Butt to Barra District News 3.3.16

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Annual Dinner - The Kinloch Senior Citizens’ annual dinner will be in Balallan Hall on Saturday 5th March at 2pm. There will be a three course dinner, a wee dram, tea and coffee, entertainment and the chance to have a blether.

Everyone over the age of sixty residing in Keose, Laxay, Balallan or Arivruach is very welcome to attend. Anyone requiring transport please contact a member of the hall committee.

EGM - At the North Lochs Community Association Annual General Meeting last week, the committee were unable to elect a chairman.

The committee have called an EGM on 15th March at 7.30pm in the Centre at Creagan Dubh Leurbost. If a chairman is not elected that evening, the Community Centre will have to close its doors.

There is a currently a strong committee prepared to continue fundraising and support a new management committee.

The centre is well used by Campaigners, The Silver Darlings, the Comann Eachdraidh, and other groups. All the user groups are asked to send a representative to the EGM.

Members of the wider community are encouraged to come and lend their support, to keep this community focal point operating.

Blackhouses - The past history of some of the ruinous black houses in the Lochs area will be explored by Dr Iain Roberston, UHI in a talk on Tuesday 22nd March.

The talk is part of the Làraich project, which will be recording some of the place names and related stories within the North Lochs area. Làraich, a Cabraich Community Arts Project is supported by Bòrd na Gaidhlig, Sgioba na Gàidhlig at CNES and Comann Eachdraidh Ceann a Tuath nan Loch.

Dr Robertson a Reader at the Centre for History at UHI said “This talk will explore the hidden history and heritage of the croft land and its associated black house. In particular, the attitudes to land across the twentieth century.

This will be identified as an important factor in the making of and the maintaining of crofter (and cottar) identity.

In adopting this perspective, the talk will discuss, using material gathered in Lochs and North Harris, the relationship between a sense of inheritance from the past and local identity.

Finally, the suggestion will be made that, what is made material in the croft and black house is ‘heritage from below’.

Lochs News - The deadline for articles and pictures for the next issue of Lochs News is 12th March. All contributions can be sent to lochsnewsletter@gmail.com


Gaelic Service - The next Gaelic Service in The Dingwall Community Centre on Tulloch Street will be conducted by the Rev Roderick Mackinnon [Rtd]. Mr Mackinnon s last charge was in Kilmuir and Easter Logie Church of Scotland.

The service to which all are welcome is on Sunday the 6th of March and begins at the usual time of 3pm.


New centre - Visitors to the UK’s most north-westerly point could soon be sitting down to a cup of tea while listening to the sound of Britain’s only native orca pod thanks to a crowdfunding venture by residents of Aird Uig, supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

Gallan Head Community Trust recently took ownership of the disused Cold War listening post at Gallan Head on Lewis, buying the land from the Ministry of Defence for £110,000 with funding from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), the Scottish Land Fund, Big Lottery and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

Gallan Head is a haven for ornithologists, historians and archaeologists. With the land being inaccessible to the public for 65 years, it will now open in the spring to allow wider access.

HIE is helping to set up a pilot project, which aims to encourage community groups to use crowdfunding to raise money for community-led projects.

Killer Whales are often sighted in the area and it is hoped crowdfunding will help the group to raise the final £12,500 it needs to convert Gallan Head into a visitor centre and café which will feature a hydrophone, allowing visitors to listen to the whales and other marine life in the rich waters off the coast of Lewis.

Jane Macintosh, Head of Strengthening Communities, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), said: “Crowdfunding is becoming an increasingly popular way to tap into public support for community projects,particularly where projects return a benefit to investors and the general public. Gallan Head Community Trust’s plan for the area will make accessible, for maximum public enjoyment, land which was previous privately owned and which will showcase the wonderful natural and marine environment.

Martin Hayes, Gallan Head Community Trust, project manager said: “We are grateful for the continued support we have received from HIE. The Trust is doing all it can to share the delights of Gallan Head. We have been learning the art of crowdfunding and we are confident that our campaign will really resonate with people and will help us reach our target very quickly. There are some great “perks” so please take a look!”

To find out more about the community’s plans for Gallan Head, and to take part in the crowdfunding campaign, visit: website

Pictured are local Guides enjoying ice skating at the Scaladale Centre.

Recently Island Guides, Brownies and Rainbows marked World Thinking Day which is celebrated annually on February 22 around the globe.

It is a day where Girlguides think about their “sisters” all around the world, what guiding is and its global impact.

On February 27 at the Cabarfeidh Hotel, Stornoway more than 40 Rainbows and Brownies from Back, Stornoway and Point joined together in the annual celebration of World Thinking Day.

This year the Rainbows and Brownies were joined by Angela Mays, a local fitness instructor who did some dancing excerise with the girls for the first half of the afternoon, and then they were joined by Jane Gray and Christine Ritchings from Young Musicians Hebrides for an hour of singing and creating their own band from recycable rubbish.

On February 20, the older Guides and Senior Section met up at Scaladale Activity Centre in Rhengidale, and spent the day Ice Skating, Indian Dancing creating Amate bookmarks and baking some lovely treats.

If you are intrested in volunteering with any of the girlguiding units, or you have a daughter, niece, grandaughter or next door neighbour aged between 5 and 25, contact Nicola Nikpavlovich on 07786245195 for more information.