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Sunday, 29 January 2012

Before Banking Went Bad...

...Orkney had The Otter Bank -  a floating bank which sailed around the North Isles visiting it's customers! It was run by the National Commercial Bank (now the Royal Bank of Scotland - oh do NOT get me started on THAT topic!).  But the RBS does still visit the isles on a weekly basis, only now it uses the small inter-isles planes. Above are the opening hours on the northern island of Stronsay and below is the bank!

Anyway this is a trip down the past - below is a YouTube film (24 minutes) of the floating bank filmed in 1964, and as well as the bank you get a flavour for the Orkney Islands and the folk that live here. Some things have changed (apart from banking...sigh), but many things remain the same.



  1. wonderful thing to see. Thank you for giving us a glimpse of another time, partly, but also of this beautiful place you live in.

  2. I love the opening in the town with barely a car in sight. Streets are too narrow anyway. The sound and image in the video were off by several seconds which made it amusing when one chap was smoking, talking and blowing smoke out his nostrils at the same time. EVERYONE seemed to be smoking ! Love the travelling bank. The hours on the bank 9:30 - 2 pm one day a week and closed for lunch. THAT'S the job to have, eh ?

  3. I really enjoyed the film. Very interesting to see even though it was a "few" years ago.

  4. What an amazing idea, Sian. It's a bit like the travelling post office (van, not boat) which has replaced static ones in some of the smaller villages in Wales.

    I haven't yet watched the film as our broadband connection is a bit slow at present for a 24 minute film, but I'll save the link and watch it when things improve.

  5. This is made of story book stuff. Orkney some decades ago what a lovely slice of life where you live.

  6. P - yes they certainly were - sigh

    Jeannette - so glad you enjoyed the video.

    Sybil - the town is often still like that - not much traffic at all which is great! No need for "traffic calming measures", no traffic lights either!

    Bonnie - glad you enjoyed it!

    Perpetua - I had only heard of this recently as the boat used is now being restored (though won't be a bank!). I had just assumed folk had to go to Kirkwall to do all their "business". Amazing venture.

    Cubypoet - oh yes I'm so lucky to be here!

  7. Now thats what I call a bank!