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TITLE
The Battle of the Orange (2 of 5)
EXTERNAL ID
GB232_MFR_IANSUTHERLAND_02
PLACENAME
Wick
DISTRICT
Eastern Caithness
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
CAITHNESS: Wick
DATE OF RECORDING
1991
PERIOD
1990s
CREATOR
Ian Sutherland
SOURCE
Moray Firth Radio
ASSET ID
1688
KEYWORDS
herring
markets
disputes
skirmishes
fights
fighting
Pulteneytown
Highlanders
police
audio

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In this audio extract, Ian Sutherland of Wick Heritage Society relates the story of the 'Battle of the Orange', or the 'Big War in Wick'. The extract is from Moray Firth Radio's 'Recollections' series, transmitted in 1991.

They started breakin up e booths an, for till use e bits o wid that they were made fae, for weapons an clubs an whatever, an it wis jist a ragin torrent. Now, Wick's polis station at at time wis only aboot a hunder yairds away anyway, an somebody obviously hid run till get help so e polis arrived, or wan polisman arrived, in aboot ten meenits, an that hid the effect, it shows ye e respect that people hid then for law an order, the arrival of wan polisman stopped three hunder people fae fechtin. But he arrested e man fae Lewis for hittin e boy an he took him back till e polis station whereupon e crowd became very aggressive an hostile because they were sayin well, it wisna is man's fault in e first place. E word had now spread that an innocent man hid been arrested or whatever, an soon there wis a mob besiegin e polis station till get him oot. An there wis about three thousand, two, three thousand, nobody knows, but two or three thousand in the street but of that there wis aboot a hard core o a hunder that were bent on trouble, the rest were jist spectators really, till see whit wis goin on. Now, e polis inside, seein at e mood o the besiegers wis gettin oolgy, sent oot for their reinforcements. Well, the whole polis force wis only three anyway, but they'd a lot o special constables that could be called up so they were sent for an ten o them arrived an - Pulteneytoon had a separate polis force at that time, it wis three so it wis summoned and all - It sounds, ye know, sendin for reinforcements o three till fecht a mob o three thousand, but is is what wis comin!

Anyway, e mod ootside wis gettin ferocious an one o them, an he wis the, now ah'm no sure if he wis the grand father, Ah think he'd probably be the great-grandfather o the late Donnie B. MacLeod, e broadcaster, Ah think it wis his great-grandfather, anyway, he wis one o them. He went an got a boat's mast to try an smash doon e door o the polis station an get this man oot. Jist aboot e same time, e specials hid arrived an they hidnae even got their uniforms on, they hidnae time to get their uniforms, they were all rushed doon because mayhem seem till be runnin riot in e middle o e toon, an they grabbed, now again Ah'm not sure which wan it was, but they grabbed one o the ringleaders, whether it wis Donnie's great-grandfather or no Ah don't know, but they grabbed him, an of course e crowd hung on his other airm till try an stop him from bein arrested an in e process his claes were all torn off an he wis hauld into jile, 'needle naked' as they say. So now there were two innocent men in e jile an e crowd wis gettin wilder and wilder and wilder

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The Battle of the Orange (2 of 5)

CAITHNESS: Wick

1990s

herring; markets; disputes; skirmishes; fights; fighting; Pulteneytown; Highlanders; police; audio

Moray Firth Radio

MFR: Battle of the Orange

In this audio extract, Ian Sutherland of Wick Heritage Society relates the story of the 'Battle of the Orange', or the 'Big War in Wick'. The extract is from Moray Firth Radio's 'Recollections' series, transmitted in 1991.<br /> <br /> They started breakin up e booths an, for till use e bits o wid that they were made fae, for weapons an clubs an whatever, an it wis jist a ragin torrent. Now, Wick's polis station at at time wis only aboot a hunder yairds away anyway, an somebody obviously hid run till get help so e polis arrived, or wan polisman arrived, in aboot ten meenits, an that hid the effect, it shows ye e respect that people hid then for law an order, the arrival of wan polisman stopped three hunder people fae fechtin. But he arrested e man fae Lewis for hittin e boy an he took him back till e polis station whereupon e crowd became very aggressive an hostile because they were sayin well, it wisna is man's fault in e first place. E word had now spread that an innocent man hid been arrested or whatever, an soon there wis a mob besiegin e polis station till get him oot. An there wis about three thousand, two, three thousand, nobody knows, but two or three thousand in the street but of that there wis aboot a hard core o a hunder that were bent on trouble, the rest were jist spectators really, till see whit wis goin on. Now, e polis inside, seein at e mood o the besiegers wis gettin oolgy, sent oot for their reinforcements. Well, the whole polis force wis only three anyway, but they'd a lot o special constables that could be called up so they were sent for an ten o them arrived an - Pulteneytoon had a separate polis force at that time, it wis three so it wis summoned and all - It sounds, ye know, sendin for reinforcements o three till fecht a mob o three thousand, but is is what wis comin!<br /> <br /> Anyway, e mod ootside wis gettin ferocious an one o them, an he wis the, now ah'm no sure if he wis the grand father, Ah think he'd probably be the great-grandfather o the late Donnie B. MacLeod, e broadcaster, Ah think it wis his great-grandfather, anyway, he wis one o them. He went an got a boat's mast to try an smash doon e door o the polis station an get this man oot. Jist aboot e same time, e specials hid arrived an they hidnae even got their uniforms on, they hidnae time to get their uniforms, they were all rushed doon because mayhem seem till be runnin riot in e middle o e toon, an they grabbed, now again Ah'm not sure which wan it was, but they grabbed one o the ringleaders, whether it wis Donnie's great-grandfather or no Ah don't know, but they grabbed him, an of course e crowd hung on his other airm till try an stop him from bein arrested an in e process his claes were all torn off an he wis hauld into jile, 'needle naked' as they say. So now there were two innocent men in e jile an e crowd wis gettin wilder and wilder and wilder