National Geographic : 1952 Oct
563 J.olhi . 11 . Nolan Postmistress Lu-Lu Bell Starts the Morning Rounds with a Letter for Her Father Bobbie Bell, the island's 81-year-old postmaster, turns over most of his duties to daughter Lu-Lu. Here, taking life easy on the running board of the Royal Mail van, he accepts the day's first letter (page 554). land. But a storm turned them back, during which the precious tome (now in the British Museum) was swept into the sea. The sea, however, miraculously washed it back to shore. For a few more years that undaunted band roamed the northern wilderness, seeking a safe place to deposit their holy burden. With the departure of the Danes, the coffin was taken to Chester le Street, a former Roman station near Durham, where it remained for a century. Later, under the terror of another invasion, it was moved again, this time to Ripon, in Yorkshire. Time passed. Still there was no real rest for St. Cuthbert. Eventually, the city of Durham claimed his body. But when William the Conqueror swept northward, in 1069, the monks of Durham retreated to Holy Island and returned the saint to his old sepulcher. Even this respite was not for long. A year later he was carried back to Durham, there finally to find peace in the magnificent new Cathedral, one of England's finest and still standing today. Some five miles to the southeast from where I stood lay the Fames, that collection of treacherous rocks that have become a fan tastic bird sanctuary. Tide Submerges Many Fame Islets Fame Island, or Inner Fame, the largest, is barely 16 acres, but it is nearest the main land. The Knivestone, which is completely covered at high tide, lies farthest out. Some 15 others are similarly submerged by North Sea tides; even portions of those remaining dis appear at high water. There are two fairly large outlying rocks, the Crumstone to the east and the Megstone to the west, which are never entirely hidden. Staple Sound, a treacherous mile-wide gap from five to eight fathoms deep, separates the Fames into two groups. The remaining islands are bare rocks of varying size, except for the Inner Farne, Staple Island, Brownsman, North and South Wamses, Big Harcar, East and West Wide open, and the famous Longstone.