Butt to Barra District News

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Community Turbine - The residents of Tolsta continue to benefit from the proceeds of the community turbine.

The community organisations who have received funding are Tolsta School £4,000, Tolsta Tots £1,000, Cemetery Trust £3,000 and Buth Tholastaidh who continues to receive a monthly grant of £1,000.

The shop building is owned by Tolsta Community Development Ltd and is run as a separate business by Buth Tholasdaith.

A further contribution of £400 was made to the annual community fireworks display in conjunction with Tolsta Youth Club.

TCDL in the past week has also issued vouchers to the value of £300 to every occupied household in the Tolsta area excluding holiday homes.

The Chairman of TCDL would like to thank the Directors and staff for their determination and commitment to making the project work.

Our aim is to protect this asset to enable us to continue creating funding and opportunities for all the residents in the Tolsta area.

Western Isles

Promoting Modern Apprenticeships to pupils - More than 300 schools involved in Learning Through Work Week visits

Employers in the Outer Hebrides visited The Nicolson Institute, Sir E Scott School and Sgoil Lionacleit to tell pupils about the benefits of apprenticeships and work-based learning.

SDS helped to organise the visits as part of a week of activity across Scotland (16-20 November) that aimed to highlight the benefits of apprenticeships.

The Harris Careers Convention was held at Sir E Scott School on 19 November, with a number of local businesses including SSE, QinetiQ, Clyde Marine Training, Island Stitches, Harris Tweed Hebrides, Isle of Harris Distillery. Lews Castle College and Gordon Diesels Ltd involved.

Sgoil Lionacleit were visited by Robertson Construction Group while Hebridean Housing Partnership Ltd and University of Stirling the Western Isles Campus attended The Nicolson Institute.

The visits also helped employers build on their links with schools in their area and tell pupils and their parents about available opportunities in the local communities.

Iain Maclennan, Team Leader for the Outer Hebrides said: “Having employers and Modern Apprentices share their experiences gave pupils valuable insight into what work-based learning is really like.

“The visits opened the pupils’ eyes to the world of apprenticeships and showed them that there’s something available for everyone, across a range of different industries and in businesses of all sizes.”

Iain added: “Schools in the Outer Hebrides and across Scotland embraced the opportunity to get involved and SDS would like to thank all the schools, the Modern Apprentices and the many businesses who worked with us to help make these events a success.


Kinloch Charity Shop - This will be closed from Friday 18th December at 3p.m. until Wednesday 6th January 2016. We would like to thank all our patrons and volunteers throughout the year. We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Kinloch Historical - On sale now Dioghlum with historical articles and pictures of interest to people with connections to the Kinloch villages Airidhbhruach, Balallan, Keose, and Laxay. Available in local shops and by post from The Secretary, Old School Balallan, HS2 9PJ

Diary date - A date for your diary in the New Year Cuimhneachadh Oichdhe Challainn (Memories of Oidhche Challainn the Old New Year).

The event will be from 5pm on Saturday, 16th January. This will be a traditional meal evening and will include reminiscences of the fun and capers of the young menfolk of the villages whilst celebrating the Old New Year on 12th January.


The well-known and popular Gaelic singer, James Smith passed away in a Glasgow hospital last week.

His funeral will take place from Martin’s Memorial Church in Stornoway, on Thursday, December 17th at 11.30 am with interment at Sandwick Cemetery.

A Mod Gold Medallist at age eighteen, James Smith was a regular broadcaster on BBC Scotland Radio for a number of years, regularly accompanied on the piano by his late friend and mentor Duncan M Morison, who was known affectionately in the Western Isles as “Major”.

During his career at home and away, James Smith broadened his repertoire to include grand opera and even oratorio, singing regularly the tenor parts in Handel’s “Messiah”.

In daily life James Smith was a senior administrator with Ross & Cromarty County Council Highways Department and later with the Technical Services Department of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar before retirement in 1994.