Bryce Wilson

The Mermaid Bride illustration by Bryce


Like most Orcadians, Bryce Wilson is far too self-effacing to talk about his many talents.

So I will. But I'll have to keep it short, or he'll make me take down the page.


Illustration from The Mermaid Bride and Other Orkney Folktales


A lifelong Stromnesian

You'll find Bryce involved in many of the interesting things that go on here.

And there are some really interesting things that go on here.

Stromness Shopping Week - a gala collection of silliness and frivolity, such as the Stromness Shopping Week. Here we have the "yard of ale" competition.

Museum man

Bryce volunteered for Stromness Museum for many years. He's still consulted when his expertise is needed. On top of that, he was Orkney's Museums Officer for nearly 30 years.

The man is steeped in Orkney's history.

As a respected local historian - and as a warm and interesting person - Bryce Wilson is woven lovingly into the fabric of the Orkney community.

Part of the Hudson's Bay Company collection in the fascinating Stromness Museum


Bryce Wilson, the artist

If you've been browsing Orkneyology.com for very long, you might have noticed that Bryce is a skilled illustrator.

He studied at Gray's School of Art in Aberdeen, becoming an itinerant art instructor around Orkney's island and Mainland schools. He later headed the art department at Stromness Academy.

Bryce Wilson drew the illustrations that Tom and I use at the top of each page on this website. You can find the rest of that whimsical collection in Tom and Bryce's book, The Mermaid Bride and other Orkney folk tales.

Our friend

Tom and Bryce happily collaborated on The Mermaid Bride book more than 20 years ago. The book has been reprinted many times ... and the friendship goes on.

Thanks for everything, Bryce.

Tom and Bryce enjoying the afternoon sun on the island of Rousay


Books by Bryce Wilson

You can click on the cover to order these books from our local bookstore. 

The Orcadian Bookstore ships internationally.


You'll have to search around to find these collector's items. See below for tips.

Sea Haven, Stromness in the Orkney Islands by Stromnesian Bryce Wilson, photos by Keith Allerdyce and a forward by Stromness poet George Mackay BrownFrom the foreward by George Mackay Brown: "It is not only at an eccentric and delightful seaport that we look: it is at a still centre from which horizons have unfolded for many generations ...."
Profit not Loss, the Story of the Baikies of Tankerness
No Ordinary Journey: John Rae, Arctic Explorer 1813-1893Bryce wrote the first chapter for this book, about Rae's early life in Orkney.
The Lighthouses of Orkney - a booklet accompanying a 1975 exhibitionA booklet that Bryce wrote to accompany a Stromness Museum exhibition in 1975.
Island Images - a book by Betsy Skea, with illustrations by BryceBryce's sympathetic and beautiful illustrations grace Betsy Skea's sweet island memories.

Looking for delightfully obscure Orkney books? 


We suggest a scrounge through the virtual book shelves of the reputable book sellers below.

But first, a hint or two to help fellow bibliophiles to track down that elusive book ...

Out-of-print Orkney book prices are often more reasonable on the AbeBooks and Waterstones websites than on Amazon, but not always.

It's a good idea to check them all if you can't find a decent deal. Sometimes one site is advertising a ridiculous price, while another has a very reasonable offer. Check back occasionally if you don't see what you want. New sellers and new offers are constantly added to these sites. 

And I'm sure I don't need to remind you of the happy chance that you'll discover unexpected bookish dainties while you browse.

Happy book hunting!


AbeBooks UK - AbeBooks has been acquired by Amazon, but many of their book sellers aren't on Amazon, so they're worth browsing. Most of the individual sellers on AbeBooks will ship internationally.

Waterstones - This UK-based company will ship internationally, too.

And last but not least, you can search in ...

Mermaid image (Rhonda's pages) and storyteller image (Tom's pages) courtesy of our dear friend - Stromness author, artist and historian, Bryce Wilson MBE - Thanks, Bryce!

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