Ships’ horns, bagpipes and highland dancing have added a distinctive Stornoway twist to the regular Thursday night #clapforNHS, but a big bang planned for last night (Thursday 16 April) did not go ahead.
Stornoway’s Crown Inn planned to set fireworks off from the roof of the building on North Beach Street at 9.30pm last night, to show appreciation for NHS and key workers.
The show was designed to be watched from the windows of town centre homes and was to be live-streamed so that people could also watch from home.
But fears were expressed by many, including some NHS and emergency service workers, that putting on fireworks could cause unintended consequences, including the possibility of people travelling to town to view the display. Worries were also expressed about animal welfare.
Just before the regular Thursday night round of applause for keyworkers the Crown announced that they had postponed the show and they apologised to anyone ‘concerned or offended’ by their plans.
The change of heart followed a video message from NHS Western Isles chief executive Gordon Jamieson, in which he urged islanders to ‘stick to the rules’ and continue to stay at home.
Gordon said: “As a community we’re doing really well. However, that can definitely change in an instant if we change our compliance with the rules and the staying at home. So please keep it up, it’s undoubtedly having an impact on the experience we are having here.
“Please stick at it. I am very grateful for the efforts you are putting in and I know how difficult it is, but it’s making a huge difference.”
Crown Inn customers were divided as to whether the postponement was the right decision, with some disappointed at the cancellation. But others commended the flexibility of the business, with one commenting: “Maybe do it when this is all over and we can all be out to make the journey and watch.”