Riddle of discarded dress

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A discarded wedding dress is at the centre of a curious Skye mystery.

Local woman Rachael Jackson discovered the ornately-decorated dress lying under a rock near Orbost in north-west Skye at the end of last week. Since then her efforts to unravel the mystery as to why the dress was left there has sparked several theories — but as yet the riddle remains unsolved.

Rachael explained to the Free Press: “It was left very purposely, with a rock laid on top of it, near the side of the road close to the Orbost junction. I’d driven past it a few times — and had assumed it was just a piece of plastic sheeting someone was using for peats, as there is a guy who regularly cuts peats nearby.

“It was my daughter who pointed it out and said ‘that’s a wedding dress’. My first thought was ‘don’t be ridiculous’ but then I stopped to investigate it, and there it was. It’s a size eight or so — and it has probably been worn once. But why it was left there, we just don’t know.”

Rachael launched an appeal on social media, prompting a few varied ideas on the story behind the abandoned gown. These ranged from a jilted bride who wanted to banish all memories of a ruined wedding, to thieves dumping unwanted goods from a stolen car.

Another suggestion is that it may have been left behind after a photo shoot. In recent years the idea of ‘trashing the wedding dress’ has also become a popular photography style, where brides are invited to effectively ruin their dress by getting it wet or dirty against the backdrop of a scenic location.

Rachel added: “I think it’s possible that whoever wore it was unable or didn’t want to take it home with them, so they just left it to nature or for the faeries!”

The dress is currently hanging in Rachael’s wardrobe, and she is considering what to do next should the original owner fail to come forward.

She said: “My first thought was that we could donate it to a local charity shop, and people have been in touch to suggest ideas.
“One person sent me a message about a charity which makes burial gowns for still-born babies. Often people have donated their wedding dresses, so that is something that might be a nice thing to do.”

If you have a theory on why the dress was abandoned get in touch by emailing keith.mackenzie@whfp.com or via the WHFP Facebook site.