Category Archives: Latest Stories

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: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/

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 www.obanlive.com.

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

Sea, Surfing and Victory

The Scottish National Surfing Championships 2019 took place over Easter Weekend in Caithness, where Ben and Robyn Larg brought victory home.

Ben defended his title from the previous year in the Northcore under-16’s as well as taking first place in the Northcore under-18, while Robyn took second place in the Blackhouse Watersports under-18 Girls and fourth in the mixed Narosa under-14’s.

Ben said “I’m really happy with my wins and stoked to see Robyn do so well,”

Both of the siblings are now a part of the Scottish junior surfing team, making them eligible to compete in the European and World championships.

Marti and Iona said, “We’re delighted to see Ben and Robyn do so well at the Nationals in Thurso – it’s always a great competition.”

Ben is competing in the British Surfing Championships in Jersey next weekend; a competition where adults and juniors from England, the Channel Islands, Wales and Scotland come to compete for the best in each category.

We wish good luck to Ben for his competition in Jersey and to Robyn in future events!

Tiree 10k & Half Marathon – Saturday 4th May

Going into the 14th year of this event we look forward to welcoming 250 runners to take part in what is increasingly one of the must do events on the Scottish running calendar.

Entry for this year’s event was in hot demand, so much so that when registration opened in October last year it was full within 24 hours! We’re pleased to see the event’s popularity soar over the years, and are also aware how much of that is due to the friendly and supportive welcome the runners receive from the Tiree community. So thank you everyone who’s helped at these events!

We’ve also had amazing generosity at the raffles which have added to the events fundraising to just short of £10,000 over the years for local groups and charities, particularly the Oban Mountain Rescue Team.

The 2019 Tiree 10k & Half Marathon will take place on Saturday 4th May, with kids races at 12pm and the 10k/HM starting at 2pm. Race HQ is An Talla. Kids can sign up on the day, but all other entry is now closed. The cafe will be open all day at An Talla.

As always we will do our best to minimise disruption, but please be aware of runners on the roads, particularly between 2pm and 4pm around the Heylipol – Balinoe – Hynish – Sandaig – Island House areas. We’ll put signs up in advance to give plenty of warning. Thank you everyone for working with us on this, and for your tolerance and patience. If there is anything we can do to improve any part of the event please do get in touch.

We’re now recruiting for the 2019 Event Team – it’s a fun way to be part of the event, and cheering on the runners is inspiring and something that’s hugely appreciated. If you could help either indoors at registration, or out on the course please do get in touch.

And lastly, running is one of those things that helps people in so many ways. From physical fitness to mental health, and from enjoying the fresh air to socialising with others. There’s been incredible stories over the years, and people taking part for sorts of different reasons, as well as simply to get a bit fitter. So come and help at the event, be inspired, and next year it could be you standing on the start line!

Contact Will at Tiree Fitness on 07867 304640 or email will@tireefitness.co.uk or visit www.tireefitness.co.uk for more info

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