The seasons and weather have always played an important part in the life of an agricultural island such as ours. In remembering Shapinsay’s past folks have talked about much snowier winters with huge drifts as high as the roofless Kirk on occasion!
Of course just like today the upside of being snowed in was time off school for youngsters to enjoy some snowy outdoor play and fun – as island resident Jim Pratt remembers from when he was a boy:-
Icy weather was a big attraction for youngsters and John Eunson tells a story of the time he and a friend risked their lives on one of their wintry weather escapades:-
Norland Skea of Northhill recalls some hefty snowfalls in bye-gone days on Shapinsay:-
Two significant hurricanes in 1952 and 1953 and the devastation caused are also etched on many peoples memories. Jim Hepburn of Kirkton gives a good first hand description to Kenny Meason:-
Also with vivid hurricane memories to this day is island resident Jim Pratt who put his recollections in verse about the dramatic events:-
Before the days of up to the minute weather forecasts that we’re used to now, folks often went by signs from nature about what to expect as Jim relates in another of his poems:-