St Kilda

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The archipelago of St Kilda, the remotest part of the British Isles, lies 41 miles (66 kilometres) west of Benbecula in Scotland's Outer Hebrides. Its islands with their exceptional cliffs and sea stacs, form the most important seabird breeding station in north-west Europe.

The evacuation of its native population in 1930 brought to a close an extraordinary story of survival.

On 29th August 1930, the last 36 remaining inhabitants left St Kilda left forever after their traditional lifestyle was corrupted by the outside world.

For centuries St Kildans had lived a self sufficient community lifestyle, scaling cliffs with their legendary long toes to catch sea birds.

These people lived under their own form of democracy with a parliament meeting held every morning in the village street. They made shoes out of Gannets and considered boiled puffin with their porridge a great delicacy. Life was never easy, with hunger and hard work being commonplace.

Developing a taste for earning and an easier life, the islanders were evacuated to various places, with the elderly left to survive on meagre charity handouts.

Many were disappointed with their promised Utopia and petitioned to be returned to their islands. The Government however deemed this too expensive and made sure they signed over their crofting rights

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