Mysterious brochure promotes spoof Scots island ‘Mama Westray’

The published brochure advertising 'Mama Westray.' Picture: Contributed
The published brochure advertising 'Mama Westray.' Picture: Contributed
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IT looks like an ordinary tourist brochure, plugging the attractions of one of Scotland’s many remote islands.

But the mysterious spoof pamphlet, which has been widely circulated, is actually for Mama Westray – an non-existent island with a similar name to the real island community of Papa Westray, a tiny island measuring just one mile by four miles, to the north of Kirkwall on Mainland Orkney.

The professionally produced, colour production claims that actress Cate Blanchett is a regular visitor and says she keeps a pedal car in a garage at the island’s airport. Blanchett is pictured in a bright red, Noddy-style car, by a picturesque village harbour which also boasts a branch of Burger King.

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It also promotes attractions including fish-eating pigs, The Tropical Gardens of Nether Biggings and “the world-famous Tomb of the Haddock”.

The brochure shows a – presumably mocked-up – picture of pigs swimming in the sea. The information inside states: “In line with the controversial EU discard laws, fishermen must dump, at sea, all fish accidentally caught in excess of their quotas.

“Rather than let the surplus catch go to waste, the islanders have trained their pigs to swim out into the bay and eat the fish as it is thrown overboard. The younger pigs are fitted with buoyancy aids until they gain full confidence in the water.”

It adds that pork reared in Mama Westray has an “unpleasant” flavour, “reminiscient of rotting squid”, but claims that it is popular in Japan.

Rachel Wakeham, who works in the shop on Papa Westray, which has just 90 residents, said: “I have no idea who is behind it or why they have done it. I haven’t seen a copy, but people have been talking about it.

“It doesn’t seem to be malicious, I think it’s just funny.”

VisitScotland’s Orkney manager Barbara Foulkes said the brochure had appeared in the local tourist office.