Thursday, 14 July 2011
This photograph of the former post office, shop and telephone kiosk on Scarp serves as a reminder that it's 40 years since the last permanent residents left that island. Yesterday I received a request to list those Scottish islands that had been 'evacuated'. This is a strong word that puts emphasis on emergencies, casualties as well as forced mass migrations. Permanent settlement on many small islands just fizzles out because it becomes unsustainable or domestically difficult for key or last families. Sometimes an innovation - an automatic system to operate a lighthouse, for example - makes human involvement unnecessary. However, I did some research, considering the past 200 years and islands larger than 40 acres, and came up with a total of 35, from North Rona in 1844 until Ailsa Craig in 1990.
Scottish Islands Explorer - open for business