Our Aims

…and objectives

Peatfire Tales of OrkneyTo protect, conserve and present the Orkney Islands’ traditional stories, legends and people’s folklore alongside the social customs and heritage of the Orkney crofting fishing and farming people who have lived on these islands over many centuries.

The Island people who have worked the Orkney land and fished the surrounding seas.

  • Through Storytelling and the Oral Traditions of Folklore,Folk Tales and Legend, Rhymes, Poetry, Sagas and work/life Social Customs there would be programmes to research, cover and present the life stories of the many varied island communities in Orkney e.g.
    • The Crofting Tunships and Seafaring heritage of the different Island Parishes
    • The Stronsay Herring industry
    • The Shapinsay Farming/crofting community
    • Eynhallow Island History and Legend
    • North Ronaldsay and South Ronaldsay Social Traditions.
  • To encourage the public,island visitors and local people alike,to explore, discover and appreciate how the past can be brought to life through the oral traditions of storytelling, song, rhymes and music with a particular focus on the ‘Fishermen with Ploughs’ or crofting islanders ideas, actions, customs and daily life and how they have shaped todays’ social landscape on these North Atlantic Islands.
  • To create awareness and promote that our Folk Tales,Folklore and Legends are a key part to Orkney’s cultural identity and that the Telling of Tales and Oral learning are important educational and therapeutic tools for today’s island children,young people and adults – particularly those who are on the fringe of their educational and/or social community.
  • The Orkney Folklore and Storytelling Centre is a venue to experience and actively learn about the Orkney Island Legends,Myths and folklore traditions alongside Island music, song and dance. Thus promoting storytelling and Orkney’s oral heritage as representing social, cultural
    and intellectual investment for the future generations of not only the Orkney Islands themselves but those who live throughout the Highland and Islands of Scotland.
  • To have on Orkney a Centre of Creative Learning which is a Centre of Excellence

Orkney FolkLore and Storytelling Centre was created by Lynn Barbour.

Lynn BarbourLynn is an MA Arts Graduate in English Literature and Language and Drama from Glasgow University. For many years Lynn researched and dramatised the folklore and legends of the Orkney islands.Having qualified professionally in the teaching and choreographing of classical ballet, traditional Scottish dance,jazz & contemporary dance and drama she explored using these contemporary techniques to create Folk Arts experiences  and performances.

Thereafter she developed highly successful programmes of communication arts, directing summer schools and staff development courses throughout the UK and Europe. For five years, Lynn also ran the Orcadia Creative Learning Centre in Edinburgh, the only one of its kind in the UK.

From Lynn’s passion for the folklore and environment of the Orkney Islands emerged the Orkney FolkLore and Storytelling Centre at Via House.

“The enchanting tongues went on and on beside the fish oil lamps,
then the grey of morning entered the crofts,
and called the Islanders back once more
to their hard work of ploughing and fishing”
George Mackay Brown