St Kilda mail marks 80th anniversary of evacuation

COMMEMORATIVE stationery which can be posted and date-stamped from St Kilda will be on sale next month at a conference organised by the Islands Book Trust to mark the 80th anniversary of the evacuation.

The specially designed envelopes and headed notepaper showing eight scenes from St Kilda are a poignant reminder of the fateful day on August 29, 1930 when the remaining population were removed to the mainland.

The artwork has been carried out by Maureen Kerr, whose beautiful colour drawings will be featured in an exhibition at Claddach Kirkibost in North Uist throughout August 2010.

The limited edition of envelopes and headed notepaper will be available to those attending a four-day international conference from August 11 - 14 at Lionacleit School, Benbecula on 'The Historiography of St Kilda' organised by the Islands Book Trust, which will examine how the island has been portrayed in literature over the centuries.

Other exhibitions relating to St Kilda as well as a boat trip to the island will be arranged to coincide with the conference.

Covers purchased at the conference can be addressed and stamped by the purchaser and they will then be taken to St Kilda for posting, where the St Kilda World Heritage Site circular hand-stamp may also be applied.

The mail will be carried by helicopter from St Kilda to Balivanich where it will be further stamped at the local post office, possibly on Monday, August 30, the operational day closest to the anniversary of the evacuation.

The post office in Balivanich (then known as Nunton Post Office) at one time held the St Kilda circular date stamp for outgoing mail from St Kilda en route to the mainland. This postmark was withdrawn on the introduction of the Balivanich post-mark.

Examples of mail bearing the St Kilda hand-stamp will be on display at the exhibition taking place at the conference venue throughout the month of August.