Butt to Barra District News

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Coffee morning - The Stornoway Lifeboat Ladies Guild are welcoming all to a Coffee Morning on Saturday, June 6th. The Coffee Morning will take place in the Retirement Centre, Bayhead, Stornoway from 2pm-4pm.

Men’s Breakfast - Martins for Men are having a bacon butty breakfast from 9am to 10.30am on Saturday 6th June in Martins Memorial Church hall.

All men welcome for a time of food and fellowship. It would be handy to know numbers by 6pm on Friday - phone Robert on 0776 550 7689

Nepalese buffet - Although every ticket for the Nepalese themed charity buffet at the Cabarfeidh Hotel on the evening of Saturday 6th June has been sold, there are still plenty of tickets available for the ceilidh that follows at 9.30pm on the same evening.

All of the entrance ticket money paid for the ceilidh, priced at £5 per person, will be donated directly to the DEC Nepal Earthquake Appeal.

There has been a great response to the event by local musicians and performers who have given freely of their services for the ceilidh and live musical entertainment.

The list includes Isles Ceilidh Band with Murdigan Macdonald, Shonnie “Beag” Macmillan, Euan Morrison (Scalpay ), Lynn Maclean Dancers and Piper, Ian “Tosh” Macintosh, Rebekah Macleod, Amy Mackay and Emma Macleod.

Ceilidh tickets will be available at the door on Saturday evening, but if you want to be sure of entry, we recommend that you buy your tickets as soon as you can, from the reception desks at the Caladh Inn, Royal or Cabarfeidh Hotels.

The organisers are still appealing to local businesses for more donations of prizes for a raffle and an auction. If you have a suitable prize, please take it to the hotel reception desk at the Caladh Inn or email caloffice@calahotels.com to arrange collection.


Purchase of land- For the past year the Gallan Head Community Trust (at Aird Uig on the Isle of Lewis) have been following the Community Right To Buy process towards the purchase of the land known as MOD Aird Uig.

They recently received approval from the Scottish Government and have formally Registered an Interest in the purchase of the land.

Two consultants, CaskieCo and Sgurr Energy have been appointed and are currently carrying out feasibility studies. The land was used as a look-out during WW2, being manned at all times by armed auxiliary coastguards. From the early 1950s it became a Ministry of Defence Radar and Surveillance facility, but has been disused for many years, becoming derelict.

In late 2013 NATO informed the MOD it no longer had use for the site and in early 2014 the MOD, who have been very helpful, approached the Aird community to see whether there was interest locally in purchase of the land.

Following this a public meeting was held, attended by the wider community as well as Aird, which expressed unanimous support.

A steering group was formed in April 2014 and the Gallan Head Community Trust became a Registered Company in September 2014.

An independent valuation of the land will be carried out shortly and an application for funding for the purchase is about to be submitted to the Scottish Land Fund.

The Trust expects the purchase to be complete in November .

The Trust will be setting up a Friends of Gallan Head and would welcome all feedback. Please address any interest or comments to the Gallan Head Community Trust, Uig Community Centre, Crowlista, Uig, Isle of Lewis, HS2 9JF.


Lochs Football Club - The new publication ‘A Celebration of 80 Years’ is available in local shops and for mainland readers, by post from Duncan Norman MacLeod 49 Leurbost, HS2 9NS. duncannorman@hotmail.co.uk 01851 860 418. Book costs £10 + postage.

Kinloch Historical Society - Are pleased to announce The Old School Tearoom in Balallan is due to reopen for the summer on Friday 5th June. Look forward to seeing you there for tea and yummy homemade cakes. There will be an opportunity to view the exhibition in the Old School display area and call at the Charity Shop, during your visit to the Comann Eachdraidh facility in Balallan.

Dates for your diary - The Lochs Show will be on Saturday 25th July at the Laxay Showground. The ‘Hebridean Sheepdog Trial-Laxay circuit’ on Thursday 16th July will also be at the Laxay Showground.

Music - Young singer songwriter and guitarist Donald MacLeod from Balallan is one of the up and coming new voices recorded by Keith Morrison, Wee Studio Stornoway. Donald has performed at the local Battle of the Bands for the last two years and played as one of the support acts for Manchester singer JP Cooper at the Woodlands Centre. Donald Macleod’s new recording is online https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGbuue6pLkU

Bag packing - The Recreation Club, Balallan Hall Committee and the Comann Eachdraidh had a very successful bag packing slot and raffle last week in Tesco. We would like to record our sincere thanks to all who helped with our joint fundraiser on Saturday 21st May.It was a very worthwhile venture and your support is once again greatly appreciated.


Local produce coming home to Grimsay - Grimsay Community Association (GCA) is looking forward to hosting the first weekly market of local food, art and craft on Grimsay, starting on Wednesday 17 June, 3 - 6pm at the Centre for Grimsay.

The markets are supported in their first year by a grant from the Big Lottery’s ‘Awards for All’ .

GCA is also pleased to announce that Uist Wool will be staging an attractive display at the Centre for Grimsay, where a limited edition range of CALANAS Collection yarns will be launched.

The range of high quality food, craft and art available will vary throughout the year, dependent upon availability and seasonality, but will include plenty of the excellent baking and preserves, vegetables from a variety of local growers including the ‘Local Food for Local People’ project at East Camp, local meat, bedding plants from Margaret MacDonald as well as hand-crafted, artisan wares will also be available.

Matthew Topsfield, Development Officer for the Centre for Grimsay said: “We’re looking forward to making high-quality local produce available to our community through what will be the first weekly market on the Uists.

“The markets will be a showcase for the best local food, art and craft available throughout these islands.

“As well as having access to the amazing produce on offer you can feel good about shopping locally and sustainably. We believe that our residents and visitors alike will enjoy their shopping experience through the regularity, convenience and comfort that a weekly, year-round market will provide.”

Afternoon teas will be served alongside the market, so after browsing and buying at the stalls you will be able to refresh yourself with a cup of tea and some of that famous Grimsay baking. Stalls are available to artisans and producers throughout the year on a regular or infrequent basis.

The market is staffed by GCA so if you are unable to attend your stall we can sell your produce for you. Uist producers of local foods, arts and crafts who are interested in selling at the market should contact Matthew Topsfield on mtopsfield@icloud.com or 07775 812036.

The Centre for Grimsay is also available to hire for community events.

Whether you’re looking for a venue for a coffee morning, lunch, meeting, workshop, lecture or celebration we should be your first port of call.

To discuss your event and check availability please contact Matthew Topsfield on the details above.


Appeal for new book - To coincide with the launch of Donald S Murray’s new book, ‘Herring Bones; How The Silver Darlings Influenced Human Taste and History’ in September this year, the publisher Bloomsbury Books is looking for pictures of unusual uses of fish-boxes for their website.

These can take any form – from coffee tables to book-cases, go-karts to makeshift fences – and come from any historical period, whether contemporary plastic or the more traditional wood.

Even old fashioned herring barrels will be considered. The more eccentric the use, the better.


New book - The Sermons of Archibald Cook, a new publication by Free Presbyterian Publications, is a rich insight into Highland preaching at the height of the evangelical revival it has been issued with the title ‘Eternal Reality’ and costs £19.50 plus postage.

Cook lived from 1788 to 1865 and was the first minister of Inverness’ Free North Church but was well-known across the north and in Glasgow for his powerful appeals to the conscience and his encouragement of weak believers.

The translation is available from the Free Presbyterian Bookroom, 133 Woodlands Rd, Glasgow, G3 6LE, or telephone 0141 332 1760.