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Tiree Regatta 2019

The day of the 2019 Tiree Regatta dawned overcast with light winds, however this didn’t deter a group of sailors determined to pit their skills against each other and the elements.

In the Dinghy race Tim and Ann Esson in their Foxer class dinghy beat Jonathon Marks single handing his laser with Dorinda Johnson and crew leading the way for the club Topaz fleet. Special mention should also go to Kris and Aidan Hynes competing in their first Regatta having only started sailing this year through Tiree Maritime Trusts Community Sailing Programme.

In the Lug Boat race the pace and slick tacking of the Cathadh Mara skippered by Dr John Holliday and crewed by Bruce Kemp and Jack Lockhart managed to narrowly beat Tony Batchelor, Sandy McIntosh and Tim Esson in the Maritime Trust boat the Daisy to win the Traditional Lug Sail Boat class.

The smaller sailed boats; Maritime Trust boat the Morag-Ann sailed by Martin Finnigan and William-Angus Maclean and the standing lug-sailed skaffie Malin sailed John Patience and Jeremy Armitage put in a creditable show in spite of being hampered by the light conditions.

The day also saw a little bit of Tiree history made with Tiree first Skiff race. With three skiff crews racing each other using only one boat the Gille-Brìghde. A time trial was set up with the teams being timed over a course parallel to the beach. Robert Trythall acted as impartial timekeeper – until he was called away to star in the last and winning crew. This was Emma the medical student in bow, Niall MacDonald, Robert Trythall and Dorinda Johnson in stroke, ably orchestrated into a team by Alasdair MacLachlan.

On the shore there was plenty to keep the crowds entertained with a very competitive paddle board race, some truly inventive sandcastles and sand art as well as tests for strength and skill in throwing wellies and creels. The cake stall and raffle also proved very popular and helped raise much needed funds. The day concluded in the traditional prizegiving including a new trophy this year awarded to the junior sailor of the year, Eddie Maclean. This specially commissioned award was donated in memory of long time Tiree Regatta supporter Roger Jarvis.

The Tiree Regatta relies on the kind and generous support of the community, without whose help the event simply would not be able to take place. We therefore have quite a long list of people to thank: Louise Reid, Willie MacKinnon, Rhoda Meek, Catriona Smyth, Clare Jones and David Vale without whose efforts on the day we could not have run the Regatta.

Thank you too, to the businesses that kindly donated prizes for the raffle including Tyree Gin, Dot Sim Jewelry, MacLennan Motors, the Farmhouse Café, The Cobbled Cow and Tiree Chocolates. Thanks also to the Lodge Hotel for their generous support for the Regatta. Special thanks to the Wild Diamond Watersports crew for organizing the SUP racing and keeping the sailors safe out on the water alongside Lochlan Morris and Steph Tanner.

Finally, a big thanks to everyone competitors, spectators and volunteers who all contributed to making the 2019 Tiree Regatta such a great success. For full results and to find out more about the work of Tiree Maritime Trust please visit:

Tish Celebrates Ruby Anniversary At The Helm of Tiree Airport

Congratulations are in order to Tish MacKinnon, who recently celebrated her ruby anniversary working at the helm of the airline’s operation here on the Isle of Tiree.

Her father, the late Archie MacArthur, headed up the airport between 1960 and 1990 as an employee of British Airways (back then it was British European Airways). Tish’s first visit to her father’s work place took place days after she was born in Glasgow and arrived back to Tiree with her mother and grandmother – she still owns the original ticket written by Archie for the trip to Glasgow Airport.

Her official duties began in 1979 when she stepped in as holiday cover for her father during term breaks while completing a childcare course in Langside College, Glasgow. Father and daughter shared duties for 11 years – where Archie famously worked the morning of Tish’s wedding that had been deliberately timed for Archie to meet the flight packed with wedding guests while Tish prepared for her big day.

After Archie’s retirement in 1990, Tish was promoted to Senior Customer Service Manager which is responsible for Loganair’s operation on the island, which welcomed around 12,000 passangers last year.

“It’s a really rewarding job and the fact I’ve been in post for 40 years shows how much I enjoy it. The air service is really important to residents of Tiree, used by locals going on holiday or to visit relatives, but also for trips to hospital, weddings, honeymoons and occasionally even funerals.” said Tish, “One of my favourite perks is being the first person to meet newborn babies as they arrive back on the island after leaving hospital in Glasgow, which is actually the exact journey I took whenever I first arrived in the world and when I gave birth to my three children. I’ve also met lots of celebrities, politicians, nobility and musicians who visit Tiree throughout the year.”

“Things have definitely changed quite a bit since I first started but Loganair ensures I’m fully trained in all the rules and regulations around aviation as well as the various technologies which are now essential to the role. With the number of customers passing through the airport increasing yearly – as Tiree’s popularity continues to grow amongst tourists, I look forward to welcoming visitors to the island for many years to come.”

Kay Ryan, Loganair’s commercial director said:

“I’d like to extend a huge congratulations to Tish, from everyone at Loganair, for such an amazing service record with the company. Tish is the face of the airline in Tiree, often the first person to greet visitors from around the world while also supporting the local community with all of their travel plans. Her knowledge and passion for the job is fantastic and I can only thank Tish who is an integral part of the Loganair family.”

We will be interviewing Tish for People of Tiree in our next issue; watch this space!

Festivals 10 year praise service hit!

Celtic Worship band

On the Sunday of 14th July members of Tiree’s churches joined Festival goers at the largest service ever held at TMF.

Christian Band ‘Celtic Worship’ took the Big Top main stage and rocked the area outside with their renditions of worship songs old and new.

The Band is sponsored by Christian Charity Tear Fund and between songs an appeal was made for their work amongst Syrian refugees in Lebanon who have been living in tents for 6 years.

As worshipppers left the Big Top over £600 was collected to help in Lebanon.

– Ian Sharp

Cancer Research Fundraiser

cancer walk

On the 21st of June, islanders gathered at the Gym n’ Tonic Studio for a charity walk around the island in aid of Cancer Research UK.

The weather conditions were perfect for the summer solstice; clear skies as the sun sank beyond the Hough, with no more than a light breeze. The cheerful attendees enjoyed a glass of Prosecco and glow-in-the- dark face painting in preparation for the ten mile walk around the island.

Around 20 adults took part, alongside 9 of the island’s children; Lani, Olivia, Calin, Robyn, Keiran, Mathew, Abbey, Aedan, Lewis and Charlie.

Setting off from the Gym n’ Tonic Studio in Scarinish, the group made their way towards Baugh, across the Reef to Crossapol, up through Kenovay and turning left at the ocean towards Balephetrish where they would loop back around to Scarinish, arriving back at the gym around 1am.

The group enjoyed several Prosecco stops along the way, with thanks to Freddie Arnold, Dolina & Alec MacDonald, Janice MacInnes, the Rockvale Guesthouse, Jeanie Fisher, Fiona MacPhail at the Lodge, Beachcomber and Bùth a’ Bhaile.

A total sum of £3254.89 has been raised so far, including a gift aid of £376. Bùth a’ Bhaile will have a bucket to collect further donations over the summer months. Claire would like to thank all the donors and sponsors for their contributions!

For more information on the charity, please visit:

No Smoke Without Fire

Several weeks ago a bomb was thought to be discovered on Gott beach.

Steph was notified first, who cordoned off the area before notifying the HM Coastguard Rescue Team of Tiree and bomb disposal.

The coastguard were placed in charge of observing the item until the Navy Bomb Disposal Unit arrived on the island on the 8th of June. Traffic was stopped for twenty minutes in both directions at the bend on the corner near the Lodge Hotel and up towards Ruaig Farm to ensure a safe exclusion zone for the detonation.

The item in question was reported to be a smoke marker from an old ship, but the object was disposed of and made safe.

– Rou Worsley

Remember, if you see an item on the beach that you believe to be suspicious, do not touch it, just make a note of its position, then dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

Photo courtesy of John Gunderson

Island Kids Make a Splash on the Mainland

PUPILS from a remote island are swapping a windswept loch which was once the home of ancient Scots for a modern city pool to enhance their swimming skills.

The children from Tiree – the most westerly Isle in the Inner Hebrides – usually train next to 5000 year old settlements in the icy waters of Loch Bhasapol as they don’t have a pool on the island. Loch Bhasapol has two small islands in it which are thought to be crannogs – ancient artificial islands that were built to be defensive homes and represented symbols of power and wealth. But this week the 14 primary six and seven children from Tiree Primary School are ditching wetsuits to make the 180 mile journey to participate in Scottish Water and Scottish Swimming’s Learn to Swim lessons at Glasgow Club Gorbals.

Ruth Budge, their teacher at Tiree Primary School, said: “Trips to the mainland are a big highlight in our school calendar and we always try to fit in a visit to a pool for swimming and water confidence lessons. “Living on an island, swimming becomes an even more important skill to have. We usually hold lessons in Loch Bhasapol but with staff changes at the school, it just hasn’t been a possibility this year. “Some of the children really only get the chance to go swimming when they’re on holiday once a year and because it’s not something they’re doing regularly, it’s really difficult for them to maintain and improve their abilities.”

The island kids will be given the lesson later this week by Glasgow Sport which delivers the national swimming framework to the local area and has helped to coordinate the trip.

Tiree is part of Live Argyll – the local Leisure Trust which is also part of the National Learn to Swim Framework, however a school trip to Glasgow enabled one of the other partner Leisure Trusts – Glasgow Sport to help out on this occasion.

Tiree has a population of just 650 and is the most westerly island of the Inner Hebrides. The school has taken the ferry to Oban before travelling by bus to Glasgow to enjoy their time on the mainland. Brian Lironi, Director of Corporate Affairs for Scottish Water, said: “The Hebrides are surrounded by water so it’s so essential that children have the skills to be safe in the water. “We’re extremely proud to be supporting the Learn to Swim Framework and to be giving children the opportunity to develop their swimming skills even when pools aren’t within easy reach.” The Learn to Swim Framework helps to create quality learn to swim environments for children from birth upwards where they can become competent, confident and safe swimmers.

Sharon MacDonald, Director of Development at Scottish Swimming, said: “It’s just fantastic to see how the National Learn to Swim Framework and the strong partnerships formed within it between Leisure Trusts can support children living in the most remote areas like Tiree and give them special opportunities to swim and experience different swimming pools to help them flourish as swimmers.”

Andrena Hammond, Swimming Participation Manager, at Glasgow Sport said: “It’s fantastic having the children here. Seeing their enthusiasm and enjoyment in using our pool has been heartwarming.”

Ruth added: “We’re very grateful that everyone has been so accommodating to us. The kids have been so excited and they even started a countdown leading up to the trip.”

Milton Harbour Development Update

Contractor George Leslie Ltd arrived on site to begin a major renovation of Milton harbour in April this year.

The works are scheduled to take around 16 weeks and will include an extension to the north and south, raising the height by 1.2m, a new stub pier to give protection from the swell and a new shed on the pier.

We are grateful to Marine Scotland, Highlands & Islands Enterprise and The Windfall Fund for committing funds to the development and to the Duke of Argyll for gifting the pier to the Trust.

In a surprise visit to Oban today, 22 year-old Scots musician Be Charlotte announced live from the town’s iconic McCaig’s Tower that she will play Oban Live music festival in two weeks time.

The Dundee star, who signed to major record label Sony Music last year, is the last act to be added to an impressive line-up at Argyll’s biggest outdoor live music festival.

She joins Skerryvore, Red Hot Chilli Pipers, Lucy Spraggan, We Banjo 3, Elephant Sessions and more at the popular west coast Scottish gig.

Since starting to find her voice as a teenager with an acoustic guitar, Charlotte Brimner, performing as Be Charlotte, has been focussed on finding inner strength and inspiring others to do the same, a message that was passed over to a number of Oban’s primary school pupils today.

Touring schools in and around the scenic Argyll town, excited pupils were treated to a surprise visit from the Scots star who performed an acoustic set and talked about her inspiring musical journey. Youngsters were encouraged by Charlotte to believe in themselves, to pick up and learn an instrument and to get involved in music.

Even although she is still at the beginning of her career Be Charlotte has toured around the UK, Europe, North America and Asia as well as sharing the stage with Major Lazer in Africa in 2018.

Her new single Brighter Without You is out now. Be Charlotte plays Oban Live on Friday June 7. The event takes place at Mossfield Stadium on June 7 and 8. Tickets are selling fast and are available at

499 and Counting

Last week Tiree was visited by two ladies attempting to add to their personal challenge of playing all the listed golf courses in Scotland.

Susie Robertson was playing round 499 and her friend Moira Aitken was on her 200th (only). They thoroughly enjoyed their round at Vaul and were not at all deterred by the cows and calves on the first hole.

Susie plays off 17 but did not reveal her score for the nine holes but did say the fences were a bit of a challenge.

It would have been nice for Tiree to be the 500th but that will be played this week at Mar Hall in Erskine.

There are 560 listed courses in Scotland so a wee bit to go yet but well done ladies this is some achievement and Vaul will welcome you back anytime.

Tiree Skiff Takes To The Waves

The beautiful Tiree St Ayles skiff Gille-Brìghde ‘the oystercatcher’ took to the waters of Loch Bhassapol last weekend for its maiden (freshwater) voyage.

Three crews, after a quick lesson in rowing technique involving broomsticks, were pushed out into deeper water by the expert team of Niall MacDonald and Alasdair MacLachlan from the Tiree Maritime Trust.

It had been a misleadingly warm morning, but a keen southeasterly wind developed, making conditions quite challenging rowing ‘uphill’ and producing a slight chop.

Once or twice, a crewmember toppled backwards gracefully when an oar was left in the water fractionally too long. But you certainly would not have known that this was the first time many of the rowers had had an oar in their hands, as they settled into a good rhythm and produced (occasionally) a good deal of power.

There was a small amount of perspiration, some well-worked muscles, an appreciation of being out on the water in this most glorious island, and a good deal of laughter.

Thanks to Kirsty MacLean for providing safety boat cover. We’ll be back on the water regularly, so if you want to give Tiree’s latest and most fashionable sport a try, get in touch: 220385

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