District News: Butt to Barra 10-04-14

Ali Finlayson took this striking and atmospheric image of a Ness Sheiling
Ali Finlayson took this striking and atmospheric image of a Ness Sheiling


Deaths in Eoropie - On Wednesday 2nd April we were sad to hear that Peter Ellis of 34A Eoropie had passed away in the Western Isles Hospital where he had been taken to on the Monday before the end.

Peter, who was aged 82 years, formerly from Yorkshire, had, along with his wife Margaret, been resident with us in Eoropie for a long number of years. He will be remembered and sadly missed by all who knew him.

It is expected that the funeral of Peter to Habost cemetery will be on Tuesday 8th April.

In their bereavement we share and extend our sympathy to his wife Margaret, their family, and all in the close family circle who mourn at this time.

On Friday 4th April we were all saddened with the news that William Macleod (Uilleam Iain Mairi) of 6 Eoropie had passed way in the Western Isles Hospital where he had latterly been attended to.

William, who was aged 87 years, had been in the Harris Tweed weaving industry, and will be affectionately remembered and sadly missed in the neighbourhood of Eoropie and by all who knew him elsewhere.

It is expected that the funeral of William will be on Monday 7th April.

We remember and share our thoughts in sympathy with his brother Angus in Eoropie, and all close relatives and friends who now mourn in this bereavement.

Western Isles

Red Cross - The future of a highly successful British Red Cross service that helps vulnerable people on Lewis and Harris live independently in their own homes has been secured for another year.

The news comes after funding for the scheme was agreed through the Scottish Government’s Change Fund.

For the past year, specially trained Red Cross volunteers have been helping older people, who live alone and don’t have family nearby, to regain their independence and confidence after an injury or a stay in hospital.

Nicholas Hunt, Red Cross services manager for the Western Isles, said: “This service has made a big difference to the lives of many people on Lewis and Harris over the past year and we are delighted that funding has been secured for another year.”

The volunteers help people with tasks such as shopping, preparing light meals, light housework and collecting prescriptions.

People who need the service can be referred by their GPs, local hospital or the Western Isles Council social work department.

Nicholas Hunt added: “Our Independent Living service is all about helping people maintain choice and control in their lives, enabling them to live independently in their own homes for as long as possible. Older people can lose confidence after a long stay in hospital or after suffering an injury caused by a fall at home.

“Often, they just need a helping hand to restore their confidence but if they have no family in the area who can do that, the Red Cross is here to help them.”

Anyone interested in volunteering for the Red Cross Independent Living service in the Western Isles should contact Nicholas Hunt by email at NicholasHunt@redcross.org.uk or by telephone on 01851 702897.


Social evening - Yes campaigners on Lewis and Harris held a successful social evening and fundraiser in Stornoway TA Hall on Saturday, April 5th.

More than 50 islanders turned out for the Curry Quiz Night which saw the group raise hundreds of pounds towards its campaign fund for September’s referendum on Scottish independence. Local MSP Dr Alasdair Allan was even on hand to take on the role of quiz master.

Speaking after the event, Orica MacDonald, of Yes Eilean Siar said: “It was really encouraging on Saturday to see such a strong turnout, particularly from people who are not already involved in, or are members of, the SNP. One of the key differences with the referendum is that it is clearly attracting the attention of people who might not necessarily be engaged with day-to-day party politics.

“As our campaign continues to gather momentum, we will continue to see folk from all ages and backgrounds coming forward to volunteer for the Yes campaign, be it with leafleting, door knocking or organising fundraising events.

“Of course, the money raised on Saturday night will go just a small way to matching the millions of pounds being donated to the No campaign by London’s Tories, however, I’m sure the real victory in September will be for Yes Scotland’s grassroots campaign, working hard from the butt to Barra.”


Uig Shop turn around – This year’s Uig Community Co-operative [aka the shop business] AGM held in the Community Centre on 2nd April brought a reassuring report to shareholders that the business had made a profit of £24,804 for the year ending 31st December 2013 - representing 4% of turnover - which has covered the losses of the last two years and restored the shareholders’ capital to £47,166.

Following last year’s disappointing trading figures, the staff and management committee quickly implemented changes, including a reduction of just under £10,000 in the wages bill and the installation of a new till system, giving tighter control of stock and pricing. Although measures suggested by the community through the shop appraisal questionnaire of last summer were quickly put into practice, it’s fair to say that while customers appreciated the opportunity of having a say in the shop business, there is some disappointment locally that the results were not made public.

Also this year, there was increased income just short of £9,000 from the shop turbines, offsetting the rent figure of £7,200 paid to the separate, asset-owning arm of the business.

The Management Committee stood down, as is required at an AGM, and six of the previous members were re-elected to to serve for the next year.

This was the tenth Shop AGM and the improved core trading situation, remarkably achieved in such a generally poor economic climate, is an encouraging boost to us all to make more use of the huge amenity of having our own community shop by buying more from it – how would we manage here if the worst scenario had come to pass and the shop had to cease trading?

War Memorial Fundraising – There hasn’t been a community sale here for quite some time but there is going to be one on Friday, April 18th, [Good Friday] in the Community Centre, to raise funds for the upkeep of the War Memorial, which is obviously in need of maintenance.

The event starts at 7.30pm and will take the form of a Bring and Buy Sale, followed by an Auction Sale with a Raffle with interesting prizes; Teas with Home Baking and, finally, a Slide Presentation of First World War Battlefields.

Already, there’s a good list of items for auction, including a six day trip for two people to St Kilda; a day’s or evening’s fishing for two rods at Grimersta with gillie; a day’s local loch fishing for three persons fly fishing from a boat; a Singer sewing machine; 20 bags machine-cut peat to be ready in August and much more and the auctioneer will be Cllr ‘Cudaig’ Macleod, Callanish.

The Community Centre will be open from 6pm for convenience and the whole community is invited to get involved in this, donate anything you think will sell and volunteer to help on the night. For any queries or further information, contact any member of the War Memorial Committee.