Sunday, 29 August 2010

St Kilda - 80 years on

the villagers of St Kilda were packing up their belongings, before leaving the island of their birth forever. Some left a bowl of grain on the table, with the Bible open at the chapter of Exodus. A community, a culture, a way of life was coming to a close after thousands of years. Life on their outpost in the Atlantic had become untenable, to their minds, and the Hiorteachs had requested their own removal. The steamer Harebell took them to Oban, thence on to Lochaline or on to Glasgow.

A lot has been written about St Kilda, with insights changing as the years and researches progress.  Someone has recently mooted the idea to repopulate the islands with permanent inhabitants - an idea that is as fanciful as it is unrealistic. Even today, with modern, powerful boats, it is not always possible to cross the sea to the islands. In the past, there would be no communication with St Kilda for 8 months of the year, due to the severity of the weather and the ocean. That has not changed.

Work is in progress to establish a St Kilda Centre at Mangersta in Lewis, where culture and history of St Kilda will be remembered. For it is no longer alive.


Image courtesy planetware.com

6 comments:

  1. Scotland is your homeland Taddoe. You should have a say. If I were younger, I would raise my hand to live on such an island, but at this point in life, I want all the creature comforts I can get!

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  2. Gale--on Great Barrier island,out on the Huaraki gulf there is no electricity--everyone has generators in their garages;;but they still live a fantasctic comfortable way of life. Living in such a beautiful place you learn not to waste water and turn off the lights when you leave a room. even I enjoyed my stay on the island.

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  3. Taddoe - When you are living in paradise, one could easily learn to live with candles and a hand pump for water! I tent camped on a island one time. A few jerry cans of fresh water and and a solar shower and I was good go!! Huaraki Gulf sounds great.

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  4. Ive been to St Kilda, but that was in summer when there wasn't a cloud in the sky and it was roasting hot. Winter, I'm told, is a quite different matter. There are gales which are so ferocious and loud that people can be deafened for a week. Even candles and a hand pump have to be shipped in, not to mention the million otherr things that are needed for even a basic level of existence. Still, with a lot of planning and organisation, it should be possible and I would happily give it a try. I'm not so sure about catching the fulmars and gannets though.

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  5. If,I was given a grant to install a "genny" in the garden shed or garage and be able to live on an island ,I'd go tomorrow. Auckland/Tryphena(gt barrier isle) is four hours on the direct ferry,but a couple of times the ferry after leaving tryhena goes to port fitzroy,so its an eight hour trip.There is a small airstrip on the island at Claris which is only a 45minute flight,in a five seater plane and if there are too many sheep or cows on the grass runway,you land on the beach. Perfect!

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  6. St kilda 80 years on.. OMG! :)

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