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Orkney Pork and Cabbage

Sunday 27th October will go down in history as a famous or infamous day, depending on your viewpoint, as Flight BA8955 made the first airflight to and from Stornoway on the Sabbath. Another first was that, thanks to the inward flight, Sunday newspapers were available for the first time on the Sabbath in Lewis, as up until now they were only available on a Monday. The Western Isles are the last bastion of what used to be the traditional Scottish observation of the Sabbath as a day of rest.
It is up to the good folk of Lewis whether or not to use the new service, which was met by some sixty protesters, but the inaugural Sunday flight was a reminder of the value to Scottish islands of air services from the 1930s onwards. A service which has often been a life-saving one. All those with an interest in our islands, in general, and air services, in particular, should take advantage of a recently published book by Scottish publisher Kea Publishing. 'BEAline to the Islands - The story of air services to offshore communities of the British Isles by British European Airways, its predecessors and successors' (14.95) by Phil Lo Bao and Iain Hutchison is a fascinating, well-illustrated read in which Scottish island services are well to the fore. Both co-authors have personal experience of airlines, indeed Phil Lo Bao has also experience of three islands - being Guernsey born, stayed in Jersey and now works for the Isle of Man Government. His Scottish co-author Iain Hutchison lives in the west of Scotland and has had two decades employment in the airline and travel industries. Their expertise shines through this informative volume.
British European Airways Corporation (BEA) was formed in August 1946 by the then Westminster Labour Government as a fully state-owned airline, to provide air services within the British Isles and across Europe. The authors concentrate on the routes within the British Isles serving island communities from the Channel Islands, Isles of Scily, Isle of Man, The Hebrides, to Orkney and Shetland. The authors bring these vital services alive and also include the characters who ensured that they became an essential part of island life. In 1974 BEA was absorbed into the newly created British Airways.
The book is available from Kea Publishing, 14 Flures Crescent, Erskine, Renfrewshire PA8 7DJ Email :
Our recipe this week has to have an island theme and Orkney Pork and Cabbage fills the bill. Regular flights to Kirkwall go back to 8th May 1933 when Highland Airways began a scheduled Inverness-Wick-Kirkwall service.
Orkney Pork and Cabbage
Ingredients : 1/2 oz (15 g) butter or oil; 12 oz (375 g) streaky or back bacon; 2 lb (1 kg) potatoes; 2 1/2 lb (1 1/4 kg) cabbage; water; salt and freshly-ground black pepper; 1 dsp dill seeds
Melt butter or oil in a large pot. Chop up the bacon roughly and add to pot. Fry gently for a few minutes till the bacon is crisp. Peel and slice the potatoes about 1/4 in (1/2 cm) thick. Chop up the cabbage fairly finely. Add these to the pot, season and mix in well. Cover and cook gently for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add enough water to come about 1/2 in (1 cm) up the pan. Sprinkle dill seeds on top, bring up to simmering point, cover, and cook gently till the potatoes are cooked. Check occasionally to make sure it is not sticking. Check seasoning and serve hot.

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