The Museum Shop
Today, 1st December 2020, sees the reopening of the Orkney Museum’s shop. If you were familiar with the old shop you will see some changes. It is open from today: opening hours are restricted to 10:00-12:00, 14:00-16:00, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. There will be restrictions on the number of people allowed into the shop at any one time, as you would expect
During the period of lockdown there has been an opportunity to totally transform the Orkney Museum’s shop. Technician Mark Scadding has used his woodwork skills to build new display units, as well as lining the shop walls with wood. Mark is well known as an artist, but his technical abilities are every bit as good as his paintings, as you will see when you visit.
When I came to work at the museum in the summer of 1988 our shop consisted of a few postcards, booklets and one silver necklace. Times have moved on and our stock has increased. It is still the museum’s policy to stock things that relate to our collection or that reflect past times in Orkney. It is a source of unusual and unique gifts, ideal for a loved one, or to help fill up a Christmas stocking.
There are traditional toys and games to delight the bairns. Who could resist a cuddle selkie or puffin?
Local jewellery and crafts, like a carved wooden ball, bowl and macehead based on Neolithic artefacts. Carved stone spindle-whorls are also here for the textile enthusiasts. The unique Orkney Museum tote bag has the Scar Plaque from the Viking Age boat burial in Sanday.
Traditional recipe books and tea towels, and if you fancy a cuppa what better than to drink it out of a Scar Plaque mug?
Here, on Mark’s new units, can be found books of Orkney folk tales by that Muir geezer (me), George Mackay Brown novels and books on archaeology. You can even buy a beautiful, full sized replica of the Scar Plaque made in wood.
Full size, half size and tiny decorative traditional Orkney Bride’s Cogs, made locally. These ‘cogs’ are wooden drinking vessels and are still an important part of any Orkney wedding. Small ornamental Orkney chairs, horn crafts and the ‘St Magnus Way’ pilgrimage route slate coasters. There is also a large collection of postcards.
There are to many things to mention, but I think you’ll agree that the shop is looking great, thanks to Mark and other staff members who helped with the moving and painting. Sadly, we are unable to offer an online service at the moment, but we hope that you’ll pop by for a look or come to Orkney in the future and see it for yourself.
Thanks to my colleague Ellen Pesci for providing the photographs.