Torness Trows - an eyewitness account
account was written in response to an article on trows published in a Scottish
magazine in the 1960s. It came from an Englishman who had spent nearly two years
on the island of Hoy during the Second
"One stormy day
in winter I was walking or struggling along the cliff top at Torness. The wind
was high and howled about, low-lying, swirling clouds part-enveloped the land
in misty rain. At times the pressure was so great that I was forced to bend and
clutch at the heather to retain a footing.
such occasion, on looking up I was amazed to see that I had the company of what
appeared to be a dozen or more ' wild men ' dancing about, to and fro. These creatures
were small in stature, but they did not have long noses nor did they appear kindly
They possessed round faces, sallow in complexion,
with long, dark, bedraggled hair. As they danced about, seeming to throw themselves
over the cliff edge, I felt that I was a witness to some ritual dance of a tribe
of primitive men.
It is difficult to describe in a few words
my feelings at this juncture or my bewilderment. The whole sequence could have
lasted about three minutes until I was able to leave the cliff edge."
W. E. Thorner, Luton, Bedfordshire