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Tiree’s Annual Art Exhibition Opens Doors

Tiree’s annual art exhibition opened its doors at 7pm at Baugh Church on July the 2nd.

The opening night held a marvellous atmosphere with people excited to see the show. Miss Norma Omand was the Guest of Honour, opening the 24th Exhibition with a wonderful speech. She said, “Having always looked forward to seeing the art work submitted to the annual art exhibition myself, I was delighted to be invited to open this year’s exhibition. I am always amazed at the talent and confidence of the exhibitors who are prepared to put their work on display for others to admire, comment on and purchase! As a native of Tiree, it is no surprise to me that people are inspired to produce works of art…but the way each individual chooses to interpret the colours and places I know so well is always something I enjoy. This year is no exception and it is always pleasing to see works from new contributors as well as those who regularly exhibit.”

Though missing a few“faithfuls” this year due to various reasons, the exhibition was happy to welcome new faces to the event. High quality, interesting work was put on display, with this years pieces providing an energetic, almost ‘Mediterranean-fresh’ vibe within the heavenly vibe space of the church, which is the perfect setting for the expression of the island’s artistic talents. Shona would like to give special thanks to Bear (without whom it would not have happened); the Baugh Church Leaders, Liz Kerr, Norma Omand, Neil Connor, the artists, Maya Sutherland, the Co-Op staff, loyal crew of “Show-Sitters”, her daughter Daisy Johnston for being her “Emily” on the opening night and of course, the general public.

“Thank you so much and I really do hope you love Tiree Art Enterprises 2018 Summer Show as much as I do,” – Shona Johnston.

The Tiree Art Exhibition is open every day through July , except Friday and Sunday, between 1pm- 4pm and everyone is welcome. This years donation box is for Miss Maya Sutherland who will be traveling to Cambodia via Project Trust to teach English to children. Please note that the Exhibition will close for 5 days from the 30th of July to allow a prior church commitment to take place, but will resume as normal afterwards. It finishes on the 11th of August at 4pm. All work should be collected then.

Tiree Community Council

On the hottest day of Tiree’s summer 21 hardy souls, in equatorial conditions,attended the June meeting.

The main topic was CalMac, and issues arising from the Clansman’ s extended dry docking and repairs.


Angus Campbell formerly leader of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar,and Chairman of the newly formed CalMac Community Board (CB) ,held the floor for nigh on an hour and half. He outlined the role and function of the CB , its bi-monthly meetings with CallMac, his direct access to the Minister of Transport ,and attendance at two CalMac Board meetings/year. To understand the genesis of the CB, and its Remit, please go to:-

Having covered the CalMac issues that the CB was currently addressing he took Q’s from the floor. These were overwhelmingly directed at CalMac’s ‘not-fit-for-purpose’ reservation system, exacerbated by Gourock’s abysmal customer information service. Peripheral issues were (a) the lack of capital investment in ferries, (b) poor contingency planning, and (c) the poverty of response from both Humza Yousaf, then Minister of Transport ,and Robbie Drummond( CEO CalMac), to the Tiree ferry issues TCC had raised with them, at the outset of the Clansman’s protracted dry-docking.

It was decided that TCC would summarise these issues in a formal submission to the CB, to be raised /addressed at the next CB Board meeting with CalMac scheduled for the end of Aug . This would also be submitted to David Gibson, CalMac’s Director of Service Delivery, to respond to ,on CalMac’s yet to be arranged Tiree visit.

TCC expressed its gratitude to Angus Campbell for addressing the meeting, and offering detailed responses to all the questions raised .

Other Issues:-

On conclusion of this lengthy CalMac discussion, it was decided to press on with the balance of the Agenda. Due to the near universal, lack of responses from Loganair, Scottish Government, and A&B CC these were expeditiously dealt with, and rolled-over to the next TCC.

Upgrades in internet connectivity have progressed ,and cleaning issues re the Scarinish Public Toilets have been resolved.


The meeting was advised that TCC has vacancies for 2 co-opted members and it is hoped that these would be filled in time for its next meeting (5th Sept ) Gratefuly, we emerged into glorious sunshine, and cool evening air .

People of Tiree

Claire Urquhart, who runs Gym ‘n’ Tonic, took the time to speak to me and answer some questions about her life and work here on Tiree.

Where were you born and raised originally? Have you always been interested in health and fitness from a young age?

I was born and brought up in Farnham Surrey. I moved to Tiree seven years ago with my husband Duncan and three children: George, Charlie and Olivia.

I have always been a keen sportswoman with athletics being my favourite. I competed in high jump and sprints as a teenager.

What brought you to Tiree and how did you find it compared to where you came from?

Duncan’s father’s family are from Tiree. Gym ‘n’ Tonic is based in Duncan’s grandparents house ‘Mary T’ and ‘Willy McPhee’. Their son Duncan McPhee has been extremely supportive in this venture and I couldn’t have done it without his help.

Tiree is very different from where I grew up. It’s beautiful here with its fresh clean air and I love the open space.

What is your favourite thing about the island?

I haven’t got just one. I love the colours of the sea sand and machair. The Tiree Lifestyle. Since I moved here I have been made to feel very welcome. When I talk to extended family they are very envious when I describe Tiree and the way of life here.

What sort of things beyond your work and the island itself are you passionate about?

My family, wildlife, health & wellbeing.

What made you consider opening a gym on the island? Did you encounter any challenges and how did you overcome them?

I have been working in Tiree taking spinning classes, massage and beauty treatments for the past five years. I move my bikes many times from Farmhouse cafe, to the auction ring, to the Hynish Centre and just wanted a permanent place.

We invested a lot of time and money to renovate the house. I had to get a business loan to purchase all the equipment. We also had to go through the planning application process which I’m delighted to say has gone through smoothly. Thanks to the Tiree community and Michael Hollidays support to whom I’m very grateful.

How have the service(s) you provide impacted the island?

I hope to have contributed positively to the community’s health and wellbeing, and to have provided a positive experience to visiting holiday makers.

Do you have other plans to expand the gym or the services you provide?

I strive to improve and learn so I can provide a better service.

Health, fitness and beauty is always changing and improving so I am trying to do my best to provide what’s most beneficial and value for money.

What do you consider your greatest achievement – professional or personal – thus far?

I qualified as a fitness instructer, sports therapist and beauty therapist when I was eighteen. I’ve worked in the industry since, which is over twenty-five years.

Having Gym ‘n’ Tonic at this stage in my career is a dream come true.

Gym ‘n’ Tonic is open Mon – Fri between 10 – 6am. Please call Claire on 07739969949 for further details.

Tiree Flag Finalists Chosen

The Tiree Flag Competition has four finalists. The month-long competition attracted an extraordinary 261 entries from as far afield as Canada, Switzerland and South Uist, as well as many from Glasgow and the island itself.

Some were sketched in crayon, some carefully hand-drawn, and some produced to the highest design standards. The quality was extremely high, with twenty or thirty exceptional designs.

The committee was led by the Lord Lyon, Scotland’s flag authority, and Philip Tibbetts from the Flag Institute, both experienced in community flag competitions. It went about its business in a methodical way, grouping the entries into groups.

Simple designs were favoured, and it was stressed that flags should be timeless: they should be as beautiful and relevant in a hundred years time as they are today. The commonest design was a variant of the Nordic cross, an off-centre cross used by Nordic countries such as Norway and Iceland, and more recently by Shetland, Orkney, Barra and South Uist. The second commonest design used stripes, often using blue, yellow and green, to symbolise the flat, fertile island and the long sandy beaches. Others used the shape of a wave, the sun, the corncrake and the Tiree black-roofed houses to convey the essence of the island.

The committee, which also included Dr John Holliday, Ian Gillies, Lachie Brown, Rosemary Omand, Donna MacLean and Annine MacLean argued over the merits of the different entries for four hours, before coming to a conclusion, although the debate continued over the finer details for over a week.

We hope to have the finalists’ designs flying at the Agricultural Show in July, and voting will be open to the public then.

We want, however, to give people a chance to see the designs before then, so we have put them up in colour on our website

Surprisingly for something so simple, you need to look at a flag for a long time to really appreciate it. The committee really appreciates the time and effort put into the competition by those who entered: they all contributed to the success of the project. Now over to you!

Tiree School Sports Day

Tiree High School Sports Day started of with a Rainbow Olympics for Pre 5-P3 children. The Rainbow themed events saw children jumping (over the rainbow), running, balancing, throwing and pulling, showing everybody the skills and qualities they have been developing in PE lessons.

The afternoons Inter House Track and field saw pupils from P4-S6 battle it out for their respective houses – Clansman, Columba and Claymore. Every pupil took part in seven events whereby they tried to achieve their best possible time, distance or height to achieve one of the four standards-participation (5 points), Bronze, Silver, Gold, Diamond (25 points). The emphasis is on being the best you possibly can be and having fun whilst doing so.

It was a great afternoon with bags of determination, grit and school spirit on display. The afternoon finished with the Tiree pipe band playing whilst the crowds cheered on the houses pulling with all their might in the Tug of war.

All the children were able to get a lovingly made rainbow fruit stick to refresh them, made by the Parent council. The family watching treated themselves to something from the Cobbled Calf.

After all the results were tallied up Clansman won the day by just two points but the Johnny MacKenzie Trophy for Inter-House Sport was shared between Clansman and Columba due to results in other interhouse events throughout the year. Claymore were only just behind and are looking strong for next year…..

New community land management scheme launched

Crown Estate Scotland has opened up coastline, seabed and rural estates for local management under a new scheme launched 20th June.

The Local Pilots Scheme enables community bodies and local authorities to take on land and property to test new and innovative ways of sustainable development.

Scottish Crown Estate assets include seabed, just under half of Scotland’s foreshore and 37,000 ha of rural land across four estates. These are home to moorings, pontoons, fish farms, agricultural farms and much more.

The scheme is an opportunity for organisations around Scotland, whether a small development trust or a local authority, to develop project proposals designed to improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of their local area using eligible Scottish Crown Estate assets. Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham MSP said:

“This pilot scheme paves the way for local authorities and local communities to actively manage land, coastline or seabed in a way that directly benefits communities, but also Scotland as a whole by, for example, promoting sustainable development. “Crown Estate Scotland has a wealth of expertise to share with local authorities and communities, and I look forward to seeing organisations develop and shape their proposed projects. Small changes at a local level can have a big impact on a community – this scheme creates some really exciting opportunities.”

Projects that enhance economic, social, environmental and well-being outcomes are welcome, and the type of agreement and project can vary according to what suits the applicant and the type of asset it relates to. Crown Estate Scotland Chief Executive, Simon Hodge, said:

“Connections to the land and the sea run deep in Scotland, and we really want to involve local people in managing Scottish Crown Estate assets. We’ve designed this scheme, with valuable input from a wide range of organisations. It provides a great opportunity for communities and local authorities who have ideas about how they can use Scottish Crown Estate to enhance sustainable development. “We’re really keen to hear of innovative proposals that have the support of local people and existing tenants. If you have an idea, please come and speak to us. “Whatever the project, our staff will work with applicants, helping them to develop their plans. We see this scheme as a collaboration – not just between ourselves and the applicant – but also involving other interest groups who can contribute to the project’s success and potentially widen the benefits.”

Successful applicants who go on to develop their proposed project may receive appropriate remuneration which will cover their expenses, and can, with agreement from Crown Estate Scotland, reinvest capital raised within the project. The balance of the revenue will be paid to Crown Estate Scotland which, in turn, is given to the Scottish Government to contribute to public spending.

Projects must maintain and enhance the capital value of the estate and the interests of existing tenants and other users of the estate must be protected. The Stage One Application process is open until August 16 2018. Crown Estate Scotland encourages any interested group to get in touch and discuss details of their plans. Once applications are in, they will be assessed for eligibility. Viable projects will then progress to Stage Two application when applicants will develop and submit their business plans to meet the criteria. Again, an assessment phase will follow.

Scottish Ministers will approve the final selected projects.

Be Charlotte Embraces The Elements For Tiree Music Festival

  • Final acts announced for TMF 2018
  • Brand new ‘Elements’ Programme launched – with something for the whole family
  • Official Beer Sponsor confirmed

Scottish singer-songwriter Be Charlotte has been announced as a headline act for Tiree Music Festival 2018.

Pop, rock band The Hoosiers have also been announced as headliners for the Sunday night of the festival. The Paul McKenna Band have also been confirmed to play as well as Mary Ann Kennedy.

The festival has also today launched their brand new ‘Elements’ programme – a strand that offers something for the whole family to enjoy.

Earlier this year Be Charlotte signed a worldwide record deal with Columbia/Sony Music. With her inimitable vocals and her unique style – a blend of digital and analogue pop with some beat-boxing and rap thrown in – she is sure to be a huge hit with the TMF crowds.

While on Tiree to announce her headline slot, Be Charlotte, said:

“I’ve been lucky enough to take my music to festivals throughout the UK, Europe and South East Asia but I really can’t wait to play Tiree Music Festival – before arriving today I had seen so many amazing pictures of the white sands and blue seas and I couldn’t wait to get here to experience them myself.

“It was great getting a taste of what to expect in July and now I really can’t wait to play to the TMF crowds in this amazing setting.”

Tiree Music Festival prides itself on being a family friendly festival and TMF 2018 will introduce a brand new creative programme entitled ‘Elements’ – this strand will explore the four core elements that are a key part of life on Tiree – Sun, Sand, Wind and Water.

The festival takes place on the island of Tiree between Friday 13th – Sunday 15th July 2018. Early bird tickets sold out in less than 48 hours in November for the multi award-winning event.

Brand-new to TMF 2018 will be the already announced ELEVATE STAGE. This new outdoor stage, that is supported by the Year of Young People 2018 event fund, will showcase the best talent on the Scottish music scene with its line-up focusing on up-and-coming Scottish artists. As well as opportunities for young musicians performing on the stage, the festival has also appointed a Youth Artistic Programmer Jamie MacDonald, who is from Tiree and has taken the lead on programming.

The Elements Programme and the ELEVATE Stage at Tiree Music Festival 2018 is supported by the Year of Young People 2018 event fund, managed by Event Scotland and part of Visit Scotland’s Events Directorate.

Tiree Music Festival is also delighted to announce that Innis & Gunn have been confirmed as their official beer sponsor for the weekend event.

Dougal Gunn –  Sharp, Innis & Gunn Founder and Master Brewer, said:

“We can’t wait to be part of The Tiree Music Festival experience as official beer sponsor, and are busy brewing up a fantastic range of Innis & Gunn craft beers for people to enjoy over the weekend in Tiree’s stunning island setting. We’re really thrilled to be supporting one of Scotland’s best festivals and looking forward to an amazing weekend of music.”

Daniel Gillespie, Festival Director of Tiree Music Festival, said: “BeCharlotte is an amazing musician as well as a fantastic ambassador for music in Scotland and we are really looking forward to welcoming her to the Tiree Music Festival stage this summer. “We’re also delighted to be announcing our Elements Programme which the whole family can enjoy. This strand further strengthens the family offering at the festival and we hope visitors to the island enjoy learning and experiencing the four key elements that are integral to daily life on Tiree. Tickets are selling fast so we recommend getting in there quick!”

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events said:

“We are delighted to be supporting Tiree Music Festival as part of Scotland’s Year of Young People celebrations. The festival has given the next generation the chance to shine with young people at the heart of the planning and programming this year. It is no surprise that this year’s line-up showcases some of Scotland’s best young artists and musicians. With so much incredible young talent, Scotland really is the perfect stage for events and festivals.”

The Elements Programme includes:
•Sand The amazing Sand in your Eye will be making the most of Tiree’s white sandy beaches and creating some
spectacular sand sculptures and designs. Festival goers will get the opportunity to get involved with interactive
workshops taking place on the Sunday.
•Sea Having only launched in April this year, TMF will be offering festival visitors the opportunity to see Tiree from
a slightly different angle with Tiree Sea Tours who will be running sea tours over the weekend.
•Wind Tiree, the Hawaii of the North, offers some of the best wind surfing conditions in Scotland – festival visitors are
invited to try their hand at extreme watersports, or a more relaxed paddle board session. Local company Wild
Diamond will be on hand offering a variety of activities.
UZ Arts will also be onsite offering flag design workshops throughout the weekend, suitable for all ages, this
interactive workshop will invite visitors to design their own flag.
•Sun The Sun element at this year’s festival comes in the formofDeLighterswho are a Physical PerformanceCompany
based in Edinburgh. They specialise inmulti-artformperformances and will be leading flashmob workshops and
performing a fire show all centred around the sun.
Acts Performing at Tiree Music Festival 2018 include:
Big Top
(STMA Community Project of the Year)

Tiree SWI Steal the Show

The Mull and Tiree Federation Scottish Women’s Institute met on Wednesday the 6th of June for their annual show at An Talla, Crossapol.

The Tiree Federation SWI meet monthly, offering those involved a chance to form friendships while getting involved in a wide range of fun activities and events such as talks and demonstrations that cover an extensive span of subjects including art, cooking, travelling, aerobics, computing, wildlife, and much more.

It’s through these meetings that thirteen participants from Mull’s four Institutes, which include Fionnphort, Salen, Tobermory and Torosay, travelled over to Tiree to compete with the local SWI ladies in several classes of individual competitions, ranging from the beautiful flower arrangements, colourful cushion covers, mouth-watering baking, creative card making – all the way to the quirky and imaginative entries of the children’s class.

With An Talla set up the evening before, the participants spent Wednesday morning setting out the displays with their entries that had been worked on as long as a year prior to the show, while other perishable items such as the food and the flowers had to be prepared on the very morning of the competition.

The community competition, which involved creating a display with no more than five topics, taxed everyone’s imaginations with the chosen theme of “Island Living”, but the ladies of Tiree came out on top with their ensemble which combined elements that represented music, fishing, crofting, travel and crafts, winning not only the community competition category, but holding the most points in all the competitive classes.

A beautiful meal was prepared and provided by Josie Brown, Fiona Munn and Rona Campbell, for both the local ladies and the visiting institutes in the small hall of An Talla, starting the night off in high spirits and a really good, friendly atmosphere between the groups. The public were invited to the main hall in the evening to see the countless hours of hard work and preparation that each lady had contributed to the event, before the prize giving ceremony commenced.

Congratulations to all the participants for their hard work and well earned awards!

Fèis Thiriodh 2nd to 6th July 2018

The days are long, the sea is almost warm, summer has arrived and our Fèis Thiriodh is but a few short weeks away!

The Tiree Fèis, established in 1990 by a group of islanders seeking to foster and promote the language, culture and music of Tiree, has been going strong ever since. Every July we promote this week-long festival of traditional culture with classes for young and old, and evenings filled with dances, cèilidhs, lectures and walks. ’S ann sa bhliadhna 1989 a chuir buidheann de mhuinntir Thiriodh Fèis air dòigh airson cànan is ceòl an eilein a bhrosnachadh. An luib seo, tha eòlas air dualchas Thiriodh air a shnaigheadh a-staigh do dhòigh-beatha an là ’n diugh ann an dòigh a tha taitneach agus tarraingeach do shean is òg. Chan fheum Gàidhlig a bhith agad a’tighinn, ach fàgaidh sibh le beagan a’ bharrachd, agus, tha sinn an dòchas, le ùidh agus tuigse ann an cànan, cleachdaidhean agus dualchas Eilean Thiriodh. “thig crìoch air saoghal, ach mairidh gaol is ceòl.”

Most of these traditions have been handed down to us through the medium of Gaelic, and we try to use the language as much as possible. Even if you come with little or no Gaelic, we hope you leave with a little bit more, and an enthusiasm for – ar dualchas – our traditional culture – which Tiree has in such riches.

Alongside Tiree’s very own rich pool of talented musicians, Fèis week attracts some hugely talented musicians from far and wide. This year from Tiree we have Anna MacDonald teaching Clàrsaich, Doc Holliday teaching flute and whistle and Iain MacKinnon holding Gaelic conversation classes, while Kenny Rankin (of Lochalsh, but now living here in Tiree) is teaching guitar. Our visiting tutors include Màrtainn Skene of North Lochaber on accordion, Ally Murray from Kyle of Lochalsh (and long-time member of Tiree’s famous band Skipinnish) on drums, Anna Garvin of Oban teaching fiddle and Ally Maclean, also from Oban, taking pipes and chanter classes. Originally from Canada, Tara Rankin will be joining us to teach keyboards and also taking afternoon step-dancing classes. Also helping us to step up the pace will be Josie Burgess coaching us in a variety of sports. Lewis-man Kenny Nicolson is making the trip to help us all to raise our voices in song, while from Mull we have Alasdair Satchel coming to tutor film-making whilst also creating and producing a Fèis Thiriodh film for us.

And for the wee ones we have Fèis Bheag (5-8 yr olds) and Fèis Bheag Bheag (under 5’s) packed full of fun and ably run by Tiree folk Mhairi MacKinnon, Adam Smith, Emma MacKinnon and Donna MacLean.

Alongside the daily classes, every day will include time to learn the Fèis songs, and every evening will provide a chance to tune in, stamp your feet and dance along to the music of this fabulous gathering of musicians.

Added to this we have everything from a quizz to a tug o’ war, and there will no doubt be a goodly supply of Tiree’s fabled homemade cakes and many other goodies besides!

Do join us for a week-long celebration of all things Tiree – it’s not just for the kids, everyone is welcome! Booking forms are available via our website and Facebook:

New Tiree Community Council Takes Office

A new-look Community Council for the island formally took over last week at their first meeting, chaired by Tricia O’Neill, Argyll and Bute Council’s Central Governance Officer. Dr John Holliday (the new convenor), Robert Trythall (secretary), William Angus MacLean (vice-convenor),Andy Wright (treasurer) and Donna MacLean take over from the previous council. Sadly, Emma Rossiter has had to hand in her resignation because of family circumstances.

After the council had been set up, discussions moved onto the issues of the day. Chief amongst these was the difficulty resulting from the damage to the Clansman,which had meant a return for the smaller Lord of the Isles. This had been unable to cope with the surge in traffic over Easter and at the May bank holiday, but the biggest problem had been the online booking system, which proved far too inflexible to cope with the disruption.Many people had their travel plans affected. Businesses relying on visitors are likely to have taken a big hit. We have already written to the Cal-Mac management about this, but it must not be allowed to happen again and we will press hard on this issue.

The previous council had been inundated with complaints about the lack of reduced-fare tickets on Loganair flights to Glasgow. Roy Bogle has replied for the company. He effectively said that Loganair was facing big hikes in costs from airports and for fuel. To compensate, no further cut-price fares were being offered during the busier summer months. To be fair, Loganair’s contract with the Scottish Government does not compel them to offer discount fares, but the company has been selling some tickets at a cheaper rate to encourage people to travel. This contract is up for renewal next autumn, but the community council will begin negotiations with Transport Scotland in a few months time, and we will do our best to ensure reduced fares are back on the table.

The other big issue was the future of the Scarinish public toilets. Argyll and Bute Council have, in the past, threatened to close them, and the buildings were getting pretty run-down. As the only public toilets on the island, it is obvious that they are a fundamental part of our infrastructure.

The question is: should the island try to take them over, or should we fight to get the Council to put in some much-needed investment? This is rapidly becoming one of our top priorities, and we will work on this over the next few weeks. We are now down to five members, and we are going to ask two people to join the council. Rules for this have now been relaxed, and co-opted councillors are able to sit for two years.

We want to be as open as we can, and, with several tech-savvy new members, we hope that our website, Facebook and Twitter feeds can be developed. Our next meeting will be at the end of June. Let us know if there are issues you think we can help with (contact our new secretary Robert Trythall on

Dr John Holliday (

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