From today (Tuesday 1 Aprl) only 12 customers will be allowed in Creagorry's supermarket at a time.

Where possible, only one person per household should visit the supermarket.

A one-way system will be operating in the aisles, to assist with the distancing guidelines.

Anyone planning a trip to the shop is asked to think first if their visit is necessary and, if possible, not to bring children in.  


A young male tri-colour collie was found earlier running down Garden Road from Matheson road at around 2pm this afternoon.

No collar or identification, the Vets have scanned him and he is microchipped. He is very friendly.

If you recognise him he is being taken from the EVENTS and welovestornoway office to the Police station to be collected.

Nine new ‘graduates’ completed their training with the HM Coastguard on Sunday (April 28th) and are now ready for deployment from Coastguard Rescue Teams around the Western Isles, Skye and Lochaber.

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

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

Kenny Beaton of 94 Borve, Castlebay, has applied for planning permission to change the use of a domestic garage to a holiday let at 94 Borve, Castlebay. The holiday let is to consist of two bedrooms, a lounge/dining/kitchen area and a bathroom. The number of additional parking spaces proposed is two, in addition to the three current spaces. 

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has welcomed the announcement made today (Tuesday April 30th) by Loganair which will enhance both air services and passenger experience to and from the Western Isles.

From this weekl, all four of Loganair’s weekday Glasgow to Stornoway services will be operated by the Embraer 145 jet, which has been cutting flight times to as little as 30 minutes airborne since its introduction in January.

The new programme of free Business Gateway workshops in Stornoway is now underway with some sessions filling up quickly.  There are still spaces available on some of the sessions but you should reserve your place before they become fully booked.  The full programme is as follows:

  • Managing Difficult Behaviours in the Workplace: Wednesday 1 May 0930 - 1230 Comhairle Offices
  • GDPR and Staying Safe Online: Wednesday 8 May 0930 - 1230 Comhairle Offices
  • Create Amazing Graphics with Canva: Thursday 9 May 0930 - 1230 Comhairle Offices
  • Paid Advertising on Social Media: Thursday 16 May 0930 - 1230 HIE Boardroom
  • Build your own Website: Wednesday 22 May 0930 - 1230 HIE Boardroom
  • Facebook for Business: Thursday 23 May 0930 - 1230 MG Alba
  • Fantastic Customer Care: Wednesday 29 May 0930 - 1230 Comhairle Offices
  • Pinterest, Instagram and Photography for Business: Monday 3 June 0930 - 1230 MG Alba
  • Advanced Social Media Skills: Wednesday 5 June 0930 - 1230 Comhairle Offices
  • Business Bookkeeping: Tuesday 11 June 0930 - 1230 Comhairle Offices

To book a place, please contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 01851 822775. 

You can also book online at by searching for the Western Isles region.

Approval of a 600MW interconnector to maximise renewables potential in the Western Isles is vital in the face of the climate emergency facing us all, says SNP MP Angus MacNeil.

Mr MacNeil says UK Government agency Ofgem must ‘do the right thing’ to support Scotland’s vision for action on climate change, as outlined by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the SNP Conference at the weekend.

Do you want help to lose weight? Do you live in Uist or Barra?

If so, get in touch with NHS Western Isles to register for free weight management programme ‘Healthy Helpings’ – helping you meet your weight loss goals in time for summer.

Further delays in the construction of the new ferry for the Tarbert-Uig-Lochmaddy services have angered Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

The Council’s  Chairman of Transportation and Infrastructure, Councillor Uisdean Robertson, has responded to an update from Minister for Energy and Islands, Paul Wheelhouse MSP, about the further slippage in delivery dates for two ferries ordered from Ferguson Marine Engineering.

Litter pickers in communities around Lewis are being stretched to keep up with the amount of rubbish dropped on roadside verges and blown into ditches.

A 36-year-old man has been charged in connection with an alleged robbery from a taxi in Stornoway, say Police Scotland.

The incident happened during the early evening of Tuesday, April 2.


The biggest event on the Stornoway Running and Athletics Club calendar is almost here, the Stornoway Half Marathon on 25th May!

This year the Half Marathon is already sold out and there are just 10 spots left in the 10k, between both races and the fun run up to 550 runners are expected. This will probably be the biggest ever road running event in the Western Isles! Just under two thirds of those entered will be travelling to the island to take part, from all across the UK and as far as the US and Australia. 

A lot of helpers and marshals (up to 70 marshals) are needed around the town and castle grounds route to make it run smoothly (excuse the pun), if anyone is able to help on the day the organising committee  would be really grateful.

Western Isles residents are being asked to take part in a local study being undertaken on ‘The Impact on quality of life since the diagnosis of Lyme disease’.

The study is being completed by NHSWI Health Protection and Screening Nurse Specialist Isabell Macinnes as part of a Master’s degree in Infection Prevention and Control.

Western Isles residents are being asked to take part in a local study being undertaken on ‘The Impact on quality of life since the diagnosis of Lyme disease’.

The study is being completed by NHSWI Health Protection and Screening Nurse Specialist Isabell Macinnes as part of a Master’s degree in Infection Prevention and Control.

Western Isles athletes beat the field today (Sunday April 28th) with an impressive showing at the first Scottish Athletics under 17 North East Division event in Aberdeen.

Castlebay School head teacher Suzanne Forman (above) was one of the Western Isles runners who did the islands proud in London today (Sunday April 28th), completing the world-famous run in a creditable four hours 15 minutes and 54 seconds.

She was in the field with Lewis Pipe Band drummer Jodie Mackay (below) who was running in support of Guys and St Thomas’s Hospital in London – where she works as a staff nurse. Jodies’s grandfather received life-saving treatment at the same hospital more than 25 years ago and he was there to support her run, which has brought in over £3,500, watching her come home from the crowd at Westminster Bridge.

Castlebay School head teacher Suzanne Forman (above) was one of the Western Isles runners who did the islands proud in London today (Sunday April 28th), completing the world-famous run in a creditable four hours 15 minutes and 54 seconds.

She was in the field with Lewis Pipe Band drummer Jodie Mackay (below) who was running in support of Guys and St Thomas’s Hospital in London – where she works as a staff nurse. Jodie’s grandfather received life-saving treatment at the same hospital more than 25 years ago and he was there to support her run, which has brought in over £3,500, watching her come home from the crowd at Westminster Bridge.

Around 500 people were involved in Stornoway's first pro-Scottish Independence March which was held today (Saturday 27 April.)

North Uist's first ever gin was released on Thursday 25 April with the launch of a brand-new product, named Downpour.

The spirit is characterised by turning cloudy in the glass, the result of a 'downpour' of essential oils.

Last night (Friday April 26th) saw the official start to the season at Stornoway Bowling Club - and after a sudden downpour of rain delayed proceedings, the ceremonies were successfully concluded and some initial play got under way.

Thanks to the votes of their customers and following a rigorous day of judging by some 50 of the industry’s top professionals, Stag Bakeries of Stornoway has been shortlisted for a prize in the Scottish Baker of the Year 2019/20 competition.

Four representatives of Eriskay Football Club will be guests of Celtic at tomorrow's home game with Kilmarnock (Saturday April 27th).

Four representatives of Eriskay Football Club will be guests of Celtic at tomorrow's home game with Kilmarnock (Saturday April 27th).

A car was damaged while parked at Western Isles Hospital on Wednesday 17 April.

Police say the car, a BMW 3 series, received damage to the rear nearside bodywork and light cluster.

Anyone with any information is asked to phone 101 and cite reference NH482/19.

Stornoway Trust staff have described damage to a wheelchair-accessible eco-toilet as ‘disappointing’ and ‘disheartening’.

The toilet, which has been available for public use in Lews Castle grounds since August last year, was reportedly damaged between the afternoon of Tuesday (April 23rd) and Wednesday morning. Grounds staff making morning checks discovered that vandals had broken the toilet roll holder and stuffed a whole roll of paper into the pan, making it impossible for the toilet to be used.

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan earlier this week raised the issue of the recent technical issues affecting the MV Isle of Lewis with Minister for the Islands Paul Wheelhouse MSP.

MV Isle of Lewis came off service after returning to Castlebay on 14 April with an issue with her bow thrusters.

As the vessel blocked the berth in Castlebay and was unable to put to sea, no relief vessel could come alongside. Bad weather also hampered repair efforts with disruptions occurring on the Sound of Barra service.

A Stornoway band is about to move on up, after a viral video hit quickly clocked up over 150,000 views explaining ‘that’s the way we do it in the Western Isles.’

Tomorrow (Saturday April 27th) sees the debut album launch of Uptown Fank by Peat and Diesel at the Mull Festival. The album will also be on sale in shops around the islands and pre-orders should drop onto people’s doormats today.

Peat and Diesel, fronted by Calum ‘Boydie’ Macleod on guitar and vocals, with Uilleam Macleod on drums and Innes Scott on the box, have been something of a surprise success – not least to the band members themselves.

Classic car enthusiasts from around the islands have already welcomed the sunshine taking their precious motors out for a run, but this weekend sees the first of the classic convoys which mark the summer season.

Members of Western Isles Classic Car Club (WICCC) will be out for their first run tomorrow (Saturday April 27th), with a gentle ride around the town centre and a tootle across the Braighe for a round tour of Point.

Two Lewis dancers who travelled to Orlando in Florida to compete in a world championship competition have won their way through to their finals later today (Friday April 26th).

Abbie Morrison (17) from Back and her coach, Stornoway girl Kayleigh Nicolson, were both picked for Team Scotland and headed off to the world cheerleading championships, now taking place at the Walt Disney World resort in Florida.

CNES Trading Standards Officers participated in the recent Police Scotland multi-agency Shut out Scammers campaign. 

The campaign targets doorstep and bogus crime and raises awareness of offenders who cold call people and scam them out of money.

As part of the campaign, officers from the Comhairle took the opportunity to provide timely advice to local traders to stop them from falling foul of the law, particularly when selling away from business premises.

The next contract to operate the Scottish Government-supported air routes from Glasgow to Barra, Tiree and Campbeltown will give local communities more control over the services.

The Invitation To Tender for the contract, which will run for four years from 25 October 2019, has been published today (Thursday April 25th)

Work is due to start on May 7th on the Grinneabhat community hub at the former Bragar School in North Bragar.

The building closed for the redevelopment to begin on Saturday (April 20th) with a series of events including a Friday night ceilidh, project information from the architects and a talk by author Malcolm Macdonald as the centre’s Iolaire exhibition drew to a close.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar will be starting the annual surface dressing programme on Monday May 6th with works expected to last for 6-10 weeks depending on weather conditions.

The sailing from Castlebay was once again disrupted due to technical issues.

CalMac have said: 'Due to a technical issue, the 07:55 departed Castlebay late at 11:50 with ETA in Oban at 1630. Departure from Oban will be approx. 1645.' 



A councillor was facing court action this week (Tuesday April 23rd) over contraventions of planning conditions under an enforcement notice issued by his own council.

Councillor Calum MacMillan, councillor for Barra, Vatersay, Eriskay and South Uist, faces charges under the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 over noise levels from a wind turbine installed on his croft at Bornish, South Uist.

A plane-load of passengers heading for Glasgow remained earthbound in Stornoway yesterday evening (Tuesday April 23rd) after a saga of delays ended with the airport closing before they could take off.

The 18 passengers were left hanging around for the arrival of their transport, after a series of delays caused by equipment failures and a full-scale emergency at Glasgow airport meant that their inbound flight left Glasgow two hours late.

The Clan Macquarrie Community Centre in Borve is to get almost £33,000 from the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund (CCF).

The CCF, managed by Keep Scotland Beautiful, awards funding to help tackle climate change by running projects that reduce local carbon emissions. They’re supporting an energy efficiency project to be run by Clan Macquarrie volunteers, which will improve energy efficiency at the centre itself and offer free support across the wider community.

Two new features have made booking online with CalMac easier.

The ferry and harbour operator has now introduced new features to their web booking system that allows customers to save payment details and make changes to reservations online.

CalMac's Head of Customer Services, Alan Hood said: "Feedback from our customers told us that they wanted an improved ability to 'self-serve' tickets, and modifications to bookings, 24-hours a day.

"We are delighted to introduce two new functions to our ticketing and reservations system to address these needs."

A call has been issued for public meetings on Brexit.

Labour have called on local MP, Angus MacNeil, to convene meetings for constituents to discuss their views on Brexit.

Labour candidate for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Alison MacCorquodale, said: “It would be beneficial to hear something from Mr. MacNeil about his recent voting record in the first round of indicative votes and also how he would have voted in the second round of indicative votes, had he made it back to Westminster in time to take part.

Consultations are currently being held on fireworks in Scotland.

The Scottish Government is holding consultations encouraging the public to have their say on fireworks regulations.  

Fireworks are traditionally associated with festivities which celebrate events that are important to different communities across Scotland.

Fireworks can bring colour and excitement to the special occasions that are important to people.

A local MSP will hold an advice surgery onboard the MV Loch Seaforth - an event thought to be a first for Calmac!

Passengers aboard the 15.30 sailing from Stornoway to Ullapool will be able to raise any issues they wish with their local Member of the Scottish Parliament at a specified area of the vessel.

MSPs often hold surgeries within their constituency to give people an opportunity to meet with them and discuss matters of concern. This is thought to be the first time a sitting MSP has held an advice surgery onboard a Calmac vessel.

Two men have been arrested this week after a break-in at shop premises in Cromwell Street, Stornoway earlier this month.

Western Isles police have been making enquiries since the shop window was broken just before 1am on Monday April 8th.

A familiar face will be taking part in the Stornoway Muddy Puddle walk this year.

Peppa Pig is currently in training for the walk, which will be held on Saturday May 4 in aid of Save the Children.  

The walk is being organised by local mums in conjunction with the Lewis branch of Save the Children. The event is also being supported by the Bayhead Community Association and with sponsorship from the Western Isles Lottery.

The Multimedia Unit at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar are also assisting this year by providing a Gaelic element to some of the resources for the event.

Stornoway's first pro-Scottish Independence March will be held this Saturday (27 April.)

Organised by the Outer Hebrides For Independence group, the march has been planned as a family-friendly day with live music, stalls and face painting. Ceilidhs for attendees will also be held in the evening. 

In recent years, hundreds of independence marches have taken place all over Scotland. This Saturday’s march was created to allow pro-independence supporters from the islands to take place in an independence march closer to home.

A grey day in Stornoway was brightened up this morning (Tuesday April 23rd) by the sight of an 111-year-old sailing vessel alongside Esplanade Quay in Stornoway harbour, half-way through a leisure trip around most of Scotland.

The Amsterdam-registered Flying Dutchman is a two-master, 39.55 metres long and with a gross tonnage of 120GT. She was built in 1903 and reconstructed and re-fitted in 2004, so that she now provides comfortable en-suite cabins for up to 26 guests, with a crew of mainly Dutch sailors under skipper Klaas van Twillert.

 Kayleigh Nicolson (left) and Abbie Morrison (right) both pictured with Kirstie Anderson

Two Lewis girls will be in the line-up when Team Scotland take the floor at the World Cheerleading Championships at the Walt Disney World resort in Orlando, Florida this week.

The massive international event, which runs from Wednesday (April 24th) to Friday, brings 11,000 cheer and 4,000 dance athletes together in Orlando to vie for titles.

The new route for a 10k run to challenge supporters of the Leanne Fund has been published today (Monday April 22nd).

Saturday June 1st marks the 10th anniversary of the popular and well-attended Point 5k, so the charity has upped the pace by adding a 10k race as well. The aim is for a full-blooded speed race over the 10k distance, so no walkers are allowed and the race is open to adults (over 16) only.

Stornoway drivers are being asked to be more aware of their behaviour when driving in and around the town centre, after a number of penalties were issued by police over the weekend of April 19th to 21st.

Anti-social driving behaviour, flouting of parking restrictions and road traffic offences connected with vehicles are all being rigorously checked by police officers.

A number of incidents of vandalism over the weekend have left Stornoway police calling for help from the public.

At 11.50pm on Friday (April 19th) police received a call from a householder on Portrona Drive, where a window had been smashed at the front of a house. Anyone who saw the incident or who knows anything about it is asked to call the non-emergency number 101, quoting incident number NH495/19.

The CalMac ferry Isle of Lewis was met by emergency teams at Castlebay on Saturday (April 20th), after a passenger was injured during the crossing from Oban.

Stornoway Coastguard operations centre received a call at 4.45pm from the skipper of the Barra-bound MV Isle of Lewis requesting medical assistance, after a 77-year-old woman fell on board the ferry and fractured her wrist.

Castlebay Coastguard Rescue Team members manned the pier and helped transfer the woman to a waiting ambulance, after which she was taken to St Brendan’s Hospital for further medical attention.

45% of school pupils in the Highlands and Islands believe that the range of subjects available will limit their post-school options.

Highlands and Islands Scottish Conservative MSP Donald Cameron has described findings as deeply worrying.

 The findings, revealed in a survey conducted by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, also indicate that a growing proportion of young people wish to stay in the region after they leave school.
Donald said: “There is good news and bad news in the survey.


The Scotland women's football team will be wearing Harris Tweed at the FIFA Women's World Cup this summer.

Edinburgh-based tailoring firm Walker Slater will supply the squad with Harris Tweed Hebrides jackets to wear as they fly out to France in June.

The announcement sees Walker Slater continue their role as an official licensee of the Scottish FA, which has seen them exclusively retail the Scotland National Team Harris Tweed, designed and produced in Shawbost, since 2015.

Police are appealing for information after a car was taken from Sandwick without the owner's permission.

Police say the black Ford Focus was removed from Mackenzie Avenue during the early hours of Sunday 14 April.

A window was damaged at the Nicolson Institute last weekend.

Police say the damage to the double-paned window took place sometime in the early hours of Saturday 13 April.

Anyone with information is asked to call 101 citing reference NH447/19.

Entries are now open for the 2019 annual Drag Race.

The Lewis Car Club race will be held on Saturday 1 June at Stornoway Airport.

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Hebrides Housing Partnerships's new development at Stag Road, Stornoway, was opened today (18 April 2019) by Aileen Campbell, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government when she visited the Outer Hebrides. 

Stornoway Port Authority has awarded a major contract to design one of the biggest projects ever undertaken in the Hebrides.

Marine consulting civil engineers Wallace Stone have been chosen to take forward plans for Phase 1 of a deep-water port, which is part of the Port Authority’s 20-year Master Plan and aimed at creating significant economic growth for the islands.

The first ever Hebridean Whisky Festival will bring whisky-lovers to Harris next month.

The festival will take place on the islands of Skye, Raasay and Harris from May 21 to May 25.

The festival will feature free tours, tastings, music, casks and special events at Talisker, Torabhaig, Isle of Raasay and Harris distilleries and the Aros Centre, Portree.  

The festival kicks off with two days on Skye at Torabhaig Distillery on Tuesday 21 May, followed by events at Talisker on Wednesday 22.

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil has written to Transport Minister Michael Matheson MSP to suggest the Scottish Government visit the Faroe Islands to see a new 11.2 km subsea tunnel.

Mr MacNeil has hailed the success of the Faroes in creating a highly advanced transportation infrastructure which includes 17 land tunnels and two subsea tunnels with another almost complete and construction on a further tunnel due to start soon.

AUTOPARTS on Island Road, Stornoway, are delighted to sponsor Ali (Nomie) Macleod’s rally car this season.

Ali’s Escort Mk3 BD3 rally car is very rare indeed in that it is actually a rear wheel drive Escort MK3.

A number of roads will be closed for the Outer Hebrides for Independence March on Saturday 27 April.

The temporary road closures will affect Sandwick Road, Matheson Road, Bayhead Street, Cromwell Street, North Beach Street, South Beach Street, Castle Street and James Street.  

Easter Market this Saturday at Castlebay Community School.

Get creative and enter the Decorated Easter Egg competition, just remember to boil or blow the egg before you get decorating! The competition has various gae groups so anyone can enter for the chance to win some great prizes.

If you would like a stall contact Sarah at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01871 817948.

Ferry operator CalMac is bringing new jobs to Stornoway.
CalMac’s customer service team is boosted by additional staff over the busy summer months and this year five of these seasonal jobs will be based in the Western Isles.
They will be dedicated to helping handle some of the 300,000 plus calls and 44,000 emails the company receives every year.

Sailings are still disrupted today (Wednesday 17 April) due to ongoing ferry issues.

Local repairs have been carried out to MV Isle of Lewis, resulting in the ferry able to leave Castlebay pier to allow MV Clansman into Barra.

CalMac have said: "Information and details of the repair to MV Isle of Lewis have been passed to the relevant authorities and we are awaiting feedback on the options for bringing the vessel back into service, next update will be at 13:30 unless we have any information before then."

Meanwhile, the 13:30 sailing from Oban to Castlebay has been cancelled.

Customers booked on the cancelled 7:55am sailing from Castlebay to Oban have the option of travelling from Ardmhor to Eriskay (07:30) and then from Lochboisdale to Mallaig at 09:50 (subject to availability).

Customers booked on the cancelled 13:30 sailing from Oban to Castlebay have the option of travelling from Mallaig to Lochboisdale at 06:00 or 13:50 (subject to availability). For customers travelling on the 0600 sailing from Mallaig, there is the option of travelling from Eriskay to Ardmhor at 10:15, 13:00, 16:35, 18:30 and 19:35 (subject to availability). For customers travelling on the 13:50 departure from Mallaig, there is the option of travelling on the 18:10 and 19:35 sailings from Eriskay to Ardmhor (subject to availability).

For any foot passengers requiring transport from Oban to Mallaig, Lochboisdale to Eriskay & onward from Ardmhor are advised to contact the local office on 01631 700506 (option 2) to make arrangements.

Castlebay is this afternoon (Wednesday April 17th) no longer the focus of disruption on the CalMac network.

With very little advance notice, the Isle of Lewis ferry was returned to service and set off on additional sailing to Oban.

Protests were been made in southern Skye as ferry links from Mallaig to Armadale were cut back because the Lord of the Isles is operating extra services from Lochboisdale to Mallaig.

Meanwhile additional services were operating late into the evening across the Sound of Barra to link up with the Mallaig crossings. 

A group of representatives from Scottish Government will be in Lewis from Tuesday to Thursday next week (April 23 to 25) for three days of public consultations, facilitated by Point and Sandwick Trust.

The community wind farm charity have facilitated the Scottish Government visit at the request of the Scottish Islands Federation.

The on-going restoration of the historic steamship TS Queen Mary has been buoyed by a donation from CalMac. 
The money will go towards reinstating the vessel’s main mast. The new mast will be machined from a single Douglas Fir tree and varnished before being installed on board with original refurbished rigging.

A helicopter involved in the NATO exercise Joint Warrior sparked an emergency this afternoon (Tuesday April 16th) as it headed for Stornoway Airport with engine trouble.

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, Castlebay

Fiona Ferguson of The Sheiling, Castlebay, has applied for planning permission to build a lean-to property to the gable end of the house at The Sheiling, Castlebay.

New house build, Northbay

Theresa Irving of Ultima Thule, Bayherivagh, Northbay has applied for planning permission to build a house complete with septic tank and new access at 10 Bayherivagh, Northbay.

The house is to consist of 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a kitchen/dining area, lounge and utility room. 


The main ferry services from Castlebay – hit in quick succession by bad weather cancellations, the damage done when debris affected propellers and the latest “technical issue” – remain cancelled today (Tuesday April 16th)

Additional sailings are running across the Sound of Barra until late into the evening to connect to sailings to and from Uist via Uig and Mallaig.

Alasdair Allan MSP has today (Monday April 15th) joined environmental charity, Keep Scotland Beautiful, in applauding the efforts of local residents from the Western Isles who are participating in its annual Spring Clean campaign, which is taking place across the country throughout April and May.

Keep Scotland Beautiful is supporting communities to take part and help remove litter from their local area - transforming the places that they live in and improving the areas that they care for. 

Constructing a 600MW electricity interconnector to the Western Isles would cost consumers just 4p more per household per year than the 450MW option.

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil continues to engage with Ofgem who recently announced their minded-to position of favouring a 450MW link over a 600MW.

As part of that engagement Mr MacNeil asked Ofgem for figures on what the two options would mean for household bills and learned that the 600MW would mean just 4p per household per year more than the 450MW option.

MV Isle of Lewis is out of action today (Monday 15 April.)

The sailing originally planned at 1:30pm from Oban to Castlebay has been cancelled.

CalMac cite a combination of weather and technical issues as the reason for the closure.

As yet, it is unknown what is causing the technical issues. A Castlebay sailing had been cancelled earlier this month due to debris caught in the propellers.


Above: Previous winners of An Geansaidh Buidhe from An Lanntair

The annual Harris Tweed Bike Ride returns this Saturday, 20 April, giving the opportunity to win the coveted An Geansaidh Buidhe aka The Yellow Jersey.

A century ago the founding members of the villages of Upper Coll and Gress gathered in peaceful protest and planted potatoes to mark the land of these villages as theirs.

Yesterday (Saturday April 13) their descendants gathered together to commemorate the efforts of those men who fought to secure the land and homes fit for heroes they had been promised once the fighting of World War One came to an end.

A newly established Isle of Harris brewer has reached the finals of the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards.

Calum Bennett is one of three finalists in the Young Talent of the Year category.

A newly established Isle of Harris brewer has reached the finals of the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards.

Calum Bennett is one of three finalists in the Young Talent of the Year category.

The Lewis Carnival is back on Saturday 3rd August.

Carnival organisers had hoped to break with tradition and move the event later in August "but the unfortunate clash with the Piping World Championships meant we’d be down on pipe bands - which just would not be right!

"So we’re sticking with old faithful and hope to see as many of you there as possible.

The design of a memorial to Eilidh MacLeod has been unveiled.

It is hoped that the bronze sculpture, featuring a young bagpiper holding the hand of a learner player, will be established on Barra in 2020.  

The life-size sculpture was made by artist, Jenna Gearing, and was deliberately not based on Eilidh's own appearance.  The sculpture is said to be a visual representation of the love, unity, resilience and diversity encompassing Eilidh's life and home.  

Na h-Eileanan an Iar MP Angus MacNeil is supporting calls from consumer group Which? for the Tory Government to put people’s safety first and ensure all fire-risk tumble dryers are removed from UK homes.

Which? UK estimate there could be up to 500,000 unmodified fire-risk tumble dryers still being used, more than three years after the first safety notice was issued.

Mr MacNeil appealed to island residents to check if their machines were affected when the first safety notice was issued in 2017.


Stornoway Coastguard Rescue Team headed to Branahuie Bay today (Thursday 11 April) after reports that the hull of a possible upturned vessel had been spotted.

Representatives of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar met with OFGEM officials today (Thursday Aprill 11) as part of a ‘Final Needs Case’ consultation on a new interconnector to the Western Isles.

OFGEM has stated that they are ‘minded’ to recommend a 450MW cable whilst the Comhairle, developers and SSE have all made the case for a 600MW cable which would offer more capacity for exporting electricity from renewable energy schemes in the Islands.

The Comhairle outlined a robust case to OFGEM including projected figures of the amount of energy likely to be produced through renewable schemes in the next few years. OFGEM are also meeting with Developers during the consultation.

Lewis Wind Power (LWP) is in the process of transferring ownership of the 180MW Uisenis project to the Oppenheim family, owners of Eishken estate where the project is situated.

The firm says: "Although LWP will no longer own the project, we believe the Oppenheim family is in a strong position to realise the potential for a large scale wind farm at Uisenis.

"The change in ownership should not impact on the needs case for the new grid connection with the mainland.

A winter in Lewis and Harris has given charity walker Chris Lewis some of the best experiences of his life – and reminded him of the good to be found in human nature.

Chris told EVENTS newspaper last month that he had ‘fallen in love’ with the islands, their wildlife, landscape and the people who live here, after magical moments in the most extreme conditions.

And on Saturday night (April 13th) at 7.30pm in Stornoway Town Hall, people can come to hear hime talk about this and raise money for his chosen cause SSAFA, the armed forces charity.

Two former music students from Lews Castle College UHI who are now performing on the international stage have secured a slot at the Hebridean Celtic Festival this summer.

Jamie MacDonald and Christian Gamauf will join the likes of KT Tunstall, Tide Lines and The Shires in the HebCelt line-up after winning a competition for young talent organised by the festival and Lews Castle College UHI.

More than 80 landmarks across Scotland are today (Thursday April 11th) lighting up in blue to mark World Parkinson’s Day and raise awareness of a condition that affects around 12,400 people in Scotland.

That’s about 1 in 375 adults – making it the second most prevalent neuro-progressive condition after Alzheimers.

The three Western Isles landmarks involved are all in Stornoway - An Lanntair, Lewis War Memorial, and Lews Castle.

More than 13,500 electricity supply customers across Lewis and Harris were affected by major power cuts yesterday evening (Tuesday April 10) - with mobile phone services also affected.

The first power cut began just after 8pm and lasted for an hour before power began to be restored gradually as night fell.

A major Bragar development is set to start after a contractor was appointed.

Urras Coimhearsnachd Bhràdhagair is Àrnoil (UCBA), the Bragar and Arnol Community Trust announced today (Tuesday 9 April) that O' Mac Construction Ltd, of Stornoway, will undertake the redevelopment of Grinneabhat.

Moor fires took hold in several places across Lewis and Harris yesterday afternoon (Tuesday April 9th) 

Drivers were asked by police at 5.20pm on Tuesday April 9th to please avoid the Pentland Road until further notice.

The road was blocked by fire engines due to a grass fire on the moorland on the Carloway side.  (Photograph by Callanish DD on Twitter, above)  The road was declared again open around 11pm

The UK Government’s Seasonal Workers Pilot scheme to be extended to include the fishing industry.

That's the view of Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus B MacNeil who is writing to Home Secretary Sajid Javid calling for this change.

The UK Government’s Seasonal Workers Pilot scheme to be extended to include the fishing industry.

That's the view of Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus B MacNeil who is writing to Home Secretary Sajid Javid calling for this change.

There's growing disquiet among rural GPs over the SNP Government’s new GP contract.

That's view of Highlands and Islands Scottish Conservative MSP Donald Cameron who has questioned the Cabinet Secretary for Health about it.

He told Jeane Freeman that more than 9 out of 10 GPs would reject the contract if they had the chance.

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 Barra

Angus Maclean of 123 Craigstone, Castlebay, has applied for planning permission to site a twin-unit caravan to be used as a holiday let at 123 Craigstone, Castlebay.

Work is to include the construction of an access road, including the addition of three parking spaces, and the installation of a septic tank. 

Nicki McCallum of 9 Ardmhor has applied for planning permission to build a house at 9A Ardmhor, Northbay.

Work is to include the installation of a treatment plant and the construction of a new access and the addition of 2 parking spaces. The house is to consist of one bedroom, one bathroom and kitchen/living space. 

The following planning applications are approved by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar

Planning application to build a house with access road and septic tank at 106A Upper Borve, Castlebay, which was received on January 23, has been decided and has been permitted with conditions.

Planning application to create a camper van park at 5 Vatersay, which was received on January 17, has been decided and has been permitted with conditions.

Planning application to create 3 camper van parking sites at 1-3 Vatersay, which was received on January 17, has been decided and has been permitted with conditions. 

Planning application to create camper van parking at 4 Vatersay, which was received on January 17, has been decided and has been permitted with conditions. 

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar have this morning (Tuesday 9 April) said via social media there will be no public bus services in Barra today or tomorrow due to a bereavement.

Hector MacNeil, former head of MacNeil coaches, has died.  He recently passed the reins onto his son, but naturally all the coaches are off today.


The public phone box on the Cross Skigersta road could be removed, if a proposal from BT goes ahead.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar are encouraging members of the public to have their say on the proposed call box removal.

The Council has said it is minded to approve the proposal.

The Castlebay to Oban ferry sailing was being delayed today (Tuesday 9 April.)

CalMac reported that debris had been found in the vicinity of the ferry's propellers, resulting in the 07:55 sailing being disrupted.

Meanwhile there is a road warning for those travelling on Monday 22nd April to Friday 26th April.

Islanders throughout the Outer Hebrides are being encouraged to join in a consultation about the future for their communities.
This supports the development of the National Islands Plan as set out in Part 2 of the Islands (Scotland) Act 2018.
Islanders throughout the Outer Hebrides are being encouraged to join in a consultation about the future for their communities.
This supports the development of the National Islands Plan as set out in Part 2 of the Islands (Scotland) Act 2018.

‘The Western Isles remains your home’, is the message from Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil and MSP Alasdair Allan to all EU citizens living locally, amid ongoing Brexit uncertainty.

Last week First Minister Nicola Sturgeon made a commitment to EU citizens that Scotland remains their home - promising to continue making a strong case for their rights to be protected in any EU exit scenario.

Crossroads Harris say they were delighted to receive 'Excellent' grades in their recent Care Inspection Report for the tenth inspection in a row.  

Crossroads Harris is a Scottish Charity which provides respite care in the home to carers of ill, elderly people and people with disabilities and also provide support to vulnerable people living alone in isolated situations.  

It is affiliated to Crossroads Scotland and is registered with the Care Inspectorate, which carries out an annual inspection.  

An Clachan community shop in Leverburgh has reported a successful year of trading in 2018.

Chris Ross, who chairs Co-Chomunn na Hearadh, told shareholders:

“I’m pleased to report on what has been another very successful year for our community shop.”

An Clachan community shop in Leverburgh, south Harris, has reported a successful year of trading in 2018.

Chris Ross, who chairs Co-Chomunn na Hearadh, the community co-operative which controls the enterprise, told shareholders recently:

“I’m pleased to report on what has been another very successful year for our community shop.”

Miriam Hamilton, from Western Isles Designs,in Crossbost launched her restored loom shed with an Open Day.

The Lothian choir luadh group came over to the Isle of Lewis to perform a waulking demonstration together with the Laxdale Ladies’ luadh group.

Point and Sandwick Trust has created a fund for MSc students in partnership with Lews Castle College UHI, contributing an initial £10,000, with the equivalent amount invested by the college.

The community wind farm charity will commit £2,500 each to four students and intends that the funding will become a revolving grant, once the first £10,000 is exhausted.

The first live streaming of the P/M Donald Macleod MBE Memorial Competition has been hailed a great success, with around 1,800 viewers tuning into the piping event from around the world.

Viewers of the competition, held in Stornoway on Friday, April 5 and sponsored by Point and Sandwick Trust, came from as far afield as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Singapore, the Netherlands, Germany and Spain.

The Lewis and Harris Piping Society, who run the competition, believe the live audience in the Caladh Hotel was also bigger this year, particularly for the ‘light music’ in the afternoon, when the Garry Room had to be opened out at the back, to allow for extra seating.

Art on land and sea came together on Friday evening at An Lanntair Arts Centre as Wave Migration, by painter, screen printer and surfer Laura Maynard, brought in an excited crowd of people for its official launch.

Laura thanked all the surfers who figure in the exhibition – 15 in total – for being so willing to work with her, and also thanked her family for their support through the development life of the project.

The exhibition – including an iconic campervan and a display of surfboards, fills the main gallery and overflows – like a bursting wave – into the reception area of An Lanntair.

The inaugural Lewis and Harris Local Industry and Jobs Fair was a huge success, says Anthony Standing, head of Skills Development Scotland for the North of Scotland.

Young people, parents and carers and adults across Lewis and Harris came together on Tuesday 26 March to find out more about career paths and opportunities across the Western Isles at a first-of-its-kind event for the area.

A casualty was evacuated from a visiting cruise ship near Stornoway earlier today (Saturday 6 April.)

The person was taken ill aboard the cruise ship, MS Astoria, which was anchored outside Stornoway Harbour during her visit.

A brand new three-part documentary looking back on “the best days of our life” is coming to BBC ALBA.

Part of the popular Trusadh series, Làithean Sgoile, which means School Days, starts on Monday 8th April.

April is Foot Health Month – a chance to check that your feet are getting the care and attention they need, says Western Isles NHS.

The Foot Health Month campaign, from The College of Podiatry, aims to raise awareness of the importance of good foot health and good foot care through all stages of life.

The Scottish Salmon Company (SSC) has been named as a finalist in three categories at the prestigious Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards 2019.

SSC is shortlisted in the Primary Producer of the Year, Business of the Year and Export Business of the Year categories at the annual awards which recognise the highest quality produce and producers in the thriving Scottish food and drink sector.

A new study on the most well-known geographical indication products has ranked Harris Tweed in the top 10 of British products, with the Outer Hebridean tweed being the only product in the ranking from outwith the food and drink sector.

The only other Scottish products in the top 10 were Scotch Whisky and Scotch Beef.

Harris Tweed was also rated as the product with the best customer perception with 45.1% surveyed ranking the product as ‘best in class’.  

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A dog had a lucky escape this morning (Friday April 5) after a full-scale emergency turnout in the outer harbour area of Stornoway around 9am.

Stornoway Coastguard Rescue Team, Stornoway RNLI Lifeboat and two Coastguard duty officers were involved

Ferry operator CalMac is backing Ullapool in its bid to win £38,000 of funding for its Winter Lights Festival.
Ullapool has been shortlisted for funding by the National Lottery’s People’s Projects and is looking for votes to secure the funding it needs.

The extent of empty homes and how these can be brought back into use is to be investigated by Holyrood’s Local Government and Communities Committee.

National Records of Scotland data from 2017 has shown that 4% of the dwellings in Scotland are unoccupied and the Committee’s inquiry will investigate why.

A new study commissioned by Crown Estate Scotland provides a potential way forward for a more localised approach to offshore renewable energy deployment in coastal and island communities across Scotland.

The study, carried out by specialists Everoze, looked at six scenarios linked to a number of renewable technologies such as floating wind, wave, and tidal energy, and analysed how they could support the development of key industries, including whisky and salmon farming, in coastal locations.

A small fishing vessel ran aground on the east side of Sandray this morning (Thursday 4 April.)

The vessel, which had one person aboard, called Mayday.

The Barra lifeboat was launched to assist.

A local vessel towed the fishing boat back into Castlebay, and both were escorted by the lifeboat.

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Traffic is now flowing again on the Lochs Road, south of Stornoway, following a car accident.

This follows a road closure around 11am which also affected the Pentland Road as traffic attempted to bypass the affected section of road near Creed Park industrial estate.

Local Coastguard teams have returned home after assisting with a missing person search on the Isle of Raasay.

Teams from Stornoway, Ness and Bragar joined in the search for missing 72-year-old, Alistair Lovie.

Disadvantaged young people living in seafaring communities are set to benefit from a £5,000 grant from ferry operator CalMac.
It has made the donation to the Sailors’ Orphan Society of Scotland to help fund their work. 
As well as supporting young people living in coastal towns, the charity is also committed to feeding, clothing and educating children of deceased seafarers.

The Hebridean Mustard Company based in Leverburgh is launching three new products, the company has announced.

Mustheb’s founder Heike Winter explains: “8-Pepper-Cèilidh is a pepper mustard. Black, green, white and pink peppercorns sway with allspice, cubebs, Bengal pepper and grains of paradise to the beat of the mustard.  

A mid-three figure sum of money was stolen from a taxi driver yesterday (Tuesday 2 April.)

Police area appealing for information following the robbery, which they say took place on Simon Street.

The incident happened shortly after 6:40pm on Tuesday, following a journey in the black Audi taxi from the Newton Street area.

A search for a person threatening to enter the water near Stornoway Harbour took place late last night (Tuesday 2 April.)

It was reported that the male was on South Beach Street.

Stornoway Coastguard Rescue Team and Stornoway RNLI searched the area around 11:15pm.  

Police officers located the man safe and well at home before midnight.  

Water supplies to HS2 postcodes are currently interrupted today (Wednesday 3 April).

Scottish Water have stated that a squad is carrying out emergency repairs in Back and hope to be finished early this afternoon.

More than 60 music students and staff are coming from all over the UK to participate in Lews Castle College’s Music Festival from April 22-26. 

This includes eight daytime concert performances at An Lanntair Arts Centre, two evening showcase concerts and a programme of outreach work in schools in conjunction with award winning Music Education Agency, Soundstorm.

A huge community effort for The Leanne Fund has raised £5,000 which will directly support those affected by Cystic Fibrosis.

Workplaces, schools and groups across the region held Rainbow Raiser events in aid of the charity which works to support young people and their families who are affected by the chronic lifelong condition through a range of services.

A number of ferry sailings tomorrow (Wednesday 3 April) are cancelled or liable to be disrupted.

All Ullapool to Stornoway sailings have been cancelled, however the early freight ferry service is still expected to run.

A number of ferry sailings tomorrow (Wednesday 3 April) are cancelled or liable to be disrupted. 

Sailings between Castlebay and Oban are cancelled. Sailings from Ardmhor to Eriskay are operating as normal.

Lochboisdale to Mallaig and Ullapool to Stornoway sailings have also been cancelled.

Were you born on 1 July 1999? If so, the Scottish Parliament is looking for you!

A search has been launched today (Tuesday 2 April) for anyone born on 1 July 1999, the same day that the Scottish Parliament was established.

Were you born on 1 July 1999? If so, the Scottish Parliament is looking for you!

A search has been launched today (Tuesday 2 April) for anyone born on 1 July 1999, the same day that the Scottish Parliament was established.

Horgabost beach is officially the best beach in the Western Isles.

Christine M Morrison's photo of the Harris beach (above) received 284 votes in the final of the Western Isles Weather Best Beach competition.

The beach fought off competition from Eilidh Mackenzie's Reef beach entry, Chris Dickinson's Hosta Beach photograph, Hayley McLay's image of Cula Bay in Benbecula and Jacqueline Murray's picture of Vatersay Beach. The finalists were the winners of earlier rounds where the favourite photograph was voted for each of the Outer Hebridean Islands.

Over 700 votes were cast by followers of the Western Isles Weather Facebook in the final and thousands in the competition itself.

Angus MacNeil has missed an indicative vote on Brexit after his flight was cancelled.

The MP was on a flight between Barra and Glasgow and had hoped to catch a flight from Glasgow to London yesterday (Monday 1 April.)

However, flights from the Western Isles were affected after airspace was restricted during a Joint Warrior military training exercise.  

Anyone interested in becoming a Special Constable is invited to attend a free information event this month.

The informal event will cover all aspects of working as a Special Constable with the police.

Information will be given on the recruitment process, training, the role itself, as well as how and where Special Constables work.

A new management team at the Callanish Visitor Centre are looking ahead to the 2019 visitor season with confidence – and they’re buzzing with ideas.

Victoria Harvey and Gregor Macleod took the helm of visitor service provision at Callanish after the retirement in January of Angus Mackenzie, Visitor Centre Manager for nearly 10 years.

Every household in the Galson and Carloway estates are eligible to receive free home energy audits.

The project comes from a partnership between Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn and Urras Oighreachd Chàrlabhaigh.

The Fèille or Food Festival at An Lanntair will return for its fifth year on Saturday 13 April, with a free menu of offerings from across the Hebrides – followed by a Hebridean Banquet at 7pm, offering three courses for £24.95.

An Lanntair’s Food Festival was launched in 2015, and asked whether – in the Islands at least - we actually doeat better food today than in the past. After all, most of the food then came off a local boat or was reared on the croft. It was organic and from-a-named-supplier, even though nobody ever used such terms.

A car which was stolen from an address in Stornoway has been found and reported to police – 10 miles from its owners’ address.

The blue Renault Clio was taken from outside a home on Lewis Street some time between March 22 nd and Saturday morning (March 30th).

A café run in a community centre in Point celebrated its first birthday and official opening in one day on Saturday (March 30th), with a tremendous turnout of local supporters to share the occasion.

The first operational day of the international military exercise Joint Warrior was marked by a request for civilian emergency help this morning (Monday April 1st).

Stornoway Coastguard received a request for assistance from a military vessel operating in the Minch, after a crew member was injured on board.

Stornoway Coastguard helicopter R948 was tasked to airlift the man from his vessel and brought him to Stornoway airport, from where he was transferred into the care of Scottish Ambulance and onwards to Western Isles Hospital for treatment.


Coastguard Rescue Team members from Stornoway, Ness and Bragar have been asked to help with a major search, being co-ordinated from Portree in Skye, for a man missing on the Isle of Raasay.

After a sold-out run in Shetland, Orkney and Argyll, Scottish Ballet brings Matthew Bourne’s Highland Fling to Stornoway on Thursday and Friday this week (May 3-4)

The performance is at Lewis Sports Centre but you have to head to to buy one of the remaining tickets.

Highland Fling follows the downfall of James, a young Scot with sex, love and rock and roll on his mind.

Lewis Wind Power is in the very early stages of exploring potential changes to its proposed wind farms at Stornoway and Uisenis, it announced today (30th April 2018).

These initiatives aim to make sure that the company looks at all the potential ways to boost the projects’ chances of winning future auctions for low carbon electricity.

The so-called Contract For Difference auction is predicted to take place before June next year, after a Government pledge last autumn to hold it in “spring 2019.”

George and Peppa Pig were joined by over 100 island youngsters for the first ever Stornoway Peppa Pig Muddy Puddle Walk

More than 100 children took part in the first Stornoway Peppa Pig Muddy Puddle Walk on Saturday (April 28th) raising more than £1,000 for Save the Children.
Starting and finishing at Bayhead Playpark, the island youngsters took on a half mile walk to Lews Castle Grounds, led by mascots Peppa and George Pig.
The walk was the idea of three year old Bethany Macleod from Stornoway, who is huge fan of Peppa Pig and wanted to do something to help children in need across the world.

Parked cars stretched down the road from playpark towards the football pitch at Eoropie in Ness recently as friends and families enjoyed Easter holiday fun at the Eoropie Dunes Playpark.

Yet despite being one of the busiest periods seen at the volunteer run community playpark, the contents of its donation box didn’t reflect the number of visitors.

“We want to encourage young families, but the amount in the donation box is always very, very low,” said Shona Morrison of GAIN, the voluntary group which run the playpark.

The Hebridean Celtic Festival is helping one of Scotland’s finest young ballad singers to take the Next Steps to stardom.

Iona Fyfe, 20, from Aberdeenshire, who combines contemporary folk music with traditional Doric and Scots songs, has a number of high-profile appearances under her belt, including performances at The Royal Albert Hall, Glasgow’s Barrowland Ballroom, Aberdeen Music Hall and a sell-out Edinburgh Festival Fringe show.

She has now won a coveted slot on HebCelt’s Islands Stage after winning the festival’s An Ath Cheum (Next Steps) contest, aimed at finding the best young artists or band, aged between 18 and 25, during the Year of Young People.

A series of announcements about the use of and teaching in Gaelic across Scotland were welcomed this week.

Bòrd na Gàidhlig, the principal public body in Scotland responsible for promoting Gaelic development, has welcomed:

  • the continued cross-party support for Gaelic as demonstrated in the Scottish Parliament debate on Tuesday 24 April
  • the announcement of funding for a third Gaelic school in Glasgow, and
  • backing for Faclair na Gàidhlig, the historical dictionary project.

The Islands Book Trust planned a boat trip to the island of Scarp last September. But, unfortunately, that trip had to be cancelled due to unfavourable weather conditions. Now they plan to try again on 12 May.

They say: “We have organised a number of boat trips to Scarp in recent years and they have always been very popular. Hopefully, those of you who were unable to get to Scarp last year will join us this year, along with others who are interested in the island.”

Booking ahead is essential –

An Lanntair arts centre is launching a new Food Festival, celebrating traditional and worldwide cuisines. This is on Saturday 19th May at An Lanntair, Stornoway.

With a theme of “Thall ‘s a-Bhos : Home and Away”, the festival will feature local traditional cuisine as well as courses from the many other cultures now established on the islands.

A new exhibition in Stornoway from National Museums Scotland (supported by Glenmorangie) shows how silver, not gold, became the most important precious metal in Scotland over the course of the first millennium AD.

Scotland’s Early Silver is on display at Museum nan Eilean by Lews Castle  from 4 May until 23 June.

Featuring spectacular objects dating from AD75 to AD1000, and supported by The Glenmorangie Research Project on Early Medieval Scotland, Scotland’s Early Silver explores the part that silver played in the transformation of society in Scotland throughout the first millennium AD.

A solemn ceremony took place by the war memorial at Melbost outside the gates of Stornoway Airport today (Wednesday April 25th) to mark Anzac Day, a key date in the history of Australia and New Zealand.

The event took place because 30 members and two helicopters from the Australian Navy are on exercise for two or three weeks with NATO partners based at the airport. The Australians were joined by local veterans and representatives of local uniformed organisations. Also present at the ceremony was Commander Jon Holroyd, the Commanding Officer of 820 Naval Air Squadron of the Royal Navy, which is hosting 816 Squadron.

The council on the Western Isles has hit out over the ferry crisis hitting isles' services.

The Chairman of the Comhairle’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee today (Wednesday April 25th)  called for the intervention of the Minister for Transport and the Islands to address significant and growing concerns associated with the performance of Transport Scotland and CalMac Ferries Ltd following a period of unprecedented non-weather-related disruption to ferry services across the Clyde and Hebrides network.

Uisdean Robertson said, “I have personally been inundated over the last several weeks by a huge amount of complaints regarding the levels of service, the extent of disruption and the lack of effective communications by CalMac. 

"The non-availability of a single vessel, the MV Clansman, has had wide ranging implications across the network.  I have received complaints from many members of the public and businesses in the Western Isles and I am aware that the implications have been felt in other communities elsewhere in the network”.

“The lack of resilience and of suitable spare capacity in the fleet is unacceptable and must be dealt with by the Minister as a matter of urgency. 


Hebrides Energy, a not-for-profit community interest company led by key local agencies including Tighean Innse Gall, Hebridean Housing Partnership, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, The Stornoway Trust and Community Energy Scotland, has teamed up with existing Scottish “fairer energy” supplier Our Power, to promote a range of new Hebridean Tariffs to the local market.

The new Hebridean Take Control tariff is the first to offer an alternative for customers on restricted meter tariffs, including the many island homes that are reliant on night storage heating. It is a variable rate tariff, currently at 16.28p for the standard rate and 10.47p for heating rate, with a standing charge of 32.04p per day.

Savings will vary from house to house, however a current comparison between SSE Total Heat Total Control tariff shows an annual saving of £133.60 when switching to Hebrides Take control tariff for a direct debit customer. There are also potential savings for customers on prepayment and who pay on receipt of their bill. Why pay more for the same electric?

CalMac has reassured customers that despite unavoidable disruption due to vessel repair overrun, each of its 26 island destinations remain very much open for business.

But disruption is expected to continue until May 23.

The company says its priority has been responding to its customers and has handled over 12,500 calls during the last five days. 

Eight elite athletes from the Outer Hebrides are set to benefit from a scheme designed to support travel costs for island competitors, it was announced today (Tuesday April 24th).

Following the recent introduction of the pilot Islands Athlete Travel Award Scheme by sportscotland 8 local athletes from across the Islands will receive £1,500 to support their travel and accommodation costs in attending training and competitions. The overall aim of this scheme is to help gifted athletes from the Outer Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland to gain better access to competitive and developmental opportunities available on the mainland.

Applications were received from 22 individuals covering 7 different sports, highlighting the demand for increased support. The overall standard was high, making the selection process appropriately challenging.

The following athletes will receive an award: -

Gemma Macritchie Athletics
Scott Maciver Athletics
Matthew Hanlon Swimming
Isla Budge Swimming
Amie Ringstead Basketball
Rory Mighton Rugby
Chloe Nicolson Football
Matthew Wright Football


NHS Western Isles’ ‘Walk on Hebrides’ will receive £4,300 this year to improve access to Health Walks across the islands.

The walking project has been successful in an application to Paths for All’s 2018/19 ‘Walking for Health’ grant. Walk on Hebrides aims to provide Health Walks in communities across the Outer Hebrides, providing people with an opportunity to be physically active and improve their health through walking.

Karen Peteranna, NHS Western Isles Health Improvement Practitioner and Health Walk Coordinator for the Outer Hebrides, said: “We are delighted to have been successful in our application.

Angus Macmillan.  Photographed by Kim Ayres

This year’s Angus Macleod memorial lecture will take place on the evening of Thursday 8th November in South Lochs, a few days before Remembrance Sunday which will mark the centenary of the end of the 1st World War.

The speaker will be Dr Angus Macmillan from Lemreway, a member of ‘The Lochies’ and a Consultant Clinical Psychologist in Dumfries, where he lives.

He is a published poet and co-editor of the literary magazine Southlight.

The new CalMac Community Board is launching an initiative aimed at cutting the disruption caused by ferry failures in the CalMac fleet.

At their meeting held at Largs and Millport on 19th and 20th April, the Community Board was unanimous in delivering a strong message on behalf of their communities to CalMac's managing director, Robbie Drummond and other members of CalMac's management team.

Overwhelmingly the main concern was that measures being taken to deal with a recent vessel breakdown are failing to prevent major disruption which is bringing significant economic damage and having a detrimental impact on individual and family life in the Islands.

Leverburgh Crew, including Lifeboat Operations Manager and Deputy Launching Authorities, aboard the RNLB Stella and Humfrey Berkeley 13-25

Leverburgh RNLI has welcomed its brand-new Shannon Class Lifeboat, RNLB Stella and Humfrey Berkeley to the station.
The state-of-the-art
, £2.1m vessel arrived in Leverburgh at 1325 hours yesterday (Saturday April 21st), timed in recognition of the boat's side number 13-25.  

All Shannons are given the number 13, as they are 13m in length. The "25" in Leverburgh’s side number shows that their boat is the 25th Shannon to be built by the RNLI.

The arrival of the Shannon at Leverburgh RNLI brings with it a whole host of benefits to the life-saving capabilities of the station.

Complications during the repair to the propulsion system of CalMac’s MV Clansman means the vessel will now be out of service for longer than first anticipated, it was announced today (Thursday April 19th).
However, to minimise any disruption CalMac has agreed an extension to the MV Hebrides’ operating licence with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency for a further three weeks.  It was due to enter dry dock. 
Parts of the Clansman’s propulsion system have had to be sent to Denmark for specialist repair. 

Researchers want to hear about tick bites to people and pets in the Outer Hebrides

Two public questionnaires have been launched as scientists seek the help of Western Isles residents as part of research into ticks found in Uist and the Lyme-disease causing bacteria they carry.
In a meeting at Balivanich Hall, Benbecula, this week, NHS Western Isles Health Protection and Screening Nurse Specialist Isabell MacInnes gave details about the awareness raising work that she and colleagues have been doing since launching the Western Isles Tick Awareness Programme last year.
The Programme was established to investigate concerns that the incidences of Lyme disease in Uists being far greater than that on neighbouring islands in the Outer Hebrides.

With less than half of Western Isles CalMac staff resident outside the island chain, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has called on the Scottish Government to ensure that jobs created for the islands are secured within the islands.
Valuable data regarding staff levels across the ferry company network was secured recently by the Comhairle and reveals that only 204 CalMac staff reside in the Outer Hebrides.
This is despite an estimate of between 350 and 455 staff being required at Outer Hebrides ports and on the ferries that serve the routes to and within the Outer Hebrides.

The Western Isles will be represented at the Royal Wedding of HRH Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at Windsor Castle on Saturday 19 May by Kerry and Kirsty MacPhee from South Uist, it was officially announced today (Wednesday April 18th).

The sisters have established names for themselves at national and international levels with Kerry having participated in the Scottish, British and European Cycling Championships as well as the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and both have been competitors in the Island Games, representing the Western Isles.

Over 70% of Western Isles homes and businesses are now covered by superfast broadband – but there is still a lot of work to be done on broadband availability in the isles, says Outer Hebrides MSP Alasdair Allan.
Dr Allan today (Wednesday, April 18th) welcomed news that in the Western Isles, Government investment has led to more than 135 fibre cabinets being built, delivering superfast broadband access to more than 12,000 premises and covering around 71% of homes and business.
“More than 71% of homes in the Western Isles now have access to superfast broadband,” said Dr Allan, adding: “This figure was zero before this project started.”

Above: 1st Back Brownies who collected an incredible 90 kg rubbish which included old creels and a rusty old bike and lots of bottles and fishing line from Coll beach.

Volunteers across the islands took part in the Big Spring Beach Clean organised by Clean Coast Outer Hebrides, with 48 mini beach clean-ups and 142 people taking part. The group set a target of 1 tonne but estimates that 1.5 tonnes of rubbish was picked up over the eight days.

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This follows successful beach cleans at Sandwick in Lewis, Hushinish in Harris, Balranald in North Uist and Vatersay and Barra - who also held a Great Nurdle Hunt! Future beach cleans will be organised by Clean Coast Outer Hebrides, who would like to encourage people to continue with their own mini beach cleans too.

This is the link to sign up to their mailing list-, and their new email is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Facebook page for anyone wanting more information


Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s Youth Champions, councillors Paul Steele and Norman MacDonald, have welcomed Loganair’s support for the Year of Young People 2018 (YOYP).

Loganair and local authority partners are searching the Western Isles, Shetland and Orkney communities for 30 individuals who represent the ‘Spirit of Young People’.

Orkney, Shetland & Western Isles are to identify 10 young people between 8 – 26 years.

Outer Hebrides Tourism is calling on Scotland’s Transport Minister Humza Yousaf to intervene as the isles’ tourist industry suffers due to CalMac ‘juggling’ of ferry services.
Easy access for tourists to the Outer Hebrides is critical to the islands’ economy, says the group; but that those travelling to and from the Hebridean islands are suffering ‘yet again’ from CalMac’s juggling of ferries services due to ‘operational reasons’.
Outer Hebrides Tourism detail that in the few weeks since the start of the peak tourist season, capacity has been sacrificed at short notice from the ‘Uig triangle’ ferry route, with a vessel too small to even deliver an effective service for pre-booked passengers – and that the ‘Lord of the Isles’ ferry has been removed from the Mallaig-Lochboisdale route until further notice.

Connor on his new trike with classmates during the fundraising cycle event at Sgoil an Rubha.

Photo: Sandie Maciver/SandiePhotos

Inclusion was the watchword when Point and Sandwick Trust gave money to Sgoil an Rubha and Sandwick Learning Centre to help buy specialised cycling equipment for children with additional support needs.

Donating a total of £500, at Sgoil an Rubha, PST were helping pupil Connor Macleod, who received the gift of independent cycling from his classmates.

Western Isles politicians have welcomed today (Tuesday, April 17th) news of investment opportunities which will secure the future of the Arnish fabrication yard.

It follows an announcement that the Scottish Government has brokered an agreement between Canadian company JV Driver, through its subsidiary DF Barnes, and BiFab to support new opportunities at Arnish, as well as BiFab sites at Methil and Burntisland, for the fabrication and construction in the marine renewables and energy sector.

“We are delivering on the commitment I made last year that we would stand by BiFab and work to secure a long term future for the company,” said First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Join Bethany at Bayhead Park on Saturday, April 28th, for the first ever Stornoway Peppa Pig's Muddy Puddle Walk for Save the Children

This Spring will see the return of the UK’s muddiest fundraising event for little ones – Peppa Pig’s Muddy Puddle Walk for Save the Children.
And on Saturday, April 28th, children in Stornoway will have the opportunity to take part thanks to the idea from Peppa Pig superfan, three year old Bethany Macleod, from Stornoway.
“Bethany wanted to do something to help other children who are in need, those who don’t have enough to eat or somewhere safe and warm to live,” said Bethany’s mum Michelle.

A  television documentary made in 1991 -- which features the Bethesda Hospice in Stornoway -- is now available on Youtube.

It features Rheumatology Professor Verna Wright of Leeds University, and Christina Maclean MBE,  both medics, both Christians, and  both suffering from a terminal illness.

The film was produced and directed by Jim Wiltshire.

Stornoway RNLI 'y-boat' ashore at the Shiants with the all-weather Severn class RNLI lifeboat 'Tom Sanderson' in the background. Photo: Stornoway RNLI

Stornoway RNLI lifeboat ‘Tom Sanderson’ and volunteer crew launched today (Monday, April 16th) to the aid of an injured person on the Shiant Islands.
The RNLI crew launched at 0915 hours to a report of a person on the Shiants who had suffered a head injury.
The local volunteer crew recovered the casualty from the island with the lifeboat’s inflatable ‘Y-boat’, before returning to Stornoway where they landed the casualty into the care of Stornoway Coast Rescue Team and members of the Scottish Ambulance Service.
The Stornoway RNLI lifeboat ‘Tom Sanderson’ was back alongside, refuelled and ready for service again by 1400 hours today.

A total of 45 riders took part in the Third Harris Tweed Cycle Ride from An Lanntair on Saturday 14th April.
Participants included a variety of different sizes and types of bike - including a unicycle - and were led by a musical cycle rickshaw. Sunny weather graced the event which included visits to various local retail outlets - including Charley Barley's.
Participants donned their finest Harris Tweed outfits - including one tiny canine participant - and stopping several times for light refreshments and Hebridean delicacies. "This is not a race," it was emphasised at the start.

One of the riders was former councillor and the present chairman of the Harris Tweed Authority, Norman L Macdonald, in a Blue Herringbone jacket. The Gensaidhe Buidhe for the best-dressed rider was awarded to Barbara Ziehm with her stylish Harris Tweed helmet.

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Despite a sunshine weekend, weather conditions are causing disruption to CalMac ferry services from Stornoway to Ullapool this week.
Customers travelling on the Ullapool-Stornoway passenger ferry route are advise to ‘Be aware’ as tomorrow’s sailings (Tuesday, April 17th) are liable to disruption or cancellation at short notice due to forecast high winds.
And the Lewis freight ferry (Ullapool to Stornoway) is also affected with tonight’s sailing (Monday, April 16th) at 10.30pm and tomorrow’s 3am freight service both facing disruption or cancellation at short notice due to forecast high winds.
For further information and service updates, please visit 

Shopping baskets in the Tesco store in Stornoway are no longer available for customers.
An update on the shop’s Facebook page today ( advises that baskets are no longer available due to theft – with around 15 baskets a week being stolen.
Stornoway Tesco said: “We are very sorry to say that we are unable to provide our customers with shopping baskets due to them being taken from the store.
“We are losing approx 15 baskets a week due to theft. We have more baskets on order, but they take six weeks to arrive.”
The store added: “If anyone has a basket, can you please return them to the store. No questions asked on return!”, and apologised to customers for any inconvenience caused.

Concerns about speeding are regularly raised by communities in the Highlands and Islands - and is also a contributing factor in many serious collisions.
With this in mind, local road policing officers will be supporting a national safety campaign next week which will raise awareness of the dangers of inappropriate speed.
The campaign - which runs this week (April 16th to 22nd) - will also target drivers using their mobile phones and not using their seatbelts.

Pictured: Iain Hepburn, head gamekeeper at Dunmaglass Estate & 
Alex McKinley, a Wildfire Tactical Adviser for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service

Gamekeepers are embracing the new Muirburn Code – and sharing their expertise with fire crews who battle wildfires across Scotland's countryside.

Sunday 15 April marked the official end of this year's muirburn season (1 October – 15 April) – a controlled burning technique which has been used for centuries on moorland to regenerate Scotland's famous purple heather on our hills whilst protecting against wildfires.

This season, estate owners and gamekeepers have been working to a revised Muirburn Code, launched by the Scottish Government in September 2017, and have been working in partnership with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) to ensure that controlled burning is conducted safely and responsibly.

Controlled seasonal burning and cutting is one of the most effective means of reducing the risk of damage from wildfires by providing breaks in continuous moorland cover and reducing the fuel load.

Iain Hepburn, head gamekeeper at Dunmaglass Estate, part of the Loch Ness Rural Communities, and also a part-time firefighter with the SFRS, has been engaging with firefighters to share best practice when it comes to tackling wildfires on moorland.

There were congratulations for Andrew Hughson (above) on winning the Coffee Pot Shield DTL competition at The Harris Gun Club in Aline Forest yesterday (14 April 2018)

Two groups of young people will be doing a sponsored walk tomorrow, Saturday 14 April, to raise funds for a much needed new minibus for the Lewis and Harris Youth Association and Scaladale Centre.

At 9am one group of 17 young walkers will set off from Cameron Terrace and walk to the Scaladale Centre in Harris, the walk is expected to take at least seven hours! Meanwhile a second group of five will set off from Tarbert to also walk to the Scaladale Centre. Both groups will be joined by one of the centres instructors.

Sean Ziehm-Stephen, manager of the Scaladale centre said: "Please take care passing us and please donate."

The routes have been chosen as the most common drive for the now-retired bus that needs replacing, and it also highlights how necessary the bus is to get youth groups and all the equipment to the centre or to more remote areas for the range of activities which the centre runs. 

To donate visit the LHYCA Minibus Fund Virgin Money giving page which gives further details on why the bus is so needed:

Na h-Eileanan an Iar MSP Alasdair Allan is calling for Scottish Gaelic to be added to Duolingo, the world’s most popular online language learning service.

Duolingo’s 200 million worldwide users can choose to learn minority languages Welsh and Irish as well as fictional languages from Star Trek and Game of Thrones for free on the app - however, there are no Scottish languages currently on offer. 

In the first two years after the Irish language launched on Duolingo in 2014, 2.3 million people started learning Irish, averaging 3,000 new learners a day. Irish is reportedly one of the top ten languages on Duolingo.

The Scottish Government’s plans for legislative reform of crofting have now been outlined by Fergus Ewing MSP, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity.

This follows on from The Consultation on the Future of Crofting Legislation which received responses up until 20 November 2017 and the subsequent analysis of the responses published on 21 March 2018.

Mr Ewing, commenting on the analysis report on 12 April 2018, said: “The results made for interesting reading  and the diversity of responses only highlighted the scale of the challenge ahead.

BBC Radio 2 Folk Award Winners Ímar will play An Lanntair on Friday 18th May.

After sold-out performances at the Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow and the Serbian National Theatre in Novi Sad, as well as taking home the Horizon Award at 2018’s BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Ímar will be playing some of the furthest reaches of the UK to continue the fun this May.

Featuring current and former members of Mànran, RURA, Talisk, Barrule, Cara, Mabon and The Lowground, whose collectively-crammed trophy cabinet includes a BBC Young Folk Award and several All-Britain/All-Ireland titles, Glasgow-based five-piece Ímar have quickly established a name for themselves.

Outer Hebrides Tourism - the islands-wide grouping that brings together those involved in the tourist industry -  are inviting people to attend Briefing Days in Benbecula and Stornoway at the end of the month.

OHT will be holding an AGM in Stornoway and a pre-AGM in Benbecula and they are also hoping to have a leaflet exchange.

An announcement from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that they have “issued an Enforcement Notice on Advertised Delivery Restrictions and Surcharges” has been welcomed.

The measure comes as the ASA have ruled that adverts which “mislead on parcel delivery and surcharge practices” have been banned, forcing companies to be upfront with consumers from the outset as to how much they will need to pay in delivery costs for goods.

Companies who advertise free delivery on items, yet impose punitive charges well into the purchasing process will be slapped down by the ASA after the 31st May 2018, when the new rules come into effect.

Hebridean Housing Partnership are pleased to announce that they have awarded the following contracts as part of their 2018/19 investment programme:

  • 51 new kitchens to be installed by O’Mac Construction Ltd
  • 71 new gas heating systems to be installed by Alex Murray Construction Ltd
  • 56 new bathrooms with showers to be installed by Alex Murray Construction Ltd
  • 56 houses to receive new fencing to be installed by Alex Murray Construction Ltd

The successful contractors have now started surveying houses and works on site will soon follow.

Almost new Pair of all weather tyres 215 50 R17 

Price new £250, will sell pair for £125.

Phone:  07555 462 3


Pictured L-R: Stewart Wilson TIG CEO; Jim Gannon CEO Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland; Denis Naughten, Minister for Communications Climate Action and Environment; Markku Kananen, H-CHP Project Manager Univeristy of Oulu Finland; Charles Roarty-Energy Action, Brian McSharry, CEO Energy Action

Tighean Innse Gall’s CEO Stewart Wilson and Energy Officer Brian Whitington were invited by Energy Action to participate in the European Energy Poverty Conference in Dublin, Ireland. The Conference’s main aim was to look at tackling Fuel Poverty, its definition and how it affects rural areas in Europe.

Currently 9% of the EU population struggle to keep their homes affordably warm/cool and during bad spells of weather those most vulnerable often end up with worsening health conditions such as respiratory infections. This level is dwarfed by the level of Fuel Poverty standing at 56% in the Western Isles (being second highest in Scotland) with the national average standing at 31%. Tighean Innse Gall is committed to tackling Fuel Poverty in the Western Isles and ensuring residents are supported in their homes through making energy efficient improvements. TIG also help educate households on how to lower their energy consumption and carbon emissions by simply changing how we use energy.

Parkinson’s UK is calling for businesses and organisations across Scotland to make life better for people living with Parkinson’s. Today (Wednesday April 11th) is World Parkinsons Day.

The charity has found that a lack of awareness of the condition and its symptoms can make everyday activities such as shopping and dealing with public services difficult.

Parkinson’s has more than 40 symptoms and many are little known among the wider public. Almost two thirds of people (64%) identify having a tremor as the symptom most commonly associated with Parkinson’s. But tremor is not experienced by everyone - and more than 12,000 people with Parkinson's in Scotland frequently experience other symptoms too.

One particularly distinguished guest at the competition this year's Pipe Major Donald MacLeod Memorial Competition was Rod Macleod, from Calgary. Rod –  who is pictured left with winner Angus MacColl and Kenny Dan Macdonald, one of the directors of Point and Sandwick Trust – has donated ‘memorial medals’ to the competition.

The 25th Pipe Major Donald MacLeod Memorial Competition was held in Stornoway last Friday (April 6) and hailed a great success.

It was particularly successful for piper Angus MacColl, who was crowned the overall winner of the competition, having come first in two out of three sections: Piobaireachd and also March, Strathspey and Reel. Craig Sutherland won the Hornpipe and Jig category.

Pipe Major Iain Murdo Morrison, who organises the competition, said Angus MacColl “really was playing well” – and that it had been “an absolutely brilliant” day. 

The Harris Tweed Cycle ride is back for the third year following the success and popularity of the previous events organised by An Lanntair.

You just need to dress in your finest Harris Tweed and have a bicycle to join in the gentle cycle around the town. Setting off from An Lanntair at 10am on Saturday 14th April, cyclists will stop off at Charlie Barley's, By Rosie and Harris Tweed Hebrides for light refreshments and Hebridean delicacies before returning to An Lanntair. There is also a stop on Lews Castle green for photos of everyone in their tweeds.

The coveted Gensaidhe Buidhe (Yellow Jumper) Gensaidhe Geal (White Jumper) will be awarded at the end of the ride to the Best Dressed Rider and Best Dressed Young Rider along with scones and jam for all.

With local families and visiting tourists enjoying the Easter holidays and a forecast of fine weather ahead, Clean Coast Outer Hebrides are asking everybody to pitch in to help remove a ton or more of plastic from our beautiful beaches.

Teaming up with Surfers Against Sewage during their official Big Spring Beach Clean running April 7 to 15, the local campaign is encouraging all islanders and visitors to head out to the coast for a personal #MiniBeachClean.

On Saturday 7 April in Castlebay, a Beairteas Bharraigh community clean up filled a whole skip and they are hosting a Great Technicolour Nurdle Hunt ( on Saturday 14 April, while North Harris Trust are asking locals to help out with a beach clean at Outend Scalpay, also on 14 April.

There's been quick success in the fund-raising to pay for restoration work on a derelict house on James Street, Stornoway, which is being redeveloped at a mosque/community centre for the local Muslim community.
Less than a week ago a target of £50,000 was set  - and by the end of Saturday, a total of 1135 supporters had raised £54,669. Meanwhile, over the past few weeks the house has been cleared of debris and work is now progressing on creating new roof for the building.

Would-be nurses get a chance to learn what nursing education is all about on Thursday (12 April 2018).

The Department of Nursing of the University of the Highlands and Islands – which has campuses in Stornoway and Inverness – is holding an event at the Western Isles Hospital, on Macaulay Road, Stornoway, from 3pm.

Stornoway’s ‘The Lido’ restaurant– opposite the Town Hall in Cromwell Street – is in the running for a national award after a public poll.

The Molson Coors 7th annual Scottish Entertainment & Hospitality Awards received more nominations and votes than ever before with more than 5,000 venues taking part.

There are a whole range of categories and ‘The Lido’ – which was set up last year – is placed in the one for Newcomers.

The tourist industry in the Western Isles has a chance to win government funding for projects to assist local visitor services – but it has less than three weeks to think them up! (as of Saturday April 7, 2018).

The types of projects which can be supported include:

  • Parking and scenic lay-bys
  • Camping facilities
  • Waste disposal points (especially for camper vans)
  • Toilet provision
  • Essential improvement works to paths (where they alleviate visitor pressures)
  • Recycling points

The support comes from the Scottish Government’s £6million Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund (RTIF), formally launched on Friday 30 March.

The Harris Tweed Authority has won £25,000 in damages after a court battle with a chain of shops over the Harris Tweed trademark.

The statutory body established to safeguard the standard and reputation of Harris Tweed went to court after a retail chain infringed its registered marks.
The Authority launched the legal action following concerns that a number of retail outlets were using the Harris Tweed ® name and famous Orb device on the outside of their premises without permission, creating a false impression that the Harris Tweed Authority was in some way associated with the outlets.

Pictured: Care & Repair Project Officer Iain Macleod and client.

Tighean Innse Gall submitted an application for funding to the SFHA for the TEC (Technology Enabled Care) Ready programme in March 2017 for a project which would promote the use of digital materials to inform clients and their families of the bespoke services TIG provides. TEC Ready is a national programme which aims to promote change and the uptake of technology amongst elderly clients in order to support them to live safely in their own homes.

‘A tablet for the patient’ is the use of android tablets which have the ability to show short movie clips. TIG being a bi-lingual organisation, had the movie clips developed in both English and Gaelic with the addition of subtitles, also both in English and Gaelic for those with hearing impediments. TIG’s Care & Repair officers will be able to show clients what the work looks like before and after and prepare them for any disruption that may be caused during installation, providing an opportunity for families or carers to devise suitable arrangements for the client.

‘A tablet for the patient’ will be delivered by Tighean Innse Gall’s Quality Mark awarded Care and Repair team and is aimed at the elderly and vulnerable in need of support to live safely in their own homes. This service will be available across the Western Isles, aimed at clients and their families who require information on the work that TIG can carry out on properties.

More than half the target of £50,000 to help build the first mosque-centre in Stornoway has been raised on in just over two days.

Permission for the conversion of a derelict Stornoway house to a mosque and community centre for the Western Isles Muslim community was granted by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar  on Thursday, September 31st, 2017,  at a meeting of the local authority’s planning application committee.

The plans involves a long-disused house in James Street, adjacent to the former Church House premises of ND Macleod Ltd, which are soon to be the base for and EVENTS newspaper.

In a statement today (Thursday April 5) from An Lanntair regarding the outcome of its Sunday opening trial, the arts centre says it intends to begin opening on Sundays as soon as operationally possible.

An Lanntair recently ran three trial events to pilot Sunday opening of the arts centre, once a month from January to March.  

Each event included one cinema screening, access to the arts exhibitions and informal arts activities for children and families.  The aim of these trial events was to explore whether audiences would like to see the arts centre open on Sundays, to further An Lanntair's audience research into this question.

The Crofting Commission look forward to working with Scottish Government and other stakeholders to take forward crofting legislation reform. 

The practical approach outlined by the Cabinet Secretary will enable the necessary improvements of phase one to be made in this Parliamentary Session, with more complex issues being held over to a second phase, it says

In particular the Commission welcome the opportunity to work with the Scottish Government in developing a New Entrants Scheme for crofting and to discuss a future promotional role for the Commission itself.

Local people are being called by an HMRC scam caller - imitating a similar campaign being run the USA alleging to be related to the IRS. 

Stornoway-based accountants Mann Judd Gordon report today (Thursday April 5th):

"We had a client calling yesterday as a result of a phone call they had received supposedly from HMRC.

 Stornoway Harbour showing a visualisation of the proposed deep water berth

The public will have a chance to help shape plans for major developments at Stornoway Harbour that will bring significant benefits to the town.

An exhibition on Tuesday 24 April, between 10am-6pm at Stornoway Town Hall will set out the proposals and the methods being used by the Stornoway Port Authority to assess the environmental impact of the projects.

At a second exhibition, on Monday 4 June between 10am-6pm at the Town Hall, the Authority will explain how the proposals have evolved since the first consultation event and provide information about the environmental impact assessments.

HebCelt director Caroline Maclennan (back, left ) and Kerry Macphee (Lewis Wind Power, back, right ) with some young feis musicians

The Hebridean Celtic Festival will mark the Year of Young People 2018 by bringing together 20 musicians aged between 12 and 16 from Barra, North and South Uist and Lewis and Harris to perform a suite of traditional music and Gaelic songs.

The piece will feature a new, specially-commissioned Gaelic song by singer songwriter Eilidh Mackenzie, from Lewis, which will get its public debut on the main festival stage. 

Students from the Outer Hebrides and Shetland are about to embark on an exciting inter-island creative industries placement, giving them a great new opportunity to learn and develop their creative practice in a different and inspirational environment.

Devised to encourage collaboration between the creative talent of the Northern and Western Isles, An Lanntair’s Between Islands initiative has produced a number of innovative ventures to date. These have included two musical projects – with a third due to premiere at the Hebridean Celtic Festival this July – and the publication of a book of short stories.

Earlier this year An Lanntair Arts Centre, creators of the Between Islands project, put out a call for film or textile students from across the Western and Northern Isles to apply for this pioneering inter-island exchange scheme. 

Norman A MacIver has been elected to chair the Stornoway Trust.

On Tuesday 3rd April 2018 Trustees of the Stornoway Trust attended the statutory post Election meeting of Trustees, convened to formally declare and accept the five recently elected Trustees and to appoint a Chairperson for the next three years.

West coast ferry operator CalMac has teamed up with 14 conservation bodies in a bid to better protect the environment it sails in.The company’s new Marine Awareness Programme outlines specific actions it will take to help passengers get the most from the environment they are travelling through and to better understand the wildlife in its area of operations.

Speaking at the launch of the Programme, CalMac’s managing director, Robbie Drummond said:‘Knowledge is a major part of protecting the environment for future generations.

"By finding out what wild resources we have, we are in better position to take steps to help conserve them. Our commitment to the monitoring, education and information sharing activity outlined i n this Programme will help ensure we continue to build knowledge about the seas we sail.’

‘The marine environment we work in is among the most diverse in the world, supporting over 6,500 complex and 40,000 single cell species of plants and animals. Our seas are among the richest in Europe for marine mammals. Scotland holds about 70% of Europe's population of grey seals and 35% of common seals along with numerous species of whales, dolphins and porpoises and seabirds.’  

Actions outlined include using CalMac vessels to undertake marine biodiversity monitoring, passenger engagement and education to raise marine environment awareness with both visitors and locals and to facilitate better information sharing between conservation agencies.

CalMac’s 14 partners are Scottish Natural Heritage, Marine Scotland, Joint Nature Conservation Committee, British Divers Marine Life Rescu e, British Trust for Ornithology, Capturing Our Coast, Field Studies Council Millport,Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust, MARINElife, ORCA, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network, Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Whale and Dolphin Conservation.

‘CalMac understands how important the environment we work in day to day is to our communities. The natural environment and the wildlife within it are central to attracting visitors and helping to grow the economies within the areas we serve.

‘We want to help stimulate this economic growth wherever we can by delivering reliable services that people want to use. However, it crucial that we balance this with protecting the very environment that is the driver of this growth. Our new Marine Awareness Programme is a first step in this direction,’ added Robbie.

There is more information and regular updates on the Marine Awareness Programme website.

A tree of thumbprints representing past, present or future midwives in Scotland - known as the Tree of Life - recently visited the Western Isles Hospital, where local midwives added their own prints to the tree.

Heather Gilchrist a second year MSc Student Midwife, launched the UWS (University of the West of Scotland’s) Tree of Life Campaign during her recent remote and rural placement in Dunoon.

Maternity staff from Western Isles Hospital recently hosted an afternoon tea for members of a local knitting group, who donate knitted garments to the Maternity Department for a number of years.

The knitting club, based in Trust Housing on Matheson Road in Stornoway, knit hats, gloves, boots and cardigans for the department; all much appreciated by local mums and babies, especially premature babies who need to be kept extra cosy because of their inability to regulate their own temperatures.

A major meeting took place this week about prospects for the UK Space programme having its launch base in the Western Isles.

Isles MP Angus Brendan MacNeil, together with representatives from Hebrides range operator QinetiQ and the Leader and officials from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, yesterday (Tuesday April 3rd)  welcomed Scotland’s Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse MSP to Uist to discuss the possibility of having a spaceport located in the Hebrides.

Angus MacNeil MP said:“Uist is the lead site in the UK for a vertical take-off facility to be located…not least because of the local expertise which could launch and successfully guide monitor and control such a rocket. 

Emergency services were racing out of Stornoway towards Point on two occasions yesterday (Monday)   Pictured above is the major deployment of fire and rescue vehicles sent to Lower Bayble after wind caught a moorland fire and turned it into a blaze which, at one point, it was feared would spread over the hills to Swordale.   The firefighters brought the blaze under control in the early evening.

Ferry operator CalMac is making further changes to its West Coast services in order to absorb on-going capacity issues resulting from the MV Clansman still in dry dock.

CalMac will be redeploying these vessels to the following routes:

  • MV Hebrides will return to Uig-Tarbert/Lochmaddy tonight and will commence service tomorrow (Tuesday)
  • MV Lord of the Isles will be redeployed to Oban to carry out Oban-Coll/Tiree and Colonsay services
  • MV Hebridean Isles will be redeployed to Lochboisdale to carry out daily Lochboisdale-Oban service

Meanwhile the Clansman is awaiting the return of her propulsion unit sent to Denmark for repairs.

Pupils from The Nicolson Institute headed off from Stornoway Airport this afternoon (Monday April 2nd) for another in the series of US exchanges which began in the 1990s

Confusion, delays and cancellations have enveloped the Bank Holiday ferry services from Tarbert and Lochmaddy which are temporarily being undertaken by the Hebridean Isles ferry, dating from 1985

Isles MP, Angus Brendan MacNeil has contacted Caledonian MacBrayne because of what he termed “the acute situation with the ferry service from Uig to Lochmaddy.”

Mr MacNeil has raised a number of suggestions with CalMac which he believes could help get the MV Hebrides back on the route. 

The Gambia Partnership fundraising shop has moved! It has vacated the temporary premises on North Beach and moved to Church Street opposite Artizan Coffee shop and next to the Colour Centre.  It is opening for the first time today (April 2, 2018)  The formal address is 7-9 Church Street.   It is to be open 11 am to 4pm Monday to Saturday. All funds are spent directly in the Gambia to assist with their schooling project there.

As its summer timetables came into force, CalMac Ferries warned of breakdowns and delays ahead as its ageing ferry fleet faces ever-growing problems finding parts to make essential repairs.

The average age of the ferries serving its routes is just under 22 years old and CalMac’s fleet will again be stretched to its full capacity over the summer months, the firm says.

Any issues with a vessel on one part of the network will have knock-on effects for other routes, as boats need to be diverted or deployed elsewhere to keep the network running.

Fuine/Cooking – Starting Wednesday 3 May, 8.30 – 9.00pm for eight weeks

BBC ALBA’s popular home cooking series returns for a fifth series as presenter and keen cook Mairi MacRitchie travels the Highlands and Islands, from the Hebrides to the Black Isle, meeting the nation’s most skilled home bakers.

Throughout the eight-part series of ‘Fuine/Cooking’, the bakers share with Mairi their most treasured recipes. From sponges and breads to pies and puddings, there is something on the menu for everyone .  

The cooks offer advice and tips on how to perfect each recipe as they guide Mairi through a selection of tasty offerings.

Fuine/Cooking – Starting Wednesday 3 May, 8.30 – 9.00pm for eight weeks

BBC ALBA’s popular home cooking series returns for a fifth series as presenter and keen cook Mairi MacRitchie travels the Highlands and Islands, from the Hebrides to the Black Isle, meeting the nation’s most skilled home bakers.

Throughout the eight-part series of ‘Fuine/Cooking’, the bakers share with Mairi their most treasured recipes. From sponges and breads to pies and puddings, there is something on the menu for everyone .  

The cooks offer advice and tips on how to perfect each recipe as they guide Mairi through a selection of tasty offerings.

Today An Lanntair is holding its Fèill Ceáird is Còcairachd: Craft and Cookery Festival – a FREE festival throughout An Lanntair’s building offering a fabulous tour of food and craft from the diverse island communities of the Outer Hebrides.





Brue Common Grazings

Formal intimation under the Crofters (Scotland) Act 1993 

Notice is hereby given that Urras Sgire Oighreachd Bharabhais Community Company has applied to the Scottish Land Court for an Order authorising resumption of 0.03 hectares of the common grazings of the township of Brue.  The purpose of the resumption is to sell the said area to Mr Iain MacRitchie, 7 Merlin Crescent, Inverness, IV2 3TE, to regularise the position whereby the said area is being used as garden and amenity ground for the dwellinghouse 19B Brue.

On 22nd March 2017 the Court appointed this intimation by newspaper advertisement and ordered the Applicant to send to the Clerk to the Grazings Committee copies of the Application, associated productions and the Court’s Practice Note No. 4 (which emphasises the need for crofters to protect their own rights).  The Court ordered any shareholder or other person having a legal interest who opposes the Application or who wishes to claim compensation or a share in value of the land to be resumed, to lodge Answers, including details of any such claim, with the Principal Clerk, George House, 126 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4HH within fifteen days from the end of the period covered by this edition of Events.  Copies of the Application, productions and Practice Note have been sent to Mr Kenneth A. Matheson, Seabhal, 19 Brue, Isle of Lewis, HS2 0QW and these documents may be inspected either there, at the Court’s offices in Edinburgh, or at the offices of the Agents.  Copies of the Practice Note may also be obtained from the Principal Clerk (Tel:  0131 271 4360). It should be noted that any further Orders of the Court, including the Final Order, will be intimated to those persons who have lodged answers to this advertisement and to the Clerk to the Common Grazings Committee.  Copies of any further Orders may be obtained from the Principal Clerk upon request.

Messrs Anderson MacArthur Solicitors

Old Bank of Scotland Buildings


Isle of Lewis


(Agents for Urras Sgire Oighreachd Bharabhais Community Company) 

of which intimation is hereby made.

Scotland’s population continued to increase between 2015 and 2016 – but the increase is uneven and the population of the Western Isles is falling faster than anywhere else in the country.
This is because of natural population decline – an excess of deaths over births – combined with a fall in the number of people moving into the Islands.  This reverses the positive trend seen between 2001 and 2011.
The population of Na h-Eileanan Siar was down 0.63 per cent between 2015 and 2016 according to statistics published this week by the National Records of Scotland (NRS).

We have a whole host of job vacancies looking to be filled on, with five new posts added this week! Click on the job titles below for more information.

Hebrides Travel are seeking a confident Modern Apprentice with good admin and numeracy skills to join their team from June, for 3 or 4 days per week.

Calmax Construction Limited in Newmarket, Stornoway, are recruiting a Machine Operator.

The County Hotel in Stornoway requires an experienced Shift Manager for their busy bar and restaurant.  The candidate should be flexible, with a positive attitude and excellent communication skills.

Crossroads Lewis are looking for Care Attendants to join their dedicated team.  The posts offer good rates of pay with flexible hours, and training and mileage costs will be covered.  Applicants must have a full driving license and their own vehicle.

Travellers now have more help at hand to plan their Outer Hebridean holidays thanks to the publication of the first ever guide book to focus on these islands alone.

Bradt's new guide to the 'Outer Hebrides: The Western Isles of Scotland, from Lewis to Barra' by experienced writer and journalist Mark Rowe is the only full-size guide to focus solely on the islands of Lewis and Harris; St Kilda; North Uist; Benbecula; South Uist; Eriskay; Barra, and Vatersay.

Rowe, and environmental and outdoor journalist, first visited the Outer Hebrides in 1990 when using up the last few days of an Inter-Rail ticket.

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan has recorded an introduction as part of a new digital recreation of St Kilda.

St Kilda has been painstakingly recreated on the best-selling videogame Minecraft as part of Scotland-wide World Heritage Day celebrations. This will give gamers the opportunity to explore the archipelago with ever having to step foot there. It will also form part of the learning resources available in both English and Gaelic to Scotland’s schools.

Lews Castle, by Natural Retreats

Lews Castle is proving the place to be today (Friday, April 28th) as island residents and visitors enjoy the opportunity to look around the new luxury accommodation on offer by operators Natural Retreats.

And today there is also a chance to win a free stay for four in Lews Castle by taking part in the Open Day raffle, in support of the RNLI and Bethesda Nursing Home and Hospice.

Opening its doors at 10am this morning, the Castle staff have been kept busy throughout the day with a huge number of visitors, from old to young, excitedly exploring the new look Castle with a selection of the 23 bedrooms planned ready for viewing.

Rooms will remain open to the public until 9pm tonight; and from 4pm there will be displays of Highland Dancing and entertainment from local school choirs, as well as free welcomes drinks and canapes to deliver A Taste of Stornoway until 8pm. And the Lews Castle whisky bar will be open until 1am tonight for visitors and guests.

People in Lewis and Harris with an interest in mental health and in dementia are invited to come along to a World Café event.

You can meet with the team who are redesigning mental health services across the Western Isles and talk with them about what the redesigned services will mean for you.




Angus MacNeil MP with John Murdo Macdonald, Volunteer, St Andrew’s First Aid

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP, Angus Brendan MacNeil, after working to assist, has welcomed the introduction of St Andrew’s First Aid Volunteers in the islands to provide Event First Aid.

Last year the British Red Cross took the decision to withdraw from providing Event First Aid in the Western Isles.  Now with the help of St Andrew’s First Aid, volunteers are now able to continue to provide this service.

The winning Sgoil a'Bhac team with Stornoway Rotary President Gavin Woods and Rotarian Kenneth MacDonald

Sgoil a’Bhac were the victors of Stornoway Rotary Club’s Primary School Quiz, held at the Nicolson Institute last night (Thursday, April 27th).

The quizzing pupil of Back now have the chance to go through to the Rotary Area Heat held in Balintore on Saturday, May 6th, and if successful, onto the Highland Final in Aberdeen in June.

In second place last night were Sgoil nan Loch, followed by Laxdale Primary School in third.

Ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne has introduced the likes of cullen skink pie, smoked salmon bagels and vegetarian haggis nachos to its menu. 

Served in the Mariners cafés on board its major ships, the food has become a firm favourite with customers – regular travellers and excited tourists alike – as offering great taste, value for money and supporting Scottish produce. 

Brave, Martin's Memorial ladies ministry, meets once a month in the church and they would love to see you there. "Its a comfortable and safe place to learn and grow in our walk with our heavenly Father." 

Thursday 27th April, 7.30 - 10pm

A very warm welcome awaits you!

An appeal – carried on – for craftspeople and makers to contact the Stornoway Airport shop about putting their products on sale there has produced great results, says Donald Martin who runs the shop.

Within a few days, several local producers had their products on sale at the airport for the first – and had made their first sales. “There’s some very nice stuff come through,” said Mr Martin.

But he is still looking for more potential craftspeople to join the throng on the main display shelves.

There are no plans to close the Stornoway airport control tower, it was stated today. 

Reports had suggested that HIAL were considering centralisation of Air Traffic Control by relocating the operation to a 'virtual tower' on the mainland.

Clann an Latha an De invite you to a light lunch this coming Satuday, as support is needed to raise funds for repairs and improvement works to the war memorial at Bragar church. Plans will be on public display and your comments will be welcomed.  


Alzheimer Scotland Lewis and Harris are holding a coffee morning on Saturday the 29th April from 10am - 12pm at St Columba's Church Hall, Stornoway, to raise money for Solas Day Centre.  Come along and enjoy tea, coffee, delicious home baking, stalls and prize draws.  Entry: donations at the door. 

The late Rev Dr Iain D. Campbell, who passed away in January

Elements of the moral conduct of the late Rev Dr Iain D. Campbell were 'seriously inconsistent with that expected of a Christian minister'.

This was the finding of the Western Isles Presbytery of the Free Church of Scotland, who convened in Stornoway yesterday.

Reunion of Lews Castle, Nicolson and Sir E Scott Pupils of 1957

A small group of former Lews Castle, Nicolson Institute and Sir E Scott pupils are hoping to arrange a 60th Lewis & Harris class reunion in the Stornoway Golf Club on Friday 22nd September.  If you are one of the 1957/60s class, they would love you to make a commitment to attend so they can take it to the next level. This will be the first ever reunion for 1957 babies, and the invitation is extended to some 1958 babies.  If you are in contact with any former classmates, please let them know.

If you have any old school photos from back in the day that you'd like to share, you can send them to the committee to help make the reunion a memorable occasion. And if you are at a loose end and feel you can contribute to the organising then please let them know.

To see the website, get in touch or register your interest, click here.  

Photograph by kind permission of Comunn Eachdraidh Nis.

Hebridean Housing Partnership (HHP) is now an accredited Living Wage Employer.

HHP join Intermedia Services (Stornoway) Ltd, Lewis Builders, OnTime Computing, and Living Wage MSP Alasdair Allan in their commitment to pay the living wage of £8.45 per hour.

The living wage is significantly higher than the government minimum wage of £6.70, and the new minimum wage premium for over 25s of £7.50 per hour.

Full-time employees earning the real Living Wage earn up to £2000 per year more than those on the government minimum.

The real Living Wage is an hourly rate, calculated annually by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission, based on the best available evidence on living standards in the UK. Employers choose to pay the real Living Wage on a voluntary basis.

WIIGA chair Norrie Tomsh, left, accepts the £1,000 donation from Angus McCormack, chair of Point and Sandwick Trust

Community wind farm charity Point and Sandwick Trust have made it easier for a group of athletes to represent the Western Isles on the world stage this summer with a donation of £1,000.

The donation was made to the Western Isles Island Games Assocation (WIIGA), who are sending a squad to compete in the NatWest Island Games in Sweden in June. 

Norrie ‘Tomsh’ MacDonald, chair of the local games association, was delighted to receive the donation recently from Point and Sandwick Trust chairman Angus McCormack. 

The St Andrew’s First Aid charity is stepping into the gap left on Lewis and Harris by the withdrawal last May of the British Red Cross from providing First Aid cover in the Islands.
The organisation was formed in 1882 as St. Andrew’s Ambulance Association by doctors and businessmen in Glasgow who were concerned with the number of people being injured in the industrial city.

The Cafe facility at Lewis Sports Centre will be closed for good unless it is taken over by independent operators.

The Ionad Spors Leodhais Cafe was in its end being run by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, but closed on March 31st due to financial constraints.

“The Cafe as it was was unable to break even,” said a council spokesperson, adding: “A decision was taken by the Comhairle that the cafe will not be operated by the Trading Operation again.”

Award winner, Mary Gillies, with her husband, John Angus, and children, Jonathan (19), Joanna (17) and David (2)

The first Gaelic Writing for Children Award has been presented to a Western Isles resident, Mary Gillies.

The competition received entries from across Scotland, as well as an entry from Canada.

Mary’s submission - a Gaelic story for 5 to 8-year-olds - beat off the competition to win the award.

Along with a £500 prize, Mary also receives the opportunity to have her manuscript considered by Acair Books, with a view to getting it published.


Frances and Michelle

NHS Western Isles has announced Frances Robertson, Senior Charge Nurse at Western Isles Hospital’s Surgical Ward, and Michelle Cameron, Staff Nurse at Ospadal Uibhist agus Bharraigh, as its latest successful graduates for Cohort 7 Dementia Champions.

Over the last nine months Frances and Michelle have committed time and effort to completing the course, which expands the NHS Western Isles team of Dementia Champions to 11 situated across the islands.

In conjunction with NHS Western Isles, Tommy Whitelaw from the ALLIANCE Dementia Carers Voices will be hosting a series of events in the Outer Hebrides aimed at raising dementia awareness for people with dementia and their carers.

Tommy, who lives in Glasgow, was a full-time carer for his late mother Joan who had been diagnosed with vascular dementia. Through supporting his mother, he became a well-known national campaigner raising awareness of the issues surrounding dementia.

He said: “My motivation as a carer came from the love I had for my mum and I would do it all again in a heartbeat, but my experience has shown me just how tough it is to live with dementia and how many struggles it can bring.

The Epic Award winning Barra Bunting will be on display for the festival

A free food festival offers a fabulous tour of food and craft from diverse island communities throughout the Outer Hebrides this weekend.

An Lanntair arts centre launches its Fèill Ceáird is Còcairachd: Craft and Cookery Festival on Saturday, April 29th, taking place from 12pm to 4pm.

During the festival visitors will be able to sample world cuisines from the Minch to Mumbai in a fun filled day of cooking demonstrations, food tasters and Hebridean craft stalls, highlighting the quality of handmade crafts to be found on a journey through the islands.

Isles MP Angus MacNeil  has been contacted by more than 40 constituents who say they have been denied access to Scottish Gas’ cheapest advertised tariff, in the ongoing row between Scottish Gas and its island customer base.

Last month, following a complaint by his constituent - Derek McPherson of Fernlea Guesthouse, Stornoway - Mr MacNeil revealed that he had evidence that island LPG customers were being denied access to advertised tariffs enjoyed by mainland customers.

Scottish Gas has now admitted that Mr McPherson’s failure to access such tariffs may not, as it originally claimed, be an isolated case. In a letter to Mr MacNeil, Scottish Gas has conceded that its call-handlers may have given the wrong advice to island customers regarding these advertised tariffs.

Scotland’s blue badge scheme has been extended to allow people who may have difficulties and pose a risk to themselves or others in traffic to get a badge, provided they meet eligibility criteria.

People who think they might be eligible are being invited to contact their local authority.

The blue badge scheme provides an essential service for disabled people, allowing parking access that can often make the difference as to whether disabled people live their lives as fully as they can.

All are invited to join for a Spring Afternoon Tea and help raise funds for the local lifesavers of Stornoway RNLI this weekend.

The Stornoway Lifeboat Ladies Guild invite all to the Spring Afternoon Tea this Saturday (April 29th), from 2pm-4pm in Lewis Retirement Centre on Bayhead, Stornoway.

Enjoy a catch up with friends and family over a cup of tea or coffee and some delicious home-baking.

There will also be a stall packed full of RNLI goodies, large and small – and all funds raised go directly to the town RNLI station and lifeboat.

Fancy walking to Stornoway…from wherever on the island you live?  If you do, you could help raise money and awareness with Alzheimer Scotland as part of Dementia Awareness week in June.

And it doesn’t end there…once you reach town, you would take part in a 5K Memory march around the town and its nearby suburbs on Saturday June 3.  This is a change from the usual Castle Grounds venue.

The Memory March is purely a local event to encourage fund raising and awareness-raising with people doing promotional publicity such as wearing t-shirts.

A whole range of jobs are available in Stornoway and the surrounding areas – all in the vacancies section of!
For instance, the Group Practice Health Centre, Stornoway, is recruiting to the following full time posts:  Practice Manager; Medical Receptionist; and Healthcare Assistant.

Tighean Innse Gall (TIG) – which is the local Energy and Development Agency for the Western Isles – is seeking a part-time receptionist (22.5 hours p/w)
Mon-Fri - 12:30 pm - 5.00 pm

Around 80 students and staff from the University of the Highlands and Islands Applied Music degree – which is based in Benbecula – are this week (from April 24) coming to Stornoway for their final residency of the academic year. 

Students will be participating in workshops throughout the week led by staff, tradition bearers and experts in music and the creative industries. 

A highlight of the week will be their showcase concert at An Lanntair on Wednesday 26 April at 7.30pm (Admission: £8/£6 Concession & Member/£5 Child )

Outdoors at last!  The Stornoway Bowling marked the start of the new summer season with an initial event at their club premises on Bayhead last night (Friday April 21st).  The club spent the winter months with the indoor version of the sport inside Ionad Spòrs Lèodhas - and now with around 50 active members they are looking forward to a new season - and would be happy to welcome new members.

The first ever Gaelic travelogue is to be officially launched at an event in Ness next Thursday.

Author Maureen Macleod, who is a producer of the BBC Alba’s current affairs programme Eòrpa, will read extracts of her new book 'A Toirt Mo Chasan Leam', roughly translated as 'Taking My Feet With Me'.

The Ordination & Induction of Stephen McCollum, as Minister of Stornoway Reformed Presbyterian Church will take place, God willing, on Friday 28 April at 7 p.m. at Stornoway Town Hall. The reception afterwards will be held upstairs in the Garry Suite at the Caladh Inn. The service will be conducted by Rev Kenneth Stewart (Gardner Street, Glasgow).

All are warmly welcomed.

A hustings meeting will take place tonight in Uig Community Centre.

The meeting will hear from all four Sgir' Uige agus Ceann a Tuath nan Loch candidates - Ranald Fraser, Norman A. Macdonald, Donald Cudig Macleod, and Angus Morrison. 

Proceedings start at 7.30pm.




Lews Castle College UHI is facing a decrease in funding of around 4.8 per cent for 2017-18, due to a drop in student numbers.

In a report just published, Audit Scotland has highlighted the College's under-recruitment of further education students against targets during 2015/16.

The report clearly states that the College is not in immediate financial difficulty and the accounts have been given a clean bill of health.

Notice is hereby given that Urras Sgire Oighreachd Bharabhais Community Company has applied to the Scottish Land Court for an Order authorising resumption of 0.03 hectares of the common grazings of the township of Brue.  The purpose of the resumption is to sell the said area to Mr Iain MacRitchie, 7 Merlin Crescent, Inverness, IV2 3TE, to regularise the position whereby the said area is being used as garden and amenity ground for the dwellinghouse 19B Brue.

On 22nd March 2017 the Court appointed this intimation by newspaper advertisement and ordered the Applicant to send to the Clerk to the Grazings Committee copies of the Application, associated productions and the Court’s Practice Note No. 4 (which emphasises the need for crofters to protect their own rights).  The Court ordered any shareholder or other person having a legal interest who opposes the Application or who wishes to claim compensation or a share in value of the land to be resumed, to lodge Answers, including details of any such claim, with the Principal Clerk, George House, 126 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4HH within fifteen days from the end of the period covered by this edition of Events.  Copies of the Application, productions and Practice Note have been sent to Mr Kenneth A. Matheson, Seabhal, 19 Brue, Isle of Lewis, HS2 0QW and these documents may be inspected either there, at the Court’s offices in Edinburgh, or at the offices of the Agents.  Copies of the Practice Note may also be obtained from the Principal Clerk (Tel:  0131 271 4360). It should be noted that any further Orders of the Court, including the Final Order, will be intimated to those persons who have lodged answers to this advertisement and to the Clerk to the Common Grazings Committee.  Copies of any further Orders may be obtained from the Principal Clerk upon request.


Messrs Anderson MacArthur Solicitors
Old Bank of Scotland Buildings
Stornoway, Isle of Lewis HS1 2BG
(Agents for Urras Sgire Oighreachd
Bharabhais Community Company)
of which intimation is hereby made.

Political parties in the Western Isles are working round the clock to source candidates for the General Election on Thursday June 8.

And, it would appear, some are having more success than others.

The deadline for nominations is Thursday May 11 – one week after the local government elections on Thursday May 4.

So what’s the latest from the parties expected to field candidates here in the Western Isles?

Simon Wetherell, Co-op Director of Facilities Management; Divisional Managing Director John McNeill; Chrisetta Mitchell, The Leanne Fund; Macaulay Road Store Manager, Steven Cooper and Cromwell Street Store Manager Steven Macphail

The Leanne Fund wishes to extend a huge THANK YOU to Co-op customers in Stornoway who have helped raise more than £12,000 for the charity.

As the foremost Cystic Fibrosis (CF) charity in Scotland, The Leanne Fund works with individuals affected by CF and their families across the Highlands, Islands and Grampian to provide vital social, practical, emotional and financial assistance.

The Co-op’s Local Community Fund has allowed Co-op members to support the charity while doing the weekly shop with 1% of spend on Co-op branded products going to the charity, along with money raised from carrier bag sales.

Chrisetta Mitchell, Development Manager for The Leanne Fund said: “We are so grateful to the Co-op and its Members who have raised such a phenomenal amount of money which will make such a difference to the lives of young people with CF.”

Befriending Lewis is looking for volunteers to spend some time with people who find themselves alone - whether through ill-health, disability or social disadvantage - and have a series of free training dates coming up over the next few months, the first being this Saturday.

To book your place, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or call 01851 70 2632. Lunch will be provided. 

For more information about Befriending Lewis, visit  

Island ferry operator Caledonian MacBraynes is looking for Lewis residents to have their say on Scottish ferry services.

CalMac is looking for islanders over the age of 18 to participate in a short discussion group about ferry services available in the Western Isles, as well as Scotland as a whole.

An independent research company will host the ferry talk with the group discussion due to take place on Monday, May 22nd in Stornoway.

Those wishing to participate are asked to register their interest by submitting details online here.

A memorial service to the men of the Ross Mountain Battery, who fought and died on the Gallipoli peninsula, will be held on Tuesday, April 25th.

One of the most bitterly found campaigns of World War I, the battle at Gallipoli saw the Allies take on the Ottoman Empire in the Dardanelles.

The Ross Mountain Battery unit, which fought alongside a number of other units, consisted mainly of Lewis soldiers. One of the first units to land, and one of the last to leave, many of the island men in the Ross Mountain Battery unit left their Outer Hebrides homes in August 1914, and did not return until April 1919.

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus Brendan MacNeil has written to Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, to ask for an urgent update on the future support for island renewables. 

The UK government’s consultation on whether Remote Island Wind projects should be subsidised ended on 31st January.  Following yesterday’s announcement that a General Election will be held on 8th June, concerns have been raised as to what this will mean for island renewables.

As part of MG ALBA’s strategy to provide training and support for Gaelic writers, the Gaelic Media Service (MG ALBA) is offering talented Gaelic writers the opportunity to apply for its coveted scholarship to study television fiction writing at Glasgow Caledonian University.

The MA Television Fiction Writing course is the only dedicated one year postgraduate programme of its type in the UK, providing aspiring screenwriters with the tools to embark upon or strengthen their career in television fiction writing, and MG ALBA are supporting a placement on the course for one Gaelic speaker.  

An option to undertake the course on a part-time basis over two years is also available.

Isles FM presenter Kathleen Maciver accepts a cheque for £2,000 from Simon Pearson, from Lewis Electronics

Isles FM is back on air, and volunteer presenters are delighted to get back to work after a tense wait for funding was finally ended last week.

A £2,000 donation from Lewis Electronic Trade Services Ltd tipped the scale on the funding, with generous donors responding through Justgiving to hit a target of £8,000.

Museum nan Eilean is preparing an exhibition marking the passing of one hundred years since the tragic sinking of the Iolaire on January 1, 1919.

The exhibition will run from late 2018 until early 2019 in the new museum at Lews Castle and is part of a larger series of events by a number of organisations recognising the centenary of the disaster and its impact on the people of the Outer Hebrides.

Commenting on today’s announcement by the Prime Minister that she intends to seek a General Election on June 8th, Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil said: “It is a great privilege to serve the people of Na h-Eileanan an Iar in Parliament and I would hope to be re-elected if a snap General Election takes place on June 8th.

“This is a panicked announcement by Theresa May, she knows she isn’t going to get a deal on trade with Europe which means for our crofters, any exports of lambs to Europe will incur a 20% tariff and any fish and shellfish will see a 12% tariff.

“She is doing this so she doesn’t have to face the public after Brexit negotiations when she has nothing, so she is cutting and running now.

Highlands and Islands Tory MSPs should 'stop acting as mere mouthpieces for the UK Government', and show the courage to oppose the Tory Government’s 'shocking and inhumane rape clause'.  

This was stated today by Western Isles MSP, Alasdair Allan. 

The hugely controversial 'rape clause' limits tax credits to only two children per family – unless the mother can prove that a third child was conceived as a result of rape.

Ballot papers for postal voters in the Western Isles have started arriving on doormats, ready for the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar election on Thursday 4 May.

Malcolm Burr, Returning Officer for Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, is reminding postal voters: “For this election you must vote using numbers. You will need to number the candidates in order of preference using 1, 2, 3 and so on – you can make as many or as few choices as you wish.

Stornoway firm ‘Wee Studio’ is to open a brand new recording studio in Benbecula.

The new studio is called ‘Wee Studio’s Bunker’ and is to be housed within the East Trust's nuclear bunker. 

The studio will be directly connected to Wee Studio in Stornoway via internet connection.

St Peter's Episcopal Church on Francis Street was broken into over the Easter weekend.

A small padlock was removed from the donation box inside the porch entrance, and money was taken.

On Saturday 29th April An Lanntair will launch its Fèill Ceáird is Còcairachd: Craft and Cookery Festival – a FREE festival throughout An Lanntair’s building offering a fabulous tour of food and craft from the diverse island communities of the Outer Hebrides.

The festival day will start with a celebration of one of the islands’ most iconic crafts industries, Tweed, with the second annual Harris Tweed Cycle ride, leaving An Lanntair at 10am. This will be a ‘spiffing’ cycle around the town and a chance to win the prestigious prize of a hand knitted Yellow Geansaidh for the best dressed rider.  This year An Lanntair also has a Geansaidh Geal for the best young rider!  Limited tickets are available here.

Throughout the festival day on the 29th April, there will be a variety of food to sample from cultures across the island communities, including Nagaland, Syria, India and of course the Hebrides.  And if you get in quick, there are still a few tickets left to a Foraging Banquet on the evening of Friday 28th April in An Lanntair’s Café Bar – celebrating everything that the Hebridean landscape has to offer on a plate! Tickets here   

An Lanntair hosts Single Shoe Production of Crazy Glue: a remarkable piece of physical theatre, in which both the dizzying highs and desolate lows of love are laid bare to comic and heart-breaking effect. 

The glue, of course, is love. And what’s so crazy about it? Absolutely everything, it seems: from the spark that starts its first bright flame, to the final fizzle of its embers.

The wonderfully skilled Bradley Wayne Smith and Filipa Thomas portray with humour, pathos, and some impressive vocal sound effects the experiences of a couple driven crazy by the first flush of love, and even crazier by its disintegration.

Taking a quick..ish scoot around the Western Isles will take on a whole new meaning after a new exploit by grandmother Dinah Bosomworth.

For the 52 years old plans to do just that, travel the Western Isles – not to mention Isles of Skye and Mull as well - on a two-wheeled scooter!

Starting on Thursday (April 20) the grandmother-of-four, together with a bright orange kick-scooter nicknamed Nerys will depart from Oban before making her way from Vatersay to the Butt of Lewis on The Hebridean Way.

As part of their 10-year celebrations, UOG are running a series of monthly evening talks in partnership with University of the Highlands and Islands. 

The next talk for April will be by Catriona Murray on the topic "UHI Talk: The Gaelic Community and the Other World: Folklore and Customs". In this talk Catriona will be exploring the connections between the Gaelic community and the supernatural world, through the religion, folklore and customs of the area. 

It will take place at UOG Business Centre, South Galson, on Tuesday 25th April, 7:30pm. 

All welcome.Free admission, no booking necessary. Tea & coffee provided.

Mossend Residents Association



Wednesday 19th April,


Sandwick Community Room.

All welcome.


There are jobs on offer from businesses and enterprises in many fields in Stornoway at the moment – all advertised on

For instance, there’s a need for a Quality Controller at the Scottish Salmon Company in Marybank. 

Hebridean hen and stag parties are being taken to another level, thanks to the launch this week of a new dancing venture – ‘Hitched and Highlands’.

Run by professional dancer Alexandra Jones and Anna Macaulay, Hitched and Highlands offer bespoke dancing packages for clients – so for instance, if a hen party wanted to recreate scenes from ‘Grease’, Alexandra and Anna will provide a tailor-made routine.

Work has finally begun to extensively restore the Lewis War Memorial.

The £230,000 project had been due to start this time last year, but was put on hold after the company who were awarded the tender went bankrupt.

Another company has now been contracted to undertake the works.

A memorial service will take place in Stornoway this afternoon for one of the victims of the 'Louisa' fishing boat tragedy. 

Paul Alliston, who was 42 and was also known as Paul Macmillan, was lost when the shellfish vessel sank off Mingulay on Saturday April 9, 2016. 

The bitter spat over renewable energy developments in the Western Isles took a new turn last night (Thursday April 13) as Executive Director of Point and Sandwick Power, Calum Macdonald, hit back at comments from council leader Angus Campbell of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.
“Mr Campbell makes the strange claim that Point and Sandwick Power was not invited to the meeting with the Secretary of State, Greg Clark, on Monday. 
“He is misinformed.  In fact, we were in receipt of an official invitation from the Secretary of State’s office and did not need an invite from the Council. 
“Perhaps Mr Campbell can explain why the Council did not want any representatives of the local community energy sector at the meeting, despite the local branch of Community Energy Scotland making repeated requests to the Council to be included. 

Ballot papers for postal voters in the Western Isles will be arriving on doormats over the next few days, ready for the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar election on Thursday 4 May.

Malcolm Burr, Returning Officer for Comhairle nan Eilean Siar advises postal voters: “When you receive your postal voting pack, make sure you read and follow the instructions carefully before completing your ballot paper. Don’t forget to include your date of birth and signature on the postal voting statement.  Follow the instructions in the pack to make sure your vote counts.

At loggerheads - Comhairle Leader Angus Campbell and Calum Macdonald, of Point and Sandwick Power

A bitter row has today broken out between Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and community energy company Point and Sandwick Power. 

Earlier this week, Executive Director of Point and Sandwick Power, Calum Macdonald, said that the Comhairle urgently needed to revise its energy strategy to allow for a dramatically-increased community stake in local renewable developments. 

But Comhairle Leader Angus Campbell today hit out: “It is a shame that Mr Macdonald and Point and Sandwick Power seem intent on working against the best interests of the wider community and the local economy.”

Ken MacBrayne

A Tory candidate for election to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has been suspended by his party after posting on social media that Nicola Sturgeon was a ‘silly cow’ who should be kidnapped, adding: “Why can’t someone stick a cattle prod up her nether region?”

Retired seaman Ken MacBrayne (72), is one of eight candidates battling it out for three seats in the Beinn na Foghla agus Uibhist a’ Tuath ward. 

A massive increase in passenger numbers over the Easter holidays has led to operator Citylink laying on more buses between Ullapool and Inverness. 

Citylink were contacted by Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant, who also liaised with CalMac over the issue.

The Executive Director of Point and Sandwick Power, Calum MacDonald, has called for greatly increased community involvement in the proposed Lewis Windpower projects following the visit by the UK Secretary of State for Business and Energy, Greg Clark MP to Stornoway on Monday 10th April.

Mr MacDonald, the former MP for the Western Isles, attended the Scottish Islands Renewable Delivery Forum meeting at the Caberfeidh Hotel at the personal invitation of the Secretary of State, and said afterwards: “Right from the start of the meeting, Greg Clark made clear that his primary interest was the degree of community involvement, ownership and benefit in the three island projects and that maximising the community role was the best hope, indeed the only hope, of getting any of the inter-connector projects funded.

The Annual General Meeting of the Fideach Angling Club will be held in the Sandwick School Community Room at 7.30pm on Friday 14th April 2017.

Left to right: - Catherine Ann Macleod (Women’s Football Team Manager), Ann-Louise Stewart (Women’s Football), Iain GG Campbell (General Team Manager), Alan Brown (SSC), Hamish Budge (Athletics Coach), Eric Macleod (Men’s Football Team Manager), Norrie MacDonald (WIIGA Chair), Sian Macdonald (Athletics), Isla Budge (Swimming), Matthew Hanlon (Swimming)

The Western Isles Island Games Association (WIIGA) sponsored by The Scottish Salmon Company have finalised selection for the NatWest Island Games in Sweden this summer.

The week-long International event is this year being hosted by Gotland, one of the 24 member islands, between 24th June and 30th June. WIIGA will take a squad of 90 covering 8 sports to the Games, which includes athletes, coaches, management and medical team. The squad will be accompanied by a small number of family members and supporters.

This Friday (April 14) the new Museum nan Eilean has another Family Fun Day.

This is to welcome the new Fossil Hunters Exhibition at Museum nan Eilean Lews Castle.

The Fossil Hunters Family Fun Day runs from 1pm till 4pm.   Come along for fossil-related fun and crafts, say the staff, adding that it is £2 per child, no booking required. All ages welcome.

The SNP has launched a manifesto for the Western Isles which lays out key commitments for an SNP-led Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

Nine candidates are standing for the SNP in next month’s elections and the party hopes to create an administration which will lead the Comhairle with a clear strategy.

Donald Manford, SNP Group leader and candidate for Barraigh, Bhatarsaigh, Eiriosgaigh agus Uibhist a Deas, said: "To be in the driving seat of our own destiny and to shape our own future is a natural desire. It is what the SNP believes is right for Scotland.   It is what your local SNP Group believes is right for the Hebrides.

Stornoway South SNP candidate Rae Mackenzie says he will fight for a feasibility study to consider reopening Sandwickhill School if he is re-elected to Comhairle nan Eilean on 4th May.

Mr Mackenzie said:  "Sandwick School should never have closed because it was obvious that Stornoway was going to expand in that direction. Well over 100 houses, many with young families, are on schedule to be built in the Mackenzie Park area near the former school. 

“This means there will be over 300 houses in Parkend, Holm and the Mackenzie Park Estate without taking into account East Street, North Street, and Lower Sandwick.  Potentially pupils may also come from Steinish, Plasterfield and Melbost/Branahuie.”

The University of the Highlands and Islands is inviting applications for 26 fully funded PhD studentships.

The studentships, which are being funded by the European Social Fund and Scottish Funding Council, offer opportunities in a range of research areas.

Topics include the use of digital technologies in healthcare, the history of distilling and whisky production, eco-tourism, salmon farming in Scotland and the impact of the nuclear industry on British communities.

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Scotland and Northern Ireland, Lord Dunlop

Building economic activity and providing high quality employment opportunities are two key factors to the Western Isles' future, says Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Scotland and Northern Ireland, Lord Dunlop.

The Conservative politician spoke today (Monday, April 10th) as he visited Lewis with Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark MP, who co-chaired the fifth meeting of the Scottish Islands Renewables Delivery Forum in Stornoway.

Discussions included focus on the UK Government's recent consultation for wind projects on the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland. The development of proposed major projects would trigger initial investment of £2.5billion.

1st January 1919 will make 100 years since the Iolaire disaster

The anniversary of the Iolaire disaster on 1st January 2019 will be the final formal event in the official, national four-year programme commemorating the Centenary of The Great War.  

An Lanntair arts centre, with financial assistance from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, commissioned three of the most senior and respected visual artists in Scotland to prepare a range of designs for a bronze sea or land sculpture located on or near the site where the vessel was wrecked – creating a significant memorial that will give the tragedy the national profile and place in history it merits, and create a legacy for the community and those visiting the islands.

And all are invited are invited to join at the arts centre next Monday (Easter Monday, April 17th), 7.30pm, for the opportunity to hear from each artist about the philosophy and intention behind their proposed designs, to comment on them, and ask questions of the designers.

The UK Government must stop stalling and back island renewables now, according to Isles' MP Angus MacNeil.

Mr MacNeil took part in a meeting with Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in Stornoway this morning (Monday) and urged him to make the right decision on future support for island renewables.

Mr MacNeil said the final decision to be made by Mr Clark on this matter will have repercussions for the island economy for many years to come.

Simon Nicol, Fairport Convention, presented the award to Josie Duncan and Pablo Lafuente

Stornoway songstress Josie Duncan has scooped the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk 2017 award along with musical partner Pablo Lafuente.

The Radio 2 Folk Awards 2017 were announced in a ceremony last week (April 5th) held at the Royal Albert Hall.

Now in their 18th year, the Awards are a key highlight of the folk music calendar and serve to raise the profile of folk music.

And helping raise her own profile within folk music, Josie – who is currently studying a BA in Scottish Music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland – was delighted with the award, saying on her Facebook page: “Delighted to be chosen from such an amazing set of acts.”

Josie and Pablo were presented their award by guitarist, singer, record-producer, and founding member of British folk group Fairport Convention.

Julia Donaldson's books are very popular with young and old alike

Island publishers Acair are delighted to announce their latest release – a Gaelic version of author Julia Donaldson's hugely popular title 'Stick Man'.

From the same author as classics 'The Gruffalo' and 'The Gruffalo's Child', Stick Man has been translated into Gaelic and can now be pre-ordered from the Acair website.

Following the ups and downs of a Stick Man – Bioran – as he battles to make his way home to his family, the latest Donaldson book is completed again by the iconic illustrations of Axel Scheffler.

You can pre-order a copy of 'Bioran', to be released on Friday, April 28th, at 

Launching the 'Walk 500 Miles' step-counting challenge (l-r) Karen Pateranna, NHSWI Health Improvement Practitioner; Tony Wade, CnES Lews Sports Centre Manager; and Norma MacLeod, NHSWI Healthy Working Lives Coordinator

Imagine being able to say YOU walked 500 miles this summer! Well, here is an opportunity to do just that.

NHS Western Isles’ Health Promotion Department and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar's Sport and Health Division invite islanders to register for the 'Walk 500 Miles' step count challenge for individuals or teams of three from the Butt to Barra, aged 18 years and over.

Individuals or teams of three can choose a step challenge that suits them – the 'Bronze 500' is for those who wish to aim to complete 7,500 steps per day; the 'Silver 500' for those aiming for 10,000 steps a day, and the 'Gold 500' for those who complete 12,500 steps per day.

Mr. Malcolm Burr, Chief Executive of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, has been appointed to the Scottish Government’s Standing Council on Europe.

This is an advisory panel comprising a group of experts set up to advise the Scottish government in the aftermath of the Brexit vote with the aim of protecting Scotland’s interests – legal, financial and diplomatic.

Mr Burr has been appointed particularly because of his expertise in local government and rural communities.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

With only one week to go until the deadline to register to vote in the council elections, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is urging residents to make sure they are registered in time.

On Thursday 4 May voters in the Western Isles will go to the polls for Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Local Government elections.  The deadline to register to vote is Monday 17 April.

Anyone not registered to vote at their current address can register online here

With passenger numbers at Stornoway Airport growing and a whole range of new air services available, craftspeople in Lewis and Harris are being encouraged to contact the airport shop to discuss ways they could sell products through the shop.

Donald Martin, who runs the shop and café services in the departures lounge and in the main terminal itself, said: “We are looking to work with local crafts people, in particular those involved in Harris Tweed.  All small craft items will be considered for display and sale.”

He said the arrangements with suppliers could be on a sale or return or a commission basis.   He added: “That is how we would envisage operating , however, depending on the type of business , there are other possibilities."

Donald wants as wide a range as possible to be available to tempt travellers to browse the displays.   He asks craft producers “Please visit the airport café with samples where we will have the opportunity to discuss aspects further.”

Sundays newspapers are available from a handful of outlets in Stornoway this afternoon (Sunday April 9).

As part of the return to airborne delivery for morning newspapers - which started last Monday - Sunday editions were available from around 1.15/1.30pm at the Stornoway Airport shop (see photograph below); Engebret Ltd on Sandwick Road; and the Blackhouse Bakery in Plasterfield.

Each of these outlets normally closes for the day at or shortly after 4pm on a Sunday so there is only a a relatively short time for news addicts to avail themselves of this unusual opportunity.


There will be fundraising quiz on Friday 14 April at 7.30 in Lodge Fortrose, Kenneth Street to support the Mountain View School for the Deaf in Malawi.

The school provides education for 150 pupils, about half of whom are orphans. Due to failing crops there is a risk that parents will not be able to afford the tuition fees so the various Lodges in Ross and Cromarty are undertaking fundraising with the aim of paying the annual fees for all pupils for two years.

The Lodges have previously supplied teaching materials and equipment, teacher salaries and, following an outbreak of cholera in 2014 a solar powered water pump.

Sandwick Community Council


Monday, 10th April

at 7.30pm

at the

Sandwick Community Room

The Rotary Club of Stornoway are inviting all to join for the annual Gala Charity Night, raising funds for six local worthy causes.

 Taking place at the Cabarfeidh Hotel, Stornoway, on Saturday, May 13th, the event offers an excellent evening of 'Music Through the Decades', with the Stornoway Big Band and Faram providing live entertainment.

 A delicious Finger Buffet will tempt appetites, and there will also be the chance to win something spectacular in the Rotary Club's 'Wheel of Fortune' and raffle.

 "Last year we had great fun at the Gala Charity Night, and we're hoping for the same this time again," said Rotary Club President Gavin Woods.

 "We're sure that everyone who joins us will have an excellent evening enjoying the entertainment, and we're delighted to be raising money for six very worthy local charities through the Gala night."

Carhire Hebrides – one of the fastest growing enterprises on the Western Isles – has established a new base in the Stornoway Ferry Terminal, making its cars, vans and personnel far more accessible to customers both at home and away. 

The new base deals with walk-in customers as well as telephone and on-line bookings similar to their established base at Stornoway Airport. 

Co-owner John Cunningham said the venture – which has taken over the space formerly occupied by the Ferry Terminal café – was a logical extension of the standards of customer service they had always aimed for.

NATURAL Retreats are holding a community open day on the 28th April to allow people the opportunity to have a tour of the finished upper floor rooms at Lews Castle.

 The organisers say: "This is a great opportunity to allow people the chance to see the new accommodation and take in some of the spectacular views from the upper floors."

The tours will be running throughout the day and they also be putting on some family-friendly activities in the Storehouse, as well as live music.

 And they add, there is: "no need to pre- book, just turn up on the day."

This Saturday, 8th of April, Museum nan Eilean has another of their very busy #FamilyFunDays at Lews Castle, from 1pm - 4pm.

£2 per child, no booking required. All ages welcome.



An Lanntair invites all to a presentation on a proposal for the new commemorative sculpture with Will Maclean RSA, Marian Leven RSA, Arthur Watson RSA at 7.30pm Monday 17th April 2017

The anniversary of the Iolaire disaster on 1st January 2019 will be the final formal event in the official, national four-year programme commemorating the Centenary of The Great War.  A time for deep reflection, it is also the appropriate time to create a significant memorial that will give the tragedy the national profile and place in history it merits and create a legacy for the community and those visiting the island.

An Lanntair, with financial assistance from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, commissioned three of the most senior and respected visual artists in Scotland to prepare a range of designs for a bronze sea or land sculpture, which is to be located on or near the site where the vessel was wrecked.



An Lanntair is delighted to invite children aged 3+ to Jabuti Puppet Theatre’s Moonbeam on a Cats Ear: Theatre, puppetry and workshops for children, a rare piece of theatre in Gaelic, designed for anyone who loves adventure, excitement, and the rich possibilities of imaginary worlds. 

Where does fantasy end, and reality begin? It’s impossible to tell in this exquisite piece of puppet theatre from Jabuti, as we watch a cat and mouse leave the safety of their bedroom to explore the big night sky and steal the low-hanging moon. Perhaps, we think, we simply dreamed it, along with the sleepy crew of the sailing moon boat who saw it all unfurl in the comfort of their silk pyjamas.

This magical interpretation of Marie-Louise Gay’s English/French children’s book Voyage au Clair de Lune has been adapted to include lyrical Gaelic translation by poet Aonghas MacNeacail.

The Western Isles Island Games Association aim to take around 100 islanders to Gotland, Sweden, for the 2017 competition in June

As the Western Isles Island Games Association (WIIGA) get set to reveal its final squad next week, the Scottish Salmon Company have confirmed they will continue as main team sponsor.

The week long international event, the NatWest Island Games are this year hosted by Gotland, one of the 24 member islands, in Sweden this summer, June 24th – June 30th.

Craig Anderson, Chief Executive Officer of The Scottish Salmon Company, said: “We are proud to be sponsoring WIIGA for the third consecutive year and supporting the Western Isles team as they prepare for this summer’s event.

Shawbost-based Harris Tweed Hebrides has featured this week in a glittering showcase of British and Italian fashion, held in Florence under royal patronage.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall toured the event which was organised by the British Embassy in Rome and the Campaign for Wool.  Prince Charles is patron of the campaign and all the garments featured were, like Harris Tweed, made from pure wool.

An elite selection of leading British and Italian brands were invited to exhibit at the event which was held in the Sala Bianca of the Palazzo Pitti in Florence. The spectacular room is described as 'the birthplace of Italian fashion', catwalk shows held there in the 1950s having set the tone for classic Italian brands to flourish.

The Clo Mor Harris Tweed Cycle Ride 2016 tweed-clad turn-out

The knitting needles are already in action in Kyles Scalpaigh creating this year's 'Geansaidh Buidhe' for the winner of An Lanntair's second 'Clo Mor – Harris Tweed Cycle Ride'.

Saturday, April 29th, will see islanders don their finest tweeds for a 'spiffing cycle' around Stornoway town and the chance of win the prestigious prizes of a hand knitted Geansaidh Buidhe (Yellow Jersey) and title of 'Best Dressed Rider'.

And this year there is also a 'Geansaidh Geal' (White Jersey) for the Best Young Rider.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar candidates have thrown their hats in the ring and will be busy canvassing until council election day on Thursday, May 4th.

In order to have your say on the 4th of May, and vote for the candidates you wish to represent you and your ward in the Comhairle, there are some simple steps to make sure you're ready to vote.

Make sure you are registered to vote – if you are not registered, you cannot vote. For further advice, contact the Electoral Registration Officer, 42 Point Street, Stornoway, 01851 706262, or log on to Registration forms must be completed and returned by Monday, April 17th to allow voting in the May 4th election.

Voting by post – voting by post is an easy and convenient way of voting and your postal vote can be sent to your home address or any other address you give. To register for a postal vote, contact the Electoral Registration Officer.  And applications for postal votes must be returned to the Electoral Registration Officer by 5pm on Tuesday, April 18th. 

Voting by proxy – if you are unable to attend a polling station you can appoint a proxy who will be someone you trust to vote on your behalf. Again, to register for a prosy vote, contact the Electoral Registration Officer. And the deadline for applying for a proxy vote is Tuesday, April 25th.

Thursday morning - April 6th at 9.30am - marks the start of the closing down sale for three major departments at Murdo Maclean's store in Cromwell Street, Stornoway.

After a one year hiatus, Morven Gallery in Barvas, Lewis, returns for the islands' 2017 summer season, opening its doors again on Saturday April 15th.

Morven owners, Janis and Rob Scott, are delighted to see the gallery space return to life with the opening exhibition featuring the works of a huge variety of artists, including Simon Rivett, Ruth Odell, Gareth Watson, Pam Carter, Vega, Margaret Stevenson, Jonathan Smith, Kenneth Burns, Gill Thompson, David Humphreys, Kirsty Lymburn, Effie Galletly, Marianthi Lainas, and David Wilson.

“There were a number of things happening last year that meant we couldn't always commit to being here, so we weren't able to open,” said Janis.

Lews Castle is a final competitor in the title for Great British Buildings Restoration of the Year competition, organised by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and featured on Channel 4 television.

With stiff competition from projects across the UK, Lews Castle was named joint winner of the Victorian category, along side Mount Stewart in Northern Ireland.

The RICS judges were 'blown away' by the impressive restoration of the Gothic revival style Castle, saying: “It was such a difficult building that had been out of use for decades so finding a new use was going to be a major achievement.

The Western Isles Association for Mental Health (WIAMH) have received £2,500 from community wind farm charity Point and Sandwick Trust.
The charity can spend the money as they see fit.  In the case of WIAMH, it will help them run activities at their Catch-23 drop-in service and retain their three support workers.
Del Gunn, WIAMH manager, said: “The timing is fantastic, at the end of the financial year, and the ‘no catch’ is great.  It gives us a level of flexibility.  If we have got a new idea then we can run with it straight away instead of having to chase the money to do so. 
“It’s an absolute godsend because we can plan now.  It enables us to retain staff who are in recovery themselves from mental health issues.”
Western Isles Association for Mental Health is the largest service user group of its kind in the Outer Hebrides and recently celebrated its 20 year anniversary.

Citylink have added extra buses to the Ullapool Inverness bus service from today.

Peter Knight of Citylink said “We have put the following additional seats onto the system today (all additional 49-seaters) -

04 April - 09:50         961         Ullapool – Inverness
04 April - 15:00         961         Inverness – Ullapool
05 April - 09:50         961         Ullapool – Inverness
06 April - 15:00         961         Inverness – Ullapool
07 April - 15:00         961         Inverness – Ullapool
10 April - 15:00         961         Inverness - Ullapool

Na h-Eileanan an Iar MSP Alasdair Allan has called on BT to improve their services to the local island communities, after a catalogue of complaints made to his constituency office in Stornoway in the past few months.

In a letter to BT’s head of service in Scotland, Brendan Dick, Dr Allan has called for improvements across the islands, and for BT to address the issues that islanders have been facing, ranging from persistent installation delays to intermittent network service.

It was back to the future for morning newspaper deliveries in Lewis and Harris today as they arrived at 8am by air for the first time in four years.

For the next fortnight, newspapers are expected to arrive first thing via Loganair ending the newspaper drought which has affected trade and customer patterns in Stornoway and other communities.

An artist's impression of life in a fresh water lake around 360 million years ago.   Credit: Mark Witton

Islanders can find out how life on earth began this month with as an exciting touring exhibition – 'Fossil Hunters' – set to be displayed at both Museum nan Eilean Lews Castle and Museum nan Eilean Uibhist agus Barraigh premises.

Brought to the Hebrides in partnership with National Museums Scotland, 'Fossil Hunters' provides a glimpse of life around 360 million years ago when Scotland lay shout of the equator, and reveals the 'missing link' between amphibians and reptiles.

Funds are now in place and there have been three "Lucky to be here" Defibrillators ordered for the Lower Shader to Brue area.

A training night has been booked in the Barvas Hall on Wed 5th April at 7.30pm. Training will be given by the Lucky 2B Here Team and will cover basic life support and the use of a defibrillator.

Anyone who is interested in attending the training should get in touch by calling 01851 840450 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For those that cannot attend this night there will be other training nights in the future. 



An artist's impression of life in a fresh water lake around 360 million years ago.   Credit: Mark Witton

Islanders can find out how life on earth began this month with as an exciting touring exhibition – 'Fossil Hunters' – set to be displayed at both Museum nan Eilean Lews Castle and Museum nan Eilean Uibhist agus Barraigh premises.

Brought to the Hebrides in partnership with National Museums Scotland, 'Fossil Hunters' provides a glimpse of life around 360 million years ago when Scotland lay south of the equator, and reveals the 'missing link' between amphibians and reptiles.

Gaelic books are being represented this week for the first time at the Bologna Children's Book Fair in Italy, the main global trade fair for children's books. Pictured below are Rosemary Ward (right) of Gaelic Books Council, Margaret Anne MacLeod (middle), Acair Books (Stornoway) and Agnes Rennie (left), Acair Books, with signs displayed in Gaelic and English! Cranachan Publishing (Lewis) and Little Door Books (Oban) will also be appearing at the Fair from Tuesday 4th April.  XpoNorth (Writing and Publishing), HIE's trade development network in the creative industries, is very proud to have partnered Publishing Scotland and Jenny Brown Associates in making this happen. 


The Easter Fayre Craft Market will be held at Carloway Community Centre between 10am and 4pm on Saturday 15th April, where there will be a range of stalls including local Arts and Crafts for sale. Meanwhile a Soup and Pudding Lunch is being held at Carloway School Annex from 12 noon until 2pm.

Combine the two for a day out of shopping and lunch on the Westside.

A fisherman was airlifted from his fishing vessel after suffering a hand injury off the coast of Stornoway.

The UK Coastguard received a satellite call from the vessel, situated 89 nautical miles from Stornoway, just after 2.30pm yesterday (Sunday, April 2nd) requesting medical assistance.

Stornoway Coastguard Operations Centre undertook a link call with the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, where the doctor advised that the casualty should be airlifted as soon as possible.

The Coastguard search and rescue helicopter based at Stornoway was sent to the vessel and airlifted the casualty to Glasgow Airport, where he was met by waiting ambulance and transferred to Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

Eorpa presenter Darren Laing is joined by both remainers and leavers during the special Brexit debate this week

Exploring the unknown world of Brexit, BBC Alba's current affairs programme Eòrpa delivers a special Brexit debate this week.

The United Kingdom is leaving the European Union. The UK Government wants a new trade agreement with the EU without having to comply with rules such as free movement of people.

With Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty being triggered by Prime Minister Theresa May, and two years of negotiations with EU institutions ahead, many are asking where Brexit will leave them.


The Fisherman and the Seal

Delightful puppet show from Yugen Puppet Theatre, suitable for all ages.  Living in a small Scottish village by the sea a lonely fisherman looks for love, but things don’t quite go according to plan.  Sometimes true love can be found in the most unlikely of places...and with the most unlikely of soul mates!  Using hand crafted puppets and striking shadow silhouettes with music from the past, Yugen Puppet Company puts its own twist on this usually tragic Scottish fairy tale. Touring as part of Puppet Animation Scotland.

Saturday 8th April at 7pm, Breasclete Community Hall.


Gaelic TV is catching up with the latest in the Brexit with a special programme on Wednesday night (April 5).
With Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty being triggered by Prime Minister Theresa May and two years of negotiations with EU institutions ahead, many are asking where Brexit will leave them, say the programme notes.

At an undisclosed location on the Isle of Barra there is a small pinery that has been growing pineapple plants for more than two years.

Today, the first two pineapples to be produced on Barra ever will be auctioned off in Buth Bharraigh, the Castlebay community shop,  at 12 noon. 

This is a massive achievement for the crofter who has diversified into pineapples, says the local producers group, Beairteas Bharraigh which translates as the Wealth of Barra.

As yet the undisclosed crofter is not sure how many he will be able to produce in a year but is hoping that it will add significantly to his crofting income. 

Carpet World said goodbye to one of its founding directors yesterday (Friday) as Willie Morrison took retirement after 30 years with the company.

“I'll be sad to leave the place, but life goes on,” said Willie. “And I wish the company all the best for the future. I've seen it go from strength to strength, it employs 15 of a staff now, and the future is bright for the shop with the next generation of salesmen ready to take care of our loyal customers.”

Amidst protests from various parts of the crofting world, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is to invite the Crofting Commission to a meeting of Crofting Joint Consultative Committee "to discuss the wider implications raised by the current discussions within the sector".

Comhairle Leader Angus Campbell said “We are aware of the current issues between the Crofting Commission and Grazings Committees and whilst not wishing to be drawn into the specifics of those discussions, there are wider implications for the whole of the crofting industry that these matters raise.  Principally around the roles and responsibilities of Grazings Committees and their enforcement. With that in mind, we are inviting representatives of the Commission to a meeting of the JCC so that these matters can be discussed in full.”

It is hoped that the JCC meeting will take place during the second week of May.

She's making her musical return to Lewis – and bringing her debut EP 'Peat Bog' with her.

Now living in Glasgow, songstress Miss Irenie Rose has been busy since moving to the mainland, and is delighted to bring the fruits of her hard work to Stornoway with a gig in the Woodlands Centre on Saturday, May 14th.  She is also scheduled to perform at this year's Hebridean Celtic Festival in July.

“I'm really looking forward to playing a gig at home, I've missed it so much!” she said. “It'll be lovely to see everyone.”

The Convener of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Mr Norman A Macdonald, has paid tribute to Murdo Macdonald, former Councillor for the Coll ward.



Mr Macdonald served two terms on the Comhairle from 1978 to 1986. He was on several Committees including Education, Housing, Social Work and Environmental Services. He served as Vice-chair of Development Services and was also on the Licensing Board and the Fisheries JCC.



The Convener said: “Our thoughts are with the friends and family of Mr Macdonald at this sad time.  As is our custom the Comhairle flag is flying at half mast as a mark of respect for a former Councillor”




Thursday 2nd June 2016 at 7.30 pm, Auditorium, An Lanntair, Kenneth Street, Stornoway

Stornoway Port Authority invites all stakeholders and interested parties to attend our 2016 Stakeholder Public  Meeting.

This year will see the first ever Carnival Midsummer Charity Ball, which will take place on Friday June 10th. The tickets were a sell-out, with people desperate to put on their fanciest clothes and enjoy a night of fine dining, entertainment and cocktails. 

But the night is not just about eating and drinking, and the Carnival Committee would like to encourage everyone to nominate someone for Carnival King and Queen!

Come and join in today for the annual Point 5k and help raise funds for The Leanne Fund.

Setting off from Point Free Church in Bayble at 12pm, the popular family event is open to runners and walkers alike and organisers are hoping this year will see the biggest entry ever!

You can still register online to save time on the day or print off your registration form and take it along with you. Copies of registration forms will also be available at the start.

Majors Ray and Pat Brown, the first officers of The Salvation Army in the Hebrides are returning to lead celebrations to mark 30 years of worship and service to the community from Bayhead, Stornoway.

Majors Ray and Pat Brown will be leading worship at The Salvation Army church on Bayhead on Sunday 8th May at 11am. The current officers Lieutenants Callum and Emma Newton will be leading a celebration and fun evening on Saturday the 7th May at 6pm and want everybody to feel welcome to come to both the Saturday and Sunday. Lieutenant Callum says: ‘If you have had a previous connection to the Stornoway Corps, or indeed if you have never set foot in The Salvation Army, you are most welcome to come and join us in our celebration and worship.’ 

In 1983, the Browns were appointed by The Salvation Army to commence the work of the international church and charity in the Hebrides, forming Stornoway Corps. Initially The Salvation Army worked from various temporary buildings before opening its present church community building in Bayhead in 1986.

The Browns have very happy memories of their time living in Stornoway, particularly the friendliness of the Islanders to them. Major Ray says: ‘We are both delighted to have the opportunity to revisit a place and people that have always been dear to our hearts.’

Major Pat says: ‘I will never forget the wonderful community spirit on the island. We arrived with a new baby and our second daughter was born on the Island. I would often walk into town from our home in Seaforth Road pushing a pram and lost count of the number of times strangers would stop their cars and offer me a lift.'

The Browns moved from the Island in 1987 and since then have held appointments in New Zealand, Glasgow and Edinburgh, Nottingham and London. Their appointments included leading the Regent Hall Salvation Army Corps on Oxford Street, London, whose brass band are currently featured on the BBC television series ‘The Sally Army and Me' in which Paul O'Grady explores the work of The Salvation Army.

As well as being local church leaders the Majors have since served on Divisional, Territorial and International Headquarters. Major Ray has also spent time as the head of the Salvation Army's International Emergency Services, which took him round the world to support local relief efforts by The Salvation Army in natural and man-made disasters, including Iraq, India, Japan and the Philippines.

In June of this year, the couple will take up new appointments as leaders of the Central South Division of the Salvation Army based in High Wycombe. 

MG ALBA, the Gaelic media service, is to participate for the first time in an innovative apprenticeship scheme designed to nurture the next generation of broadcast media talent.
The partnership, run by Glasgow Kelvin College and BBC Scotland, is about to enter its sixth programme, with 11 students participating in the 2016/17 course.
For the first time, one student – with the support of MG ALBA - will have the opportunity to work across Gaelic platforms such as BBC ALBA and BBC Radio nan Gàidheal. 
In doing so, the candidate will have the chance to gain experience in many of the departments providing content to the channel, including children’s, news-gathering, factual and sport.

Scottish Fuels Regional Manager Donald Mackay and Stornoway Depot Manager Angus Maclennan were delighted to deliver a defibrillator machine to Rev Calum I Macleod and Church Officer Donald Stewart of Back Free Church on Thursday, April 28th.
The vital life-saving machine was donated by Scottish Fuels, who work with the Oliver King Foundation to provide defibrillators and training in a bid to raise awareness of Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS).

The Crofting Counties face "an astonishing assault on crofting by the crofting regulator itself, which recently launched a campaign against grazings committees resulting in the sacking at least two of them," says Patrick Krause, chief executive of the Scottish Crofting Federation.

Both incidents have taken place on Lewis but the implications are far reaching, he says.

In the Upper Coll case, "the commission made an unprecedented demand for five years of audited accounts, though there had been no indication of financial shenanigans. Whatever is actually behind their decision, it is a staggeringly clumsy exercise in public relations.


Alzheimer Scotland Lewis and Harris AGM

Tuesday 31st May 2016 at 7pm-9pm

Grianan Centre, Recreation Room, West View Grove, Stornoway. 

New members are currently needed and will be warmly welcomed. Please come along to support us with our work. We need you!!

(Tea/Coffee on Arrival at 7pm)

For more information please contact:

Lewis and Harris Dementia Resource Centre, 18 Bells Road, Stornoway.     01851 70 2123

Staff at CalMac's customer operations centre are on a crash learning course to reach out to more Gaelic speakers through social media.
Six volunteers from the customer team in Gourock are going through a Gaelic beginners course to enable them to start posting service update tweets bilingually.
The team, who are doing the course in their spare time, have reached the level of doing National 4 exams which, they are hoping to sit officially next year.
More than 90% of Scots Gaelic speakers live in the areas CalMac serves.

SNP candidate for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Alasdair Allan, met on Friday with members of Upper Coll Common Grazings Committee to hear about their concerns over the recent decision of the Crofting Commission to remove the committee from office. 

Alasdair Allan has also met with members of the former Mangersta Grazings Committee regarding their removal from office by the Commission late last year.

Another Lewis crofting village has called for an inquiry into the Crofting Commission after rulings which, it says,  threaten the  "entire system of crofting agriculture".

The Mangersta grazings committee has been dismissed by the Crofting Commission -  for allegedly failing to make payments to a tenant who has claimed a personal share of grants secured by the village over a 15 year period.

In recent days there have been a series of protests about the dismissal of Upper Coll Grazings Committee - coming from the Scottish Crofting Federation and from local politicians.

Màiri Matheson with the Best Radio Sports 2016 award.

BBC Radio nan Gàidheal has been celebrating a double success after winning two awards at the Celtic Media Festival 2016 which was held in Dungarvan near Waterford and which came to a close last weekend.


The following workshops have been arranged for May and June in Stornoway:

Understanding Pricing for Profit        Monday 9 May 1.30pm - 4.30pm Comhairle Offices
Implementing Pricing for Profit Tuesday 10 May 1.30pm - 4.30pm Comhairle Offices
Using Digital Photos for Business Promotion Thursday 12 May      9.30am - 12.30pm        Comhairle Offices
Digital Marketing with the Cloud Tuesday 17 May 1.30pm - 4.30pm Highlands & Islands Enterprise
Business Planning and Market Research Friday 27 May 9.30am - 12.30pm Comhairle Offices
Accounting and Record Keeping Monday 30 May 9.30am - 12.30pm Comhairle Offfices
Marketing for Business Friday 3 June 9.30am - 12.30pm Comhairle Offices
Branding, Packaging, Retail, Off Island Selling   Monday 13 June  9.30am - 12.30pm Highlands & Islands Enterprise

We will also be holding the following one-to-one advice sessions, which can be delivered via Skype
for those unable to attend in person:

Marketing & Cloud - Friday 20 May 
Accounts and Finance - Monday 30 May 
Word and Excel for Business - Wednesday 1 June 
HR and Management - Monday 6 June
To book a place on any of the workshops, or to arrange a one-to-one appointment, please contact the Business
Gateway office on 01851 822775 orThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Fiona Harvey, Cancer Research; Catherine Macleod; Joan Stewart; Kay Mackay; and Trudy Stammer, Cancer Research UK

Volunteers from the Cancer Research UK Isle of Lewis Committee visited the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research last weekend to see the world-class research that the money raised on the Isle of Lewis is funding.
With the support of the local community, the Isle of Lewis Committee raised over £75,000 for Cancer Research UK in 2015. Kay Mackay, Joan Stewart and Catherine Macleod all attended Cancer Research UK’s supporter day where they had the chance to meet some of the scientists behind the breakthroughs. They heard about groundbreaking work on new leukaemia treatments being carried out in Edinburgh and the recent advances in pancreatic cancer research in Glasgow.


Cherry Campbell has delighted viewers in her role as Katie Morag.

Already multi-award winning, including a few BAFTAS, the Cbeebies TV series Katie Morag has scooped another – this time from across the Atlantic – as it was announced yesterday (Tuesday, April 26th) as a recipient of a 2016 Peabody 30 Award.

The American-based Peabody Awards were established in the 1940s as a radio equivalent to the Pulitzer Prize, and have since grown steadily to recognise excellence in a wide range of electronic media.

Only around 25 awards are presented each year from over 1,000 global entries, and to win a Peabody, a programme must receive the unanimous approval of all sixteen Peabody Board members.

Young fundraisers pictured with Karen MacDonald, community fundraiser for Alzheimer Scotland Lewis and Harris

A group of young pupils from The Nicolson Institute are busy raising funds for Alzheimer Scotland Lewis and Harris.  The group which includes Ishbel Macaulay, Jessica Macaulay, Rachael Smith, Katie Morrison, Andrew Macinnes, Angus Macphail and Jonny Henderson are planning to walk the West Highland Way, 96 miles from Milngavie to Fort William, during 5th-12th August this year and collect sponsors to raise money and awareness.

The group have already raised over £1300 with a recent bagpack and through their JustGiving page.  The group are raising money towards supporting community activities such as the Monthly Peer Support Walking Group who they spent time with last month. 

Katie said: “We are really looking forward to doing the walk and to raise money and awareness for such a great charity.  It is going to be a challenge for us but will be so worth it when we will be able to see the money helping people in our communities. 

“In March, we joined in with the Dementia walk and met some of the people that our money will be helping.  It was amazing to meet people that we will be helping and knowing that our help means so much to them.  Many thanks to everyone who has helped and supported us so far!"

Service Manager Marion MacInnes said: “We have been so impressed with this group of young people and their fundraising activities.  They are organised, mature and committed to their goals.  They are real credit to their parents and their school”.

To support the group's fundraising activities please follow the link.




Another cold night is in store, with temperatures on many roads across the Highlands and Islands falling below freezing, according to the Met Office.

Wintry showers will continue to feed in from the north, bringing an ice risk to any untreated surfaces across northern Scotland, especially over higher ground.

Higher routes in particular may also see some snow accumulating, with perhaps as much as 5-10 cm on the northern Grampians above 200m elevation but localised 1-3 cm even at low levels away from north-facing coasts.

SNP candidate for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Alasdair Allan, has described the next Parliament as an opportunity for “legislation to pass real power to island communities”.

Commenting on the SNP’s manifesto commitment to an Islands Bill, Alasdair Allan said: “The Scottish Government has worked closely with the Comhairle and other island councils to ensure that, if re-elected, an SNP government can now legislate on this issue.

Politicians and crofting law experts have commented on the crofting conflict centred on Upper Coll.

Scottish Labour’s candidate for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Rhoda Grant, has backed calls for a full inquiry into the workings of the Crofting Commission and the reinstatement of the local Grazings Committee.

In a letter to the Commission’s Chief Executive, Catriona MacLean, Mrs Grant states that the Commission’s actions in Upper Coll run counter to local democracy and adds: "It is my understanding that this committee has carried out the wishes and instructions of the Commission and complied with all requirements, so in my view they should not have been removed from post".

Regional airport operator HIAL has handled more passengers than ever but the number of passengers through Stornoway Airport plummeted, according to latest figures for the last financial year.

The airport group, which operates 11 airports, handled 1,437,625 passengers in 2015/16, up by more than 6000 on the previous year.

Inverness Airport, the busiest in the group, added more than 13,000 passengers during the year.  Smaller island airports such as Tiree and Barra – this year celebrating its 80th anniversary - enjoyed strong growth, with passenger numbers up 12% and 10.7% respectively.  Dundee, where Flybe is about to launch a new Amsterdam service, also performed well.

Scotland’s fishing industry is ‘at the mercy of a lottery of London priorities’, said Isles SNP MP Angus MacNeil this week, as a proposal to support skippers to crew their boats was rejected by the UK Fisheries Minister.

Mr MacNeil and other MPs met with James Brokenshire MP at the end of last year to press the case for Scottish fishing vessels facing crew shortages to be allowed to recruit workers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA).

The plan would allow employers in the Scottish and Northern Irish fishing industries to access, on a quota-limited basis, temporary labour from outside the EEA.

This year Scottish Rural Action is launching possibly the biggest ever conversation held in Scotland about the issues that matter most to rural communities.

The Scottish Rural Parliament’s Manifesto will be a statement of collective ambitions and the actions that are needed to ensure these ambitions are realised for rural communities. Events are taking place all over Scotland and you can get involved by attending an event, holding your own event or just by responding online.

Confirmed events in Harris and Lewis are taking place as follows:

Monday 2nd May 2016 from 6-8.30pm at Tarbert Community Hall, Pier Road.

Tuesday 26th May 2016 from 6-8.30pm at Bayhead Bridge Centre, Stornoway.

All events will start with an update from Scottish Rural Action on their activities since the 2014 event, a whistle-stop tour of how rural policy has changed and the chance to have a really good natter about the issues that you want to talk about.


For more information and to book please contact Vanessa Halhead This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Isle of Harris Mountain Festival: 3rd-10th September 

Lewis Carnival: 6th August

Lochs Agricultural Show: 23rd July

Hebridean Celtic Festival: 13th-16th July

Hebridean Maritime Festival: 12th-16th July

Harris Tweed Festival: 2nd July - 13th November

Ness Gala Day: 25th June

Point Show: 16th July

Uig Gala Day: 2nd July

This is a list if the dates we've confirmed so far! If you're organising a show, let us know the date and we'll add it to our list! Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A big exhibition of artworks based around the rocks of the Shiant Isles is on display in Edinburgh.

They are by Jill McManners who has been spending her summers on Harris for the past 30 years.  

Jill is pictured right on the giant scree slopes on Garbh Eilean.

The exhibition is on until Saturday May 7.

Jill used to work in a Fine Art bronze foundry and has always been fascinated by geology and rocks.  She has created large-scale watercolours painted on a heavy rough Italian paper though several layers of colour washes, scraping and gum.  The paintings have architectural titles, or are quotes from poems or rock songs.

Entitled Basalt, the exhibition is on at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view 6 Dundas Street, Edinburgh (EH3 6HZ)

Jill made her first of visit to the Hebrides in 1979 and the Shiant Isles in 2003. Jill’s family took a short boat trip from their holiday home in the Sound of Harris. Having long been inspired by the origins of the world, the corrugations and convolutions of the intimidating cliff faces struck Jill profoundly, she says.

These basalt rocks were formed by volcanic action 60 million years ago; basaltic sills and dykes were created from lava flow which can now be seen above the sea level forming the amazing dolerites cliffs and intimidating coast line.

Hanging alongside these panoramic watercolours are Flowers of Basalt; a series of Giclée prints.  They make up kaleidoscopes of spinning flower faces.  Mother-of-three Jill is a gardener herself and flower shapes and colours merge with the rock faces and their textures.


SNP candidate for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Alasdair Allan, spoke yesterday about the importance of the Air Discount Scheme (ADS) to the Western Isles, and the need to ensure a lid is kept on air fares in future.

Alasdair Allan commented: “As everyone knows, going by plane in the Western Isles is not a cheap business.  The Scottish Government has recognised this, by raising the Air Discount Scheme for island residents from 40% to 50% of fares recently. Without this scheme, it is difficult to imagine these services being widely used.

A second Gaelic poetry competition for ‘The Macdonald of Sleat’ Poetry Prize will be held this year. 

The annual competition was inaugurated by Sir Ian Macdonald in memory of his daughter, Deborah, who passed away two years ago. The competition will be run once again by Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the National Centre for Gaelic Language and Culture.

The theme of the competition each year relates to trees and this year an invitation is extended to anyone who writes poetry or has an interest in doing so to compose a poem about a sapling. The poems submitted will be considered by a literary panel and a prize of £500 will be awarded for the poem chosen by the panel.  Poems should be submitted to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. PA to the Principal, by 3 June.

Please see the Funeral Notices for updates relating to the services tonight for Donald Maciver and Murdo Macleod

Excellent condition, hardly used only 2900 miles

Well maintained and cared for.

MOT till 22.5.16

Excellent learning bike. £520





Ranald Fraser, Scottish Conservatives; Alasdair Allan, SNP, chairman Kenny Maciver; Kenneth MacLeod, Scottish Liberal Democrats; Rhoda Grant, Scottish Labour; and  John Cormack, Christian Party

Bring an end to this centralising government, demanded Kenneth MacLeod, the Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate in the May elections for the Scottish Parliament, in a fierce attack which livened up the hustings held in The Nicolson Institute hall last night (Friday April 22)
With an old-style political ferocity which marked him out from the school-debating style of the other candidates, Mr Macleod denounced the way the Government in Edinburgh had sucked the life out of local government with its control of Council Tax rises, and told the voters gathered in the hall that this was the time for them to rebel.

Former procurator fiscal and sheriff Colin Scott Mackenzie yesterday launched his latest book ‘Gael Force on Gallipoli’ at an event in the Lews Castle College UHI Lecture Theatre.
At 2pm on a sunny Friday afternoon, the lecture theatre was packed with local people – crofters, administrators, politicians, members of Stornoway Historical Society and many more – for the launch of a massive book costing £30 in hardback or £25 in softback of which only around 200 have been printed.
You can order your downloadable book as a pdf for £15 directly from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and pay through Paypal.

Community groups planning renewable energy projects across the Western Isles are being encouraged to come forward and join a consortium process that would see a lower grid connection fee and a more co-operative approach to grid reinforcement.

This consortium approach, which has been established by Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution (SHEPD) and which is open to communities and commercial projects, helps to share the cost of any network reinforcement required as part of the connection process.

The Nicolson Institute Interact Club members, along with The Rotary Club of Stornoway's President Claire Macleod and Vice-President Gavin Woods present Peigi Macleod, MND Scotland, with their donation.

The Rotary Club of Stornoway and The Nicolson Institute Interact Club enjoyed the gift of giving yesterday when members were delighted to present nearly £5,000 of donations to four very worthy charities.

A total sum of £4,806 was donated to charities CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young); MND Scotland; Stornoway RNLI, and The Gambia Partnership, collected through a series of fundraising events organised by the two clubs.

Murdo MacLeod and Iain Campbell, representing CRY, were pleased to accept a cheque for £703.

Dr You – Health and Fitness DVDs

The Dr You collection of health books, information and resources has now been extended to include a fantastic collection of health and fitness DVDs, thanks to special support from the NHS Western Isles. The DVDs cover a range of different gentle exercise routines, such as yoga, Tai Chi, ballet, Pilates and stretching, as well as some high-energy routines for the more energetic among us. The collection offers a great opportunity for people to try out different types of exercise at home before perhaps making the decision to join a regular class.

The collection also includes a number of routines especially devised for the over 50s. The over 50s series offers something for everyone; from active walking, balance and co-ordination to morning stretching.  At only 30 minutes in length, the routines are clearly demonstrated and easy to make a part of your daily routine.

The Dr You project aims to support people to take control of their health and well-being.  It is a partnership between the Comhairle’s library service, NHS Western Isles and local health organisations, provides books, information and other resources on health issues and concerns, which are all available through the branch and mobile libraries across the isles.

The collections of self-help resources cover a range of mental health issues, such as depression, stress, eating disorders and low self-esteem and aim to provide support and guidance to give sufferers support to manage their conditions. The collections also contain books on physical health ailments such as cancer, dementia, multiple sclerosis and stroke and are aimed at providing information and strategies for coping for both sufferers and families. There are books for children and young people as well, providing support for them and their families in dealing with the challenges of living with autism and other developmental difficulties.

Anyone wanting to borrow one of the Dr You books or DVDs can do so by visiting their local library or arranging a visit from the mobile library service.  It is free to become a member of the library and to borrow books or information DVDs, simply bring along some proof of address when you visit.  If an item isn’t immediately available, it can easily be reserved.  Those wanting to find out more about Dr You and see a full list of the books and DVDs available can visit for more information.

Get into Shape with Nancy Marmorat

Nancy Marmorat’s experience coaching people of all age groups has inspired her to devise a specially-adapted keep-fit programme for people aged over 50. This DVD contains a complete gymnastics session for keeping in good shape. There are several advantages to following this method - to strengthen the density of your bones, to increase your muscle tone, to protect your heart, to practise keeping your balance and coordination, to keep your body supple and to simply make you feel good. 

An Introduction to Tai Chi: Chi Kung with Lucy Lloyd Barker 


Tai Chi Chi Kung is a combination of movements and meditation techniques whose fundamental roots can be tracked back to China and it is still widely practised on a regular basis there. Lucy Lloyd Barker explains its history and guides you through a complete Tai Chi Chi Kung routine. Tai Chi Chi Kung can be practised anywhere, with little or no special equipment or assistance making it a versatile and effective way to focus your mind, relax your body and enrich your spirit.    

SNP candidate for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Alasdair Allan, has called the SNP's manifesto a positive vision for Scotland and the Western Isles, and has highlighted a range of policies with particular relevance in the islands.

He commented: "The SNP manifesto is full of new ideas that can have a big positive impact in the Western Isles. From the £5 million fund to support island and regional food products, to the commitment to bring a million acres of Scotland under community ownership, this is a manifesto with rural Scotland at its heart.

Kezia Dugdale chats to an island Labour voter

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale admitted today that much work was still needed in transforming public opinion of the party. 

On a tour of Lewis, she told “The result here at the last election was better than other parts of the country, even though we still lost pretty spectacularly. 

“We went from having 41 MPs to one last year, so it was a bad, bad result for the Labour Party.

“But I have never shied away from saying that, and we are learning from it.

A sure marker of summer approaching, Stornoway Bowling Club's Open Season begins this weekend as the Green officially opens for 2016 on Friday, April 22nd.

And it is hoped to see some new faces as all are welcome to play or join as Club Members and test their bowling skills in club competitions.

“It's called the friendly game and I find it a very relaxing,” said Stornoway Bowling Club President Bob Walker.

Parents in Lewis are taking their children to Harris for swimming lessons, as Stornoway is struggling to keep up with the demand for free lessons as part of the ‘Slainte Mhath’ scheme. 

The second of a series of meetings took recently with Scottish Swimming – the national governing body for the sport - with the aim of streamlining access to lessons across the islands. 

Such is the popularity of the swimming lessons, there is currently a waiting list at Ionad Spors Leodhas.

Sottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale visited businesses in Lewis this morning as part of the campaign leading up to the Scottish Parliament elections next month.

Accompanied by local candidate Rhoda Grant, she spent much of the morning at the Harris Tweed Hebrides plant in Shawbost and went on to visit Lewis Crofters in Stornoway.

Captain Neil Murray with the political signed whiskies


Generous islanders can raise a dram to Bethesda Care Home and Hospice this year as four bottles of top-notch political whiskies – complete with politician signatures – are up for auction.

Captain Neil Murray has secured the signed amber nectars and is keen to raise as much as possible when they are auctioned on Friday, May 20th, as part of the annual Bethesda celebrity Dinner Action with charity supporter and former football star Dennis Law.

“If I can do this one small bit to highlight the fantastic work of Bethesda, then I will,” said Captain Murray.

A wind of change at the award-winning Hebridean Celtic Festival will see one of the event’s main arena stages branded by sponsors for the first time in its 21-year history.

Lewis Wind Power, developer of the Stornoway Wind Farm, will have its name and logo adorning the Islands Stage, where artists including Julie Fowlis and John McCusker will perform.

John Buswell, Stornoway Wind Farm Project Director, said: “We are delighted to be supporting this year’s HebCelt and to be the first ever sponsor of the Islands Stage. We can’t wait for the festival to begin, and being a headline sponsor makes it even more exciting.

Scottish Labour’s candidate for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Rhoda Grant, has accused her SNP opponent of “insulting the intelligence of the crofting community” with his comments on major issues that they currently face.

Mrs Grant said: “I am genuinely astonished that Alasdair Allan had the brass neck to speak as he did about the shambles for which the Scottish Government, of which he has been a member, is solely responsible.

“Many crofters are still waiting for their CAP basic payments which have been sitting in Edinburgh for six months because Nationalist Ministers have squandered £180 million on a computer system that does not work.


Former X Factor contestant Lucy Spraggan will stop off in Stornoway as part of the singer-songwriter's Scottish tour this autumn.

Lucy appeared on the X Factor in 2012, and since then her audition video has been viewed 35million times on YouTube.

She was also the most Googled musician of 2012, after she came off the show and immediately signed to Columbia Records.

SNP candidate for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Alasdair Allan yesterday attended a meeting in Harris to help pursue the ongoing efforts to create a Marina Hub in East Loch Tarbert.

As MSP in the last Parliament, Mr Allan was involved in helping bring funding agencies together to look at making this project a reality.

Alasdair Allan commented: “I attended yesterday’s meeting as a friend of efforts to bring marina activity to Tarbert and Scalpay. Harris is one of the most fragile local economies in the Western Isles, but a number of new enterprises hold out significant potential for the islands, not least the new distillery, and a revitalised Harris tweed industry.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar will be taking part in Gaelic Twitter Day 2016, on Thursday 21st April.

Social Media Scotland wish to increase the number of people using Gaelic on Twitter and hope that ‘#Gàidhlig’ will appear regularly on the social media throughout the day, more commonly known as ‘trending.’

Similar initiatives are ongoing to attract people’s attention to other minority languages such as Gaelige and Frisian.

The Comhairle will be tweeting all messages in Gaelic to demonstrate its continued support for the language.

Alasdair Allan has called for 'significant changes' to crofting law to improve support to crofting communities.  

Speaking from Barvas, where he met with crofter Norman Kerr, Alasdair Allan called for a new crofting Bill and for future CAP payments to be made in a more timely manner.

Alasdair Allan commented: “There is no doubting how complicated crofting law has now become, and I would say there is now a appetite for a further crofting Bill, both to simplify some of this, and also to address anomalies.  

Only a few days to go until an Evening of Exceptional Style and tickets to the Eastgate Centre fashion and beauty extravaganza are sold out.

It's good news for members of the Lewis & Harris Women's Cancer Support Group, the charity being supported by Inverness' Eastgate Shopping Centre's weekend of island events, supported also by Loganair and Macrae and Dick.

But don't fret – there's still a chance to see what's on offer by visiting retailers at the Eastgate Pop-Up Fashion and Beauty Centre on Saturday.

On Friday, April 22nd, the Cabarfeidh Hotel pays host to the Evening of Exceptional Style which will feature a Catwalk Show of the latest Spring fashion trends, as well as Beauty Sampling and Makeover opportunities, the chance to learn how to create the perfect hair for a special event, and styles for a Red Carpet Look.

Stornoway RNLI's all-weather Severn Class lifeboat the 'Tom Sanderson' launched this morning at 0912hours to a full emergency at Stornoway Airport, along with other emergency services HM Coastguard, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Police Scotland and the Scottish Ambulance Service.

The volunteer crew of Stornoway RNLI were stood down at 0921hours and returned to berth at 0930hours.

The full emergency had been called for a Hawk jet. Stornoway lifeboat is routinely alerted for airport emergencies, as the main runway at Stornoway Airport ends at the shore on the north end, and a southerly approach for aircraft is also over the sea south of Holm.

And the volunteer RNLI crew had attended a full emergency shout at Stornoway Airport on Saturday, April 16th, when another military aircraft, with three persons on board, had suffered a bird strike.

The 'Tom Sanderson' lifeboat launched at 1420hours last Saturday, but fortunately the aircraft was able to land safely and the lifeboat stood-down seven minutes from launch.

Stornoway RNLI lifeboat 'Tom Sanderson'.         Photo:Chris Murray



Plans for a new church on part of the woodlands next to Smith Avenue in Stornoway have led to on-line protests.

More than 40 people commented on the Facebook Page after our report was published on Saturday.

A series of public constituency hustings are being held across the Highlands & Islands for next month's Scottish Elections.

Organised by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB),  they will take place in Stornoway, Inverness, Clashmore by Dornoch, Broadford and Lerwick.

The Hustings for the Western Isles constituency, Na h-Eileanan an Iar, will take place in The Nicolson Institute’s Hall on Friday, 22nd April – 7.00pm for 7.30pm start.  

James Stockan with Cllr John Mackay, the Comhairle's Chair of Transportation

You may never have heard of James Stockan, but he is urging you to vote for him as your regional candidate in next month’s election.

Mr Stockan (58), is standing as an independent candidate for the Highlands and Islands – the first person to do so in 13 years.

Formerly the vice-convener of Orkney Islands Council, James Stockan is currently the chairman of regional transport group HITRANS.

A night of musical entertainment in memory of the late Malcolm Cross is to take place in the Woodlands Centre on Saturday, April 30th.

‘Malcolm’s Memorial Gig’ will raise funds for Stornoway RNLI, as well as see the launch of Lewis band The Shed’s latest EP ‘Always Ask The Question’.

The fundraising gig, which also includes sets from Iain ‘Neosa’ Mackinnon and Battle of the Bands’ ‘Best Cover’ winners 2016, brother and sister Calum and Niamh Blane, has been organised by Malcolm’s daughter Rose Bugler to celebrate the life of ‘quite a character’.

The award-winning Hebridean Celtic Festival’s drive to further enhance its green credentials will see it play a pioneering role in the use of electric cars.

HebCelt, which will be held from 13-16 July in Stornoway, is to be the first Scottish festival to partner with E-Car Club to provide a fleet of vehicles discounted for music fans to use during its event.

E-Car, the UK’s first entirely electric pay-per-use car club, will have nine Renault ZOE hatchbacks and a Renault Kangoo van based at Car Hire Hebrides in Stornoway during the four-day festival.

The Spring Gardening Day at Newmarket Playpark today (Saturday April 16) was well-attended, enjoyed good weather, albeit with a brisk breeze from time to time, and was described as a great success by organisers.

The Islands Book Trust’s first event of 2016 is a talk by the writer and journalist Bella Bathurst on the Lighthouse Stevensons with special reference to the Outer Hebridean lights. 
The talk at Museum & Tasglann nan Eilean, Lews Castle at 7.30pm on Saturday 30 April will be introduced by naturalist John Love, himself a lighthouse expert.
Bella is the author of several books, one of which, The Lighthouse Stevensons, published in 2005, won the Somerset Maugham Award and was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award.

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil has demanded that the findings of the Chilcot Inquiry be published on May 2nd as promised by the UK Government.
The long-awaited report into the Iraq War has been delayed several times since the inquiry began six years ago but is expected to be published next month.
A backbench debate took place in the House of Commons on Thursday led by Conservative MP David Davis and was co-sponsored by Angus MacNeil, the SNP’s Deputy Foreign Affairs spokesperson and Labour MP Paul Flynn.


Woodland alongside Smith Avenue in Stornoway would be felled under proposals for a new church and car park on land opposite the running and athletics track.

A request for outline planning permission has been made to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar for use of the land which is owned by community landowner, the Stornoway Trust.

The application is from Stornoway High Free Church.  At present their Sunday services are held in Stornoway Primary School.  Their midweek meetings are held in the Retirement Centre, Bayhead, with English Prayer meetings on Tuesdays and Saturdays and Gaelic Prayer meetings on Thursdays.

The congregation has been without a permanent home since splitting with the Church of Scotland two years ago.

The congregation is now proposing to erect a church including a large car park to the rear with 77 car spaces.  Documents published on line by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar indicate that Council officials believe the proposal is acceptable. (plans)

If outline permission is granted by the council, a full planning application will be submitted at a later date.




Police, partners and volunteers continued search efforts today for missing fisherman, Paul Alliston.

The co-ordinated coastal searches were based around Mingulay, Sandray, Berneray, and Pabbay.

Further land searches are planned for tomorrow (Saturday 16th April 2016) with volunteers wishing to assist requested to attend at two allocated meeting points at 9am at Ludag Pier, South Uist and Castlebay Hall, Barra.

The 16,144 ton cruise ship ‘Astoria’ officially began Stornoway’s cruise season when it arrived from Tobermory early this morning with 486 mainly British passengers on board.

To mark the beginning of the 2016 cruise season, Stornoway Port Authority’s Harbour Master Tony Morrison presented Captain Filipe Sousa of the Astoria with a handmade Harris Tweed plaque and a hamper with various local delicacies.

The size of the Astoria determined the use of the Sandwick anchorage and passengers who disembarked by tender then toured the town and island.

The vessel will depart Stornoway at 1700 today bound for Kirkwall.

Former Scotland international and British Lion rugby star Doddie Weir is to visit Stornoway next month.

Weir, who played in the lock position, will be the guest of the Stornoway Rugby Club at their annual dinner at the Caladh Hotel, on Saturday May 21.

He will deliver the after-dinner talk, followed by an auction, prize-giving and question-and-answer session.

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning of snow and ice for the Western Isles. 

The warning is in place from 9pm tonight until 8am tomorrow. 

Popular Stornoway band ‘The Shed’ are preparing for the launch of their brand new EP later this month.

Having been asked to participate in the Holocaust Memorial Day in January this year, the blues-oriented group donated the sales of one their songs - 'Always Ask The Question' - to Amnesty International.

Their new EP, titled ‘Always Ask The Question’ will be unveiled at a show in the Woodlands Centre on Saturday April 30.

For the first time ever, young Scots aged 16 and over will be allowed to vote in their nation’s elections.

We asked a selection of young Western Isles adults, aged between 16 and 17, if they had registered an interest to cast their historic vote on May 12.

And the findings were quite revealing – almost all females had registered, but none of the males had yet expressed an intention to vote. 

A 21-year-old man was taken to hospital last night after coming off his motorbike just outside Stornoway. 

Emergency services attended the scene at around 5.55pm, and conveyed the man to hospital. 

He was treated there for minor injuries and discharged a short time later.

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning of snow for the Western Isles. 

The warning is in place from 4am until 10am tomorrow (Friday). 

Police in the Western Isles, in partnership with other agencies, are today continuing search efforts for Missing Fisherman, Paul Alliston.

There is a co-ordinated Coastal Search being undertaken around Mingulay, Sandray, Berneray, and Pabbay.

This search will be predominantly co-ordinated by MCA and RNLI with the assistance of a number of fishing vessels from across the Western Isles. 

Paul Alliston was one of the four crew aboard the MV Louisa when it sunk off the coast of Mingulay on Saturday.

The two brothers who own the doomed fishing vessel 'Louisa' have spoken of their devastation following the tragedy. 

Brothers Duncan and Murdo Kennedy, from Marvig, South Lochs, said their thoughts were with the families of those who had died when the boat sank off Mingulay on Saturday morning. 

In a statement, they said: "We are totally devastated at the loss of Paul, Chris and Martin due to the tragic sinking off Mingulay last Saturday.

With the Scottish Parliament election taking place on Thursday 5 May 2016, electors in Na h-Eileanan an Iar are being urged to ensure they are registered to vote before the deadline on Monday 18 April.

The deadline for new postal vote applications or to change existing postal or proxy arrangements is 5pm on Tuesday 19 April and the deadline for new applications to vote by proxy is 5pm on Tuesday 26 April.

Malcolm Burr, Constituency Returning Officer for Na h-Eileanan an Iar said: “Registering to vote is quick and easy. However, if you are not registered by midnight on Monday 18 April, you will miss out on the chance to have your say in the Scottish Parliament election.”

Kara Hanlon has finished 4th in the 200m Breaststroke heat at the Olympic Trials.

Kara placed 4th in her heat swim this morning in a new personal best time of 2.30.3.

Badminton Tuesdays in April 1.30-8.30pm £6 per court including equipment for up to 4 people, Back Football and Recreation Club, book online at

Bowls come and try session We will be hosting a drop in "come and try" for beginners on Wednesday 13th April. Members of the local team will be on hand for tips and spectators are also welcome to join us for a demonstration and a cup of tea. 2-4 pm FREE, Back Football and Recreation Club

Barra Bunting Comes to Back  An evening of inspiration from the Barra Bunting Project, all welcome. Wednesday 20th April 7pm, Back Football and Recreation Club

Keep Fit taster session Monday 25th April 7-7.45pm £4 Suitable for anyone over the age of 16.The range of activities on offer will be adaptable for all levels of fitness, whether you are a first timer or an expert. book online at

Book Club Our first book will be “The Roundhouse” by Louise Erdrich Wednesday 27th April 7pm £2.50, Back Football and Recreation Club

Islanders have been set the challenge to ‘Drop a Dress Size’ and raise money for Alzheimer Scotland.

As part of the Challenge Dementia campaign, a weekly weight loss group begins tonight (Wednesday 13th April)  and will run until 18th May – and despite the title, men are welcome to join in as well as women.  Sessions will be held at 6pm in Alzheimer Scotland, 18 Bells Road, with a £3.50 donation fee each week.

The meetings will give slimmers the chance to have a cup of tea and a chat with fellow dieters, followed by a group weigh in and half hour walk round town.  The challenge is not just for ladies, with men welcome to come along and join as well.  The sessions have been organised by Karen MacDonald, the new community fundraiser for Alzheimer Scotland.

The Barra RNLI lifeboat crew are organising a full-scale sea and land search for the missing crewman from the "Louisa".

They have appealed for any boat owners in Uist, Barra and Eriskay who can spare the time, and any other persons who are willing to walk the shorelines around the area, to meet in Castlebay Hall tonight (Wednesday 13th April), at 7pm to discuss the plans for Thursday's search.

In addition to the personnel for the search itself, they have also asked If there's anyone willing to donate baking for the search parties and if they can drop this off  Castlebay Hall on Thursday afternoon.

The 18th Annual New York Tartan Parade saw thousands of people descend on Manhattan’s Avenue of the Americas last Saturday (April 9th) – and one of the Western Isles' own award-winning Highland dancers was among them.

Claire Wilson, who teaches at Stornoway Primary School and runs the Claire Wilson School of Dance, joined New York City’s premier dance group, Shot of Scotch, as they danced their way through Manhattan’s streets alongside TV celebrities, American pipe bands, and even Barbour-clad Scottie dogs.

Back Football and Recreation Club have announced the official opening of their all-weather, enclosed Sports Arena at Upper Coll. The ceremony is to take place at the Upper Coll Centre, on Friday 20 May, with the official opening being performed by the Scottish international football legend, Denis Law CBE.

The opening of the Back Sports Arena kicks off another chapter in the history and ongoing development of Back Footba