• St Kilda Photographic Collection

    St Kilda Photographic Collection

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  • Exploring St Kilda\'s Sea Caves

    Exploring St Kilda's Sea Caves

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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 October 1907

Friday Oct. 11th: Very mild damp morning. Kate went out cutting all morning. I did odd jobs & went up to Roenig’s twice, second time with my remaining white basin as I smashed hers. Second visit found her up at the fire-side. Went as usual to School & when I came out found Finlay Gillies & Donald (Mac Ian Bahn) cutting. They were soon joined by Hugh MacDonald. Such a lot cut but unfortunately it came on to rain very heavily. Busy making baby clothes for Annie McQuien’s expected kiddie. Bed about 11 o’clock. Very wet & stormy night. Took pill this morning. Bad time.

Saturday Oct. 12th: Very blowy & wet mg. Two liners came into shelter last night. One out fishing. One of these here all the time is the “Rambler” from N. Shields. It has been here for the last three weeks or so. Kate bothering me very much this weather with her hay-cutting. This afternoon she went away before tea & never said she was going. So we waited & waited for tea. Dunie cross also (Saturday night of course). So it isn’t a very pleasant house. Roenig got no milk today for the first time since June or July. Wet, blustery night. The people were cutting Bess’ lot today and finishing Angus’ corn. Ours finished now (the cutting) but still some hay to cut.

Sunday Oct. 13th: Lovely calm day. Boats have left bay, but are out fishing at Levinish. I hope to be able to get our letters off with them yet. Very bad headache. Forgot to say we were much interested yesterday seeing them ruaging. Saw one of William’s – on Oshoval at Coll point – a very cross one – slip down into the sea. It was drowned. The men soon had a boat out & got its carcass. Church twice today & S.S. No news to speak of. Mary MacDonald (Aig Callum) has measles.

Monday Oct. 14th: Showery day. Men busy all day ruaging. Kate & Dunie busy with hay. Kate out of sorts. Got three fine wedders at night – one from Callum – one from John Gillies & the third from Norman McQuien (brought and killed by Donald og). Entertained all to supper. Ian Bahn did not know what to do with my butter pats and took them off the plate with his fingers! Callum was much more polished but denounced our biscuits as not good at all. Finished Annie McQuien’s baby frock. Have got a tub full of sheep insides.

Tuesday Oct. 15th: Kate had got measles!!! Very mild she is, just laughing at them herself, but measles right enough. Simply a glorious day. We shall be very busy today, with marracks etc. School in the afternoon. Kate & I did the marracks at night, and Dunie cut up the two wedders. Bed 11.30 Very stormy night. One Grimsby boat in bay. New one.

Wednesday Oct. 16th: Fine cold morning. Wind gone down. Kate in be all day with measles. Pretty bad. Annie Gillies came down & milked Cruvack and helped Dunie with hay all day. No School. Dunie got grass in dry, and Annie helped well with the hay. Kate held a reception in her room. Donald F. caused gt. amusement by exclaiming at Kate’s beauty??? in bed. Donald MacDonald’s son Hugh brought a “molt” when we were beginning to think about bed, & it had to be killed and supper prepared for him. Donald Gillies (pa) came and ceilidhled.

Thursday Oct. 17th: Splendid day for grass. Rose first of course & did fires. Kate better but to be in bed today at any rate. Annie Gillies helping with grass. Katrione (senior) did meinnach for me. School afternoon. Kate had some visitors. Finlay Mòr came and ceillidhed with us & had supper. Dunie busy cutting up sheep & salting. Gave Finlay Mòr his bible & he was very pleased. Kate in bed still.

Friday Oct. 18th: Simply glorious night, last night. Such bright moonlight flooding the rooms. You could almost read a book in the light of the moon all the night. Very strong gale of East wind, so we may not expect any boats. Kate rose out of her bed during the morning and is playing the part since of the interesting invalid. It is most amusing! Very dull morning. Dunie & I flew and gathered the spread hay & made it into rucks before we took our dinner. Some of the schoolboys helped and were (as they thought) amply repaid by two biscuits. Rain came on in torrents soon after. Dunie busy cutting up and salting Donald McDonald’s sheep, last at present in larder. Barrel now full. Little Neil Gillies’ leg turned very sore today coming to school & he simply could not walk home. His father had to carry him from the Glebe right home. We were afraid there is disease in the bone still.

Saturday Oct. 19th: Puring buckets all day and terrific wind. Kate up first and quite herself. Unfortunately though when shaking the hearthrug in the mg. outside she must have raised with the rug a stone that bruised her cheek pretty badly. Donald Fer. called to see Kate. I went up to the Baile & saw Neil Gillies, Bess Roenig. Fearfully wet still but not blowy. Have made a petticoat for the “expected” today in pink flannelette. Dunie very busy all day with the books & outdoor work.

Sunday Oct. 20th: Good day, but no drying. Church three times. Kate better. Scolding her sister Mor for not coming to see her when ill – called her a “barbh” (bull)! No boats. conseq. no news. Sc.


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
1-10 Oct: 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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