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Visitors bearing gifts

25 May 2016
One of the interesting things about working on St Kilda is hearing the connections and reminiscences that visitors have with St Kilda.  This can often lead to new details about both the life on St Kilda and its impact on the outside world.
Recently a lady from Belfast gave us a copy of an essay wriiten by her father on the 9th September 1930.  This schoolboy exercise started 'Farewell to St Kilda   On Friday St Kilda was left a deserted island as its inhabitants were evacuated by boat to the mainland...' and shows how the leaving of the island was national, if not international news.

We were also lent this photograph by Steve Macdonald, one of our current work party members (and we'll speak about their work later) and who has been visiting the island for many years, was given this photograph by an old lady in Morven.  The date and people in the photo are not currently known but we suspect the figure on the left might be the factor with perhaps his daughter and a St Kildan standing outside a cleit, perhaps on Mullach Mor looking across to the scree to Conachar.  This is a rare image of a cleit in use, in this case handling turves that seem already dried - more detective work will be needed to get further details on the people and where and when the picture was taken.

Old photo of turf being removed from cleit

On Monday evening the yacht Wastbygg sailed  into Village Bay from Sweden bearing a gift for us from Anders Lundberg whose father had been fishing for ling in the 1950s. As a souvenir of his trip he took a wheel from the gun and it is good to get it back.  The wheel was used to elevate the gun (having the two words RAISE and LOWER to help with this). The gun on St Kilda is a rare relic from WW1.  While not condoning its removal the /NTS is very pleased to have it returned.
Not having not been exposed to the weather on St Kilda for 60 years, it is in excellent condition and we hope once properly assessed and recorded can be stored in the museum on the island with a history of its travels.WW1 wheel detail

This is the crew of the Wasbygg presenting the Elevation Wheel to me besides the WW1 Naval Gun (thanks Kirsten for the photo and what a natty pair of socks!).

If you have images, memories or items connected to St Kilda we would love to hear about them -

Jonathan Wordsworth
St Kilda Archaeologist

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