• St Kilda Photographic Collection

    St Kilda Photographic Collection

    St Kilda’s collection reveals how essential the camera was in documenting unknown and curious places, recording certain ways of life believed to be extinct and for romanticising the remote.

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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
 20 - 31 May 1907

Mond. May 20th  Awakened early by the siren of the “Dunara Castle”.  The factor (Mr MacKenzie) and Alister Ferguson, & Neil Gillies all arrived.  Only two visitors.  Great excitement.  The people got their first supply of meal & flour while A.F. brought all sorts of luxuries in the way of eating and clothing.  Went up the baile and dressed Neil Gillies’ leg.  Very bad with wound pretty open yet.  Called for Mr McKenzie who came down later on & spent some time with us.

Tues. May 21st  Forgot to say got lots of letters yesterday.  In the house myself now with bad cold & sore throat.  Norman McQuien’s arrived home to-day yesterday.  Mr McKenzie came to supper.

Wednes. May 22nd  Very blowy.  Everyone says no hope of Hebrides.  But it may clear up.  Cold very bad.  The Queen called with milk & had a ceilidh.  Also Annie (Aig Finlay) & Mary Mohr (also with milk.  Made treacle toffy (great success) & entertained Mrs McKenzie.

Thurs. May 23rd  The night was blowing a perfect hurricane yet the “Hebrides” came in & blew her whistle hurriedly.  We got up & with great difficulty the men got the boat out.  They came back with the word that the boat wd wait for nobody.  They took out the Baile but the men here persuaded us not to venture.  The little boat was nearly swamped each time.  Busy with letters & very bad colds indeed.  Dressed Neil Gillies’ foot.

Friday  In bed all day with bad headache.  Kate & Duine bad too.  People planting their potatoes.

Saturday May 25th  Lovely day. The boat loads went to Soay.  One to Boreray (Alister Ferguson etc in the latter).  It was a perfect day.  In & out all day.  Went down to the Pier at night to see the boats return.  Got a lot of guillemots eggs.  The men had some fulmar too.  Feeling rather seedy yet after Influenza.

Sund. May 26th  Another day like yesterday.  Not out in mg.  Went out to S.S. and evening church.  Good attendance.

Mond. May 27th  Cold day with biting east wind.  People started cutting their peats to-day.  Went to school in aft.  Feeling almost alright.  Dressing Donald Gillies cut finger early in day.  Dressed Neil Gillies bad leg later on in day.  Had Alister Fergusons friend (Mr Kirkland) in.  He stayed supper & had a long evening.  We enjoyed his company very much.

Tues. May 28th  Cold east windy day.  How I wish this wind wd go.  People busy with peats.  We hear that there are a good few steam drifters in the neighbourhood, but of course they never will come in with this wind.  Our food supply getting very low.

Wednes. May 29th  Very breezy.  “Johanna” came in in morning from N.L. Tarbert.  There is a whale in the bay & in evening the Botoch & Scaligram came in (the latter with a whale).  The “Johanna” left at once with them.  A boat went out with letters.  P.M. but did not go.  Kirkland came in for a bit.  Very rough night.

Thurs. May 30th  Wet a little & very blowy.  Dressed Donald Gillies’ finger early in morning.  Strong east wind.  No p turf cutting to-day.  No boats in with this wind.

Frid. May 31st  Blowy day, dull.  Kate went off in mg. to work at peats with Meirut.  It came on to rain but they stayed all day.  Finlay McQ. came in.  Made tea for him.  D. Gillies came in in Evening.


The first June1907 entries, from 1 -10 June, will be avaliable from 1 June. 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
1-12 May: Transcripts & Original Diaries
13-19 May: Transcripts & Original Diaries

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

Destination St Kilda

Destination St Kilda

In 1885 Aberdeen photographers George Washington Wilson and Norman Macleod set out to travel through the Western Isles to St Kilda. They took many photographs along the way and their collection of pictures, From Oban to Skye and the …

Destination St Kilda£19.99

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