Following the flame: Orkney, Shetland and Lewis - 'best draught mare with foal at heel'
10 Jun 2012
Posted by: Anna Stone
Subjects: Interesting stories
Our earliest known Aviva agent for these islands was Mr Duguid of Kirkwall who was representing Northern Assurance by 1873. In 1887 the company produced the following notice when it appointed William Cowper as agent.
The same company also had a agent at Stornoway by 1869 while Scottish Imperial had an agent, M McIver in the same place by 1902 through whom this policy was taken out.
By 1932 General Accident's agent at Kirwall was the veterinarian Matthew White whose policies for the year included cover for 63 Orkney mares. To encourage the livestock business in the Islands the company decided to present a cup to be awarded to the best "draught mare with foal at heel" in the annual Orkney Agricultural Show.
The cup was won outright by Mr Spence of Fea St Ola and a replacement ordered in 1935 which was referred to in the entry form below.
The file on the cup continues for another 30 years by which time the company also handled the Personal Accident and Public and Employers Liability insurance for the show. By this date the entrants for "best mare" had dwindled and the decision was made that in future the cup would be awarded for "Best Butcher Animal Cross Polled or Horned".
By 1951 business was such that the area merited its own resident inspector, J M Robertson, based at Thurso, who regularly visited his agents on the islands. The manager at the Inverness branch also made an annual visit to Unst, the most northerly of the Shetland Isles. Here the company had two agents in 1962, Mr A J Irvine, and Sandison & Sons who had represented them since 1907. One of the aims of these visits was to undertake the annual survey of Springfield Hotel at Baltasound, the most northerly hotel in Britain, which was insured with the company.
I'll leave you with this article on the Orkney Islands which was written by a member of Northern Assurance staff who holidayed there in 1924. Admittedly the link to insurance is lacking but it is interesting to read impressions of the place from nearly a century ago.
Page 1 from an article about the trip to Orkneys by Northern's staff from their staff magazine published in 1924 Page 2 from an article about the trip to Orkneys by Northern's staff from their staff magazine published in 1924 Page 3 from an article about the trip to Orkneys by Northern's staff from their staff magazine published in 1924 Page 4 from an article about the trip to Orkneys by Northern's staff from their staff magazine published in 1924