Scots island ripped apart by feud involving Queen’s Composer


By Alexander Lawrie

A TINY Scots island community has been ripped apart by a feud involving the Queen’s composer and his elderly, disabled neighbours.

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies has been forced to call in the police after he claims his life has been made “hell” by the actions of Jim White and his wife.

The move comes after Sir Peter, 75, and his live-in partner Colin Parkinson, took the unusual step of contacting the Queen’s representative, Orkney Lord Lieutenant Anthony Trickett, and appealing for help “given Sir Peter’s position as Master of the Queen’s Music”.

The composer claims Mr White has been taking photographs of him and his partner outside their home on the Orkney island of Sanday, which has just 550 inhabitants.

Sir Peter is also complaining of his neighbours subjecting him to the noise of the pensioners parking their car nearby, sometimes as early as 5.30am, which he describes as “menacing”.

Police caution

But Mr White and his wife Kath claim they are the victims in the feud and say they returned from walking their dogs last week to find their car tyres punctured with six-inch nails.

Sir Peter’s partner Mr Parkinson, a builder, has recently received a police caution after one heated exchange with his elderly neighbours.

Mr Parkinson, 55, said: “My job is to look after Max (Sir Peter). I rang Tony because he is the Queen’s representative in Orkney. He advised I make a complaint to the police, which I did.

“They sent officers from Kirkwall and spoke to me over the phone.

“The Whites have made our life hell. They sat they are taking their dogs for a walk – but four times a day? That is some going for people who say they are disabled.

“They have even photographed us while we are in our garden, turned up at 5.30am, causing our dog to wake us and we find the situation menacing.

“It has been going on for months now at this level. Max is not in the best of health at the moment and is very tired. We have simply had enough.”

But Mr White, 69, and his 62-year-old wife, who are both registered disabled and suffer from acute back pain, claims the only place they can walk their dogs is near to Sir Peter’s home, and they have woken early to walk them “to avoid confrontation” with Mr Parkinson.

He said: “Colin has this hatred for us – we don’t know why. At times it has been unbelievable.

“The police have been over twice recently to talk to him but he has been away with Max. They have spoken to me on the phone.

“We have found our car tyres punctured – and had to get a complete new set a few weeks ago.

“I simulated taking photographs of them with my mobile phone, but I did not actually take any photos.

“Before all this happened we got on great with Max. I just want Colin to keep his mouth shut and stop trying to stop us going up there.

A spokesperson for Northern Constabulary said: “Both parties received advice and it has been accepted.”