After four years as St Kilda Archaeologist, on Tuesday 14th June 2005 Susan Bain left the islands for pastures new.
Susan arrived on St Kilda after several years as the NTS Mar Lodge Estate Archaeologist – moving from the furthest point from the sea on mainland Scotland, to Hirta, where you are never more than a few hundred yards from the ocean.
In her Cairngorms job, Susan had already proved how well she could look after volunteers, as well as caring for the archaeology of the last few hundred years. She took to St Kilda like a duck to water, and vice versa: the staff who man the base, the Work Party Leaders, and the volunteers without exception came to hold her in the highest esteem. Her calm, down to earth way of doing things allowed her to weather many St Kilda storms –not always of the physical variety.
Susan will be a hard act to follow, although life for the next St Kilda Archaeologist will be a lot easier because of the effort she put into working out how best to do the multitude of jobs required to keep the islands in good heart. An invaluable legacy of wisdom and practical common sense.
So, where is she off to? Well, not that far: Susan has been promoted to become the NTS Western Isles Area Manager, where she will be responsible for the wonderful islands of Mingulay, Pabbay and Berneray as well as the St Kilda archipelago. Meanwhile, a new St Kilda Archaeologist will be appointed soon, with NTS staff standing in until then, trying as hard as possible to do the job half as well as Susan did.