A Flight To St. Kilda - by Rev. R.L. Lawson - Page 14
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The images and text of Rev. Lawson's booklet - A FLIGHT TO ST. KILDA - contributed by Ewen McGee whose grandfather was captain of the SS Hebrides from 1899 to 1921.

Pages: Cover | Publications | 3 |  4 |  5 | 6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10  |  11 |  12  | 13  | 14  | 15 | 16  |  17 | 18 | 19  | 20 | 21  | 22  | 23 |  SS Hebrides | Photos

                          A FLIGHT TO ST. KILDA                          14

quite surprised at the fair skins and regular features of many of the women, one of whom is styled the “Queen of St. Kilda.” (See Illustration).  But I was quite as much struck with some of the girls who were not styled Queens.  They had all red cheeks, and wore their black hair as close cut as a boy's, with short frocks and bare feet.  The young folks, too, could all speak English, which the others could not do. 

There is not a shop in the village, so visitors usually don't come empty-handed.  The ladies bring small packages of tea, the gentlemen bring tobacco, and everybody brings sweets to the children.  The unmarried women have no head-dress save a red cotton handkerchief, while the married ones wear white caps, or mutches as we call them in Scotland.  There is no finery worn, and there is not an umbrella on the whole island.  Most of the children go bareheaded, which we are beginning to find now is the healthiest plan; so St. Kilda may lead the fashion after all. 

The furniture of the houses is very primitive.  A fire of turf burns commonly on the floor, and covers everything with dust.  The beds are what we call box-beds.  Formerly, one half of each house was used as a byre; but some years ago, a storm stripped the thatch from every one of the houses, and the laird built them new houses with zinc roofs, and gave the old ones to the tenants to be used for their cattle.  In the houses, I noticed the photographs of King Edward and Queen Alexandra, which were sent by the Queen as a coronation present, nailed against the; wall without any frame whatever. 

Some years ago, there was an old minister of the Free Church, named MacKay, who presided over the people. He preached on Sundays, taught what children could be induced to come to school twice a week, and ruled all things with a rod of iron, while he himself was ruled by a stalwart housekeeper he had.  But at last the people got tired of him; declared that their elders could preach bettor than he, and that if bin preaching did not improve they would cease attending the church. This brought matters to a head, and a new minister was sent out. This man, however, apparently lacked prudence, and some

Pages: Cover | Publications | 3 |  4 |  5 | 6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10  |  11 |  12  | 13  | 14  | 15 | 16  |  17 | 18 | 19  | 20 | 21  | 22  | 23 |  SS Hebrides | Photos