Introduction / The Island
A road was run from the south end of the island to the shore at Quoy in the north in the early part of last century to enable people to get seaweed for the land. A lot of men came over from Westray to do the work.
Transport and the resulting isolation was one of the main difficulties of living on Pharay. This affected everything from getting to church, attracting teachers to the island, getting medical assistance if necessary and shipping animals and produce.
Passengers sometimes had to be carried ashore from the boat at Ware Geo when it grounded. The school was a “side school” and Annie Rousay spoke of the headmistress coming over to see her from Eday North School in the 1930s. The headmistress experienced some difficulty in climbing over the rocks, having landed at Cleuds Geo and vowed never to come back. She never did. Annie used to go back to Eday for weekends, getting the boat back to Pharay from either Guith or the noust at Fersness.
Post used to come two or three times per week by boat from Eday and this route had to be used for getting groceries from the shop van at Shoeha in Eday or walking over to the Coop. This was always subject to the vagaries of the weather.
The North Isles steamers would come past on occasion, with everything transported between the steamer and the island by small boat. Livestock shipping was particularly problematic.
A jetty was built in 1935 at Ware Geo in the south although by this time it was rather late in the day.