Puff Inn closure is a sad day for St Kilda – leader comment

The Puff Inn on St Kilda (Picture: HES)
The Puff Inn on St Kilda (Picture: HES)
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It is one of the most remote pubs in the world. The Puff Inn on the lonely island of St Kilda in the Atlantic Ocean – about 40 miles from its nearest neighbour in the Outer Hebrides – may have been of a fairly basic construction.

But the tales of those who spent an evening or two there suggest that whatever it lacked in bricks and mortar was more than made up for by its “jumpin’” atmosphere.

The Puff Inn made an impression – and not just on those with a fondness for simple puns. The prices may have also helped, with writer and yachtsman Marc Calhoun, who first visited in 1999, recalling a double Scotch could be had for just 50p.

So it was no surprise that the Ministry of Defence’s decision to close the pub was described as “the end of an era” for St Kilda by Julie Hunt, chair of the St Kilda Club.

But, despair not, all is not lost. For there is a happy ending to this tale: The Puff Inn is to return! It will re-open this autumn in a new accommodation block that will replace the original 1950s RAF building.

So, the assorted band of military personal, conservationists and others allowed to sample its fare will not go thirsty for too long.

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