Doon Memory Lane a Stromness event

I’d love to travel back in time to the 1900’s where women wore beautiful long dresses with intricate detail and swished around with grace and elegance.  I’m ignoring that fact that they couldn’t breathe due to the corsets, regularly fainted, were probably highly uncomfortable, (never mind the difficulties of getting to the loo)  I’m just an old, impractical romantic…

To those of you living in Orkney or coming to visit before the end of July, I can’t recommend the vintage fashion display in Stromness enough.  I’ve always loved Stromness, an old fishing town, and I’ve been fascinated with the history and beauty of the place.

‘In 2017, Stromness will celebrate a huge milestone in its history, by marking 200 years since it became a Burgh of Barony. Becoming a Burgh of Barony, allowed the town to take control of its own affairs, establishing a town council and taking as its motto ‘Per Mare’ meaning ‘by the sea’, a nod to not only its geographical location but to the life blood that has sustained the town for generations.” 

Taken from the website

As part of the celebrations there is currently a vintage collection from Orkney residents and put together in a wonderful display titled ‘doon memory lane’ I went last Sunday but I’m going to have to go back several times to take it all in.  Locals will recognize some familiar (if not younger) faces among the wedding dresses and photos and all can take a trip down memory lane through the toys, games, comics and magazines. There’s plenty to see and here are few pictures of some of the things you can look forward to.

I’m told the first dress you see from the early 1900s was found in a cardboard box at the Commercial Hotel which is where the display is being held.  Amazing to think this was worn in Stromness over 100 years ago.


There are hundreds of dresses from all eras

and some fabulous stories including this one, imagine!




I love all the dresses from days gone by.  The style, the glamour, the elegance.  So why when I was growing up did it suddenly change and women started wearing dresses made from curtains?

We also grew up playing with creepy looking dolls. It’s a wonder I turned out as ok as I did.


Box beds were before my time but common in Orkney.  I’m sure they would’ve made for a warm bed on a cold, windy Orkney night. As would perhaps a sturdy pair of long johns.


I remember as a child having Twinkle comic, before I graduated to Bunty and finally the coolest magazine of all Jackie magazine and always the Christmas album.

There really is so much to see you could be there for hours.  A huge well done to the ladies who worked so hard to put it together.  It really is excellent and visitors won’t be disappointed.


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