We’d steamed west through a night of driving rain and rolling seas. By dawn an eerie calm had descended; the chilling sea mist was thick and clawing. As we inched closer the skies began to clear. The noise became louder.
The soaring cliffs sheltering the bay were alive with colour. Fulmars, gannets, puffins. All screeching. Warning. Each had their space; intruders weren’t allowed. Fights to the death a rite of passage amongst the vast cacophony of nests.
On the shore they stood. Their belongings gathered – waiting, as the village chimneys puffed their final sooty breaths. They’d asked us to come. To take them away from their island home; from all they knew.
Norman John was one of the last surviving evacuees from the remote Scottish archipeligo of St. Kilda. Along with 35 other islanders, Norman Iain left Hirta in the Autumn of 1930 for a life on the British mainland.