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Tiree Community Council News

The Tiree Community Council met on the 1st of June in An Talla. The first part of the evening was made up of the AGM. The chair ran through a list of the areas where progress had been made: securing two flights a day all year round; a summer double ferry sailing on Saturday and taking our place on the Argyll Ferry Users’ Group; lobbying to keep the laying of the fibre-optic broadband cable to the island on programme; putting the Tiree case for the upcoming Islands Bill; and fighting for the library service and the Crossapol office in the face of Council cuts.

We have had less success convincing the roads department that the island’s roads were in need of significant investment, and moving some derelict vehicles. The Treasurer reported that we had £1,826 in the bank, much of that a Windfall Fund grant of £1,000 which we have not had to call upon this past year.

Angus John MacKechnie, Frazer MacInnes and Alison Kennedy had resigned as Councillors during the year, while Iona Campbell, Paul Le Roux and Rhoda Meek had been coopted in their place until the next elections in November. We had a new website, Facebook page and Twitter feed, and had met in public eleven months of the year. Dr Holliday was re-elected Convenor, Ian Gillies took on the post of Secretary and Rosemary Omand was re-elected Treasurer. We then went on to a Business meeting.

We had asked for the holiday closure of the Council Service Point office in Crossapol to be advertised in advance, as far as was possible. The management had agreed to this in principle.

We had met with the Tiree Trust and it had been agreed to set up a monthly litter tidy, township by township. We agreed this should be called Sgudal.

We discussed changes to the Pre-5 schooling, where Gaelic medium was being re-placed with a bi-lingual programme after a consultation with the parents. This would be looked into by the Parent- Teacher Council.

Tiree Community Council has a proposal to buy some of the rotting phone boxes on the island, restore them, and put them to community use. There is a public consultation about this at the moment, so if you have any ideas or objections, do get in touch with us.

The Community Council and the Trust were looking into setting up a Chapel of Rest in an unused building near the airport.

We agreed to set up a group of interested people to oversee the Tiree flag project, and we had been asked to commission a Tiree tartan at the same time. If anyone is interested in joining this group, please let me know.

We agreed to write to the committee who had run A’ Bhuain, thanking them for the wonderful week they had organised.

We had had an estimate from Stokes Memorials to refurbish Dr Buchanan’s monument in Baugh, and we will consult on this.

We had been approached by the estate to join a group of island organisations to develop policies about sand extraction from the beaches and beach access. We agreed to write to the new factor, welcoming a meeting.

We had been approached by a resident of the new houses at Pier View,who told us how expensive the houses were to heat. We agreed to write to West Highland Housing Association to hear what could be done about this.We hope to visit the Orkney island of Westray in September to see how other, similar, islands are managing.

The meeting lasted over two and a half hours, for which apologies!

We gave a lunch for Alison Kennedy, who is leaving Tiree, to thank her for years of hard work at the Secretary’s coalface. We are really missing her!

Dr John Holliday, Rosemary Omand, Ian Gillies, Rhoda Meek and Paul Le Roux were in attendance. John MacCaskill sent his apologies. The Council has no meeting in July due to the busy summer schedule, so we meet again in August. However, the behind-the- scenes work will go on, and if you have any issues you would like to bring up, do get in touch.

Dr. John Holliday

Fun At Tiree Agricultural Show

There was a real island welcome of sunshine and a spectacular glistening sea awaiting the many mainland visitors, who joined the islanders to view the island’s quality stock at the annual Tiree Show.

They were highly entertained by Mark Wyllie from Luss with his collie dogs and ducks, the Drakes of Hazard, in the main ring along with a large turnout of dogs and other pets for the Pet Show.

Cattle Show winner

A regular buyer at the island’s cattle sales, Donald Patullo, Millhaugh, Methven had the task of judging in the cattle ring. His supreme cattle champion came from the pure-bred section, a British Blue in-calf heifer, Ruaig Dotti from Iain MacInnes, Ruaig. She went on to be crowned Champion of Champions.

Earlier, Mr Patullo had given the crossbred championship to Candy, an April 2010 Limousin cross heifer from Colin MacKinnon, Kilkenneth. She stood reserve as a calf in this section last year.

Reserve was the leader from the great show of spring sucked calves, a March born Limousin cross bullock calf from Archie John MacLean, Heylipol. After exhibiting some quality young calves, Donald MacKinnon, Vaul and Gilleasbuig Campbell, Garaphail then shared the Crofter’s Shield for most points in the Cattle Section.

Sheep judge Willie Smith, Balliemore, Lochgilphead had a great show of Prime lambs to judge before moving into the crossbred sheep ring. Champion pen from Pat Boyd, Drumaglea was with three Beltex cross lambs.

Crossbred sheep champion and reserve came from Ruaig respectively with a Texel cross gimmer and cross ewe. Winner of most points in the Sheep section and the Crofter’s Shield was Sandra Brown, Balevullin.

Billy Neilson from Taynuilt and Argyll’s QMS assessor had the task of judging in the purebred ring. Brothers Alasdair and Fraser MacLean, Heylipol were champion and reserve respectively with the supreme award going to Alasdair’s Beltex ewe lamb, Tiree Rich Spice and reserve was Fraser’s homebred Suffolk shearling ram.

Winning Pony Tiree Agricultural Show

In the Pony ring, Niall and Susan MacDonald selected Achnalarig Struan, a Highland gelding from Janis MacArthur as champion with reserve going to Janet Bowler’s Whiskey. Young pony exhibitors, Jenna MacArthur and Emily Armstrong had a great day out winning many rosettes.

winning tractor Tiree Agricultural Show

A well known character, retired salesman Hughie MacLean had the task of judging the line up of tractors with the winner the Massey Ferguson 135 from Duncan Cameron, Scarinish. Congratulations and special thanks to all who joined the Saturday tractor run with a great display of decorated trailers.

Once again the Home Industries marquee had tables laden with baking, knitting, drawings, models and decorated welly boots. The judges were all impressed at the array of exhibits before them, from both locals and visitors. Congratulations to all cup winners.

Another regular visitor, retired SAC agricultural advisor Donald Harrison, had a great spread of garden produce before him in the Horticulture section, with Bill Campbell’s basket of mixed vegetables winning the best exhibit and John Fletcher, Balemartine most points. Donald and his wife Janice later presented the cups to the day’s winners.

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.

Tiree Regatta Celebrates 100 Years

Tiree Regatta

The dawn of Sat 30th July, Regatta Day, was a stunner. Cloudless, sunny with a brisk S.SE wind. The forecast for the day was to cloud over, and the wind to drop. At 2 o’clock, on the start line, the sun still shone, the brisk S.SE had eased, and a glorious day unfolded.

The start line was impressive, with 16 boats jostling for position. The boats included 7 classic Tiree dipping lugs, a number which Tiree Regatta has not seen for many a year, and possibly a Scottish Record for the class. Even more impressive was the actual start, with most of the boats making a perfect start into what was to develop into a very competitive race.

Tiree Regatta

After 2 hard fought rounds of the course, Angus MacKinnon’s “Mary Ann” swept the field winning both the lug class and the overall handicap. Being the Centenary regatta, the Centenary Cup, the original Skipinish Cup, was awarded to the ‘Mary Anne’ winner of the lug class. With this award went a presentation scroll of the earliest record of a Tiree Regatta found in the Oban Times April 1911, in a profound Gaelic poem “Oran do Reis a’Chuain bha an Eilean Thiriodh”.
Tiree Regatta prizegiving
Finn Macdonald aged 10, crewing his own Pico made a very strong statement as to his being a contender in future years.

The traditional shore events were well contested, with 2 new additions in the programme with the introduction of the new Hawaiian craze of stand up paddle boarding, and a Jet Ski race. The sand castle competition was the “ star “ shore event, with the judges having a very difficult time in their deliberations, having to make a separate award for “ Sand Art “.

The Tobermory lifeboat made a surprise visit, allowing many spectators to enjoy going aboard, to hear the life boat crew offer an insight into their very important work.

The Regatta drew to a close with the traditional Trawler race being fought out in its unique colourful way, after which the event adjourned to the Marquee for an evening of revelry, which lasted well into the wee sma’ hours.

TRC wishes to acknowledge the support of Argyll Estates, David Kerr, Andy Hayes and the Co-op, and many others who made the day such a success. TRC looks forward to seeing you all at Regatta 2012.

The Year In Review

Looking back at 2010 shows that the year started quietly.

The main topic of conversation which divided opinion on and off the island, is the proposed off-shore wind farm, now known as Tiree Array, which caused heated debates and which I am sure will continue through this year too.

February saw the appointment of a new Police Officer – PC Tanner, and the wind turbine at Ruaig was given the name Tilley following a competition run by the board of Tiree Trust.

Following tests in April Tilley was officially declared “open”, with a naming ceremony at Ruaig, followed by a gathering at An Talla where Champagne was served followed by Tea/coffee and cakes. A dance in the evening was well attended.

Work started on the Ringside Theatre and Tiree Maritime Boat Builder Course ended with the full renovation of Morag- Anne and Daisy and the start of the making of a new copy of Morag-Anne.

The newly formed Ch@ room on a Friday evening proved popular with our youngsters as did the continuation of the Youth Club.

In March there were rumours that Tiree High School could be closed as part of Argyll & Bute Councils cost saving measures. This culminated in a packed meeting at An Talla in May being informed that whilst the school would remain open the number of teaching staff would need to be reduced. The Parent Council organised many meetings with council and government officials in order to minimise the harm that this would do to the education of our children.

Over 100 people took part in Tiree’s first ever Sport Relief Mile raising over £1000 for charity.

Highland Airways went bust and the flights from Oban to Tiree were taken over by Hebridean Air Services Ltd.

In May we heard that there was to be another island first –Tiree Music Festival was to take place in July. This turned out to be a huge success with performances from Skerryvore, Skippinish, Gunna Sound, Trailwest, the Defenders, Fortunate Sons, Crooked Reel, Torridon and a unique performance by the All Star Tiree Ceilidh Band. News of this year’s Tiree Music Festival will be announced shortly – watch this space!

A volcano erupting in Iceland caused disruption to flights all over Britain and Tiree was left for a number of days with no planes arriving or departing.

For those of a more energetic nature the annual 10k run in June involved over 200 people both locals and visitors.

The debate regarding Tiree Array continued with over 150 people attending a public meeting at An Talla.

2010 was the year of the 50th Anniversary of Tiree SWRI, a lunch was held at the Lodge Hotel to mark the occasion.

A group was set up to try to find a way to save the Thatched House Museum and although the original building has been sold there are plans to build a new thatched house museum and research into this is ongoing.

July was packed with the Art Exhibition, Feis, Agricultural Show and Dance, Sports Day and 5 A-side football tournament. Strenuous activity continued in August with the Regatta. Once again the Raft Race proved a popular if slightly ungainly affair and the Trawler race was fought out in its unique colourful way!

A Grand Black Tie event was held to mark the opening of The Ringside Theatre and film showings there over the following months have proved to be popular with young and old.

Another first for Tiree occurred at the end of September when a Northern Parula ( a small bird) stopped for a few days of rest. This was so rare that twitchers from all over the mainland arrived – some by chartered plane- to catch a glimpse of the visitor.

Although the winds blew strongly at the beginning of October, by the date of the wave Classic the island was left with barely a breeze and many activities took place on land rather than on the waves.

In October a new memorial was unveiled at Sandaig, to commemorate HMS Sturdy which had been driven onto the rocks following a storm in 1940.

Gordon Connel was winner of Music Tutor of the Year at the Trads in November and Skippinish Ceilidh House won Venue of the Year.

December saw snow lying on the ground for a number of days and temperatures struggled to get above zero despite the sunshine. The Christmas Party season banished the winter chill for a few days at least but a few days into January the snow returned to keep us on our toes.