Oliver G Pike

Films - St Kilda, its People and Birds, 1908 (silent, b&w, approx. 8 min)

Oliver Pike was not the first wildlife photographer to visit the island of St Kilda (the Kearton brothers were there before him in the Summer of 1896), but he produced the first cine film showing the life of the islanders and their dependence on seabirds.

An extract from Oliver Pike's film can be seen on YouTube, courtesy of BFI Films.
The link is: YouTube - St Kilda (Pike, 1908)

Excerpts from the film are also available on DVD in Christopher Mylne's "The St Kilda Story/Wildlife on St Kilda" published in 2008 by Panamint Cinema.

St Kilda Village

The Village of St Kilda

Photograph taken by Oliver Pike on his second visit to St Kilda in 1910.

St Kilda is a group of small islands in the Atlantic ocean. The village is on the main island called Hirte. The people all left in 1930.

The long curve of cottages snakes away from the camera: to the left are the cultivated strips where the islanders grew potatoes and other vegetables.

On the hills behind the houses they kept sheep and goats, and a few cows. But they were mostly dependent on fishing and birds and their eggs.

In the foreground are small stone storehouses called cleits. The St Kildans built them all over the island; some may be very old indeed.

The name St Kilda is something of a mystery: there never was a saint with this name.

More information on the abandonment of St Kilda can be found at the Abandoned Communities website.