Orcadian Stories – Eleanor Turner: A Small Cog

Eleanor Turner: A Small Cog

Eleanor Turner (née Laird & Caird) was part of the St Magnus Festival committee in its earliest days. In this short film, part of the Orcadian Stories series filmed for The Orkney News as part of Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022, Eleanor remembers her time as secretary. She recalls fond memories of those instrumental in setting up the festival, including the late Archie Bevan, George Mackay Brown, and Sir. Peter Maxwell Davies. As George Rendall and Norman Rushbrook also noted, the Festival was unique in partnering local amateurs with visiting professionals. This was its strength, and for Eleanor it was a source of self-confidence.

An exhibition of portrait photography of the interviewees, taken during filming by Orcadian artist Martin Laird, is on show at Northlight Gallery until the 8th of December 2022.

Eleanor Turner, portrait in her living room. Black and white photo by Martin Laird.
Eleanor Turner by Martin Laird, 2022.

Filmed and edited by Martin Laird, researched by Fiona Grahame, and produced by Orkney News Ltd, Orcadian Stories is a series of short filmed interviews of people who have played a part in creating a cultural legacy for Orkney. The films focus on individuals telling their stories, and include original theme music composed by Orkney musician Eamonn Keyes (based upon the sound of a spinning radio televisor).

Orcadian Stories has been supported by the Year of Stories 2022 Community Stories Fund. This fund is being delivered in partnership between VisitScotland and Museums Galleries Scotland with support from National Lottery Heritage Fund thanks to National Lottery players. 

Logos for Year of Stories 2022, Heritage Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland, and Event Scotland.

An exhibition of portrait photos of the interviewees from the Orcadian Stories series will open at Northlight Gallery at 11am on Saturday the 26th of November. This exhibition is being held in conjunction with St. Andrews Fair Saturday, which exists as an antidote to the rampant consumerism of Black Friday. Fair Saturday events raise money for charity, and the Orcadian Stories portrait exhibition will be raising funds for Orkney Rape and Sexual Assault Service.

Orcadian Stories poster showing all the interviewees in a grid. Text says Orcadian Stories: portraits by Martin Laird.
Orcadian Stories: exhibition now on at Northlight gallery in Stromness.