Tag Archives: tiree

Tiree 10k 2010

10k start

On Saturday 29th May the island hosted the 5th annual Tiree 10km Fun Run. Over 200 people took part with ages ranging from the youngest babies pushed in prams to the eldest runners in their seventies! The day was a fantastic success with plenty of visiting runners commenting on how beautiful the island was and the friendliness with which they were received.

George Miller

There was strong representation from local residents across all the events, especially in the kids fun run. The winning time for the 10km event was 36:31 by George Miller from Oxfordshire.

“That has got to be the best start for a race I’ve ever seen; on the beach with the band playing. The course was great, and I thought the event was really good.” – George Miller

The band of course were the Tiree Pipe Band. They marched the 10km in great style providing much needed encouragement to other runners and walkers. So a big thank you to them for their hard work and perseverance.

Top Finishers include:

  • 1st – George Miller 36:31
  • 2nd – Owain Williams 39:16
  • 6th – Peter West (1st Veteran) 41:12
  • 10th – Christine Milne (1st Lady) 43:28
  • 21st – Stephen Tanner 48:46
  • 23rd – Andrew Findlater 49:10
  • 37th – Sarah Holliday 52:17

Tiree Pipe Band

The competitors found the new course to Hynish more challenging than previous years, with the ups and downs and twisty roads. Despite this most people wanted to keep it the same for next year, commenting on the fantastic views and the start with everyone together on the beach.

Thank you to everyone who lives and works along this route, for your cooperation and help in staging an event like this on public roads. In the kids’ races there was a good turn out with a sprint along the beach and back again.

The evening played host to a dance with Trail West which proved to be the perfect end to a successful day. Proceeds from the dance went to Tiree Windsurf Club. “I was pleased to see the level of support shown in such an enjoyable way, helping to raise much needed funds” – Morag McManus, Club Chairperson

As ever the whole event was sponsored by local businesses. Thanks in particular to John and his team at Tiree Medical Practice, Steve at Concise Aerospace and Becci at Chocolates and Charms. Also big thanks to Andy at the Coop for donating loads of goodies for the goodie bags. Thank you to all the people who volunteered to help out on the day; the marshals, timekeepers, event crew and everybody else who contributed to make this such a positive day. If anyone has any comments or suggestions I would love to hear them.

The Tiree 10k is organized by Will Wright of Tiree Fitness in partnership with Active Schools. Will can be contacted at:
will@tireefitness.co.uk or call 220 421. Results will be posted at:Tiree Fitness’ Website

Tiree High School :: Staff Cut Update

books

It was an indication of the concern felt by all islanders, that despite the shortness of notice, over 130 people attended the hastily called public meeting to discuss the cuts to the number of teachers at Tiree High School and possible implications this might have.

Head Teacher, Myra MacArthur explained that the cuts have had to be made in the years above Pre 5 and after discussions with the staff they had identified where 2.2 teachers could be lost and the effects of this.

One teacher from the primary department will not be replaced when she leaves and no-one will be taken on to fill in for the French teacher whilst she is on maternity leave. The teacher of Physics will work four days per week, and there will be a newly qualified teacher “in training”. As at the present there will be no Gaelic taught to learners in primary and the teaching of the Upper Gaelic Class will be shared between the teacher in training and existing staff. Next session there will be no French offered as a subject course.

Obviously in a small island school the loss of a member of staff has implications through the whole school;
in this case remaining teachers will all face changes to their roles, the English teacher will spend two days in Primary which means losing 2 days from secondary. There will also be a loss of management time from the Primary & Secondary Depute Heads’ schedules.

the school will do everything possible… with the staff it has

Miss MacArthur stressed “that the school will do everything possible to provide the curriculum and width of learning with the staff it has. Argyll & Bute council need to make these spending cuts, they’re happening everywhere, we have to decide how best to spend the money available and where to make cuts. Although we have expressed our opinion of this we must now make the best of the situation.”

Steve Thomson on behalf of the PTA said this week; “The response from Islanders has been great, councillors are listening to what has been said, we are waiting for a group of Councillors and Officials to come to Tiree to explain their policy. Having such good support will make a difference to meetings with the council. We must maintain the core curriculum – formulas that are applied to mainland schools don’t work on small islands.”

The date of the next meeting will be arranged as soon as conveniently possible, let’s hope as many people will turn up again to continue to show support.

BBC’s L.A.B coming to Tiree

bbc_LAB

Tirisdeachs will be given a unique chance to experiment with video technology during the Fèis Thiriodh, turning their creative ideas into reality thanks to BBC Scotland’s digital media workshop – the L.A.B (Learn at BBC Scotland).

As part of the Feis’ 20th anniversary celebrations, BBC Scotland’s L.A.B travels to Tiree from Monday 12th to Thursday 15th July, giving students of preschool to adult age the chance to develop their digital media skills. The inspiration behind BBC Scotland’s L.A.B visit is to highlight Tiree’s unique musical heritage on film.

The first workshop (Monday 12 & Tuesday 13 July) will focus on young people aged 10 and upwards whilst the second workshop (Wednesday 14 & Thursday 15 July) will offer intergenerational experience for a variety of ages.

Amongst the skills on offer, Tirisdeachs will be given an introduction into moving images and how they work, basic camera techniques and storyboarding. Participants will also be taught how to use a dv (digital video) camera, given an introduction to editing skills and shown how to add music and sound effects to their movie.

The forthcoming Tiree visit is part of BBC Scotland’s Seaside Stories project run by the L.A.B (Learn at BBC Scotland) which will see the digital media workshop make movies with groups in Tiree, Dunoon and Millport. Johanna Hall, Project Leader at the L.A.B, BBC Scotland, whose family originally hail from the east end of Tiree, says:
“The L.A.B is delighted to be doing two workshops in Tiree. The whole idea behind the L.A.B is helping people improve or learn new skills working with digital media. In Tiree we will be encouraging people to develop interviewing skills, get behind the camera and, of course, have fun. We look forward to all the stories that the two groups will have to share. Having been to the island many times before in my youth I will be advising our team to pack both wellies and factor 50 sunscreen for the Tiree summer weather! “

Dr John Holliday, the island’s GP and chair of Fèis Thiriodh, adds:
“The BBC Scotland L.A.B workshops at this summer’s Tiree Fèis are an exciting development for young and old on the island. For several years our video classes in Gaelic and English have been some of the most popular at the Fèis and having this professional equipment and training will give our young people a real insight into the world of broadcasting. The wider island community will also get their chance to tell the story of life on the island – their story. It promises to be quite a week!”

Following the L.A.B visit, the Tirisdeachs video creations can be sampled at bbc.co.uk/thelab.

For further information on the L.A.B contact labscotland@bbc.co.uk or write to:
The L.A.B, BBC Scotland, 40 Pacific Quay, Glasgow G51 1DA, Tel: 0141 422 7896.

Hebridean Air responds to customer feedback

Hebridean Air

As a result of customer feedback, we are making some exciting alterations and additions to our Timetable. We are offering a new service, special fares and a new website online booking service, with these changes taking effect from the 1st June.

We are pleased to be introducing a Tuesday and Thursday day return service from Oban and Colonsay to Islay. The aircraft will depart Oban at 0805, routing through Colonsay to Islay.

This will give Colonsay residents the opportunity of flying to Islay to connect with the FlyBe service to Glasgow.
Islay residents will also have the availability of a day return sevice to Oban departing Islay at 0930 and departing Oban for Islay at 1510.

Passengers intending to use the Air Service at Islay, should use the long term car park, available free of charge, where there is located a portakabin for the use of Hebridean Air Services passengers. This is to ensure that passengers on the Glasgow services are segregated from those travelling to or from Oban and Colonsay. Passengers can still use the terminal for connections and facilities such as refreshments and car hire. We hope that this long awaited innovation gets the support of both business and leisure users and becomes a well used part of the local transport infrastructure.

We are also pleased to announce a trial of a weekend special return between Oban and Colonsay, and Oban and Coll. These flights will depart on a Friday and Sunday afternoon, and all seats will have a weekend special fare of £40 single.

We are offering reduced fares on all routes. Passengers will have the option of booking an Early Bird fare online, where we are offering a limited number of seats on every flight at a lower fare.

All of the new services and fares are available on our web booking service, which will come into effect at the end of May at www.hebrideanair.com

We hope these changes reflect the needs of our customers, and that they will continue to give us their valuable support and feedback

Concern over school cuts

books

Tiree High School Parent Council/ PTA has received the devastating news that Tiree High School must reduce the number of teachers it employs. The PTA held a public meeting At An Talla on Friday 14th May to discuss the possible implications for the school and the island.

An Tirisdeach contacted Argyll & Bute Council to ask for their comments on the matter and we received this response:

“Last year, a group consisting of secondary head teachers and the then Head of Service was set up to review the secondary staffing standard. The aim was to reach a standard which can be uniformly applied across the council area, which had not happened in the past. That standard, which involves a complex calculation based on a number of factors, is being used for all Argyll and Bute secondaries for the 2010/11 session. At the same time, all secondary schools have been asked to take their share of a £600,000 reduction in funding for secondary staffing next year.

Several years ago, Tiree High School was allocated additional staff to meet specific demands which existed at the time. This is the reason that it now appears that Tiree is having to make a bigger reduction than some other schools. Under the standardised scheme, and taking into account the budget reductions, Tiree’s staff savings target should be 3.5FTE. However, we have decided that this is not possible for 2010/11, and have instead identified 2.2FTE. There will be no effect on the subject choice on offer. Although the French teacher is on maternity leave, there are only three pupils who have requested French for next session and we are currently investigating the possibility of providing this through distance learning. The French teacher will remain in post after her maternity leave.

On Monday, the council’s Executive will discuss the proposal to carry out a fundamental review of our entire education estate which will look at what facilities we currently have, how they are used and how we might ensure they are more sustainable in the future.
This is in the context of a comprehensive education review that seeks to maximise the proportion of resources which are available for the direct delivery of education and minimise any risk of adverse impacts on education outcomes, and at a time when all of the public sector is under pressure to deliver quality services as efficiently as possible. Any future decisions can only be taken on the basis of the information which the completed review will provide.”

We also contacted Alan Reid MP who said:
“It is completely ridiculous to apply a council wide formula to an Island school. Tiree High School, along with other Island schools, should be treated as special cases and the council should have a more flexible attitude”

Feelings obviously run high on this matter, and a great many attended the meeting to find out what could be done by the community in this situation.

Powerdown Progress

power socket

Last year the Powerdown project was asked to look into feasibility of various projects. Three applications were made to the Climate Challenge Fund following extensive research into options and costs. The fund is now closed.

HOME ENERGY -NEW JOB TO BE CREATED
We have been successful in getting funding to employ a second part-time person to work on the Powerdown project to make better progress in this area. Energy use in buildings accounts for 40% of all carbon emissions and can make a big difference to household bills. Any investment in this area can result in savings year after year as well as warmer homes.

ELECTRIC CARS
The bid for an electric car for community use was unsuccessful. And the Northern Periphery European funding for a tourism hire car project had to be abandoned due to a 6 month wait for the funding to be re-paid after expenditure.
HIE however are still open to hearing from us about the money that they set aside for an electric car hire project for Tiree, to match the European funds. Electric cars would be great for Tiree as their running costs are much cheaper. New electric cars can plug into a home plug with a range of 80 miles and top speeds over 60 mph. From January 2011 a contribution of 25% of the cost of electric vehicles up to £5,000 will be available. This will work in similar way to the car scrappage scheme with discount applied at the point of purchase.

COMPOSTING TOILETS
The bid for a composting toilet trial was unsuccessful. The concept is sound but didn’t stack up in terms of carbon savings which were based on less embodied energy than traditional facilities and less travel to existing facilities. Fingers and legs crossed for another solution.

TURBINES FOR COMMUNITY BUILDINGS
Various community groups have been preparing for funding applications to install small turbines to match their building’s energy use working with Community Energy Scotland. THANKS Thanks to the Powerdown Steering Group Alastair MacInnes, Clare Jones and Ann Kirby and to all the people who have fitted low energy light bulbs, turned down the thermostat, filled in a home energy check form, measured their mileage or borrowed a smart meter. We look forward to more progress over the next year of the project.

Frances Woodhead, Community Powerdown Officer.

Flights to Oban resume

Hebridean Airlines plane

Hebridean Air Services Ltd., based at Cumbernauld, has stepped in to resume the Oban based Argyll Air Services, following the closure of the previous operator of the service.

The same schedule is offered as the previously published winter timetable, and this timetable is printed on the Hebridean website www.hebrideanair.co.uk. George Cormack, Managing Director of Hebridean, has said that he is delighted to have won the contract, and is looking forward to offering an excellent service and maintaining these vital links to the Scottish Island communities of Coll, Colonsay and Tiree from Oban Airport. He is also re-employing the very popular and well respected pilot Julie Angell. Locally based Captain Angell has been the backbone of the operation to date, providing a service that is much appreciated by all her passengers. The flights from Oban include transporting pupils who attend Oban High School to their Island homes at weekends.

Flights are now on sale and can be booked by calling 0845 805 7465 (local rate). A new web-based booking system is currently under construction and will be available shortly. Hebridean Air Services are well placed to operate and maintain these essential air services from Oban, with a wealth of experience in their pilots and staff, and a world renowned sister aircraft engineering company, Cormack Aircraft Services Ltd., who look after all their maintenance needs.

Hebridean have been operating air charter flights throughout the Highlands and Islands of Scotland since 1995 with three Britten Norman Islander aircraft, and have flown an incredible variety of charters. As well as private and business hire, Hebridean are involved in medical and air ambulance flights, film and TV work, bird and wildlife surveys for SNH and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, telephone engineer contracts to the islands, golf tours and many other varied contracts.

Shipwreck Information Sought

schooner

An Iodhlann recently received a request for information about the yacht Oceana that ran aground at Crossapol on 9 March 1949.

The Oceana was an impressive two-masted schooner with a decorative figurehead of a girl with flowing hair blowing a pipe. It was named Oceana by the son of Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein.

The person who is enquiring after the Oceana has inherited some framed photographs of the yacht from his great-uncle who chartered it during the 1930s.

A couple of people on the island who remember the yacht have already kindly provided the location of the stranding, but perhaps there are others who can remember additional details. What were the weather conditions on the day it was stranded? What happened to it afterwards? What happened to its crew? Was the figurehead salvaged? Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Please contact An Iodhlann: telephone 01879 220 793 or email aniodhlann@tireebroadband.com.

Many thanks.

Allaying the Closing Fears

Councillor Mary-Jean Devon

Further to the article in this weeks Oban Times with regards to “Tiree named on school closure draft”, I am writing to allay the fears and concerns of the people of Tiree.

Due to the difficult financial time every council in Scotland is facing various efficiency options . As far as Argyll and Bute Council is concerned no decisions , discussions, meetings, or consultations have taken place regarding Tiree High School. As your elected member I can categorically assure you of this.

The infrastructure of Oban High School and its Hostel could not accommodate the pupils of Tiree High School as you will have read recently in the press. The Oban Hostel has just undergone a major refurbishment which allows them to accommodate 104 pupils. They are nearly at capacity presently as is the roll of the High School.

Please be assured if any discussions let alone decisions had been taken regarding Tiree High School I would have been in contact with the people of Tiree as they are the first to be consulted.

Please do not hesitate to contact me regarding this matter or any other issues you have.

Councillor Mary-Jean Devon 01688 302792 07912 949073.

Tiree High School

You will no doubt be aware of rumours circulating about the possible closure of Tiree High School. Whilst I appreciate that you are obviously worried by these reports, may I please assure you that no plans have been drawn up to close any school.

As we all know, difficult financial decisions lie ahead for all local authorities within the next few years.

Argyll and Bute Council has made it clear that the severe budgetary pressures will require it to review every aspect of its service provision, including education.

Those reviews are ongoing, and are likely to continue for some time.

Skills For Work – A report From Tiree High School

We have been doing a new course called Rural Skills at Tiree High School to get us an Intermediate 1 certificate at the end of session 2009-2010.

The qualification is awarded by SQA in partnership with Argyll College, whose representative on the island is Will Wright. Mr Stirrat is our mentor in school.

On a Wednesday we go out onto a farm for the afternoon and we do a variety of things to do with farming which will benefit us in our course and also benefits the farmer. On a Thursday we write out reports of what we did the previous afternoon, add any photos we took on the Wednesday and keep the records for assessment.

The course includes the following units:

  • Animal Handling
  • Animal Husbandry
  • Estate Maintenance
  • Land Based Industries
  • Employability Skills
  • Crop Production

The crofters who are involved are Ewan MacKinnon, Hugh MacInnes, and Lachie MacFadyen. We have also had help from John Bowler (RSPB). We are very grateful for the time and effort they have contributed and would like to say thank you for their help over the last 2 years.

“Having access to a vocational option has been a real enhancement to the school curriculum. We are very grateful to Ewan MacKinnon, Hugh MacInnes, Lachie MacFadyen and John Bowler for providing their time and expertise to make this possible.” ~ Myra Macarthur HT

Land Based Industries

Every Thursday we have some classroom time to write up our reports and do research.

Part of this course is a unit called Land Based Industries where we have researched 3 industries. This is a short report of what we have found:

Fencing
Fencing is usually done by the crofters or farmers themselves or by fencing contractors. Resources needed include wooden posts to tension the fence, stobs, wire, Rylock, tools and if necessary a digger and truck.

We looked into methods used and different types of fence on Tiree and on the mainland. When we were working on the crofts we helped put up fences to keep the animals in.

RSPB
John Bowler is the local RSPB warden. He has taken us out on several Wednesday afternoons to help set water levels for the birds to breed and building a bridge for the cows to cross.This helps protect their habitat.

This industry needs membership and volunteers to keep it going . Because of the varied species of birds that live on or visit Tiree it needs somebody to maintain their habitat so that the birds are protected and encouraged to breed.

Dairy Farming
Although there is no dairy farming on Tiree, much of mainland farming is for dairy. This industry relies on good quality Friesian Cows or Jersey Cows. We have been studying dairy farming in class at school.

When a male calf is born the farmer usually sells the calf for veal production or breeding depending on the quality of the calf. The female calves are kept for milking and breeding. Most dairy farmers have a milking parlour but some farmers milk their cows by hand in a byre. Most farmers grow their own food for the cows which is corn, hay and silage. It is fed straight to the cows in winter.

Ruairidh Munn and Ewan Brown

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