Category Archives: Latest Stories

The Sun Comes Out For Show Day

The very successful Tiree Agricultural Society Show took place on Friday the 22nd of July at the Rural Centre.

One of the busiest events on the Tiree calendar, The Show has been running on the island since 1877! Once again the sun came out for the event, which was well attended by locals and visitors alike – with just under 1000 people through the gate!

The committee have been hard at work preparing for the show for many months now, along with all of the competitors who enter into the home industries and livestock sections. There was an excellent number of competitors at this year’s event, with the home industries tent stocked with a range of locally grown produce, homemade baking, crafts, knitting and much more and the livestock pens were just as busy, with cattle, sheep, horses, hens and of course a variety of dogs on show! Judging within the livestock sections started early in the morning with all 5 of the judges, David Wright, Kyle Campbell, Raymond Kennedy, Robert Wright and Julie Donn having a good look around the animals. A suffolk ewe, bred by Fraser MacLean of Heylipol Farm was crowned the Supreme Champion in the sheep section and the supreme champion in the cattle class was won by Archie John MacLean also of Heylipol Farm with his Charolais-cross bullock calf, which also went on to win Champion of Champions.

The Champion Horse or Pony which was judged by Julie Donn was won by Jan Patterson from Balinoe with Tallina. The overall pet section, which is always very popular with interesting categories such as ‘the dog with the waggiest tail’ and ‘best 6 legs’, was won by Claire Kennedy of Ruaig with her border Collie, Coll. The pet section was judged by local residents Donald and Annine MacLean from Mannal. The poultry section, which was a welcome edition to the show schedule in 2013 was won by Rhoda Meek, Caoles with her rooster, Rodney. The livestock sections were well represented and a special mention must go to the young people of Tiree who performed very well in each of the Young Stockperson’s section, with Jenna MacArthur, Lochside winning the horse and pony section, Kirsteen MacKinnon, Parkhouse winning the cattle section and Ruairidh MacDonald, Roadside winning the sheep section.

The Home Industry competitions were very well attended with a variety of winners for each sections. Most points in the Pre- School section was won by, Blythe Wright, Anna Campbell, Josh Milne, Ailish MacKechnie and Niamh MacLean. Anya Wright won the section for 5 – 7 year olds, Kathleen Munn for 8 – 11 year olds and Lewis McDowall for 12 – 16 year olds. A list of all of the prize winners can be found on website: www.tireeshow.co.uk – The Home Industry sections were judged by 4 very enthusiastic judges, Margaret Agnew for handcrafts, Elizabeth Brown for Produce, Horticulture was judged by Ian MacLeod and the children’s section was judged by Fiona MacLeod.

Also new for 2016, was the very fitting ‘Scarecrow Competition’, which was well entered and won by Ailish, Jarleth and Katie Jane MacKechnie. Throughout the day there was various going-ons to keep everyone entertained, with the Tiree Young Farmers running the main ring events with an action packed roll a bale competition which involved rolling a hay bale from one end of the ring to the other, which was won by Duncan MacLean and Sheena MacKinnon. ‘Pie, a Pint and a sheep’ was another new addition to this year’s show which allowed local crofter, Colin McKinnon to show off his shearing skills by giving us a demonstration of the task.

There was also an opportunity to browse the well stocked ‘craft tent’ where a variety of local, visiting businesses and organisations took advantage of the crowds and had various items on sale, or information to promote their group. Tiree Renewable Energy were also in attendance and promoting the recent achievement of a ‘1 million pound donation’ to Tiree Trust. The Tiree Baptist Church were also busy in the tea tent, offering a variety of wonderful homebaked goods, teas and coffees which kept everyone going. Thankfully the weather stayed dry, which allowed for Tiree Tot’s newly purchased bouncy castle to be erected which kept a majority of the children occupied throughout the day!

To bring the event to a close, Chairperson Lynne MacKinnon thanked all involved in making the event so successful and to all those who attended and took part in competitions. The prizes were presented by Mary Morrison, who also took charge of handing out the raffle prizes, which is always very kindly donated to! The top prize of £150 was won by Evan Omand, 2 FlyBe/Loganair Tickets were won by Nella Munn and £50 of CalMac vouchers were won by Ewan Malcolm – Well done all!

Having become a show tradition, Donald Morrison also ran a bidding auction for a variety of items. First was a a prime lamb, which had been donated by Heylipol Farm with United Auctions paying for the slaughter and butchery, this went for the excellent sum of £350 which is being donated to cancer charity CLIC Sargent. Another two items, a lovely painting by Annine MacLean was auctioned for £160 and a shepherd’s crook donated by Archie Cameron made £130 which will go towards Show funds. A second painting, also donated by Annine was auctioned at the dance and made another £160! As the day drew to a close, there was only one event still to take place – the iconic ‘tossing the sheaf’ which was well entered and eventually won by Gavin Omand.

As the Show grounds began to empty, the committee were still at work tidying up the grounds and preparing for the evening dance, which was very well attended. Music was provided by the talented Argyll Ceilidh Trail, who have been travelling and performing throughout Argyll over the last few weeks. Well done to all involved in organising and running another very successful Tiree Agricultural Society Show!

Local Nurse Attends Patrons’ Lunch

Last week on Sunday the 12th of June, Tiree’s local district nurse, Catriona Cowling attended the Patrons’ Lunch in London!

The Event which was organised to celebrate The Queen’s patronage of over 600 charities and organisations on the occasion of her 90th birthday, was a great success and enjoyed by all!

Catriona was one of the lucky 12 nurses who were picked from a draw by The Queen’s Nursing Institue Scotland to attend the lunch. She told An Tirisdeach that she very much enjoyed her trip to London, despite the rain and even managed to have a chat with Princess Anne, who remembered being in Tiree on two occasions in 1991 to open The Hynish Centre and the extension to Tigh a Rudha.

Catriona is pictured with her hamper full of goodies which she received at the event. Well done to Catriona!

News From Tiree High School

From Tiree To Kaoya

Last year we were delighted to be able to purchase new reading schemes for pupils in the English primary classes. Since then, several hundred ‘old’ reading books have been taking up space in various corners while we searched for a suitable home for them. Although the books were no longer meeting our needs, we knew that somebody somewhere could make good use of them. We were put in touch with the charity Free 2 Be which is based in South Yorkshire and which supports Khaoya School in rural Kenya.

Having contacted the charity which said they would be delighted to make use of our books, the next challenge was to find a way of transporting them to Rotherham by the middle of June! An appeal on FaceBay solved this problem and we are extremely grateful to Mr Adrian Pope who kindly offered to transport the books for us. He is delivering around eight boxes of books to Free 2 Be on Sunday 12th June and these will be added to a container of clothing, tools and other goods being shipped to Kenya later this month. We are delighted that our books are going to benefit children in another part of the world.

Playground Working Bee

Last Saturday a group of parents and teachers spent the morning tidying up the primary playground. We were able to put up the climbing wall again, strim around the play equipment, tidy the courtyard and remove grass and weeds from inside the play equipment. We also brightened up the Gaelic primary toilets with stickers. The weather did not defeat us, even though it got drizzly towards the end and the donated tea and cake kept our spirits and energy up. A big thank you to all who took part – we hope to make this a more regular activity.

Quiz Night For Cancer Research

An enterprising group of pupils from P.5, 6 and 7 recently decided that they would like to raise some money for Cancer Research UK. Roxanne le Roux, Emily Armstrong, Gabrielle le Roux, Skye Gunn, Kathleen Munn and Ruth MacIntosh put their heads together and planned a Quiz Night with raffle and refreshments which was held on Friday 10th June in the school.

The girls worked extremely hard on the run-up to the event, making decorations, creating questions, ensuring a good supply of baking and gathering prizes for the raffle. On the Friday afternoon they set up tables and chairs and ensured that everyone knew their particular responsibility for the evening ahead. A good number of families and friends came along to participate and showed tremendous generosity in purchasing raffle tickets and home baking. Gaby and Emily welcomed everyone and spoke about the importance of Cancer Research and how cancer affects so many families. The questions which had been put together by Kathleen and Ruth provided lots of challenge and there were several groans as participants endeavoured to answer such puzzlers as, ‘What is the life expectancy of a wild mouse?’ and ‘How high is the crossbar in rugby?’! At the end of the evening the Hillcrest team comprising Elspeth MacKinnon, Finlay MacKinnon, Innes MacKinnon and Rhoda Meek emerged victorious, largely due (they claim) to Finlay’s superb knowledge of countries and their flags. Roxy made an excellent closing speech where they thanked everyone who had contributed towards the success of the evening.

The total amount raised for Cancer Research UK was £407.11. This was a fantastic result and the girls’ efforts were recognised at Monday’s school assembly.

A’ Bhuain – The Tiree Homecoming – A Great Success

An Talla was once again packed with a crowd on Friday the 27th of May as a wonderful week of activities to celebrate the Tiree Homecoming came to an end! The final concert and dance organised by An Commun Tirisdeach – The Tiree Association was an exceptional night which finished off an even better week.

A’ Bhuain 2016, ten years in the making but worth the wait, was described as many visiting ‘homecomers’ as the best week of their lives. With over 130 people from all over the world descending on Tiree the island was a hive of activity with an action packed week of talks, ceilidhs, plays, workshops, dancing, music, storytelling and much more!

We covered the beginning of the week in the last edition of An Tirisdeach, when we reported on the wonderful opening ceremony chaired by local man Gordon Connell along with a talk on Tiree’s Whisky heritage and launch of Tiree Whisky Company – which you can read more about on page 12. On Monday we were also treated to an interesting lecture by Donald Meek who talked about his life growing up on Tiree, family and memories of Tiree. Tuesday marked the beginning of the workshops that were on offer throughout the week. There was an excellent turn out for each workshop, which included tutoring from Tiree’s elite! You could choose from ceilidh dancing with Jessie Gray, accordion lessons with Eilidh MacFadyen, Ulpan (Gaelic) classes with Rhoda Meek and singing lessons from Ishbel Campbell. Workshops ran from 10am through to lunchtime, when attendees were then able to indulge in delicious soup and sandwich lunch, and a variety of homebaking. Each day a different local committee took their turn in the kitchen, using the opportunity to fundraise for their group or activities. Lunches were open to everyone and each day there were special guests from the Tiree community in attendance.

Tuesday saw our second talk of the week, from Alison Kennedy and Mary MacLean who gave an informative talk about Captain Donald MacKinnon. That same day, local RSPB officer, John Bowler led a walk and bird talk, looking at Tiree’s special birds.

Tuesday continued to be a very busy day indeed! In the evening we were treated to a fantastic performance from Tiree’s ‘West End Players’ who performed the Napier Play, written and directed by Mabel Macarthur. The play was excellently written, directed and performed, telling the story of the Napier Commission Enquiry, which was held in Kirkapol Church on the 7th of August 1883, which led to many of Tiree’s residents emmigrating to foreign lands. And Tuesday is still not finished. After the play attendees got the opportunity to dance to two of Tiree’s finest accordion players, Ian Smith from Trail West and Eilidh MacFadyen from Dùn Mòr.

The sun shone all weekend, with Tiree living up to its name of the ‘sunshine isle’, giving us perfect conditions for Wednesday’s walks and tours. Doctor John kicked the day off with a talk on the Vikings of Tiree, a subject that he has been researching for some time now! Following on from this talk there was then a graveyard tour led by Catriona Smyth, who has worked on a project with An Iodhlann to map and transcribe old gravestones from three of Tiree’s oldest graveyards!

During Wednesday afternoon participants also got the chance to go on the very popular Tiree Tour with Mabel Macarthur and Nancy Kennedy. The bus tour takes attendees all over the island giving them an insight into a variety of interesting facts about Tiree, from history and present day! The tour was very well attended and gave everyone the opportunity to see Tiree at its very best! On Wednesday evening we were treated to an excellent night of tunes, songs and stories from the very popular Skipinnish! Lead accordionist and Tiree native, Angus MacPhail and his band had the whole hall toe tapping and singing along to their very popular songs along with a variety of famous Tiree tunes! It was an excellent night, enjoyed by all!!

With the week nearing an end, Thursday saw us hearing from another Tiree local, Ian Smith who was joined by ‘homecomer’ Sharon Clayton, to tell us about the Balephuil Fishing Disaster of 1856. An interesting talk took place along with a field visit to the site of the disaster. In the evening, homecomers got the opportunity to experience a traditional Tiree ceilidh in the homes of various locals. There were tunes, singing, storytelling and poetry from a host of local and visiting guests, an excellent experience for all!

Friday brought us to the last day of this terrific week long event, but there was still lots to cover! The morning was started with the crofting tour, organised by the Cattle Show committee. This fully booked bus tour stopped at various crofts and farms around the island, looking at old and new farming practices along with hearing about some of the history of crofting on Tiree! Back in An Talla there were back to back talks, starting with ‘The Black Factor’ presented by Robin K Campbell who talked about the infamous factor, John Campbell. Straight after this we heard from Archie Henderson who talked to us about his research into the ‘Kirk Session Minutes’. And on Friday evening, we come to the last event of the week, the final concert and dance organised by The Tiree Association! Both events welcomed a host of extremely talented musicians,some who have never performed on Tiree before and others who are native to the island. The concert was put together by the musical director for the evening, Mary Ann Kennedy and we were treated to an excellent mix of tunes and song, that complimented the theme of the homecoming event!

Many stayed on for the dance which followed the concert and An Talla was full of people dancing, singing and socialising – creating an excellent atmosphere to round off a fantastic event! From start to finish, A’ Bhuain, The Tiree Homecoming 2016 was a wonderfully organised event, which will leave people with excellent memories for years to come. An Tirisdeach would like to say a very big well done to all of the hard working committee and people who were involved in making the event so special and we are eagerly waiting on confirmation of ‘take three’!

For more pictures, videos and accounts of the week’s activities, make sure you log on to the website and social media pages!

Help Monitor The Whales and Dolphins of Scotland

wdc_shorewatchA community-led citizen science project is seeking dedicated volunteers to monitor the whales and dolphins of Scotland.

Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) runs the Shorewatch project, a network of volunteers watching out for cetacean species at designated sites across Scotland. WDC uses sighting information from volunteers to aid in the protection of whales and dolphins across the country.

There is a great variety of marine wildlife around Scotland, and the Shorewatch programme recorded more than 1,000 sightings last year alone – and have had further fantastic sightings this year. The Moray Firth is home to a population of around 190 bottlenose dolphins that travel throughout the firth and as far down the east coast as Scarborough in England. From the visitor centre at the Scottish Dolphin Centre in Spey Bay, Whale and Dolphin Conservation have been recording sightings of these dolphins, as well as other cetacean species in the area, for over ten years, and are now seeking passionate volunteers to support this work in coastal areas across the country.

Along with the resident bottlenose dolphin and harbour porpoise populations off the Scottish coasts, Shorewatch volunteers have also recorded sightings of Minke whale, Humpback whale and even Orca, among others. Katie Dyke, Scottish Conservation officer at WDC, says ‘Scotland is an amazing place to see whales and dolphins. WDC Shorewatch works in 23 coastal communities across Scotland, training local volunteers to record their whale and dolphin sightings’. She added, ‘It is so important to have eyes on the sea to protect and monitor the species’. The data provided through Shorewatch will help to better understand where the animals are going, and in turn help in their protection. All gathered data is distributed to national organisations to form plans to protect these magnificent animals.

The Shorewatch project currently has over 150 active volunteers, stretching around the northeast and north-west coasts from Aberdeen to the Outer Hebrides, and saw twelve different species of cetacean last year alone. These volunteers are vital to the continued running of the project, and WDC Shorewatch seeks further volunteers to aid in this initiative. WDC Shorewatch runs training days for anyone that is interested in becoming a volunteer and joining the Shorewatch project. Following their training, in which attendees are trained to identify the variety of cetacean species around Scotland and record their sightings data, volunteers are provided with watching equipment, including binoculars, and begin to record their Shorewatch efforts from designated coastal sites.

The Shorewatch team will be visiting Tiree on the 15th and 16th of June (more info in the poster within this article) and would love to meet keen volunteers; we will also be offering Shorewatch training sessions. Anyone interested in attending or learning more information can contact the Spey Bay centre on 01343 829065, or email the Shorewatch team at shorewatch@whales.org.

TMF Announce Line Up For Record Capacity Event

tmf_2016Tiree Music Festival (15-17 July) this week announced a very special list of acts for what will be the biggest TMF to date. Over the course of the three days, acts including Levellers, Red Hot Chili Pipers, Sharon Shannon, Skerryvore, Skipinnish, Blazin Fiddles and legendary Irish quartet Flook will play to a 2000 strong crowd – over treble the population of the island.

Famed for its laid back atmosphere, TMF attracts a diverse audience and is well-known as being one of the most family-friendly in the UK. The multi-award winning event has sold out every year since its inception in 2010, with early bird tickets for the 2016 being sold out in four hours.

The additional capacity will enable more people to experience the TMF adventure than ever before. This year’s festival will feature three stages including the Calmac Live Lounge, set in the heart of the TMF Community Village – a purpose built arena packed with a host of creative activities and the best of west coast produce from Argyll Foods. As well as the music, there will be special sea-life trips with Basking Shark Scotland and also the first ever TMF ‘flash-mob’ co-ordinated by Eden Court Creative. “This is the most exciting and eclectic TMF line up to date,” says Artistic Director Daniel Gillespie. “Securing international acts like Levellers, Flook, Sharon Shannon and Nashville singer Jesse Terry alongside the very best Scottish artists like Breabach, Blazin Fiddles and Fergie MacDonald is what makes the journey to TMF so special. And being known as the ‘Hawaii of the North’, it is only right that our first ever flash-mob is Hawaiian themed!”

With four extra sailings from Calmac and three extra scheduled flights from FlyBe, the journey to the ‘Hawaii of the North’ is more accessible than ever before. Festival Director Stewart MacLennan says: “We are thrilled to confirm that TMF 2016 will be the biggest and best to date thanks to the additional capacity provided by Calmac and FlyBe. These additional travel routes are not only providing more capacity to the island but more flexibility of when to travel, which is fantastic for the event and the island as a whole.” Those who aren’t lucky enough to snap up tickets can soak in the sights and sounds as BBC ALBA will record highlights and performances from the island festival for the second year, providing an insight into the charm and colour that makes the festival and the island so appealing. After the success of last year’s footage, BBC ALBA have confirmed that the 2016 coverage will increase to 11 episodes and 6hrs of footage including a special episode on A’ Bhuain – the Tiree Homecoming 2016.

For all the latest information follow us on Facebook, Twitter and visit the website www.tireemusicfestival.co.uk

Tiree Welcomes ‘The Homecomers’

After years of discussions and hard work by the dedicated committee, ‘A’ Bhuain’ – The Tiree Homecoming is finally here!

Tiree is awash with flags situated throughout the island to welcome the homecomers, some who have come from as far as New Zealand. The event (which will only be half way through the week of activities by the time we go to print) was kicked off on Sunday, when The Church of Scotland and the Baptist Church came together to hold a joint church service in Heylipol, which was very well attended. The picture above gives you a good idea of the amount of people who have come from all over the world to enjoy the festivities which are on offer and also includes a host of locals who get to take advantage of the excellent programme of events that has been organised.

A’ Bhuain was officially opened on Monday, when the registration of over 200 people took place in the morning, attendees where then treated to a lovely lunch prepared by The Scarinish Hotel. Chairman of the A’ Bhuain committee, Doctor John Holliday welcomed all to An Talla and commented on how wonderful it was to see so many people ‘come home’ for this event. He joked that in order to combat Tiree’s declining population, visiting attendees to the island were not only registering for the week of activities, but also registering to immigrate back to Tiree – wouldn’t that be nice! People have travelled from all over the world to atten A’ Bhuain, 35 from Canada, 6 from New Zealand, 1 from Australia, 2 from The U.S.A, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium and France, 18 from England, 1 from the isle of Man, 60 from mainland Scotland and of course all of the Tiree locals.

Gordon Connell continued to entertain the crowd with stories and memories and we heard music from the wonderfully talented school pupils including the choir, which was lovely to hear. Monday was a hive of activity, that also included the official launch of ‘Tiree Whisky Company’ and gave everyone the opportunity to get their hands on the first bottling from this venture between two Tiree locals, Ian Smith and Alain Campbell. Both boys conducted an interesting talk on the history of Tiree whisky and gave an insight into the making of ‘The Cairnsmuir’. In the evening we were also treated to a very interesting talk by Professor Donald Meek, ‘Between Island and Memory’, who gave us an overview of his life growing up on Tiree, treated us to a poem or two and also some songs sung by Ethal MacCallum and Gordon Scott. And that was only day one!

The rest of the weeks programme includes, talks, home ceilidhs, an island tour, a bird walk, croft visits, The Napier Play, a Skipinnish concert and rounding off the week with a big Ho Rò Gheallaidh concert and dance organised by An Comunn Tirisdeach – The Tiree Association. Each day a local community group is preparing and putting on lunches, for all to enjoy. An Tirisdeach would like to congratulate the A’ Bhuain committee and all who have been involved in putting on this event. With plenty of things to do and get involved in, we will be reporting back on all of the activity in the next edition of An Tirisdeach! To all of the homecomers, we would like to welcome you to Tiree and hope you enjoy your visit!

Keep up to date with all of the weeks activity and have a look at some of the photos by visiting www.tireehomecoming.com

Gordon Connell Enters Traditional Music Hall of Fame

FOR only a small island with a population of not much more than 700, Tiree has produced an inordinate number of accordionists, not least those playing in such well-known west coast bands as Skipinnish, Skerryvore and Gunna Sound, as well as in up-and-coming young outfits such as Trail West and Dùn Mòr.

Much of the credit for this must go to local resident Gordon Connell, a self-taught piano-accordionist whose enthusiasm for the music and dedication as a teacher has inspired some 100 accordionists on the island which has been his home since 1962.

Voted Music Tutor of the Year in the 2010 Scots Trad Music Awards, Gordon first arrived on the island to take up a post as history and later modern studies teacher at Cornaigmore School – now Tiree High School – and by 1970 he was teaching accordion there. Described as “a natural teacher”, he taught initially by ear, although the arrival of a music teacher on the school’s staff in the mid-1970s enabled his pupils to read music, making it easier for Gordon to teach them – although he describes his own music-reading skills as “still pretty basic”. His teaching may have been on a voluntary basis, but his impact on the island’s young musicians has been huge. On a BBC Alba documentary about the accordion, Beò air a’ Bhogsa – “Outside the Box”, a few years ago, one of his students, Ian Smith, the accordionist of Trail West and a finalist in the 2014 Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year competition, commented: “I don’t think anyone could match what Gordon did – an immense amount of work as a tutor.” “Gordon is quite different to any other music tutor I’ve ever had,” says Daniel Gillespie, accordionist with the now internationally renowned west-coast folk-rockers Skerryvore. “It’s unbelievable how natural teaching is to him and how much patience he has. Gordon would be first to say that he’s not a world-class accordion player but he is a world-class teacher. And he’s never taken a penny for his teaching.”

Yet Gordon didn’t actually take up the accordion until he arrived on the island. Born in 1940, he grew up in the village of Blairmore, nine miles outside Dunoon. He attended Strone Primary School & Dunoon Grammar school, then went on to gain a degree at Glasgow University before doing his teacher-training year at Jordanhill Collage. Rather than music, his main interests while growing up were golf and football, and he still maintains an enthusiastic interest in the latter sport. He recalls, however, listening to the Saturday evening Scottish country dance music programme on the radio. It wasn’t until he arrived in Tiree, however, that he took up the box, and in hindsight describes his initial efforts as “rather painful to listen to”. With perseverance, however, his playing improved and by 1970 was teaching the instrument as a leisure activity at the school. Gordon was also a regular at local dances and functions, taking to the stage with band members Murray Omand and the late Stewart Langley. The band entertained Tiree for many years and earlier this year Gordon and Murray took to the stage once again to play at The Tiree Associations very succesful event – Tiree Memories. Many people commented that the music on the night took them right back to the ‘good ole days’ of dancing to Gordon and Murray’s music in the old hall in Crossapol and other venues throughout the island.

The island’s accordion scene started to really take off around 1990, says Gordon, who credits the fact that students were starting to compete at the National Mòd and also that Tiree started its own annual Fèis.He retired from his teaching job at the school in 1996, but was persuaded to carry on teaching accordion by the enthusiasm of his pupils. “What still motivates me is the great response I get from my students,” he says. “At present I have a really keen group at various stages; they’re all fantastic people and are a pleasure to teach.”

Tiree, he adds, is “a small and friendly community. Most of my former students still keep in touch – many of them I count as friends.” So far as his own playing is concerned, he declares simply that “teaching youngsters who are about to overtake you is motivation enough for me to keep practising and trying to learn new tunes – I wouldn’t really class myself as a player. “I guess the most satisfying thing for me is seeing my students progress – some to form their own bands – at least four of them are making a living from their music and a couple of others are bandleaders with day jobs, but extremely competent just the same.”

A’ Bhuin – The Tiree Homecoming

After months of organisation and planning, A’ Bhuain week is almost upon us!

In just over a week’s time Tiree will welcome a host of people from all over the world who are returning home to join the rest of Tiree for this week long event!

An excellent programme of activities has been planned, including talks, workshops, ceilidhs, site visits, dancing, classes, a play, whisky, a book launch, live music and lots more!

Everyone is invited to take part and I’m sure there will be something that interests most people. The whole programme can be viewed and downloaded by visiting www.tireehomecoming.com.

An Talla will be a hive of activity throughout the week, so make sure you pop in to see what is happening. Lunches will be served daily, merchandise will be on sale and hopefully there will be lots of people milling around, chatting and having a great time. The committee look forward to seeing you all there and hope you enjoy the week. If you have any questions or would like further information then please visit the website above or get in touch with Jessie Gray (jessiegray49{@}gmail.com) or Rosemary Omand (rosemary.tiree{@}icloud.com)

Two Tiree Locals Named Surfing Champions

Two local Tiree boys recently competed in the Scottish Surfing Championships up in Thurso and were both crowned champions within their competitions!

Finn MacDonald, 14 from Balevullin came first in the under 18s and Ben Larg, 11 from Balemartine also claimed first prize in the under 14s competition – what an excellent achievement!

The competition is held annually and attracts some of Scotland’s top surfers with Thurso also ranked as one of the best surfing venues in the UK – it also looks like one of the coldest!

Finn and Ben have both been surfing from a young age, taking advantage of Tiree’s beautiful beaches and good surfing conditions – and the years of practice definitely paid off last weekend!

Ben also competed in the under 16s competition and it was commented that ‘he was one to watch for the future’.

On behalf of the whole island, An Tirisdeach would like to congratulate both boys! Well done Finn and Ben!

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