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island news Edition 19
USE IT OR LOSE IT CalMacâ€™s surprise announcement of a three year Lochboisdale-Mallaig winter service trial has been welcomed in Uist by campaigners, although with a few reservations. Use it or lose it is the strongest message from campaigners and businesses, fearing that a trial at the quietest time of year might yield the wrong statistics for CalMac datacrunchers in future. The Missing Link group campaigned vigorously for the service, and their chairman Stephen Macaulay said he was â€œvery, very happyâ€? at the news. He said: â€œItâ€™s a step in the right direction. Ideally we would have like to see more runs created through to the summer, but we have got our foot in the door. People now need to use the service and prove the need.â€? The proposal is for the service to run from November to April minus a three week refit period in February. MV Lord of the Isles is the allocated vessel. The service would be twice weekly, with one run mid-week and another at the weekend. Mr Macaulay said: â€œWhile some people might be concerned by the idea of just a midweek and a weekend sailing, it is important that they take into account that fact that they can use Lochboisdale-Mallaig along with other existing services to create an itinerary that suits their needs.â€? Continued on page 3
MV Lord of the Isles.
Because people want a megawatt smile with their lightbulbs
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As the UKâ€™s leading community retailer, weâ€™re all about people. That means itâ€™s not just our customers who ďŹ nd everything theyâ€™re looking for in our stores. Our colleagues do too. From plenty of development opportunities and quality training, to huge variety and great beneďŹ ts. In return, youâ€™ll need to have a natural way with people and customer service skills that shine. Playing a big part in our close-knit friendly store team, youâ€™ll have your talents recognised. And, by making a difference at the heart of your community, our customers will soon start to recognise you too. For more information and to pick up an application form please visit your local Co-operative Food store at Creagorry, Isle of Benbecula, South Uist, Western Isles, HS7 5PG. We are passionate about equal opportunities and welcome a broad diversity of talent to apply.
THE FREE MONTHLY NEWSPAPER OF THE HEBRIDES
island news & ADVERTISER - October 2013 Issue 19
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Express your view in 400 words: firstname.lastname@example.org IN&A does not take responsibility for the views expressed or facts mentioned in readers’ letters
island news & ADVERTISER
is the FREE MONTHLY NEWSPAPER OF THE HEBRIDES Circulation 10,000
Dismay at Uist-Skye tunnel aspiration Thank you from NUAS On our recent visit to Coll we read with much dismay the article on the front page of your edition 18 (September 2013) concerning Anne MacLellan’s idea of progress. I believe she hit the nail on the head when she wrote of “companies who might want to exploit them (the islands) . . .” Such exploitation will surely destroy the uniqueness of, and totally ruin what is so special about the islands. She would drag them screaming into a world of modern commercialism, big business, pollution, and the loss of a life style one can only find on these islands. Like the American agenda, she would make everything and everywhere the same for the sake of creating more markets and “improved” economy, and call it development. Once the individuality of the islands is gone, it is gone forever. Isn’t it strange how an outsider comes in and wants to change everything. All for the sake of making more money, for the sake increasing business. Ms. MacLennan’s philosophy appears to be quantity rather than quality. Perhaps, if
she is not happy with the way of life on the island, she should return to where she came from and allow the islanders to determine their own future. By the way, a great part of our visit to this beautiful country was to discover our origins, and explore the places where our Campbell ancestors came from before they emigrated to Canada in the early 19th century. They came from Coll, Tiree, Mull, and Iona. At the latter Archibald Campbell, one of our ancestors,was listed as a boatman on the 1841 census. We would be pleased to hear from anyone to exchange further information.
Yours sincerely, Hessel H. Pape 556 Catering Road Sutton West, Ontario Canada L0E 1R0
I write on behalf of the North Uist Agricultural Society to thank all those that helped at this year’s North Uist Agricultural Show which was held on 8th August. We are indebted to the judges, stewards and helpers who give of their time on the day and the competitors for entering the various classes. We had some new classes in the Home Baking section this year and it was encouraging to see that these were popular with a high number of entries. Thank you also to the public for coming along to support our local show and the businesses and organisations that bring stalls and donate raffle prizes, all of which help make it such a successful day. Yours sincerely, Anne MacLellan, NUAS President Druim Torrach, Hougharry, North Uist
Room 7, East Camp, Balivanich, Isle of Benbecula, HS7 5LA
01870 602151 editor@islandnews andadvertiser.com
01870 602151 ads@islandnews andadvertiser.com Design
Tim Mason Managing Editor
IN&A’s new website for more local news daily www.islandnewsandadvertiser.co.uk
In 65 outlets from
Tiree to Stornoway; ALSO Oban, Inverness Glasgow and Edinburgh
Island News & Advertiser
OUTER HEBRIDES BIRD REPORT
2008 -10 now available ur With 184 pages and 8 pages of colo Bird s plates the latest Outer Hebride ed Report report (pub Curracag) is pack the of life bird the of with information islands. New species to be recorded were Stilt on Sandpiper (after departing here was seen owYell , bria) the Isle of Man and in Cum billed Cuckoo, Bee-eater, Brown Shrike, Iberian Chiffchaff, Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler, two Hermit Thrushes, Pechora Pipit, Trumpeter Finch and Blackburnian Warbler. Also there were first records for Hudsonian Whimbrel and Siberian full Stonechat (both only recently accorded and e) mitte com species status by the relevant race rican Ame h Nort a Black Tern of the ful (over a month later than any of the hand rds). reco Irish and sh Briti r othe of Some other interesting sightings included
the first record for Britain of three Blue- winged Teal together, a colour-ringed Black Stork (also seen in Highland, Skye and Shetland and was ringed in Hungary in 2007), the first Nightjar since the early 1970s while we in continued to be the most reliable place a with ect conn to ng hopi rs Britain for birde . Owl y Snow h The report will is available from Taig Arts and eum Mus Chearsabhagh tre Centre, the Claddach Kirkibost Cen from t or MacGillivrays (£8) or by pos , the editor Brian Rabbitts, 6 Carinish ). (£10 5HL HS6 Uist Isle of North
Curracag Photo Exhibition
Macmillan Coffee Morning and appeal for favourite recipes
Matt Topsfield of Curracag writes: We’ve had a good crop of photographs submitted to the Curracag Photographic Competition 2013. Thanks to all who sent in images of their Hebrides Little Five. You will be able to see them for yourselves at the opening event of the exhibition, 6-8pm on Friday 4th October 2013 at Museum nan Eilean in Sgoil Lionacleit. The exhibition will remain at the Museum until December and then travel to other venues around the Western Isles (further details to follow).
MacMillan Cancer Support North Uist Branch Coffee Morning at Carinish Hall Saturday 5th October, 11am – 1pm All welcome As part of this year’s fundraising for If you like please include any story or MacMillan Cancer Support we intend to information about your recipes as this produce a baking recipe book. will help to make the book of greater If you have any favourite recipes that interest. you would like to share with others Thank you, through this recipe book I would be Mairead MacNab 18 Locheport most grateful if you could send or email North Uist HS6 5EU them to me at the addresses below. email@example.com
North Uist Bowling Club
New season has started
Tuesdays Paible School 7.30-9.30pm New members welcome -just turn up on the night. All bowls supplied - an d a cuppa.
New outlet for bespoke ironwork and Harris Tweed products
Gates, railings, handles, candlesticks etc by the only artisan blacksmith on the islands. All types of work undertaken
Harris Tweed cushions Cards Parking at Culla Bay Keyrings
Culla Croft, Aird, Benbecula
Contact 01870 603816
for opening hours
Asphalt quarrying to continue in North Uist Breedon Aggregates Scotland Ltd have applied to continue using Gairbh Eilean asphalt quarry at Claddach Carinish in North Uist for a further year. After this period the company proposes to restore the quarry area.
October 2013 Issue 19 - island news & ADVERTISER
Continued from page 1
South Uist haulier Norman MacAskill welcomed the news with reservations. He said: “A winter trial is probably not a very fair thing to do, the majority of the traffic and the need is in summer time so the statistics created in winter might be the wrong information.” Calmac said winter had been chosen as the time for the trial because of vessel availability. A CalMac spokesman said: “The lack of a suitable vessel to provide this service has been a major obstacle to the introduction of this service before now. “Due to timetable changes as a result of the Ferries Plan, a vessel is now available, but only in the winter.” He added: “One of the most compelling cases for using the shorter, more protected route is to improve bad weather reliability, so the winter trial will be a good test of that, in addition to gauging general usage.” But community landlord Storas Uibhist described the move as ‘an overdue and half-hearted response from the Scottish Government to the long-standing demands for a fit for purpose ferry service for the people of the Uist.” Storas chief executive Huw Francis said
the service would go some way towards improving the transport options for the community. He said: “However it must be acknowledged that the winter season sees lower demand for ferries and the local
economy will continue to be restricted during the peak summer months until a year round service is introduced.” South Uist & Barra councillor David Blaney said: “People have cried out for this ferry service and now we’ve got it, but if
we don’t use it we will lose it.” At the time of going to print, CalMac representatives were due to meet Lochboisdale Community Council and Barra Transport Forum to discuss the detail of the trial.
Danger on our beaches
Benbecula coastguard attended four reports of live ordnance washing up on Uist beaches last month. The coastguards cordoned off the area and contacted the military’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams to ensure the items were disposed of safely. College House, Balivanich, Isle of Benbecula, HS7 5LA Tel: 01870 602228 Fax: 01870 602865
Looking for a property to buy, sell or rent..... Looking to buy or sell land..... Look no further than your local estate agency Visit our new website for latest property listings www.uistproperty.co.uk
McLaren Tractors Thursday October 24,10am to 6pm
to celebrate our
and our move to our new premises on the Strathpeffer Road in Dingwall. We have recently opened a new shop selling quality work wear clothing, footwear, educational toys plus much more. Meet representatives of Polaris, Valtra, Kioti, McHale, Zetor, Pottinger and Foster. Information stands will also be present from the NFU Mutual Dingwall Branch, Bank of Scotland, Scottish Tenant Farmers Association, Scottish Agricultural College, Scottish Young Farmers Association, HALS – local Machinery Ring and Conan Vets. Refreshments will be available from the Storehouse of Foulis from 10am – 6pm. There will be working machinery demonstrations of agricultural machinery and a range of power tools, such as log splitters and plasma cutters.
You can enter a free prize drawwith a top prize a trip for two people to Finland in 2014.
It’s thought the items were marine locator markers, otherwise known as smoke markers (pictured). These contain an electric squib and two pyrotechnic candles capable of causing serious injury to the unwary. As the ordnance is likely to have come from Hebrides Range exercises, Island News asked QinetiQ where their responsibility lies in clearing the beaches of dangerous flotsam. A QinetiQ spokesman said: “QinetiQ makes every effort to control and monitor ordnance deposits and carry out very regular sweeps and ordnance checks within the range
boundary area, Ardivachar point to Grogarry. “On a monthly basis QinetiQ also carry out further extended beach sweeps as far south as Howmore River and north to Liniclate. QinetiQ works hard to understand and minimise its impact on the environment and to ensure all appropriate procedures and actions are in place to safeguard the local area.” When asked about live ordnance found recently on Baleshare beach, North Uist, he said: “Anything outside of that is the responsibility of the MoD in terms of doing sweeps to check. “Of course anything that is found by the MoD will in the majority of times be dealt with by us on their
behalf as it makes more sense as we are on site and saves them having to send someone specifically.” The public are asked not to touch anything suspicious on the beach but instead to call 999 and ask for the coastguard.
Seaweed Required We require a supply of freshly cut knotted wrack (ascophyllum nodosum) for our new seaweed processing factory based on North Uist. If you wish to be involved in cutting seaweed please register your interest with us whether you wish to start immediately or in the future. Training will be offered. We hold some tools and equipment in stock. Phone 01876 500267 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Visit the factory at Crogaire Quarry
island news & ADVERTISER - October 2013 Issue 19
Access Panel asks shoppers to respect Creagorry disabled parking Uist Disability Access Panel (UDAP) is tackling thoughtless parking at Creagorry Co-op this month. Two disabled spaces are marked out in front of Creagorry Co-op, but as UDAP member Jackie Warner reports, they’re often taken up by cars without blue badges. October, the weather is wet and windy and Judith is going to the Co-op to do her shopping. She only goes once a fortnight. She arrives at the Creagorry Branch of Co-op, finds an empty space and parks her car. She prepares herself to battle the ‘elements.’ She carefully opens the car door and eases herself out. Gathers her things and proceeds to the shop. It’s a good 90 paces to the main shop door and this takes her three minutes and all the energy she can muster. To most people, there is nothing outstanding about this scenario. Shopping has to be done and we just get on with it. You might be forgiven for thinking that maybe Judith is elderly, a bit slow on her feet, a frail diminutive woman who only comes out every two weeks because she
likes to keep herself to herself. You would be wrong. Judith is 28, a bright, vivacious, independent woman. Judith has multiple sclerosis. She uses crutches to walk and at times, a wheelchair. When Judith arrived at the shop, rather than being able to park in one of the two allocated disabled places she was forced to park in the main car park. This is because a total of nine cars were parked in those designated disabled parking places. None of these vehicles displayed a blue disabled parking badge. The reason she had to ease herself out of her car was because she could only open her car door partway as somebody had parked next to her whilst she was
preparing herself for battle. She could not open the door wide in order to swing her legs out and use her door to help raise her to her feet. She was forced to walk those 90 paces to the shop because, unfortunately she was unable to get her wheelchair out of the car due to lack of space. The reason Judith only comes out once a fortnight is because the physical strength needed to complete this mundane, everyday task is overwhelming. It takes her two weeks to re-gather her strength to face the ordeal once more.
The ‘elements’ that Judith battles with are: Thoughtlessness by able-bodied people who are not prepared to park in the main car park, take an extra 37 seconds to walk to and from their car to the shop. Yes 37 seconds! For a disabled person it might take them five minutes to walk those extra 90 steps. The prospect of extra walking might be so overwhelming that they don’t even bother and
instead go to a different shop who caters better for the disabled. It is up to all of us, as drivers, to make a conscious decision as to where we park when we arrive at the store. Please be mindful that the places at the front of the store are for blue badge holders.
UDAP secretary Deborah MacVicar adds: “There are many people in the community who do not have a blue badge, but who would benefit from being left a space nearer the door at the Co-op. Maybe it would be kind of us all to think of the older people in our community and others less able-bodied than ourselves before we park so near to the door.” UDAP is looking for new volunteers. Their next meeting is the AGM on Wednesday November 13 at 11am in The Bunker, East Camp, Balivanich, all welcome.
Uist Disability Access Panel
NEEDS YOU We try to help anyone with any access issues in the Uists If you are interested in joining us contact: UDAP c/o Tagsa ofﬁces orc/o 23 Winﬁeld Way, Balivanich Isle of Benbecula, HS7 5LH
Tel: 01870 603233
Over the course of our three days in Uist, the team engaged with a number of enthusiastic locals who were more than happy to sign up as Living it Up members and contribute their thoughts on the initial designs ideas for the Experienced Guides and tell us what other sessions they would like us to provide.
Living it Up is an exciting new opportunity for the people of the Western Isles to shape how their health & wellbeing can be better supported.
Following on from this the team are returning the first week in October with the following sessions:
What keeps you well… in South Uist 1pm on Wed 2nd October at Cothrom Centre
Experienced Guide on COPD 10am on Thur 3rd October at Claddach Kirkibost The Living it Up community engagement team recently travelled to Uist with the Western Isles Project Manager, Mary Sinclair, to meet with local people from the community and talk about Living it Up and the development of one of the LiU tools called Experienced Guides.
Living it Up visits to the Uists early September
Living it Up aims to: Encourage people to be healthy and happy
Support people with long term conditions and those that care for them
Connect people with their local community
Provide local links to useful information, products and service
Experienced Guide on Dementia 1.30pm on Thur 3rd October at Claddach Kirkibost
How to get involved:
Join Living it Up and let us know your views
Join Living it Up and test out some of our features
Let us know something great about your community
Come along to one of our pop up events or workshops
To find out more email email@example.com or call Mary Sinclair on 07824 321211 or go to www.livingitup.org.uk
Experience guide workshop kindly hosted by Tagsa Uibhist
October 2013 Issue 19 - island news & ADVERTISER
Concerns about Westford Inn sent to licensing board
Paible is councilâ€™s choice of site for new North Uist school The council says after extensive investigation of an initial 11 sites, whittled down to three, Paible emerged as the best option. It would cost an extra ÂŁ400,000 to build at Clachan, the council said, and a site near Carinish Hall was ruled out as too deep in peat. The council owns the current Paible school site (pictured). The education department is proposing that all three North Uist schools, Carinish, Lochmaddy and Paible should be closed from June 2015, with provision at the new school
starting in August 2015. The new school will be built to accommodate 100. CnES Director of Education Peter Carpenter said: â€œThis is a fantastic opportunity to develop the best educational facilities for young people from 0 â€“ P7, providing real opportunities for parents and the community. The proposals build on and enhance existing facilities and provide the best outdoors and environmental experiences for young people.â€? However, CnES might have a fight on their hands to persuade parents of their choice. Lochmaddy parents say they
didnâ€™t fight to save their school from closure with pupils expected to transfer to Paible a few years ago only to have it closed in favour of a new school built in Paible. Carinish parents say they might fight to save their school from closure. The directors of Urachdh Uibhist which runs Saoghal Beag nursery say they fear for the future of the nursery as CnES intends to transfer all pre-school provision to the new school. Saoghal Beag offers a range of pre-school and childcare services, and is open all year
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HHP described the findings as â€˜shocking.â€™ The report was based on 30% of HHP stock and carried out by surveyors David Adamson Partners Ltd of Edinburgh. David Blaney, HHP chairman said: â€œThis report makes sobering reading and shows the extent of the challenge in trying to reduce fuel poverty in the islands. HHP
housing stocks performs significantly better than much of the private sector stock so this is not an issue limited to HHP tenants. â€œWe will be doing all we can to lobby on behalf of our tenants for assistance to deal with the scandal of fuel poverty on our islands and amongst our tenants in particular.â€? HHP investment spokesman Kevin Paterson said fuel poverty in the islands is driven by factors outwith HHPâ€™s control. He said: â€œLow incomes, the longer heating season, the price of fuel and higher tariffs in the islands are huge issues.â€? HHP has written to Ofgem concerning the higher tariffs and sent them a copy of the report.
Road improvements in South Uist and Harris
North Uist Community Council has written to the licensing board expressing their concern about the situation. The complaints centre around the pubâ€™s failure to comply with opening hours, shutting at will and other issues like tourists being refused food. Local councillor Neil Beaton led a community campaign three years ago to try and persuade the licensee Elizabeth Jarvis and her partner Alasdair MacKay to improve their service and comply with regular opening hours. The couple responded by placing a notice in the local shop asking residents to supply cash and unpaid labour to help redecorate the place. Mr Beaton said: â€œWestford is the only pub in North Uist, and it used to be a thriving hub for residents and tourists. Now it is spoiling the tourist trade and giving the place a bad name.Â Iâ€™ve had numerous complaints from B&B owners about Westfordâ€™s appalling service. It offends the ethic of Highland hospitality. â€œNow I hear Westford is closed until next season, the excuse given to a customer was that they ran out of beer and it wasnâ€™t worth ordering any more in.â€? There was no answer from the Inn when IN&A telephoned for a response.
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Complaints about the service provided by Westford Inn, North Uist have been lodged with CnES Licensing Board.
round from 8.30am to 5.30pm. Costing the council ÂŁ28,000 per annum, this is the best value for money invested, the directors maintain. Public consultation meetings are at Lochmaddy school on Tuesday October 29 at 7.30pm, Paible school on Wednesday October 30 at 5.30pm and Carinish school on Wednesday October 30 at 7.30pm. The consultation period runs to 5pm on Friday November 22 with submissions invited in writing to the Comhairle in Stornoway or by email to school firstname.lastname@example.org
Shocking extent of fuel poverty among Outer Hebrides tenants A report commissioned by Hebridean Housing Partnership (HHP) shows that 61% of their tenants are in fuel poverty, and 22% in extreme fuel poverty.
Neil Beaton in front of the Westford Inn.
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Two lengths of carriageway in South Uist and Harris currently being dualled are nearing completion. On the A867 at Kildonan, South Uist a stretch of almost 1km (pictured) is currently being surfaced with completion expected next month. The works cost in the
region of ÂŁ869,000 and are being carried out by local contractors MacInnes Bros. On the A859 just outside Leverburgh Harris, Breedon Hebrides is carrying out the work on an 800m stretch of road in a project costing ÂŁ918,000. The work is expected to be complete next month.
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island news & ADVERTISER - Octoberber 2013 Issue 19
for young Uist entrepreneur A South Uist student has been singled out for special praise in a national competition for young entrepreneurs. Iain MacPhee, 14, of Kilpheder blew away judges of the Tenner Challenge, a nationwide competition where students are given £10 on May 1 as start-up capital to get a profitable business off the ground in the space of a month. He was so narrowly pipped at the post by the winners of the competition that the organisers decided to award him a Highly Commended certificate in the 12 - 19 years
Iain MacPhee with his BukPal book rest.
Most Inspiring Individual category. The award not only recognised Iain’s product, BukPal, a flat-pack book rest, but his outstanding presentation skills and evident business acumen. Students from Sgoil Lionacleit were the first ever in the Western Isles to enter the competition, and had to present their idea to a Dragon’s Den style panel of local business people for appraisal. The challenge enabled Iain to scratch in itch he’d had for some time- he’d always wanted to start his own business, and combine his entrepreneurial drive with an interest in design engineering. The breakthrough came when his S3 guidance teacher Mrs Campbell asked him what he wanted to achieve by the end of third year. When she heard Iain’s ambition of wanting to start a business, and his ideas for designing a book stand, particularly for use in the kitchen, “she sat forward in her seat,” Iain said. “She came in the next week with a rustic, home-made painted piece of plywood book
Lynne MacMillan and Gordon MacDonald of Include-Us present Iain with his special commendation certificate.
rest, and told me she wanted me to do something with it. She said a friend had given it to her years ago, she wanted to give the design to me because she thought I could do something with it and develop it into a business.”
Iain’s current range of BukPals.
At that point Iain met Gordon MacDonald and Lynne MacMillan of Include-Us who had been running entrepreneur sessions in schools to bring out the ideas and initiative in island youngsters, and who now wanted teams to take part in the Tenner Challenge. Working on his own, Iain quickly forged ahead with his book rest, now redesigned by Paul MacInnes of Eriskay and rebranded as BukPal. He named his business Io Designs after Io, a tiny moon which orbits the giant planet Jupiter, “to symbolise that the big manufacturers will have to be wary of the young and innovative companies which orbit them,” Iain said. He went on to make a flyer with help from local photographer Ian Smith, and the Include-Us team sent it round the school and Comhairle, netting Iain some 40 BukPal orders. “This was all within a week of sending out the flyer,” Iain said. “For the Tenner Project I was able to jot down how much money I made in turnover, the profit, and pricing, and went into the Dragon’s Den to face local business people. “I was so nervous, but I was one of three projects put forward for selection to the Tenner Challenge national finals which were to happen in London. “In case that would happen, Gordon and Lynne helped me file for a trademark and patent as soon as we could.” A couple of weeks later Iain heard that although he hadn’t made it to London, the judges wanted to offer him the special commendation.
An ideal Christmas present, BukPal will be featured in next month’s Island News & Advertiser as a special reader offer
He said: “I was in the top ten for most inspiring individual out of 25,000 teenagers from the UK, so when I got that I was just so happy. To know that someone noticed your hard work and thought you had something, it just makes you feel really good.” Iain has now developed BukPal in acrylic, pine and plywood and in a range of colours. His intellectual property has been protected with a trademark and patent. He has plans to carry on developing his BukPal range with a series of branded kitchen accessories. A more immediate goal is to raise enough money to visit his much-missed older brother Allan, currently working in Australia. Gordon MacDonald of Include-Us said Iain’s enterprise skills stood out from the start. He said: “Iain was fantastic to mentor, he is totally dedicated, so switched on, with such a clear vision of what he wants to achieve, and he’s achieved it.”
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October 2013 Issue 19 - island news & ADVERTISER
Uist RAF at Battle of Britain parade RAF personnel from Remote Radar Head, Benbecula took part in the Battle of Britain Parade and Service of Remembrance in Stornoway last month. It was the first time since RAF Stornoway closed in 1998 that there had been an RAF presence in the parade. In 30 knot winds and driving rain the Parade Commander, Sgt Rob Stevens formed up the parade, which included members of the Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA), the Merchant Navy Association and local Air Training Corps (ATC) cadets. Bearing the standards of RAFA, the
Royal British Legion, Merchant Navy Association and ATC, the parade marched through the town to Martin’s Memorial church where the standard bearers provided an Honour Guard at the entrance to the church. The service was delivered by Rev Tommy MacNeil. Also in attendance were the Lord Lieutenant of the Western Isles, Sandy Matheson, Alasdair Allan MSP and Wing Commander Munro and Sqn Ldr Armistead from the
Highland Wing ATC HQ. Afterwards the parade reformed outside the church and marched back to the Royal British Legion club where refreshments were provided. The Benbecula personnel also joined RAFA members, and cadets from 1731 Isle of Lewis Squadron to collect for the RAFA Wings Appeal on the streets of Stornoway. Despite the weather and a quiet town they were able to collect no less than £1100.
Honour Guard at the entrance to Martin’s Memorial Church.
Drs. Macleod Memorial
The site ready and waiting for the plaque.
A stainless steel plaque inscribed to the memory of North Uist doctors Alexander, Julia and John Macleod will be unveiled on Saturday October 12 at Banca Mòr, Claddach Illeray. A site next to the Air Ambulance memorial has been prepared for the plaque, which is formed like a wave and inscribed in both Gaelic and English. It will stand more than 5ft tall on a plinth of black granite. Margaret MacQuarrie, who nursed alongside all three doctors, has been a driving force behind the project to honour their tireless service.
Harris Mountain Festival success This year’s Harris Mountain Festival was the best yet, despite some unsettled weather, writes North Harris Trust ranger Matt Watts. We had plenty of guided
walks including a couple of superb hill walks and a golden eagle walk. The walks culminated in an 11mile hike through the heart of North Harris with great company
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and spirits that weren’t dampened by the rain coming in through the afternoon. Cameron McNeish gave an inspiring evening talk on John Muir, with a rousing call for a “champion” of wild land in Scotland. Laurie Campbell gave a fascinating presentation of some of his recent work, and Chris Townsend retold the story of his trek along the Scottish Watershed. The powerboat tours of Loch Seaforth, provided by the Scaladale Centre, were a personal highlight. We were treated to sightings of Sea Eagles, Golden Eagles, seals and dolphins, and a new perspective of the Harris hills. At least 25 people came to Harris specifically for the festival, demonstrating that we’re meeting our aim of boosting tourism at the end of the season. We had around 570 people attend all events, well up from last year’s figure of 450. If you’ve got any ideas for next year’s festival please get in touch by emailing info@harrismountainfestiv al.com.
She said she has been overwhelmed by the generosity and practical support of the local community in bringing the project to fruition. She said: “The plinth will be erected by local joiner Arthur Morrison, landscaping was done by Iain MacPhail, Angus MacQuarrie and Roddy Macleod did the fencing, John Allan MacLellan provided the top soil, John MacDonald of Uist
Parcels brought the plinth and plaque over and will be helping Iain MacDonald Baleshare put up loudspeakers, MacInnes Bros supplied all the materials for the site improvements - I can’t praise or thank everyone enough.” The unveiling is open to the public. Saturday October 12, Banca Mòr, Claddach Illeray at 2pm. Please note parking is at Clachan Church with buses supplied to take visitors to the site. The Macleod family has great pleasure in inviting everyone to refreshments at the church afterwards.
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island news & ADVERTISER - October 2013 Issue 19
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Sollas appliances wrecked as transformer burns out
Margaret Browning relied on kettles for hot water.
A faulty transformer left several houses in the Sollas district of North Uist without power for a day, and blew thousands of pounds worth of electrical equipment in residents’ homes. Scottish and Southern Electricity (SSE) replaced the transformer and described the incident as ‘an unusual set of circumstances’ where the transformer had burned out and caused a high voltage spike, affecting anything with a printed circuit board. They sent an engineer from their mobile workshop Haste to investigate the damage and repair what appliances he could. One of the worst affected residents was Margaret Browning (pictured) who lost her heating and hot water for several days, and suffered more than £1,000 of damage to her electrical appliances. She also cancelled a scheduled break on the mainland shortly after the incident while the damage was being repaired. Miss Browning said: “It took days to find out the full extent of all the damage to my appliances but it fried my combi/microwave oven, TV, Freeview box, breadmaker, internet connection, the temperature control on a shower, and the timer on the washing machine. “For a time I had to boil three kettles to get enough hot water.” Five other properties were affected, with the heating going off in Taigh Sgire community centre, a brand new printer blown in Croileagan Dhunsgalair, and other individuals losing equipment like Sky boxes, Wiis, shower pumps and freezers. A spokeswoman from SSE said: “We are working closely with individual residents who have asked for appliance inspections. We are in the process of agreeing satisfactory solutions. We apologise to customers inconvenienced by the fault, and thank them for their patience.”
October 2013 Issue 19 - island news & ADVERTISER
Funding in place for Lochmaddy pontoons
Seonaidhâ€™s radio days A two week intensive course in Inverness this summer saw Sgoil Lionacleit student Seonaidh MacLeod experiencing all the thrills and spills of radio production. CNM chairman Gus Macaulay and Lord Wallace in Orkney.
Construction of 26 pontoons in Lochmaddy Bay is set to begin in the spring after a funding package of ÂŁ380,000 was agreed last month by The Crown Estate. The pontoons are phase one of the flagship marina project of Uistâ€™s Society of the Sea, Comann Na Mara (CNM). CNM piloted and was the first in Britain to sign a Local Management Agreement (LMA) with The Crown Estate earlier this year. LMAs give not-for-profit organisations access to areas of the foreshore and seabed, with specialised support from The Crown Estate to develop proposals for projects that will deliver direct benefits to the local community.
The pontoon development will open up Lochmaddy Bay not only to yachts but cruise liners, offering the opportunity of a significant boost to the island economy. The funding package was announced by Lord Wallace of Tankerness in the Our Islands Our Future conference in Kirkwall, and by Crown Estate Scottish commissioner Gareth Baird at the organisationâ€™s annual reception in Edinburgh a few days later. Lord Wallace said: â€œComann Na Mara have been trailblazers in terms of the LMA which has led to this very
significant investment, which Iâ€™m sure will be benefit to the whole community.â€? Mr Baird said: â€œLMAs give communities the opportunity to manage and develop areas of coastline, opening up opportunities to expand marine tourism, already worth ÂŁ300m a year to Scotland economy.â€? CNM chairman Gus Macaulay said: â€œThis financial commitment from The Crown Estate allows the project to commence, and builds on the close working relationship between our two organisations.â€?
Possible protection for three Hebridean marine sites Three sites in Outer Hebridean seas are being considered for Marine Protected Area (MPA) designation. Butt of Lewis and the Shiant East Bank in The Minch may after
The Monach Isles off the west coast of North Uist, the Eye Peninsula to the
Invitation for Expressions of Interest
Hebridean Way The project partners welcome expressions of interest from suitably skilled contractors for the construction of footpaths and associated infrastructure which will form part of the Hebridean Way in North Uist for the following packages;
The Hebridean Way Project funded by Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar, The European Regional Development Fund and Scottish Natural Heritage aims to establish a longdistance walking route from Vatersay to the Butt of Lewis.
Locheport to Carinish (New Route Length = approx. 2.7km) Locheport to Langass (New Route Length = approx. 3.3km)
Expressions of interest should be submitted by post to;
Scottish Natural Heritage Stilligarry Isle of South Uist HS8 5RS Or by email -
Alastair.MacDonald@snh.gov.uk All expressions of interest must be received by 4pm on 18th October 2013.
consultation form part of a network of MPAs required by the Scottish Government to meet its contribution to UK statutory international requirements. A team from SNH and Marine Scotland Science is currently surveying the seabed of the Shiant East Bank to find out more about the wildlife it sustains. Researchers aboard the Marine Scotland research vessel Alba na Mara are using underwater cameras and taking samples from the seabed. They will be focusing on the large banks and mounds in the Minch which are formed by the strong currents providing a habitat for a wide variety of wildlife including the Northern Sea Fan (pictured) and Sponge communities. Laura Steel, project manager for SNH said: â€œWe know that large banks and mounds like the Shiant East
Northern Seafans. ÂŠ SNH
Bank are often important spawning and nursery areas for fish, vital for the productivity of our seas. The information gathered during the survey will help us decide whether this area will be proposed as a Marine Protected Area (MPA) in 2014.â€? The Black Guillemot has been chosen to support the proposal to extend the Monach Islandâ€™s existing Special Protection Area status into an MPA. The islands support an estimated 820 Black Guillemots, approximately 2.2% of the UK breeding population. The Eye Peninsula to the Butt of Lewis MPA is proposed for the protection of Rissoâ€™s Dolphin and a large population of sand eels, creatures vital for the survival of a number of seabirds including puffins.
Seonaidh, 15, from South Seonaidh MacLeod. Uist was one of two Uist students to take part in Radio GoNORTH, based in the Ironworks, part of the Inverness GoNORTH festival. The opportunity came to him through Include Us, the Comhairleâ€™s programme to encourage young people into work or enterprise on the islands. Seonaidh, who plays piano, guitar and accordion had already done some sound engineering at home with a band of fellow musicians, and was able to develop these skills by recording live sessions with Radio GoNorth. He said: â€œThere was quite a lot of pressure but the people on Radio GoNORTH were brilliant.â€? Seonaidh followed up his hectic fortnight in Inverness with a further weekâ€™s work experience (again organised by Gordon MacDonald of Include Us) with Radio Nan Gael in Stornoway. He said: â€œThings went wrong with equipment failure in the middle of an interview, so I saw how they had to put on music to give themselves three minutes in which to sort the problem out.â€? Seonaidh is hoping to do an engineering apprenticeship, but also has in mind the thought of going to college to do sound engineering. The radio experience also fired him with an enthusiasm for live presenting. He said: â€œI built on my skills and learned a lot. I hope to do Radio GoNORTH again next year.â€? The other successful graduate of Radio GoNORTH was Chloe Hogg, 20, from Benbecula. Chloe has gone on to Reid Kerr College in Paisley to do radio production.
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island news & ADVERTISER - October 2013 Issue 19
OUR ISLANDS Now or never for more island power, conference agrees The first conference in the Our Islands our Future campaign was held in Kirkwall last month. It was hailed as ‘a major milestone’ on the road to delivering more power to Scotland’s three island authorities. The time is right, everyone seemed to agree. The event brought together councillors from Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar, Orkney Islands Council, Shetland Islands Council, MPs, MSPs, academics and representatives from education, the private and third sectors to talk about how more power could be devolved to the islands, referendum or no referendum. The time is right, everyone seemed to agree from which ever side of the independence fence they were on, to make a historic, once in a generation move to stake a claim on the riches of the territorial waters surrounding the islands, to assume closer control of their own affairs. One size doesn’t fit all, the conference also agreed and a new buzzword was born: ‘asymmetry’, that is to say what suits Shetland or Orkney or the Western Isles may not suit the other authorities, and each authority should be free to use their additional powers in the ways they deem best.
However there may be things which the islands have in common and where joint policy might be beneficial. How this might work will be the result of future discussions. Local Government minister Derek Mackay said a ‘proposition’ would emerge after the series of six meetings of the Island Areas Ministerial Working Group in a year’s time (after the Referendum). Constitutionally, there is nothing to stop the islands assuming those powers now, asserted Lord Wallace of Tankerness. The Scottish archipelagos could- and should- have a special place in Europe, with direct involvement in Brussels policy-making, the conference heard from several speakers, including Jean-Didier Hache of the Islands Commission of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions. He argued this passionately, and from the standpoint of one who has a home in Benbecula. He said: “You are not breaking into new ground. The majority of island regions in Europe already have some kind of special status or autonomy- the Scottish islands are something of an exception.” A presentation by Jörgen Pettersson a member of parliament from the Åland islands, a self-governed part of Finland since 1922, revealed an inspiring model of autonomy and provided a talking point that was referred to again and again in the conference.
HOW THE COUNCIL LEADERS SUMMED IT UP Steven Heddle, ORKNEY I am even more convinced now that we are doing the right thing and at the right time. The merit of more local decision making in a manner that suits and respects the distinct circumstances was endorsed by everyone who spoke, academics and politicians of various hues. For us this means we must have greater control of the factors that affect
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process will begin with an extensive consultation at grass roots level.
Gary Robinson, SHETLAND This debate must move on, and the
conference has given us the mandate to raise the bar even higher for our communities. A theme throughout the conference has been ‘now is the time’ - we all agree. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our islands, and we will not shirk from the challenge.
Angus Campbell, CnES
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our economies, so we can improve life for everybody that lives in our islands. Key to this are powers over marine developments, and influence with regard our position and opportunities within Europe. The question arises as to how far should we aspire to take this, after the inspirational contributions of our friends from Faroe and Åland. I believe the reasonable and justified stance we currently take to additional powers is still valid, but now to paraphrase Jorgen Petterson, we cannot afford to not consider greater autonomy going forward.
We are putting a challenge to government at all levels: get on with implementing what you can now to achieve the aims of Our Islands Our Future. We fully accept that with increased powers comes increased responsibility, but we are accountable, we are responsible, we are answerable. We will empower our communities, and that
l to right Gary Robinson, Angus Campbell, Steven Heddle take a break at the conference.
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October 2013 Issue 19 - island news & ADVERTISER
OUR FUTURE? West Coast islands out in the cold The ‘Our Islands Our Future’ campaign has been conceived to apply only to Scotland’s three island authorities. No way in for islands like Iona.
The effect is to leave the 25 west coast islands with their 16,000 population out in the cold, as they are under either Highland or Argyll & Bute councils. Argyll & Bute councillors Roddy McCuish and Robin Currie raised the situation forcefully during the conference, but were only offered consultation on an ‘issue by issue basis.’ Mr McCuish told IN&A: “We are 100% behind the initiative, but it should be All Our
Islands, All Our Futures. Every issue that applies to the Western Isles applies to us. “We’re not going around with a begging bowl, our islands make a massive contribution in terms of whisky, renewables and tourism. Our voice would make the campaign stronger. We’re not even invited to the Island Ministerial Working Group, but we’re going to continue to lobby and knock at the door.”
Reflections from others who attended the conference Archie Campbell NORTH UIST & BENBECULA COUNCILLOR
John Angus Mackay CHIEF EXECUTIVE BÒRD NA ` GAIDHLIG
It was an enjoyable and interesting conference, but it’s one thing to feel buoyed up by it and another to reflect back on what it might mean. The most important thing now is to get information back into the community about what the Comhairle might be planning, what it means to work together and assume more power. The idea is a work in progress at the moment, but as with any change, the people need to have an understanding of what’s proposed, and I see the community councils as the best way of feeding back into the community.
I found it heartening to how well the island authorities worked together at the conference. But I wondered what my neighbours and crofters would make of it, and I thought rather than local authorities being told to make a strong and robust case to Government, Westminster and Europe should at least come half way to meet them, and should be represented on the Islands Ministerial Working Group. After all, the islands are speaking from the standpoint of having 80% of UK territorial waters, 50% of the fish, 80% of the oil and gas. They should be supported, not asked to produce something that civil servants can go through with a fine-tooth comb.
Eoin MacNeil VOLUNTARY ACTION BARRA & VATERSAY It was interesting to see the island authorities happy and willing to work together. They all feel they have a lot of positives to work with in terms of natural resources in particular. But I think it will be a long time before we see anything definite come from this. It’s not clear what the next stages are. It was almost like a conference to confirm the idea.
Uisdean Robertson NORTH UIST & BENBECULA COUNCILLOR It’s a great initiative and I congratulate the three leaders. But as promised, there must be further dialogue with the communities. We must make sure that what ever proceeds from this doesn’t all come from the centre, and that it’s understood that in the Uists for example we have issues specific to our islands. Proper dialogue must be established with the communities outside Stornoway.
NEW FEATURE The Month in the North
If the Northern and Western Isles are to draw together more closely in future, we need to know more about each other, our common issues and how we deal with them. From next month Island News & Advertiser will bring Outer Hebrides readers a digest of news from Orkney and Shetland, courtesy of their local press, to give a flavour of the lives of our northerly neighbours.
island news & ADVERTISER - October 2013 Issue 19
Gàidhlig/Gaelic Gaidhlig/Gaelic Ceum ùr ann am Foillseachadh Rinneadh adhartas beag a thaobh foillseachadh na Gàidhlig o chionn ghoirid ann an Glaschu, nuair a chaidh cùrsa sgilean-deasachaidh trì latha ùr a chumail. Thàinig deichnear còmhla a deifir cheàrnaidhean - à Uibhist, Steòrnabhagh, Inbhir Nis, Dùn Èideann agus Glaschu fhèin – gus meòrachadh air cuspairean gràmair agus cànain, le cuideam sònraichte air leabhraichean Gàidhlig agus cuid dhe na ceisteandeasachaidh a tha nan cois.
Maoilios Caimbeul Bàrd ‘s Sgrìobhadair. Myles Campbell Poet and Writer
Fhuaireadh stiùireadh sgileil bhon eòlaiche Ruairidh MacIlleathain a tha stèidhichte ann an Inbhir Nis, agus a dh’ullaich an cùrsa an co-bhonn le Comhairle nan Leabhraichean. Mar phàirt dhen chùrsa ùr, thathar a’ comhradh le ùghdar stèidhichte. An triop seo, b’ e Maoilios Caimbeul às an Eilean Sgitheanach a bh’ ann. Tha Maoilios air cliù a chosnadh dha fhèin tro iomadach leabhar; eadar bàrdachd, ficsean, neo-fhicsean, stuthan teagaisg agus leabhraichean - cloinne. Mhìnich e mar a bha foillsichearan a’ deiligeadh ris a’ chuid sgrìobhaidh thairis air nam bliadhnachan - GAIRM, Coiscéim, Poylgon, New Native Press, Diehard,Acair, Stòrlann agus CLÀR mar eisimpleir – agus mar a bha iad uile an sàs ann le na dòighean aca fhèin. B’ e sealladh feumail dha-rireabh a bh’ ann. Dhearbh Maoilios gu soilleir – an dà chuid tro phuingean sònraichte agus le bhith ag innse naidheachdan beaga eibhinn mu na leabhraichean aige - nach eil eachdraidh deasachaidh na Gàidhlig, bho linn gu linn, idir cho sìmplidh ’s a chanadh cuid. Fhuaireadh beachdan làidir bhon fheadhainn a bh’ air a’ chùrsa. Bha deasbad beòthail ann. Chòrd an cùrsa riutha. Tha Comhairle nan Leabhraichean an dòchas cùrsaichean mar seo a chumail a h-uile bliadhna. Aig an dearbh àm, tha sinn mothachail gu bheil grunn fheumalachdan eile aig luchd-deasachaidh. Chan e a-mhàin cùrsaichean goirid a tha dhìth orra. Ged a tha ar cànan a’ crìonadh, tha beagan dòchais ann fhathast: tha sgrìobhadairean sgaiteach de gach seòrsa againn san 21mh Linn. Neo, mar a chanadh Maoilios Caimbeul fhèin,“chan eil sinn buileach marbh fhathast”. Cho fad ’s a tha feum air sgilean-deasachaidh, nì Comhairle nan Leabhraichean an dìcheall cothroman ùra mar seo a chur air dòigh.
John Storey Comhairle nan Leabhraichean
A TRIP TO UIST
GAELIC PUBLISHING ADVANCE Gaelic publishing took a step forward recently with the launch in Glasgow of a new three day Gaelic editorial skills course. Ten budding and experienced Gaelic editors from Uist, Stornoway, Inverness, Edinburgh and Glasgow itself – came together to examine language and grammar, with a particular focus on Gaelic books and some of their associated editorial issues. Participants received a refresher in current (and previous) orthographic practices from Roddy MacLean, based in Inverness, who developed the course in conjunction with the Gaelic Books Council. A key component of the new course is a session with an established Gaelic author. On this occasion, Myles Campbell from Skye did the honours. Myles has a reputation as a highly respected, published Gaelic author of poetry, non-fiction, fiction, language learning materials and books for children. He explained how various Gaelic publishers - GAIRM, Coiscéim, Poylgon, New Native Press, Diehard, Acair, Stòrlann and CLÀR, for example – dealt with his material over the years, and how they each had their own particular editorial approach. This was an invaluable perspective. Myles’ testimony – by way of specific examples and amusing short anecdotes – demonstrated that the history of Gaelic editorial practice is a complex one. Despite hearsay, no particular Gaelic editorial ‘era’ outshines any other. Participants provided strong opinions during and after the course. There was plenty of debate. They enjoyed the three days. The Gaelic Books Council aims to offer this and other courses on an annual basis. It is also recognised that Gaelic editors have differing needs. Short courses are just one way of developing skills. Gaelic might be in a fragile state, but there is still some hope: we have a range of vibrant Gaelic authors in the 21st Century. Or, as Myles Campbell says in his poem ‘Buileach’, “We’re not quite dead yet.” As long as there is a demand for editorial skills, the Gaelic Books Council will continue to encourage new development within the sector.
by Rachel Rennie Hello everyone!
Hiort mu Dheireadh Thall / St Kilda at Last
Air Turas a Dh’ Uibhist Hello a h-uile duine! ‘S mise Raonaid Rennie. Rugadh ‘s thogadh mi ann an Glaschu agus an dèidh dhomh treanadh nam thidsear chaidh mi dhan Ròimh a theagasg Beurla airson bliadhna mas fhìor. Ach bha sin bho chionn dà fhichead bliadhna air ais ‘s tha mi ann fhathast? ‘S e àite teth a th’ anns an Ròimh as tsamhradh agus mar as blàithe a tha i a’ fàs aig deireadh a’ Cheitein ‘s ann a tha mo smuaintean a’ tionndadh gu àite air a bheil meas mòr agam – taobh an iar Alba – ‘s tha mi a’ gabhail fadachd gus am faigh mi ann. Nuair a bha mi beag chuir mi seachad iomadach samhradh air Eilean Ì ‘s na heileanan a-staigh ach bha e 1995 mus d’ fhuair mi dhan na h-eileanan a-muigh – agus ‘s ann an uair sin a thuit mi ann an gaol le Uibhist a Tuath. ‘S e na dathan ‘s mar a tha an t-adhar ged a bhiodh e soilleir no sgòthach a’ tighinn ris a’ mhuir, ged a bhiodh i socair no fiadhaich. Seo ìomhaigh a shàsaicheas mi air an latha as teotha san Ròimh. Ach am-bliadhna, air latha san Lùnastail, cho teth ‘s cho soilleir ri gin sa Mhuir Mheadhan-thìreach, rinn mi rudeigin a chuir mi romham bho chionn fhada ‘s chuir mi mo chasan air Hiort: rudeigin nach diochuimhnich mi, còmhla ri mo charaidean à Uibhist a Tuath Anna ‘s Jamie Quarm ‘s Daibhidh Hood a th’air a bhith a’ tighinn a dh’Uibhist iomadach bliadhna. Mo thaing do Seumas ‘s Seonaidh bho Sea Harris a bha an dà chuid càirdeil ‘s proifeiseanta ‘s a thug sinn ann ‘s air ais dhachaigh gu sàbhailte, ann am bàta le ainm gu math freagarrach ‘The Enchanted Isle’. Co-dhiù, tha mi ‘n dòchas gun sgrìobh mi pìos gun chuideachadh sam bith an athbhliadhna. Bha dhà no trì leasain Gàidhlig agam le Eairdsidh Caimbeul a tha airidh air bonn airson a bhith foighidneach leam,‘s mi a’ feuchainn ris a’ chànan eireachdail seo a bhruidhinn. Chi mi sibh an ath-bhliadna,‘s cumaibh mòine air an teine.
My name is Rachel Rennie. I was born and brought up in Glasgow and after teacher training college went out to Italy to teach English for a year. That was the plan anyway but I’m still there 40 years on! Rome is a hot place in summer and as temperatures start to rise around the end of May my thoughts turn to my great love – Scotland’s west coast – and I can’t wait to escape to it. As a child I spent many summers on Iona and the Inner Isles but it wasn’t until 1995 that I made my first trip to the Outer Isles - and that’s when my love affair with North Uist began. The light, the meeting of clear or cloudy sky with calm or roaring sea is an image to hold in my mind’s eye to sustain me on the hottest of Roman days. But this year, on an August day worthy of the hottest, clearest and sunniest the Mediterranean has to offer, I fulfilled a lifetime ambition and came ashore on St.Kilda: an unforgettable experience to share with my fellow travellers, my North Uist friends Anne & Jamie Quarm and veteran Uist visitor David Hood. My thanks to the friendly and truly professional Seumas and John from Sea Harris who ferried us safely there and back on their well-named vessel ‘The Enchanted Isle’. Anyway, I hope to be able to write a piece in Gaelic without any help next year. I had a few lessons with Archie Campbell and who deserves a medal for sitting through my tortuous efforts to produce the sounds of this beautiful language. See you all next year I hope and meantime, keep the peat fires burning!
Tha ar duilleag cunbhalach dà-chànanach Gàidhling ’s Beurla air a thoirt thugaibh le taic bho Bhòrd na Gàidhlig Our regular Gaelic-English page is brought to you with the assistance of Bòrd na Gàidhlig. Deasaiche/Editor: Eairdsidh Caimbeul/Archie Campbell
October 2013 Issue 19 - island news & ADVERTISER
ed up during The beds were open tted it was found that ro the conference and g of e highest yield at 8k seaweed bed had th free potatoes. good-sized, disease-
Blackland research turns received knowledge on its head Researchers attending the 4th Blacklands Conference in Grimsay, North Uist last month said they need to throw the text books out of the window after surprising results from informal crop trials on a Grimsay croft. The Blackland Research Group, consisting of Barbra Harvie (Edinburgh University/Scotland’s Rural College SRUC), Ken Davies(SAC) and Oliver Knox (SRUC) was formed this summer to begin research into the sustainable use of seaweed as fertiliser, and to look at and quantify various aspects of blackland soil health and how to make it more productive. They are working with the Blackland Project based at Kenary. The project was established by Mary Norton to seek ways to bring the wet, acidic soil of the east side of Uist back into the kind of productivity it yielded up to the middle of the last century.
Dana MacPhee shows visitors round Uist Wool Mill.
Uist Wool Mill open day Uist Wool’s new building at Scotvein opened up to the public and drew visitors from across the islands during the Blacklands Conference. Visitors were able to see close-up the array of machinery installed over the past few months and currently being commissioned for the production of local yarns for weavers and crafters. Dana MacPhee, project manager, gave guided tours of the Mill and Wool Centre.
Members of the Blackland Research Group talk at the Blacklands Conference.
A series of lazy beds which had been 8kg of good-sized, disease-free out of production for 100 years were potatoes. The control and liquor-treated beds treated with either nothing at all, rotted seaweed, fresh seaweed or a liquor yielded next to nothing, and the bed treated with fresh seaweed yielded 1.5kg. Oliver Knox said: “We found it exciting because the soil in the fresh and rotted seaweed beds was nutritionally much the same in terms of nitrogen and phosphorus, so the next step is to throw the text books out of the window and find out what it is about the rotted seaweed that is so much more effective. “A number of ‘citizen scientists’ with blackland crofts in Uist Opening up the lazybeds to look at the results of the potato trial. have emerged to help made from seaweed rotting in rainwater and will be doing some more trials for in bathtubs, and planted with potatoes. us. “In the mean time we will be The beds were opened up during the conference, and it was found that rotted carrying out soil samples to analyse seaweed bed had the highest yield at and work out what the differences are.”
Inksters win top award Crofting law experts Inksters Solicitors have won a top award at the Law Awards of Scotland 2013.
Chairman of the Judging Panel, Ros McInnes, Principal Solicitor at the BBC, considered Inksters to be the single most outstanding entrant across all award fields, and awarded the firm the Chairman’s Award. The award comes in a year of major developments and growth for Inksters. The company has opened new offices in Wick and Portree and the acquired a new much larger Glasgow HQ (currently undergoing a complete refurbishment and anticipated to be open for business in November).
Law Awards of Scotland 2013 - Chairman’s Award Presentation.
The award also recognises Inksters’ ongoing commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility such as the recent sponsorship of the Scottish Ensemble’s mini residency to Shetland.
She said: “We were able to run The Scribbler for a few minutes for the first time. It does the first stage in carding the fleece, combing it in one direction. “It was amazing to see it jump into life, and hearing the gentle, soft rhythmic noise it makes. It was quite a moment.” The machinery, from the evocatively named Fear Naught which breaks down the fleece, to the Condenser which cuts the fine web of wool into thin strips for twisting into yarn is still being commissioned and is expected to be up and running by the end of the year. Uist Wool is in the process of appointing the equivalent of four Mill Craft Engineers on placements. Dana said: “These will be our pioneers, people going to be there from the start of production. We want to create a core team to pass on knowledge to more people in future. More training opportunities will be available next year.”
island news & ADVERTISER - October 2013 Issue 19
READY, STEADY, GOOSE Meat from greylag geese shot as part of a controlled programme to reduce their numbers in Uist, could be on sale soon
Cookery writer Fiona Bird
‘dulse is Uist’s secret ingredient.’
Island News & Advertiser asked South Uist cookery writer Fiona Bird to devise some easy and delicious goose recipes for our readers. The Uist Goose Group has applied for permission to sell local greylag goose as part of the SNH Adaptive Management Pilot. If successful, they hope to have the permission in place by late October. Marksmen and local retailers would be able to apply for a licence to sell local greylag geese shot as part of the Pilot. Those who are interested in the sale of geese should contact Johanne Ferguson at SNH, tel. 01870 620238.
Greylag Goose Breasts South Uist Style I find that greylag goose has a tendency to be rather dry – long, slow cooking is my simple recipe for success. Fresh dulse is my umami – Uist’s secret ingredient.
Serves 3-4 What to find: 2 greylag goose breasts 550g 2 tbsps rapeseed oil Medium onion, peeled and diced Stick celery, washed and roughly chopped Large carrot peeled and chopped 20g dulse, washed and chopped (large handful) 200ml white wine Approx 300ml water (to cover) What to do: Heat the oil in a heavy based saucepan and sauté the goose breasts to seal the juices. Add the onion, celery, carrot and dulse. Sauté briefly and then add the wine and water to cover the goose breasts. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 2.5 hours until the goose is tender. (If necessary replenish with extra water during cooking, to ensure that the liquid covers the goose.) Remove the cooked goose breasts and blend the cooking liquid in a food processor. Return the liquid to the pan and boil rapidly, to reduce and thicken. Slice the warm goose breasts and serve with the gravy.
Greylag Goose with Bramble and Plum Sauce Cook the goose breasts as above and serve with a warm plum and bramble sauce. This is a thick sauce, which can be thinned with the goose cooking liquid, if desired.
Greylag Goose and Dulse Hotpot Serves 4 What to find: 20g butter 550g peeled and sliced potatoes Medium onion thinly sliced 50g dulse washed and finely chopped Approx 300ml blitzed goose stock (from recipe one but not reduced) 2 greylag goose breasts thinly sliced and chopped into bite sized pieces (see recipe one) Approx 300ml double cream
Freshly ground black pepper 25g finely grated cheese What to do: Liberally grease a casserole dish (serves 4) with butter. Put half of the sliced potatoes into the greased dish and then layer with the sliced onions and chopped dulse. Pour in the goose stock and then layer with chopped goose. Add the double cream. Season with freshly ground pepper and cover with the remaining slices of potato. Scatter the grated cheese over the potatoes and bake in a low oven 160ºC Gas3 for 1.5 hours until the potato is tender. Increase the temperature to 180ºC Gas4 for the final ten minutes of cooking time to brown the potatoes (or do this under a grill). Do check that the oven isn’t too hot (if the cream splits, turn the heat down) and occasionally use a wooden spoon to push the potato down as it cooks. If the casserole looks too dry add some extra cream or milk and cream mix. ©Fiona Bird #seaweed Fiona is the author of Kid’s Kitchen and The Forager’s Kitchen. She is currently writing a book on cooking with marine algae.
October 2013 Issue 19 - island news & ADVERTISER
guest Local and imported will play a two ts en ud st d an s er m perfor lounge bar. hour session in the
Ceòl agus Curry is set to be a regular term-time feature at Creagorry Music Hub in the Isle of Benbecula Hotel. Music students on the HNC and BA courses available through UHI Lews Castle College have now taken up residence in the hotel, and will be performing in public sessions each Wednesday night in term time. A chef from the Isles Hotel Group will prepare a meat and a vegetarian curry available at £8 per person from 6.30 to 7.30pm. At around 8pm, let the music begin - local and imported guest performers and students will play a two hour session in the lounge bar. The sessions are free, but a bucket will be on hand for donations. The money will be used to help the students go to major events like Celtic Connections, and “get away to do exciting things,” said HNC lecturer Simon Bradley. Mr Bradley said: “We want the students to have as much experience as possible of performing. I’d love to see Creagorry Music Hub becoming a regular place for the public to see the students playing with local and visiting talent.” He added: “An added attraction for the public is that Ulpàn Gaelic classes are available in the college between 5 and 6.30, then people can go down the road for curry and music.” The function room in the hotel will be the location for bigger shows, starting with a concert on October 9 to celebrate the Diamond Anniversary of Lews Castle College. B.A. students will travel to Stornoway to take part in a 60th anniversary concert in the Woodlands Centre.
Songs, spice and students A fusion of east and west promises to make Wednesday nights special in Benbecula.
Some of this year’s HNC students
Diamond Anniversary Concert, Creagorry Music Hub
Wednesday October 9 Curry: 6.30-7.30pm (£8 per person)
Concert in function hall: 8pm – 9:30pm Session in Lounge bar: 9:30pm onward
At the heart of the Community ●
Local meat, fish, eggs and seasonal veg
Friendly service Daily papers
Open Monday to Saturday, 8am to 6pm Back row l-r: Paul Burgess, Roy Campbell, Gilbert Ferrol, James MacVicar, Angus MacInnes, course leader Simon Bradley Front row l-r: Mairi Buxton, Rachel Currie, Darcy Howat, Fiona McAndrew.
Telephone: 01876 510257 Bayhead, North Uist
island news & ADVERTISER - October 2013 Issue 19
Uist’s Donald Ewen is mobile librarian of the year “His visits mean a lot. I like the way he deals with me, he’s helpful and kind and has a good personality. He’s a happy man.” Born and brought up in Hougharry, North Uist, Donald Ewen (56) spent some years on the mainland before returning to work in Johnson’s Quarry, and as a delivery driver for Carnan Stores and Locheport Stores.
huge part of his job is social. Gaelic is his mother tongue, as it is for so many of his customers. They range in age from over 90 to tiny tots, and it’s clear he has a strong bond with them all. He knows who needs a hand up into the van, and who needs help to choose a book. He knows who might need cheering up
Donald Ewen with his award.
His bright yellow library van is a familiar and reassuring sight on Uist roads. There goes Donald Ewen Morrison out on his rounds visiting almost 200 avid readers from Berneray to Eriskay, and dropping in on every local school. Last month he became Mobile Library Champion of the Year 2013, an accolade from the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (Cilip). It’s the first time the award has been made in Scotland. When Island News joined him on his rounds, it was clear his customers thoroughly approved of the award. Mary Campbell, 84, of Uskevagh, Benbecula summed it up when she said:
He’s learned expert reversing into awkward drives with no turning room. He’s even done a First Aid course to ensure that if ever he finds any of his customers in difficulty, he can do his best. The training came in handy when he found one of his customers in South Uist prone at the back door having fallen and hurt her head. Edna Walton said: “He phoned for an ambulance, fetched blankets for me, and kept me talking until it arrived, after which he helped carry the stretcher, he rooted around in the freezer for a bag of frozen peas for me to hold to my head on the long journey to the hospital. A few days later he visited me in the hospital in his own time, to see how I was. “I am sure he would do, and probably has done, as much and more for anybody. Where would we be without him?” Congratulations Donald Ewen!
Donald Ewen with Mary Campbell.
He became Uist’s mobile librarian some ten years ago, and in his quiet way admits it’s the best job in the world. Often rumbling up difficult tracks to isolated spots, Donald Ewen knows that a
with a bit of banter. He loves it when grandchildren home on holiday rush to the van to choose from the children’s section. He knows which bump in the road will send the books flying if he takes it too fast.
Helping customers chose books is an enjoyable part of Donald Ewen’s job.
October 2013 Issue 19 - island news & ADVERTISER
Sir E Scott English Medium
Sir E Scott Gaelic Medium
North Uist’s roaring nineties
Flùraichean Mhàiri Your Florist in Uist Full range from bouquets to wreaths Every occasion catered for ● Delivery from Berneray to Barra ● ●
Three North Uist residents turned 90 this year. IN&A congratulates Iain, Phemie and Lachie, and wishes them many more happy and healthy years to come.
tel: 01878 700320
Iain MacDonald, Cnoc An Torrain
264 Daliburgh, South Uist, HS8 5SS email@example.com www.uistflorist.co.uk
Iain was brought up in the same house in which he now lives with his wife Catriona. He spent his working years busy on the croft and employed in public works. His recipe for a long life is ‘plenty of outdoor work and a healthy diet.’ Iain and Catriona are looking forward to
another important milestone next year - on December 24, 2014, they will have been married for 60 years.
Lachlan Morrison, Grimsay Lachie was born in Yellow Point, Grimsay. The family went to Heisgeir in 1945 and returned to Grimsay in 1949. Lachie says: “Be content with what you have, I was always quite happy with the hand I had been dealt with in life. I grew up with music in the house, my father was musical and we were accustomed to singing songs
from an early age which I think added to a sense of happiness. I didn’t suddenly retire, I gradually worked less and until eventually I stopped. “I am in the fortunate situation of being old and having a younger wife and son doing their best for me in all sorts of ways.”
Phemie Macdonald, Cnoc an Torrain Phemie Macdonald lives in the same house into which she was born in Cnoc an Torrain. She says hard work and contentment are the secrets of her long life.
She has always kept busy with the croft, doing housework and looking after ill people in the household. "I recommend that people look for the Lord's help in whatever circumstances they find themselves," she adds.
Angus B MacNeil MP Constituency Office, 31 Bayhead Street, Stornoway Isle of Lewis, HS1 2DU
All enquiries welcome
Tel 01851 702 272 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
island news & ADVERTISER - October 2013 Issue 19
The Bank of Scotla nd award would make a huge difference to the youn g athletes by helping them attend and compete at nationa l events.
Sport DALIBURGH JOGSCOTLAND 10K RESULTS SEPTEMBER 21, 2013 Position
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23
Neil MacPherson Allan MacDonald Gary Chu John Jolly Angus Campbell Angus Ferguson Iain MacKinnon Craig Rose Morag MacKinnon Steven Scott Kenna MacInnes Duncan MacQuarrie Christine MacQuarrie Liz Dorrian Archie Campbell Helen Gibson Lisa Gilmour Ishbel Walker Lo MacKinnon Ella Railton Helen Watson Alec MacInnes Mairead MacIntyre/ Flora MacDonald Catriona MacAulay
43.31 43.56 44.22 44.57 46.10 (41.44) 47.42 49.28 49.42 50.06 51.26 51.47 54.25 54.25 55.55 56.58 57.47 59.33 1.01.38 1.02.49 1.03.57 1.04.02 1.05.19
Help NUAAC athletes - vote in the Community Fund North Uist Amateur Athletics Club (NUAAC) has been shortlisted for the chance to win £3,000 from the Bank of Scotland Community Fund 2103. All it needs is for the public to vote for the club, and NUAAC has a chance of being one of 200 groups the fund will support this year. NUAAC has been inspiring youngsters to take up all kinds of track and field events in Benbecula and North Uist over more than two decades, and has always been very well supported by the local community. The
Bank of Scotland award would make a huge difference to the young athletes by helping them attend and compete at national events.
You can help by casting your vote on www.bankofscotand.co.uk/community fund between now and November 1, or by text: VOTE LMTC to 82332.
Neighbours Ceol Cholbhasa 2013: Local heroes, Coll foragers legends and ‘the next big thing.’ prepare an Scott Weatherstone
Over five days in September, Colonsay men Keith Johnston and Donald MacNeill, supported by up to thirty local volunteers, delivered yet another excellent annual folk festival, Ceol Cholbhasa. From the tales and songs of Scottish legend Jimmie MacGregor, now in his eighth decade, to the beautiful Gaelic songs of High School students, Mikaela and Donald Carmichael, the five-day event offered the 150-strong audiences wholesome, cross-generational musical nutrition to see them through the winter months. There was significant local input to the festival, with no fewer that twelve islanders taking to the stage during various performances. The highlight, in this respect, was the concert given by the General Store shopkeeper Keir Johnston, fronting “KJ And The Moonshine Band”; their performance was in most visitors’ Top Three. The whole affair was kicked off by the Tannahill Weavers, with Tattie Jam, Corran Raa, the Glenfinnan Ceilidh Band and Maeve MacKinnon keeping up the pace until the stars
of the show, German/Irish/Scottish band Cara, provided the climax to the week. Lead singer, fiddler and accordionist Gudrun Walter, was the beating pulse of the band, with music, smiles and energy flowing from her. This was the band’s first-ever performance on Scottish soil, indeed they interrupted their Central European Tour to visit Colonsay, for which all who attended will be eternally grateful. Many who saw them felt that they were bound for international success. When the dust had settled, Donald MacNeill reflected: “Audience and performer feedback was very positive. It was particularly good to see the growing confidence of local performers”. He revealed that next year’s Festival would likely take place over four days, rather than five, and that next year’s performers may well include Canadian singer/songwriter David Francey and, it is hoped, Kathleen MacInnes.
island feast George MacConnachie
The locals on Coll certainly know how keep themselves well fed, as shown by the recent LoColl Cookery Course held at Coll Bunkhouse.
From seaweed and sushi to lobster and lamb, the event showcased the best of local produce, culminating in a food feast at An Cridhe for a gathering of hungry diners. Chef and food writer Christopher Trotter travelled from his home in Fife to provide three days of cookery and foraging classes, making the most of what could be sourced from the local community. This included crab, lobster, lamb, goose and a selection of fruit and vegetables as well as foraged foods such as bog myrtle, seaweed, meadowsweet and carrageen. Sponsored by Grishipol Farm, the event included master-classes on preparation and cooking techniques for seafood, game and lamb. Such was the success of this year’s pilot that plans are already underway to run it again next year. Seonaid MacLean-Bristol of Grishipol Farm spoke enthusiastically about the experience: “There’s such a great abundance of fresh ingredients right on our doorstep and it’s great to team up with a chef such as Christopher Trotter to help make the most of our natural larder. It’s a real test for him too as you never know what you’ll find when you go and forage, or what might be in supply from local producers.” Whether it’s partan bree, mackerel gravalax or wild goose confit that you’d like to master, keep a place in your diary for the Isle of Coll in September 2014!
THE ADVERTISER October 2013 Issue 19 - island news & ADVERTISER
YOUR NEW DIRECTORY OF LOCAL SERVICES
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OCTOBER REFUSE COLLECTION SCHEDULE FOR UISTS & BARRA Barra Refuse Collection - October 2013 Criochan, Brevig, Skallary, Leanish, Earsary, Bolnabodach, Bruernish, Northbay, Ardveenish, Ardmhor, Airport, Eoligarry
Tuesday 8 Oct, 22 Oct Residual Collection
Shops, Hotels, Hospital, Castlebay School, Vatersay, Heather Hill, Tangasdale, Borve Craigston, Allasdale, Cuithir, Grean, Cleat, Northbay Inn
Thursday 10 Oct, 24 Oct Residual Collection
Langass Lodge, Hougharry, Middlequarter, Lochmaddy Commercials, Clachan-na-luib, Carinish, Baleshare, Claddach Carinish, Grimsay, Island Flodda, Gramsdale, Griminish, Nonton, Aird, Muir of Aird.
Monday Oct 7 Blue Bin Oct 21 Paper/Card East Gerinish, Rhughasinish, Lochcarnan, Iochdar, Ardnamonie, Ardivacher, Ardmore, Creagorry, Liniclate & Liniclate School, Torlum, Hacklet, Uiskevagh, Petersport,WestCamp, Balivanich, Locheport, Berneray, ClachanSands, Vallique, Lochportain, Cheesebay, Lochmaddy, Minish, Blashaval, Uachdar, Dunganichy.
Mondays Oct 28 Blue Bin
Oct 14 Paper/Card
Clachan, Claddach District, Bayhead, Knockintorran, Balemore, Kyles Paible, Paible, Balranald, Tigharry, Lochmaddy Commercials, Hougharry, Hosta, Sollas, Middlequarter, Grenitote, Langass Lodge, Clachan-na-luib, Carinish, Baleshare, Claddach Carinish, Grimsay, Island Flodda, Nunton, Aird, Muir of Aird, Gramsdale, Griminish.
Tuesdays Oct 1, 15, 29 Residual
Tuesdays Oct 8, 22 Residual Criochan, Brevig, Skallary, Leanish, Earsary, Bolnabodach, Bruernish, Northbay, Ardveenish, Ardmhor, Airport, Eoligarry, Northbay Inn, Grean, Cleat, Cuithir, Allasdale
Monday 14 Oct, Paper/card 28 Oct, Blue Bin
Smerclate, Garrynamonie, South Lochboisdale, South Boisdale, North Boisdale, Daliburgh Commercials and Daliburgh West of, Kilphedar, Strome, Eriskay, Glendale, Kilbride, Rangehead, Hacklet Eastwards, Uiskevagh, Petersport,WestCamp, Balivanich/Aird, Creagorry Commercials, Liniclate Commercials, Liniclate Muir, Uachdar, Dunganichy.
Glen, Garrygall, Ledaig, Castlebay Shops, Hotels, Hospital, Castlebay School, Horve, Kentangaval, Nask, Vatersay, Heatherhill, Tangasdale, Borve, Craigston
Tuesday 15 Oct, Paper/card 1 Oct, 29 Oct, Blue Bin
Wednesday Oct 9 Paper/Card
Glen, Garrygall, Ledaig, Castlebay Shops, Hotels, Hospital, Castlebay School, Horve, Kentangaval, Nask
Thursday 3 Oct, 17 Oct, 31 Oct Residual Collection
Oct 23 Blue Bin
Stoneybridge, Locheynort, Daliburgh, Lochboisdale, Garryhellie, Askernish, Milton, Kildonan, Bornish, Howmore, Drimsdale, Stilligarry, Howbeg, Drimore, Gernish, Rangehead, East Gernish, Rhughasinish, Lochcarnan, Iochdar, Ardnamonie, Ardivacher, Ardmor, Creagorry, Liniclate, Liniclate School, Torlum.
Wednesdays Oct 2, 30 Blue Bin Oct 16 Paper/Card
Stoneybridge, Locheynort, Dalibrugh, Lochboisdale, Garryhellie, Askernish, Milton, Kildonan, Bornish, Howmore, Howbeg, Drimsdale, Stilligarry, Drimore, Gernish, Rangehead, Liniclate Commercials, Balivanich Commercials.
Eriskay, Glendale, Kilbride, Smerclate, Garrynamonie, South Lochboisdale, Daliburgh Commercials, Daliburgh- West of Borrodale Hotel, South Boisdale, North Boisdale, Kilphedar, Strome, Rangehead, DI, IOBHH.
Thursdays Oct 10, 24 Residual
Locheport, Berneray, ClachanSands, Vallique, Lochportain, Cheesebay, Blashaval, Minish, Lochmaddy Commercials, Bayhead, Paible, Claddach, Clachan, Carinish, Balivanich.
Clachan, Claddach District, Bayhead, Knockintorran, Balemore, Kyles Paible, Paible, Sollas, Hosta, Tigharry, Grenitote, Ahmore, Balranald,
Thursdays Oct 3,17, 31 Residual
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