Archives Show Scillonians Viewed As Difficult

Islanders were viewed as “difficult”, according to Government correspondence from the 1960s.

Professor Wyn Grant has been researching documents relating to Scilly contained within the National Archive at Kew.

He’s found that there was much conversation over the decline of the flower industry.

But the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, or MAFF, which had an office at Porthcressa at the time, warned that the, “strong-willed and self-reliant nature” of Scillonians could make them troublesome.

Documents reveal that they warned other Ministries not to include the islands with Cornwall because of that.

Wyn says MAFF found the islands also had a difficult relationship with the Duchy of Cornwall.

MAFF told the Duchy’s Bristol regional office that they were, “sure the islands will give you more and more trouble as time goes by.”

Wyn says the nature of islanders proved a challenge for the men from the Ministry. Civil servants at the time were concerned about the, “independent nature” of islanders and their, “petty attitudes.”

But things began to change during the period of Harold Wilson who had a holiday home on the islands and ensured more attention was paid to the islands, including the renewal of the Scillonian ferry.


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