration plaque was put in place is below (right) also.

Sue also arranged for us to meet Leslie Manson (right) another direct relative (second cousin) who like myself is involved in tracing and preserving the family tree.
The night we met, Sue brought out her photo album, and revealed my greatest surprise of the visit, a photo of my mother! (below left)   The photo was taken when she was 2 months old, which would have been July/August 1926.