Everyone likes to travel somewhere new, but there are always those places that stay with you and pull you back time and time again.
For Jimmy Logan, Orkney is that place.
Now aged 99, he’s been travelling to the islands from his home in Haddington every year for the last 59, and he has no plans to stop just yet.
A connection with local couple Ronnie and Margaret Muir was the catalyst for Jimmy’s return trips. “I started coming to Orkney after my wife worked beside Mrs Muir in the grocer’s shop in Haddington,” said Jimmy. “It was our friendship with Ronnie and Margaret that first took us here nearly 60 years ago – they’re the best friends I’ve ever had.”
Jimmy and his wife used to travel up twice a year before she passed away in 1988. Jimmy kept his Orkney excursions going, although in recent years he has cut his holidays here down to once a year.
And, incredibly, this summer is the first time Jimmy hasn’t driven all the way up the A9 to catch the ferry across the Pentland Firth. He used to make the 600 round-trip himself, but this time decided to travel with friends instead.
“We used to fly from Inverness to start with, and then the ferry service improved so we started catching it from Caithness instead,” said Jimmy. “I’m very thankful to my friends for taking me up this time. It’s a lovely trip – it’s long, but it’s definitely worth it!”
So what is it that keeps taking Jimmy back to Orkney? Apart from seeing Ronnie and Margaret, the attraction is simple. “It’s just nice and peaceful here compared to down south,” he said. “You can go out and about and it’s not congested. There have been changes – a lot of houses have been built since I first arrived – but it’s always nice to come.”
Jimmy will celebrate his 100th birthday later this year and he has no intention of ending his jaunts to the islands. “It’s just a great place. I really enjoy my visits. Hopefully I’ll be able to come for a few years yet.”
We hope so too – here’s to another holiday in Orkney in 2018!