Planning Day

Hall of Clestrain planning workshop, 28th January 2017


On 28th January members of the John Rae Society’s Hall of Clestrain working group met in the hall at Orphir Community School for a workshop to plan our vision for the Hall. The workshop was devised and led by Tom Hunter, Historic Environment Officer for Orkney Islands Council. He had produced a scale model of the Hall and its surroundings so that we could visualise the site and experiment with different ideas for the various spaces and consider functions.





We all agreed that the restoration of the Hall was the first stage, to consolidate the building and recapture as much of its 18th-century splendour as possible. We also discussed options for the existing outbuilding and courtyard area behind the Hall.

By the end of the day we had walked through the floor plans of the Hall, roughly planned the layout and function of each area, talked through some of the issues and requirements of a range of potential users,   and come up with the outline of a mission statement for the project.



After further consultation with the Board of Trustees and committee members of the John Rae Society, we will work up a proposal and drawings ahead of an open weekend in May where we hope as many local people and visitors as possible will come along to the Hall of Clestrain to see what we are planning and give their feedback.


John Rae appointed as honorary chartered surveyor by RICS

The achievements and life of pioneering Scottish explorer and surveyor Dr John Rae were celebrated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) today. Fronted by RICS President John Hughes, RICS


Pre-Order Michael Palin's new book on Erebus

A chance to pre -order Michael Palin’s new book  “ Erebus the story of a ship” . Every one bought from us will help to go towards the restoration fund for


Arctic Return

We have heard from our friends in Canada that there is an expedition to the arctic planned in 2019 in commemoration of John Rae's exploits. This is from the expedition website



2018 AGM dates announced

Our next AGM will be at the Pomona inn Finstown on Sunday 4th November at 7.30pm All are welcome


Ian Ritchie CBE Exhibition of giclée prints for sale in aid of JRS

AT STROMNESS LIBRARY FROM JULY TO OCTOBER 2018 Warehouse Buildings, 2 -12 Victoria Street Monday 9:15am–7pm Tuesday 9:15am–5pm Wednesday 9:15am–5pm Thursday 9:15am–7pm Friday 9:15am–5pm Saturday 9:15am–5pm Sunday Closed email: This email address


Gala Event and Birthday celebrations

and Charity Auction Sunday 30th September. 7.30 p.m{John Rae’s 205th Birthday}At The New Orkney Distillery & Visitor centre The new John Rae FanfareFinger Buffet, Coffee, Refreshments, Tastings, MusicCharity Auction with Rare Whisky,


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John Rae