District News: Butt to Barra 24.7.14

Brian Lynch, from North Bragar, took this photo of a croft house in Callanish
Brian Lynch, from North Bragar, took this photo of a croft house in Callanish


Memories - The notice in the paper last week that the old Lionel Schoolhouse has been offered for sale, brought back memories to the older Ness generation of when the house was first occupied by Mr Donald Mackay, head teacher, and his wife Catherine, who was the former infant class teacher in Lionel, known to us then as Miss Cameron.

To our young minds in the 1930s, the schoolhouse with a bathroom and running water through the taps, was looked upon as a little mansion house in the centre of Lionel village.

We are glad to note that a project is now being arranged by Comunn Eachdraidh Nis to record and document the history of the old Lionel School which was built in 1869.


Thank You - Joan from The Volunteer Centre North Lewis, would like to thank everyone who participated in the recruitment drive in Barvas on Saturday morning (July 19th).

If anyone would like to support community events in this area, please consider the Barvas and Brue Hall and the Barvas Show taking place on Friday, August 1st.

The Barvas show is very enjoyable and needs helpers to make everything go smoothly.

Please offer your support.

Contact any of the afore mentioned committees, or ask for information at the shop in Barvas or Galson Motors.


World War One - Commemoration week begins on 4th August with a remembrance service at the North Lochs War Memorial at Crossbost Free Church at 7.30pm.

The North Lochs Historical Society exhibition to commemorate the lives of soldiers and seamen serving in WW1, will be open to the public for the first time following the memorial service.

The Society are grateful to all those who lend pictures and memorabilia for the exhibition, they serve to remind us of the sorrow and hardships of local families from the outbreak of war in 1914 and the debt we owe those men who gave their lives in the service of their country.

The exhibition will be available for viewing in the afternoon of Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 2-4pm. There will be an evening viewing session of the exhibition from 7-9pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

There will be a craft workshop making poppies using felt on Tuesday evening at 7pm. On Thursday at 7pm, there is a chance to view a recording of the play written by Duncan Norman Macleod, Leurbost and performed by the pupils at Sgoil Nan Loch recently.

On Friday the 15th of August at 7.30pm there will be a ceilidh featuring local artists singing songs and playing tunes from the WW1 era. All events are free of charge and donations will go to the Commonwealth Graves Commission and the Royal British Legion.

The Comann Eachdraidh exhibition will feature many stories similar to the account given by Lordaidh Sheonaidh of Leurbost who was 18 when war broke out.

Enlisting in the army at Fort George Barracks, he was issued with a regimental kilt which he wore for eighteen months without undressing once. In those days only one shirt was issued to soldiers and that shirt was on his back for thirteen months.

Donald MacLeod’s platoon served a marathon 31 days in one trench in France. In his own account he relates that he served in 27 of the regiment’s 29 battles. The Battle of Loos, Mesopotamia the 7th Battle of Assaye, The Battle of Gazza in Palestine, Messina in Asia Minor to name but a few.

It was while he was in Jerusalem, that Donald befriended a lizard, which he carried with him everywhere he went. The soldier kept it on his chest while he slept, as the lizard would eat the mosquitos and he could at least sleep in peace. Donald Macleod had the lizard put in a glass case as a keepsake and later took it home to Lewis.

Thousands of soldiers did not make it home and Donald MacKay, Achmore, contributed to the Highland News in August 1919, a poem of six verses in memory of those who did not make it home.

Tha ’n saighdear na chadal sa ghunna ri thaobh

Tha ‘n saighdear na chadal ’s cha dhùisg e ’s a’mhadainn

Tha ’n saighdear na chadal cha phill e an taobh-s.

Tha mhàthair rinn àrach ri gul is ri caoidh

Tha bhanntrach le naoidhean ri tuirim san oidhche,

Gu dè bhuanachd tha’n dhaibh-san gun choisinn a’ bhlàr,

‘S e lìtir a charaid a d’innse mar bha.


Sympathy – During the last few weeks which have brought so much sad news to this community, we were shocked and very sorry on July 1st to hear that John Shaw, formerly of 1 Carnish, had passed away with tragic suddenness at his home in Perth.

Aged 66, he was the only son of the late John and Etta Shaw and had left home at a young age to work on the mainland. He is remembered with affection by neighbours, friends and former schoolmates here.

The deep sympathy of the community in this very sore bereavement is extended to his widow, Mary, and stepsons, to his sisters, Mary Peggy at Carnish, Flora at Knock, Point, and Donalda at Methven, Perthshire, and their families. John’s funeral was held in Perth last week with relatives travelling from here to attend.

Also shocking was the news from Ireland that Cathie Woods, formerly Buchanan of 14 Breanish, had taken very seriously ill and was hospitalised, shortly after returning to her home in Bangor from the funeral of her aunt, Catherine Macritchie, here in late May.

The news of her subsequent death on June 30th, aged 70, was heard with great sadness by all who knew her and deep sympathy is extended to her husband, Paul, her daughter Margaret Mackay, her sisters, Joan at Marybank and Dina in Braes, Skye, their families and all close relatives.

The funeral was held on July 9th, at the High Church, Stornoway, and was conducted by Rev I M Macdonald, Ness, assisted by Rev Roddy Morrison. Interment was at Aignish Cemetery.

Cathie was well known here in her younger days as the middle daughter of the Buchanan family of 14 Breanish and later in her nursing capacity when she was, for several years, the district nurse in Bernera.

A bright Christian witness from her youth, she married the late Rev. Donald Angus Mackay of Garrabost, Point, and was a kind and hospitable lady of the manse in Church of Scotland congregations in Skye and Bernera, Uist; later retiring to Inverness where she had to bear the sorrow of losing her husband who had been in declining health over a long period.

She later married Paul Woods, a Christian friend from her former nursing days in Northern Ireland and from her home in Bangor, continued her Christian service, involving herself in many activities in the area.


Highland Amateur Cup - Carloway Football Club will be putting on buses for supporters wishing to travel to next month’s must-attend Highland Amateur Cup Final against Avoch, taking place at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, Inverness, on Saturday 2nd August. Kick-off at 12.30pm.

Buses will be departing from Ullapool to the Caledonian Stadium and will return straight back once the game has finished, therefore it is supporters’ own responsibility to make their own way to the ferry in Stornoway on the Saturday morning.

If you or anyone else would like to book a bus seat, please get in touch with one of the following contacts: Cobby - 07515 896122, Jim Crossley - 07809728121, Stephen Craigie - 07969014976 or Dougie - 07919 313013. Each bus seat costs £20 (£10 each way). Children under-fives are free, with bus seats costing children aged 5-16 £10 (£5 each way).

Please note that your seat will not be reserved until the fee is paid to one of the contacts above. Fans travelling to the game on Saturday 2nd August are also strongly advised to book their ferry tickets in advance to avoid the big queue expected ahead of its departure.

Western Isles

Dental health - More than 1,000 children have attended Childsmile appointments in the Western Isles already this month – and children in Lochmaddy are being encouraged to attend appointments this week with the launch of Childsmile Week in North Uist today (Monday).

In total 1,044 children have attended appointments in Western Isles Dental Clinic in Stornoway, Lochboisdale Dental Clinic in South Uist and Scalpay Dental Clinic.

Childsmile appointments will be held in Lochmaddy Dental Clinic in North Uist (01876 500242) this week, and the following week (beginning July 28th) appointments will be held in Liniclate Dental Clinic in Benbecula (01870 602178). The final Childsmile Week will be held in Barra Dental Clinic (01871 810400) for the week beginning August 4th.

north lewis

WW1 Centenary - The Island of Lewis sacrificed over 1,000 young men during the Great War, 216 of those were from the villages of North Lewis.

Comunn Eachdraidh Nis is planning a series of events to mark the centenary of WW1 including a publication in partnership with Acair and an exhibition which is to be launched in August.

In order to raise awareness of the massive impact WW1 had locally, Comunn Eachdraidh Nis along with local volunteers will mount a poppy next to the homes and sites of homes which the young men left from.

The poppies will be visible from the roadside creating a very powerful and poignant visual impact throughout the community. They will remain in place until November when they will be uplifted and taken to special memorial services in Cross and Borve.

The robust 200mm poppies will be supplied by Poppyscotland and an added bonus to this project is that every penny goes back to them. The poppies will be placed during the first week of August—the anniversary of the start of the war for Britain.

Two pieces of artwork will also be commissioned to signify the impact WW1 had on our district.

One will be wall art which will cover the gable end of the former schoolhouse at Sgoil Chrois and the other will be a unique piece of art which illustrates the impact of WW1 on the community.

This artwork will be available to view in various locations as it travels around the district before becoming part of CEN’s permanent collection. We are extremely grateful to Museums Galleries Scotland for funding this project.