Tag Archives: Isle of Tiree

Children’s Behaviour


As an “incomer” to Tiree I haven’t grown up with the ways of the isle and as such I notice things locals take for granted.

On the mainland I worked as a lollipop lady and spent quite a bit of time with children of 6 to 11 and their younger siblings. During this job the children generally fell into three categories:

1. Those that were wonderfully behaved and always said thank you

2. Those easily distracted but well behaved

3. Those who were, shall we say, less than polite.

Today I was at the Tiree High School Gala Day helping my husband man the ice cream stall. May I congratulate all on Tiree for their excellent manners! Not a single type 3 child was seen by myself and I have a new category “Those who are so shy that they whisper in a crowded hall”

The Gala day was wonderful and I am extremely happy to live in such a wonderful community.


Jacqui Bennett

Twin Otters for Tiree


Two new aeroplanes have been ordered to serve the lifeline air service to Barra, Tiree and Campbeltown.

The Twin Otter aircraft have been specially selected as they are able to land on Barra, the world’s only scheduled service with a landing strip on a beach.

The contract to supply the new planes to link the islands with Glasgow has been awarded to Canadian company Viking Air Limited. The route is officially designated as a public service obligation (PSO) and would not be commercially viable without support from the Scottish Government. Viking Air Limited will provide the two Twin Otter DHC6-400 aircraft. No figure for the contract has yet been disclosed, but the tender was between £5 million and £7 million.

Transport Minister Keith Brown said he was “delighted” that a supplier had been secured. “We expect to take delivery of the new planes next May and for them to be up and running on the routes shortly afterwards. By purchasing our own aircraft, we will also encourage more competition when the contract for operating the PSO routes comes up for renewal. We will be looking at ways to enhance these services and will engage with passengers, local businesses and other interested parties to look at potential improvements. These new planes mean our PSO routes to Campbeltown, Barra and Tiree will continue to be reliable and attractive to travellers. The communities served by these flights can now look forward to seeing new planes operating on the routes next summer.”

Subsidy has been paid by the Scottish Government on the Glasgow-Tiree and Glasgow-Barra route since the mid-1970s.

Jennie’s Garden wins ACHA Hat Trick!


ACHA introduced the Tiree Tenants Garden Competition three years ago and Jennie Niven has been the worthy winner every year.

Jennie wasn’t aware of the competition at first until approached by an ACHA staff member to allow her to submit pictures of her garden. This garden is a wee hidden gem, the colours are stunning and provide vibrant splashes amongst the more sedate areas of calm and tranquillity.You will find roses, pinks (which visitors remark on the wonderful perfume) asters, petunias, marigolds, anemones, love in the mist and pansies.

Jennie has been a keen gardener since childhood when helping her Dad in the garden was a welcome escape from an overcrowded house. She has lovingly cultivated her garden, setting herself yearly challenges to see what she can grow next, the newest addition are late blooming Japanese anemones (right). Jennie is always amazed at how the delicate blooms withstand the Tiree gales however, her first attempt at growing Lily of the Valley (Jennie’s favourite plant) was destroyed by the sheep but fortunately a fence was built around the garden providing protection. She’s taking no chances this year and keeping the plant indoors until after Winter.

When she first won the award Jennie thought it was a “wind up” but says the award makes her realise her garden is appreciated. Her prize is a trophy engraved with the winner’s name plus £30 gift vouchers which go towards the purchase of more seeds. Keep up the good work!


Grow your island business!

Is your business ready for the next phase in its development?
Tiree Community Development Trust would like to hear from any island businesses who are seeking accreditation or training to expand and improve their operations. Would accreditation in quality management standards help your business to win bigger contracts? Would training sessions on managing finances help your business become more efficient? Tell us what you need and when you need it and we will investigate options for shared training days and funding support to help you take your business forward.
Initial interest has been shown in gaining ‘ISO 9000′ and ‘Investors in People’ accreditation over the winter months- would you like your business to be included?
Please contact Lynne Cox with your feedback: lynne.cox@tireetrust.org.uk


We would like to offer a huge congratulation to our Youth & Communications Coordinator Sophie and Tom, on the birth of their baby boy!

Community Events

Now that the busy summer period is over, we have been busy looking at out winter events calendar and starting to organise some community events for you all to enjoy. Here are some dates for the diary – more information will be released soon.
· Saturday the 1st of November – Children’s Halloween party
· Wednesday the 5th of November – Community Bonfire & Fireworks Display – We would be grateful for any donations of fire wood that could be used for the bonfire, if you have any then please get in touch.
· Wednesday the 31st of December – Community Hogmanay Dance


Just a reminder that we are currently advertising intensive weekend courses, starting at the end of October.
Please see the advert in this edition for further information, if you have any other questions about the Ùlpan project; please get in touch with donna@tireetrust.org.uk

Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM)

The Trust will hold an EGM on Tuesday 28th October to request members approval to make a small amendment to the Constitution. The brief meeting will be held at An Talla at 7:30pm. For full details of the proposed change please visit the Trust website and click on ‘News’ or contact Andy on 220 074 or andy@tireetrust.org.uk

Cùram and TCC Join Forces


There was a public meeting on Monday 29th September 2014 to share with the Community the progress made by Cùram and the effect the inclusion of the TCC (Tiree Community Council) will have moving forward.
The objective of the meeting was “To obtain input and support from the Community”. The meeting was chaired by Doctor John Holiday, John Bottomley presented the progress made by Cùram and Kate MacCallum explained how the new care delivery system will work.
Although Cùram has made significant progress to date there are restrictions made upon the group which prevent them from sharing their independent view. Joining forces with TCC allows the views and opinions of the Tiree Community to be shared and communicated more openly.
The closure of the Eventide home is not unique to Tiree, it is a National policy with the aim of becoming more efficient which means we need to reform and change the way care is distributed amongst our growing elderly population. The way we will look after our elderly is by caring for them wherever possible in their own homes rather than being institutionalised long before they need round the clock care and attention. We will witness changes to all the Services providing care and support to the Community, Social Work and Nursing Services will be joined as will Carers in the existing care home and the Community Carers.
Cùram is about building up resources in the Community and there will be more reliance on groups like the Tiree Resource Club and Charities. The community meeting provided the forum to share knowledge, ask and answer questions and overall provide a feeling of inclusion. We were asked to provide a show of hands on various topics, such as where the new facility should be built, should the facility have a kitchen, a chapel of rest, medical bed and other pertinent questions. This allowed the two groups to gauge the feelings in the room.
Change is always difficult especially when the subject matter is emotive and Cùram and TCC will work collaboratively to achieve the best outcome possible. We are in good hands, they are passionate individuals who have thoroughly investigated their subject matter. We have voted these individuals onto their respective groups and committees because we believe in their abilities and strength of character and with that foremost in your mind I would urge you to attend the next meeting.
A note to the wise, be part of the discussion, share your views but don’t be dogmatic, be prepared to accept compromise, don’t ask for the earth because Cùram don’t have an ever ending pot of money but they do have Tiree’s best interest at heart. The quicker agreements can be made the sooner the new Progressive Care Home can be built,we need to move swiftly – 2018 is just around the corner and we’ll all be three years older!

Tiree house- shortlisted for RIBA Manser Medal


House No7, a refurbished black house on the Isle of Tiree belonging to Dave and Liz Kerr has been short listed for a prestigious design award. The homes are named in the Royal Institute of British Architects’ shortlist for this year’s Manser Medal.
The Manser Medal is given for originality, quality and imagination, rather than the scale of a project’s social aspiration. More often than not, the shortlist focuses on bespoke houses – large and small – that come about when an architect with a good idea gets to work with a particularly courageous client. The architect in question, Murray Kerr was under additional family scrutiny as he is the son of Dave and Liz.
Six homes have been short listed and the winner will be announced on 16 October 2014. Earlier in the year this stunning property was the winner of Grand Designs Home of the Year 2014 and Kevin McCloud one of the judges said “I fell in love with this project because of it’s simplicity. It’s rather breathtaking”.
The build was undertaken by local firm, John MacKinnon Builders and they have delivered a beautiful property, the result being the old and new parts of the property blend effortlessly together.
We wish everyone involved in this project the very best of luck in October.

Community Care For Our Elderly

wheelchairI attended a public meeting a few weeks ago concerning the proposed model of care for the elderly and integration of health and social work. By just writing that one sentence I have probably sent the majority of readers racing to the next article.

No one wants to think about their final years and how they will be cared for. We are incredibly lucky in the provision we have for elderly care on Tiree, but change is happening which will affect us and as individuals, families and community we need to look at why that change is happening and how it will affect us because unless you have a mirror in the attic it will happen to you.

‘We are an ageing population’ How many times have you heard that term in the media but do you truly understand the implications of an ageing population? Very simplistically it means the average age of a population is increasing along with life expectancy but the birth rate is declining. For Tiree it means that we will live longer barring accidents and plagues. However if you factor in current lifestyle factors such as obesity, alcohol consumption and lack of exercise it may mean we live longer but have more complex diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, liver disease , strokes, dementia and cancers. If the birth rate declines it means there are fewer people to look after the older people. Throw in the cost of caring for a person with multiple diseases to the NHS and you begin to see why care of the elderly has become a national concern.

So on Tiree we have a few separate issues going on around elderly care. One is the Model of Care which involves the Integration of Health and Social care which is a nationally driven policy supported by government and happening across Scotland. On Tiree it means that all elderly care will be managed and delivered by health as one team. It means we can work more flexibly and apply resources where they are needed. It makes sense. The Model of Care has the aim of keeping people at home or within their own communities longer. That means as a community we need to change the way we think about caring for our older folk. Instead of intervention at a crisis we need to look at ways of preventing crises occurring in the first place. When a person is ill we need to be able to put resources into the person’s home to ensure they are supported and cared for. All of us need to work together which means everyone working closely with families and the voluntary sector. Integration of the teams is aimed for by 2015 and I will update through An Tirisdeach as more becomes known so everyone knows what is happening.

A separate issue is the provision of a new care facility on Tiree. This is a separate issue because the integration of services will go ahead independently of the care home situation. The care provided in Tigh an Rudha is exceptional but the building and residential model no longer meet the required standards of care required by the Care Inspectorate. The model currently being discussed is the Progressive Care Model where people can live independently and dependently around the care facility. So imagine a building where all your community care staff are located. It could have a day centre and a chapel of rest or even a small hydrotherapy pool. It would have a communal area for eating and socialising. It is very much at the negotiation stage and Curam are working in partnership with health, social work and housing to ensure the facility reflects what the community needs.There will be housing units attached and care will be delivered to the person in their housing unit, even overnight.

Primarily people will stay in their own homes but the units will be available if this is no longer an option. The housing units will also have the latest Telecare. Telecare is an advanced monitoring system so a person’s whereabouts in their home can be monitored. It includes fire, flood and door alarms and the technology is advancing rapidly so people with advanced dementia can live independently of residential care.

At the meeting people were concerned about older people having to leave Tiree if the housing units were occupied. My team’s focus will be on people not leaving their own homes. However every case is different and even today we have people unable to return to the island and people who have had to be cared for elsewhere so even our current care model cannot guarantee that everyone can stay or return to be cared for on Tiree. The success of the new facility will be in terms of community engagement in the process so everyone is knowledgeable about the model and what is happening with care provision.

I hope this has helped inform everyone about what is happening regarding care for older people from my perspective as a district nurse. Next time Wills and Advance Directives – bet you cannot wait x

Kate MacCallum – Team Lead Community Nursing/Midwifery

Shaien’s Tiree Beach Clean Up


The Maze clean-up

The Maze clean-up

My daughter Shaien is 17 years old and lives with profound Autistic difficulties. Ever since coming to Tiree she seems to have been able to distinguish between what should be on the beach and what should not – always bending down upon our walks to pick up a plastic bottle or some wrapping tape/fishing line/bottle top left at high tide by the sea, depositing man’s rubbish back into the environment lover’s path.

At Easter this year I decided that we should put Shaien’s skills to good use, so we headed for The Maze, a beach I have been in awe off, for thirty years now since high wind wave sailing days, Shaien being well used to this walk.

We approached from below Benn Hough, followed the track and entered the dunes onto the beach – already we had a bag full.I was amazed at Shaien’s ability to either hold the bag open or to pick up the rubbish and put it in with little or no help from me, her willingness to keep searching, clearing the area of throw away plastic, we found very little else!

Onto the beach through the twisting ravine of dune, then headed for the far right hand corner, for a long time this area had become swamped with the non-degradable ‘stuff’. It took us four days, several hours each day, to clear this 20 square feet space-a friend helping us on the last day. 16 pink recycling bags later it once again became sand, marram and machair.

Shaien and Michael cleaning up Ceann a Mharra

Shaien and Michael cleaning up Ceann a Mharra

Over the Summer we collected odd bags of rubbish from wherever we were walking and by chance a friend bumped into Michael Czernuk from surfhelp. He too spent his days walking and collecting rubbish from our coastline, I believe he began his two month trip on the East Coast of Fife, travelled north and then west – through the outer isles onto Tiree. I contacted him to ask if he wanted to join Shaien and I along the Ceann a Mhara stretch of beach, which like the Maze had progressively becoming swamped in plastic waste. He was delighted to and told stories of various people joining forces with him, locals to the area he was clearing along his journey and the disbelief of the volume found on our island.

That afternoon we collected another 5 large bags – only half the beach cleared, but from the furthest point along, looking back it was lovely to see the crystal shell sands, without the bright blots and spots of man’s rubbish behind. The only shame being what approaches on the next tide.

I am so proud of Shaien with her deep Autistic difficulties for being able and willing to work to improve our environment for everyone to see, which goes to show there is a place for everyone on this Earth.

A note to visitors and islanders alike, following the recent suffering of Balevullin and Balinoe beaches, historically there have been many fire pits left within high tide full of rusty nails, I suspect folk would think differently about their actions if their offspring played amongst the surf, a tender foot waiting to be pierced!

Organised beach clean ups have been happening for years on Tiree, this year saw an increase in both the need and effort shown by various groups and individuals on the island to keep our shores beautiful and I would like to recognise these efforts.

The sea is purely a dispersal vessel for what we have laid aside. Please be mindful and take your litter home, if at sea try not to lose it overboard or delight in watching it float away – take a stick out/small piece of paper with you instead. On a picnic – you carried your snacks and drinks there, it is lighter on the way back, if you leave it, be it on hill or sand the wind will scatter it somewhere. Sea life dies by it, birds, seals, whales, even the pull tag from a can or a bright bottle top can be swallowed. From below or above to bird or beast it looks enticing the colouring of a fish, a meal never to be digested.

Think, drink, put it in your bag. A little effort by many creates a tide of change.

Thank you. Sith agus Gaol, Catriona Spink

Cable Laying Ship Working In Tiree Passage

cable laying ship in Tiree PassageAs An Tirisdeach reaches our deadline date for publication, we are delighted to see that the cable laying ship Rene Descartes is back in the Tiree Passage laying fibre optic cable for future broadband services, after spending the weekend in Belfast.

The ship is currently working between Calgary Bay, Mull and Scarinish, Isle of Tiree, where the broadband fibre-optic cables will come ashore. An Tirisdeach understands that shore based work at the Scarinish BT repeater station is already complete to receive the new fibre-optic cable.

Local organisations including Tiree Broadband, Tiree Trust and Tiree Community Council, successfully presented a compelling case to Marine Scotland that the sub-sea cable between Mull and Tiree should be commenced immediately, despite objections by Clyde based fishing interests to the sea bed cable work.

It is unlikely that faster broadband services will be available to BT customers on Tiree until the completion by BT in 2015 of infrastructure planning.

Readers who are interested in following the daily progress of the Rene Descartes can do so on their tablets or iPad’s by downloading an app called “marine traffic”. The app shows all ship movements in the area, including speed, destination, cargo carried etc.

Contact Tiree Community Council

Contact Details for Tiree Community Council

Chairman Dr John Holliday (doc.holliday{@}tireecommunitycouncil.co.uk),

Vice Chairman John MacCaskill (john{@}tireecommunitycouncil.co.uk),

Secretary Alison Kennedy (alisonk{@}tireecommunitycouncil.co.uk),

Treasurer Rosemary Omand (rmo{@}tireecommunitycouncil.co.uk),

Ian Gillies (ian{@}tireecommunitycouncil.co.uk),

Donnie Campbell (donnie{@}tireecommunitycouncil.co.uk)

Frazer MacInnes (fraztiree{@}hotmail.com)

Angus John MacKechnie (angusjohn{@}hotmail.co.uk)

If you want to write to us, address your letter to:

The Secretary, Tiree Community Council, The Island Centre, Crossapol, Isle of Tiree, PA77 6UP. Or post you letter at the Island Centre in the Council’s mailbox, which will be available soon.

Secretary Alison Kennedy’s telephone number is 01879 220019.

Watch out for the bright yellow posters!

Meetings of the Council, which will take place regularly at least once a month, will be advertised at the usual venues, the Co-op, Rural Centre, Bank, Post Office, Business Centre, and the Surgery. If you have any queries, don’t hesitate to e-mail, write or call to find out more. The new Council’s information website should be up and running within 1-2 weeks.

Alison Kennedy – Secretary

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