Category Archives: Latest Stories

Tiree Community Bonfire Night

The Community Bonfire and Fireworks Night on Tuesday 5th November at Gott Bay had great attendance with a turnout of around 200 people.

The conditions for the evening couldn’t have been better – despite the chill there was no wind or rain to disturb the event.

The Trust organised the event with assistance from a group of community volunteers. The fireworks were provided by the Tiree Community Development Trust, the fuel for the bonfire was donated by Sandy MacIntosh.

The local fire service attended, they lit the fire and provided safety cover, the airport firemen brought along their portable lighting, the Cobbled Cow provided free food, Cameron and Lachie were responsible for building the fire, which was cleared by William Angus the next day and Jim and Craig handled the fireworks’ display.

Louise Reid would like to thank everyone, including those mentioned above, who volunteered their time, hands and resources.

Luke Patience In Olympic Selection

The British Olympic Association have selected Luke Patience, a member of the British Sailing Team and the Tiree Maritime Trust, to represent the UK at the next Olympic Games in Tokyo as the helm in the 470 Class Dinghy.

Luke, whose parents live in Caolis , spends much of his free time on Tiree surfing and windsurfing and relaxing away from the pressures and commitments of Olympic level sport.

The next Games, Luke’s 3rd ,will be held in Japan in Aug 2020. He won a Silver Medal at the London Games in 2012 and finished 5th in Rio in 2016 after requiring a stand in crew when his original team mate became ill. That stand in crew was Chris Grube and together they have been selected for the Tokyo Games as the first UK athletes to be nominated for 2020.

Luke has been involved with TMT, running racing/training on the Loch and a number of the school children on the island may remember when he visited the school and showed them his medal after London.

The attached photos show Luke and Chris sailing off Palma at the beginning of the Selection Trials. Image courtesy of the RYA and Lloyd Images

Ishbel Leads Tiree to National Mòd Success!

Tiree was once again on the winners’ roll at this year’s Royal National Mòd in Glasgow.

Ishbel Campbell brought home the Sarah Weir Memorial Trophy for the Mull & Iona Competition and the Oban Times Medal for the Oban & Lorne Competition in the fluent ladies section.

Ishbel also supported Kieran MacDonald and Lucy Kennedy to win gold and bronze medals in their respective solo signing categories and Còisir Bun-sgoil Thiriodh (Tiree Primary Choir) took home the Rural Unison Trophy.

All of the parents would like to say a massive thank you to Ishbel for her hard work and efforts with the children. It is very much appreciated!

Tiree Wave Classic

The Tiree Wave Classic, the longest running wavesailing event in the world, opened on Sunday 13th October for its 34th year.

Hosted up at the Lodge Hotel by Gott Bay, the Tiree Future Pro’s Coaching Camp would be taking place throughout the week, which several local children are taking part in including Eddie Maclean, Charlotte Vale, Sapphire Arkless and Magnus Robinson. The event kicked off with registration with over 70 competitors making the pilgrimage to Tiree, followed up by the “Meet the Pros” in the evening at the Lodge Hotel, providing Future Pro’s, competitors and spectators a chance to interact and learn from the best.

With weather fairly sunny and calm on Monday 14th October creating poor competing conditions, contestants instead took part in a beach clean at Hough Bay, organised by Catriona Spink.

Tuesday the 15th had contestants move to Crossapol beach for the best conditions for the competition, for the Masters’ class, the Ladies’ class and the Ams’ class. Other local competitors include former Future Pro Camp attendee Tristan Levie in the Pro Fleet and Stewart Cowling and Gavin Dunlop the Amateur fleet.

The Wave Classic is sponsored this year by Event Scotland – ‘Perfect Stage’, the Scottish Salmon Company, Tiree Community Development Trust, Argyll Estates – Inveraray Castle and thanks go to the Lodge Hotel for acting as the event HQ this year.

More info: tireewaveclassic.co.uk

Island Bakery’s Grand Opening

During some of the interviews for People of Tiree, I asked interviewees about the bakery that used to be a part of the island’s culture. I was too young to remember it myself, but I will always recall the memory of my dad handing me some sweet treats from the bakery van one sunny morning in Crossapol with fondness, followed by the feeling that a bakery would be a wonderful addition to return to Tiree’s community.

On Monday 14th October 2019, Louise and Megan filled this addition with the grand opening of a pop up bakery in the small hall of An Talla, welcoming everyone on the island to come along to enjoy a selection of home baking and light lunches. The Island Bakery had only been planned two weeks prior but Louise expressed that if the day went well, she and Megan hoped to have the bakery as a pop-up at least twice a month.

When asked about the feedback from the community, Louise said “The support from the islanders has been great! It means the world to us.” It was good to see the seats in the small hall filled with customers enjoying lunches and taking the large selection of baking home. I left with a slice of Battenberg cake, courtesy of Louise and Megan, which was so thoroughly enjoyed that I had to return an hour later for another slice.

All of the food was homemade and prepared fresh – with a range of cakes, tray bakes and bread, the food offered was a wonderful value for price. I look forward to their future endeavours and hope to see the Island Bakery pop back up very soon.

If anyone would like to enjoy any tasty cakes, rolls or pies made to order, you can contact Louise and Megan via; Facebook: @Island Bakery Email: tireebakes@gmail.com Phone: 07393992852

Tiree Pierhead Project Update

Work to return the old pierhead to operational use is well underway at Tiree.

Repairs to cracks on the pier approach have commenced, and will be completed ahead of the coming winter months. Our contractor, George Leslie Ltd has also removed the old pierhead timber fenders from the front of the pier, and cleaned barnacles, mussels and other marine growth from the steel supporting piles.

Cleaning has exposed significantly more defects than originally estimated, however, repairs to these piles are now underway.

With the increased volume of repair work needed, the project is likely to take longer than planned. An updated timeline will be published in due course.

CalMac will continue to operate ferry services to timetable during these works.

Tiree Ultramarathon 2019

On Sunday 8th of September, over 200 runners took part in the 2019 Tiree Ultramarathon.

Though the day remained a bit grey throughout, the weather certainly didn’t seem to dampen the spirits of both the participants and spectators. A majority of those taking part were solo runners who had completed the entirety of the 35 mile course around Tiree’s coastline, but there were also relay teams who had split the marathon into sections and passed the baton along as their runners followed the course.

The course record of 4hrs32 set by Alastair Buckley in 2018 still stands, but 4hrs37 was the winning time this year by Lindsay Cockburn. Will commented,

“I still think there’s someone out there who could break 4:30 – maybe next year we’ll invite back all the previous winners to try and get a fast pack together chasing for the course record.”

Alan Dix commented,

“This was my fourth Tiree Ultra-marathon, but my first no longer resident on the island. Although it took me all day to run round the island (definitely the back end of the pack) it was an amazing day and I’m already making plans for next year’s ultra. The first half was especially tough until I worked into a (very slow) rhythm, but the faces of so many familiar faces encouraging me along the way was wonderful – Alan Millar’s “would you like a cup of tea” at 26 miles was especially welcome. However, the true hero of the day is Will and the Event Team for having once again organised this fantastic event that is now known across the world.”

With the cafe an essential part of the event, Becky had worked in the kitchen for weeks preparing for the day, providing a huge selection of cakes and hot food with her team for the runners, support crews and spectators at An Talla throughout the day.

“Food like this, together with the amazing team serving, is so well appreciated by tired runners, and is such a hub of activity with happy stories of achievement shared throughout the afternoon,” said Will.

The hall was full for the prize giving, where the top finishers were awarded artwork from Sophie Scott Design and prizes from Chocolates & Charms.

Thanks were given to the community of Tiree for being so welcoming and supportive, and for making such a positive and uplifting atmosphere throughout the weekend.

The Cornaig Ceilidh Band took to the Ultramarathon stage in the evening, energizing all the runners up onto the dance floor til’ past midnight!

“We’re hugely grateful to everyone who helped at the event on the day, and for all the people on Tiree who have been so accommodating and helpful, especially people around the course who have welcomed the runners through and helped with the route planning and access. Comments from the day have been so positive, so it’s been a rewarding task to help people achieve something that means so much to them. And of course our event sponsor Cohesion Medical who have been on board since the very start in 2014. They’re a great partner to work with, and we thank them, and everyone who contributes to the event for making 2019 Tiree Ultramarathon a huge success,” Will said.

Having been on hold for a busy summer and winter approaching, Will will be returning to the gym and getting his classes running again. You can check up on future events with Tiree Fitness including the next year’s 10K & Half Marathon and Ultramarathon via their website:

http:// www.tireefitness.co.uk/

Thanks and credits to Dutch- Engels for use of their photography. www.dutch-engels.com

Instagram: @dutch_engels

-Rou Worsley

ICELANDERS’ VISIT SUCCESS

The group listens respectfully as they stand around the ruined chapel at Teampall Phàraig on the Kenavara headland.

But this is no ordinary tour. These are Icelanders, come to see for themselves the island setting for a popular novel: Vilborg Davíðsdóttir’s Auður.

Published in 2009, Auður (Aud) is the first book of a trilogy following the adventures of the Viking Auður from her childhood on Tiree to her voyage to become one of the first settlers in Iceland. Auður, a real historical figure, was notable because she was a woman in a man’s world and because she was one of the first Christians there.

Teampall Phàraig and Tràigh Bhì are the setting for the first scene of the book, when a mysterious man is rescued from the sea. The book’s fans were keen to walk along the white, shell sand beach (something they had not experienced before) and clamber along the muddy track to the ancient monastery site. Since Vilborg wrote the book, my researches into the Viking place-names of the island have confirmed many of her ideas.

The morning had been spent at the ruined thirteenth-century Kirkapol parish church and the early Christian rock-carved crosses beyond. The party, including a famous actor and a professor of Icelandic history, heard how an excavation in 2000 had found several skeletons under one of the church walls, presumably reburied from an older Norse graveyard on the site.

We then visited MacLean’s Cross in Soroby, while in the afternoon Julia Welstead took members of the party who didn’t fancy the long walk to Kenavara to the Hough stone circles and on a further tour. While we walked along the beach, I heard about the worries Icelanders have that their language is starting to weaken. There are so many foreign workers in the country now that it is becoming less common to order a meal or to be served in a shop in the capital using Icelandic. Vilborg told me how her own daughter appears to think in English, translating her thoughts into Icelandic. The country’s population is now 338,000 (somewhere between Aberdeen and Edinburgh), which is only five times greater than the population of Gaelic speakers.

At dinner that night in the Scarinish Hotel, one of the evening’s stars was our own Ishbel Campbell, who sang two Gaelic songs and became an instant hit with the visitors. I sat with Svavar Halldórsson, who I discovered was the designer of an advert that had caught my eye as I flew home from Washington to Reykjavík last year. While working as Director of the Icelandic Lamb Marketing Board, Svavar had composed the slogan ‘Roaming Free Since 874’ beside a film of Icelandic sheep. His wife, the well known journalist Þóra Arnórsdóttir, had run for President of Iceland in 2012. She was able to show me on her phone her family tree going back a staggering thirty-one generations – to Auður herself. Apparently, this is common in Iceland. And if she had been able to go back one more generation, she might have found a Tiree name.

After Tiree had been settled by Viking men in the ninth century, some Norse men decamped once more to seek new pastures in Iceland when that country was opened up. Taking wives from the islands, around half of Icelandic women today are of Hebridean or Irish descent. Many of the tour were actually coming to see their ancestral home, as much as re-living the stories in the book. This was Vilborg’s second attempt to reach the island, as her previous trip in May had to be cancelled within sight of Coll when the Clansman broke down.

They are a tough lot though, as their indifference to the muddy scramble and a heavy shower showed. And we haven’t seen the last of Vilborg as she seeks an English publisher for her book. She has two further tours booked for 2020 and even that cannot satisfy the demand. And the final twist? Her book’s front cover features a triskele, the design on the rock carving discovered a few weeks ago in Balemartine.

2019 Tiree Ultra Marathon

Around the coastline in 1 day – runners from far and wide take on the challenge.

This September we will see another day that tests the endurance of 250 visiting and local runners as they take on the 35 mile Tiree Ultramarathon. Now one of the established events on the ultramarathon circuit, Tiree boasts its own uniqueness, with no other event following the entire coastline of an island.

But it’s the community welcome and the support and encouragement that has made this event so popular. Runners will travel from as far as Canada, Finland, Germany and of course from across the UK to take part in this race.

Event organiser Will Wright from Tiree Fitness says

“these runners are looking for a challenge, something that’s a bit different and that takes them well off the beaten track. They’re always a lovely group, and their feedback has been so positive over the years, even despite some pretty vicious headwinds and hail storms!”

The event kicks off with registration and race briefing at An Talla on Saturday 7th September, and then the run starts early in the morning on Sunday at 8am on Sorobaidh.

Full race details can be found at www.tireefitness.co.uk/ tiree-ultramarathon/

Local runners Heather MacArthur and Jo Vale will be on the start line to take on the full distance. And with local relay teams running as well they will all appreciate your support and encouragement. We wish them all the very best! Expect to see runners around the island from the 8am start and eventually coming through Scarinish towards Crossapol from mid day onwards.

“It’s a tough course out there so we’re really grateful for all the help at the weekend to give these runners the best shot at getting around, and thank you for the kind cooperation from everyone around the course.”

35 miles in one day, all the way around the island. The course record is 4hrs32!!! But for everyone out there, getting over that finish line will be an achievement to be proud of. Good luck to all the runners!

If you’d like to join the team, or be involved in any way just contact Will on 07867 304640 or email {will@tireefitness.co.uk}

Tiree Art Exhibition 2019

Tiree’s stunning 2019 Art Exhibition opened to the public on Sunday 11th August in Baugh church.

On a beautiful evening over 90 people enjoyed a glass (or two) of Prosecco while perusing the very varied work on show. The show was opened in great style by Dot Sim who said,

“Thank you to all the talented artists who have submitted their work to create such a diverse and captivating exhibition which I think you’ll all agree reflects this beautiful and inspirational island that some of us are so lucky to call our home. This would not be possible without the tireless efforts of the Tiree Arts Enterprises committee and volunteers organizing, curating and hanging the work. And a big thank you to the Baptist church who have kindly let us host the exhibition here. It is an exciting time for the arts on Tiree with many creative people coming to settle here, joining the already rich cultural heritage of the island; new studios opening, the continuing success of the Feis, TMF, and local musicians, the flourishing of Screen Tiree, the second year of Screen Argyll’s Sea Change – Powering Women in Film, the celebration of the ancient art of Storytelling in Tiree Story Tent, the establishment of Tiree Art Club and the Creative Writing Group, and the exciting prospect of a community panto!

There was a lot of excitement after the show was opened with people rushing to get a red dot on their favourite piece of work and the committee are glad to report that over a third of paintings and sculptures were sold on the night.

Tiree Art Enterprises also own An Turas which is the art installation situated in Scarinish beside the pier. Sadly its condition has deteriorated over the years and it requires urgent restoration. They are using this year’s show to gather funds and have placed a donation box at the entrance to give visitors an opportunity to contribute.

On the opening night a £160 was donated – an excellent start so big thanks to all.

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