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And The Fun Continued…….

Tiree Music Festival 2011

Preparations for the Music Festival began on the Thursday with a huge portable stage being erected in the grounds of An Talla. Further down the road at the Business Centre campers began arriving to pitch their tents in readiness for what turned out to be a memorable musical event.

Over the two days over 1000 people danced and sang to the music of The MacDonald Brothers, Pearl and the Puppets, Jill Jackson, Trailwest. Skerryvore and a surprise turn from Face the West.

This year’s festival was a huge success judging by the comments from locals and visitors alike, and as its reputation spreads, one thing you can be sure of is that future TMF’s will become one of the must-go-to festivals of the music festival season.

Congratulations and thanks to all who organised it so well.

The ghost of the Oceana rises again

oceana wreck image

As the ghostly timbers surfaced above the wet sand, memories of the 1949 stranding of a boat in unusual circumstances came back to haunt one of Tiree’s beaches last week.

Sheena and Charlie Berlie, Crossapol, were among the first people to notice the curve of iron ribs made visible by the low tides and force of the waves half way along the beach at the spring low tide mark.

The Oceana, a two masted schooner, was on passage between Ireland and the Baltic in March 1949 when a southerly storm blew the vessel onto Tràigh Bhàigh, now more commonly known as Crossapol Beach (as Crossapol has grown and Baugh shrunk).

Early that morning the local coastguard crew, led by Murdoch Cameron, Balevullin and Alec MacLean, Hough, were called. The boat was grounded over a hundred yards out and the beach party had to fire a rocket to the stricken vessel to allow the bosun’s chair to be used. The crew of around six were winched ashore. One observer remembers their “backsides dipping in the waves”.
The captain came ashore last, with his “cap glued to his head!” according to Archie Brown, Kilkenneth, the only surviving member of the coastguard team. The crew were taken to the Crossapol Hall and seemed to have left the island the next day.

The Oceana, 105 feet long, had been built in 1879 as a private yacht. At her prow she had a striking figurehead of a woman blowing a pipe. Engines were installed in 1923. Reasons for the boat’s grounding were hotly debated at the time. Some people said that the skipper had been confused by the lights on the aerodrome and was making for them. Others were sure the crew were drug smuggling. As the crew were Russian or Latvian, it is unlikely we will ever find out!

To see the remains, go to the centre of the beach at very low tide, park next to the war time huts and then walk 100 yards towards Crossapol.

Festive Fun

Following on from the success of the Senior Citizens’ party the young people of  Tiree showed that they too know how to let their hair down and enjoy themselves.
The arrival of Santa bearing wonderful gifts was eagerly anticipated and the highlight for many of the youngsters.
The girls had dressed for the occasion in dresses that sparkled and the boys looked equally smart.
Congratulations and thanks once again to the Parties Committee for all their hard work throughout the year.

Santa came to call, and parties were had by all

The Senior Citizens party was held on Saturday 11 December and by all accounts all of our 90 guests had a very good time.

The Guests were piped in, on arrival, by Colin MacKinnon, Balevuillin and then before dinner, the lovely cake made by Evelyn, was cut by Hugh MacLeod who recently celebrated his 95th birthday. We then had an excellent dinner prepared by Josie and the An Talla Team.

The entertainment was brought by Iain and Iona Brown and Kenny Nicolson and our thanks to them for coming and giving the folks at the party a sing-a-long. Another Special Visitor, dressed all in red with a big white beard (any guesses who it might be??) arrived after the meal and he came bearing gifts for our lucky prize-winners, after some dancing he left to deliver more presents elsewhere. We had an extra special raffle of a painting, kindly donated by Patricia Sharp which raised £249 and was won by Margaret Ryan, Hynish.

Gordon, Billy and Katie played and the dancing and entertainment, including some fun games and stand up bingo, began and carried on till the bus came and it was time to wind down for another year.

The Parties Committee would like to thank The RBS Community Fund, Tiree Association, Agrimarine, I&F MacLeod together with all the personal donations we have received this year. This all goes towards the costs of running the parties.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from The Tiree Parties Committee.

Tiree’s Fun Filled Weekend

Tiree Show Pipe BandWas there ever a weekend like it? The fun started on Friday when, with the sun shining, locals and visitors reaped the benefits of the months of hard work put in by the committee to enjoy Tiree’s annual Agricultural Show.

The spectators were entertained watching the serious business of the judging of livestock,  but the largest crowd gathered to watch the Dog Agility team performing their routine through tunnels, along wobbly planks and over hurdles

Dog Agility Team– many comments were heard about there being “no way my dog could do that”.

Deciding on the winners in the pet and home produce sections was a difficult time for the judges and the effort put in by all entrants was apparent with the standards of entries once again being very high.

By the middle of the afternoon the sun had retreated behind the clouds and the wind turned cooler but still the children played on the bouncy castles and the queues at the refreshment stands continued.

The day was marked with a tinge of sadness as Alex MacArthur who has been announcing livestock results and prize winners for many years is hanging up his microphone and retiring from being the voice of the Show.

All the tickets for the Show Dance at An Talla were sold out and once again locals and visitors of all ages danced until the early hours.

The weather on Saturday was decidedly grim with the sort of misty rain that soaks you as soon as you go out, unfortunately this meant that the Sports day was cancelled and didn’t take place till Tuesday. By 6pm the rain had more or less stopped and the first ever Tiree Music Festival Kicked off with a procession to An Talla led by Tiree Pipe Band.

On Sunday at 11am the place to be was down at the Reef Pitch to either watch or take part in Tiree 5 A-side Tournament. Details of this competition will be in the next issue.

Without exception the opinions of all who joined in the events of the weekend were, that it had been a huge success, tiring for both organisers and participants, but something to talk about for many weeks and a highlight to look forward to next year.

Tying the Tiree Knot

fire_jugglerAdam and Sian were determined to have their wedding in Tiree where they first met.

Both have connections with Tiree surf-Adam having spent hours battling its force and Sian working as a marketing media manager for the PWA. Therefore, Crossapol beach was a most appropriate place to hold their wedding.

The weather was kind on a day when it was gusty and wet but at the allotted hour all came well, and apart from an advancing tide everything went according to plan.

Sian was piped onto the beach by Coinneach MacKinnon and her godfather, Tudor Evans, played a selection of Welsh music on the trumpet while the register was signed. The wedding ceremony was conducted by Annie Loughlin of the Humanist Society of Scotland.

Although Sian comes from south of the border, she is actually from a Welsh background, her father having played rugby for Wales and the British Lions. Her mother runs a successful rare breeds sheep farm – so it is in the blood!

A super meal followed in An Talla courtesy of Neil MacPhail and Alison Campbell who provided a magnificent starter of crab and lobster. Dolina Campbell supplied a fine main course and the pavlovas were provided by Sian’s family. Trail West provided the music for the dancing and Adam’s cousin gave a demonstration of poi – fire juggling (outside the hall!)

Everyone who visited Tiree for the wedding, especially those who golfed, windsurfed and took part in the 10k had a brilliant week end and Adam and Sian will have plenty visitors in their new home at Beachcomber. We wish them all the very best for the future.

Brian and Ann Milne

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