An Orcadian perspective

Hear Danny Dutton's experience of exploring the urban heritage of Orkney and the broad range of perspectives from the Scotland's Urban Past events held on Wednesday 23 September 2015.

Submitted by Andrew on 29-10-2015 14:22:12

An Orcadian perspective

Chiara Ronchini, the Scotland's Urban Past (SUP) Project Manager, and myself were lucky enough to travel to Orkney at the end of September to deliver introductory talks and investigate the potential for community engagement opportunities on Mainland.

Our visit was timed to coincide with a Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) seminar in Kirkwall, hosted and organised by Kirkwall Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI).

As speakers and participants at the events, we were provided with a great opportunity to network with the delegates, all of whom are actively involved in CARS schemes from other parts of Scotland. Lots of food for thought there!

 

One of the other significant benefits of attending the CARS event was the chance to have a guided tour of the wide variety of Kirkwall properties that will benefit from the current THI and to gain a firsthand appreciation of the town’s architecture and development.

A photograph of a signpost.A signpost on Broad Street, Kirkwall
A photograph of people attending an event.Chiara addresses participants at the Scotland's Urban Past in Kirkwall event.

Our own dedicated event, Scotland's Urban Past in Kirkwall, was held in the St Magnus Centre, a renovated late Victorian-era church hall, adjacent to the fabulous cathedral.

In addition to our own programme, we were delighted to be joined by guest speakers Chris Gee from the University of Highlands and Islands, Julie Gibson, Orkney's County Archaeologist, and Spencer Rosie from the Kirkwall Heritage Society, who collectively provided illuminating insights into Kirkwall’s history, its architecture and archaeology.

All the presentations stimulated a lot of debate, with a broad range of perspectives, and it’s clear from the interest shown that there are plenty of possible project opportunities in Orkney's biggest town – and its close neighbour – Stromness!

 

Some of the feedback...

"Great to hear the broad range of perspectives from team and attendees."

 

"Enjoyed learning about the project itself and what it offers."

 

"Good to hear different perspectives on similar issues."

A compilation of photographs of people presenting at an event.Guest speakers at St Magnus Centre; Julie Gibson, Chris Gee and Spencer Rosie

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