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28 Jun 2019

From the edge of the world: part 5

Written by Sue Loughran
The shop on St Kilda
Hello! I’m Sue, the ranger on St Kilda. I’m writing a blog to share what it’s like to work on these incredible islands. This week, I talk about the shop.

We’re so lucky this week to have Rob Gower with us as a volunteer. Rob is the mastermind behind the St Kilda Club Shop, which is housed in the Manse and opens for visitors on a daily basis. 

Rob sits at the desk in the St Kilda shop holding some postcards
Rob in the shop

The St Kilda Club generously support the work of the National Trust for Scotland, and all the profits are ploughed back into the island. Amongst the many contributions to research and education about the island, the club funds the Bird Ranger post for the season. The St Kilda Club is open to anyone who has an interest in St Kilda. It regularly updates members with information about the island, has a members-only Facebook group, produces the annual St Kilda Mail and organises an annual reunion in Edinburgh. Online applications can be made at the St Kilda Club website.

The range of clothes (mostly jackets and fleeces) available for sale in the St Kilda shop
Jackets and fleeces for sale

Rob arrived last Saturday and hasn’t been far from the shop ever since! If he hasn’t been replenishing stock, he’s been up in the loft or entertaining the many visitors who have flocked in from day boats, yachts, cruises and the MOD base next door. There’s a really good range of books, clothing and souvenirs, and the shop becomes a real social hub where people meet before they take the boat back home.

Shelves in the St Kilda shop holding books, soft toys and other souvenirs
A great range of books are available to buy on the island.

Rob has set up bar coding and the facility to take contactless card payments, which means he can monitor shop supplies and transactions from his home in Hampshire. Not bad for what is probably the most remote shop in the British Isles!

From the edge of the world

St Kilda blog

Find out more about what it’s like to work on these incredible islands.

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