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One Woman - One Island - Nine Jobs

Youngest resident of nearly deserted island does 9 jobs, including backhoe loader operator

November 15, 2017
Sarah Moore, 26, of North Ronaldsay Island does nine jobs.

Ask Sarah Moore, 26, of North Ronaldsay Island what she does for a living and she'll tell you she's the islands air traffic controller, baggage handler, postal worker, JCB backhoe operator, firefighter, tour guide, care-giver, and clerk for the island council.

Sarah does all these jobs because on the tiny island of North Ronaldsay - northernmost island in the Orkney archipelago of Scotland - there are only 45 people with an average age of 65.

One of Moore's jobs is backhoe operator

Sarah says life on North Ronaldsay is like a ‘different world’ and that there is a shortage of people to take up the jobs.

 “Some of the islanders are getting to an age when they need to retire, but the people coming in and taking over those physically demanding jobs are also in their 50s,” Sarah explained in an interview with Caters News. “It’s not an easy life here, and it’s not a place anyone comes to get rich, but I love it.”

Moore grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland, but decided to move, finding the city too crowded and offering few career choices.

When she made the move to Ronaldsay it was her first time living away from home and while some of her schoolfriends struggled to find just one job, Sarah soon became inundated with them.

Many of hers jobs are voluntary and because she has so many different roles, no two days are alike. “I like a bit of variety and that’s certainly what I’ve got here – it can sometimes be hard to keep track of what jobs I’m doing on any particular day.

“I enjoy working at the airport the most: there’s a lot of responsibility and it’s more social than my other jobs since there’s three other people.”

“I don’t really miss Edinburgh. I went back last month to help my parents move, but I never got that nostalgia feeling.

Moore says the island needs more families to move there to help build the tiny population. Even the island's school has closed because the last student graduated last year.

From Wikipedia: North Ronaldsay is about 3.1 miles long, with Hollandstoun as the largest settlement. A dry stone dyke surrounds the island to keep the seaweed-eating local sheep off the arable land.

Images: Orkney Photographic/Caters News

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