Thursday, 23 June 2016

Remain or Leave?

While the residents of the UK are requested to take part in today's EU Referendum, the residents of Stroma, off Caithness, were never formally asked whether they wanted to remain or leave. They just took the latter course, although the process took over 60 years rather than one day.

In 1901 the population had peaked at 375. The 1961 Census indicated that numbers were down to 12 and in the December of the following year the last indigenous family left. Only the lighthouse keepers and their families were required to remain until 1997. The Church of Scotland had provided a place of worship, the Scottish Co-operative Wholesale Society had established a shop, the Caithness County Council continued running the school until the register contained the names of only two pupils in 1957 and the Post Office was in operation until the following year. The telephone box, now defunct, was apparently the six-millionth to be installed in Britain. When a new harbour was built, the leavers suddenly increased at the expense of the remainers.

Scottish Islands Explorer - remaining subscribers are much appreciated
Digital Edition: leavers of traditional print publications welcomed

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