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.

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most of the time the sun shone brightly, and the sea was nearly as smooth as in the fjords of Norway.  For the Hebrides islands act as a breakwater against the Atlantic storms; and the mainland of Scotland ought to pay a tribute of respect to them for standing the brunt that it may go free.

The chief drawback to sailing in these small steamers, in my opinion, is the poor character of the sleeping accommodation.  There were eight berths in our cabin, arranged in two storeys round a very small room (I wonder what a Dean of Guild Court would say to it as an over-crowded lodging-house?I slept in a lower berth, and it was impossible either to get into it or get out of it with any sense of dignity, or even self-respect!  They should put over the Cabin door – “All ye who enter here leave Pride behind.”  You had to crawl into your berth head foremost, and in getting out you had to grope your way feet foremost, and then whummle out as best you could.  But none of us could laugh at the others, as we were all in the same predicament.  I am not very thin-skinned in these matters, but I commonly contrived to get into my bunk and get out of it when there was nobody there but myself. 

Our passenger group was a very pleasant one. There were about forty men and twenty women, which makes, generally speaking, a good blend on an occasion like this. A few of the women may have been married, but most were not, which was another point in our favour, for married people don't harmonise so easily as the single. We had the usual open-air games to while away the time, and we had several concerts on deck in the evening, when the men did most of the singing. I confess I had to sing several times myself; and another of the ministers, when pressed to do something in the same way, offered to sing "There is a happy land " as the only musical piece he was quite certain of. But we excused him, as we had all heard it before. We had quite a number of ministers travelling with us (over half-a-dozen, I think); and the captain is reported to have said, when he saw so many, that he was afraid there would be a storm, as a Jonah would probably be found among them. But it was not so.

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