On this day in 1909 a new lifeboat was named in Kirkwall Harbour. The John Ryburn, as she was to be called, was one of the first specially designed and built motor driven lifeboats to be used in the country and was to be stationed at Stronsay. And now for all you engineers out there; she was designed by renowned boat designer G.L. Watson, measured 43 feet by 12 feet 6 inches and was powered by a 4 cylinder Blake internal combustion engine capable of 40 bhp.
The Orcadian Newspaper reported that the ceremony attracted a large crowd but, judging by the photograph by Tom Kent, by the time it was taken they'd mostly got bored and wandered off.
The John Ryburn was stationed in Stronsay for a relatively short period of time. In 1915, due to a wartime shortage of able-bodied men to crew her, she was moved to Peterhead. It would be another 37 years before another lifeboat was stationed at Stronsay.