Butt to Barra District news 19/7/12

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Science fantastic trip:

Recently Sgoil Lionacleit S3 pupils (pictured above) set off to go on a science trip with Mr Hogg and Ms Johnson.

After arriving at Oban the group set off to Cruachan Power station for an underground tour and then headed off for Loch Lomond.

The Glasgow Science Centre was next on the schedule where students viewed optical illusions including “floating heads” and a room that made you look tiny! This was followed by an enjoyable 3D film about space.

It was off to Braehead Shopping centre next before heading back to Glasgow Youth Hostel. The next day the group went to Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh, where they experienced a “time machine”, with images of all sorts of things from the past.

During a video clip about volcanoes and earthquakes the floor moved whilst the volcano on screen erupted.

The students took part in a workshop where they built a hospital and protected it from earthquakes.

Later that afternoon the group climbed Arthur’s Seat and at the top had a great view of Edinburgh. Ice creams were waiting following the hike before before the group heading to the Edinburgh Youth Hostel, which hosted the pub style girls versus boys quiz, on everything seen and learned on the trip.

The Oban Sea Life Sanctuary was the last stop on the trip, where the students got to hold some of the creatures.


Ness related death – Relatives and friends in Ness were sad when the new came from Liverpool that Jean Campbell nee Andrews, had passed away at ther home there on Thursday, July 5th.

Jean, who was aged 64 had been in failing health for some time.

She was known in Ness as the wife of Donald Campbell ( Doladh Ban) formerly of 14 Lionel, and later of 31 Lionel, who has through the years been resident and working in Liverpool, where the funeral of Jean was held on Thursday, July 12th.

Form Ness we extend our thoughts in sympathy to Donald and their two daughters Carol and Sarah, sons Donnie and Andrew and other friends and family.

Death in South Dell – On Tuesday, July 10th we were again reminded of our common latter end with the news that after a lingering illness patiently borne at his home at 19 South Dell Roderick Morrison (Ruaridh Issac) had passed away in the Western Isles Hospital.

Roderick, who was aged 88, served in the Royal Navy during the latter half of WWII and later followed a seafaring career in the Merchant Navy.

He will now be remembered with affection in the South Dell neighbourhood and by all who knew him through the years.

After wake worship in Cross Free Church on the eveing of Thursday the funeral service on Friday, July 13th was taken by Rev. Roderick John Campbell, North Toslta, assisted in prayer by Rev. Alasdair Macaulay, Probationer of 13 South Dell.

Singing of Praise was led by Elder Angus Graham, Barvas, formerly of South Dell.

Rev. Campbell officiated at the graveside with a solemn address related to the occasion.

We share our sympathy with his sister Ann, brother Alex John and other family and friends.

Butt Lighthouse – Those of us in Ness who are so used through the years to see the rotating beam from the Butt of Lewis lighthouse coming on as the sun sets in the Western sky, began wondering last week why the usual beam was not visible to us for four nights, and speculated that in our present day of automation and technology, perhaps this long standing aspect of our local environment and history was no longer required, or needed by ships passing the Butt.

However we are glad to note that the warm, comforting beam from the lighthouse was again shining through our kitchen window on the night of Sunday, July 15th.

Church topics – On Sunday, July 15th services in Cross Free Church were conducted by Rev. Alasdair Macaulay who is from 13 South Dell.

This was the first time that Rev. Macaulay preached in Cross since he was licensed as a Minister of the Free Church of Scotland on June 15th.


Condolences - As was noted in this column last week, June began on a sad note here and unfortunately ended in the same way with two funerals of local connection both held on Saturday 30th.

The funeral of Donnie Maclennan of Torquil Terrace, Stornoway was held in the High Church, Stornoway in the congregation of which he was an office bearer.

Originally from the village of Brue, Donnie was well known in Uig at one time as the resident electrical engineer at Gisla Power Station and also, in more recent years, in his capacity as President of the Scottish Crofting Federation.

Married to the late Joan Mackay, of 1 Carishader, who sadly predeceased him several years ago, they used to live in the Hydro Houses at Gisla and were greatly missed from the area when changes in the job caused a move to Stornoway.

Condolences are extended from the community to their two sons and their families, and to the wider family circle touched by this bereavement.

The funeral service of John Long, latterly of Marybank, Stornoway, and formerly of Ellon, Aberdeenshire and Glasgow, was held in Uigean Church and conducted by Rev Tommy Macneill, of Martin’s Memorial Church, Stornoway. Interment followed at Ardroil Cemetery.

John’s connection with Uig was through his marriage, over 50 years ago, to Joan Buchanan of 14 Breanish and also through their only daughter, Catriona’s, marriage to Roddy Maclean, of 20 Breanish.

Over the years, he was often on holiday in Breanish, enjoying the outdoor pursuits of fishing and walking.

The funeral service was well attended, deep sympathy is extended to Joan, Catriona and Roddy in their loss and also to the wider family circle.

Community Centre – The cafe in the Community Centre, run by Tinie Mackenzie and Maireard Morrison for the Community Centre Association, continues to be very busy with queues forming some lunch times.

It makes a very attractive port of call for visitors and locals alike, with a terrific range of home baking and snacks on offer, a very interesting display on the walls on the theme of the Reef Raiders with heritage photographs showing on wide screen.

The adjacent Museum has had over 700 visitors in the period since it opened at the beginning of May. It is manned by a rota of volunteers, organised by the Comann Eachdraidh. Both venues are open from 12 to 5pm daily and plan to continue until mid-September.

In the last week of June, the brightly coloured Challenger 4 bus, a digital wonder bus, added interest to the Community Centre scene, showing school curricular-based programmes for children during school hours and running Christian activities for both primary school pupils and teenagers in the evenings.

The bus visit was sponsored by the Uig and Bernera Linked Church of Scotland congregations and time was divided between the two areas. The team staffing the bus were given hospitality by both congregations and were based at Uigean in Dr Hay’s accommodation.

Challenger 4 has been in the Western Isles since mid-May, starting off in Uist and visiting each and every school during its stay and now that the schools are closed, they have returned to Perth where their mission is based.

It was a rare opportunity for children here to have such a state of the art facility on their doorstep without having to travel out of the area for it and the young people who attended the bus activities were very enthusiastic about it.

Summer Activities – The linked congregations continue their summer outreach to children with a Treasure Hunt, planned for Friday, August 3rd at Ardroil Sands and a Cross the Atlantic Race at Bernera on Saturday, August 25th. Both events are completely free. Primary School age pupils from everywhere and anywhere are invited to take part and teens are invited to come along and help. Details of both events are available locally.

Ionad Hiort – Plans for the future remote-access centre at the Geodha Sgoilt have taken a big step forward with the news that UNESCO has adopted the Uig project as its key case study of global importance for sustainable tourism.

This is a vitally important endorsement for the project plus huge encouragement for the local working group, Buidheann Leasachaidh Ionad Hiort, which has been working to develop the project for the last two years.

Uig has always looked out to Hiort and this summer as always, the archipelago has been visible out on the horizon to the south west on clear days from the vantage point of the Geodha Sgoilt and right along the coast to Gallan Head.

The UNESCO World Heritage Committee met at St Petersburg two weeks ago with representatives from Uig present, and made the decision to adopt the Ionad Hiort project as an ideal opportunity to work with a local community to create a World Heritage Site Interpretation Centre aimed at maximising economic benefit for the host community.

With only five World Heritage Status sites in Scotland, we may not have been very familiar here with the concept until now but, with Hiort having the rare double status designation [29 of these in the whole world!] this presents the opportunity of not just a lifetime but many, for the future economic survival of the Uig community.

From the outset, the working group has been insistent that the benefit is not just for Uig alone but has spin-off effect for the Western Isles as a whole.


Còisir Ghàidhlig Chàrlabhaigh - The choir are holding a Pre-Mod Ceilidh 2012 at 7.30pm in Carloway Community Centre, on Saturday, July 28th. Tickets cost £5 each, with tickets for under 18s costing £2 respectively. There will also be a raffle, with tea, coffee and homebaking served on the night. Everyone is very welcome to attend.

Carloway Football Club - Carloway took on Harris in the Eilean Fhraoich Cup 1st Round last weekend, with the first leg played over in Tarbert on Friday before the return leg in Carloway last Monday evening. Overall, Carloway won 7-3 on aggregate and progress to the semi-finals of the Eilean Fhraoich Cup as a result, where they’ll face 2009 cup winners Ness.

The first leg will take place on Monday 23rd July at Cnoc a’ Choilich, with the return leg at Fivepenny on Monday 30th July. Match reports for both these legs against Harris can now be read on the club’s website - www.carlowayfc.co.uk

Fixtures - Carloway’s next League encounter takes place in Coll Uarach on Friday 20th July (tomorrow), where they’ll face League champions Back in what will be a must-win for either side as they bid to stay in the title race. Kick off at 7pm. Come out and support your team!

Season 2011 DVDs - The Football Club are selling DVDs, made by match reporter Stuart Rankin, which include pictures, video footage and narrative of last season on a month by month basis. These DVDs are now on sale at £5 each, to help raise funds for the Club. If you would like to buy a DVD, contact Cobby on 07515896122 or via email: cobbymacleod@hotmail.com


Lochs Show - The Lochs Agricultural show is on Saturday 28th July at the Laxay Showground. The list of categories for the show is now available in a booklet locally.

Please support the hardworking show committee by entering one of the craft, produce or livestock sections. All categories this year have prize money for 1st2nd, 3rd place.

It is your community event, so please do your bit to help it happen.

This year’s show begins at midday and will be opened by Mr Richard Kershaw.

Among the highlights this year are the MAD mountain bike aerial display team, and the inauguration of the 5K Soval Trail, a race on moorland and tracks.

Entries for the Soval Trail can be made on the day. The winner of the show’s prize raffle this year, will take home a red Citreon C1 and the award for the best kept village in the Lochs ward will be announced on the day of the show.

Visitors - A warm welcome to those islanders home for the summer during the traditional Glasgow Fair fortnight.

The Agricultural shows all over the island are now the place to spot those “at home”. Hope the weather is kind to you all and do keep the ceilidhing tradition going.

Rain - The very dry spell over the last two months has dried streams and crofters growing vegetables have had to water them twice daily. Even Tuiltean na Dròbh did not come this year.

The heavy rain at the annual cattle market, the drove, traditionally held at Benadrove on the first Tuesday of July was noted as Tuiltean na Dròbh.

Exhibition - The recent exhibition commemorating the closure of the Balallan school was a fantastic trip down memory lane for everyone attending.

School pictures brought back the memory of friends and relatives and the school books the rigours and trials of early classroom learning.

The Comann Eachraidh’s extensive exhibition attracted a large number of people and the historical Society’s next Dioglam magazine will contain some of the material gathered.

Comann Eachdraidh Cheann a Loch would like to thank Elaine MacLennan, David MacIver, Mairi Maciver and Zena Morrison for their hours of hard work and support behind the scenes.


Services – The morning service last Sunday in Scalpay Free Church was conducyed by Angus McVicar, Leverburgh, and in the evening by Roddy Mackenzie.

In the Free Church (Continuing) both services on July 1st were conducted by Rev. John Macleod, senior minister of Duthil-Dores, and on Sunday, July 8th by student Calum Smith, Stornoway.

The late Marion Morrison – On Thursday, June 28th the community was saddened to hear that Marion Morrison, Ness, had passed away at the the age of 68 in the Western Isles Hospital after a long period of ill-health. Morag, as she was affectionately known, has her family home at roadside and, in common with many of her generation, worked in the hospitality trade prior to her marriage.

Althouth many years away from her native community she always kept in touch with home and warmly welcomed all who visited her.

At this sad time we extend the heartfelt sympathies of everyone to her husband John, sons Donald, Malcolm, Roderick and Iain Hector and families. Brothers Donald at Fairwinds; William at Fairhaven and families and her wide circle of friends.

News – Holiday time means that there will be no Scalpay news for the next two weeks.