Tag Archives: Isle of Tiree

On Gaelic as (non)trivia


Hello a chairdean,

I am sure it was not intended in this way but the signposting of Gaelic as ‘trivia’ in the Tirisdeach is sending out a very poor message indeed, especially on an island that essentially exists in a Gaelic isolation as the last cornerstone of the language in Argyll.

I would have thought a swift response in both languages would be appropriate.

Le meas MA

Mary Ann Kennedy


Dear Editor

I am very sorry that I should have to write to you in these terms. As a native of Tiree, and also a prime mover in the establishing of Bord na Gaidhlig and the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act of 2005, I feel particularly strongly about your unfortunate ‘error of judgement’. It reflects, potentially and by implication, on myself and others who have done our utmost to maintain the Gaelic language across the years and in very difficult circumstances.

May I suggest, please, that the Tiree Development Trust and ‘An Tirisdeach’ should consider the newsletter’s editorial policy on Gaelic as a matter of some urgency? Might you even think of providing a paragraph of Gaelic in every newsletter, for the benefit of those who are trying to learn the language, as well as for the benefit of the island’s Gaelic speakers?

I would suggest too that it is a little unwise to entitle a page of this newsletter ‘Tiree Trivia’, whatever the language. Sooner or later, the validity of the title, relative to a particular item, will be disputed by someone. What is ‘trivial’ to one person may not be ‘trivial’ to another!

On a happier note, may I say how much I appreciate the brighter and better format of ‘An Tirisdeach’? That aspect of the newsletter has improved immeasurably, compared with its drab format a year (or less) ago. Well done!

Professor Donald Meek

Dear Mary Ann & Professor Meek

When the Trust approached An Tirisdeach to have a regular Gaelic saying featured in An Tirisdeach, it was embraced wholeheartedly. The suggestion of placing the article on the Tiree Trivia Page was in no way intended to upset or demean the Gaelic Language and speakers.

The situation of the phrase was chosen as An Tirisdeach is aware that many readers enjoy this page and considered it somewhere to showcase the language so many are trying to preserve with the intention that it may encourage more readers to try learning something new in a fun way.

Two actions have been taken as a result of the above articles,

1. The Trivia Page has been re-named “Fun Puzzle Page”

2. The Gaelic Phrase will be situated somewhere else in An Tirisdeach

Please accept my sincere apologies for the obvious upset this has caused not only to you but many others in the Gaelic speaking community. Regretfully I cannot reply in Gaelic as although I would like to, I do not speak the language..

Lyn Bryce, Editor

Senior Citizens party In Style


On Saturday evening a beautifully festive An Talla was the venue for the best party night of the year. Over a hundred happy and expectant citizens turned up for their Christmas Party and they were not disappointed.

A complimentary drink started off the night followed by Rev Alan Millar saying grace before Alasdair Straker, Balemartin cut the beautiful cake.

Josie and her team came up trumps again with the most delicious three course Christmas meal followed by coffee and cake. Crackers cracked, colourful hats were worn and there was some hilarity as jokes were shared and some tables even played Charades. Carols were sung after dinner and then entertainment was provided by Bernard Smith singing two beautiful Gaelic songs.

Santa arrived to Jingle Bells and he was also a complete entertainment package as he danced around the hall and teased the recipients of his presents, even comparing beards with one happy gentleman. Patricia Sharp donated a beautiful painting which raised over £300 in a raffle and was won by Sue Bottomley. Proceedings continued with dancing and games. During Pass the Parcel we found out among other things, which ladies had the longest painted nails and the nicest perfume and which gents had the sexiest smile and most beautiful hands.

Huge thanks of appreciation must go to The Parties Committee who organise this wonderful event helped by the An Talla Committee, bus drivers and many volunteer helpers. As you will see from the pictures there was a new Elf in the kitchen this year and he did a great job we hear!

TMF Named UK’s Best Small Festival


The multi-award winning Tiree Music Festival has now been hailed the ‘Best Small Event’ at the prestigious UK Event Awards at Grosvenor House, London.

TMF is proving to be one of Scotland’s most successful annual events having been awarded a commendation for ‘Best Small Festival’ at the Scottish event awards (having held the title in both 2013 and 2012) and been shortlisted at the Scots Trad Music Awards (ceremony 13th December). In 2013 organisers walked away with ‘Best Cultural Event’ at the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards and ‘Best Cultural Event in Scotland’ at the Thistle Awards.

The festival has sold out each year since its inception in 2010 and the early bird release for 2015 sold out in a record time with 750 tickets being sold in just over 6 hours. Festival Director Stewart MacLennan, who travelled to London for the final of the UK Event Awards said: “We are overwhelmed to have won this award. The judge’s feedback on our application was that the overwhelming positive impact the festival has on Tiree was commendable which makes it mean even more .When we started TMF six years ago it was with the intention to attract people to Tiree and give Islanders a great festival experience. We knew demand would be high for early bird tickets due to the number or emails and requests, however to sell out 750 tickets in 6 hours was much quicker than we imagined! It was also great that we made these tickets available to the local community first at our annual Community AGM and we’d like to thank all those who braved the horrible weather to attend last Thursday.”

TMF has been praised for its positive impact upon the local Tiree community with the 2014 economic impact report showing that 94.2% of the attendees were visitors to Tiree and on the island as a direct result of the music festival. The report also showed that three in ten respondents were newcomers to the island, which confirms that the Tiree Music Festival continues to play an important role in attracting new visitors to Tiree. The total economic impact of the Tiree Music Festival was £634,971 – an overall increase of 29% on the 2013 figure.

More tickets for TMF 2015 will be released in the New Year, to make sure you stay up to date with the latest news on TMF 2015 sign up to the mailing list at tireemusicfestival.co.uk

Charity Auction


Curam’s Slave Auction fund raiser was a runaway success. Over £4,000 was raised by the good folk of Tiree in support of keeping the Resource Club running. The Slaves’ objective was to provide a fun filled evening whilst raising funds for a serious cause and they all clearly achieved their goal.Some slaves were in costume donning laurels and togas and tirelessly worked the room, bestowing us with savoury and sweet canapes washed down with flutes of fizz.

The evening was kicked off by a warm welcome from Kate MacCallum who explained the purpose of the Resource Club and the positive impact it has on the Tiree Community. Kate then handed the mic to Maureen McMullen one of the locals who relies upon the Resource Club services. Maureen thanked everyone for supporting the Resource Club, explaining that it is her lifeline to living on Tiree. The Club allows the elderly to buy their weekly shopping, attend local meetings, social events and keeps them involved in the community.

And so it began….. In bounded Mr Will Wright the auctioneer for the evening who may have missed his true calling in life. He took to auctioneering like a duck to water keeping the atmosphere light, adding his little anecdotes to each LOT and egging on the bidder to part with more cash. There was a lot of bouncing back and forward and everyone in the hall was caught up in the fun and good feeling, even when out bidded.

One of the biggest laughs of the night was when pals Fifi Munn and Fifi Malcolm (sitting next to each other) independently began bidding to win a sail for two with Dr Keith. Fifi Malcolm won and turned to Fifi Munn and asked her to chum her, hilarious!!

Local DJ’s Bino and Andy must have spent ages selecting a song to link each LOT and my personal favourite was Spirit in the Sky to go with Cameron Kennedy’s offer to write a Will.

One of the biggest surprises of the evening was the telephone bidder for Jessie Gray’s clootie dumpling, my oh my, I thought I was in Sothebys.

A fabulous night enjoyed by all ages, thank you, you all deserve a huge pat on the back.

Tiree Association Annual Gathering


The third Thursday and Friday in November are always very special dates in The Tiree Association calendar of events as the Annual Gathering takes place: the 114th Gathering took place on the 20th and 21st November.

An audience, in excess of 100, soaked up the atmosphere in Partick Burgh Lesser Hall as the evening kicked off with a medley of airs courtesy of John. We were then entertained by Isobel’s witty repartee, Linda, Darren and Alasdair’s superb singing and Alan & Kyle’s exquisite instrumentals. A complimentary dram with Susan’s dumpling/ shortbread at the interval went down a treat before the audience participation started in earnest as Kathryn led us in a variety of favourites. The artistes continued the programme with some old favourites to which the audience continued to sing along. Fantastic!

Another great night followed, at Glasgow University Union, as Skipinnish played to a huge crowd of all ages. Many folk, having travelled from Tiree, had the chance to catch up with friends – old and young – in Glasgow. As you can imagine, the dancing was fast and furious; the band – phenomenal!

The committee would like to give a huge thanks to all those who entertained on both nights and a massive thank you to all those who bought tickets and joined in the tremendous fun on each occasion. Thanks also to those who donated prizes for the raffle.

I’d like to take this opportunity to remind you that we have now launched our 100 club. If you require further details please contact us at contact@tireeassociation.com and remember …….. you’ve got to be in it to win it! Hope to see you at our Burns Supper 24th January 2015!

£1.2 Million Down the Drain


Like many of you, Tiree Community Councillors are unhappy – to say the least – at the state of the island’s roads only a few months after Argyll and Bute spent £1.2 million improving them.

Having completed my own survey of the Tiree road network I was amazed to see potholes, flooded cattle grids, poor passing place signage in some areas, bumpy, badly – finished passing places and other serious faults.

road_edgeThe most significant of these are the badly formed road edges which are now crumbling away and could result in safety concerns, particularly in the summer months when cyclists move in to allow cars to pass. We were told that this improvement programme would ensure that the roads would be serviceable for the next fifteen years. The way things are going they will be lucky to survive another winter!

The Tiree Community Council has passed on a 14 point document outlining faults to the head of roads at Argyll and Bute. This is backed up by photographs – all of which make it clear that the so-called improvements are inadequate for a modern road system. Now we are seeking to meet road officials because we believe the whole exercise has been a botch-up and a waste of taxpayers’ money.

potholeThe Council’s reaction to the points raised after our survey was, quite simply, to brush off every single one of our complaints as nonsense. We have also been told that there is no more money in the pot for Tiree’s roads. The purse is empty and there will be no more ‘improvements’ for a very long time to come.

Please feel free to send us your own thoughts on the road programme and if you think it has indeed been £1.2 million down the drain! We’d like to hear from you! You can contact us at alisonk@tireecommunitycouncil.co.uk or www.tireecommunitycouncil.co.uk

Pebble Mosaic Leaves a Lasting Impression On Tiree


A colourful mosaic made out of painted Tiree pebbles has been put in position at Crossapol play park.

Local children painted the stones with colours and images they associated with life on Tiree, and the structure was assembled beautifully by landscape gardener, Cameron Smith. The mosaic will now leave a lasting impression at the play park, to be admired by locals and visitors alike.

Many thanks go out to ACHA, Tiree Community Business, Tiree Trust, and local contractors for making this project possible.

TMSA Young Trad Tour visits Tiree


On Wednesday 8th October some of brightest stars of Scotland’s young folk talent travelled to Tiree for a night of musical entertainment in An Talla.

Featuring the finalists of the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2014, as well as the winner of the 2013 competition, the Young Trad Tour 2014 consisted of six dates at each of the finalists’ hometowns as well as a performance at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections festival, scheduled to take place on the 17th January 2015.

This year’s band – made up of Paddy Callaghan, Alistair Iain Paterson, Mhairi Marwick, Neil Ewart, Jack Badcock and Ian Smith – brought a cross-section of the country’s regional folk scenes to the table. Whilst most of the musicians are now based in Glasgow and Edinburgh’s thriving folk scenes, they were all brought up surrounded by diverse traditions- from Irish, West coast and East coast styles.

As well as the Tour, the group also recorded an album at one of Scotland’s most prestigious recording studios, Castlesound Studio in Pencaitland.

The Young Trad Tour – including both the CD and tour itself – was organised by the Traditional Music and Song Association of Scotland (TMSA) and was made possible through funding support from The Robertson Trust, the National Lottery through Creative Scotland, as well as assistance with the Tiree leg from Loganair and other private sources. The concert in Tiree was well-attended and the audience, of around seventy, were treated to a fantastic mix of traditional songs, reels, slow airs and more. As well as the concert, the musicians also visited Tiree High School, where they carried out short workshops with the pupils.

For more info on the tour visit http://www.tmsa.org.uk or if you’d like to purchase the album contact Ian Smith (by email: ian.tiree{@}hotmail.co.uk or by phone: 07591 005871).

Swimming, Shopping & The Future of The Internet


At the end of September experts gathered in Tiree from all over Europe, to discuss the future of the Internet.

The European Network of Excellence on Internet Science (EINS) includes economists, technologists, mathematicians, social scientists, architects, and legal experts, many of whom advise their own governments and advise or lobby on Internet issues at the EU.

When Clare Hooper, who works as part of EINS at Southampton University, started to organise a workshop ‘Re-Thinking Architecturally‘, she thought of Tiree as a venue, as she had been to one of the Tiree Tech Waves, and called upon me as ‘local expert’ to help with the logistics of managing an event on an island. In the end, the biggest problem turned out to be an Air France/KLM strike that delayed some participants and meant that one coming from Greece was unable to get across at all. However, a dozen participants managed to get here despite the European air chaos, including one all the way from Umea in northern Sweden, and I was able to attend as Tiree representative.

Topics covered included privacy, net neutrality (whether Skype, YouTube and BBC are all treated equally), governance (US vs UN control), the regulation (or not) of global companies, and the relation between the digital internet and the physical world as more and more devices become ‘Internet enabled’. I gave a short presentation about digital connectivity in a rural area and as participants wandered to the end of the pier at Hynish to find mobile phone signal, I think they got the point.

The word ‘architecturally’ in the workshop title was principally about the digital and social structures around the Internet (from fibre optics to social networks); however the workshop did include a number of ‘real’ architects. So, on Wednesday afternoon, our lightning tour of the island (from gift shopping at Chocolates and Charms to rock scrambling at Balevullin) included a visit to Noust with its blend of traditional timber construction and state-of-the art digital fabrication.

A key element of the success was the helpful and welcoming folk of Tiree: the wonderful team at the Hynish Centre, especially Lesley who kept on smiling despite a seven hour wait for participants whose travel was disrupted, everyone at Ceabhar , Ring’n’Ride, and at the airport rearranging travel across Europe when the Thursday plane was cancelled.

Despite the transport problems, the participants loved Tiree, indeed half of them managed morning swims! One of them wrote after the event: “one great consequence of the week in Tiree was a kind of intellectual regeneration that let me set aside the stresses of the coming academic year and…think openly a bit.” Another mailed a picture of swimmers in the water with the title “I’d rather be in 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

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