Yesterday I visited the crash site at Maodal 30 years after the accident. It was a lovely day the sun was out and it’s only about an hours walk up from the wee car park below the hill.
It was a great walk into the sun out of the shade and onto the ridge with Kalie and Islay her dog. The views were incredible with the hills and blue sky and the sea and the sun. I doubt we could have got better weather.
Walking into the sunlight.
We were soon at the summit with the memorial looking great. It was built by friends who helped clean up the hill after the crash as part of RAF Lossiemouth’ crash guard. The memorial plaque is clean and well looked after and the Cairn looks great. It’s a superb viewpoint and today we could see as far as St Kilda. Yet it’s the huge beach below that makes the picture a backdrop never to forget.
The memorial was needing some TLC last time I was here and I thank whoever cleaned it and worked so hard on a tricky job.
There is little left to think that 10 folk died here. Yet it is a memory I will never forget. The Mountain Rescue Team and all the emergency services did a great job. We had the sad task of removing the crew after the initial investigations a hard job that was nit easy for us all.
I took time to be on my own and wandered around the hill. There is little sign of what happened here. My memory at times is blank after being at so many tragedies over the years but things come flooding back. It must be my way of coping through the years.
We then headed down to the car and met Bill Lawson who had let me use his phone on the day of the tragedy all these years ago . He was one of the prime movers of the building of the Heritage centre Seallam! Visitor Centre. At the bottom of the hill it’s a great attraction where folk from all over the world visit.
We had a great visit and a lovely chat what a wonderful man with his tales of the local area and St Kilda. It was lovely to meet him and chat. I think back to how kind the Harris folk were to my team. You can never repay that care and I will always be in their debt.
It was then a wander down to Roadal where in the Shop upstairs is a board to the crew of the Shackelton. It tells another side of the story and is well worth a visit.
After that we went for a wander.