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TITLE
The Battle of the Orange (4 of 5)
EXTERNAL ID
GB232_MFR_IANSUTHERLAND_04
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
1691
KEYWORDS
herring
markets
disputes
skirmishes
fights
fighting
Pulteneytown
Highlanders
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.

Darkness hid fallen, so e polis must've hid more volunteers to sort o come forward an they decided to systematically clear the streets. An e polismen did at on what we'd call the Wick side o the river an then eventually the Hielan men on the other side of the river dispersed back till their ludgins which wis on Pulteneyside, on their side of the river anyway. Sunday wis a day of great tension an Ah believe it wis jist electric, the atmosphere, cos this two men were still in the jile ye see, nobody knew whether there wis goin to be another attempt to release them or no, an there were emergency meetings wi the toon cooncil held the whole day fit they were goin to do. An everybody wis persuaded anyway that this wisnae the end o the affair, whatever else, cos they hid till hiv e trial now, an e trial wis set for e Monday mornin. So they decided to send a message till Edinburgh. Now, at that time, e telegraph system hid only got as far as Helmsdale, it hadnae got'll Wick, so a rider hid'll be sent fae Wick till Helmsdale an then a message sent'll Edinburgh till send up reinforcements, in case o trouble, but of course there wis no hope o at bein there by Monday mornin, but they expected the trouble to go on a bit.

Now, on Monday no boats went to sea. Normally there wid be, at that time, nearly nine hunder or a thousand boats goin to sea a week. Not wan launched a rope because the trial wis on. E trial wis set for ten o'clock on Monday mornin but as early a seven o'clock on Monday mornin e agitators fae the previous Seturday nicht were all gaitherin in e toon determined at they were still goin to rescue them. Ah must gie local authorities their due, they didnae panic or anythin like that, despite o all is huge numbers. They held a emergency meetin an they decided the best thing to do till take hate out e situation wis release them on bail. Don't try them an fine them guilty but buy time until such time as e army an e navy got here. Release them on bail, not chairge them at all. An that's what they did. Not only wis that quite a clever move because it would have physically impossible for them to have got them in to coont them anyway, cos they'd completely besieged the street, it wis impossible to make yer way through it wi people, surrounded it, determined that they werena goin to come to trial. So, they released them an the boats went back till sea.

Now, nothing much happened until the following Seturday an in the meantime, on e Thursday, a ship load o Yorkshire Light Infantry came, a hundred men fae them, an some blue jackets off a naval ship's came as weel

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The Battle of the Orange (4 of 5)

CAITHNESS: Wick

1990s

herring; markets; disputes; skirmishes; fights; fighting; Pulteneytown; Highlanders; 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 /> Darkness hid fallen, so e polis must've hid more volunteers to sort o come forward an they decided to systematically clear the streets. An e polismen did at on what we'd call the Wick side o the river an then eventually the Hielan men on the other side of the river dispersed back till their ludgins which wis on Pulteneyside, on their side of the river anyway. Sunday wis a day of great tension an Ah believe it wis jist electric, the atmosphere, cos this two men were still in the jile ye see, nobody knew whether there wis goin to be another attempt to release them or no, an there were emergency meetings wi the toon cooncil held the whole day fit they were goin to do. An everybody wis persuaded anyway that this wisnae the end o the affair, whatever else, cos they hid till hiv e trial now, an e trial wis set for e Monday mornin. So they decided to send a message till Edinburgh. Now, at that time, e telegraph system hid only got as far as Helmsdale, it hadnae got'll Wick, so a rider hid'll be sent fae Wick till Helmsdale an then a message sent'll Edinburgh till send up reinforcements, in case o trouble, but of course there wis no hope o at bein there by Monday mornin, but they expected the trouble to go on a bit.<br /> <br /> Now, on Monday no boats went to sea. Normally there wid be, at that time, nearly nine hunder or a thousand boats goin to sea a week. Not wan launched a rope because the trial wis on. E trial wis set for ten o'clock on Monday mornin but as early a seven o'clock on Monday mornin e agitators fae the previous Seturday nicht were all gaitherin in e toon determined at they were still goin to rescue them. Ah must gie local authorities their due, they didnae panic or anythin like that, despite o all is huge numbers. They held a emergency meetin an they decided the best thing to do till take hate out e situation wis release them on bail. Don't try them an fine them guilty but buy time until such time as e army an e navy got here. Release them on bail, not chairge them at all. An that's what they did. Not only wis that quite a clever move because it would have physically impossible for them to have got them in to coont them anyway, cos they'd completely besieged the street, it wis impossible to make yer way through it wi people, surrounded it, determined that they werena goin to come to trial. So, they released them an the boats went back till sea.<br /> <br /> Now, nothing much happened until the following Seturday an in the meantime, on e Thursday, a ship load o Yorkshire Light Infantry came, a hundred men fae them, an some blue jackets off a naval ship's came as weel