It sits amidst the wild Atlantic Ocean, 112 miles off the Scottish Mainland, and now Britain’s remotest shop is looking for somebody to run it.
St Kilda is home to a small number of defence and conservation workers – but receives about 5,000 cruise ship passengers and small boat visitors each season.
The tiny store on the island sells souvenirs – including toy puffins – of which there are many flying about outside.
The St Kilda Club, which owns the shop, is now looking for a new convener after its member Rob Gower decided to step down after five years in the post.
The convener is responsible for sourcing stock, managing accounts and working with suppliers to insure the shelves are fully furnished with the best possible goods.
Sadly the fabulous Rob who has been running the St Kilda Shop for the past 5 years, is stepping down as the Convenor,…
An advert on the club’s Facebook describes it as an “exciting position” and notes that a “modest honorarium is available”. Already several people have expressed an interest.
Remote though it may be, the operator does not, in fact, have to man it as the replacement convener will be able to run the shop from afar.
Mr Gower carried out the role from Hampshire – some 700 miles from St Kilda – and visited the island only at the start of the season every year to make sure the shop was set up as he wanted it.
He introduced an electronic stock management system to insure that the surges of visitors to St Kilda did not leave the shelves empty.
The turnover is up to around £50,000 a year and all the profits go to National Trust for Scotland, who own St Kilda. NTS volunteers help man the shop.
The club said: “Sadly the fabulous Rob who has been running the St Kilda Shop for the past five years, is stepping down as the convenor, and we are looking for someone to take his place.
“Rob will be about to train the new person and offer help and support, along with the other board members.”
Moving into a new home on St Kilda, meanwhile, is the country’s most far flung drinking den, The Puff Inn.
It is moving into a new area further away from its old block. Most visitors will never experience its charms, however, as the bar is only open to MoD and other island staff.
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Working on St Kilda, 41 miles off the main Outer Hebrides, has proved the ultimate in challenging building jobs – not just because of the distance and climate, but also because the islands are a double world heritage site and one of the most important seabird stations in the North Atlantic.
Winds gusting to 133mph were recorded on St Kilda during Storm Henry in 2016, while a year earlier defence workers were airlifted from the islands, fleeing 188mph winds, an unofficial record for the UK.
Western Isles Council gave the go-ahead three years ago to the upgrade, but work can only take place – because of the weather – in the summer. It is due to finish this season.