Notes from the Past

St. Kilda 'Mail-Boat'

Mail from this isolated island -- about 100 miles from the Scottish Mainland -- was often sealed in a tin canister placed in a hollow block of wood roughly shaped as a toy boat.  It was decked over by a flat piece of wood inscribed 'ST KILDA -- Please open', and launched.  Wind and tide cast these singular post carriers ashore or they were picked up by passing vessels.  The island was evacuated on 28 August 1930.

In 1957 the island was reoccupied by the armed forces, and since then mail has occasionally been dispatched by 'tin-can mail', the covers so transmitted bearing an appropriate cachet.

- R. J. Sutton 6th edition revised by K. W. Anthony
The Stamp Collector's Encyclopaedia
Published 1966
 Posted January 27, 2000

Index of 507 Notes from the Past

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