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.”

Gaelic writer, singer, actress, broadcaster and political campaigner, Dolina Maclennan aims to celebrate her 80th birthday with musical friends at a concert in the Woodlands Centre, Stornoway on 15th September during Blas Festival. 

Brought up in Marvig, Dolina was introduced to drama and the great Gaelic bards at Nicolson Institute and the rest, they say, is history!

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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.

Concerns have been reported across the Outer Hebrides and the Isle of Skye as well as other island groups about the installation of home energy products.

Now Trading Standards teams across the North of Scotland are reminding householders to be on their guard if they are approached by individuals offering to install home energy products.

The Western Isles need better basic facilities if visitors are to get the best out of their holiday, according to one of the Lewis’s regular tour guides.

Guide Maggie Smith of Lochs has made the call after leading a party of American tourists through a number of disappointments on Sunday (August 18th) during a tour to the Butt of Lewis. Her experiences were, she said, all too common.

Posting on Facebook after the tour, she showed one of the reasons for her concern. She said: “This picture was taken from the ‘car park’ at the Butt of Lewis, which was empty due to the huge puddle bang in the middle of the access. Another two coach companies decided not to brave the puddle – they parked on the road and their passengers walked up to the Butt.

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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.

Grinneabhat Community Project is offering a chance to remember loved ones and to support the development.

Urras Coimhearsnachd Bhràdhagair agus Àrnoil (UCBA), the Bragar and Arnol Community Trust, on the West Side of Lewis has introduced a fundraising initiative which will also ensure a lasting memorial to people with a connection to the area.

On Friday August 9th Scottish Salmon Company staff presented the Western Isles Islands Games Association with £1500 raised during the Lewis Carnival food and drink festival on Saturday August 3rd which was sponsored by the company.

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.

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.

Bethesda hospice in Stornoway was the big winner after a football game between Back FC and a Ross County XI at the iconic Upper Coll football complex on July 26th.

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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.

Kidney patients, hospital staff, NHS officials and relatives gathered yesterday (Wednesday July 31st) in the Renal Unit at Western Isles Hospital to welcome the presentation of two cheques for money to buy two additional dialysis machines for the unit.

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.

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.

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.

Andrew Macdonald, originally from Upper Bayble, plans to row 100km on an indoor rowing machine within 12 hours to raise funds for the Maggie’s Centre charity, with the intention of raising at least £1,200.

On October 4, the policeman who lives in Edinburgh is set to face the challenge of rowing approximately 12km further than the Stornoway-Ullapool ferry route.

The son of the late Iain C Macdonald and Alice Macdonald, Andrew has been inspired to raise money for Maggie’s, a cancer-support charity, after his wife, Louise, was diagnosed with breast cancer in summer 2018, aged just 35.  

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.

With over £45,000 raised for community projects and more than £17,000 handed out in prize money, it’s a 1st year worth celebrating for the Western Isles Lifestyle Lottery (WILL).

And celebrate they will with a jam packed weekend of Disney themed events in Stornoway on August 24th and 25th.

A number of organisations and businesses have partnered with the Lottery Team to host events. 

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.

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.

Drop by Lews Castle College on Wednesday (8th August) between 4.30pm and 6pm to explore your options once your exam results are out.

Not received the results you expected?

Not sure what path to take?

Don’t worry we can help!

When:  8th August 2018  
from 4.30pm to 6pm

Where: Lews Castle College UHI

Contact phone: 01851 770000

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Samaritans of the Western Isles have received help from some Samaritans of their own – in the form of community wind farm charity Point and Sandwick Trust.

The Trust have donated £3,000 to the local charity to help with the costs of upgrading their base in Stornoway in order to help them help people in their hour of need.

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.

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.”

Stornoway airport café is expected to re-open under new management on Friday this week (August 9th).

The café has been closed since April after the retirement of the former manager, leaving airport staff having to deal with disgruntled passengers unable to get a cup of tea while waiting for flights.

Another improved pay and conditions offer has been made by Highlands and Islands Airports in a bid to end the long-running and increasingly rancorous dispute with Air Traffic Controllers throughout HIAL's network of airports.

Following talks with the Prospect union on Tuesday 6 August, HIAL submitted a further offer that augmented their previous proposal. 

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.

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.

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).
 

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.

Blue-green algae is present in Loch Eirearaigh, Brue, according to recent samples.

The Comhairle warn that swallowing the water or algal scum can cause stomach upsets or more serious health effects.

Contact with the water or algal scum can also cause skin problems.

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.

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.

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

Creating has become a way of life for self-taught artist Tom Hickman – from wool-work pictures to dry-stone walls and everything in between.

Monitoring work undertaken on behalf of Food Standards Scotland has identified that the high levels of shellfish toxins identified in West Loch Roag -  Miavaig and Eilean Tenish, and East Loch Roag in Lewis on 8th July have returned to safe levels.  The warning against eating shellfish from these areas has now been lifted.

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 Alzheimer Scotland annual 5K Memory Walk in Stornoway is being held on Saturday 31st August.
Registration is from 11.30am at the Bridge Centre, Bayhead.

Barra's Amanda Anderson will be judging at the Scottish Oyster Shucking Championships next month.

Amanda, from Barra Oysters, will be joined by Clare MacDougall from Seafood Scotland at the ShuckOff competition.  

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.

 

 

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.

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.”

Stornoway police are asking for witnesses to an apparent assault which happened in the early hours of this morning (Sunday August 18th) outside licensed premises on North Beach Street in Stornoway.

Two men were reportedly fighting when a woman intervened and was assaulted in the street around 12.45am today.

Police are asking for witnesses to the incident so that it can be determined whether any charges are to be made. They’re asking witnesses to quote incident no NH 1137/19.

 

Assault within hospital

A 43-year-old man was found injured in the street by police at 4.25am today (Sunday August 18th) and was taken to Western Isles Hospital.

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 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.

Merchant Navy Day will commence this year with a simple flag-raising ceremony at 7pm on Friday the 1st of September at Perceval Square, Stornoway.

On Saturday the 2nd, there will be a short service at 11am at the MN Memorial, ferry terminal. The first British losses of World War II were suffered by the Merchant Navy on the very first day that war was declared (3rd of September 1939), when the SS Athenia was sunk by U-30 south of Rockall, with the loss of 19 crew (mostly engine crew) and 98 passengers (including 28 neutral Americans). The ship was carrying over 500 Jews trying to escape Europe and Hitler.

The Army Reserves are holding a "mini" Look @ Life on Tuesday the 5th of September, for anyone interested in finding out what they do, who they are and how they help in a whole host of situations.  This will take place at the Army Reserve Centre (Drill hall) on Church St, on Tuesday the 5th of September from 7pm to 9pm. The Reserves are a part time volunteer organisation that pays its members and offers many opportunities for adventurous training, gaining civilian recognised qualifications and simply making a difference while having loads of fun besides. The event will give anyone thinking about joining, or looking for something else in life, a chance to talk to the members about their experiences in the Reserves. 
 
On the following Tuesday, 12th of September, the Army Reserves and 7 SCOTS will be hosting a day to remember St Valery, and the many men from these islands that were killed or captured there in June 1940.  From 12pm that day the doors will be open to the public, and all are welcome to go in and view displays of photos, newspaper clippings and other items related to these dark days for many a house in the Western isles, not knowing if their loved ones were dead or a prisoner of war. That evening at 7.30pm there will be a series of short talks by members of the Stornoway Historical Society and guest speakers including Ian Mcneish, whose father spent 5 long years as a Prisoner of war in Various POW camps.
 
The Royal Air Force Association will also be holding its annual service to the Battle of Britain event in September. The RAFA will be fund-raising outside the town hall on Saturday the 16th - they have loads of RAF related items for sale as well as raffles and chances to win some fantastic prizes. The following day, Sunday the 17th, sees the annual Battle of Britain service at 11am in Martin's Memorial Church.  Everyone is most welcome.

 

 

 

The Western Isles Company, 1st Battalion the Highlanders, Army Cadet Force is organising information and recruiting evenings for prospective cadets and adult volunteers as well as interested parents and carers on the following dates:

Back Detachment Tuesday 22 August at 7.30 pm – Back Community Hut , Broadbay View

Stornoway Detachment Monday 28 August at 7.30 pm – Stornoway Army Reserve Centre, Church Street

The uplift of the first batch of completed Moray East turbine piles from Arnish yard yesterday (Monday August 5th) was temporarily halted by a minor technical issue with the heavy lifting crane.

Service vessel Normand Service docked yesterday to start on the 12-hour loading of six 120-tonne steel piles which finally began later in the day.

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. 

On Saturday 7th September, a group of staff from Stornoway's An Lanntair arts centre will be walking to work..but not just from round the town.
Nope…they will be covering 16.5 miles all the way from the Callanish Stones to An Lanntair!

Stornoway police are appealing for public help after an assault was reported in public toilets in Stornoway yesterday (Tuesday August 27th).

At 3.30pm yesterday a woman called police to report an assault within the public toilet on Perceval Square in the town centre.

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.

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.

The Western Isles MP is encouraging constituents to check their domestic white-goods appliances.

“With 47 fires caused by tumble dryers in Scottish homes last year and a major, ongoing tumble dryer recall, all of us need to check and use them safely”, explains Na h-Eileanan an Iar MP, Angus MacNeil.

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.

Lews Castle College UHI’s graduation ceremony at Martin’s Memorial Church tomorrow (Friday August 23rd) will offer students an opportunity to celebrate both what they have achieved and who they have become, according to the keynote speaker.

Professor Alasdair Smith is returning home to Lewis to deliver the graduation address. One of an accomplished and well-respected family, he grew up in Ness and Sandwick, where his Breasclete-born father was headteacher first of Lionel School and later of Sandwick School. His mother was from Newvalley.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The first Point Beavers and Cubs will be outside this evening (Monday August 26th), building shelters among the trees at their first meeting of the new term.

The group of boys and girls, aged between six and 10, will be starting the season as troop leader Janet Ross-Jordan intends to go on – outside and dressed for the weather as often and as late in the year as possible.

New dates for the next free Befriender training sessions, learn how you can become a Befriender and help some-one by simply spending an hour a week chatting over a cuppa, going for a walk, to the gym or whatever you can offer. Befriending Lewis need volunteers across the island to match with people of all ages (18-100), suffering from loneliness and isolation.

Training days are on 1st and 4th September, with a free lunch, get in touch with Befriending Lewis to book your space on 01851 702632 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Befriending aims to provide supportive, reliable relationships through volunteer befrienders, to people who would otherwise be socially isolated.

 

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.

 

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.

The 12th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Hebridean Housing Partnership Limited (HHP) will be held in the Town Hall, Stornoway, on Thursday 30 August beginning at 12.15pm.

HHP strongly encourages tenants and members of the public to attend the AGM. It is a great chance to meet other tenants and the HHP Team.

“You will get the opportunity to have your say about the housing service and ask any questions, receive an overview of projects from the past year and future developments - whilst enjoying the refreshments provided.

Friday 2ndAugust saw the official opening of Bernera’s new community garden.

With a grant from the Postcode Lottery Trust, the area behind the Bernera Community Centre has been transformed in to a lovely green space, to be enjoyed by the whole community.

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

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.”

[gallery ID=54]
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.

An improved offer of support for Bethesda Hospice in Stornoway has been made by Western Isles Integration Joint Board (IJB), which is responsible for funding health and social care services in the community.

The IJB is a partnership between NHS Western Isles and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, which manages funding agreements for the hospice and other care services including community nursing, social care and GP services.

A road safety course designed to safeguard motorcyclists if they have accidents on island roads is coming to Stornoway on Saturday (August 31st).

The free, three-hour Biker Down course is the first ever to be run in the north of Scotland and is based on the idea that bikers will have accidents, but their survival and injury chances can be improved by better awareness.

Course leader Gary Wood of Fire Scotland told welovestornoway.com today (Tuesday): “This is a UK-wide initiative which started at Kent Fire and Rescue Service, where they ran a number of initiatives trying to reduce the number of people killed or injured on the roads. They found that they couldn’t make any headway with reducing accidents, so they decided to come at it from a different angle and try to ensure a better outcome if bikes do crash.”

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.

Lewis and Harris women’s football team ended a glorious phase of women’s football in the islands with a cup triumph yesterday (Saturday August 24th).

Two men in a small boat found themselves drifting in Broad Bay without engine power yesterday afternoon (Tuesday 20th August).

Stornoway Coastguard operations centre received a call saying the men were in difficulty off Portnaguran at 3.27pm, and tasked Stornoway RNLI Lifeboat and Stornoway Coastguard Rescue Team to attend.

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.

Break Kidz Hip Hop Summer School starts this Tuesday, 8th August, and there are a few spaces available. If you've energetic kids at home age 6 - 9 who love dancing and have plenty attitude get in touch with Kirstie at Hebrides Dance & Wellbeing Studio here.

Tues - Friday this week from 10.30 - 12 each day with hip hop dancer Tony Mills.

Hebrides Dance & Wellbeing Studio are also running an afternoon summer school for age 10+ each day.

The Scottish Government is making a mistake by failing to prepare Scotland’s agriculture sector for Brexit,  says Highlands and Islands Tory MSP Donald Cameron.

He spoke after the publication at the House of Commons of the Scottish Affairs Committee report on post-Brexit support for Scottish agriculture.

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.

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.
 

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.

The University of the Highlands and Islands has introduced a bursary to support care-experienced students to participate in graduation ceremonies.

The bursary, available from this summer, will provide assistance for costs such as gown hire, photography, travel and accommodation.

Research shows that care experienced students, those who spent time in care as a child, often experience financial difficulties during their studies as they are unable to rely on additional support from family.

BUSINESS GATEWAY WORKSHOPS

There are three free Business Gateway workshops coming up in Stornoway:

Business Planning and Market Research
Wednesday 22 August from 1.30pm to 4.30pm, Comhairle Offices
Learn the links between business planning & success and how to avoid failures.  Understand what the market is and learn how to relate market research findings to setting sales targets.

Doing your Tax Return Online
Tuesday 28 August from 9.30am to 12.30pm, Comhairle Offices
Learn the key dates and deadlines for self-assessment, understand how to register for a personal tax account and learn how to complete your tax return.

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.

Northton’s Temple Café is enjoying a successful season under new management this summer.

New owner Amanda Saurin has now permanently relocated to Harris with her husband Julian, after ‘impulse-buying’ the café and the croft across the road while they were looking for land to build a new eco-house.

Amanda told welovestornoway.com: “I have been working with the Isle of Harris Distillery as part of my apothecary business for several years and we kept coming up and down to Harris. Early this year we decided to make the move here permanently and came up in February to look for somewhere to build.

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.

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.

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. 

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.”

One of Stornoway’s best-loved characters, the town’s last blacksmith, Calum ‘Stealag’ Macleod, has passed away at the age of 84.

His funeral is today (Friday  August 9th) at the High Church of Scotland at 2pm.

2016 COLM CILLE LECTURE

Sponsored by Point and Sandwick Trust

History and the Ui Church
by Calum Ferguson

FRIDAY 16 SEPTEMBER at 7.30pm

IONAD STOODIE, GARRABOST

ALL WELCOME 

**********

URRAS EAGLAIS NA H-AOIDHE

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

on

TUESDAY 13TH SEPTEMBER at 7.30pm

in

IONAD STOODIE, GARRABOST

ALL WELCOME

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)

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.

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!

Crowds were gathering in Stornoway from midday today (Friday August 2nd) as the first Lewis Carnival Food and Drink festival got under way, featuring a host of Island producers, from sponsors Scottish Salmon, to Stag Bakeries and a wide variety of smaller producers.

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.

Improvements are being sought following a report issued to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar after the official Inspection and Review of Sgoil Bhàgh a' Chaisteil and Sgoil Àraich by Education Scotland.

It says a very positive start has been made by the headteacher which is improving the culture for change within the school.

She has recently established more effective systems and processes for monitoring and evaluating the work of the school.

 

 

 

 

Click here for more info about Ceilidh Hebrides!

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.

Urras Oighreachd Chàrlabhaigh celebrates Community Land Week on 16thAugust

DATE: Friday 16thAugust
TIME: 5pm to 8pm

VENUE: Breasclete Community Centre
EVENT: From Our Land & Sea showcase event

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.

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.

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.

 

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 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.

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.

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.

The Eilean Siar Area Support Team will be holding a Children's Panel Recruitment Information Evening on Tuesday 3 September 2019 in Committee 3, Council Offices, Stornoway from 6.00pm to 8.00pm (a drop in, informal session) which is open to employers and anyone interested in becoming a Panel Member.

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.

Hebridean Harmony will hold two come-and-try sessions on Tuesday 6th August and Wednesday 7th August at the new Western Isles Cancer Care Initiative Centre on Cromwell Street, Stornoway.

Hebridean Harmony is a choir group aimed at people who have had an experience with cancer and is inspired by Welsh charity Tenovus and its Sing with Us campaign.

An event involving “Concerned Christians Meeting for Prayer” has taken place again in Stornoway and a further such event is now planned.

On Friday August 16th a number of Christians came together for the second such meeting in the APC church in Keith Street, Stornoway. 

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.

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.


Members of the Clan MacQuarrie community centre committee gathered for a commemorative photograph during the family ceilidh and barbecue held to celebrate the centre’s tenth anniversary on Saturday July 27th.

Classic car owners from Lewis and Harris are being called out for a winter photoshoot as the UK’s biggest selling classics magazine comes to the islands.

The Western Isles are the ‘challenging’ location chosen by Practical Classics magazine for an annual feature designed to show off both cars and scenery, in the hope of inspiring readers to get more of both.

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 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.

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. 

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.

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.

The Lewis football coach who led Lewis and Harris women to Highlands and Islands league cup glory last weekend (Saturday August 24th) has been named as the north region’s nominee in the people’s choice category of the Scottish FA’s grassroots awards.

Coach Euan Macleod has been recognised for his positive contribution to developing enthusiasm for football among Western Isles women, his nomination coming before he led the women’s team to cup success. He’s one of four nominees for the award.

A Coastguard Rescue Officer will be heading to Nepal for a 10-week stint of volunteering.

Kayleigh Smith, who works with the Ness Coastguard Rescue Team, will be volunteering for development charity, Raleigh International.

Kayleigh stated on her Just Giving page: "During my time there I will be living with a host family and working with the community on two different projects.

The first chance to see inside the nerve centre of search and rescue in the Western Isles will be on Saturday (August 17th).

Stornoway Coastguard operations room will be opening its doors to the public for the first time since the major refit of the station three years ago, and all the island emergency services will be gathering to show off the technology and teamwork that keeps the islands safe.

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.”

 

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.

Lews Castle College is having another Open Day on  Friday September 1st from 9-5pm.  The event at its Stornoway campus aims to provide people with the opportunity to find out more about the college, UHI and the many opportunities on offer locally.

“We are conscious that the college and UHI’s main priority is provide people in our community with the opportunity to improve their skills and knowledge locally, and by doing this we can support local businesses and the local economy with an improved skills base,” said Mr Iain Macmillan, Principal Lews Castle College UHI.

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.

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.

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.


 

 

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.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar 2019 SQA exam data, released today (Tuesday August 6th) indicates a positive outcome for the young people of the Western Isles.

Pass rates for those achieving National 5 in S4 have increased by 1.2% to 87.8%. Passes at Higher for S5 and S6 pupils in Western Isles schools increased significantly by 2.4% in 2019 to 78.6%.

Advanced Higher results show a small decrease in the number of presentations and passes compared to a peak in 2018 but remains higher than in previous years.

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. 

Elections for each of the Community Councils in the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar area are underway.

Nomination papers are available on the Comhairle’s website or from any of the main Council Offices and must be returned by 4.00pm on Tuesday 17 September 2019.

A week-long programme of events across Scotland is 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.

Community landowners Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn, Urras Oighreachd Chàrlabhaigh, and West Harris Trust are 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.

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.

The Stornoway Singers concert at Stornoway Town Hall on Saturday 18th August has been cancelled.

This is understood to be as a mark of respect following a bereavement.

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.

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 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. 

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
 

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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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.

On Wednesday (7th August) crowds flocked to Carloway as 2019’s busy Agricultural Show calendar came to a close.

The Show was this year opened by Lord Lieutenant Donald Martin who set the tone for the day with a light hearted and humorous speech.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Cyclist Iain Macleod, originally of Stornoway, is now on the 4th day of his charity cycle around Scotland in aid of mental health charity SAMH.

SAMH carry out vital work in communities across Scotland in areas such as suicide prevention with the aim of influencing positive social change.

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.

Highland dancers from Lewis and Harris were resting their feet today, after a busy and successful days yesterday (Saturday August 24th), with a dance festival and a cruise ship coinciding in a single day.

The Mackinnon Festival, hosted by Sharon Mackinnon School of Highland Dancing, saw dancers from across the Western Isles and from Skye, Gairloch, Stonehaven, Munlochy and Caithness competing for trophies.

 

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.”

 

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

There's only a few days left to claim the Utilita Warm Home Discount, says Tighean Innse Gall.

This deal lets some consumers get £140 off their electricity bills through the wider Warm Home Discount scheme (WHD).

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. 

Gaelic writers at any level have a chance to improve their skills during a Lewis-based development week.

Applications for the event close tomorrow (Wednesday 21 August) at 5pm.

Ten writers will have the chance to take part in the development of a new Gaelic drama work. 

The event will be held from 29 September to 4 October.

Two places are reserved for under-30's and two places are reserved for those from the Western Isles and Skye.

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 Lewis Carnival committee is calling for all collection tins from the parade to be dropped off at the Intermedia Services offices (Sign Print entrance) in Church House. Anyone still with a collection can, please return it as soon as possible. 

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.
 

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.  

"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. 

A 37-year-old man was due to appear in court today (Monday August 5th) charged with failing to give a sample for testing after a road accident.

The man was involved in a minor road accident at Marybank at 1.35am on Saturday (August 3rd). Police attended and arrested him for drink-driving, but he refused to give a sample at the police station and was charged with that and with other road traffic offences.

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..."

Eight drivers were warned by police over the weekend of August 23rd to 25th, in a series of incidents on the road.

Police detected offences including careless driving, anti-social driving, driving without correct documentation and speeding, with fines being issued to most of the drivers.

A week-long celebration of heritage starts today (Friday August 30th), with the opening events in Galson Estate Trust’s Dùthchas Week.

Officially billed for August 31st to September 7th, the events spill over with a wealth of history, culture, music, food and drink and traditional skills.

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.

Lewis and Harris Auction Mart has seen an unprecedented surge in bookings for early sales this season, with Brexit uncertainty fuelling some of the rush to sale.

The first sale of the season, of lambs and sheep on Wednesday August 28th, closed to bookings more than two weeks before its expected close date of August 21st, having reached sale capacity of 4,000, mostly lambs.

A rapt Edinburgh audience listened attentively to every word of a presentation last night (Tuesday August 13th) on the tragedy of the Iolaire.

Author Malcolm Macdonald and a supporting panel were in the Speigeltent in Charlotte Square as part of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, to discuss The Darkest Dawn, the book about the disaster which was published last year by Stornoway publishers Acair.

 

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."

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.

A series of images of life in Eriskay in the 1930s have been brought back into focus, thanks to work by a University of Aberdeen researcher.

Now curators at the museum which holds the collection are asking if anyone from the islands can add even more information to the photo records.

Essence of Harris, based in Tarbert, has opened a new outlet in Aberdeen airport…following the success of its Inverness Airport store.

They say: "We are thrilled to be opening our latest Essence of Harris store, located in the Departures Lounge at Aberdeen Airport today (Monday 12th of August)

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.

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!

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

Tonight’s concert (Tuesday August 20th) due to be played in Castlebay by the Nevis Ensemble has been cancelled, because of a technical issue affecting the ferry.

MV Isle of Lewis is delayed from her 1.30pm run, which would have brought the 40 orchestral musicians and their tour managers to Castlebay in time for tonight’s performance at Castlebay Community Hall.

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.

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.

The Hebrides International Film Festival will take place at venues throughout the Outer Hebrides – from the Butt to Barra – from September 12 to 14.

There will around 78 screenings at 12 venues over the three days, from Thursday through to Saturday, with final arrangements now being made for the event.

Western Isles Labour candidate, Alison MacCorquodale, has called for immediate action by the Scottish Government to ensure completion of two CalMac ferries if the Ferguson shipyard goes into administration today (Monday August 12th).

She also demanded a full public inquiry into the scandal and a statement from the First Minister who announced the contract on an impromptu visit to the Ferguson yard during the 2015  election campaign.

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

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

One bedroom, fully furnished flat in town area.

Tel. No. 07776341263

A man was airlifted from St Kilda on Saturday (August 17th) after falling suddenly ill while he was there.

The man complained of severed stomach pains and Coastguard helicopter R948 was sent to bring him to Stornoway for medical examination.

He was landed at Stornoway airport and taken onward to Western Isles Hospital in the care of a Scottish Ambulance crew.

 

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.

 

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/

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.

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.

Football results

League 

Lochs 2 Point 0

For the latest league standings and remaining fixtures, see here

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.

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.

 

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.

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.

Trading Stories: Scotland and Pakistan (An Lanntair, Tuesday August 23 and Mission House Studio, Finsbay, Wednesday August 24th)

At welovestornoway.com, we asked writer, poet and storyteller Ian Stephen just how did this Edinburgh Book Festival event - a combination of hand-illustrated storytelling and musicians as a collaboration between Scottish and Pakistani artists come about? And how come the shop travels to the Outer Hebrides?  This is what he told us…

For me it started with a phone-call from the irrepressible Ryan Van Winkle, an American poet by trade resident in Edinburgh.  Ryan is a fine poet (winner of last year's Saltire poetry prize), organiser of performance events, general artistic happenings and a partner in Highlight Arts which organises artists' exchanges in areas of conflict. 
Another key player in Highlight Arts is Dan Gorman and we'd met at a wacky but wonderful live-art international event by the name of 'transitstation'.  Would I be interested in travelling to Pakistan to meet with a Lahore-based storyteller Mujahid Eshai and present our exchange of tales at a large scale Literary Festival?

 

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.

Bring your families along and take part in the Family Activity Event being held at the Stornoway Golf Club on Monday 14th August from 10.30am to 1pm (Final registration at 12.15pm).

There are lots of fun activities to take part in like fruit bowling, children v. adult games, giant snakes & ladders and many more, with prizes! A photo booth will also be available with prizes for best fancy dress.

The event is sponsored by the Western Isles Maternal & Infant Nutrition Group and coordinated by NHS Western Isles Health Promotion Department and Pursuit Hebrides to promoting children's nutrition, health and physical activity.

For further information or to book a place, please contact Lorraine Gillies, tel. 01851 762017 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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.

A call has been made for a comprehensive funding review of how rural housing is funded and delivered for the islands.

Councillor Donald Crichton, Chairman of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s Joint Consultative Committee, on Crofting called for joined-up thinking from Ministers to tackle depopulation and utilise Croft land to encourage young people to live and work in rural communities.

Entry forms are now available for the next fundraising event for Macmillan Cancer Support’s Isle of Lewis committee.

The 5k run and walk sets out at 12 noon on Saturday September 1st from Tong Hall.

To take part and raise sponsorship, you can pick up a form at Lewis Sports Centre or at Stitch in the Ditch in Tong.

A fund-raising concert of classical music will take place tomorrow evening (Saturday August 31st)  in St Columba's Church hall in Stornoway at 7.30pm.

St Columba's is a Listed Building, built in 1794, and so requires all renovation work to be done according to Committee on Church Art and Architecture regulations.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

There are still places available for the Cleasachd air a’ Bhlàr a-Muigh/Outdoor Activities sessions this week – starting from tomorrow (Thursday August 8th)  - and next week.

These sessions are aimed at improving the confidence of Gaelic Medium pupils who haven’t had a chance to use Gaelic at home and provide a fun activity for those who have.

The use of Gaelic will be adjusted to the skills of those involved.

The inaugural Award for Significant Contribution to Gaelic Development from the Donald Stewart Memorial Trust has been jointly won by Katie Gillies, of The Nicolson Institute and Uilleam MacDougall, Sgoil Bhàgh a’ Chaisteil.   

The Award has been established in recognition of Donald Stewart’s work on, and support of, the Gaelic language whilst serving as MP for the Western Isles.

Hollywood musician and composer Craig Armstrong has spoken of his involvement in the Ballantyne Gaelic Psalm singing project, calling it “one of the most surprising and beautiful forms of music to be created in Scotland”.  He said: “It’s also music that seems to be so much part of the landscape of the Highlands and Islands.”
Ballantyne will receive its world premiere on the Isle of Lewis on Saturday night (August 27) and tickets are still available for the event, taking place in An Lanntair - http://lanntair.com/events/event/ballantyne-gaelic-psalm-composition-performance/
It is the result of a collaboration between multi-award winner Craig, who wrote the scores for films such as Moulin Rouge and The Great Gatsby, and Lewis musician, composer and tradition bearer Calum Martin, who is also an elder in the Free Church.
Craig, who is currently working on Oliver Stone’s new film Snowden, will be in Stornoway for the première and is understood to be taking members of his family with him to experience it.

It's time to create a new mainland consumer market for goose-meat to help with bird population control on the Islands and permit crofting to flourish.

That's the view of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, following the announcement that the sale of resident Greylag Goose meat from Orkney will be available for sale Scotland-wide.

Modelling the LNF 10K T-shirts, Lorna Norgrove (right) with event organisers Rhona, Tony, and Kirsty. Photo: Linda Norgrove Foundation

It may take place around the Valtos Peninsula in Uig, Lewis, but the annual Linda Norgrove Foundation 10K is a global event, with runners taking part around the world.
And it looks set to be the same again this year when the 2017 Linda Norgrove Foundation 10K runs on Saturday, September 30th.
“The main event will be on the Isle of Lewis on the Bhaltos Peninsula, Uig,” said Lorna Norgrove. “We will set off from Reef Beach at 12 noon and there will be food to revive you at the end – or midway if you need an energy boost!

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.

The great island tradition of neighbours getting together to extract someone’s car from a roadside ditch acquired another episode to its long-running serial this week.

Clinton White is up the Isle of Lewis on holiday with his family and he went out for a drive around the island with his father-in-law James Mackenzie.  

Friday 2nd & Saturday 3rd September: Stramash, Lews Castle Green
Saturday 10th September: Rock N' Metal XIV, The Carlton Pub

Former Point FC Youngster fires Britain’s Worst Team to first win in four years

Before last night’s 5-2 victory over Nairn County, Fort William FC had not win a game in 72 attempts a run spanning 840 days.

In the shadow of Ben Nevis, with the score delicately poised at 3 – 2 in Fort William’s favour, 18 year old Donald Morrison fired his side into an unassailable lead and put the game beyond Nairn.

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:

Livestock prices were better than expected at an extremely wet first sale of the season at Steinish yesterday (Wednesday August 28th).

The sale of lambs and sheep saw 3,900 animals pass through the pens at Lewis and Harris Auction Mart, to be sold under the direction of auctioneers from Dingwall and Highland Marts.

 
The second annual Grace on the Green is all set to go ahead this evening (Thursday August 8th) despite some difficulties encountered along the way.
Maryanne Macleod from the organising committee said, “We had one or two hurdles to get over. The biggest was the need for a change of venue - we’re more Grace in the Glen than Grace on the Green this year’.

Residents of Great Bernera are to be among the first in the UK who will be able to order installation of the fastest fibre broadband connections currently available, it was announced today (Wednesday August 28th).

A collaboration between BT Openreach and the £442 million Digital Scotland (DSSB) project means that 220 homes in Great Bernera should now be able to install ‘full-fibre ultrafast broadband’, with speeds of 30 megabytes per second (30Mbps+). Previous download speeds were around 2Mbps.

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.

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.

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.

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.

A road in the Castle Grounds has been closed today (Friday August 16th) as Stornoway Trust workers begin felling a large tree affected by recent heavy rains.

A branch from the mature beech tree fell overnight. The tree is now to be completely felled to prevent any danger to walkers and customers of the castle, museum and college staff and students.

Rural organisations have appealed to politicians to recognise the value of grouse shooting for what is described as one of the most important seasons in generations.

Ahead of the start of the season tomorrow (Monday August 12th) The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), the Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA), Scottish Land & Estates (SLE) and the Scottish Association for Country Sports (SACS) have together issued a joint statement asking for the social, economic and environmental contribution of moorland management to be appreciated.

An expected early start from Stornoway harbour tomorrow morning (Monday August 19th) is due to mark the start of this year’s guga hunt.

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

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.

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 Loomshed Brewery near Tarbert was officially opened yesterday (Tuesday August 27th) by James Hepburn, MSP, Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, who is on a visit to various parts of the Outer Hebrides.

As he declared the brewery open – it is in the former Essence of Harris unit in Urgha -he joked that he was grateful they had provided scissors…he had been at such events where the need for this vital component had been overlooked.

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).

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.

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.

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 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. 

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. 

 

Winners of the Hebridean Celtic Festival Highland Dancing Competition, held in Stornoway Town Hall,  on Thursday 14 July.

Highland Trophy winners on the day

 

Junior choreography group winners - Lynn Maclean School of Dancing

 

Solo Choreography age 10 & under - Eva Macdonald, Lauren Kate School of Dancing

 

Solo Choreography age 16 & under - Grace Anne Macleod, Lynn Maclean School of Dancing

 

Solo Choreography Adult - Shona Marie Maclellan

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.

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.

 

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. 

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.

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!

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.

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:

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.

Lewis Pipe Band are hoping the sun shines on them for their last competition of the season – the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow on Friday/Saturday, August 16-17 – after a weather washout at the European Championships in Inverness contributed to disappointing results.

A special housewarming party will help the community of Pairc to celebrate Community Land Week on Wednesday (14thAugust).

The event will also create a welcome for the two families who are to become tenants in the new community-owned houses at Cearn Aonghais, which have been converted from disused buildings over the past few months.

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.

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.

A healthy crowd flocked to Steinish last Friday (23rd August) as the Auction Mart played host to the Lewis and Harris Sheep Producers Association’s (LHPSA) Autumn Event.

Following an introduction from LHSPA Chair Iain Maciver, Jane Thompson of Shearwell Data Ltd entered the auction Mart ring. Jane began by talking the crowd through correct tagging procedure before giving a demonstration of Shearwell’s EID scanner. The scanner sends information read from a sheep’s tags to your smartphone, giving better control over data management and record keeping.

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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
 
 

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’.

Stornoway police are looking for a cyclist who was involved in an altercation with a driver in Stornoway on Wednesday evening (August 21st).

They have made the appeal after a car driver reported an assault in Perceval Square shortly after 7.25pm.

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.

A 20-year-old woman is to appear in court after an incident yesterday morning (Monday August 19th) at an address in Laxdale.

Police were called to the address at 6.50am and the woman was arrested and later charged with police assault and resisting arrest.

She was taken to Stornoway police station, where she was charged and released when sober, on an undertaking to appear at Stornoway Sheriff Court on Tuesday September 3rd.

A 20-year-old man was stopped by police in Willowglen, Stornoway yesterday (Tuesday August 13th) because of the way he was driving.

He was taken to Stornoway police station, where he was charged with careless driving and police assault, and was released later on an undertaking to appear at Stornoway Sheriff Court on September 3rd.

An Lanntair and Museum nan Eilean make history as the world's first Colin Mackenzie exhibition opened at Lews Castle with an event attended by senior representatives of the British Museum, British Library and British Council.

Collector Extraordinaire brings together some of the vast collection of items and images collected 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.

Stornoway cyclist Christina Mackenzie has vowed to complete her latest challenge, despite accepting that she can’t beat the record she was chasing.

Endurance athlete Christina was hoping to beat the fastest woman's time for the epic cycle from Land’s End to John o’ Groats – a journey of 839 miles to be completed in less than 52 hours, 45 minutes and 11 seconds.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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

This is the latest schedule for the Harris Mountain Festival - with updates compared to the timetable published in EVENTS newspaper this month highlight in yellow.

For the very first time there is a mountain biking event at the festival. This challenging race will follow a track through some of the most spectacular scenery that Harris has to offer. The race will begin at Meavaig (NB 102 063), through to Bowglas, then along the old postman's track to the Clisham, down to Marig and then through to Urgha finishing in Tarbert. This race is not for the faint-hearted and organisers request that only experienced and confident riders apply for entry. (10th September)
 
Also for the less experienced bikers there will be a guided Mountain Bike Ride. This guided bike ride will go from Meavaig (NB102 063) through to Bowglas (NB 186 115). The 11 mile cycle will go at a gentle pace through Glen Meavaig, up past Loch Vorshmid, drop down into Glen Langadale and come back to the main road at Bowglas. A number of guides will accompany those cycling along the route offering help and advice to navigate the sometimes challenging terrain. (10th September)

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.

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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.

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.

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.

The Western Isles and Skye are some of the first places in Great Britain being used to test what will be the biggest change in how electricity is distributed in over 100 years.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) plans to use local generators on the islands as key parts of the modern electricity grid of the future.

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.

 

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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

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).

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.

A moment of history was marked in St Kilda last night (Saturday August 17th) as the island’s seasonal workers and visitors lifted their last toast at the Puff Inn.

The iconic watering hole has closed after over 50 years providing the only social gathering place for MoD personnel. By invitation, it also offered a sociable shelter for the conservation workers and working volunteers who make up the summer population.

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!

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.

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. 

Signs encouraging road users to 'let cars behind past' are needed on single track roads, says MP Angus MacNeil.

The Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP has written to Transport Minister Michael Matheson MSP to suggest that more signage is needed to raise awareness about the use of passing places on single track roads.

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." 

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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.  

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.

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.

Now that the season is drawing to a close, The Lewis Pipe Band are looking to begin their winter practices for the 2018 season. If you have any experience at all and are interested in joining (or rejoining!), get in touch now. They are looking for new members in all sections of the band, so contact Peter Mackay or Ross Macrae - details below - or go along to one of their practices.

Lewis Pipe Band are at Glasgow Green were today (Saturday August 18th) competing in the World Pipe Band Championships.

The biggest event in the piping calendar this year sees over 8,000 pipers and drummers from 214 bands and 13 countries, including Canada, New Zealand, Oman and Zimbabwe, competing at all levels.

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.

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 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/

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.

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.

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!

Sailings of the MV Isle of Lewis tomorrow (Saturday August 31st) will be delayed due to livestock sales in Lochboisdale.

A revised timetable for MV Clasnman brings her to Lochboisdale for 6.30pm to return to Oban following the sale. To avoid a berthing clash at Oban, MV Isle of Lewis’s timetable has been delayed and she will depart Castlebay at 6.45am.

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.

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.

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. 

Pictured: Lochs Show Committee Members Ken Mackay, Peter Maclennan (Chair), Norman Mackay and Hilda Maclachlan (Secretary), with David Campbell of SERA and raffle winner, Fiona Howat.

Lochs Show Car Raffle winner, Fiona Howat from Timsgarry, Uig was today (Tuesday August 6th) presented with the keys to her new Dacia Sandero.

With a high number of tickets sold, the lucky winner was announced to an expectant crowd at the end of the Lochs Show on Saturday July 27th .

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.

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.

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.

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).

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

Three romances this weekend proved that music really is the food of love, with one wedding and two engagements blossoming alongside Lewis’s thriving musical scene.

Drummer D C Macmillan started the trend with his marriage last week to artist Alice Macleod.

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.

One of Luskentyre’s famous white ponies is to appear as a calendar star in the BBC Countryfile calendar for 2020 – and she could even be on the front cover.

Visitor David Brown is one of hundreds of photographers, amateur and professional, who capture a picture of Eriskay pony Isla and her companion, Highland pony Toby, on the dunes at Luskentyre each summer.

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.

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.

A name synonymous with all things related to piping will be centre of attraction on the first day of Blas festival next week.

The music of the late great piper, Pipe Major Donald Macleod MBE, will be showcased in Crossing the Minch.

This is a project dreamt up by The Big Music Society, led by world class pipers Calum MacCrimmon (Breabach and Tryst) and John Mulhearn (Tryst). 

A major power outage hit the whole of the Isles of Lewis and Harris at around 4.45pm today (Wednesday August 7).

According to the statement from Scottish and Southern, it involved a "major system fault."

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 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.

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.

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 following workshop programme is scheduled to be delivered in Stornoway between August and December.  The Management Masterclasses may also be available by video conference in Balivanich, subject to demand.  It is recommended that all six masterclasses are attended in order to gain the maximum benefit possible.  For further information on any of the workshops, and to book your place, contact the Business Gateway office on 01851 822775 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Accounting and Record Keeping  Thursday 8 September  0930 - 1230  Comhairle Offices

Digital Marketing with the Cloud  Friday 9 September  1330 - 1630  HIE Boardroom

Management Masterclass 2 - Team Building & Developing People  Friday 9 September  1330 - 1630  Comhairle Offices

Management Masterclass 3 - Workplace Communication Skills  Wednesday 14 September   0930 - 1230    Comhairle Offices

Time Management  Wednesday 14 September  1330 - 1630  Comhairle Offices

Management Masterclass 4 - Time & Project Management  Tuesday 20 September  1330 - 1630  Comhairle Offices

Management Masterclass 5 - Challenges & Conflict Resolution  Wednesday 28 September  0930 - 1230  Comhairle Offices

Management Masterclass 6 - HR/Practical People Management  Wednesday 5 October 0930 - 1230  Comhairle Offices

Negotiating & Influencing Skills  Thursday 6 October  1330 - 1630  Comhairle Offices

Understanding Pricing for Profit  Thursday 3 November 1330 - 1630 Comhairle Offices

Implementing Pricing for Profit Wednesday 9 November 1330 - 1630 Comhairle Offices

Business Planning & Market Research Tuesday 15 November 1330 - 1630 Comhairle Offices

Understanding Health & Safety Monday 21 November 1330 - 1630  Comhairle Offices

Using Digital Photos for Business Promotion Friday 25 November 0930 - 1230 HIE Boardroom

Employing Staff Monday 5 December 1330 - 1630  Comhairle Offices

It is recommended that all six masterclasses are attended in order to gain the maximum benefit possible.

For further information on any of the workshops, and to book your place, contact the Business Gateway office on 01851 822775 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The projects for Lionel School's new football pitch and the Comunn Eachdraidh Nis expansion both received a welcome boost to their fundraising campaigns with the news that Charles Young of 7 Fivepenny will compete in the Great Scottish Run Half Marathon in Glasgow on the 29 September to raise funds on their behalf.

The funds raised will be divided equally between the two Ness projects.

A 35-year-old woman is in a stable condition in Western Isles Hospital, after suffering a cardiac arrest during yesterday’s (Saturday August 10th) Marathon Hebrides in Harris.

Emergency services were called after the woman collapsed at the 15.5mile mark of the race, which was run in heavy rain with strong winds.

Hebrides Mountain Rescue Team and several teams of first responders from around Lewis and Harris were helping to marshal the race and were on hand to respond to the emergency immediately, with a local doctor and paramedics treating the woman at Leverburgh.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

Urras Eaglais na h-Aoidhe has been 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.

'Understanding Our Community's Past' is one part of a wider project called 'Building a Future from the Past', which the Urras is developing. The aim of this initiative is to develop an iconic tourist amenity to attract more visitors to Point. The development is based around Eaglais na h-Aoidhe (St Columba’s Ui Church and Graveyard).

An important stage in the project ends with an Evening Lecture at 7.30pm tomorrow night (Friday 1 September} in Ionad Stoodie, Seaview, Point.   The project archaeologists will talk about their research and present their preliminary findings – come along and be the first to find out what has been learnt and celebrate the results.

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.

Merlins have been reappearing on Barra in the past few days, says Bruce Taylor.

"Through the autumn they are often our most frequently seen bird of prey on the island," said the Barra-based 'birder'  on Twitter at the weekend.

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!

The date has been set for the second of this summer’s Big Minch Swims, with swimmer Paul Finnegan set to embark on his attempt tomorrow evening (Saturday August 24th).

Harris councillor Paul, who works for Harris Voluntary Service, was due to be swimming alongside Minch king Colin Macleod in June, but a bad chest infection set back his training and he was then due in Gibraltar, where he was one of the coaches for the NatWest Island Games Team.

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.

The first new independent dental practice established in the Western Isles in over 30 years was officially opened this morning (Thursday August 29th) by Public Health Minister, Joe FitzPatrick.
The Castleview Practice on Cromwell Street, Stornoway, opened to the public under the direction of owner, dentist Mr Sridhar Kalvakuntla earlier this year.

A new musical piece of work showcasing ancient Gaelic poetry with a modern twist will be debuted by Mischa Macpherson from Sandwick at next month’s Blas Festival.

Mischa’s commission, ‘Bho Èirigh gu Laighe na Grèine – Sun, Moon, Land, Life, Sea’ is a suite of new Gaelic songs, incorporating ancient Gaelic poetry, photography and short films.

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. 

A new book on the history of a landmark Lewis business is being launched by Acair Books in Stornoway on Monday, September 3 – and everyone is welcome to attend.

Mitchell’s – The Story of a Stornoway Family's Garage and Bus Business – has been written by Colin Tucker, who was engaged to write the book shortly before the sudden death of Ian Mitchell in December 2016.

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'.

Saturday 10 September, 12pm, Lews Castle Grounds.

Entry forms available at An Comunn Gaidhealach office (Unit 7a James Street) and Ionad Spors Leodhais.

For further info: 01851 703487 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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.

Bàtaichean agus Eile (Boats etc), the latest exhibition at Comann Eachdraidh An Rubha, showcases the talent of local craftsmen whose interest in the sea and boats has inspired them to construct impressive models of a variety of types of boat.

The exhibition opened in the Comann Eachdraidh’s area in the Old Knock School – now home to Buth an Rubha, Café Roo and Point and Sandwick Trust – in June and will run for the foreseeable future. It is supported by Point and Sandwick Trust.

The idea for the exhibition came about when John Campbell (Iain Nommie) of Portvoller – the maker of the famous Iolaire model – donated some of his other models of boats to the Comann Eachdraidh.

Another truckload of gifts and aid was packed by Blythswood for the people of Moldova last night (Friday August 30th) in Stornoway.


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.

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.

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.

 

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.

This Saturday at 1pm the Tong Motor Show returns for another year at the Tong Show Ground.

The annual event is organised by the Western Isles Transport Preservation Group with funds raised on the day helping with the running costs of the voluntary organisation.

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.

A training scheme to help reduce the number of collisions involving motorcyclists is to be run for the first time in the Western Isles.

The Rider Refinement North course will take place in Stornoway on Friday, August 30 and is part funded by Transport Scotland's Road Safety Framework Fund.

The initiative was first held during 2018 with courses in Tayside, Aberdeenshire, Moray and the Highlands. It was first held off the Scottish mainland in July this year with a course in Orkney.

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.

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.

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.

The number of police officers serving in the Highlands and Islands divisional area has fallen in recent months.

Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron has expressed concern after the publication of a report which shows that the numbers serving in the region had gone down by 13.

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan this week accompanied police officers in Stornoway as part of the national ‘Give a Day to Policing’ scheme.

As part of the scheme, Members of the Scottish Parliament across the country have been invited to spend a day with Police Scotland during the summer parliamentary recess to see first-hand the work undertaken in their constituencies.

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.

Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron has called on the Scottish Government to resolve the closure of the Dun Carloway broch.

Mr Cameron has acted as public concern continues to grow at the impact the prolonged closure is having on the island’s tourist industry. 

Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron has praised the work of Ruth Davidson MSP who announced her resignation as leader of the Scottish Tories today (Thursday 29th August).

“Since taking over as leader of our party in 2011, Ruth has taken us from strength to strength.

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”
 

Stornoway muscle-man Stuart Macdonald is coming home from the Bahamas on a high, after being officially honoured as one of the world’s top five fitness models.

Stuart was placed fourth on his first attempt at the World Beauty Fitness and Fashion championships, held in the Bahamas on Friday and Saturday last week (August 9th and 10th).

Music students from the Lews Castle College UHI courses based in Benbecula came together in Stornoway on Thursday and Friday last week to graduate in Stornoway.   

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

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.

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.
 

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.

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.

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/

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.

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. 

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.

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.

Outer Hebrides Tourism has appointed a new marketing co-ordinator to make the most of the numerous stories the islands have to tell.

Christina Morrison (28) has come to the post after studying and working in events and marketing in Glasgow and in the islands. She'll be working from home in South Uist, with a remit to support tourism businesses with marketing that works for everyone.

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.

 

 

There's plenty undercover at the Newmarket Playpark fund-raising event at the Newmarket Gateway Trust facilities today.

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.”

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.”

Two nights of sophisticated pleasure are promised by Stornoway Singers on Friday 20th and Saturday 21st September, as they take their Night at the Opera to Stornoway and Harris.

The choir of talented singers and soloists will be accompanied by a small chamber group, including Neil Johnstone on cello and Andy Yearley on keyboards, as they present a delectable menu of opera classics.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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

Offices to let

Front office - modern decor.

Rear office - with toilets.

Bayhead area, personal parking available.

Tel: 01851 70 1155 or 07714 495 951

 

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 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.

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.

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.

Lews Castle College UHI is holding a series of Taster sessions during its Open Day starting at 10am on Wednesday (16th August).

The Open Day at its Stornoway campus aims to provide people with the opportunity to find out more about the college, UHI and the many opportunities on offer locally from August 2017.

“We are conscious that the college and UHI’s main priority is provide people in our community with the opportunity to improve their skills and knowledge locally, and by doing this we can support local businesses and the local economy with an improved skills base,” said Mr Iain Macmillan, Principal Lews Castle College UHI.

Fire stations throughout Lewis and Harris will be open for all on Saturday (August 24th), as Fire Scotland makes a bid for new recruits to the service.

Fire stations in Stornoway, Ness, Shawbost, Great Bernera, South Lochs, Tarbert, Scalpay and Benbecula will all have their doors wide open between noon and 4pm with a host of come-and-try opportunities for young and old.

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.

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. 

Barra RNLI Lifeboat was launched yesterday afternoon (Tuesday August 20th) to the assistance of a small leisure vessel which had run out of fuel and was drifting, six miles south-east of Barra.

Stornoway Coastguard operations centre tasked the lifeboat after receiving a call at 2.30pm, saying that the 70-year-old man, who was alone in the vessel, was in need of assistance.

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.

Sightings of a long-distance migrant butterfly have been recorded the length and breadth of Lewis and Harris, during a mass-migration which has blanketed Britain.

A call from the Butterfly Conservation Society for sightings of the Painted Lady butterfly has brought in records from locations as far apart as Strond in Harris, Barvas, Shawbost and Laxdale, with a noticeable cluster of sightings around Ness.

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.

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.”

The annual Lews Castle College UHI graduation and prize giving ceremony took place this afternoon (Friday August 23) at Martin’s Memorial Church in Stornoway. 

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

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.

Athlete Paul Finnegan says he’s determined to swim the Minch, after his attempt last night (Saturday August 24th) ended 8.7 miles into the crossing.

The endurance athlete joined his team aboard the support boat Endeavour at 12.45 this morning (Sunday), admitting defeat when he became unable to keep down either food or water.

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.

Perceval Square car park will be closed from 6pm on Friday 2nd August until 6pm on Saturday 3rd August to make way for the Lewis Carnival. 

The Lewis Carnival Committee asks that ALL vehicles be removed before this time. 

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. 

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 new book of musical legend Pipe Major Donald Macleod’s piobaireachd was launched yesterday (Tuesday August 14th) in Glasgow in the National Piping Centre.

Donald Macleod’s Collection of Piobaireachd, launched as part of the Piping Live festival, is the first time all Donald Macleod’s piobaireachd have been brought together inside one cover and the project received funding from community wind farm Point and Sandwick Trust and the Lewis and Harris Piping Society.

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.

The following planning applications are pending consideration by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. 

All information and accompanying documents are publicly available on the CnES website

Change of top net design at fish farms at three locations, Tarbert

Mowi Scotland has applied for planning permission to change the existing top nets from a hamster-wheel design to a pole-supported top net design at the fish farm at Eilean Raineach, East Loch Tarbert; Scotasay, East Loch Tarbert; Loch Seaforth, Maraig.

The following planning applications are pending consideration by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. 

All information and accompanying documents are publicly available on the CnES website

New major housing development, Newmarket

Hebridean Housing Partnership has applied for planning permission to build general needs housing and associated external works at Blackwater, Newmarket. Approximately 74 houses are to be built.

The following planning applications are pending consideration by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. 

All information and accompanying documents are publicly available on the CnES website

New caravan park, Castlebay

Calum Macdonald of 20B Glen, Castlebay, has applied for planning permission to use the land at 20B Castlebay for a caravan site comprising three pods and a service unit. Work is also to include creating access and parking suitable for eight cars. 

The following planning applications are pending consideration by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. 

All information and accompanying documents are publicly available on the CnES website

Replacement of existing antenna and addition of antenna, Northbay

Arqiva has applied for planning permission to replace the existing antenna and add a new antenna at the telecommunications mast at Bruernish, Northbay. 

 

The following planning applications are pending consideration by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. 

All information and accompanying documents are publicly available on the CnES website

 

Extension to house, Northbay

Michael Cox of Santa Maria, Ardmhor, has applied for planning permission to build an extension onto the house at Santa Maria, Ardmhor. The extension is to be a small, single-storey, flat-roofed, lean-to type extension on the gable end adjacent to the kitchen for use as a utility room. 

 

 

The following planning applications are pending consideration by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. 

All information and accompanying documents are publicly available on the CnES website

 

Shepherd's hut for holiday let, Maraig

David Phillips of 7 Maaruig has applied for planning permission to erect a shepherd's hut to be used as a holiday let, at 3 Eileanabuich, Maraig. The building will be 5.1 metres long, 2.4 metres wide and 3 metres tall. The walls are to be clad in larch and painted blue.

The following planning applications are pending consideration by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

All information and accompanying documents are publicly available on the CnES website

New house, Back

Nichola Lockerby of 25B Newmarket has applied for planning permission to build a house at 30A Back. 

The following planning applications are pending consideration by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. 

All information and accompanying documents are publicly available on the CnES website

Isle of Lewis

New Grandstand, Knock, Point

Point Sport and Recreation Association has applied for planning permission to replace the current 50-seat grandstand in New Garrabost with a 100-seat grandstand. 

The following planning applications are pending consideration by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. 

All information and accompanying documents are publicly available on the CnES website

Isle of Lewis

Extension of Mosque, Stornoway

Stornoway Masjid has applied for planning permission to extend the mosque at 14A James Street. 

 

 

The following planning applications are pending consideration by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. 

All information and accompanying documents are publicly available on the CnES website

 

New pipe bridge, Newvalley 

Scottish Water has applied for planning permission to install a pipe bridge in Newvalley. (see below images)

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.

 

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.

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.

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.

Isles MP Angus B MacNeil has strongly criticised the decision to suspend sittings of the House of Commons during September and early October.

He said yesterday (Wednesday August 28th):

“The steps taken by Prime Minister Boris Johnson today to suspend Parliament is unbelievable and shocking.  I have received calls from people in other countries asking what is going on in the circus of UK politics.

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.

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.

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

Police officers in the Highlands and Islands will start using mobile devices as part of their operational duties which will increase their visibility within local communities.

Officers will be able to access a wide range of police systems while out on duty without the requirement to return to a police station and log on to a computer. 

Police in Lewis and Harris are to be issued with new technology which allows them to record details of incidents without having to return to base.

Training in the use of the new hand-held mobile devices begins on Monday (September 2nd) and the island force is expected to be using the new system operationally by mid-September.

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.

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.

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.

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.

A postcard which went missing 59 years ago finally reached its destination last week.

The postcard was sent in 1960 from Inverness by Lilly Campbell but was lost in transit before finally making its way to Nellie Mackenzie.

Nellie told welovestornoway.com: “My maiden name was Nellie Gillies and we lived at 1 Bells Road. The postcard should have been delivered there 59 years ago!”

Although there is no longer a house on that site in Bells Road, the local post office workers were able to track Nellie down and deliver the postcard.

A fault on the main power network has left customers in Lochs without electricity for much of the day today (Sunday August 25th) with some customers still in the dark this evening.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks said over 450 customers had been affected since 1.40pm in areas including Leurbost, Balallan, Grimshader and Ranish.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The final resting place of the HMY Iolaire is to be recognized as an official war grave by the Ministry of Defence. 

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has warmly welcomed this news.  This comes after a long campaign led by the Comhairle, with support from the community and the local MSP Dr. Alasdair Allan, to have the site recognized and protected. 

Purvai 2018 gets underway this month in An Lanntair Arts Centre with a host of internationally acclaimed artists, including Deepa Nair Rasiya, Gupreet Singh Notta, Kaviraj Singh Dhadyalla and Dalbir Singh Rattan and Kathak dancer, Kanchan Maradan.

The festival brings South Asian dance, music, writing, textiles and food to the Outer Hebrides celebrating Scotland’s diversity of connections with India.

The headline event will be a ‘Summer Evening of Indian Raag’ on Friday 17th August, featuring one of the most highly acclaimed female Indian vocalists in the UK today, Deepa Nair Rasiya.

Women are being urged to stand up for politics at a unique event in Stornoway next month (Saturday September 7th).

Scotland’s Women Stand is the latest initiative to address inequalities which keep women from being fully represented in the democratic process, especially at local level.

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.

Engineers from Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks acted quickly this morning (Friday August 16th) to avert a possible major power outage in Harris and Scalpay.

Two teams of engineers from SSEN were hard at work in ‘unpleasant conditions’ between 1am and 4am today, after routine inspections revealed a power pole which was severely bowed under strain and likely to snap.

The Western Isles Branch of Alzheimers Scotland is holding a Disney-themed Quiz Night on Friday 24th August at 7:30pm at the Cabarfeidh Hotel, Stornoway.

The group said that some time ago they had to cancel their Disney Ball planned for that night as there was too little support.

The funds raised from the quiz will go to the Solas Day Centre to support people with Dementia and their families.



 
Due to family circumstances the Rev David Whitla has had to cancel his plans for preaching at our
Communion Services. 
The Pastor, the Rev David McCollum and the Rev Donald Macdonald (Ret) will be taking the services.
 
Thursday, August 23: 7.30 pm
 
Friday, August 24: 7.30 pm – 
 
Saturday, August 25: 11am – 
 
Saturday, August 25: 6.30 pm – Prayer Meeting
 
Lord’s Day, August 26: 11am – 
 
Lord’s Day, August 26: 6.30 pm --  
 
Monday, August 27: 7.30 pm
 
 

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.

The roar of high-powered cars in the Castle Grounds provided an orchestra of four-wheeled rhetoric…the Hebridean Rally was back. And how!

Crowds gathered in the Narrows this afternoon as the scrutineering took place for the Rally Hebrides which begins tonight (Friday)

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. 

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

Rally Hebrides spectator information and guidelines from the organisers of Rally Hebrides

Friday 19th August, Castle Grounds SS1/2/3

Woodlands Brae spectator area is come and go with access through the YM bridge.

Castle Green spectator area is a locked in spectator area, once the stage goes live spectators will not be allowed to leave until the end of stage.

All spectators going to the castle green must to be in place by 19:20 at the latest.

It is recommended to take waterproofs and midge nets if you plan on spectating on the Castle Green.

There will be no spectator access past the Golf Club.

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.

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.

 

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.”

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.

 

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. 

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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 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."

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.

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.