Speciality food businesses from the Western Isles are among hundreds displaying their products at the Speciality Fine Food Fair in London 2-4 September.

Taking place at the Olympia Exhibition Centre during Scotland Food and Drink Fortnight, the trade show will see 700 exhibitors showing their latest offerings to trade buyers from the UK and overseas among the 10,000 visitors to the fair.

Exhibitors from the Highlands and islands will be displaying their products at the Scotland Food and Drink Pavilion.

It's time to get those DIY and maintenance projects done before the summer ends and with a good forecast (mostly dry and just enough wind to keep the midges at bay) for the next week there's no better time!

The Fisherman's Co-op can help with tools or supplies you may need to do 'that' job on the boat, around the house or garden, see below for some examples of what you can find in-store:

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Two St Kilda mailboats have been discovered washed up on the shores of Orkney, within days of the 88th anniversary of the island’s evacuation.

The last inhabitants of St Kilda, or Hirta, were taken off by boat on August 29th 1930. They included 15 children, the last of whom, Rachel Johnson (née Gillies) died in 2016.

Since 1930, tourists, researchers, National Trust for Scotland (NTS) volunteers and Ministry of Defence staff have been the main visitors to the island, with day-trips run from Harris and small cruise ships making the island a stopping point. Launching a ‘St Kilda mailboat’ – a floating container containing postcards or messages – is a regular ritual for visitors.

The marine biology research vessel Silurian is due into Stornoway on Sunday (September 2nd), bringing a ‘floating classroom’ to be enjoyed by primary school pupils next week.

Stornoway Coastguard were called this morning (Friday August 31st) at 5.45am to help with the medical evacuation of a passenger on a cruise ship coming into Stornoway harbour.

Scalafest, the end-of-season bash at the Scaladale centre due to be held tomorrow (Friday 31 August) has been postponed.

The Scaladale Centre said: "Our sympathy goes out to everyone attending the funeral tomorrow.

Children from a small housing scheme in North Lochs need help with a simple problem. They’re asking ‘please can we have a place to play?’

All the houses at Druim an Aoil, off School Hill in Ranish, are homes to families with children of primary age or under, the oldest 10 and the youngest just a one-year-old.

But the scheme of mixed privately-owned and Hebridean Housing Partnership houses has no special place to play and parents are now getting together to see whether they can change all that.

An Achmore man who reunited a lost cat with its owners after it had lived rough for over a year is refusing credit for the rescue, insisting that he just did ‘what anybody with humanity should do’.

Weaver Billy Matheson spotted the scrawny, tick-ridden ginger tomcat on Monday evening (August 27th), wandering the moor near Achmore, and immediately recognised that it was a lost pet.

The first riders will step out this morning (Thursday August 30th) from Traigh Mhor Pony Trekking, a new company in Tolsta.

Run by biology teacher Leigh Minion with help of her husband Gavin and daughter Kirsty Hart, the riding and trekking centre has been a dream for many years.

A 29-year-old man appeared at Stornoway Sheriff Court this morning (Wednesday August 29th) following a domestic incident in Point on Friday night (August 24th).

The man was arrested yesterday (Tuesday August 28th) after police completed enquiries about the incident, which reportedly took place at 7.40pm on Friday.

He remained in custody until his court appearance this morning and has now been released on bail.

The theft of over 1,000 Hebridean black bees from a garden in Scalpay was reported to police late on Monday night (August 27th).

The incident is the second in the area in less than 18 months, with two hives stolen from Manish in Harris in April 2017.

The funeral of Gravir teenager Hannah Mackenzie will be a colourful occasion – by special request of her family.

Hannah’s funeral will take place this Friday (August 31st) at Martin’s Memorial Church in Stornoway and will be followed by a private interment.

There’s another big weekend for Barra and Vatersay with the annual Island Produce Show this Saturday (September 1st) at Vatersay Community Hall.

Stornoway Coastguard rescue helicopter R948 was in action east of Barra last night (Tuesday August 28th) to evacuate a sick passenger.

The cruise ship Magellan had called for assistance just before 11pm, saying that a 73-year-old passenger needed immediate medical evacuation.

The man was airlifted from the cruise ship and flown to Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

His condition is not known.

A Scalpay resident called 999 at 7.55am on Tuesday morning (August 28th) when she saw a man apparently fall from a yacht in East Loch Tarbert.

The man went into the water from the yacht without any evident safety equipment, and Stornoway Coastguard immediately tasked the Coastguard helicopter and volunteer Coastguard teams from Scalpay and Tarbert to head to the scene.

Community landowner The Stornoway Trust and community wind farm charity Point and Sandwick Trust have come together to form an Interim Joint Committee to make grant awards to projects using money generated by Beinn Ghrideag Wind Farm.

The fund, which is derived from the wind farm’s Community Benefit Agreement with the Stornoway Trust, will be administered by a Joint Committee with representatives from both community trusts and will focus on creating and supporting projects across the Stornoway Trust Estate.

Commenting following the visit to Barra of the Economic Secretary to HM Treasury, John Glen MP, Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus Brendan MacNeil said:

“I was very glad that John Glen MP took the time to come and visit the Hebrides today in his role as Economic Secretary to the Treasury, particularly in regard to the Royal Bank of Scotland branch in Castlebay. 

Western Isles Transport Preservation Group is celebrating a major landmark in their transformation of the old fish factory at Marybank – having been awarded a certificate from building control for the first phase of the work, with the help of Point and Sandwick Trust.

The building, formerly owned by McConnells, was bought by the Transport Preservation Group in 2010 and they ultimately hope to turn it into a Transport Heritage Centre for the Western Isles.

There’s still at least two years to go until the Triangle route – Tarbert-Uig-Lochmaddy – gets its promised new ferry

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar today (Monday August 27th) expressed its frustration at the recent announcement that the new ferry to be allocated on the Uig-Lochmaddy-Tarbert route will not now be entering service until at least summer 2020.

And CnES suggests adequate resources should be made available to ensure the timetable slips no further.

Charity fundraiser Charles Young has set himself a marathon target over the next month, bringing the benefits back home to Ness.

Charles, of 7 Fivepenny, has entered both the Great North Run and the Great Scottish Run, aiming to complete a half-marathon at each in aid of Ness landmark projects.

Point and Sandwick Trust (PST) have added to their growing list of accolades with a place in the shortlist of the UK Social Enterprise of the Year awards.

It was announced last week (August 23rd) that the community-owned power company is one of nine shortlisted for the NatWest Bank-sponsored award, the top category in an awards list which includes categories for new start-ups and awards in health, education and technology categories.

Entries are about to close for the popular annual Scalpay 10k road race, set for this Saturday (September 1st).  The Scalpay to Tarbert 10K road race has a limit on places and is not open for on-the-day entrants, so if you intend to run the race you need to enter online by Thursday (August 30th).

Carloway Football Club were saddened on Friday (August 24th) at news of the death of one of their most devoted supporters.

And they have taken the opportunity of mourning his passing to also pay tribute to another hardy follower who passed away earlier this year.

A family of four hardy Stornoway women were feeling high on Saturday (August 25th) after successfully conquering Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the UK.
Not only that, but their fundraising attempt beat its target today (Sunday August 26th), with £400 donated via JustGiving.

The four, mum Eilidh Thompson and her daughters Alanna and Carissa McCuaig and Bethany Macleod, had set out on the challenge to raise money for cats and dogs in need of rescue and care in both Lewis and Cyprus.

A man bringing his boat up from the shore at the Braighe on Friday (August 24th) had a lucky escape as the routine manoeuvre went drastically wrong.

He was using a tractor to tow his rowing boat up the slipway from the Braighe, when the tractor slid and fell into the boat, damaging it badly.

Stornoway RNLI lifeboat was called out today (Sunday August 26th) to help a fishing vessel which had lost steering off Shawbost on the west side of Lewis, with one fisherman aboard.
The FV Taobh Siar called Coastguards when they found they were unable to return to Carloway.
Roger & Joy Freeman was launched from Stornoway at 11.30am and two local vessels also went to assist.

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The annual Lews Castle College UHI graduation and prizegiving ceremony took place this afternoon (Friday August 24)-Graduates assembled in the Martins Memorial hall before being piped down Francis Street to be seated in the church building.

Lews Castle College Principal Iain Macmillan welcomed the graduates, students, families and UHI guests to the graduation, before introducing guest speaker, Don Mackay.

Don Mackay, who is originally from Ballantrushal, is UK Operations Director for EDF.  Don began by telling the students of his own experience with further education. He explained how having not achieved his desired grades at school he had to work hard to achieve the success he now enjoys. He also explained how through this success he hopes to give opportunities to others on the island.

All of Barra’s registered solo fishermen have now been provided with Personal Locator Beacons to help keep them safe at sea, thanks to a Western Isles based fundraising group, Motivated by Mervyn.

The Motivated by Mervyn group was set up in memory of Iain Mervyn Macleod, who was lost at sea off Great Bernera in 2013. Since 2015 his family have been raising funds for safety equipment for solo fishermen, working closely with the Western Isles Fishermen’s Association, the UK Coastguard and Lews Castle College.


A new wave of fundraising for protecting fishermen at sea kicks off with tomorrow’s (Saturday August 25th) 999 charity football match at Smith Avenue.

Scottish Fire and Rescue will be going toe-to-toe with Police Scotland in the tenth anniversary match between the emergency services, and they’ve chosen to support local charities including Motivated by Mervyn.

The Motivated by Mervyn group was set up in memory of Iain Mervyn Macleod, who was lost at sea off Great Bernera in 2013. Since 2015 his family have been raising funds for safety equipment for solo fishermen, working closely with the Western Isles Fishermen’s Association, the UK Coastguard and Lews Castle College.

A painting that shows a vanishing world has won an award for Stornoway artist Eilidh Smith.

Eilidh, who is the daughter of the well-known artist GP Margaret Ferguson, entered her painting 'Ready for a Ceilidh' into an open festival at Patchings Art Centre in Nottinghamshire. The festival was open from July 12th to 15th and winners were voted for by visitors as well as artist judges.

She was delighted to learn that the picture, painted from the heart after a visit to family friends in Harris, won the Daler Rowney Award in the artist category at this year's exhibition.

A brand-new hybrid bike, still in its box, has been taken from a shed in Uig.

Police are appealing for information after hearing that the Ridgeback Nova hybrid bike had been taken, some time after being delivered to an address at Timsgarry.

The silver-coloured bike, similar to the one pictured, had been delivered and left in a shed on July 30th, but when the owners came to look for it on August 11th it had disappeared.

Police are asking anyone with any information about the theft to call them on the non-emergency number, 101.

A 57-year-old man is to appear in court in Stornoway after he was stopped and found to be driving while over the alcohol limit.

The man was stopped on Thursday (August 23rd) at 8.30pm in Lochs and arrested. He was taken to Stornoway police station where he was charged with drink driving.

He was released and is to be reported to the Procurator Fiscal, with a court date yet to be set.

Numerous organisations are offering support for those facing the risk of being overwhelmed by the challenges of life.

This comes in the wake of concerns created by recent events and by the local upsurge around #LetsChalkAboutMentalHealth.

They agree that supporting and acting to keep each other safe is our collective responsibility.

Wether you like your fish fresh off the boat, traditionally smoked or salted Harbour Seafood's have a great selection. Pop down and see what tickles your taste buds!

 

The Morven Gallery in Barvas will be closed tomorrow, Friday 24 August.

The gallery will be open again Saturday as usual: regular opening hours are 10.30 am to 5.00 pm Tuesday to Saturday.

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Following the tragic events of last weekend the island community has responded with the adoption of the Let’s Chalk about Mental Health awareness campaign.

On pavements, walls and in shop windows, all across Stornoway messages of positivity and support, written in chalk, have been seen.

The first baby to be born in a Coastguard helicopter has stepped forward to claim her place in history, after worldwide media coverage of a new baby born on board a helicopter in Cornwall.

Baby Torran Macdonald was born on Saturday night (18th August) to an Inverness couple on holiday in the Isles of Scilly.

He was said to have been the second helicopter baby delivered with the help of Coastguard staff, but media coverage left out the trailblazer - a baby girl born in 1989 in the skies over Stornoway.

A proposal to harvest wild kelp from the waters of the Minch using a mechanised dredger is causing increasing concern among island seafood businesses.

Southampton-based Marine Biopolymers Ltd (MBL) have submitted a preliminary marine licence request to the Licensing Operations Team (LOT) of Marine Scotland, the Scottish Government agency responsible for the management of Scotland’s seas.

Marine Scotland has asked for responses from interested parties by this Saturday (August 25th), but are promising further consultation when a marine licence application and supporting environmental report are submitted.

Western Isles Lifestyle Lottery (WILL) has postponed the coming weekend’s planned Disney-themed events as a mark of respect for the family of Hannah Mackenzie.

The WILL team planned a Disney Ball on Friday (August 24th) and a day of family activities on Saturday (August 25th) to celebrate their first anniversary.

They say: “With the amazing support of the many local businessesand organisations involved, we have been very quickly
able to reschedule the Disney themed weekend to Saturday 1st September. We will keep you updated with some of the necessary amendments to the original programme. What a community!

The RBS Screen Machine is heading towards Castlebay, with a two day programme of big films, family entertainment and a close-up look at marine conservation.

The 80-seater mobile cinema is scheduled to arrive in Castlebay on Friday September 7th and will open its programme at 5.30pm with Incredibles 2, pitting the incredible Parr family against a new super-villain.

The parents who successfully campaigned against the reorganisation of junior Gaelic Medium classes at Stornoway Primary have thanked everyone who helped their cause.

The protest focused on the class going into GM2 (primary 2). This class, of 22 children, had been hailed as a great result for Gaelic Medium Education as it was the first GME intake for Stornoway Primary that was big enough to stand alone, without being combined with the class above.

The new intake, for the 2018/19 session, was also big enough to run as a straight P1 year group.

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Lews Castle College UHI today (Tuesday 21st August) launched a new Innovation Centre.

The innovation centre offers training, advice and development facilities for the use of modern high technology and for people who would like to start their own business.

The centre is free at the point of use offering not just college students but all members of the public an opportunity to develop these skills.

An amnesty for seafarers wanting to dispose of marine pyrotechnics offers a way to protect everyone against dangerous incidents in the future, according to Stornoway Coastguard officers.

The pyrotechnic store at Stornoway Coastguard station will be open on Saturday 1st September, so that people can hand in time-expired tor unwanted marine pyrotechnics including out-of-date flares.

The Screen Machine is due in Tarbert next week, bringing blockbuster movies and family-friendly showings to Harris from Tuesday August 28th to Thursday August 30th.

The scheduled showings of Mamma Mia (Here We Go Again) are already selling fast, with the first showing on Tuesday evening (August 28th) at 8.30pm almost sold out.

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Island weatherman Eddie Graham set out on a 500-mile cycling challenge from the Butt of Lewis on Wednesday July 4th, and is now looking back at the venture and hoping to raise awareness of the BEAT (Beating Eating Disorders) charity still more.

A well-known weather commentator and Lews Castle College lecturer with a huge student following at the University of the Highlands and Islands, he says: “Anorexia and related eating disorders are powerful, insidious and highly destructive illnesses, with death rates equivalent with those of childhood cancers.

Community-based sport and physical activity projects in the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar area have until Tuesday evening to stake their claim for a share of a £1million fund aimed at changing lives and creating a more inclusive and healthier nation.

The Changing Lives Through Sport and Physical Activity (CLTSPA) Fund was launched in June in partnership between the Scottish Government, sportscotland, the Robertson Trust and Spirit of 2012, and will support organisations across the country to deliver positive change in communities across the country.

At 15.53 today (August 20th) Comhairle nan Eilean Siar sent out the following media release.

Statement from Rector of The Nicolson Institute

The Nicolson Institute is in mourning today over the tragic loss of our S6 pupil, Hannah MacKenzie.

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Saturday 18th August saw a large community beach clean operation on the Westside, an estimated two tonnes of rubbish was collected including 483 kg plastic!
 
Around 50 people turned up to help clear plastic and other debris from the shorelines of Brue, Arnol, North and South bragar and Feibhig. The day was organised by Clean Coast Outer Hebrides with many locals to the Westside and other parts of the island turning out on the blustery morning, even some holiday makers came to help. The mounds of litter picked were collected  together, weighed and sorted with the plastic being sent to be recycled.
 
Bragar and Arnol Community Trust, Barvas and Brue Community Centre, Horshader Community Development and Surfers Against Sewage supported Clean Coast Outer Hebrides in organising this beach clean - if you would like to do a beach clean in your area get in touch with Clean Coast Outer Hebrides via their Facebook page
 
 

Some of Stornoway’s top junior athletes were in competition at the weekend as Stornoway Running and Athletics Club took a strong contingent to Aberdeen for the Scottish Athletics Under-13, Under-15 and Under-20 Championships.

There’s disappointment for ship-spotters and tourism businesses alike this week, as the largest cruise visitor of the season has called off her planned visit to the port of Stornoway

Cunard’s newest fleet  flagship Queen Elizabeth was due to spend a day anchored off Stornoway on Tuesday (August 21st) as the last call on a 14-day cruise from Southampton to the fjords of Iceland.

A 100-year-old three-masted sailing ship will become a familiar sight around the islands over the next week, as the Dutch schooner Oosterschelde makes her return visit to Stornoway and around the Western Isles.

With Point Football Club poised to top the Lewis and Harris league this year, they’ve also had good news about a former player.

Donald Alex Morrison has signed a professional contract with Inverness Caledonian Thistle after pre-season friendlies which saw him both play and score for the club.

All pupils of the Nicolson Institute were being offered support today (Saturday August 18th) after the news last night that a body had been found in the search for a missing teenager.

17-year-old Hannah Mackenzie had been missing since 4pm on Thursday (August 16th), the first day of the new school year at the Nicolson Institute.

A major search through the day yesterday (Friday August 17th) was led by Police Scotland and involved Stornoway, Tarbert, Breasclete, Ness, Scalpay, South Lochs, Miavaig and Bragar Coastguard rescue teams, duty officers, Stornoway RNLI lifeboat, Coastguard helicopter R948 and Hebrides mountain rescue team.

Careers advisers from Stornoway with part of a team from across the North of Scotland providing support to young Scots at the start of August after the exam results came out.

Almost 1500 young Scots received direct expert advice and support following their exam results .

More than 50 Skills Development Scotland (SDS) careers advisers worked on the annual Exam Results Helpline for eight days, offering expert advice on everything from resits to Clearing and college to apprenticeships.

At 9pm tonight (Friday August 17th) Police Scotland confirmed that a body has been found in the Castle Grounds, Stornoway.

Police, Coastguard staff and volunteers, as well as members of the public had been involved in a massive search of the Grounds during the day. This followed a missing person alert overnight.

 

At 13.40 today, Friday August 17th Police Scotland say: Police enquiries are continuing to trace Hannah Mackenzie who has been reported missing in the Stornoway area on the Isle of Lewis.

The 17-year-old from Gravir was last seen at about 4pm on Thursday, August 16  outside the Nicolson Institute in Stornoway and was reported missing later that evening.

Hannah is described as being 5ft 5in tall, slim build, with dark hair worn in a ponytail. 

She was last seen a dark blue Nicolson Institute sweater, wearing black skinny jeans and a black waist length jacket with white lining and white furry strip on the hood.

Searches are ongoing with particular focus on the Castle Grounds in Stornoway. Police Scotland have been supported by Hebrides Search and Rescue and HM Coastguard, who tasked all volunteer coastguard teams from around Lewis and Harris and the Coastguard helicopter to participate in the search.

This follows a potential sighting in the area on Thursday evening.

Inspector Jane Nicolson said: "We are grateful to everyone who has been in contact so far with information and encourage anyone else who can help to get in touch.

"If Hannah herself is reading this then please get in touch and let us and your family know you are safe and well.

"You can call Stornoway Police Station with information by calling 101, quoting reference NH1731/18."

Picture shows Rosie Wiscombe in her Stornoway workshop

Tweed designer and business owner Rosie Wiscombe is opening her doors on Saturday August 25th for a day-long party to say her final bye-bye to Stornoway.

Missing girl update 11.00 Friday August 17th:

The search for missing 17-year-old Hannah Mackenzie remains focused on the town of Stornoway and the Castle grounds this morning.

Police have called for assistance from the Maritime Coastguard Agency and all volunteer coastguard teams from around Lewis and Harris have been tasked to participate in the search.

--------------------------------------------

Officers from Police Scotland are seeking the assistance of the public in an effort to trace a 17-year-old missing from the Stornoway area.  The appeal was issued at 01.07 today (Friday August 17th).
 
Hannah Mackenzie from Gravir was last seen about 4:00pm on Thursday 16th August 2018 outside The Nicolson Institute in Stornoway. 

She was intending to walk to the Western Isles Hospital. 

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan yesterday visited Trust Housing’s Lewis Street complex in Stornoway to see the installation of a new Wi-Fi system designed to get older people online.

He is pictured above with David Paterson and Trust Housing Association Chief Executive Rhona McLeod.

Scalpay’s North Harbour Bistro is in the running for a national newspaper food award, after being put forward by members of the public.

The eatery’s been named as one of 10 finalists in the ‘hidden gem’ category of the Scotsman’s Food and Drink Awards. All 10 are described as among ‘Scotland’s best surprises’ and are now open once again to public online voting.

Wearing a life jacket or buoyancy aid is a must when out on the water, especially for children. Even on a calm sunny day you can end up falling in.

The Fisherman's Co-op has a full range of foam filled children's buoyancy aids and life jackets in bright colours - perfect for paddling at the beach, kayaking or out on a boat. These are designed to keep the child afloat without them having to do anything to activate it, no chords to pull, and they can be dried off and used again and again.

There is also a wide selection for adults with fully automatic life jackets (which automatically inflate when hit the water and have the back up pull chord), perfect for safety out on a boat and comfortable to wear, or foam lifejackets and buoyancy aids for kayaking or other water sports - these can go in the water again and again without servicing.

 

What is the difference between a life jacket and a buoyancy aid? 

There can be some confusion on the difference between a life jacket and a buoyancy aid because both are designed to help you float, however most buoyancy aids are literally an aid to keep you buoyant or afloat in the water. Buoyancy aids cannot be guaranteed to turn an unconscious body over and it will not support your body in the water. Buoyancy aids are perfect for coastal or inland waters when going water skiing, kayaking, tubing or other water sports, when the wearer is in sight of the shoreline and will be continuously in and out of the water.

Life jackets are literally life saving devices which fully support you in the water. Lifejackets, if properly fitted and in good condition, are designed to keep you afloat face up and your airways clear of water, even if you are unconscious or injured. Foam life jackets have to have 150 Newtons of buoyancy and a full collar to support your head and neck, they should be able to right a unconscious casualty if they are face down in the water. A Lifejacket is needed if going off-shore or a distance from the coastline, perfect for boats when your not expecting to go in the sea. 

To find the right product for you just ask in store.

Power network maintenance through the day today (Thursday August 16th) means there is no power on the west side of Harris between Horgabost and Borve.

SSE said 22 properties, including holiday properties and other businesses, would be affected today, as power was switched off at 9.30am.

Stornoway Airport is central to the UK Government vision of how transport links will develop in Scotland over the next 30 years.

That’s the view of UK Government Aviation Minister Liz Sugg who has been visiting a series of Scottish airports.

At 6.10pm tonight (Wednesday 15th August) Comhairle nan Eilean Siar put out the following information about classes at Stornoway Primary School and Gaelic Medium Education on its Twitter feed.

The council stated: “The Comhairle has closely examined the circumstances around the provision of Gaelic Medium at Stornoway Primary School and has listened carefully to the views of parents.  This letter is being sent to parents by the H(ead) T(eacher).

The vital role of good air and sea links for the Islands was a focus for meetings between UK Transport Minister Liz Sugg with local council and business leaders yesterday and today (Tuesday-Wednesday August 14-15th).

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar also used the first meeting which was held at Stornoway Airport to raise concerns regarding air traffic management under Highland and Islands Airports Ltd proposals for centralisation.

Lews Castle College UHI is looking to strengthen and expand its Board of Management.

The college is an academic partner of the University of the Highlands and Islands, which is the United Kingdom's leading integrated university encompassing both further and higher education.

The College provides a diverse range of courses to students from bases in Lewis, North Uist, Benbecula and Barra.

Plans for a future of exporting huge levels of  ‘green’ electricity from the Western Isles got another glimmer of hope for eventual success today.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), operating as Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission under licence, has today (Tuesday August 14th) submitted to the energy regulator, Ofgem, a Strategic Wider Works (SWW) ‘Final Needs Case’ for a subsea cable transmission link from Western Isles to the Scottish mainland.  

The network reinforcement is required to enable access to the GB market for renewable generation seeking to connect on Western Isles.

A Lewis publisher is seeing their latest children’s fiction title touring Scotland’s bookshops, after attracting attention at the Edinburgh book festival last week (Saturday August 11th).

North Galson-based Cranachan Publishing produces historical fiction for children, set in Scotland, but their latest title is an eco-thriller set in the Hebrides.  Inverness author Barbara Henderson has previous titles published with Cranachan, Fir For Luck and Punch, both already used in Scottish schools.

The doorstep collectors of Cancer Research UK’s Isle of Lewis committee will be out in force from Monday August 20th for two weeks, as the big annual fundraiser gets underway.

Fundraising to buy the older part of Leverhulme Memorial School has passed the halfway point, with over £5,000 raised from donations and events.

The plan to turn the old school, built in 1924/5 by Lord Leverhulme, into a bustling community hub is undergoing constant development, with ideas for a laundrette, gym and café among the plans to bring the community together.

Cruise ships which land visitors to Castlebay on the wrong slipway are violating international security arrangements designed to protect the UK’s security interests, according to harbour owners Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL).

A notice to mariners was issued last week (Friday August 10th) by CMAL, the statutory harbour authority for Castlebay Ferry Terminal. The notice reminds cruise operators of the security plan in place at Castlebay. By landing passengers using tenders on the inner slipway, cruise ships are by-passing arrangements to pass non-EU passengers through a temporary restricted area. The security plan ensures that the port complies with the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) code.

There was drama for a group out on a sea trip with Stornoway Seafari on Monday (August 13th) afternoon, when the boat on which they were wildlife-spotting suffered fuel problems.

MV Azula was on a five-hour seabird spotting trip to the Shiant islands when she called for Coastguard assistance at 3.55pm on Monday, reporting that she was without power with seven people aboard.

Stornoway butchers Charles Macleod are heading for London after news of awards for their haggis and for their black and white puddings.

The iconic branded Stornoway Black Pudding produced by Charlie Barleys is through to the UK final of Delicious magazine’s 2018 produce awards.

It was named among Scotland’s 10 best products at the Perth Show on Friday August 3rd and will be up against the best in Britain at the finals in London.

Booking for the first livestock sale of the season at Lewis and Harris Auction Mart has closed early for the first time ever, due to exceptionally high demand for the sale.

Mart spokesman Kenny Macleod said the August sale, held this year on Wednesday August 22nd, usually attracted up to 3,500 beasts, but with numbers already at the capacity level of 4,000, bookings have closed ahead of the Wednesday (August 15th) deadline.

CalMac has published a revised timetable for services between Oban and Castlebay on Saturday September 1st, to take account of livestock movements during the Lochboisdale lamb sale.

To avoid a clash of berthing times at Oban between MV Coruisk and MV Isle of Lewis, departure from Castlebay will be delayed.

People living with cancer are being invited to an action planning day in Harris, where issues causing concern to patients and their families will be discussed.

The ‘Cancer Care Discussion’ has been planned by Western Isles Cancer Care Initiative (WICCI) and Macmillan cancer support engagement team, and is to be held at Talla na Mara on Saturday September 1st from 10am to 2pm.

On the agenda are some of the most pressing topics affecting people living with cancer in the islands, including the current issue of patient and escort travel, as well as off-island treatment developments.

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More than 150 people packed into Ionad Stoodie at Knock on Point on Friday evening (10th August) as the ‘Flesherin Bard’ Willie John Campbell saw a book of his work launch by Stornoway publishers Acair.

Earlier the company said it was “delighted to publish 'Bàrdachd Uilleam Iain Caimbeul / Poems of Willie John Campbell (Willie Teddy)'.  

“This is not just a book for the people of Point, it is one that will inspire all of us who feel a strong sense of loyalty to our language, our culture and our roots,” states retired educationist Matthew MacIver from Portnaguran in his introduction.

Runrig enthusiasts who missed the chance for tickets to the band’s final gig at Stirling next week are being given one last chance to get to the last dance – and to raise funds for Bethesda Hospice.

A good friend of the Hospice has donated two standing tickets for the Last Dance Tour at Stirling Castle for Saturday 18th August, with the proceeds going to the Hospice. 

A dog barking on a cliff ledge in Swordale caused an emergency response on Saturday evening (August 11th).

Stornoway Coastguard were called when passers-by heard continuous barking from the cliff, raising fears that someone may have fallen or become trapped.

A Swedish couple who have been sailing around the world since 2005 were towed into Stornoway harbour on Sunday morning (August 12th) by the RNLI lifeboat Tom Sanderson.

Sixty years on…it was in 1958 at the age of 15, that 16 pupils enrolled in the first pre-nursing class taught at The Nicolson Institute. After two years study they all went their separate ways to train at different hospitals on the mainland.

As the process of recovery continues following the “power outage” on mv Loch Seaforth, CalMac Ferries published the full timetable details for today’s service (Saturday 11th August) on the Stornoway - Ullapool service. 

“We apologise for any inconvenience the timetable changes may cause and would like to thank our customers for their patience during this time.”

On the rescheduled freight service, the ferry left Ullapool 37 minutes earlier than expected this morning (Saturday)as it continues its non-stop effort to make up the time lost on Wednesday.  Meanwhile the Coastguard rescue tug or ETV, Ievoli Black remains on station outside Stornoway Harbour.

This week at HarbourSeafoods: Skate!

Skate wings are a delicious delicate tasting fish and are easy to cook! A simple method is to coat the skate wings in flour which has been seasoned with salt, pepper and dill (dried or fresh). Then just gently shallow fry them in butter or oil until golden brown, turn over so cooked on both sides. Serve with a wedge of lemon. 

There are many other recipes to try such as roasted Skate Wing with Leeks and Samphire or Skate with Chorizo, olive and onion Sauce or just simply battered Skate - why not give it a try.

Looking for a new jacket for your child as they head back to school? The Fisherman's Co-op has a selection of boys and girls jackets suitable for the playground or when out and about come rain or shine, choose from a variety of warm wind and waterproof coats for all ages.

They also have waterproof trousers and wellies for those rainy days.

Stornoway Port Authority is seeking bids to design one of the biggest construction projects ever undertaken in the Hebrides.

The Authority has ambitious plans to develop a deep-water port as part of its 20-year Master Plan aimed at creating significant economic growth for the islands.

Two new boats will be fishing out of Stornoway next week, as fishermen expand their businesses and upgrade their vessels.

Skipper Calum Maciver has brought the 12-metre multi-purpose vessel Gratitude K from Land’s End in Cornwall, from a skipper who was scaling back to a smaller vessel. He will have her in the water on Monday (August 13th), when she’ll get a new coat of signal red paint. She’s able to work as a trawler or scalloper, extending the potential for the business.

A Stornoway family have decided to climb Ben Nevis to raise money for some of the unsung heroes of animal rescue.

Artist and care-worker Eilidh Thompson and her daughters Bethany Macleod (23) who works at the Foyer youth project, Carissa McCuaig (25) who works at Blackhouse Bakery and musician Alanna McCuaig (27), now based in Glasgow, have set Saturday August 25th for their challenge.

Eilidh picked the task as her celebration of her 50th birthday, after a parachute jump celebrated her 40th. She’s a dedicated fundraiser, with the Samaritans and Cancer Research among the groups who’ve benefited from her efforts.

A 77-year-old woman has been charged with careless driving after a single-vehicle accident in Newlands, Shulishader yesterday morning (Thursday August 9th).

The accident happened at 9.25am in heavy rain. The woman was treated at the scene by paramedics after sustaining slight impact injuries from the deployment of the airbag and seat-belt but declined hospital treatment.

The communities of the Westside will come together to clean up their beaches on Saturday August 18th.  

Meeting at Grinnebhat (Bragar old school) at 10am for a briefing, volunteers from Barvas and Brue Community Centre, Horshader Community Development and Bragar and Arnol Community Trust will be dispatched across the coastline of the Westside.

All volunteers are asked to bring gloves and wear warm clothes and sturdy shoes. All children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult and parents are responsible for their children

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The connection between Uig on Lewis and Iceland and Greenland in the Viking Age was celebrated on Wednesday with the unveiling and dedication of a bust of Leif Erikson.

Vikings first reached our shores in the late 8th century and their presence as raiders, settlers and traders is evidenced through archaeological finds, including the Norse-made chesspieces found two centuries ago in the Uig Sands.

The first lecture of this year’s Spioradalachd nam Bard (Spirituality of the Bards) was held on Thursday 2 August at Laxdale Hall, Stornoway.

Rev Prof Donald MacLeod, Emeritus Professor of Systematic Theology, gave what members of the large audience felt was a very personal and moving bilingual lecture entitled Bardachd mo Mhathair about his late mother, Alice MacLeod’s poetry.

Police in the Western Isles are urging drivers to make sure their vehicle is fit for the road following a series of safety operations based around summer festivals.

Officers working at HebCelt in Stornoway and the Eilean Dorcha Festival on Benbecula in the last month detected a number of offences related to MOT, insurance and construction & use.

With the Coastguard rescue Ievoli Black still stationed outside Stornoway Harbour, the Loch Seaforth ferry is embarked on a series of constant criss-crossing of the Minch as it tries to catch up the time lost by its "power outage" yesterday (Wednesday August 8th)

The delayed 10:30 Ullapool – Stornoway departed from Ullapool at 17.15.  It was due to arrive Stornoway 19:45.  Then Loch Seaforth departed (pictured above) Stornoway at 20:45 with the delayed 14:00 Stornoway – Ullapool service. 

Karen Boyd returned home to Barra to set up Hebridean Revival Retreats which presents an escape from the pressures and stresses of modern life.

It offers participants the opportunity to relax, recharge and return home feeling physically and emotionally rejuvenated.

Our ethos here is very much that self-care is paramount to a healthy, happy, balanced life,said Karen. If we do not take care of ourselves then we cannot give the best of ourselves to others.

The ferry service between Ullapool and Stornoway resumed at about 10.15pm last night (Wednesday August 8th) with an overnight return voyage to Ullapool and back.  

The ferry left again at 6am today (Thursday) with a rainbow overhead (pictured above).

The Coastguard emergency tug Ievoli Black remained offshore from Stornoway, as visible on the horizon below.

In Stornoway, the check in for the retimed 1pm sailing (formerly 7am) will begin at 0930 and close at 1100. "Please ensure to arrive in this timeframe to secure passage," CalMac says.  "All confirmed bookings will be honoured, however spaces for foot passengers will be limited and allocated on a first come first served basis. Unfortunately, passage for foot passengers cannot be guaranteed on freight sailings."

The mv Loch Seaforth limping into port in Stornoway at around 3.45pm, escorted by two lifeboats.

Passengers and vehicles are stranded at the Stornoway ferry terminal after sailings of the Loch Seaforth were suspended today (1pm Wednesday 8th August)

As of 3.52pm today CalMac was predicting a repair review update at 6pm. This was later postponed to 8pm.

The ferry left Ullapool on time this morning but lost power on one engine on leaving Loch Broom and later suffered a total loss of power which lasted around an hour.

An RNLI lifeboat from Stornoway headed for the scene at 1pm and returned to Stornoway with the ferry. The lifeboat from Lochinver was also alerted and accompanied the ferry.

Don't open it - that's the warning this morning (Wednesday August 8th) from solicitors and estate agents Macdonald Maciver and Co of Francis Street, Stornoway, after a very realistic looking email appeared in inboxes across the region.

The e-mail purports to be from the Macdonald Maciver email address and offers the recipient the chance to open a link - but the company is warning people not to do so.  

This Saturday (11th August) the Hebrides Dance studio will host auditions for January’s pantomime, Robin Hood. (excerpt above from 2011 programme)

The pantomime is again being brought to Stornoway by director and producer Stuart Morrison.

Stuart was born in Newcastle but has strong Lewis connections. His father’s family are from Borve while his mother is originally from Carloway.

A ‘test-walk’ across some of the West Side’s beautiful moorland will be one of the opening events of Scotland’s first Community Land Week on Saturday (August 11th).

The Bonnet Laird Walk has been planned and laid out by Urras Oighreachd Charlabhaigh (Carloway Estate Trust), with a number of local young people involved in creating waymarkers, stiles and other landmarks to help people find their way along the 3.3 mile route.

A unique insight into hydro and wind power projects in West Harris will be one of the fascinating events of Scotland’s first Community Land Week.

West Harris Trust will be hosting a guided visit to their renewables projects on Tuesday August 14th.

The visit includes a visit to the 100kW hydro scheme and 100kW Xant wind turbine.

The Scottish Gaelic Awards, now in their sixth year and supported once again by Bòrd na Gàidhlig as the main sponsor, are now open for nominations.

The Scottish Gaelic Awards, now in their sixth year and supported once again by Bòrd na Gàidhlig as the main sponsor, are now open for nominations.

A bust of the Viking believed to have been the first European to “discover” America is to be unveiled in Uig tomorrow (Wednesday) at the instigation of the Seattle-based society which keeps his memory alive.

Four Western Isles fishing boats are to begin gathering vital data on by-catch of spiny dogfish from Monday (August 13th), in a new bid to allow targeted fishing of the protected species.

Spiny dogfish, a small shark species which is sold as huss in chip shops in England, is a seasonal visitor to the Minches, often accidentally caught as by-catch and discarded by island fishermen.

It’s also known as spurdog or picked dogfish. Under EU legislation it has been illegal to land the fish for over 20 years under what’s known as the Spurdog bycatch avoidance programme.

Four Western Isles fishing boats - including two from Barra - are to begin gathering vital data on by-catch of spiny dogfish from Monday (August 13th), in a new bid to allow targeted fishing of the protected species.

Spiny dogfish, a small shark species which is sold as huss in chip shops in England, is a seasonal visitor to the Minches, often accidentally caught as by-catch and discarded by island fishermen.

It’s also known as spurdog or picked dogfish. Under EU legislation it has been illegal to land the fish for over 20 years under what’s known as the Spurdog bycatch avoidance programme.

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It was another successful Fèis an Rubha this year, with 56 children from near and far attending the event on Point held last week in the local school from Monday to Friday (July 30 to August 3).

Community wind farm charity Point and Sandwick Trust donated £500 to the Gaelic youth arts event, to cover the costs of taking part for children from low-income families.

As the pictures above by Sandie Maciver of SandiePhotos show, the youngsters enjoyed learning a range of instruments – from guitar and fiddle to clarsach, melodeon and drums – as well as singing and drama workshops, all led by experienced and talented tutors.

2018 Scottish Qualifications Authority data, released today (Tuesday August 7) indicates that percentages of pupils in Eilean Siar achieving National 5 are higher than the national figure.

Overall 83.39% of those involved achieved National 5 in Eilean Siar, whereas the national pass rate was 77.40%.  This also represents an improvement of 1% in pass rates in Eilean Siar compared to 2017.

Percentage passes at Higher are in line with the national pass rate. 76.23% in Eilean Siar achieved an A-C pass, compared with 76.80% nationally.  However there are still a number of results to be confirmed and an accurate pass rate will be published in due course, says Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

Would-be students have a chance to drop  by Lews Castle College college on Wednesday 8th August between 4.30pm and 6pm to explore your options once your exam results are out.

For more information go to 

http://www.welovestornoway.com/index.php/upcoming-events-4/10938-after-your-exams-think-of-lews-castle-college

West Harris Trust is joining in with a week-long programme of events across Scotland being coordinated by Community Land Scotland (CLS) in partnership with the Scottish Government.

There are activities and events running across the country from Saturday 11th August – Sunday 19th August 2018.

Lewis community landowners Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn and Urras Oighreachd Chàrlabhaigh, are also hosting a variety of tourism and heritage events and renewable energy project visits which will allow people to see more of what happens on community-owned land.

Outer Hebrides Tourism has appointed the individual who will now lead its destination organisation and spearhead the delivery of its strategy, Tourism Outer Hebrides 2020. 
Rob McKinnon, who joined the OHT Board in 2015 will become its first Chief Executive in October.
The first CEO of Outer Hebrides Tourism "will become a tourism leader, a destination champion and an advocate for our business owners," the organisation says.

Plans for changes to the ferry terminal and harbour at Tarbert are to be shown in their revised form at consultation events from Monday September 10th onwards.

The changes are needed to create expanded facilities in time for the delivery of the new hybrid ferry, expected to serve the Uig triangle – routes between Uig in Skye, Lochmaddy in North Uist and Tarbert in Harris. It’s currently listed for delivery by the end of 2019.

Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL), who operate the harbours from which CalMac ferry services run, are working on changes which include deepening the harbour at Tarbert and construction of a new terminal.

A caravan on the Golden Sands caravan park at Coll has been vandalised and police are asking for anyone with information to come forward.

The caravan’s door was damaged, with evidence that someone had attempted to break into it, at some time between July 21st and July 30th.

Anyone who can provide any information is asked to contact police on the non-emergency number 101, quoting the incident number NH162118.

A man reported missing on Sunday night (August 5th) in Stornoway was quickly located.

Police had called for Coastguard help at 8.55pm when the man was reported missing, and deployed the Stornoway Coastguard volunteer team and Stornoway RNLI lifeboat.

But by the time volunteers had assembled they were notified that the man had been found safe and well at his home address.

The emergency units were stood down and had returned to base by 9.30pm

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The winners have been announced in the first annual Tong Village Scarecrow competition, with the new event declared an outstanding success after 22 households scared away the crows with imaginative creations in their gardens and crofts.

Stornoway police have asked for anyone who was around town over Saturday night and into Sunday morning to get in touch with them if they saw an incident of vandalism to a vehicle parked on Bayhead.

The VW Transporter campervan was parked between 10.30pm on Saturday (August 4th) and 10am on Sunday August 5th and during that time had scratches made to two panels of its body work.

No-one was in the van at the time.

If anyone knows anything about how the damage happened, they should contact police on the non-emergency number 101

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Stornoway's centre was jammed with people today (Saturday August 4th) as the Lewis Carnival hit new heights of popularity.

There were inevitable flurries of rain in mid afternoon…but the festival atmosphere was set early on as the crowds turned out in force to welcome the parade as it progressed into town from the Manor roundabout, generating traffic jams which served to remind everyone how much traffic there now is on the roads in Stornoway.  

If you love baking there’s still time to bake for Carnival Cakes for a chance to win a £50 voucher for The Good Food Boutique, says the Lewis Carnival Committee.

Drop off your creation to the marquee in Perceval Square by 11am tomorrow (Saturday 4th) if you’d like to enter competition - but they’d love baking all day too!

Leading Scottish fundraiser Bruce Tait is swapping his business suit for motorcycle leathers next month and taking fundraising training around the North of Scotland by bike.

The BTA Fundraising Essentials tour will see Bruce deliver a full day’s training in fundraising aimed specifically at charities north of Scotland’s Central Belt.

He’ll present eight sessions in communities where people would normally have to travel for training to places like Edinburgh or Glasgow.

Two junior island footballers have been selected to take part in Scottish football national training camps this summer.

A new observatory giving 360 degree views of hills, lochs and wildlife is being proposed by the North Harris Trust.

First proposed designs for the woodland viewpoint were published yesterday (Thursday August 2nd) on the trust’s Facebook page.

Martin MacSween from Ness is ‘on cloud nine’ after his all-time hero shook his hand, gave him a hug and posed for a portrait of the two together.

Martin idolises the actor Christopher Eccleston, who he reveres as the Ninth Doctor Who, and carries his picture on his iPad and phone.

There’s a rare chance to see on board one of the heavy workhorses of the Coastguard service tomorrow (Saturday August 4th) as the Coastguard tug Ievoli Black comes alongside pier no. 3 in Stornoway and invites the public on board.

The captain and crew of the salvage vessel - ‘ETV’ or Emergency Towing Vessel - will be on hand to show visitors the array of equipment available to recover a stricken ship.

Police have confirmed the timings of road closures in Stornoway town centre, as the annual Carnival parade and float competition take place tomorrow (Saturday August 4th).

The fishermen’s car park adjoining Perceval Square is already closed and will remain closed until late on Saturday. Perceval Square itself closes tonight (Friday August 3rd) at 6pm and will remain closed until 6pm tomorrow.

Two men were charged with theft yesterday (Thursday August 2nd) after they broke the trust of farmers selling their own produce.

Stornoway police had a report on Tuesday (August 1st) that money had been stolen from an honesty box at the gate of Macaulay Farm, at the junction of the Arnish Road near Stornoway.

The battle between four crofting townships wishing to develop community-owned wind farms near Stornoway and Lewis Wind Power, made up of French multinational EDF in partnership with Wood Group, is hotting up still further.

The four townships intend to bid in the Contract for Differences auction in May 2019 competing directly with LWP to put wind turbines on the same sites.

Their announcement comes a week after Energy Minister Claire Perry confirmed when the next round of renewables subsidy applications would open, slightly later than expected.

The cruise liner Balmoral brought around 1,250 guests and more than 500 crew to the islands during Thursday August 2nd berthing in the outer anchorage out towards Arnish and spending ashore a constant stream of tenders carrying visitors through sometimes rather brisk waves.

Stornoway-based HiScot Credit Union has put the last piece in its map of the Highlands and Islands, completing all arrangements for a merger with Shetland Credit Union.

HiScot received Highlands and Islands Enterprise support of £82,500 towards the costs of the merger, which will be formalised later this year with a launch event in Shetland.

It means HiScot now covers a geographical area one-and-a-half times the size of Belgium, a population of one-third of a million people and four local authority areas – something which director David Mackay says makes the saving and borrowing organisation even more robust and stable.

Groups representing patients with long-term and life-changing health conditions in the Western Isles say they are prepared to protest and petition if NHS Western Isles won’t change the way it applies rules on travel costs for patient escorts.

NHS Western Isles has been more rigorous in recent months when faced with applications for travel costs for patient escorts – family or friends who travel with patients when they go to the mainland for hospital appointments and treatments.

Now patient support groups throughout the Western Isles have banded together to focus a campaign demanding a more sympathetic approach to individual cases. They are demanding a round-table discussion with the medical director and chief executive of NHS Western Isles.

A posse of vintage tractors from Aberdeenshire are turning heads in the isles, piling onto the Sound of Harris ferry yesterday (Tuesday July 31st) during an 800-mile tractor-thon.

Walkers and cyclists are being urged to pay close attention to new signs in Lews Castle Grounds.   

Thigh-high wooden marker posts have been installed to rule out confusion – and collisions – on new bike and dual-use tracks developed as part of the ongoing Mountain-bike Trail Project.

The Stornoway Trust, which is overseeing the £300,000 scheme, is now keen for all track users take a moment to read the signs to ensure everyone uses the new routes safely.

Walkers and cyclists are being urged to pay close attention to new path signs in Lews Castle Grounds.   

Thigh-high wooden marker posts have been installed to rule out confusion – and collisions – on new bike and dual-use tracks developed as part of the ongoing Mountain-bike Trail Project.

The Stornoway Trust, which is overseeing the £300,000 scheme, is now keen for all track users take a moment to read the signs to ensure everyone uses the new routes safely.

Police are keen to trace the driver of a car involved in a collision with a motorcycle on the Lochs road last week that left an island man injured.

The collision took place between 8pm and 9pm on Friday, August 25th, on the road between the Halfway Garage and Cameron Terrace. Both vehicles were travelling in the direction of Lochs.

The motorcyclist was hurt in the collision, but his injuries are not life-threatening.

Police are keen to trace the car driver and to speak to anyone who witnessed the collision or who were at the scene.

Anyone with any information is asked to call Police on 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Walkers should watch their step today on a Castle Grounds Bridge that has lost some of its planks. 

The gaping hole in the footbridge at the Willowglen entrance to the Castle Grounds, just up from the Porter's Lodge, has appeared overnight and there is now only chickenwire covering the gap.

Certainly one of our office dogs here at Intermedia Services (pictured) was taking no risks on his morning walk today...

The Stornoway Trust has been informed.

 

Only days after the runaway success of Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn’s visit to the Isle of Lewis, it was a buoyant and cheerful group of Labour party members who thronged to the official opening of a modern office in Stornoway for their regional MSPs, David Stewart and Rhoda Grant.

And keynote speaker at the event this afternoon (Wednesday August 30th) was one of the party’s rising stars in Scotland, the Shadow Scottish Secretary Lesley Laird. In June’s General Election, Lesley Laird was elected to represent Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath. Ms Laird was born in Greenock and is a former deputy leader of Fife Council. She worked in human resources before being elected as a councillor in 2012.

YouTube film of Glasgow schoolchildren nears 2.2 million views – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKHF7PTPp_w

A group of primary school children from the east end of Glasgow have become internet sensations after their Gaelic musical version of ‘Going on a Bear Hunt’ went viral on YouTube.

Views of the film, which features youngsters from Caledonia Primary enacting the story in their school grounds in Baillieston, have climbed dramatically to nearly 2.2 million by August 29th .

The film, made with the help of the Grounds for Learning charity, is just under five minutes long and shows the pupils from P1 and 2 ‘hunting’ for a bear. Dressed in oilskins and wellies, they go splashing through the mud and creeping through concrete tunnels, while they sing the words to Tha Sinn a’ Dol a Shireadh Mathan, a Gaelic version of the kids classic story by Michael Rosen.

Western Isles MSP Alasdair Allan is urging island crofters to respond to a consultation on the priorities for future crofting law.
The public consultation seeks opinions on the form of new legislation and priorities for legislative change to ensure crofting law is fit for the 21st century.
Dr Allan commented: “The prospect of another crofting bill provides an opportunity to simplify and improve crofting legislation. More importantly though, it gives us a chance to consider what we want for crofting in the future.

A six-hour shout was the order of yesterday (Monday, August 28th) for the volunteer lifesavers of Stornoway RNLI who launched to the aid of a disabled yacht with two persons on board.
The ‘Tom Sanderson’ RNLI lifeboat launched at 2.10pm yesterday to the yacht which had suffered a fouled propeller and was drifting near Scalpay.

The sailing vessel 'Spirit of Falmouth' has been alongside in Stornoway over the weekend, the crew were awaiting break in the weather before continuing their circumnavigation of Britain. 'Spirit of Falmouth', operated by the charity Turn to Starboard, set off from Falmouth in Cornwall on 5th August to sail around Britain in a clockwise direction, the gaff-rigged schooner has become home to a crew of 17 veterans and led by two former Royal Marines who have retrained as Yachtmasters.

The crew gave a warm friendly welcome aboard and a tour of the beautiful old ship and fairly basic but pratical crew quarters and galley. The group had clearly become a close team with everyone having their role but also working together and looking out for each other, this was put to the test on the voyage to Oban where the weather suddenly deteriorated and high winds caused several sails to rip, everyone had to be on deck and clipped to help get the vessel under control. The sail to Stornoway was less dramatic and has given a chance to get everything ship shape before they set off for Orkney.

Direct public access to the Register of Crofts is available for the first time today (Monday, August 28th) as the Crofting Commission launches its Register of Crofts (ROC) online – and island crofters are urged to check their details are correct.
“This is a major step forward for the Commission,” said Chief Executive Bill Barron.
“The Register of Crofts contains thousands of entries, detailing such things as the name, location, and extent of each individual croft. Every year, we receive thousands of enquiries for information held in the Register, so public access to the information will greatly improve our service to customers.”

Within days of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn hearing about the Brexit fears of businessmen in the Isle of Lewis, it is claimed today (Sunday August 27th) in the UK national media that the Labour Party is to announce a dramatic Brexit policy shift by backing continued membership of the EU single market beyond March 2019, when Britain leaves the EU, establishing a clear dividing line with the Conservative Government of Theresa May on Brexit for the first time.

In a move that would position it decisively as the party of “soft Brexit”, Labour will support full participation in the single market and customs union during a lengthy “transitional period” that it believes could last between two and four years after the day of departure.

According to the Guardian/Observer newspapers and other on-line media, this will mean that under a Labour government the UK would continue to abide by the EU’s free movement rules, accept the jurisdiction of the European court of justice on trade and economic issues, and pay into the EU budget for a period of years after Brexit, to lessen the shock of leaving to the UK economy. This would also leave the situation in relation to the border across the island of Ireland as it is now.

A long-range rescue over the Atlantic Ocean was carried out to fly a crewman to hospital after he suffered an injury on board a fishing vessel more than 230 nautical miles from Stornoway.

A call came into the UK Coastguard just after 10am yesterday ( Saturday 26th August) reporting that the crew member had suffered a serious injury to his hand and needed hospital treatment.

Success for John Hughson of Harris Gun Club, based at Aline Forest.  He is pictured last night with his trophy as Junior High Gun for Scotland. He was representing Scotland at the ICTSC National Skeet Home Countries International Tournament this weekend in Aughnacloy, County Tyrone.

Harris Gun Club member John Hughson is representing Scotland at the ICTSC National Skeet Home Countries International Tournament this weekend in Aughnacloy, County Tyrone, and the photographs show some scenes from today's events.

Earlier the club announced how proud it was that John,  aged 16, was on the 2017 Scottish Shooting Team.

There's an Open Day at Eaglais na h-Aoidhe from 10.00am to 4.00pm today (Saturday-26th August).

It is in the middle of the two archaeological surveys which are being done now.  You can meet the archaeologists and find out what they are doing.  Everyone is welcome.

Urras Eaglais na h-Aoidhe is using a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to carry out research this summer to understand more about the archaeology of Eaglais na h-Aoidhe and its Graveyard.

College Principal and chief executive, Iain Macmillan..."It's great to have a feeling of confidence in the middle of Stornoway"

Summer sunshine and warmth returned to add to the sense of celebration in central Stornoway today (Fri August 25th) as Lews Castle College degree and higher education students gathered for their annual graduation ceremony. 

A total of 58 graduates and their families filled Martin’s Memorial church for an uplifting event to mark the completion of their successful studies through the campus in Stornoway and the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Builders Bulk bags seasoned firewood for sale.
 
Moisture content of below 20%, ready for burning.
 
£85 per bag
 
Delivery service available with trailer and crane.  £5 per bag delivery outside of Ness.
 
Phone Calum for details on 07901 957 427 / 01851 810 767
 

A visual impression of the proposed builders yard

Plans to construct a new builders yard and offices on land at Steinish have attracted over eighty objections from local residents.
Today (Friday, August 25th), a total of 84 objections have been submitted to the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s planning department in relation to a planning application made on behalf of OMac Construction Ltd for the creation of a builders yard, with associated offices and workshop/store building, on a site next-door to Lewis and Harris Auction Mart.
Thirty new car parking spaces are included in the planning application, which details the total area of the new builders yard would be 5,850 square metres, and that new road access would be required also.

Stornoway firefighters demonstrate how to deal with car accident as part of station's opening event.

 

The newly-refurbished Stornoway fire station and community room was opened yesterday (Thursday August 25th).

The station on Robertson Road, off Matheson Road, which was originally opened in 1953, has undergone a 12-month renovation and development programme. This represents a near £3 million investment in the Western Isles.

As well as being a fully operational station, the new building now boasts modern training facilities, including lecture rooms, as well as district management offices.  A Community Room will also be available for use by local residents.
 

The internationally-acclaimed Hebridean Celtic Festival has been shortlisted for two national awards to mark its significant cultural and economic impact on its host islands.
HebCelt has been confirmed as a finalist in both the ‘Festival of the Year’ and ‘Cultural Event of the Year’ categories in the annual Scottish Event Awards, which celebrate a range of events that took place in Scotland between May 20th 2016 and June 23rd 2017.
HebCelt director, Caroline Maclennan, said: “Being shortlisted in two categories is a huge honour. Coming soon after another highly successful festival, and our triumphant contribution at Lorient, is a great reward for everyone involved in organising these events.”

UK Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn met local businessmen, industry leaders and councillors at a special event in the County Hotel, Stornoway, yesterday (Wednesday 23rd August)

Sitting at a table flanked by former Labour candidate Ealasaid Macdonald, former councillor Alistair Maclennan and local MSP Rhoda Grant, Mr Corbyn listened intently as local problems were outlined by different members of the audience.

Concerns were expressed about the impact of Brexit – different speakers outlined the impact of immigration controls on the fishing industry, the impact of ending European freedom of movement on the hospitality industry; and the looming crisis of funding if losses in central government funding over the past five years were followed by the ending of European grants.

A 'fantastic and informative day' was how Jeremy Corbyn described his time in the Western Isles on Wednesday August 23rd.

In the evening, from young to old, hundreds of island residents gathered in Ionad Spòrs Leòdhais to hear from the UK Labour Party Leader.

The rally was opened by former Western Isles MP (1987-2005) Calum MacDonald who spoke of his time on the backbenches at Parliament alongside Mr Corbyn, applauding the Labour Party Leader’s ‘calm and rational’ persona, saying he was a man who was ‘reasoned and polite in debates and discussions’.

A relaxed looking Jeremy Corbyn arrived at Stornoway Airport today, chatting to fellow passengers and taking part in selfies with some as he disembarked from the Glasgow flight just after midday.

 

Travellers are being given early warning of potential disruption on the North Uist - Skye ferry route later this year.

Essential repairs to the council-owned linkspan in Lochmaddy could see services to and from it closed or limited from Monday 13th to Sunday 19th November 2017.

Cllr Uisdean Robertson, Chairman of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar's Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said that the local community has been consulted and hauliers in particular would be kept updated in order to minimise the impact locally.  

Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron is criticising Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn who is visiting the Isle of Lewis today as part of a five-day tour of Scottish constituencies.

The Labour leader is travelling around Scottish constituencies which Labour believes to be future target seats against incumbent SNP MPs and is expected to be in Shawbost this afternoon and Stornoway tonight (Wednesday August 23).
 
Tory Donald Cameron said that in the recent General Election, Labour only gained 446 extra votes in comparison to 2015 while the Scottish Conservatives picked up 1226 extra votes; a record number of votes in the Western Isles since the 1970 General Election.

 

An Island cat rescue centre is within a whisker of closing unless more volunteers can be found.

The Cats Protection League Lewis and Harris Branch rescues and rehomes hundreds of cats each year.

But organisers fear it is now in danger of shutting down unless more moggy-minded helpers come forward.

Minister for Employability and Training, MSP Jamie Hepburn spoke at e-Sgoil today

The success of Western Isles’ young people and apprentices was highlighted today (Tuesday, August 22nd) as Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Employability and Training, visited e-Sgoil as part of a Developing the Outer Hebrides Young Workforce (DYW) event.
Mr Hepburn said: “It was fantastic to visit e-Sgoil and see how this new group is helping to bring employers and schools closer together, providing young people with greater opportunities to learn more about the world of work.”
Started in 2014, Developing the Young Workforce is a seven year Scottish Government programme to prepare children and young people for the world of work; its aim to reduce youth unemployment by 40% by 2021.

Crofters have submitted hundreds of objections against the EDF wind farm proposal to build 36 turbines on crofting land in Lewis without the crofters’ consent.

Plans for the Stornoway Wind Farm scheme have been submitted to the Scottish Land Court by multinational engineering firm EDF and their current partners in the scheme, Amec-Foster-Wheeler, under Section 19 of the Crofters Act.

A Section 19 application is the request for permission to go ahead with development on crofting ground regardless of whether the crofters in the townships affected would be in favour of the development or not.

Seasonal Staff Required – Stag Bakeries

A number of temporary positions will be available from August to December 2017.

Tasks will include the manufacturing, packing and wrapping of baked goods and cleaning.

Shifts will be between 6am and 5pm, up to a maximum of 8 hours per day, Monday to Friday and will vary depending on production requirements with the possibility of up to 39 hours per week.

Applicants must be available to work from August until December.

Hourly rates would be within the range £5.68 - £7.60, depending on experience.

Fixed-term contracts only, up to a maximum of six months.

Email Donnie for an application form (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or alternatively collect one from the bakery reception.

Closing date for applications is Saturday 30th September.

Na h-Eileanan an Iar’s MP Angus B MacNeil (SNP) extends a warm welcome to Jeremy Corbyn as he visits Stornoway this week but challenges him to explain why he favours the Tories’ plan for a hard Brexit – for the UK to leave the Single Market and Customs Union.
Despite the majority of businesses in the Highlands and Islands believing this would be a negative move for the Scottish economy, Mr Corbyn supports the Tories’ plan to leave the Single Market and Customs Union and Mr MacNeil is urging him to explain why he and Theresa May think they know better.
Angus MacNeil MP said: “The view of Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party is the same as Theresa May and the Tories, that the UK should leave the Single Market and pursue a Brexit deal without membership – a view contrary to the majority of businesses asked in a recent HIE commissioned survey.

Island charities and community groups have until Monday, August 28th, to apply for a share of over £4 million before the closing deadline of the latest round of People’s Postcode Lottery funding/
Local MP Angus MacNeil is urging local charities and community groups to consider applying for a share of the £4 million pot raised by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.
Both charities and community groups are eligible to apply for the grants of between £500 and £20,000.

The first Western Isles Lifestyle Lottery draw was held on Saturday (August 19th) with the first three winners who reside in areas across the Western Isles:

1st Prize - Mrs Mairead MacDonald of Lingerbay, Isle of Harris

2nd Prize - Mrs Margaret Campbell from Ormiclate, South Uist

3rd Prize - Mrs Louise Harrison of Coll, Isle of Lewis

The Second Western Isles Lifestyle Lottery draw was held on Saturday (August 26th) with this week's three winners being:

Prize 1: Miss I (ISLE OF BARRA) won £136.44

Prize 2: Mrs H (STORNOWAY) won £56.85

Prize 3: Mrs M (ISLE OF LEWIS) won £34.11

All Winners and Supporters will see 60p from their purchased tickets be distributed in bulk sums to the partner groups in their respective areas.

Tickets can be purchased at any time online on the Western Isles Lottery website https://www.westernisleslottery.co.uk or during office hours by telephone on 0300 30 20 444.

You can receive all updates by following on https://www.facebook.com/wicommunitysociety/


Western Isles MP, Angus MacNeil, has been nominated for the 2017 MP of the Year Award.

The awards are hosted by The Patchwork Foundation and sponsored by KPMG; and Mr MacNeil’s nomination follows his work on rural issues and his “commitment to raising constituent issues on fishing and coastguards,” said the Foundation.

Speaking of his nomination, Angus said: “It is a great honour to be nominated for this award especially in relation to campaigns for fishing and coastguards which are so vital for my constituents.

Businesses in the Western Isles are being invited to a free workshop on the benefits of innovation.
The workshop takes place at Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) office in Stornoway at 10.00am on Wednesday, August 30th.
The workshop has been organised by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Business Gateway ahead of the launch next month of Co-Innovate, a new innovation support programme covering Northern Ireland, the Irish Border region and Western Scotland.

Organisers of Rally Hebrides 2017 have publicly thanked all those volunteers who helped make this year's rally another success.

Chief Marshal Donald Flagg - pictured above at the Creed Park track on Saturday - said on the rally's Facebook page:

"I should by now have sent all the marshals a message of thanks but I want to also do it here publicly in case there is anyone I have missed.

A former Labour MP for the Western Isles has warned island crofters that they will lose key rights over their common grazings to EDF, the giant multinational utility that is behind the planned Lewis Wind Power wind farm on the Point and Sandwick Common Grazings, if it is successful with its present Section 19 application to the Scottish Land Court.

Calum MacDonald, who now develops community-owned wind farms including the award-winning Beinn Ghrideag belonging to Point and Sandwick Trust, has urged crofting shareholders to register objections with the Scottish Land Court by this Thursday, August 24, or risk losing their development rights over the grazings.

Mr MacDonald said: “Crofters in the Point and Sandwick area of Lewis should be aware that EDF’s Section 19 application currently before the Land Court will remove any and all development rights they have over the Common Grazings for at least the next 70 years.

Rally Hebrides 2017 benefitted from a generally sunny day yesterday (Saturday August 19th)  - although showers affected some of the stages, particularly the early-morning one at Melbost Farm and spectators donned a variety of clothing to cope with the conditions as the event progressed.

Here's some spectator information for Rally Hebrides today (Saturday August 19th), a layout for the new Quarry Stage and some photographs from last night's Airport Stage.

SS2&3 Melbost farm -0 car due 0800hrs. Park and Ride depart Creed Park 0730hrs. Best Spectating access from North Street to the left and top of hill.

Offices to let

Front office - modern decor.

Rear office - with toilets.

Bayhead area, personal parking available.

Tel: 01851 70 1155 or 07714 495 951

Rally Hebrides 2017 hit town today (Friday August 19th) with scrutineering at the Stornoway Ferry Terminal.   The first stage of the event is out at Stornoway airport - with buses for spectators leaving from The Nicolson Institute Car park/Smith Avenue  - there is no car parking for spectators at the stage - all the space is taken up by the rally cars!!  The Airport Stage - a new part of the event - is starting from around 7.30pm. 

A £7m plan for a Gaelic arts centre in South Uist has won £1m in support from the Scottish Government, it was formally announced yesterday (August 17th).
 
Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan welcomed the announcement from Deputy First Minister John Swinney MSP during a visit to the Uists about the Cnoc Soilleir project in Daliburgh.
 
The investment will come from the Scottish Government’s Gaelic Capital Plan. The project is being done in collaboration with Lews Castle College UHI and will establish a multi-functioning Gaelic education and arts centre in Uist. It is hoped to create up to 40 jobs, the MSP said.

One of Scotland’s most successful green energy entrepreneurs has backed community ownership as the way forward for wind developments, as four island crofting townships prepare for a court battle with Stornoway Trust and Lewis Wind Power.

Steve McDonald, who co-founded Sgurr Energy which he then sold to Wood Group, has been involved in technical advice to companies all over the world in how to develop and build wind farms.

His company’s past projects include Whitelee, the UK’s largest onshore wind farm on Eaglesham Moor, and Salkhit, the first wind farm that was ever built in Mongolia.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has warmly welcomed the ongoing collaboration work between Flybe/Eastern Airways and Loganair following a meeting of the Outer Hebrides Airport Consultative Committee held at the Comhairle offices this morning (Thursday).

Representatives from Flybe, Eastern Airways and Loganair attended the meeting and delivered presentations on their aims and vision for the future of inter-island air services.

Members of the public came to the aid of an injured cyclist in Stornoway yesterday afternoon.

A male cyclist was hurt after being involved in a collision with a van, near the Matheson Road-Goathill Road-Church Street junction, at around 4.40pm.

In torrential rain, several people came forward to help, and workers employed by G&A Barnie Group got out of their van to help divert traffic.

 

Nearly 90 adults and children attended the recent family activity event run by the NHS Western Isles’ Maternal and Infant Nutrition (MIN) group, in partnership with Pursuit Hebrides, to promote healthy lifestyle and diet information for families with young children.

The event, held at Stornoway Golf Club, featured staff from a range of NHS Western Isles services including health promotion, dietetics and nutrition, health visiting and Childsmile, and included a variety of specially designed games using fruit and vegetables where children could challenge their parents, grandparents or carers to a fun game or play against each other.

Torrential rain and driving wind failed to deter people from turning out last night (Wednesday August 16th) for a major presentation by top Flybe management about their new service from Stornoway from September 1.

This is part of a new series of Scottish services operated by and for Flybe, the UK’s largest regional airline, and will be followed by a franchise deal with Eastern Airlines that sees Eastern’s network operating under Flybe’s colours across the UK and abroad.

Mathew Herzberg, head of Commercial for Eastern Airways , explained that the airline had been operating into Stornoway on the Aberdeen route for 11 years, and operated more than 100 flights a day across the UK. The new services to Glasgow – and the existing service to Aberdeen – would all benefit from seamless connections through to other services on the Flybe network.

With the recent media coverage surrounding historic sexual abuse of children in youth football, groups in the Western Isles are being reminded of the need to have Child Protection policies and procedures in place.

The responsibility to develop such policies sits with the individual groups, clubs or associations themselves. This is required to ensure that children participating in youth groups across the Outer Hebrides can do so in a safe, protected environment.

It’s an exciting time for local outlets Underground and Influence, as both shops prepare for a massive expansion in Stornoway town centre.

Influence is moving from its Francis Street premises to the former Hydro Shop building on Cromwell Street – allowing the space it leaves to accommodate more stock for menswear in Underground.

Underground is run by Iain Don Murray, while Influence is run by his wife Catriona and her sister Ann.

Underground initially started out as a branded menswear store which opened on Bayhead in 1998 .

It moved to Cromwell Street in the early 2000s, before shifting once again to its current location next-door to the former Gazette office.

“We hope to have both new shops up and running by the end of September,” Iain Don said.

“The move allows us to considerably expand our ranges in both shops.

“In Underground, we will be bringing in some smart-wear – shirts, trousers, ties, etc.

“We’ll also be selling suits, offering customers a ‘mix and match’ style service.

“And we will be bringing in an extensive range of mens, womens and kids footwear. Also we will be able to expand our school wear lines. We will try to deliver a full range of men’s clothing at competitive prices."

Underground will also revamp 'Go fish' for next season and will add to its expansive selection of fishing equipment.

Having a new building for itself, the new arrangement will also see Influence completely revamp its stock, offering island females a better range of clothing at the very best prices – again catering for all ages.

Influence will also have a massive range of new home and gift ware products.

So keep your eyes peeled for the latest exciting development in town shopping!

Local teacher Claire Wilson has been selected to join the fifty-strong international championship highland dance team which will perform at the 10th Anniversary of the Spasskaya Tower Tattoo - the Kremlin Military Tattoo in Moscow.

The Spasskaya Tower Tattoo will take place from 26th August to 3rd September and is staged with the backdrop of the monumental walls of the Kremlin.

The first Western Isles Lifestyle Lottery draw will take place this Saturday (August 19th).

Following a successful Fireworks Launch last Saturday at Tong Motor Show & Fun Day, the first three Cash Prize winners of the Western Isles Lifestyle Lottery will be announced on the Lottery website moments after the 1st Draw this Saturday at 8pm.

The winner of the Lottery’s first Bolt-on Prize of a £250 Holiday Voucher, generously donated by Hebrides Travel, will also be announced.

Rally Hebrides is dropping the planned 'turbine road' stages (seen above in 2015)  from this year's event, it was announced tonight (Tuesday August 15).

But local quarry and construction firm I A & C Maciver has stepped in to help the fund-raising event, being held on Friday August 18th and Saturday August 19th.

Organisers Lewis Car Club said tonight:"Due to unforeseen construction delays on the Pentland Road Windfarm site we are unfortunately no longer able to run this stage of the rally.

All island babies due from today (15 August) onwards will be gifted a box full of essential items aimed at tackling health inequality and promoting health.

Each Baby Box contains a large number of items which are not only practical but designed to help tackle inequality and improve health. The box itself also doubles up as a safe sleep space, awarded British Safety standard accreditation as a crib for domestic use.

Dr. Maggie Watts, NHS Western Isles Director of Public Health, opening the event.

On Friday 11th August 2017 in Sgoil Lionacleit, Benbecula, NHS Western Isles and the Scottish Health Protection Network (SHPN) hosted a very successful Tick and Lyme disease symposium.

The event had over 60 delegates across 9 videoconference sites and those who attended in person. 

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan has welcomed new Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) figures that reveal 41 community groups in the Western Isles now own their own land.

Just under 500 community groups in Scotland have benefited from the SNP’s progressive land reform policies that help enable communities control their own destiny.

Recent samples taken at Loch Braigh na h-Aoidhe (Braighe Loch) Isle of Lewis have indicated the presence of blue-green algae.

As a precautionary measure, notices have been posted next to the loch, warning that contact with the algal scum should be avoided. The bloom has the potential to discharge onto Melbost Beach.

Dog walkers using the area should take care that their dogs do not come into contact with the algal scum.

Adjoining landowners and fishing interests have been advised of the situation as has the Environmental Health section of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, SEPA Stornoway Office and NHS Western Isles.

Kiogosi FC in the old Point strips sponsored by Duncan Mackenzie Kitchen Centre

Youngsters in a couple of villages in Tanzania are now playing football in Point strips following a donation from community wind farm charity Point and Sandwick Trust.

The trust, who own the three-turbine wind farm Beinn Ghrideag on the outskirts of Stornoway, had donated a new set of strips to Point FC’s Under 18 team in June – strips which instantly brought them luck as they won the local Ladywell Cup on their first outing.

Three swimmers have successfully completed a 21-mile charity swim from the Flannan Isles to Ardroil beach, in Uig.

Stuart Baird, Ed Smith, and Colin Macleod left Lewis on Sunday August 13th aboard support vessel the MV ‘Cuma’, skippered by Murdanie MacDonald of Island Cruising, and sailed to the Flannan Isles before starting their charity swim at dawn on Monday, August 14th.

Scottish Conservative MSP Donald Cameron held a meeting with crofters at the Lochmaddy Hotel in North Uist yesterday (Monday).

The aim of the meeting was to give crofters from across the Western Isles the opportunity to meet with Donald and put their issues and concerns to him directly.

Airline operator Flybe is to hold a public information event in Stornoway tomorrow night.

Members of the public are invited to come along and meet Chief Revenue Officer, Vincent Hodder, and hear all about Flybe’s plans for continuing to serve Stornoway when their new contract begins on September 1.

The event will be held in Stornoway Town Hall on Wednesday August 16, starting at 6pm.

 


Woodland Trust chief executive Beccy Speight, left, with Croft Woodland project officer Viv Halcrow and Donald Macdonald, who has planted trees on his croft in Back.

Islanders have been praised for their commitment to Point and Sandwick Trust’s Croft Woodlands project by the boss of a UK conservation charity.
The head of the UK’s leading woodland conservation charity welcomed the success of the Croft Woodlands Project so far, after spending a day on Lewis as part of a whistle-stop tour of the Highlands and Islands.
Woodland Trust chief executive Beccy Speight, who is based in Grantham, Lincolnshire, was on the island last Thursday (August 10) with Eleanor Garty, North Scotland Woodland Creation Manager.

Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron has reacted with concern over recent figures which show that the number of special constables employed by Police Scotland has plummeted since 2013.

A recent Freedom of Information request by the Scottish Conservatives showed that the number of special constables across Scotland has dropped from 1228 in 2013 to just 810 in 2016, a fall of more than a third.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, and Carpet World Warehouse.

Not exactly a combination you’d expect to hear, but the Stornoway firm has now started selling revolutionary memory foam mattresses which are being officially endorsed by none other than Manchester United FC.

In fact, Carpet World Warehouse is the only outlet in Lewis and Harris selling the mattresses, which come at exactly the same price as they do online.

Members of Western Isles Hospital’s HDU and Emergency departments got a nice surprise when a patient delivered flowers to thank them for their sterling work.

Mary Macleod – well-known locally for her work as chair of the Lewis and Harris Breast Cancer Support Group – suffers from atrial fibrillation, which means that her heart regularly goes out of rhythm.

The body of a man was recovered from Cliff beach near to the Valtos area of Isle of Lewis yesterday afternoon (Saturday 12 August, 2017), Police Scotland said today.

A member of the public informed police at around 3:25pm of the discovery of the man’s body.

Officers attended and were assisted by the Coastguard.

An Lanntair and Museum nan Eilean made history in numerous ways last night (Friday August 11th) with the opening of the Colin Mackenzie exhibition in the new museum.  
Collector Extraordinaire brings together for the first time, some of the vast collection of items and images brought together by Stornoway man Colin Mackenzie during his decades in India in the late 18th Century and early 19th century.  He died in 1821 without returning home.

Harris Gun Club is proud to announce that another junior member of the club, John Hughson aged 16, is on the 2017 Scottish Shooting Team.

John competed in the Scottish Open National Skeet competition 06/08/17 and hit 96 of the 100 clays. Although he was placed 8th out of 79 shooters, John won the Scottish Junior High Gun (closed trophy) and came 2nd in B Class (not restricted to juniors only).

Na h-Eileanan an Iar Labour Party say they are 'delighted' that Jeremy Corbyn will visit Lewis on 23 August.
"Mr Corbyn will visit local businesses seeing some of the industries which drive our economy before meeting with local business people and community organisation leaders to hear of the issues facing our island communities.
"The public will get the opportunity to hear Mr Corbyn at a meeting in the evening at 7.30pm in Lewis Sports Centre.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will visit Stornoway on Wednesday August 23, www.welovestornoway.com can reveal.

Mr Corbyn will fly into the Western Isles early on the Wednesday morning, and will spend the day meeting with local activists and members of the Lewis business community.

Later that evening, he will host a rally at Lewis Sports Centre.

A last call has gone out for volunteer marshals to assist at next weekend's Rally Hebrides in Stornoway.

A marshal's meeting held last night saw some new faces, but more helpers are still needed to ensure the success of the hugely popular event.

Anyone who can assist is asked to call Donald Flagg on 07834 556959.

Police in the Highlands are again urging businesses to be on their guard against vishing and spoofing fraud after a further incident saw a business lose money earlier this week.

It is the latest in a series of similar frauds on businesses in the north of Scotland in recent weeks, which has resulted in around £2.5million being defrauded.

Another interesting vessel has arrived in Stornoway harbour today, the USNS Grasp.

The USNS Grasp is a specialised salvage and rescue vessel of the United States Naval fleet. The vessel’s operational efficiency is rated very highly because both the vessel’s construction and its on board equipment are state-of-the-art enabling her to aid in any kind of salvaging and deepwater tugging operations.

The USNS Grasp has been involved in the unearthing of the famous US navy vessel, the Bonhomie Richard. Bonhomie’s skipper, John P. Jones, is known to have purposefully sunk the vessel following a prolonged skirmish with the British war-vessel HMS Serapis in the year 1779. It is well-documented that the vessel sank into the depths of the North Sea, but it's actual geographic location is still unknown and remains a mystery. If the Grasp succeeds in this quest to unearth Bonhomie Richard’s position, a 200-year old mystery will see the light of the day.

Western Isles school pupils have done well in their exams, it has just been announced.

Data indicates that percentages in Eilean Siar achieving National 5 in S4 are higher than the national figure. 85.98% achieved National 5 in Eilean Siar, whereas the national pass rate was 79.5%.

Percentage passes at Higher are in line with the national pass rate. 77.75% in Eilean Siar achieved an A-C pass, compared with 77% nationally.

Overall, there is a slight decrease in the numbers and passes in the Senior Phase (S4-S6), largely due to increasing numbers who opt for vocational qualifications.

Children in Scotland, Scottish Youth Parliament, and Young Scot are looking for committed and passionate young people from across the Western Isles to become Year of Young People 2018 Ambassadors.

As a YoYP 2018 Ambassador you would be involved in making sure that young people and organisations in your community know about YoYP 2018 activities, and together with other Ambassadors, you will lead on projects and activity within your area to create new opportunities for young people to shine locally, nationally and globally.

The French training ship Belem alongside pier number one in Stornoway.

The Belem is 57m long and was built in 1896 - she is now considered a French historic monument. Belem is a traditional three-masted rig with a professional staff from the merchant navy, trainees are taken on as members of the crew to learn all aspects of seamanship. 

Having begun life as a cargo ship transporting sugar from the West Indies as well as cocoa and coffee from Brazil and French Guiana to Nantes in France, the tall ship Belem is now over 120 years old, with a history that includes becoming a private yacht for Hugh Grosvenor, 2nd Duke of Westminster.

 

Searches continued at the weekend for Torsten Kulke, who has been reported missing on the Isle of Lewis.

The 48-year-old from Germany was reported missing on Monday, July 31, having arrived in the Western Isles on Friday, July 28.

Extensive searches were carried out over the course of the weekend involving specialist Police resources, including the dog unit, as well as the Stornoway lifeboat, Coastguard personnel and the Hebridean Mountain Rescue Team.

The great Rally Hebrides shop is open now in Francis Street, Stornoway, in the abandoned premises formerly occupied by the Stornoway Gazette Card and Gift Shop. 

This is all part of the local build-up to the rally on August 18th and 19th, which last year raised more than £16,000 for the charity, Macmillan Cancer Support

During the recent 250th anniversary celebrations for Lodge Fortrose, a number of raffles were held and over £1600 were raised.

The money was donated to a number of local charities at a special event in the Lodge on Kenneth Street, Stornoway, on Saturday August 5th.

Despite occasional threats of rain, sunny weather dominated Lewis Carnival Day in Stornoway as the new-look event - focused around the Inner Harbour with the support of Stornoway Port Authority - wowed the crowds who stayed around far longer than normal in the crowded town-centre streets and around Perceval Square.

The new look Lewis Carnival got under way this morning with the Carnival Mile starting at 11am from outside Lews Castle and ending up on the Cromwell Street Quay.

The Carnival is for the first time centred on North Beach around Perceval Square car park (NOT South Beach!)  There is the European Market on the Old Bus Station car park and the funfair on North Beach Quay car park.  The Carnival Parade is starting at 1pm from Willowglen.

 

 

Commenting on media reports that the UK Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Michael Gove has told the Danish fishing industry that boats from EU countries will still be able to operate in UK waters after Brexit, Angus MacNeil MP has expressed his concern at the naivety of Mr Gove.

Mr MacNeil, MP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar and SNP Shadow spokesperson for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: “The naivety displayed by Michael Gove is quite staggering!

Point's very own Gaelic festival Feis an Rubha ends tonight (Friday August 4th) with a special concert. 

Organisers report there was a bumper attendance this year, with a total of 69 children aged 3-13 attending the event held at Sgoil an Rubha between Bayble and Garrabost.

A pioneering new initiative is being developed on the Western Isles to provide support for people affected by cancer and their families.

The Western Isles Cancer Care Initiative (WICCI) will be working in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support and other local partners to address specific needs of individuals and families affected by cancer in the Western Isles.

The current Macmillan Cancer Support Isle of Lewis Fundraising Committee has been operating successfully for many years and in that time has raised over £1million.

International music fans have snapped up all tickets for a concert featuring several Isle of Lewis performers at Europe’s biggest Celtic festival in France.

Gaelic language, culture and heritage will play a leading role when Scotland is celebrated at the annual Lorient Interceltic Festival being held from from today (August 4) to 13 August in Brittany.

The sell-out show at the 1,038-seat venue, comes just two weeks after the end of this year’s HebCelt which is playing a key role in the French event.

A range of jobs are once again available on the Job Vacancies page of welovestornoway.com

In Tarbert there’s a chance to be a janitor at Sir E Scott School.

Stag Bakeries in Stornoway has vacancies for trainee bakers and for seasonal staff with a number of temporary positions available from August to December 2017. There is also a vacancy for a Sales Executive and a part-time cleaning supervisor.

Martin’s Memorials in Bell’s Road, Stornoway, has a vacancy for an office administrator; while SPAR/Manor Garage on Macaulay Road have vacancies for an office manager and for a worker in the kitchen.

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant, has welcomed the additional Saturday sailing on the Stornoway Ullapool route put on to address the severe ferry-capacity issues suffered by Islanders, businesses and tourists.

Calmac earlier announced that an additional Saturday evening sailing will operate in August.

The MSP said, “In recent weeks I have met with Martin Dorchester, CEO Calmac Ferries and Brian Fulton, Director Calmac Ferries, written to the Scottish Government Minister, spoken with leaders at CnES and have met with island hauliers in an attempt to increase the capacity on the route as Islanders and visitors are being severely affected by the restricted capacity offered by the mv Loch Seaforth.

Newspaper publisher Johnston Press Ltd, owner of the Stornoway Gazette newspaper, is calling for help from its £600m pension fund to prop up the company.

This week it revealed half-year financial results showing sustained pressure on the scores of local newspapers that form the core of its business.

According to its half-year report: ”Including classifieds, total advertising revenues declined by 11.8%. Classified and other advertising for the period is £17.3m, down 29% for the period. Classified and other advertising includes property, motors, jobs and other advertising including features, entertainment and other classifieds.”

A new supermarket outlet is coming to Stornoway…and it will revive a long vacant town centre shopping spot once occupied by the long-gone Presto group.

The Iceland store is expected to open in Cromwell Street in late October, following extensive renovation and repair work on the building that has already begun.

This will bring the multi-award-winning range of Iceland products and style to the centre of the town.

Passengers and travellers using the Stornoway ferry terminal have hit back after they were blamed for causing traffic chaos on Shell Street and surrounding roads by arriving just before the ferry cut-off deadline for services to Ullapool.

The claim came earlier this week as Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, CalMac Ferries and Stornoway Port Authority pledged action before next summer to reduce the impact of traffic queues.

On the Facebook page of welovestornoway.com Fiona Johnstone said: “We were on the 1st ferry on Saturday and arrived well before check-in closed and the queue was already backed up past Tesco.”

CalMac is to run additional late-night sailings between Stornoway and Ullapool on Saturdays August 5, 12, and 19, to help address unprecedented demand on the route.

Robbie Drummond, Director of Service Delivery at CalMac, said: “We are experiencing a significant and unprecedented increase in ferry traffic across all of our network this Summer.  In many places our fleet  is working to the limits of its capabilities but, in the case of the Stornoway-Ullapool route, we have identified an opportunity to introduce, on a pilot basis,  an extra return sailing late on Saturday nights for three of the busiest weekends in August.”

The late Saturday sailing will depart Stornoway at 2200 hrs and a return sailing will leave Ullapool at 0045hrs.

Police in the Highlands are urging businesses to be on their guard against vishing and spoofing fraud after a number of businesses were recently defrauded out of almost £2.5million.
The incidents against a number of businesses occurred between July 19th and 30th and happened after companies received calls from individuals claiming to work for their bank using genuine-looking communications.
They operate by stating that their account has been compromised and persuade victims to transfer money to a 'safe account' in a number of transactions.

A visualisation of the proposed build

The ambition for Stornoway to become a ‘University Town’ is moving forward as planning permission is being sought for new student accommodation to be built on Sandwick Road.
The proposed site for the new Student Accommodation is to be on the current derelict land adjacent to Sandwick Road, tucked in behind the ACRES homeless hostel.
In a bid to support the developing University of the Highlands and Islands, the project will deliver a total of 60 student beds, comprising of 53 single bedrooms, four studios, and three accessible rooms. All bedrooms will be completed with en-suite shower room facilities.

Police in Western Isles are making an urgent appeal for information in order to trace 48-year-old Torsten Raimund Kulke, who is missing from his home in Germany and concerns have been raised for his wellbeing.

He may have travelled to the Western Isles on Friday 28th July 2017 and be in either the Isle of Lewis, Harris, Uist or Skye.

He is described as being 6 ft 3 inches tall, with a medium build and light brown hair.

Those with any information can contact officers at Stornoway Police station on 101, quoting incident number NH/2952/17.  Alternatively, information can be anonymously given to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

At 1pm today, Tuesday 1st August, it was reported Stornoway Coastguard have been tasked by the Police to carry out a search of the Aird Uig area for the missing 48-year-old. Coastguard teams from Stornoway, Miavaig, Bragar and Breasclete are conducting the search along with Coastguard Rescue helicopter R948.

Sylvia Vervoort - the SMIT Salvage Master who took the 'Transocean Winner' rig off Dalmore Beach

The challenges and responsibilities faced by salvage teams, along with the history of salvage law and the legalities of saving wreckage, and at times the environment, were explained by Salvage Master Sylvia Vervoort at a public seminar in Lews Castle College UHI tonight (Wednesday, August 31st) – but not up for discussion was her most recent operation; the ‘Transocean Winner’ rig which grounded at Dalmore Beach last month.

Lews Castle College Senior Research Engineer Arne Volger introduced Sylvia, and told the large audience gathered that due to the ongoing operation and at the request of her clients, she was limited about the information which could be discussed in regard to the rig, now afloat in Broadbay.

Saying that she was ‘very proud’ to be invited to speak, Sylvia then gave background about her career, which began aged 17 when she was handed a brochure about studying at nautical college. 

Eight friends are climbing to the top of Ceapabhal near Northton in Harris on Saturday September 3 as part of a fundraising campaign to pay for cancer treatment for Sophie Gackowski.

Sophie, daughter of former Stornoway TSB manager Peter Gackowski, spent some of her school years at Stornoway Primary School.

After nearly seven years of pain with her right hand, multiple hand and wrist surgeries, speculative diagnoses and many treatments since she was 18, Sophie was finally given a diagnosis of Epithelioid Sarcoma in August 2014.  Having her right hand amputated was her only option. 

She recovered from the surgery with no evidence of cancer, yet months later a small dot appeared on the CT scans of her lungs.  It was removed in December 2015 and a biopsy showed it to be Epithelioid Sarcoma.  Three months later, three more small lesions appeared.  At the beginning of March 2016, she was told it was terminal.

Stornoway Port Authority Chairman Murdo Murray with Ian McCulloch

 

Mr Ian McCulloch has been appointed to the Board of Stornoway Port Authority, it was announced today.

Ian had a long and successful career in the oil and gas industry primarily with the international company ConocoPhillips.  Born and brought up in Morayshire, Ian currently spends his time between Aberdeen and Shawbost, in the family home where his mother was brought up.

The local committee for Mod nan Eilean Siar 2016 along with Caledonian MacBrayne, Police Scotland and the Stornoway Port Authority are encouraging Mod travellers to make bus and ferry bookings as soon as possible.

Next week (Thursday September 8th), An Lanntair launches Hebrides Contemporary Arts (HCA), a new artist support scheme for local new and emerging artists and creative practitioners. 
Funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the project is led by the artist, curator and An Lanntair’s new Artist Support Coordinator, Alex Boyd. 
HCA will offer would-be visual artists, musicians, theatre practitioners, writers and others all sorts of exciting new opportunities – from mentoring and coaching to workshops with industry professionals, funding advice, networking and sharing events, portfolio reviews, exhibitions and even concerts. 
Elly Fletcher, Chief Executive of An Lanntair said: “This is a very exciting and important moment in An Lanntair’s work with the local artist community. 

In less than a month the petition launched by Western Isles SNP Councillors Rae Mackenzie and Gordon Murray, demanding that the UK Government reinstates an Emergency Towing Vessel (ETV) on the west coast of Scotland, attracted almost 1,500 signatures.

And next week it will be presented to UK Prime Minister Theresa May at 10 Downing Street - on Tuesday 6th September.

The ETV in Stornoway was removed in 2011 as a cost cutting exercise by the UK Government. 

Local business Hebridean Sea Salt has today announced a £180,000 deal with supermarket chain J Sainsbury’s.

The company, based in Habost, Lochs, will see their Original and Peat Smoked sea salt hit the shelves of Sainsbury’s in their first UK-wide deal.

M'n'M Hair Design has a new home - at 38 Kenneth Street, Stornoway.

But it has a problem with its phone-lines - as the number from the previous salon has not been transferred as requested - and customers are asked to ring the mobile 07521 406978 to make contact, book appointments and make any arrangements.

Speaking to EVENTS newspaper in May as M'n'M Hair Design celebrated its tenth Anniversary, hairdresser Maureen Macphail said she never anticipated owning her own business when she returned home to live on Lewis ten years ago.

“I never dreamed I'd move home and open my own place,” said Maureen, who had previously managed a salon in Dumfries, as well as working as a hairdresser on cruise ships.

One of the launch events for the Hebrides International Film Festival 2016 (Wednesday 14th to Sat 17th September 2016) is the first UK screening for Vanishing Sail  - The Story of a Caribbean Tradition.
Vanishing Sail is an 88 minute feature documentary about a boatbuilder on a small island in the West Indies.  The film is part of a transmedia project that began nearly 20 years ago when marine photographer Alexis Andrews, restored an old wooden fishing sloop salvaged from a sinking accident in Antigua.
That year, 1997, he sailed her south to Carriacou to find the creator of this beautiful vessel.

The Lewis Pipe band had their final parade of the season yesterday afternoon (August 27th) starting at 3pm in the Narrows in Stornoway.

The Band commented beforehand that; “It's been an excellent year for us having been crowned European Champions in June, so come along for a listen before we have a break to work hard on new material for 2017.”

Local MP Angus MacNeil and Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan outside Alasdair's new office

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan has announced his Stornoway constituency office is to move to a new location from Monday 29th August onwards.

The island MSP has moved round the corner from Bayhead to 20 Kenneth Street. Local MP Angus MacNeil will continue to be based in the office at Bayhead.

The annual Lews Castle College UHI Graduation and Prizegiving ceremony took place this afternoon (Friday August 26)

Students, staff, relatives and friends gathered along with special guests in the Town Hall before the event.

The students and graduands then left the Town Hall led by a piper and progressed up Francis Street to Martin's Memorial Church followed by the platform party including guest speaker Lord Darling of Rouhanish, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer. ( see videos on https://www.facebook.com/welovestornoway/

There's a Police Scotland 'Meet the Buyer' event for joinery and locksmith services on Friday 2 September 2016 at 
1pm to 4.30pm at the Stornoway Police Office, 18 Church Street.

Police Scotland are carrying out Preliminary Supplier Engagements, or 'Meet the Buyer' events, across a few geographical areas in Scotland as part of their research into deciding the best way forward for their new upcoming tender for joinery and locksmith services in relation to boarding-up premises in the Highlands and Islands.

They invite any suppliers that are interested in participating to come along to the above venue for this informal drop-in session, videolinking up with Portree Police Office.

Lucky2bhere, the Skye-based life-saving charity received a massive boost from the emergency services in Stornoway when it received a cheque for £7311,79 arising from the annual soccer match between 999 service personnel and a fundraising evening event.
In the hard-fought game on Saturday August 13 at the Stornoway Running Track pitch, the police took a 2-0 lead, but the fire service team came back with a 3-2 victory to take the cup home for another year.  The police team included members of the ambulance, paramedical and Coastguard services. The event has a Facebook page.

Those enjoying the sunshine today at Cuddy Point are being treated to a rare spectacle. 

It's estimated that tens of thousands of small fish (tiny herring) are currently in the inner harbour, being pushed ashore (and eaten) by much larger mackerel. 

This is said to have been caused by a pod of dolphins who have been seen playing around at the mouth of the harbour, and who are presumed to be scaring the fish inshore. 

On the slipway at Cuddy Point, you can see a number of small, dead fish, and in the shallow water lapping at the shore you can see thousands of the fish, and you can observe them being chased and eaten by mackerel. 

 

The owners of the oil rig that ran aground off Lewis have been asked to retain the Transocean Winner in the Western Isles for the undertaking of repair works and general discussions on decommissioning work.

The Leader of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Councillor Angus Campbell, is asking for a meeting with representatives of Transocean to discuss the matter.

As part of a Scottish Fire and Rescue Service link-up with Blythswood, three members of the Stornoway Fire Station team – John Campbell, Iain Murray, and Alex Maclennan along with fundraiser and campaigner Charlie Nicolson – are taking part in a project to send an additional six retired fire engines to Moldova.
Under the Blythswood Fire Project To Moldova, a team of 19 people will spend nine days on the trip, heading out from Edinburgh.  This is the third time they have been to Moldova and they also supply Serbia and Romania as well. 

When the Scottish team arrives, they will spend five full days giving local firemen intensive training which is a key element to the project, not just supplying the engines but upgrading a whole range skills of the local firefighters.

A variety of other donations are going out with the team – along with several sets of variously shaped wooden blocks and wedges supplied by the Stornoway Trust to assist firemen in dealing with vehicles that have been involved in road accidents.

Blythswood would like to thank the Stornoway Trust; the Home Improvement Centre; Lighting & Electrical; Stornoway High Free Church, Stornoway Free Church; Kenny Smith CnES print room; and Woody’s Express Parcels for their help and support to the Blythswood Fire Project to Moldova.

(25/8/16 – This report has been twice amended during today to correct the names of the groups supporting this venture)


Back– John Campbell , Alex Maclennan , Murdo Macleod (Woody’s) and Charlie Nicolson


Front – Ian Murray receiving the emergency vehicle-rescue wooden blocks from Chris Harris of the Stornoway Trust

All the winners and charities who were present on Monday night, plus Carnival Committee members Iain McFee, Janet MacDonald, Melissa Silver and Claire Macleod (missing: Isla Macleod)

Support for the Lewis Carnival is growing and growing every year, committee members and prizewinners were told at a presentation event in the Crown Inn this week.

The Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, officially launched a new Gaelic board game for schools during a visit to educational resources organisation Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig in Stornoway on Wednesday (August 24).
Stòrlann chairperson William MacDonald welcomed the visit of the Deputy First Minister, adding that “Stòrlann is extremely grateful for the significant and ongoing support it receives from the Scottish Government”.
The game, entitled Ciste Ulàidh na h-Alba and created by Stòrlann, is a Gaelic version of the popular Scottish Quest and is being made available to all the primary and secondary schools involved in Gaelic Medium Education across Scotland.
Like Scottish Quest, it is a heritage game with questions about land and nature, history, culture and contemporary Scotland — with all the questions and place names in Gaelic.
It will also be made available to families, via the Stòrlann website or the Gaelic Books Council, but most of the 500 sets will be going into schools.

The ban on people and boats around Dalmore is continuing although the cause of it - the oil rig Transocean Winner  - is now in Broad Bay
 
A spokesperson for Western Isles Emergency Planning Coordinating Group said: "The 750m temporary exclusion zone implemented by the SOSREP at Dalmore - covering the sea and the beach - remains in place.

"Signage advising people to stay off the beach and out of the water will also remain in place until such time as a seabed survey confirms that there is no debris in the vicinity of where the rig came ashore."
 
There is also a 1000m  temporary exclusion zone at Broad Bay around the rig.  "From there Transocean intend to carry out further work to assess its condition before deciding on their next moves."

The multi-agency WIEPCG met at 2:30pm this afternoon (Wednesday) to discuss the ongoing issues surrounding the semi-submersible drilling rig.

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan has welcomed the announcement by the Scottish Government’s Islands Minister, Humza Yousaf, that an Islands Bill will be brought forward during the next 12 months – within the first year of the new parliamentary session.

Alasdair Allan commented: “The SNP have shown we are serious about empowering island communities. The proposed Islands Bill will devolve an unprecedented level of decision-making powers to island communities such as ours.

“While there is widespread agreement about the need for islands to have more of a say over public services locally, we must also be sure that this means powers for communities and not just for councils.

“This has been an ongoing process over the last few years with the Scottish Government working closely with the Comhairle and other island councils to get us to this point. I am very pleased to see how quickly this has progressed and look forward to seeing the Bill put before the Scottish Parliament.”

An e-Sgoil allowing secondary pupils across the Western Isles to access more curriculum subjects through online classes will be developed thanks to £550,000 in Scottish Government funding and £150,000 from Bòrd na Gàidhlig.

The initial focus of the e-Sgoil – which will be based in Stornoway – will be on delivering Higher and Advanced Higher courses, Gaelic Medium Education, vocational skills and initial teacher training.

The initiative, which will receive match funding from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, follows the Islands Education Summit held in Orkney last year which considered some of the unique challenges the authorities face in delivering an education service in the islands. This includes how to ensure all pupils have equal opportunities to access the full curriculum.

Award-winning ferry operator CalMac Ferries Ltd (CalMac) is pleased to confirm that it has signed the formal contracts with Transport Scotland and Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) to operate ferries and harbours on the west coast of Scotland.

CalMac was announced by Transport Scotland in May as the successful bidder for the Clyde and Hebridean Ferry Services contract and it also won a separate, but linked contract to deliver harbour operations at 24 ports on behalf of CMAL. This is the first time that ferry and harbour operations have been split in this way.

Managing Director Martin Dorchester said: “Now that the contracts have been signed we can start to share information with staff and customers about our ambitious plans to transform the experience of ferry travellers during the lifetime of the contract.”

Trading Standards are warning accommodation businesses about holiday scam enquiries/emails that are currently circulating local businesses.

Below is a list of some key points that may help identify fraudulent enquiries:

There have been reports of a company up cold calling in the Stornoway area offering loft insulation.

A spokesperson for Trading Standards at Western Isles Council said: “Trading Standards’ general advice to consumers is not to engage with cold callers.

"Do not agree to any contract until you have had time to shop around and consider your options.

“Further information and advice on different schemes that are currently running is available via Home Energy Scotland’s website or by telephoning 0808 808 2282.”

 

 

North Tolsta is the first village in Scotland to test a new technology to increase the speed of fibre broadband over long phone lines.
Around 20 households in the village have been identified to take part in the technology test – known as a proof of concept  – by Openreach, BT’s local network business.
The technology, known as Long Reach VDSL, was deployed during the last week and initial results are encouraging with most households seeing significant increases in their fibre broadband speeds.
The village was chosen due to its remoteness and that fact its fibre cabinet supports a cluster of long lines.

There have been reports of a company up cold calling in the Stornoway area offering loft insulation.

A spokesperson for CnES Trading Standards said: “Trading Standards’ general advice to consumers is not to engage with cold callers.  Do not agree to any contract until you have had time to shop around and consider your options.

“Further information and advice on different schemes that are currently running is available via Home Energy Scotland’s website http://www.greenerscotland.org/home-energy-scotland or by telephoning 0808 808 2282.”

To contact Trading Standards call 01851 822 694.

Further stages of Rally Hebrides are under way today.  Details on events and timings throughout the day are available in EVENTS newspaper which can be read or downloaded from www.hebevents.com - or you can just pick it up from one of the many stands!  Here is a selection of photographs from last night's stages in Lews Castle Grounds.

 

Claire Montgomery and Katie Emmott of the Lynn Maclean School of Dancing have both successfully passed their Associate Teaching Highland Exam with Highly Commended.  Claire passed her exam in January and continues to work with the Dance School.  Katie passed her exam in July and will continue dancing in Glasgow when she leaves for University. The club wish both ladies, who have danced with Lynn since they were very young, all the very best for the future.

Manor Filling Station recently celebrated their tenth anniversary of being open at their present location which started trading on 1st May 2006.  This continued the business from their previous site on the Perceval Road/Macaulay Road roundabout where Manor Filling Station was opened in 1970.  Allan Macdonald, Managing Director of owners N.L Macdonald Ltd, explained that as part of their tenth anniversary as a Spar store they had a prize draw for a Kindle Fire reader.  This was won by Dolly Macleod, from Newmarket, who is pictured with Mr Macdonald.
 

There’s a new-look for The Tearoom on Cromwell Street, now the longest established cafe/tearoom in Stornoway, set up more than 20 years ago by Stag Bakeries.
In 2003 it was taken over by the Martin family and eldest son Jamie has now taken over the running of the tearoom, after spending some years in Edinburgh working in the hospitality industry.

Flights into and out of Stornoway airport are delayed this morning because of low visibility because of low-lying mist.  At present no flights are reported to have landed.  Still expected are the flights with the mail, and with passengers from Glasgow and Inverness.  Stornoway Airport has asked passengers to book in as normal.  Updates available from http://www.hial.co.uk/stornoway-airport/destinations/live-flight-information/

Fans of the global hit novel ‘The Blackhouse’ by Peter May can now enjoy a tour of locations from the book, thanks to an innovate idea run by Spors Nis, in Ness.

The brainchild of Alastair Dunlop, the tour takes place at 3.30pm each Tuesday, lasts an hour and will feature both places and people which inspired the thriller.

The NHS Western Isles RemoAge Steering Group is currently receiving nominations for the Western Isles Dementia Friendly Community Awards 2016 presentation which will take place in September around World Alzheimer Day.
This year there are four separate categories – Dementia Friendly Lewis; Dementia Friendly Harris; Dementia Friendly Uist; and Dementia Friendly Barra.
To nominate a business or community group please email Marion MacInnes at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Janet MacKenzie at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and please give the reason(s) why you feel they are ‘Dementia Friendly’.
The NHS Western Isles RemoAge Steering Group would love to hear more about the good practice that is going on in our local communities to support people with dementia and their carers.
Nominations are open until Tuesday August 30.

The Western Isles is set to lead the way in creating “remote access” to hundreds of World Heritage Sites which are currently out of reach for reasons of geography, environmental fragility or even being located in war zones.
A high-powered symposium, to be held in An Lanntair arts centre in Stornoway tomorrow  (Thursday), will discuss plans for a St Kilda Centre which, according to UNESCO World Heritage adviser, James Rebanks, should be “something world-class that can be a game-changer for the Outer Hebrides”.
Mr Rebanks was commissioned to write a feasibility study which described the St Kilda concept as “a world-class idea” capable of “providing a global best practice example of remote access story-telling”. He wrote: “Technology is the key bridge between the World Heritage Site and Lewis and between archive material and a major live or virtual audience”.

Hector Macleod, of Befriending Lewis, has raised more than £5,000 by taking the leap of his life, as a parachutist.

On accepting the challenge earlier in the year, Hector realised that skydive regulations meant that he needed to lose 28lbs (almost 13 kilos) in weight before the event. 

The committee which organised the Lewis Carnival in Stornoway on August 6 has just announced that despite the bad weather which affected the event, a total of just over £3,000 has been raised.

The committee said that "after counting up all your generous donations, we are absolutely delighted to announce that we raised just over £3000. What a phenomenal effort from a very charitable community.  We will update you all in the coming days of the chosen charities who will benefit this time round.

"Thank you all again, we could not do it without your continued support." 

NHS Western Isles is encouraging members of the public to attend this year’s Annual Review today(Monday, August 15), to hear about health service developments and progress over the past year. Those who attend will have an opportunity to ask questions on the day.

This year’s annual review will focus on quality of care for all patients, and local developments over the past year. The event will take place at 11am in the Lecture Theatre, Clinical Skills, Western Isles Hospital, Stornoway.

NHS Western Isles Chief Executive Gordon Jamieson said: “I look forward to this year’s Annual Review when we have the opportunity to discuss our performance over 2015/16. We would encourage members of the public to come along to the event to hear about local health service achievements, progress and challenges.  The Annual Review also represents a valuable opportunity for us to showcase the steady progress that has been made over the year, thanks to the efforts of staff across our healthcare system.”

A stage full of local models and designers brought to a close the grand finale of the Harris Tweed Festival Day at An Lanntair tonight.

A wide range of island designers who work in Harris Tweed took part, including Diggory Brown, Rarebird, byRosie, Dzintra, Sallie Avis and Shona MacLellan, who gained a ‘wild card’ slot for the event which was was her first show ever.  Harris Tweed Hebrides of Shawbost and Catherine Campbell’s Harris Tweed Isle of Harris company from Tarbert also showed collections.

All the designers were allowed to show three outfits and were given as much autonomy as possible, down to the music to accompany their collections and the visual backdrop. The showcase gave them the opportunity to try out new ideas, or work up pieces they are less known for. The audience which crowded the theatre and the bar and café areas with the auditorium walls raised, applauded the models from The Nicolson Institute as they showed off the clothes and accessories.  The designers joined all the models on stage for the final acknowledgement from the audience.

Development officer and show ‘mastermind’ Sarah Maclean said earlier: “Harris Tweed is economically significant, in terms of the numbers of jobs, but it’s got that extra dimension because of its cultural status. It’s very much within the Council’s remit to do anything to help it to develop and grow.”

 

 

Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling is to be the keynote speaker at the graduation ceremony for Lews Castle College UHI on Friday August 26th.
Alistair, now Lord Darling of Roulanish on Great Bernera, will speaking at the event which is being held again in Martin’s Memorial Church of Scotland on Francis Street.
The event starts at 2pm preceded by a reception in Stornoway Town Hall starting at 1pm.
The college says this “annual event is a time to celebrate with our Higher Education graduates along with their family and friends.”
HNC/HND students should have already received a letter from the college inviting them to graduate and they were supposed to have returned this form before 8th August even if they decided not to graduate.

Classic, cool and contemporary — the many different looks of Harris Tweed will be on show this Saturday in Stornoway, during the fashion showcase that will bring Harris Tweed Festival Day to a close.

The fashion show is the grand finale and being held in An Lanntair arts centre at 5.30pm. Like all events during the day, it is free to enter and no tickets are required.

A wide range of island designers who work in Harris Tweed are taking part. They include Diggory Brown, Rarebird, byRosie, Dzintra, Sallie Avis and Shona MacLellan, who gained a ‘wild card’ slot for the event.

 

The RNLI lifeboat 'Tom Sanderson' passed the tow to local fishing boat the 'Jannine' by Brevig Harbour

Stornoway RNLI launched today (Wednesday, August 10th) at 1235 hours to the aid of a small sea angling boat which had broken down two miles from Cellar Head with two persons on board.

On arrival the volunteer RNLI crew established a tow line between the lifeboat and the stricken vessel and took the small boat under tow to Brevig Harbour.

The 'Tom Sanderson' RNLI lifeboat passed the tow to local fishing vessel 'Jannine' outside the harbour, and the 'Jannine' took the casualty into the safety of Brevig Harbour.

Furious protests erupted this evening from councillors covering the Isles of Barra and Vatersay about a consultation process on island air services which does not include a meeting any further south than Balivanich.

Barra Councillor Donald Manford, one of four members for Barraigh, Bhatarsaigh, Eiriosgaigh agus Uibhist a Deas, who is Vice-Chair of the Audit and Scrutiny Committee, as well as a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure committee, said:

“I see the community of Barra and Vatersay are to all practical purposes” excluded from the drop-in events on "our air services.

“This community would be most grateful to have an explanation of why that is.”

Banking with your local credit union has never been so hassle-free, following the rollout of HI-Scot Credit Union’s online banking service. 

For the first time, members of the credit union can move money between accounts anytime, anywhere. 

And the new online presence also means it’s now a simple task to join the credit union, taking approximately 10 minutes.

Consultation events on inter island air services will be held in the Western Isles next week on Wednesday 17th and Thursday 18th August. 

The consultation events present the public with an opportunity to have their say on how these services are run.

Cllr John Mackay, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s Chair of Transportation and Infrastructure said:“For those of us living in island communities we all have experience, either directly or indirectly, of our air services and the impact they have. I warmly welcome these consultation events and would encourage the public to take this opportunity to make their voices heard as part of this work.”

The 1st South Lochs Cubs and Beavers had their first great adventure off island in June this year when they travelled as a group to Meggernie Camp Site, a Scout Activity Centre based in Glen Lyon, Perthshire. 

A 5am start saw our 15 intrepid adventurers aged between 5.5 and 11, together with 5 leaders set off from Ravenspoint to catch the 7am ferry from Stornoway. With breakfast on board it was then on to Inverness where a stop at the park was the order of the day followed by a picnic lunch. 

School pupils in the Western Isles have performed consistently well in SQA examinations, according to the data released today.

An increase in the number of presentations and passes at SQA Higher level has been welcomed by Education staff.

2016 results show that, at Higher level, there were 963 presentations and an increase in the percentage of A-C passes to 81.20%. This represents 782 Higher passes.

A petition demanding that the UK Government reinstate an Emergency Towing Vessel (ETV) on the west coast of Scotland has been launched.

Western Isles SNP Councillors Rae Mackenzie and Gordon Murray have created a petition which has already attracted many signatures and is available to sign online (https://www.change.org/p/uk-parliament-emergency-towing-vessel-for-the-west-coast) and in various outlets.r

A small Cessna aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing at Stornoway Airport this afternoon.

The plane, which had one person on board, was en-route to Reykjavik in Iceland when it was diverted by air traffic control.

 

Pasquale Terraciano

The Italian Ambassador to the UK is visiting Stornoway later today. 

Pasquale Terraciano will be welcomed by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Convener, Cllr Norman A. MacDonald and Chief Executive, Malcolm Burr, at a concert 'A Musical Journey', - at An Lanntair tonight., 8th August at 7pm.

Hosted by the Comhairle and the Italian Cultural Institute of Edinburgh, the concert will be performed by Italian duo Panè – Villani. 

The Scottish Women's Convention is visiting Stornoway later this month. 

The convention will meet in Stornoway Town Hall on Tuesday August 23 from 11am until 1.30pm. 

The event is free and lunch is provided. 

The UK Government ignored every warning they received in recent years about cuts to the number of Emergency Towing Vessels in Scotland. 

This was the charge levelled at Westminster by Isles MSP Alasdair Allan this morning, following the grounding of an oil rig off Dalmore.

He said: "This morning the tow line between a tug and the Transocean Winner oil rig snapped in heavy weather, resulting in the rig going aground at Dalmore on the west side of Lewis.

 

An oil rig has been blown onto rocks at Dalmore beach, near Carloway. 

The 17,000 tonne Transocean Winner was under tow from Norway to Malta when it became detached from the Alp Forward in the early hours of this morning.

There were no people on board the rig, and no-one was injured in the incident. 

The forecasters had said it would rain - and mother nature didn't disappoint.

In fact, it bucketed at the Lewis Carnival in Stornoway this afternoon. 

But there was still a good turnout of folk at the hub of the Carnival, held at South Beach car park, who enjoyed the usual attractions - funfair rides, waltzers, merry-go-rounds, and much, much more. 

Orcadian energy projects can provide inspiration for greater community developments in the Western Isles.

This summer a group of community representatives from the Western Isles went on a knowledge exchange visit to Orkney to hear how their counterparts were progressing with renewable energy projects and what impact their projects had made locally. 

The group, Community Power Outer Hebrides (CPOH), a collective of community installed generators from the Western Isles received funding from the Scottish Community Alliance to visit similar community energy projects. 

A total of £5,000 raised from the sale of carrier bags at Stornoway’s Macaulay Road Co-op has been donated to three Scottish charities.

The money, which has been shared between Alzheimer's Scotland, Enable and Samaritans will be used to make a real difference in local communities. 

Store manager, Steven Cooper, said: “These three charities do amazing work in our local area and touch many people’s lives, so it’s great to be able to help make a difference and give them a much-needed funding boost.

Crofters in some of Scotland’s rural and remote communities – including some on the Isle of Lewis – will benefit from better housing through funding under the Croft House Grant.
Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy Fergus Ewing confirmed 21 crofters will share over £705,000 from the scheme. The funding allows crofters to build or improve homes, helping to retain and attract people to rural communities.
Since the start of 2007, over £15 million of grant payments have been awarded. From 1 April 2016, changes made to the grant support mechanism include a significant increase in individual grants, with some crofters now eligible for £38,000 of funding.

Inter-island air services are a critical party of Scotland’s transport network and must be restored, said Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil this week.

He is calling for the budget for inter-island flights to be returned to the Scottish Government to safeguard future services for island communities.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar have appointed consultants, at a cost of over £10,000, to look at whether they should reinstate the Stornoway to Benbecula air service to five days a week, a service which they cut to three days as part of a cost-cutting exercise in 2013.

Free on Friday morning? Come to Museum nan Eilean at Lews Castle and hear about Hebridean pottery from someone who knows how to make it! Sue, maker of Borgh Pottery, will be talking to visitors about some of the objects on display and you will get the chance to feel what working with clay is like. She will also explain some of the work that went into our excellent collection of replicas. 10.30am til 12 midday.
 
We would like visitors to book in advance for this as numbers are limited. Call 01851 822746 to book or call in at the museum.

A period of strong winds is expected to develop across Scotland – including the Outer Hebrides and the Highlands - and northern England from late Saturday, most likely to peak on Sunday morning, before easing through Sunday afternoon.

Whilst the expected gusts (widespread 45-50 mph and isolated 60 mph) are not exceptional for these areas of the country, increased outdoor activity at this time of year will lead to a greater likelihood of disruption.

Na h-Eileanan an Iar MSP Alasdair Allan has welcomed the opening of a £200,000 fund aimed at encouraging more disabled people to participate in politics and stand as councillors in next year’s local council elections.


The fund – which will help cover additional costs for accessible transport and communications support – underlines the Scottish Government’s commitment to ensuring equal opportunities for more people from under-represented groups.

NHS Western Isles is encouraging members of the public to attend this year’s Annual Review on Monday, August 15, to hear about health service developments and progress over the past year.  Those who attend will have an opportunity to ask questions.

This year’s annual review will focus on quality of care for all patients, and local developments over the past year. The event will take place at 11am in the Lecture Theatre, Clinical Skills, Western Isles Hospital, Stornoway.

NHS Western Isles Chief Executive Gordon Jamieson said: “I look forward to this year’s Annual Review when we have the opportunity to discuss our performance over 2015/16.  We would encourage members of the public to come along to the event to hear about local health service achievements, progress and challenges.  The Annual Review also represents a valuable opportunity for us to showcase the steady progress that has been made over the year, thanks to the efforts of staff across our healthcare system.”

The funeral of retired Stornoway businessman Colin ‘Ossian’ Macaskill will take place on Friday (August 5).
There is a Thursday evening service in the Free Church Seminary in Francis Street at 9pm and the funeral service will take place at the Seminary at 11.30am on Friday followed by interment in Sandwick Cemetery.
Over his years in business Colin Macaskill earned a reputation as a innovative entrepreneur who was not afraid to confront the establishment.  He founded a number of businesses in Stornoway, including a haulage company.

Homes in Harris were affected by telephone service problems during Wednesday and left unable to make 999 calls.

Police in the Western Isles said in the late afternoon that they were aware of "ongoing telephony issues affecting a number of households on the Isle of Harris."

Anyone unable to contact the emergency services by telephone in an emergency situation was requested to go to Tarbert Fire Station, Scalpay Fire Station or Leverburgh Fire Station where trained Fire Service personnel would process their report and relay it to local officers. And extra police were out on patrol within the communities to provide a visible presence should members of the public require assistance.

Police in the Western Isles later confirmed that, as of 8pm, normal telephone service resumed on the Isle of Harris.
All emergency service numbers are once again contactable, they said.

Trusadh - Am Pàipear/The News of the Southern Isles
BBC ALBA – Monday 8 August 9.00 – 10.00pm
 
It is a newspaper that was started with the simple aim of giving a voice to the local community.
Now, four decades on, BBC ALBA examines the success story of the Uist newspaper Am Pàipear which has moved from humble beginnings to become an acclaimed, award-winning title in an ever-changing media landscape.

Intermedia Services (Stornoway) Ltd, parent company of EVENTS newspaper, welovestornoway.com, The Skye Times, and other publications, is looking for a go-getting, people-friendly person to head its drive to expand the advertising base of its existing printed and on-line publications, and develop new ones. 

Existing publications can be visited through our main web portal www.hebevents.com

The work involves dealing with advertising clients in person and over the phone, responding to their requirements and developing effective and long-lived business relationships.

This is a critically important position in a growing company and requires a self-starter with a well-organised mind and extensive knowledge of spreadsheets, social media, and the interaction between websites and newspapers, and their users.  A clean driving licence is essential.

Please send details to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  The closing date is August 19th.

Police in Stornoway have had several items of lost property handed in following the Hebridean Celtic Festival last month. 

They are keen to reunite these items with their owners, so if you are missing anything please ring Police Scotland 101 and ask for Stornoway or come into the Station (opening hours 7pm until midnight).

NHS Western Isles is calling on budding young voiceover artists across the Outer Hebrides to feature in a local film about the importance of Vitamin D to keep us healthy.

The Health Board is looking for children aged between five and eight to provide sound recordings to help promote the uptake of Vitamin D in the Western Isles. Low Vitamin D levels are a particular issue for many different groups, including all pregnant and breastfeeding women, infants and children under five years, and adults aged 65 years and over.

NHS Western Isles has decided to create a short film (approximately five minutes) to raise awareness of the importance of Vitamin D, involving a number of local individuals and families from different islands in the Western Isles. 

Films from places as far apart as Iceland and New Zealand will be shown at venues across the Hebrides in September, the Hebrides International Film Festival has announced as it prepares to launch its screening programme for 2016
Rural Nations Scotland CIC the presenters of The Hebrides International Film Festival are pleased to confirm that this year's programme is reaching completion and will be launched on 9th August.

Five island producers have been recognised in the 2016 Great Taste awards – known as the food world equivalent of the Oscars.

Organised by the Guild of Fine Food, the Great Taste awards attract over 10,000 entries from across the UK, and products are blind-tasted by over 400 judges before being declared to be of 'Great Taste'.

Amhuinnsuidhe Castle Estate Products were awarded the Great Taste awards highest accolade of Three Gold Stars in this year's tasty competition for its Wild Red Deer Venison saddle.

The European market has returned once again to take part in Lewis Carnival week. 

This year, the market can be found at the old bus station, beside the RNLI, on Cromwell Street, where they will be until Saturday, August 6 (Carnival day).

This change of location was made so as to allow local traders to use the Perceval Square civic area during this busy week. 

Fundraising to provide Accuvein Scanners throughout the Western Isles - launched by former councillor Iain a' Mhillichan' Morrison before his death at the end of July - has won huge support in the community.
Thousands of pounds were raised at a collection at his funeral in early August – and donations have been pouring in since then.

Apologies for an interruption to normal service on welovestornoway.com – the website has grown so fast in recent months - with weekly usage topping 12,500 in recent weeks – that we ran out of space on our original server and had to be upgraded!  This was completed by the amazing team at SiteGround.com, but meant there had to be a hiatus while the website bedded into its new home.

COMMUNITY COUNCIL ELECTION 2015
 
Nominations are being sought for each of the Community Councils in the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Local Government Area.  Nomination papers are available from the Council Offices in Stornoway, Tarbert, Balivanich and Castlebay as well as the Comhairle’s website (www.cne-siar.gov.uk/electionoffice).
 
Completed nomination papers must be delivered to the Returning Officer at any of the above Council Offices by no later than 4.00pm on Tuesday 8 September 2015.
 
Malcolm Burr
Returning Officer

COMHAIRLE NAN EILEAN SIAR BY ELECTION -

AN TAOBH SIAR AGUS NIS
 
Prospective candidates are reminded that completed nomination forms must be lodged with the Returning Officer, Election Office, Council Offices, Sandwick Road, Stornoway by no later than 4.00pm on Friday 4 September 2015.  Nomination packs are available from the Election Office, or from the Comhairle’s web site at www.cne-siar.gov.uk/electionoffice.
 
Malcolm Burr
Returning Officer
 

A new funding programme for broadband in isolated rural communities across Scotland has been launched by the First Minister. Nicola Sturgeon,
The £9m Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP) broadband grant scheme is now open for applications and will be used to support community-led broadband projects similar to GigaPlus Argyll – where groups of hard-to-reach communities got together to procure super-fast broadband services from commercial providers.
Ms Sturgeon made the announcement on a visit to Oban’s Phoenix Cinema, which has previously received SRDP support and where a new wi-fi tourist information kiosk has been installed.

The next meeting of Stornoway Astronomical Society will be on Tuesday next (1st September) at 7pm in the Grianan Centre, Westview Terrace, Stornoway.
The speaker will be Ian Coulson and he will talk about A Guide to Telescopes and Setup Procedures – Does Size Matter?
This will feature several different telescopes and binoculars and will be followed by an outdoor observing session, weather permitting.
For more details contact Deborah Watt, Public Relations and Promotion, Stornoway Astronomical Society via
www.stornowayastro.org


 

Around 230 properties in the Callanish area are being advised by Scottish Water  to boil their tap water as a temporary, precautionary measure.
This notice remains in place and further updates will be provided to consumers tomorrow (Sunday) with regard to this.
Scottish Water has issued a "boil water" notice on the advice of the Consultant in Public Health Medicine (CPHM) at NHS Western Isles after a routine sample showed there had been a small deterioration in the normal quality of the water supply.
The affected areas and post codes are: Garynahine (HS2 9DS) Linshader  (HS2 9DR) Breasclete (HS2 9ED, HS2 9EF, HS2 9FF) Callanish (HS2 9DY) and Tolsta Chaolais (HS2 9DW)
Customers in these areas should boil their water before using it and continue doing so until further advice from Scottish Water.
Water that has been boiled is safe to use for drinking, preparing food (including ice cubes and salads), preparing babies’ feeds and disinfecting feeding equipment, cleaning teeth, pet food and drink, and washing open wounds, provided it has been allowed to first cool. 
In the affected areas, water can still be used for bathing and washing (including babies), washing dishes (provided customers use hot water and dry thoroughly before use), washing clothes and flushing the toilet.
Water which has been boiled and allowed to cool should be stored in clean containers in a fridge or other cold place.
Scottish Water apologises for any inconvenience and thanks affected customers for their patience and understanding.
For further information or advice please visit their website www.scottishwater.co.uk or call 0800 0778778.

BUSINESS GATEWAY

"MEET THE HR ADVISER" DAY - FRIDAY 4 SEPTEMBER

Appointments still available.

This is an opportunity for businesses to discuss in confidence any staffing queries with an experienced Human Resources adviser. 

Claire Macleod will be based in Committee Room 3 in the Comhairle Offices on Sandwick Road for the day and will be able to advise on various HR topics, including general employment law. 

Please contact the Business Gateway office on 01851 822775 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for an appointment. 

These sessions are fully funded by Business Gateway.

The first Lews Castle College Graduation ceremony to include a parade through the centre of Stornoway took place this afternoon.

Hundreds of students and members of the academic staff gathered at Stornoway Town Hall before progressing from Cromwell Street to Francis Street and into Martin's Memorial Church where parents and friends were waiting.

They were welcomed into the ceremony by Principal Iain Macmillan who apologised for the slightly delayed start of the formalities and praised those who had organised the new format for the event – and who had also managed to avoid any rain.

The keynote speaker was Margaret Mary Murray, head of BBC Alba, who started by saying: "In preparation for this afternoon I consulted my eldest daughter who is now in 5th year in high school what the best end of term speech she had heard was and she said – Mum the short ones were always the best!!   I will take her advice and keep it short – this is your day for celebration and let’s not delay!"

She explained her local roots. "I am Margaret Mary Murray –  nighean Catriona Aonghais a Bhìlich agus Niall Sheumais a’ Ghobha. The daughter of Catriona and Neil Murray from the village of Back on the Isle of Lewis – and I’m delighted that my parents are both here today due to a long standing connection they have with Colaiste a' Chaisteil.  My Dad joined the teaching staff in the early days of the Castle school in the Sixties."

And she went on to look at her sources of inspiration and the possibilities for career development.


 

 

Stornoway Port Authority will shortly allocate a limited number of marina berths for the period 1 November 2015 to 30 April 2016.

Owners of non-commercial vessels up to a length of 24 metres requesting a berth should apply in writing by 1700 on Tuesday 15 September 2015 to Stornoway Port Authority, Amity House, Esplanade Quay, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, HS1 2XS or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Vessels wishing to be allocated a stance on Cromwell Street Quay Temporary Hard Standing for this period, should also apply in writing to Stornoway Port Authority with full information on boat length, beam and storage arrangements.


 A J Morrison

Harbour Master

The new Bridge season starts in a few weeks – and the Stornoway Bridge Club are inviting all to come and join in the fun.

The Club’s Bridge nights are set to start on Tuesday, September 8th, from 7pm and will take place every Tuesday in Stornoway Golf Club.

Hebridean Housing Partnership has completed four new homes at Crowlista in Uig. These are the first new social rented homes to be built in the area for around 40 years. The new properties were built by Calmax Construction Ltd on a Design and Build basis.

The development comprises a mix of one and two bedroom properties to reflect changes in waiting list trends and in the family composition of applicants and – following consultation with the local community –  the development has been called Leana Ruadh.

The photo shows from left to right John Maciver, Hebridean Housing Partnership’s Director of Operations, Councillor Norman A Macdonald, Calum Maclean, Director Calmax Construction Ltd and Norman M Macleod, HHP’s Development Spokesperson.

Hebridean Housing Partnership has completed four new homes at Crowlista, Uig, Isle of Lewis. These are the first new social rented homes to be built in the area for around 40 years. The new properties were built by Calmax Construction Ltd on a Design and Build basis.

Rev Hugh Ferrier is set to become the first-ever minister of the High Free Church in Stornoway.

Earlier today (Wednesday 26 August) the 28-year-old accepted a unanimous call to pastor the Isle of Lewis congregation at a meeting of the Western Isles Presbytery.

A date for his induction will be set at the next meeting of the Presbytery on Wednesday 30 September.

A campaign which will allow customers to prematurely end their mobile contract at any time should they have serious problems with their network signal has received backing from both Ofcom and the DCMS (The Department for Culture, Media & Sport). 

The campaign was started by Scottish National Party (SNP) MP Drew Hendry and is looking set to extend new consumer rights legislation from the existing broadband users to mobile phone contracts.

The legislation in Ofcom's Code of Practice for broadband users states that a customer can exit their broadband contract if a provider 'fails to provide sufficient reliable service'.

It certainly proved a popular event as Stornoway Library was packed tonight for the launch of Pat Macfarlane’s memoir ‘A Stornoway Life’.

Published by Acair, the autobiographical book comprises of a compilation of Pat’s popular Back in the Day essays; reminiscing about Stornoway life in a past era and following the author’s experiences travelling further afield to Cairo during World War II.

A mum-of-three living in Lewis has been shortlisted for a national award for setting up a support system for those affected by post natal depression.

Rosey Wren, who lives in North Tolsta, is in the running for the Healthy Living Digital Hero award in the TalkTalk Digital Heroes Awards 2015 for creating PND and Me, a peer support network on Twitter which has already connected with more than 3,000 people.

After experiencing antenatal and postnatal depression herself, Rosey has dedicated time and effort to helping others in the same position.

A passenger aboard the cruise ship ‘The Azores’ suffering a suspected hip fracture was evacuated by the volunteer crew of Stornoway RNLI this morning, Tuesday, August 25th.

The ‘Tom Sanderson’ lifeboat launched at 0837hours to the cruise liner which was positioned just off Arnish Point.

Stornoway Coastguard's helicopter was also tasked to the scene, and on arrival at the vessel two RNLI crew boarded the cruise ship to assist the Coastguard paramedic.

Young Lewis songwriter Rosie Sullivan has penned a special song commemorating the St Kilda swim. 

Rosie (13), was commissioned by the team after their groundbreaking achievement last week.

Her song, 'St Kilda Swim Song' is available for purchase on itunes here.

The Skye Book Festival reopens its programme in early September to another series of events presenting chapters in the lives of internationally famous authors alongside local writers, artists and storytellers – including Donald S Murray from Lewis.
This year’s Festival (Thursday 3rd to Saturday 5th September 2015) welcomes Val McDermid who is one of the biggest names in crime writing. Val will talk about her latest book Splinter The Silence her most gripping, chilling, suspenseful novel yet, featuring two of the most distinctive and unforgettable characters in crime fiction: Tony Hill and Carol Jordan.

A by-election to elect a councillor for the An Taobh Siar agus Nis Ward is to be held on Wednesday October 7.

The by-election comes as a result of the recent death of former councillor Iain Morrison.

Nomination packs are available from the Election Office, Council Offices, Sandwick Road, Stornoway, or online here.

Elections to each of the Community Councils in the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar local government area will be held on Thursday 1 October 2015.  

To stand or vote in the election you must reside in the area and be named on the electoral register.  

16 and 17 year olds residing in the Community Council area and named on the electoral register are also entitled to stand for the Community Council and vote in any election. 

"As her childhood ambition to be an astronaut has not (yet) been realised, she explored the outer galaxies by drawing them."

Sally Kindberg, author of Draw It! Dinosaurs - 100 prehistoric things to doodle and draw, is currently touring the schools of the islands and running drawing workshops for an Lanntair. 

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, and Shadow Transport Minister, David Stewart, is welcoming an apology he has received from Loganair that their services have fallen short over recent months and that the organisation has instructed a ‘top to bottom’ review of its entire operation to achieve better punctuality and reliability for all of its passengers.  

Mr Stewart was caught up in a four hour delay himself at Benbecula Airport last month after the plane was removed from the route and redirected to Glasgow.  

He raised the matter with Loganair and the Transport Minister after constituents complained to him that services had slipped in recent months and delays were becoming commonplace.

Former Rangers and Scotland manager Walter Smith was in Stornoway over the weekend.

In their highest profile evening ever, the Lewis and Harris Rangers Supporters Club pulled off a massive coup in taking the football legend to the islands.

Smith was Rangers manager when they claimed their historic 9-in-a-row series of league titles, and also steered the Light Blues to the UEFA Cup Final in 2008.

To get the facts about epilepsy, head over to the Community Centre on Pier Road on Thursday 27 August from 10-11am.  

Epilepsy Scotland’s highly trained staff will be there to answer questions and give away useful factsheets at this information event which is free to the public. 

Epilepsy Scotland Chief Executive Leslie Young said: "Epilepsy is a far more common condition than people realise.  

"It affects one person in every 97 of the Scottish population and between 5-10 people here in Tarbert.

The Dr You collection aims to support people to take control of their health and well-being through books and information on a whole range of topics, from how to stop smoking to supporting those with dementia. Every branch library in the Western Isles has a collection, but if you can’t get to a library, the mobile library service can always visit you instead.

The three mobile libraries travel around Lewis, Harris and the Uists, visiting library users who are too far from a branch library, or unable to travel. While the mobile libraries stock a whole range of books and audio-books, library members can also select and request titles from the entire library collection.

Lists containing all the titles available in Dr You are available from the mobile library and you can request any title in the collection at no charge.

If you are not already a library member, it is free and easy to sign up.  Simply contact us and we can arrange for a visit from one of the mobile libraries.

Saturday was the big day for Borgh Pottery…the first since work on the total transformation of the building to become far more light and spacious came to an end after more than seven months.

People crowded into the Farmhouse Gallery area at Calanais Visitor Centre on Saturday where Urras nan Tursachan, the community trust which runs the facility, was holding a drop-in information session to look at the Calanais Visitor Centre Redevelopment Project.

Outer Hebridean members at Calanais Visitor Centre will be holding a drop-in information session today  from 11am–3pm to look at the Calanais Visitor Centre Redevelopment Project.

The purpose of  the information  session is  to  show  the  local community  the plans for the project.

The head architect behind the proposed  design will be there to answer any questions  that  members of the community may have regarding  the  plans.

The information session  will  be held  in the Farmhouse Gallery. 

Everyone  is  warmly  invited  to  attend.  Should  you  require  any  further  details, please  do  not  hesitate  to  contact: Anna MacKay, Development Officer, Calanais Visitor Centre, Tel:01851621422, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 

FREE Energy Efficiency Measures available for Outer Hebrides Tourism Members
 
There are still opportunities for Outer Hebrides Tourism members to sign up for this fantastic offer. We have had a great response with a hundred and twenty sign ups so far and we have space for up to 300 businesses, so there is still plenty of opportunity to sign up.

This offer is open to all tourism-related businesses, whether you are a restaurant, hotel,  gift shop, museum or  café. So take the time to sign up and get the benefit of up to £750 worth of FREE energy efficiency measures! Energy efficiency measures have included tumble driers, shower-heads, fridge/freezers, kettles to name but a few.

These energy efficiency measures are available through the Energy Isles Project which is a partnership between Outer Hebrides Tourism and Tighean Innse Gall (funded by Coastal Communities) and you can get more information on our website http://www.hebridean-tourism.org/the-energy-isles-project/ or you can just apply here.

If you are not a member of Outer Hebrides Tourism, you can find out more about membership and how to sign up here.
 
Tourism Conference 2015
 
The group is just putting together the final touches to its exciting programme for this year's conference, so make sure you save the date for 6th October 2015 at the Dark Island Hotel, Benbecula or 7th October 2015 at an Lanntair, Stornoway.

Outer Hebridean members at Calanais Visitor Centre will be holding a drop-in information session on Saturday  22  August  from 11am–3pm to look at the Calanais Visitor Centre Redevelopment Project.

The purpose of  the information  session is  to  show  the  local community  the proposed plans for the project.

The head architect behind the proposed  design  will be  there to answer  any  questions  that  members  of  the  community may have  regarding  the  plans.

The information session  will  be held  in the Farmhouse Gallery. 

Everyone  is  warmly  invited  to  attend.  Should  you  require  any  further  details, please  do  not  hesitate  to  contact: Anna MacKay, Development Officer, Calanais Visitor Centre, Tel:01851621422, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

The creation of a new Food and Drink Trail throughout the Outer Hebrides will be announced at a conference for local tourist businesses in early October.

Joanna Peteranna, Senior Development Manager at HIE, a partner in this project, said that a critical part of it was "to establish a firm link between product and place, helping to further develop the Outer Hebrides as a destination for visitors interested in high quality local produce.” 

Local businesses who are food and drink producers or businesses with retail premises that already showcase local food and drink or businesses such as cafés, restaurants or guest houses which make a point of promoting locally sourced food and drink are all encouraged to get involved.

Trading Standards officers at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar have again warned consumers that unlicensed doorstep sellers are operating throughout the Western Isles.

A spokesperson for Trading Standards said: “If someone comes to your door selling kitchen utilities, be sure to check the prices elsewhere before committing to a purchase.”

Please report any activity to Trading Standards at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar on 01851 822694 or Faire on 01851 701702 (out of office hours).
 

Highlands and Islands (Scottish Labour) MSP, David Stewart, has expressed his “delight” at being named as part of the Environmental Justice Team led by Spokesperson Sarah Boyack MSP.

Ms Dugdale's instruction to every member of her new team is to get out around Scotland setting out a positive Labour vision of transforming the country.

Members of the new team will no longer simply shadow SNP Government ministers, but will instead focus more on communicating Labour values to the public.

Stewart who served as the Shadow Minister for Transport and Islands under former leader Jim Murphy, has been an award-winning road safety champion for many years and is now part of the wider reaching Environmental Justice team that will cover transport, environment, rural affairs, land reform, climate change and energy (including oil and gas).

Mr Stewart said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as part of the Environmental Justice brief in Kezia Dugdale’s new team. The Environmental Justice team brief is wide ranging and will allow me to continue working on issues such as transport, rural affairs and land reform, all of which are fundamental for mainland and island life across the Highlands and Islands region.

“I am also very interested in continuing my dialogue with local authorities, specifically around the Our Islands, Our Future consultation and will continue to work with both island and mainland authorities to develop policy that will deliver a strong voice for these communities.”

Earlier this week, Kezia Dugdale said:  "I am excited about the future and want my front bench team to get out and about across the country making clear our positive Labour vision for transforming Scotland.

“In recent times people have said they don’t know what Labour stands for. That won’t be the case under my leadership – people will know what we stand for and who we stand with.

“We stand for a Scotland where a person’s ability to get on in life is determined by their potential, work rate and ambition, not by their background. That’s what Labour stands for and that’s the message I want my new front bench team to take out with them across Scotland.”

The full front bench team under Kezia Dugdale is as follows:
 
Deputy Leader - Covering policy and strategy Alex Rowley

Equality - Covering health, equalities, welfare, care, social inclusion – Jenny Marra
Neil Findlay (also Trade Union liaison reporting direct to Kezia Dugdale) Rhoda Grant. Drew Smith
 
Opportunity - Covering schools, childcare, skills, lifelong learning, sport, science, workplace issues  – Iain Gray. Mark Griffin, John Pentland
 
Justice - Covering justice and policing– Graeme Pearson. Elaine Murray
 
Public Services and Wealth Creation - Finance, infrastructure, business, delivery of public services, tourism – Jackie Baillie,  Richard Simpson. Lewis Macdonald. Siobhan McMahon
 
Community - Covering housing, local government, cities, planning, island communities – Ken Macintosh, Michael McMahon, Jayne Baxter
 
Environmental Justice - Covering transport, environment and rural affairs, land reform, climate change, energy (including oil and gas) – Sarah Boyack, Claudia Beamish, David Stewart
 
Democracy - Covering constitution, Europe, culture, power in society – Claire Baker, Anne McTaggart
 
Reform - Covering party and parliamentary reform – Mary Fee
 
Business Manager – James Kelly
 
Chief Whip – Neil Bibby

Budding chefs across the Highlands and Islands are being given the chance to win work experience at one of the UK’s top restaurants. Entries have now opened for Young Highland Chef 2015.

The top prize for this year’s competition is a week of work experience at Le Gavroche, the Roux family’s two Michelin starred restaurant in London, and a cheque for £500.

MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Alasdair Allan yesterday wrote to the Secretary of State for Defence, Michael Fallon MP, to ask whether the Ministry of Defence feels it has any moral obligation to help with the clean-up costs of the former RAF radar station in Aird Uig. This follows a recent visit to the site where Alasdair Allan met with Gallan Head Community Trust.
The local community in Aird Uig have recently voted in favour of plans to purchase the site and transform it into a community and visitor centre. Notably there is a proposal to install underwater microphones and turn the facility into a spot for whale listening.

Employers in the construction industry in the Western Isles are being reminded by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar that funding for Modern Apprenticeship and added value training is still available through the Comhairle’s Building Skills Grant scheme.

The closing date for applications has been extended to Friday 4 September 2015. 

Employers interested in applying for this grant should contact the Comhairle’s Accredited Training and Skills service on 01851 822715 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 

A free talk in Inverness next month will discuss the tourism opportunities which are generated when films and TV series are shot in the Highlands and Islands.

Jenni Steele, Visit Scotland’s film, culture and heritage marketing manager, and Cameron Taylor, co-author of the travel book ‘On the Trail of the Real Macbeth, King of Alba’, will discuss the impact productions such as ‘Outlander’, ‘Local Hero’, ‘Highlander’ and the forthcoming film release  of ‘Macbeth’ (in cinemas 2 October) have on the region’s tourism industry.

Highlands and Islands SNP MPs Angus MacNeil, Drew Hendry and Ian Blackford met with SSE this week to discuss how they can work together with the electricity provider to put an end to unfair additional charges to consumers.
Residents of the Highlands and Islands are still paying a 2p surcharge on electricity despite the fact that the area continues to have some of the highest fuel poverty figures in the UK.

Aig toiseach an Iuchair, chaidh Club Samhraidh Gàidhlig a chuir air dòigh le Comunn na Gàidhlig ann an sgìre Steòrnabhaigh, airson clann le Gàidhlig eadar aois 5 gu 11. 

Bha an club a’ ruith thairis ceithir làithean bho 11-3f aig talla Eaglais Chaluim Chille. 

Bha mòran an làthair le timcheall air 28 a’ nochdadh gach là. Thairis air an t-seachdain, fhuair an òigridh an cothrom a bhith an sàs ann an tòrr rudan eadar dhealaichte, geamannan, drama agus ealain nam measg gu lèir air an libhrigeadh tro mheadhan na Gàidhlig. 

The Isle of lewis Cancer Research UK committee is carrying out its annual 'House to House' collection week beginning Monday (24th August). If anyone is willing to help out the group would be extremely grateful. 
At the last count, they were still looking for people to collect in the following areas – Lundale, Uig;Alt na Broig; Maryhill ; Arnol; South Lochs  (see Facebook for more details)

Between Friday 14th August and Wednesday 19th August (today), unknown persons removed a charity collection tin from the Salvation Army building in Stornoway, the police have reported.
It is suspected that any suspect will be paying for items with small denominations of change.
Police are appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident or has information is asked to contact police in Stornoway on 101 or anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.

The new distillery in Harris is looking for locals to test its product.

But before you get too excited, the invitation doesn't involve any tasting!

Isle of Harris Distillers are forming a Nosing Panel, made up of around 12 people, to smell its whisky on a weekly basis to ensure consistency. 

Seven hardy swimmers have swum over 60 miles from St Kilda to Hushinish. 

The swimmers left Village Bay at 4.15am yesterday, and set foot on dry land in Harris at 3pm this afternoon. 

This is their third attempt this year, and had it failed, the charity challenge would have been abandoned. 

Young people searching for work will be ordered to attend job hunting ‘boot camps’ from 2017 or lose their benefits, the UK Government has announced – a move which Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil describes as ‘short-sighted’.
Mr MacNeil said any genuine extra support for young people was to be welcomed but that this plan did not take into account the real life difficulties facing some of those searching for work.

The Gaelic section of Lews Castle College UHI is hosting a three-week summer school, beginning from today (Tuesday 18th August).
Students from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen Universities are staying in Stornoway and attending classes in the college in order to improve their Gaelic skills.
Pictured above are, from right, Mark McGee, Glasgow; Fraser McRobert, Glasgow; Caitlin Diver, Glasgow; Molly Frawley, Glasgow; Jakob Musil, Edinburgh; Noah Brawn, Edinburgh; Jess Campbell, Aberdeen; Tasha Madigan, Aberdeen.  (Missing from the photograph is Jennet McNinch, Glasgow)

The Marie Curie Outer Hebrides Fundraising Group will be holding a meeting for local fundraisers and anyone interested in joining their efforts on Thursday 27th August at 6.30pm in the Bethesda Hospice, Springfield Road, Stornoway.

The meeting will be discussing the forthcoming year’s fundraising plans and there will be an update on the deployment within the islands of the Marie Curie nurses who have now completed their training.  

Group chairperson Mr John Masterson said: “This is an important time for the Islands fundraising group and we are hoping to build on the good work that has been done, particularly in the provision of specially-trained nurses who are able to provide specialist care for local people.”

All interested parties are welcome at the meeting and further information can be had from Mr Masterson on 01859 530463 or 07788 940222.

The fifth Linda Norgrove Foundation 10k will be held this year on Saturday 3rd October at 12 noon on the Valtos Peninsula in Uig.

The event will start at the Cnip end of Reef beach at 12 noon on Saturday the 3rd of October so there’s still plenty of time to get your running shoes or walking boots out and think about doing some training. You can run or walk, even take a break and a snack part way round if you are flagging, and/or enjoy soup and baking after you have completed the course. What other 10k event offers this?!

Entry and sponsor forms are available at the Sports Centre and Sportsworld in Stornoway, or you can register on the day or on-line

Registration fee is £10, and our event t-shirts for this year will be available on the day or by ordering through our website.

Lewis in October so we can’t promise such a glorious day as last year but you can be sure of a sociable day out and a challenging run or walk in a beautiful setting with friends, relations, dogs on leads, all welcome.

If you aren’t here on the day, you can still take part wherever you happen to be – last year two Lewis guys completed the 10k distance, one on a vessel in the waters of the coast of Equatorial Guinea, the other on an oil rig of Shetland. Can you up this?

All funds raised will go towards the work of the Linda Norgrove Foundation to help women and children in need in Afghanistan.

Look out for posters around the town and in Uig and for updates on the Foundation Facebook page or, if you have any queries, contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We look forward to seeing you there!

The St Kilda swim team are approximately four hours away from their target destination of Hushinish.

The seven swimmers have made great progress since they left Village Bay at 4.15am yesterday, and weather conditions remain favourable to finally allow them to finish their magnificent challenge. 

"We're buzzing, we are so close to Harris," team leader Colin Macleod told www.welovestornoway.com via satellite phone.

Rangers legends Andy Goram and John Brown were star guest players at the annual Police v Fire football match played in Stornoway at the weekend.

In a keenly contested game, the fire service ran out winners by a score of 8-4.

Both Goram and Brown have become regular visitors to the islands, after striking up a strong friendship with management and members of the Lewis and Harris Rangers Supporters Club. 

Lewis Pipe Band have come second in their grade at the World Pipe Band Championships. 

The band grabbed second overall in grade 3B at the event, held on Glasgow Green. 

Overall world champions were Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia - the first Scottish winners in a decade.

Seven hardy swimmers are finally in the water as they attempt to swim from St Kilda to Harris.

Twice the team has been ready to go and twice the weather has postponed the charity swim from Harris to the Dual World Heritage site.

But a small weather window opened up early this morning, and the challenge is now well underway.

The World Space Week event organised by the British Interplanetary Society in London have included in their list of United Kingdom entries, a lecture entitled “New Horizons at Pluto” by Donny Mackay president of Stornoway Astronomical Society.

This lecture will be held locally in Stornoway Library on Tuesday 6th October at 07.30 pm, admission free.

 

Further information can be found at worldspaceweek.org  (space down to the UK entries on last page).  See also the website of Stornoway Astronomical Society.

One bedroom, fully furnished flat in town area.

Tel. No. 07776341263

The huge crowds that turned out for this year's Heb Rally were testament to how good the event was. 

The afternoon stages at Melbost Farm drew in around 130 spectators, but the big draw was the finale at the Creed Motorsport Facility, where drivers revelled in the opportunity to show off their skills. 

The weather held, the conditions were perfect, and everyone left happy at yet another classy event. 

Hats off to the organisers who worked tirelessly to ensure everything passed without incident. 

A special dance will take place later tonight at the Caladh Inn, with loads of fantastic prizes up for grabs. 

Here are some pics of the afternoon events. 

This was it…the first new section of the Aries13 Hebridean Rally 2015.  The sun was out.  The crowds were out.  The breeze was blowing.  The midges were subdued.



Out on the Pentland Road and new windfarm roads around Bennadrove, there was expectation.  There was also every sign of preparation. Hazards marked. Stewards and marshals in position.  The viewing areas clearly defined.  Three or four coachloads of people as spectators as well as participants and organizers.



Superb was the verdict.  Great course, great views, great time had by all.  If only the rest of the summer has been as good as this.



Meanwhile…the rally continues…all raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

 

The roar of high-powered cars in the Castle Grounds provided an orchestra of four-wheeled rhetoric…the Hebridean Rally was back. And how!

For the first, the cars of the Hebridean Rally took over the centre of Stornoway for their scrutineering tonight, before the first stages of the Rally, also taking place on a Friday for the first time.


A Stornoway-based academic has been named as the University of the Highlands and Islands’ ‘Most Engaging Online Tutor’. Dr Eddie Graham, a meteorologist and lecturer at Lews Castle College UHI, was nominated for the accolade by students in the university’s annual teaching awards.

Hebridean Independent Living and Learning Service (HILLS) recently held a Light Lunch and Raffle in aid of the Leanne Fund. The Light Lunch took place in the MA Macleod Memorial Hall on 29 July, and raised a total of £730.

HILLS provides support to people who have significant barriers to employment, such as learning difficulties, mental health problems, confidence issues and a lack of work experience. It consists of two groups: Grow 2 Work and the Failte Café.

The Grow 2 Work Course is jointly run by the CnES and Lews Castle College and is based in the college nursery. 

The Failte Café is run by the CnES and provides a supportive environment where adults with additional support needs gain experience of working in a café setting. It is open to the public every Wednesday from 12-2pm in Pointers, North Beach and serves a range of beverages, home baking, sandwiches and soup.

For more information about HILLS please contact Graeme Miller, Adult Learning and Employability Team Leader on 01851 822 714.

Photo

Front row (L to R) Margaret Gunn, Aimee Martin, Chrisetta Mitchell

Second row: (L to R) Jen Ellis, Derek Mackenzie, Allan Maclean

Back row (L to R) Shonnie Macdonald, Catherine Mackenzie and Steve Michel

A breakaway Stornoway church has made a closed call for a new minister. 

Stornoway High Free Church made the call to Rev Hugh Ferrier, currently of Thurso Free Church, on Tuesday evening. 

Rev Ferrier (28) grew up in Alness, attending Invergordon Academy.

Volunteers are needed to help with this year's Moldova Appeal which is focused on the last week of August.

On Tuesday 25th and Wednesday 26th from 3.30pm to 6.45pm, and on Saturday August 29th from 2pm-4pm, the appeal store will be open at the old Co-op furniture shop in Kenneth Street, opposite Lodge Fortrose.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is looking for new retained firefighters to help protect communities in the Western Isles from fire.

The latest phase (Phase 3) of the RDS (Retained Duty System) recruitment campaign opens tomorrow, and applicants have three weeks to express and interest in joining the service as a part-time firefighter.

There are currently vacancies at community fire stations in Bayhead, North Uist, Port of Ness, Scalpay, Shawbost, South Lochs, Tarbert, Harris, Valtos, Castlebay, Great Bernera, Leverburgh, Lochboisdale, Lochmaddy and Ness.

The jobs available today on Lewis, particularly in Stornoway, are many and varied - as shown by welovestornoway.com's jobs page, which is currently hosting a record number of jobs.

welovestornoway.com is currently displaying adverts for job vacancies at By Rosie, Carpet World Warehouse, Hebrides Alpha, ARK Housing Association Ltd, Barvas Estate Trust, Carpet World, Furniture World, and Bethesda Care Home and Hospice. These businesses are need in of everything from retail assistants and managers, to nurses!

welovestornoway.com is also currently building up a recruitment database of people who are searching for jobs, and urges anyone who is looking for a career change, or to start their career, to send over their details. welovestornoway.com gets back to those on its recruitment database when a relevant job becomes available, and will not pass their details onto anyone without prior permission.

Advertising a job vacancy on welovestornoway.com couldn't be easier - the team behind the website do their best to make the process as simple as possible! So, if you're looking to advertise a job, or to be added to the recruitment database, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

A year on from the launch of the Marie Curie Western Isles service, Marie Curie, the charity that provides care and support to people living with a terminal illness, has announced an extension to its service in partnership with NHS Western Isles.

The extension to the service has been welcomed by Marie Curie Outer Hebrides Fundraising Group Chair John Masterson who hopes it will encourage local residents to join the group and support fundraising across the Isles. John is looking forward to welcoming anyone interested to the information event on Thursday 27 August at 6.30pmat the Bethesda Nursing Home and Hospice.

The recruitment of six new Registered Nurses and Healthcare Professionals to provide care across Lewis and Harris will complement the existing three nursing team members who provide overnight care to residents in North and South Uist including Benbecula and Barra.

John’s brother, Bob, was cared for by Marie Curie Nurses at the end of his life. This enabled him to die at home in Perth surrounded by his family. John said: “After my brother died I wanted to do something to help this really worthwhile charity. They were there for my family with compassion and comfort, and sadly there are many others who need their help.

“Our volunteer fundraising group has been going since 2013, and we’ve collected at supermarkets and had great support for the Great Daffodil Appeal. A group of pupils in the local school in Tarbert got involved by growing daffodils as part of their Saltire Award for volunteering. We’re really keen to hear from more people eager to support this vitally important local service and hope to have a good turn out to our information evening.”

Anyone not able to attend on 27 August can also contact Marie Curie community fundraiser Vonnie Carson on 01463 238 328 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. John Masterson can be contacted on 01859 530463.

Lynne Miller Marie Curie Clinical Nurse Manager for the Western Isles said: “We’re delighted to be able to extend our service and support more people living with a terminal illness in the Isles. Two of our nursing team will be at the 27 August event and Marie Curie community fundraiser Vonnie Carson will be talking about how you can help support the care we provide. Our new nursing team members are excited to get started and will be working closely with NHS Western Isles staff to provide joined up care and support where it is so desperately needed.”

For more information about Marie Curie, visit their website. You can also like them on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.

SNP MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Alasdair Allan, recently visited Lews Castle to see at first hand the impressive restoration work carried out on the building and the newly constructed museum and archive.

He was guided through the Castle by Iain MacLeod of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s Economic Development Service who has been involved in the Lews Castle project for many years and explained how the building will function.

Alasdair Allan commented: “I was delighted to visit Lews Castle and I’d like to thank Iain for taking the time to show me around. It was great to see at first hand the huge amount of progress that has been made since restoration work began. Lews Castle is a hugely important part of our heritage and I’d like to congratulate all those involved in taking the project to this stage.

“This will clearly be a big attraction for visitors and should bring a much needed boost to the local economy as a result.  The Museum provides a dynamic and engaging facility to present the history of our islands and I’m very pleased at the prominent role given to Gaelic throughout the building.

“This will be a facility we can all be proud of and I’m very much looking forward to the formal opening later in the year”
 

Did you know that people who are on the autism spectrum face many issues, including some problems and challenges, on a day-to-day basis. 
For example, they may find it difficult to communicate with others, or to socialise with them.

Or they may simply feel frustrated at trying to cope with other people’s ignorance and prejudice about autism, and what it actually means. They may also have additional conditions, such as epilepsy or gastro-intestinal problems.

So what is autism?  Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and related to other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them. People with autism may also experience over or under sensitivity to sounds, touch tastes and smell, lights and colours.

Residents in Stornoway and Tong, which in July became the first communities in the Outer Hebrides to benefit from fibre broadband services, have generated such ‘superfast’  demand that the capacity of the street-side cabinets is already being increased.
So many people are signing up to enjoy download speeds of up to 80 mbps that the green fibre cabinet in Tong has hit initial capacity, and orders are flowing through fast on other cabinets in the town.

Neil MacLeod of the HT Weavers Association; D.I. MacDonald; Brian Wilson of Harris Tweed Hebrides: Calum George and Seonaidh Buchanan

The Uig area of Lewis has seen weaving to return to some of its homes for the first time in a quarter of a century with two young local men now working flat out for the industry as it grows again.

Domhnall Iain (D.I.) MacDonald in Gisla and Calum George Buchanan in Valtos have led the revival – and their success has contributed to  considerable interest from others in the district who now see weaving as a good means of earning their livelihoods locally.  In all, across Lewis, there are now believed to be around 60 people looking for looms in the hope of joining the Harris Tweed industry.

For more than 50 years, Harris Tweed flourished in Uig.  One of the last of the old weavers, Seonaidh Buchanan, recalls the first six Hattersley looms coming to Valtos in 1938. They cost £35 each and the weavers were paid seven shillings (35p) a tweed.

At the industry’s peak, in the post-war years, says Seonaidh, there were 34 looms in the Valtos peninsula alone. In Uig as a whole, there were at least 100 weavers and for most of these families, the loom was the main source of income. But the last of the Hattersley weavers in Uig retired in the early 1990s.

Seonaidh’s son Calum George has been able to return to live in Valtos with his wife Mairi and infant son Fionnlagh  because of the opportunity created by weaving.  He already has his dad working for him at the painstaking business of tyIng in. “At first he wanted to find out if he could still do it. Now I can’t keep him away from it”.

D.I. also had weaving in his family. His father and latterly his uncle in Gisla were weavers.  D.I. continues to work two days a week for the council but says weaving gives him far more flexibility to be at home and help Ann with looking after their three year old son, Seumas, who already sits beside him as he weaves, watching every movement of the loom.

Neil MacLeod, chairman of the Harris Tweed Weavers Association, mentored Calum George – now seen as an effective route for new weavers to learn the skills.  Neil said there are more than 60 people looking for looms, many of them working offshore and seeing this as a means of making their livings at home.

The chairman of Shawbost-based Harris Tweed Hebrides, Brian Wilson, who himself lives in Mangersta, said: “It is great to see weaving back in Uig.  This sums up why the Harris Tweed revival is so important.

“It allows weavers like D.I. and Calum George to remain in their own communities, earn good livelihoods and raise their families here. We just need to keep it going and ensure a strong, stable future for the industry”.

Passing on the skills - Seonaidh and Calum George Buchanan

Harris Tweed weaving has returned to the Uig area of Lewis for the first time in a quarter of a century with two young local men now working flat out for the resurgent industry.
Domhnall Iain (D.I.) MacDonald in Gisla and Calum George Buchanan in Valtos have led the revival. This has contributed to  considerable interest from others in the district who see weaving as a good means of earning their livelihoods locally.

Steps have been taken towards the abolition of Air Passenger Duty (APD) in Scotland – a development which has been welcomed by Angus MacNeil, SNP MP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar.

The first meeting of the Scottish Air Passenger Duty (APD) stakeholder forum took place recently, chaired by Deputy First Minister John Sweeney MSP and Infrastructure Secretary Keith Brown MSP.

Mr MacNeil has been involved in a long campaign to devolve APD to the Scottish Parliament and this forms part of the ongoing debate on the Scotland Bill.

Dance auditions for pantomime Cinderella will take place this Saturday.

Hebrides Dance & Wellbeing Studio will be holding open dance auditions from 3 - 5pm on Saturday 15th August. 

To register a child, or to find out more, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

To register, email with name, age and dance experience of child.

The strangely-shaped 'WG Vespucci' is a visitor to Stornoway today. 

Registered in Limassol, in Cyprus, the survey ship is owned by Tosia Naigation Ltd, and was built in 2010.

She is 90 metres long with a gross tonnage of 6,926 tons.

Have you heard about the new pension freedoms but aren’t sure what your options are?  

Since April 2015 people have been able to access their pension as they wish. As well as buying an annuity (a guaranteed, regular income), you can also take all your pension out in one go as cash, or withdraw it bit by bit and leave the rest of it invested.

One of the artists with a display this month at Morven Gallery is Liz French, who makes kiln-fired glass objects, both abstract and pictorial, inspired by the landscape around her – which for the last two years has been North Uist, where she was involved in an art course run by Lews Castle College UHI in Lochmaddy. 

There's plenty undercover at the Newmarket Playpark fund-raising event at the Newmarket Gateway Trust facilities today.

The annual motor show at Tong today is organised by the Western Isles Transport Preservation Group. 

This is the major fundraiser providing funds to meet the costs of running a voluntary organisation with an interest in all forms of transport and their history.

The group are presently adapting a building at Marybank to their needs.  This is a former salmon processing factory which will house all the vehicles and artefacts which they have gathered.  Phase 1 of the project is nearing completion and they hope to use it for our forthcoming social evening programme.

At the show you will be able to see a wide range of transport and interesting exhibits, also local liveried models and a range of present and yesteryear model cars.  A warm welcome is extended to anyone wishing to add to the display.  There are plenty trophies to be won.

Come along for a family day out with amusements for young and old.

Fundraising for additional Accuvein Scanners for each community nursing area in the Western Isles - launched by former councillor Iain a' Mhillichan' Morrison before his death at the end of last month - has won huge support throughout the community.

Thousands of pounds were raised at a collection at his funeral on Tuesday – and donations have been pouring in since then.

By this afternoon (Friday) it was thought that more than £16,000 had been raised - with a target of £24,000 in mind to buy a sufficient number of scanners to ensure that every hospital and surgery is equipped with a scanner.  The scanners make it much easier to spot veins so that nurses and clinical staff taking blood can find veins in their patients without difficulty.

The Scottish Government has asked for feedback from the public, officers and elected representatives about how Police Scotland handles calls from the public.

This follows the road crash tragedy in central Scotland in which two people lost their lives.

The survey, which can be anonymous, will take about 15 minutes and should be sent back to Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS) by August 23rd. Click here

People are being asked to comment on plans to cut the number of councillors in the Western Isles by five.

These include changes affecting Carloway, Great Bernera, Lochs, the West Side and Ness areas.

This is part of the Fifth Electoral Review of Na h-Eileanan an Iar by the Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland

On 30 July, the commission announced a 12-week period of consultation with the public on the ward boundary proposals.

People are being asked to comment on plans to cut the number of councillors in the Western Isles by five, including a new ward name for Harris.

This is part of the Fifth Electoral Review of Na h-Eileanan an Iar by the Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland

On 30 July, the commission announced a 12-week period of consultation with the public on the ward boundary proposals.

People are being asked to comment on plans to cut the number of councillors in the Western Isles by five.

This is part of the Fifth Electoral Review of Na h-Eileanan an Iar by the Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland

On 30 July, the commission announced a 12-week period of consultation with the public on the ward boundary proposals.

A blue-green algae bloom at Loch Branahuie, discharging on to Melbost Beach is potentially toxic, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has warned.

As a precautionary measure, notices have been posted next to the loch and the beach, warning that contact with the algal scum should be avoided.  Dog walkers using the beach should take care that their dogs do not come into contact with the algal scum.

Legendary movie director Steven Spielberg has been filming scenes for his latest movie in the Shiant Isles.

Although Spielberg himself wasn’t there, a camera crew recently filmed on the Shiants for use in the big screen adaptation of Roald Dahl’s hit children’s book, ‘The BFG’.

The crew went under the moniker ‘Big Valley Productions’ – which has since been discovered to be the code name for the project. 

Isles MP Angus MacNeil today stated that more than one thousand families in Na h-Eileanan an Iar are being hit by cuts to their tax credits – with more than 1,700 local children impacted.

Data from the House of Commons Library shows that nearly 200,000 families across Scotland will see changes to their tax credits as a result of the UK Government’s welfare policies.   

Angus MacNeil, who voted against the Welfare Reform and Work Bill last month, said: "The Tories' cruel cuts damage the working poor and vulnerable people.

West Side 10K and 5K – Saturday 8th of August 2015

Both the 5K & 10K runs start at 11am.

Entry fee is £5 for the 5K & £10 for the 10K.

Registration is in the Shawbost Old School Community Centre on the day from 9.30 to 10.40 am.

Soup, sandwiches, tea and coffee is laid on for all runners prior to the prizegiving ceremony.

Plus raffle with prizes donated by local businesses.

PLEASE SHARE AND ENCOURAGE ALL TO ATTEND.

Exam results for pupils in schools run by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar have improved although the number of exams being taken has fallen, the latest figures show.

A CnES spokesman said:  "SQA examination results indicate that A-C percentage passes at all levels have increased. The number of presentations across the authority in 2015 has declined.

Stornoway Butchers Macleod & Macleod's 'Original' Stornoway Black Pudding has been declared a winner in the 2015 Great Taste awards, described as the world’s largest and most trusted food and drink awards and organised by the Guild of Fine Food. (https://gff.co.uk/awards/great-taste-awards/)

Macleod and Macleod said: "We are absolutely delighted to have received such a prestigious award at the first time of entering. Never before has the business entered its most well known product into a competition such as this and to be recognised in this way is totally overwhelming."  (http://www.macleodandmacleod.co.uk/)

Only ten days to go…the Aries13 Hebridean Rally Shop is open in North Beach…in the former EVENTS shop.   And the latest edition of EVENTS the newspaper is on the streets with a 24-page souvenir supplement for the Rally…packed with details about the event itself, the drivers and the charity Macmillan Cancer Support.  The supplement is also available separately from the rally shop which is a vital point for all spectators this year because new stages and new safety rules mean people can go to the rally shop to join in the event with the Park n' Ride service.  For more details visit the shop or read the latest edition of EVENTS, now available across Lewis and Harris.

 

Members and officers of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar yesterday attended the funeral of former Councillor, Iain Morrison, who passed away aged 60 on Friday 31st July. Iain was elected to the Comhairle in 1999.
 Comhairle Convener, Councillor Norman A. MacDonald, said: “Our thoughts are with Annette and the family at this very sad time. The number of people who turned out at both the wake and the funeral services was testament to Iain’s influence in the community and further afield.

This year's Stornoway Amenity Trust AGM will take place on Monday August 17th at 5.30pm in the council.

It is open to ALL who are interested in helping the environment of Stornoway Town Centre, and being involved in project work.

The Stornoway Amenity Trust organises the funding, supply and maintenance of the flowers in the town centre, and help to look after Stornoway in many other ways. They also organise the Christmas lights, the fair and continental market, which come up every year, and the statues around Stornoway - such as Hamish the cow (beside the Co-op) and the new seals, which can be seen along South Beach.

They do a lot for Stornoway, and if you'd like to get involved, go along to the AGM on Monday August 17th.

 

One of Hollywood's most promising young directors is giving a Q&A session in An Lanntair on Saturday night, following a screening of his latest movie 'Slow West'.

The Western, which stars Michael Fassbender, has already won a Sundance Movie Festival award, and has been given huge accolades by critics.

The movie starts at 8pm, followed by the Q&A session immediately thereafter. 

An Lanntair arts centre is offering members of Stornoway Singers and Young Musicians Hebrides half price tickets for tonight’s performance by The Grier Duo.  These £5 are said to be available by calling the centre's box office on 01851 708480 or popping into An Lanntair.

A special concert in Glasgow has just been announced, celebrating the cultural connections between traditional Gaelic song and the musical genres which combine to make what is now known as Americana: Blues, Country, Bluegrass, Gospel and Rock ’n Roll.

Iain 'Costello' MacIver and John Murray have been playing music together for over twenty years. 

As the duo New Tradition, they appeared in the television series, Tuath Cheòl in the mid 1990s which resulted in the release of their only CD recording, Ar Cànain's Ar Ceòl in 1995. 

Football results

League 

Lochs 2 Point 0

For the latest league standings and remaining fixtures, see here

A 60-year-old French national was charged with causing serious injury by dangerous driving when he appeared at Stornoway Sheriff Court today, Monday, August 3rd.

The charge followed a head on collision between the Frenchman’s vehicle and another which took place just before 4pm on Sunday, August 2nd on the Lochs Road (A859), around five miles outside of Stornoway.

The passenger of the other vehicle – a 25-year-old female – was flown to the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow after the collision to receive treatment for multiple fractures.

The casualty is in a stable condition, and police enquiries into the accident are ongoing.

A 25-year-old female was flown to hospital in Glasgow yesterday, following a head-on collision on the Lochs road.

Police received the call at 4.05pm on Sunday, August 2nd, and attended two vehicles which had collided about five miles out of Stornoway on the A859.

There were two persons in each vehicle, and the female passenger of one vehicle was airlifted to Glasgow due to her injuries.

Former Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant is currently on holiday in the Western Isles. 

Plant (66), flew in to Stornoway on Saturday, where he hired a vehicle from a local carhire firm. 

He was spotted yesterday in Northton, in Harris, where he relaxed in the Temple Cafe. 

Jamie McGrigor, Highlands & Islands MSP and the Scottish Conservative Fisheries Spokesman, is reminding constituents in his region, including anglers and those involved in managing wild fisheries, to respond to the Scottish Government’s current consultation on reform of wild fisheries.

The Scottish Government is seeking comments on its response to the Wild Fisheries Review chaired by Andrew Thin. The consultation period ends on Friday 7th August. It is expected the Scottish Government will then publish a draft Wild Fisheries Bill.

Cllr Iain Morrison, known by many as 'Iain a' Mhillichan', has died aged 60.

Cllr Morrison had been battling cancer for some time. 

He was one of the longest serving Comhairle members, and represented the An Taobh Siar agus Nis ward. 

During his time as councillor, he served as the chairman of the Western Isles Island Games Association. 

He was also a company director of Galson Motors, and drove their buses as part of his day job. 

Morven Gallery in Barvas was packed with guests and visitors today (Saturday August 1) as the gallery's latest monthly exhibition was officially launched.

One of the featured artists, Dina Campbell - originally from Gravir (above) , was present to give insights into her colourful paintings, but Liz French, who has been working in North Uist for the last two years, was unable to be there. Her work involves fused glass inspired by the views and materials of North Uist.

 

Every man and his dog seems to have descended upon the centre of town today, revelling in a break from bad weather to enjoy the Lewis Carnival.

Pipe bands from Lewis and Skye, joined by the Western Isles World Island Games squad, led a procession of eight floats through the town. 

This year's entries were as varied as always, with the Stornoway Running Club float attracting particular attention due to the obvious time and effort that had gone in to converting the back of a lorry to a steam locomotive!

POSTAL VOTING 

The postal ballot packs for those who applied for a postal vote by 15 August 2014 for the Scottish Independence Referendum in the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Area will be arriving on doormats over the next few days.
Counting Officer, Malcolm Burr said:  “Postal voting is growing in popularity as a convenient way for voters to have their say.  I would urge Postal Voters to take the time to read the guidance enclosed and ensure that they have completed the postal voting statement by signing the statement and filling in their date of birth.  This statement is kept separately from your ballot paper so your vote is always secret. Postal votes must be returned before polls close at 10pm on Thursday 18 September.”

The Western Isles now has a new event on its packed social calendar – Ceilidh Hebrides. Based on an event that has run in Glasgow for the past decade, the inaugural event will take place in Stornoway Town Hall on 3rd October 2014.

Award winning ceilidh band Deoch ‘n‘ Dorus will travel to Stornoway for what promises to be a fantastic evening of music and dance in aid of Action for Children Scotland. Those lucky enough to get their hands on a ticket will also have the opportunity to win some fantastic prizes at the auction and raffle.

Action for Children Scotland has been supporting children and their families across the Western Isles since 1998. The charity employs around 40 people locally and at any time will work with 100 – 120 children. Much of their work goes on quietly behind the scenes. It is very much a local service for local people and every single penny raised by Ceilidh Hebrides will be spent locally.

Tickets are limited, cost £10, and are available in Stornoway from Spar convenience store at Manor Garage, Harris Tweed Hebrides shop and the EVENTS newspaper office on Rigs Road, not far from Tesco.

This is the last chance to nominate your local Health Hero for Top Award.

With the deadline approaching, there are now only days left to nominate your Western Isles Healthcare Hero for a top award.

Every year, the Scottish Health Awards recognise and reward dedicated NHS staff, support workers, volunteers and specialist teams who go the extra mile to provide outstanding patient care. 

Nominations are being sought from those who want to acknowledge the quality of treatment they have received, either for themselves or a loved one. 

Whether in hospital, in the community, in a GP surgery, or at the dentist, this is an opportunity to reward the people who give so much, helping the NHS provide world-class care to the people of Scotland. 

There are 16 award categories, including the Nurses Award, the Volunteers Award, the Top Team Award and the renowned Doctors Award. 

The awards will culminate in a prestigious award ceremony on the 6 November 2014 at the Corn Exchange in Edinburgh. 

NHS Western Isles Chief Executive, Gordon Jamieson, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to recognise those who provide the very best healthcare to people across the Western Isles. Our staff work hard to ensure that local services are delivered to the highest standards. 

“Make sure you nominate your local healthcare hero and give them the recognition they deserve.” 

To nominate your healthcare hero click here. The closing date for nominations is Monday 8 September. 

 

 

 

 

Click here for more info about Ceilidh Hebrides!

September sees new start for The Wardrobe

Wardrobes in children’s tales possess all kinds of magic, acting as entryways to new worlds and keepers of secrets – think The Chronicles of Narnia or The Famous Five.  Closer to home, The Wardrobe in Stornoway is working some magic of its own, as it starts a new chapter in its story with its handmade designer children’s wear range and a change of location.

The Wardrobe’s Cromwell Street shop will close on Saturday 30th August, relocating to a workshop space in Clinton’s Yard.  It’s a move that comes after the success of The Wardrobe’s pop-up stall at festivals up and down the country this summer, leaving owner Elspeth Soutar deciding to focus on the range of locally designed, handmade, Volkswagen-inspired children’s clothes that have proved so popular. 

There is a 25% sale on all stock (excluding the VW-inspired range) in the shop until it closes next week, and although it will open under new management on 18th September, the shop will still sell The Wardrobe’s unique range of children’s clothes.

At Clinton’s Yard, the small local manufacturing space will allow Elspeth and the team to focus solely on creating and selling their own brand of children’s clothes.  A small reception area will allow customers to place orders directly, and the welcoming, community-minded aspect of the current shop will carry over to the new location too.  

Small local community groups, such as knitting or book clubs, will be able to rent out the cosy kitchen, and an industrial sewing machine and workshop space can be hired by those looking for space to work on sewing and crafts.  New additions to the VW range are in the pipeline too, including fleecy blankets and even an adult party dress.

The Wardrobe is also taking part in the EVENTS-sponsored Late-night Shopping Evening in Stornoway on 11th September, with a pop-up shop in the Town Hall.   “We’ll pop up all over the place, all over the Western Isles,” says Elspeth of The Wardrobe’s new flexibility.

They may be moving, but there are now more ways than ever to get your hands on the lovely range of children’s clothes made exclusively at The Wardrobe.

EVENTS newspaper, welovestornoway and Hebtember are joining up to give you a night of shopping and entertainment this September. 

If you were here for it last September, you'll remember it was fantastic, and the positivity this year has been AMAZING.

These are the shops that are staying open late on Thursday 11th September… 

Argos

Boots

By Rosie

Edinburgh Woollen Mill

Events

Go Fish

Harris Tweed Hebrides

Hebridean Cottage Crafts

Hebridean Tea Store

Home Improvement Centre

Malcolm Macleod Photography

M&Co

Paint a Pot

Perfect Fit

Sardar's

Scottish Hydro Shop

Sportsworld

Superdrug

Sweet Flavours

The Kitchen Centre 

W J Macdonald butchers

 

And these are the pop-up shops we've got coming to the centre (so far!)

Blue Pig

Buttercup and Wren

Carraig

CRUK Western Isles Committee

Demi's Delights

Harris Tweed Boutique

Hebrides Alpha

Hebrides Light Gallery

Lewisian Nice

Macaskill's Home Stores

Oh Annie

Paint a Pot (also doing face painting!)

Perfect Fit

Pixie Bheag

Puddle Ducks Designs

QuirkiNess

Scrap Box Creations

The Veggie Box

Time of the Signs

The Wardrobe

Yes Scotland

  

And to keep your strength up for all the shopping you’re going to be doing…

Gourmet Street Food Stornoway

Porkie's Burgers

 

ANY business can join in, but remember there are limited (FREE) tables available for pop-up shops, so get in there quick! (2 tables may be assigned to you upon request, depending on demand)

 

Want to busk on the night?! Have any other ideas?!

Click This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to join in!

Welcome to welovethewestside.com!

On here we aim to bring everything you need to know about the West Side of Lewis, right to your computer screen!  (And yes, we have cheated a bit … our West Side extends from the Butt of Lewis to Mangersta and Breanish!)

Whether you’re looking for a job or are looking to advertise a job vacancy, we can help you. Looking for a house or looking to rent or buy a house? We’re your guys.

This site, welovestornoway.com and welovetheisleofharris.com are also the only places in internet-land where you can find local funeral notices, as well as a compiled list of local church services. We also do loads of other things – just have a look!

We aim to let you know exactly what’s happening and where, so that you never miss out on an opportunity.

And we could do with you helping us to help others by telling us what’s on, what's for sale, what jobs are going...!

And…as we're only new, please tell us about any additional information you have or anything you spot that is not quite correct.

Welcome to welovetheisleofharris.com!

On here, we aim to bring everything you need to know about the Isle of Harris, right to your computer screen! 

Whether you’re looking for a job or are looking to advertise a job vacancy, we can help you. Looking for a house or looking to rent a house? We’re your guys.

This site, welovestornoway.com and welovethewestside.com are also the only places in internet-land where you can find local funeral notices, as well as a compiled list of local church services. We also do loads of other things – just have a look!

We aim to let you know exactly what’s happening and where, so that you never miss out on an opportunity.

And we could do with you helping us to help others by telling us what’s on, what you want to buy or sell, what jobs are going...

And…as we have only just started, please tell us if there's anything missing, or if you spot anything that is not quite correct!

 

Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liberal Democrat MP Danny Alexander, was in Stornoway today (Tuesday 19th August) to announce an additional £1 million in funding for MG ALBA.

The figure is in addition to the £1 million already provided to MG ALBA by the UK government for the next two years, doubling the UK government’s sustained support for minority language broadcast services.

As a Highlander – he is MP for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey – and as someone who grew up in the islands, Danny says he is “keen to make sure that as a government we listen to what the islands need, and that’s why I’ve been keen to support Gaelic broadcasting.”

He enjoyed an in-depth guided tour of the MG ALBA campus, taking in everything from the editing suites to voiceover rooms, easily chatting with staff from the various organisations that call the campus home, including Proiseact nan Ealan, Greenspace, and Corran Media.  Danny was even gifted a preview DVD of Bannan, the new Gaelic drama series set to hit TV screens next month.

Maggie Cunningham, chairperson of MG ALBA, which operates BBC ALBA in partnership with the BBC, welcomed the Treasury’s extra support, saying it “is most welcome as it helps enable the channel to drive forward its commitment to developing programme-making in key areas of the channel’s creative operations.” 

“It is very reassuring to see continuing support for Gaelic and BBC ALBA from across the political spectrum at both Scottish and UK levels.”

 

Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the UK Treasury, visited the Hi-Scot Credit Union in James Street, Stornoway, this morning and called for greater feedback from the public and credit union members for a UK Government initiative to try to expand the use and work of credit unions.  Comments and responses have to be made within the next few weeks here.

Mr Alexander, who is also MP for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey, also praised the work of the Hi-Scot Credit Union of which he is a member. 

Margaret Macleod, Vice-Chairpersonof theHI-Scot Credit Union board, welcomed Mr Alexander and  explained the progress of the credit union which she said was “self-sustaining” with members all across the Highlands and Islands and a growing level of both savings and loans.

Mr Alexander was shown the VW Campervan which the Credit Union uses to take its message to events all across the Highlands and Islands.  He is pictured along with credit union manager David Mackay and Margaret Macleod.

 

Fun and informality are the order of the day on August 30th at the annual Scottish SPCA dog show at Lochside Arena on the outskirts of Stornoway. 

Up to 70 dogs have been entered into the various obedience, agility, show and fun classes annually in what has been a calendar event for dog owners across Lewis and Harris for many years.

Now relocated at the Lochside horse arena for the past two years, the venue couldn’t be better for staging the dog show, say the organisers. There is plenty of room to run all the classes indoors, parking, and toilets.

The local Branch of the Scottish SPCA says: “The dog show is very much an informal affair. It’s all about having fun and we have user-friendly judges to ensure it’s not a stuffy kennel club event. In reality, any dog and owner has the chance of winning best in show.”

To enter your family pooch pick up a registration form from Hector Low’s veterinary surgery, Lewis Crofters, Maybury Garden Centre or Stornoway Library. Or you can obtain a digital form by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or turn up and complete a registration form on the day.

Registration for obedience classes commences at 10.30 am, with judging from 11.30 am. Registration for other classes is from 11.00 am to 12.00 pm, with judging at 12.30 pm.

Among the fun classes are fancy dress, happiest dog and dog most like owner.

One of the two mainland judges is Isobel Morrison, who has judged at the Scottish SPCA show on many occasions and has bred and shown Shelties. She presently shows a Standard long-haired Dachshund and is an experienced judge and steward at some of the UK’s top shows.

Joining her is Fiona Forbes, who breeds and shows Shelties, and has a number of champions to her name.

The obedience classes, meanwhile, will be judged by Brenda Stewart, who has been training dogs for over 40 years, and has competed in dog obedience classes all over the country. She has also given demonstration displays with her own dogs. 

Brenda moved to Lewis more than 17 years ago and started dog obedience classes in Carloway, in 2010, with the proceeds being donated to the Scottish S.P.C.A. She now runs Good Companions basic dog obedience classes and agility for fun at the Lochside Arena. Call 01851 710669 or  07748 638108 for further details about these classes.

Determined that everyone should enjoy themselves, the dog show will also have a refreshments stall, sales stalls, lucky dips, and a raffle. For more information on the dog show, phone 01851 870083.

   Police and firefighters take part in annual
football match in memory of local man

Police Scotland vs Scottish Fire North, 3pm, August 30th,
Smith Avenue Athletics Stadium.

Next month, members of Stornoway’s Emergency Services will be taking to the pitch in their annual charity “grudge match” – which has become a hugely popular event for residents and the local community over the past 6 years.
This “famous friendly” between the Police and Retained fire service is a great local spectacle and good for community moral as well as having raised in excess of £12,000 for many worthwhile local charities.

This year, all funds raised from the match will go towards the leading heart charity, Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY). All monies raised will remain local in the Western Isles and used to fund specialist screenings for young people in the area as well as raising awareness of this silent killer.
Every week in the UK, 12 young (that is, aged 35 and under) people die suddenly from a previously undiagnosed heart condition. 80% of these young people have no signs or symptoms, so the only way to detect a potentially sinister cardiac abnormality is through screening.

Organiser, Acting Sergeant Craig Allan, said; “This year, we have decided to donate all proceeds from the match to the charity, CRY, in memory of local man, Andrew Macleod, who died from a previously undiagnosed heart condition, known as dilated cardiomyopathy, in October 2011 aged just 21. His sudden death devastated his family as well as the entire community but his parents, Murdo and Dolina, received great help and support from CRY so we are all delighted to be able to give something back.”
CRY’s pioneering screening programme now tests over 14,000 young people every year. Although screening will not identify all those at risk, in Italy, where screening is mandatory for all young people engaged in organised sport, the incidence of young sudden cardiac death has been reduced by 90%. Whilst sport does not actually cause sudden cardiac death, it can significantly increase a young person’s risk if they have an underlying condition.
CRY also offers a specialist Bereavement Support Programme, providing telephone support through volunteers who have suffered the sudden cardiac death of a child, sibling or partner and who received two years of counselling training.

At this year’s event we are delighted to announce that former Glasgow Rangers, Hearts and Scotland Footballer Dave Macpherson will be on hand to manage the police team and get them back to winning ways.

Also on the day there will be live music From Crazy Carl from Isles FM, a Burger van and Bouncy castle for the younger kids attending.  There are also plans for a mini football game between Primary 2s to P4s from across the area and Dave Macpherson will be on hand to meet the kids at the event.
CRY’s Chief Executive and Founder, Alison Cox MBE adds: “It’s wonderful to see yet more support from the people of Scotland and we are hugely grateful to the emergency services in Stornoway for donating the proceeds of this annual event - which sounds great fun! - to CRY ! Ongoing, local support such as this will be immensely helpful and comforting for the Macleod family who – like all of those who have been bereaved from a young, sudden cardiac death - have been through a devastating and tragic experience.”
“On behalf of us all at CRY, I would like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to everyone involved!”
 
You can read more about Andrew Macleod in a very personal account written by his dad, Murdo, on the CRY website.


There will also be a charity sports auction also held to raise funds and anyone wishing to donate any items can do so by contacting Craig Allan at the police station on 101.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Outer Hebrides Tourism Industry Association (OHTIA) is working closely with the London office of Quercus Books who have just launched a competition to recruit the top 100 “superfans” of crime writer Peter May.  

 

Award-winning May, author of several stand-alone novels and two series, is perhaps best loved for his internationally best-selling "Lewis Trilogy" set in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides.

The superfans will be asked to submit suggestions outlining how they would help share Peter May’s books and extend their enthusiasm to new readers.

The lucky 100 superfans will receive a pack including early copies of May’s next book, Runaway, out January 2015; a copy of the Lewis Trilogy companion photobook Hebrides; five copies of their favourite May title; and regular updates and excerpts. 

Quercus is asking fans, who have until 14th September to apply to be a superfan, to document their sharing experience on social media using creative and imaginative sharing techniques.

Ultimately, the fan who is judged to have undertaken the best sharing campaign come the end of January will win a holiday to the Outer Hebrides to visit the places which have inspired May’s writing, and which have lead to the creation of the Peter May Trail.

Quercus is promoting the superfan competition online, in libraries via The Reading Agency, and with key crime bloggers.

Marketing manager at Quercus Bethan Ferguson said: “Peter May is a first class crime writer and has such a loyal and enthusiastic fan base that we wanted to give them the opportunity and means to share that enthusiasm with other book lovers.”

Ian Fordham, Chair of the OHTIA said he was delighted at the positive exposure which the Outer Hebrides have received as a result of Peter May’s Lewis Trilogy.  “Other UK destinations have seen literary tourism grow into a commercially significant phenomenon.  With an increasing Peter May fan base and huge interest in The Lewis Trilogy, we are anticipating raised awareness of the Outer Hebrides, specifically of the locations referred to in The Lewis Trilogy as well as the companion photobook ‘Hebrides’.   This was the reason we developed the Peter May Trail, which guides visitors around the Lewis Trilogy locations throughout the islands.

“We wish the best of luck to all fans entering the competition and look forward to welcoming not just the winner to the Outer Hebrides, but may more of Peter’s fans who have been inspired by his books.   We know it’s no wonder that these islands captured the imagination of Peter May, and we’re sure many of his fans will be captivated by them too.”

The competition to be a superfan launched on 14th August.  The 100 superfans will be announced on 1st October and the ultimate superfan winner will be announced on 31st January.  Fans can apply here.

Dave Ross has offered to put his co-driver seat for the day up for auction so this seat will be sold to the highest bidder on the Friday evening at scrutineering at DR Macleod's yard on Island Road. 

The winning bidder will get to sit along side Dave for the day in his legendary Metro 6R4 rally car for the seven stages of the Aries 13 Hebridean Rally and receive a ticket to the after-rally dinner with all the drivers.

He recalls: "I started rallying around eight years ago in a Skoda Estelle for a bit of a laugh with my best mate Kyle who sits with me as navigator. We narrowly missed out winning the Scottish championship in our class the following year. 

"I then purchased an Evo 6 and competed when I could, due to work commitments, usually finishing in the top 30…setting some top ten stage times and leaving pieces of the car around the landscape on the way. 

"The chance came to buy Andy Horne's Metro as he was moving up to WRC machinery and the deal was done. Not too much for me to think about as two friends rally Metros. 

"Only been out in the car twice – first time was a nightmare on the Granite City earlier this year as I could not hear the navigator due to the noise inside the car we finished 26th. 

"Last time out, new intercoms and helmets in place and internal noise cured, we went into the last stage in Crail lying 3rd overall but broke a rear wheel …rally over...

"I was first up at Rally Hebrides last year in my (white and green) Opel Manta and loved the set-up, people and crack... 

 

"Looking forward to this year and hopefully raising good money for the navigators seat in the progress , I can guarantee the winning bidder a day to remember.  The Metro will be there to get driven as they should be..."

Lewis Car Club has been in existence since 1973 when it was formed to promote motorsport and motoring in general in the Western Isles. It was setup by a group of young men, one of whom is still an active and keen club member – Malcolm Macleod (Kiwi). 

Early Club events included an Autocross Championship on Barvas Machair, Hillclimbs at Bennadrove, and Autotests at Stornoway Airport, Marybank and Arnish. 

In the early 1990s, Lewis Car Club organised a number of Navigational Road Rallies and loose surface Autotests at its newly acquired Lochs Road gravel circuit. These events were very successful throughout the 90s. During this time Lewis Car Club ran Banger Racing, or demolition derbys, which always bring back good memories and great stories to car club members of that era.

In 1999, the Club (in partnership with the Stornoway Trust, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and Bardon Hebrides) developed its Lochs Road site. The site was let out to a newly formed company who worked to develop a Karting/ Motorsport Centre – a premier 650m by 6m outdoor karting circuit with ancillary driver training facilities.  In 2001, Lewis Car Club was incorporated as a Company Limited by Guarantee and Registered Scottish Charity. 

In 2007, Lewis Car Club organised a Motorsport Day which consisted of a Karting Grand Prix, Minimoto Races, a Show & Shine, and Supercar Rides.  

The Supercar Rides were the first time road cars had used the tight and twisty Karting circuit in anger and they proved a huge success.  A Ferrari F430, a Jaguar XK150, and various Porsches ferried paying passengers around the circuit with proceeds going to Bethesda Nursing Home & Hospice and the Alpha Project.

In June 2008, the first organised Quarter Mile Drag Race at Stornoway Airport raised £6,200 for Bethesda Nursing Home and Hospice.

Then in August 2008, Lewis Car Club organised the first Bethesda Rally Hebrides, the first ever Closed Stage Rally in the Western Isles.  A total of ten Scottish Championship cars and drivers participated, including the late great 2008 Scottish Rally Champion, Jimmy Girvan, and cars ranged from the ex Carlos Sainz Impreza 555 to a Metro 6R4 and a selection of Mk2 Escorts.  Stages were run through the stunning grounds of Lews Castle and over the Lewis Karting Centre circuit.  A total of £10,000 (before expenses) was raised for Bethesda Nursing Home and Hospice.

The Club has organised the prestigious Hebrides Rally every August since. The rally has grown in size in terms of stage miles and entrants, and has raised in excess of £80,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support (Western Isles) and we are delighted to have Macmillan working alongside us for our rally. It has now grown to a 30-car untimed Seven Stage rally.

In 2009 the Club imported a National Hot Rod Association spec Drag Timing System from Portatree of Massachusetts, USA, and organised a Quarter Mile Drag Race using this equipment.  The race took place at Stornoway Airport by kind permission of Highlands & Islands Airports Limited and a total of £5,500 was raised for Macmillan Cancer Support Western Isles.

Lewis Car Club, in partnership with Highlands and islands Airports (HIAL), has run two ‘Run What Ya Brung Drag Race’ events every year since with great success.  This year we attracted two high performance Drag Cars, Colin Millar AKA The Flyin Fyfer in his 1400bhp Ford Anglia, and Jim Fairbairn in his 32’ Ford coupe. Colin's car ran the quarter mile in 9 seconds and reached a speed of nearly 150mph. 

There is an Autosolo and Autotest Championship with regular events, bringing affordable motorsport to the Western Isles. We aim to hold at least one Autotest/ Motortest every month.  

Another great team-building event Lewis Car Club organises is a Production Car Endurance Race. These events use a standard road car with a few minor safety features, then up to ten teams circle the track for four hours with the winning team being the one who clocks up the most miles.

As all the money for these events is pledged to the receiving charities, Lewis Car Club takes nothing from it for themselves; none of our Committee or members get paid, or receive any benefit from holding or being a part of the local events.

These events bring many mainland competitors and the supporting teams to the island, as well as a large number of spectators, all requiring accommodation and in turn helping tourism in Lewis.

 

Find Lewis Car Club on Facebook and online at www.lewiscarclub.com

For the second year running, charitable foundation Aries13 is pleased to announce its headline sponsorship of the annual Hebridean Rally.

Formed in 2012, the initial purpose of Aries13 was to financially support research into cancer treatments and early detection practices.  Following the success of the fundraising model used in last year’s support of the Hebridean Rally, however, Aries13 has transformed how it helps cancer charities.

With the ‘multiplier’ model, Aries13 provides event organisers with funds to enable them to stage the event in the first place – in this case, Hebridean Rally - and the event then hands the selected charities (such as Macmillan Cancer Support, this year’s Rally charity) “a much larger amount” after the event.  

“We liked the ‘multiplier model’ so much following its success with Rally Hebrides in 2013, that it has led to direct discussions with Marie Curie and other charities about Aries13 supporting some of their events,” Kenny, Director of Aries13, explains.  “Our mission has consequently changed beyond recognition in the last 12 months primarily to the use of our funds to facilitate events that raise ‘larger amounts’ in support of existing cancer charities.”

Established by the family of Megan Macleod following her untimely death from breast cancer in 2011 at age 53, Aries13 aims to deploy its own financial resources in support of all kinds of cancer alleviation initiatives from ‘early detection’ to ‘palliative care’, whilst also raising additional funds through its own efforts which will also be directed into the general cancer support arena.

The charity remains relatively small, having contributed some £60,000 to various charitable bodies since its inception, although the pace of growth is set to accelerate as Aries13 hopes to support at least half a dozen such ‘multiplier’ initiatives over the next year.

Raising awareness of the efforts of Aries13 includes approaching corporate partners, hosting public events, working with community initiatives and sponsoring qualifying sporting events; the Aries13 Hebridean Rally falls into the latter two categories.  For now, the family team behind Aries 13 are still focusing on “putting the whole thing together” whilst also looking for more projects to support.

 

“We are hopeful that with the sponsorship of successful events like the Aries13 Hebridean Rally, Aries13 will be asked to support other events in which the ‘multiplier model’ can be used to secure larger donations to selected charities.”

Irish singer, Mick Flavin, is performing in Stornoway on Wednesday, the 27th August,  with a show at the Cabarfeidh Hotel.  Joining Mick and his band on the stage will be one of Scotland’s favourite bands, Manson Grant and the Dynamos. 

The concert will take place in the Cabarfeidh Ballroom and is expected to be a sell-out, as the artists are always popular in Stornoway.

It’s 28 years since Flavin recorded his first country music album and he has just completed his 19th, the Field of Home, songs from which will feature in the show. During his career he has played major venues such as Wembley and shared the stage with greats like Tammy Wynnette and Boxcar Willie.

Also with a history of success going back many years, the award winning Dynamos are known to have many Stornoway fans and have now completed their 16th album.

Tickets for the show, which starts at 8pm (doors open 7pm) are available from Reception at the Cabarfeidh – adults £20, concessions £17.

We’re all guilty of not helping out sometimes, thinking that we’re too busy or that we just want to enjoy an event and not work at it – but without people helping, the carnival cannot happen. So, please, if you have an hour or two to spare (Between about 8am and 7pm!), please volunteer at this year’s carnival, on Saturday August 9th! (Contact details below)

This year’s Lewis Carnival is looking to be fairly gigantic, with 8 pipe bands joining the procession, numerous floats and stalls, bouncy castles, several musical acts, candy floss, a BBQ and so much more!

It’s the usual carnival, but with the volume turned up!

Celebrating the year of the homecoming, the weekend of the 8th & 9th is going to be a biggy, with Tattoo events happening in the evenings, and the Lewis Carnival taking over Stornoway in the day on Saturday.

We’re hoping for some sunshine, but whatever the weather, we hope to see you there!

If you can help out on the day, please get in touch!

Facebook: Lewis Carnival

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Twitter: Lewis Carnival

Call: 01851 705749

AND REMEMBER: South Beach Car Park will be closed from 6pm on Friday August 8th until 6pm on Saturday August 9th - please remember to move your car!