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View of SW elevation from W.

D 17560 CN

Description View of SW elevation from W.

Date 22/5/1996

Collection RCAHMS

Catalogue Number D 17560 CN

Category Photographs and Off-line Digital Images

Copies SC 657307

Scope and Content Former dance hall, World War II Garrison Theatre, North Ness, Longhope, Hoy, Orkney Islands During both World Wars the influx of tens of thousands of military and civilian personnel into Orkney meant the creation or adaptation of buildings for residential and communal use on a massive scale. Purpose-built accommodation huts and service buildings were generally of the mass-produced and pre-fabricated types which prevailed elsewhere in wartime Britain, and military sites throughout Orkney had a greater or lesser complement of such structures, the greatest concentrations being around the naval base at Lyness on Hoy and the airfields on Mainland. As well as catering for religious worship, the major camps boasted cinemas, concert halls and gymnasia, and shore-based recreation facilities, particularly on Flotta and Hoy, were provided for those whose accommodation was on board ship. Forming part of the main Service Headquarters at North Ness, Longhope, the most stylish of these surviving wartime buildings designed for entertainment is the former Garrison Theatre which dates from 1942. This view shows the rear wall of the front block of the former Garrison Theatre, and, in the foreground, a level concrete area which marks the site of the wooden-floored dance hall. The curved outlines of the two Nissen huts which covered the dance hall (left) and the cinema (right) can still be made out in the cement rendered wall of the front block. On the dance hall side of the building there are also faint traces of two blocked-up doorways, one in the centre and one partly infilled by a modern ground-floor window. At the heart of the Orkney archipelago, Scapa Flow was the main fleet anchorage for the Royal Navy during both World Wars. Its vital importance led to the creation of one of the most concentrated defence networks in Britain. Source: RCAHMS contribution to SCRAN.

Medium Colour negative


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