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Final Years

By the mid 19th century there was increasing contact with the outside world. A steam yacht - the Vulcan - visited St Kilda in 1838. From 1877 the SS Dunara Castle began regular summer cruises to St Kilda, and was soon joined by others such as the SS Hebrides.

The gradual loss of self-sufficiency and morale had begun - this was to end with the evacuation of the islanders in 1930.

Brochure advertising cruises to St Kilda
Photograph: Glasgow Museums

Whalers and fishing fleets worked in St Kildan waters and brought supplies to the islanders.

Fishing fleet in Village Bay
Photograph: The National Trust for Scotland

John Ross, schoolmaster, noted in 1889 that islanders spent time producing goods to sell to tourists- sheepskins, tweeds, knitted gloves, stockings and scarves, eggs and ornithological items.

Selling souvenirs to tourists on the jetty
Photograph: Caledonian Newspapers

St Kildan made stockings in Glasgow Museums, collected c.1896
Photograph: Glasgow Museums

© The National Trust for Scotland