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TITLE
The Battle of the Orange (3 of 5)
EXTERNAL ID
GB232_MFR_IANSUTHERLAND_03
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
1689
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.

Stauns began till get thrown in an oot o the jile yaird, they were besiegin it, and frantic messages were sent. There wis a fishing cruiser lyin in Sinclair Bay. Somehow they got a messenger oot through e crowd, he galloped off till Ackergill, signalled e ship till send a detachment o blue jaickets, but of course it took oors for them to come. Meanwhile, more specials hid been aroused and they'd appeared and there seemed to be a sort o stalemate for a whiley. Now the ringleaders of the - is hunder at wis e real agitators - withdrew now across e bridge to get ower e other side o the river, across e brig, but whit wis botherin everybody wis, there wis still fifteen hunder Hielan men in this prayer meetin, an what wis goin to happen when they came oot, ye see? So, they sent an urgent messenger roond till e minister, at wis at Restig (?) sayin, 'For heavens sake tell everybody to go strecht home, don't come doon till e bridge at all go right home' cos if they came doon at would swell e crowd till aboot four or five thousand and against this ye've got aboot four, five regular polisman an ten specials an the messenger-at-arms, an e sheriff's clerk or whatever it was, cos the toon council, they hadnae got them rounded up yet till see whit wis happenin.

Anyway, the minister, wha came fae Tongue, the Reverend Mackay fae Tongue, he spoke till e congregation an they all agreed that they would go home an they did, fortunately, an they went home. And the minister himsel then came across, an they got two or three other Gaelic speakers that hadnae taken pairt in it to try an plead wi the crowd, 'Go home', an that there'd be a trial on Monday, an if these men were innocent they'd be let go an all that. So anyway they did go but is bunch o Hielan men that had gone across e brig that were on the other side o e brig hadn't heard any o this, they didnae know. So then they decided to charge, they came chargin back across e brig an they were met - course we'd the auld Telford humfie-backit brig at that time - an the polis an them met head on in e middle, an everybody wis layin into everybody else wi sticks or whatever else they could fin, an a pitched battle they stood here, for, well til it got dark anyway; darkenin fell an they were still in e middle o e gloom, an they then, e polismen retreated, both sides retreated, till sort o regroup till e likes o the river till see whit hid happened

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The Battle of the Orange (3 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 /> Stauns began till get thrown in an oot o the jile yaird, they were besiegin it, and frantic messages were sent. There wis a fishing cruiser lyin in Sinclair Bay. Somehow they got a messenger oot through e crowd, he galloped off till Ackergill, signalled e ship till send a detachment o blue jaickets, but of course it took oors for them to come. Meanwhile, more specials hid been aroused and they'd appeared and there seemed to be a sort o stalemate for a whiley. Now the ringleaders of the - is hunder at wis e real agitators - withdrew now across e bridge to get ower e other side o the river, across e brig, but whit wis botherin everybody wis, there wis still fifteen hunder Hielan men in this prayer meetin, an what wis goin to happen when they came oot, ye see? So, they sent an urgent messenger roond till e minister, at wis at Restig (?) sayin, 'For heavens sake tell everybody to go strecht home, don't come doon till e bridge at all go right home' cos if they came doon at would swell e crowd till aboot four or five thousand and against this ye've got aboot four, five regular polisman an ten specials an the messenger-at-arms, an e sheriff's clerk or whatever it was, cos the toon council, they hadnae got them rounded up yet till see whit wis happenin. <br /> <br /> Anyway, the minister, wha came fae Tongue, the Reverend Mackay fae Tongue, he spoke till e congregation an they all agreed that they would go home an they did, fortunately, an they went home. And the minister himsel then came across, an they got two or three other Gaelic speakers that hadnae taken pairt in it to try an plead wi the crowd, 'Go home', an that there'd be a trial on Monday, an if these men were innocent they'd be let go an all that. So anyway they did go but is bunch o Hielan men that had gone across e brig that were on the other side o e brig hadn't heard any o this, they didnae know. So then they decided to charge, they came chargin back across e brig an they were met - course we'd the auld Telford humfie-backit brig at that time - an the polis an them met head on in e middle, an everybody wis layin into everybody else wi sticks or whatever else they could fin, an a pitched battle they stood here, for, well til it got dark anyway; darkenin fell an they were still in e middle o e gloom, an they then, e polismen retreated, both sides retreated, till sort o regroup till e likes o the river till see whit hid happened