• 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

    The waters around St Kilda are designated a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) for their reefs and sea caves, which attract a wealth of spectacular sea life. Lisa Kamphausen of Scottish Natural Heritage spent time exploring the sea caves of St Kilda & Rona.

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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
 1 - 9 August 1907

Aug. 1st (Thurs.) Arrived here this morning after a delightful holiday. Had a rather stormy passage. The “Hebrides” acting up to her reputation for pitching and rolling. We were not particularly taken up with the crowd aboard. Saw Mr. McKenzie Senior & Jun. at Dunvegan, also  Dr. Mack. Brother. Ordered wool (Cheviot) and wheel from factor. Found on arrival that Rachel McKinnon had fallen down a great side of Connacher and was very badly hurt. Her thumb broken shockingly – with bones protruding. Head terribly cut & body badly bruised. There was a doctor (McKintosh) from Edinburgh who came and saw her but was unable to do anything as it had to be amputated at once if anything was to be done. Had a busy day and what with the sea sickness etc. it was fearful. Mr. McKenzie (Factor) introduced me to two young gentlemen (Messrs. Milne and Clarence) who were coming to St. Kilda & who have taken up their abode with us.

Friday Aug. 2nd: A bright day to begin with but showery. Mr. McAllister took the gentlemen for a long walk as yesterday, while Dunie & I were busy unpacking. I found my little Soay sheep nicely. She is a great pet & so pretty, nor is she shy. Killed calf today (Donald Gilles & William McDonald). Paid two visits to Roenig as yesterday.

Saturday Aug. 3rd:  Showery day.  Lots of boats in bay.  Two whalers in with whales.  Roenig much about the same but her finger is not bleeding now, & is keeping clean.  Mr. Clarence & Mr. Milne out fishing for mullet.  They got four and a nice lithe.

Sunday Aug. 4th:  Very wet & stormy day indeed.  Visited Roenig first thing after breakfast.  She is much as usual, only she seems to have had a great shock.  They have put her back into her own bed.  Did not go out in morning as I was busy with dinner & Roenig.  Rested afternoon & read “Barbe of Grand Bayon” (John Oxenham) which I enjoyed very much.  Church at night again.  Whalers all left.

Mond. Aug. 5th:  Another fearfully wet day.  I am so sorry for both our Oxford friends & also Mr. McAllister.  Usual monthly service, to which I did not go.  The men were out fishing for mullet & one boat got 54.  They gave me 2.  Capt. Ritchie very kindly sent me in a fine halibut & the “Hope” sent in two fine ling.  So we are having the supplies coming in nicely.  Roenig much about the same.

Tuesday Aug. 6th:  Still another wet day.  Mr. Clarence & Mr. Milne went over to the Glen to drink of the well of virtues.  Visited at Roenig’s & did up her hand.  She seems half-dazed.  Lots of trawlers & liners in the bay.  Reading “Barbe of Grand Bayon”.

Wednesday Aug. 7th:  Fine in morning.  Mr. McAllister, Mr. Milne, Mr. Clarence & the Dunie all went out to the Dun.  Service in church tonight.  Had Donald Ferguson to tea - and Donald McDonald & D. F. also to supper.  Great fun.

Thurs. Aug. 8th:  Much better day.  The gentlemen got about a little more.  Had the three of the Ørnwulf (the Botoch, Mate & Engineer) to tea.  Have nothing much to relate further than seeing Roenig twice & taking the Botoch with us.  He gave me some Boracic ointment & a small bottle to cleanse with water.  (Tha mi bochd)?

Friday Aug. 9th:  Lovely day.  Botoch came in & had dinner with us.  Then we went out & called on the “Evening Star”.  Saw Mr. Phillips.  Then went to fish.  Got nine mullet.  We got a fine ling from the “Red Wing”.  Saw Roenig twice.  She is much as usual, & not making much of it.  Sent milk out to Botoch.  The Gents. Went out to fish mullet, fifty-eight.  Mr. Clarence busy drawing caricatures.  Kate joined church today.  Great fun over D.F.’s catechizing which K. greatly dreaded but which only turned out to be “a kiss”.)  Botoch helped me at Roenig’s.  Got two eggs today, which is splendid news, as they have evidently not laid since we left.


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

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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