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    St Kilda Photographic Collection

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The National Trust for Scotland is delighted to present extracts and transcripts from the handwritten diaries of Alice MacLachlan. New extracts from the diaries will be released every two weeks
St Kilda Diaries
 11 - 20 February 1908

Tues. Feb. 11th:  No boats.  Wet & blustering.  School as usual.  K. doing small washing of flannels.  Angelic.  School and preparing Flannelette knickers for the four girls who by the way resumed school today.  “Craigmillar” always in at night.  WE are longing for a mail by Capt. Walckner or Capt. Craig.  Cutting out slip bodices all mg. for self.  Hear invalids better.  Sore back.

Wednes. Feb. 11th:  Glorious warm day.  Just like summer.  Started the girls in School with knickers (flannelette) for Inspector.  Did not go to P.M. tonight.  Donald McQuien Sen. came to ceilidh after Meeting.  Annie Gillies (Ewan’s sister) came for the boots from Kate.  I talked to her about Callum & she acknowledged it, but said she did not want to get married this summer.  Annie Bella MacDonald ill with mumps.  Busy self making slip-bodices.  No boats today but Craigmillar out fishing.  Got nine eggs today.  Finished Conan Doyle’s “Sign of Four”.  Not taken up much with it.

Thurs. Feb. 11th:  Still no word of a boat.  After School Dunie and I went up the village.  It is the first time I have been up the village with dunie (or out at night) for six or seven weeks.  All are making progress altho’ the Caillachs (Roenig & Meirut Ferguson) are still in bed.  We are wearying so much for boat.  Before tea William McDonald and Donald Gillies came down and put up the clothes poles.  They look very nice & will I am sure prove useful.

Frid. Feb. 14th:  St. Valentine’s day, but still no boat.  No news of any kind.  School.  Gave VI Boys an object lesson today on the Hyacinth.  One of my own which I took into School.  Kate went up baile & Donald McQuien son of Finlay Mòr came to ceilidh.  I made toffy today for the coughs up village, and oven scones.  Shower of snow tonight and Connacher is covered.

Satur. Feb 15th:  Fine bright day with showers of snow.  No word of boats!  Christina & Mary McQuien came today and gave the School a thorough cleansing, which will do it all the good in the world.  Feet washing an raoir! but no more!  The girls tell me there are three at Borrera.  How we are wearying for them.  Making slip-bodices for self.  So sorry that up to time of going to bed there is no sign of boat with letters or Ewan.  Quite a gale getting up which will surely send the three trawlers who are out at Borera into our Bay.  Neil Gillies (Finlay’s) came for medicine. Also William MacDonald’s son John to have his hand dressed.  It had been slightly bitten by a dog.  We had a bonfire with the rubbish out of the storeroom.

Sunday Feb. 16th:  Two steamers came into the bay last night & had such bright lights showing that they had fish.  We were awakened about 8 o’clock by the loud whistling of one of Bookless boats (The Bannerdale) on which was Capt. Walkner.  He hadn’t brt. letter bag as it seems he wasn’t pleased with the St. Kildans for giving the last one to Donald Craig.  He had Ewan Gillies with him as deck-hand.  Ewan’s sisters came down & gave him a fearful wigging and took him home in triumph.  He was rigged out at Capt. Walckner’s expense.  His mother would not let him go away again & the men had to go out and tell Capt. Walckner.  So Capt. was awfully cross with the Hirteach and no wonder.  Big Norman is making an awful fool of himself against Capt. W. who now refuses to bring anything to anyone except ourselves and the Neil Ferguson & William!  Great storm in a tea-cup.  “M.A. Dodds” in, also “Cornelia” and another.  Church three times today!  Got “Scotch” as usual from Capt. W. & I sent him 1½  doz. eggs.

Mond. Feb. 17thT.M.B.  Another infectious disease now going through place among children in the throat, but as Annie Bella MacDonald had it all last week they cannot say poor Captain Walckner brought it!  They are a poor ignorant lot, & one can’t but be sorry for them.  They are like savages.  Finlay Mòr in kitchen in good form.  Angus & Donald G. down drowing “Bussy”, poor Bess’s dog.  Don G. came in to ceilidh.  Very bad headache self.  Dunie & I had a nice night to ourselves by the fireside.  Hens beginning to do not so badly.  Dunie slight attack Indigestion.  Capt. Ritchie in bay.  Gusty night.

Tuesday Feb. 18th Nothing of note.  Intended going up village at night but just wh. ready Donald MacDonald came to ceilidh.  Knitting stockings.

Wednes. Feb. 19th:  Big washing, consequently K. in vile temper.  Men went out to “Cornelia” and “Bannerdale” and brought ashore Captains Amazon and Walckner.  They had dinner and tea with us and far too many whiskies.  Up in the village, between.  Didn’t go to P.M.

Thurs. 20th Feb.:  Donald MacDonald put up his loom today.  He is first this year.


The photos seen on this page are taken from the Milne Album, R. Milne visited St Kilda in 1907. 


Introduction: The St Kilda Diaries
The Evacuation of St Kilda
Life on St Kilda

Garve 1906 
Transcripts & Original Diaries

St Kilda 1906
Aug: Transcripts Original Diaries
Sep: Transcripts & Original Diaries
Oct:  Transcripts Original Diaries 
NovTranscripts Original Diaries
Dec: Transcripts Original Diaries 

St Kilda 1907
Jan: Transcripts & Original Diaries

Feb: Transcripts & Original Diaries 
Mar: Transcripts & Original Diaries

Apr: Transcripts & Original Diaries
May: Transcripts & Original Diaries
Aug: Transcripts Original Diaries
Sep: Transcripts & Original Diaries
Oct:  Transcripts & Original Diaries
Nov: Transcripts & Original Diaries
Dec: Transcripts & Original Diaries

St Kilda 1908
Jan: Transcripts & Original Diaries
3-10 Feb: Transcripts & Original Diaries

Visitors to St Kilda
1990s, 1980s & 1970s
1950s & 1960s
1940s & 1930s

  Read more about Alice and her hometown of Haddington in a post on the East Lothian Archive blog.  

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