Work party season is well and truly upon us again and a couple of weeks ago we bade farewell to our first of the season.
Work Party one kicked off by undertaking some top quality turf roof repairs, clearing out drains and gullies, and giving the cottages some TLC. The usual round of dry stone repairs then began. As usual, the dry stone repairs were done stone-by-stone; using a photo of the wall before the collapse each stone is put back exactly where it came from. This is something of a challenge at times and the photograph below shows Malcolm and Will looking suitably perplexed...
Another task was the annual beach clean, during which we found some interesting objects that had washed down one of the burns onto the beach. One is a .762 NATO rifle round which is a reminder of the MOD presence on Hirta since 1957. The other find was a little bit older: a rather delicate, dainty, little fork. It’s made of ‘Oruba’ Silver, which was a budget consumer line of poorly-plated Sheffield silver produced from the late 19th century onwards – think Ikea cutlery! This evocative object is a reminder that the St Kildans were very much part of wider consumer culture in Britain in the late 19th century and were able to order many desirable goods during the later 19th century.
Both the work party leader, Pete Holden and the cook, Sandra Duke were first-timers in their respective roles and did an excellent job! Work Party One were: Hugh Armour, Christine Carrick, Alec Crawford, Tommy Matches, Christina McCrae, Will Peden, Kathy Sayer, Penny Skett, Malcolm Whitmore and John Wilkins.
Àrsair Hiort/ St Kilda Archaeologist
P.S John – yes the Well of Virtues is now Virtuous again!