Tag Archives: tiree

Fèis Thiriodh 2015 – The 25th Anniversary Special

The Fèis Thiriodh committee are pleased to report that dates have been set and preparations are going well for this year’s event. The weeklong event of workshops, ceilidhs, talks and much more will be taking place from Sunday 5th to Friday 10th of July and we are excited to welcome back Tiree favourites ‘Trail West’ as our main tutors for the special 25th Anniversary event. Joining Trail West regulars; Ian, Alain and Andrew will be a host of other talented tutors who are all well-known to Tiree, including; Jamie MacDonald, Artair Donald, Iona Brown, John Angus MacKinnon, Eilidh MacFadyen, Eleanor Sinclair, John Holliday, Tara Rankin, Scott Wood, Linda MacLeod.

The 5 day tutoring event offers children aged 8 and over and adults, the opportunity to try their hand at a variety of different workshops including; accordion, guitar, pipes, drums, fiddle, flute/whistle, highland dancing, Gaelic conversation and film making. For the under 8 year olds, Fèis Bheag will run throughout the week along with Fèis Bheag Bheag running on four days for the under 5s.

As well as the day time workshops and activities we will also be running various evening and fringe events, which have proven to be very popular over the years. To celebrate our 25th Anniversary we are organising a ‘Ceilidh Ceann-bliadhna’ – Anniversary Concert – for the Monday evening. This will showcase a host of extremely talented and now famous past tutors and students returning to Fèis Thiriodh to entertain us with music, singing and dancing, which we hope will put everyone in the mood for a weeklong celebration of events. Other events will include; the popular children’s dance, a talk by Ian Smith on the history of whisky on Tiree and of course, the closing dance on the Friday evening, which will be led by Trail West.

After taking a year off last year we have also decided to bring back the very popular ‘Muse Cruise’ on the Thursday afternoon. This will see Fèis Thiriodh being transported on a six hour floating session with the tutors on the MV Clansman for a round trip to Barra and back. Come along to sing, play or just listen.

We only have to look at the numerous successful bands and musicians that hail from Tiree to realise that Fèis Thiriodh has had a very influential and successful 25 years, providing music and culture workshops and events to locals and visitors alike. We hope that you are all looking forward to Fèis 2015 and will join us to celebrate and ensure the 25th Annual Fèis is as popular and successful as previous Fèisean. Booking forms are now available and can be found, along with more information at www.feis-thiriodh.com

Beaver Scouts Scale The Heights On Tiree

Tiree Beaver Scouts took part in their annual Activity Day at the Hynish Centre on Saturday 16th May.

This year there was a focus on experimenting and fact finding missions. The group’s adventures included a visit to Tilley. The Beavers were shown around the turbine by TREL directors and were all very excited to go up to the control tower and see just how high Tilley is from the inside. Lots of questions were asked and there may well be a few budding engineers in our midst.Our ‘just for fun’ study outside showed that it took 11 people with outstretched arms to span the circumference of the base!

A more specific study was held at the beach at Hynish when the group completed a seashell survey led by our local ranger, Steve Nagy. A wide variety of shells were found and identified, which shows the diversity of sea life that exists around Tiree.

Raw eggs were the subject of the afternoon’s experiment, much to the delight of the Beavers! They had to make a receptacle using only straws and tape to ensure the safe delivery of an egg. This sounds simple enough, but the egg then had to be dropped from a height! There was great hilarity as each group battled to save their egg.

No day out for the Beavers would be complete without a treasure hunt around Hynish. Pirates had left coded messages which had to be worked out before moving onto the next clue. Luckily, the codes were broken and the pirate gold discovered!

Our thanks go to Lesley at the Hynish Centre for providing delicious meals and drinks throughout the day, to the directors of TREL, Derek Campbell, Steve Nagy, PC Tanner, Margaret Worsley with the Resource bus, and all the volunteers who helped make the day run so smoothly.

NÀDAIR THIRIODH – TIREE RANGER SERVICE

Whilst the Ranger Service has been silent in terms of reporting progress over the winter that doesn’t mean it has been quiet in getting things done.

Brochures and Interpretation Panels

Working closely with Discover Tiree and the RSPB we have been revamping and producing new brochures. The updated Tiree Visitor Map will be out soon along with a new “out and about” day visitor’s brochure for those making use of Thursday afternoon ferry sailings and not taking the “Tiree Tour”.

We are part way through preparing a further four tourist walk maps and a full schedule of weekly guided walks is also due out soon. Some of you may have noticed that frames have appeared at the various parking areas. These will contain information panel’s specific to each location and cover items such as machair, flora and fauna, water sports, island identification montages and identification of whales, dolphins and basking sharks. The boards should be in place during May.

Erosion

Despite a wet and windy winter we do not seem to have suffered the same degree of coastal erosion as last winter.

The works undertaken at Balephetrish and Crossapol have so far helped stem the onslaught of tide and winds and the general consensus has been that if the remedial works undertaken last year had not been done then further substantial damage would have occurred.

I have also been asked about the posts with yellow markings on at Gott Bay. These have not been installed by the Ranger Service but by Argyll and Bute Council as datum points to measure the effects of erosion. Similar smaller pegs have also been installed along Balephetrish Bay.

Dogs

The lambing season has barely started along with many young calves also being born and yet the first report of dogs not being kept under control has already reached me. This is a problem that occurs time and again so can I please implore both local and visiting dog owners to keep their dogs under control (preferably on a lead when near livestock) especially at this time of year.

1. Don’t take your dog into fields where there are lambs, calves or other young animals.

2. Never let your dog worry or attack farm animals

3. If you go into a field of farm animals, keep as far as possible from the animals and keep your dog on a short lead or under close control.

4. If cattle act aggressively and move towards you, keep calm, let the dog go and take the shortest, safest route out of the field.

5. During the bird breeding season (usually April to July) keep your dog under close control or on a short lead in areas such as moorland, machair, grassland, loch shores and the seashore.

6. Pick up and remove your dog’s faeces if it fouls in a public open place or where there is a risk to farming interests.

7. In recreation areas and other public places, avoid causing concern to others by keeping your dog under close control.

Tiree 2015 Stickers

Looking for something to replace that spot on your windscreen where the tax disc used to go?

The latest Tiree 2015 stickers are now in stock and available from the Ranger, Blue Beyond Gallery, Wild Diamond, Ceabhar Restaurant and Rockvale Guest House. Stickers are priced £5 and all proceeds go back into environmental improvements.

Thanks

Steve Nagy, Tiree Ranger Tiree Ranger Service

07765449487 or email accesstrd@tireebroadband.com

Windfall Fund

The Windfall Fund is open all year round and welcomes enquiries for the Community Support Fund, Community Investment Fund, Business Start Up Grant and Community Owned Buildings.

For more information or to apply then please have a look at our website or get in touch with a member of the Trust Team on the contact details above. Windfall decisions take a minimum of 2 months, so please make sure you get in touch as soon as you have an idea for a project and don’t leave it to the last minute!

The following awards were made in March 2015:

· An Talla received £3,000 towards purchasing tables and chairs.

· An Talla received £2,500 towards purchasing cutlery and table cloths.

· Vaul Golf Club received £1,281.08 to renew the fence round the golf course.

· An Iodhlann received £10,000 towards a three year project that will open up the archives of the Campbell family at Inveraray Castle, which will provide Tiree with access to historic maps, census returns, letters, emigrant lists and estate management documents over the last 340 years.

· Cùram Thiriodh received £24,000 towards running Tiree Resource Club for the next three years.

Loch a Phuill and Loch Bhasapol Fishing

letters to editor

Many’s the time I have fished these waters with my companions, catching trout on barbless hooks and returning them to the water, drinking tea and putting the world to right, and spotting the odd otter with a bit luck. But that was a few years ago.

Being a former secretary of the Tiree Angling Club I feel that you and your readers should know the position of fishing in these waters now. Several years ago the Club had the lease of the waters from Argyll Estates but one year the Estate refused to renew the lease but in fairness to them they still allowed members of the Club to fish the waters albeit each member had to purchase a permit from them.

This year one of our members applied for a permit and was told by Argyll Estates that no permits were being issued and he would no longer be allowed to fish on the waters. On pursuing this matter I have since found out that six permits will be made available for local residents so Argyll Estates are still not saying that you cannot fish they are just making it a bit more difficult to do so. Permits last year cost £90 but this year a permit will cost £200 with restrictions in as much as a permit holder will only be allowed to fish ten times.

I think it is incredible that in this day and age Argyll Estates can ride roughshod over individuals living on the island and increase the cost of a fishing permit by over 100% and stipulate the number of times they may use it. One would wonders if they are trying to keep local residents from fishing the waters by their pricing and rules policy and that they may have more lucrative rods to fish the waters and local rods would just be a nuisance.

I would be interested to hear view points from other An Tirisdeach readers on this matter.

Bill Campbell

Tiree To Glasgow Flights Every Day

Tiree is to get an air service fit for the 21st century as the Scottish Government promises that two, rather than just one flight per day will extend over the next four years.

Dr. John Holliday, the island’s GP and Convenor of the Tiree Community Council said, “This is great news for Tiree! The extra flights will provide a step change in transport to the island, and will be a major boost to Tiree’s fragile economy. They will also be a considerable help for those needing to leave the island for specialist medical attention. “

Last November islanders voiced grave concerns about the lack of capacity on the air link between Tiree and Glasgow, particularly in summer months when increasing numbers of tourists travelled to the island. Islanders, who turned up in force to a public meeting with Transport Scotland last November, demanded a better air service which would cope both with tourism and increasing demand from local residents. Some islanders were having difficulty getting to Glasgow by air for hospital appointments and vital treatments, including cancer care.

Derek Mackay, Scottish Government Minister for Transport and the Islands and Islands, has now confirmed that the minimum specifications of the Public Service Obligation (PSO) for the Glasgow to Tiree air service from October shall guarantee two flights a day Monday to Saturday all year around and a dedicated Sunday flight all year around, a significant improvement on the existing PSO specification for Tiree. Mr. MacKay said, “These air links are vital to the local economies of Campbeltown, Tiree and Barra and I want to make sure they are delivering the best service possible for the communities they serve.” He went on, “We are committed to supporting our remote communities and these improved air links will help do that”.

Tiree Community Council Vice Convener John MacCaskill added, “The Scottish Government listened to the Tiree community’s concerns and they are now delivering an air-service fit for the 21st Century for what is a remote and isolated Inner Hebrides isle. This will make a big difference to the social and economic development of Tiree. We were due to get a better service for this summer to cope with demand, but we now have an air service fit for purpose which has been extended for the next four years.”

The full details of the PSO Tendering Document for the communities of Barra, Campbeltown and Tiree will be released to the air industry on Tuesday 7th April 2015. The airline awarded the new PSO will run the air services to Glasgow from late October till the autumn 2019.

The hope now for the Tiree Community is that the airline awarded the new PSO will offer an early morning and late afternoon air service to Glasgow, particularly on weekdays, to maximise the potential of the much improved life-line air service.

A dinner, A dram, and a drama

The Tiree Association’s 2nd Dinner, Dram and Drama evening at Ralston Halls, on Saturday 28th February, proved to be a highly entertaining evening!

Following an exquisite two course buffet prepared by Alasdair – how does he manage to maintain this standard of catering excellence? – with an accompanying dram, those attending – around 65 in number – were treated to some first class singing, musical entertainment and storytelling:

many thanks to the singers – Linda, Mairi, Donald Iain and Gordon and to Billy for playing the box. An extra special thanks to Shona for her beautifully delivered story which delighted the audience and brought back many happy childhood memories!

The West End Players then took to the stage and delighted the audience with their fantastic bilingual comedy: ‘An Coigreach / The Stranger‘.

Again this year both fluent Gaelic speakers and learners could follow the exploits of those colourful characters as the hilarious plot unfolded! Many thanks to Mabel for penning this gem and to Lachie, John, Billy, Jessie, Donald Archie, Murdina and Gordon for taking to the stage and entertaining us all!

After some further delightful musical items Jessie, very bravely, took on the task of tutoring eight eager volunteers to dance an Eightsome Reel (properly!) The fact that all eight managed to complete the dance was totally down to her teaching skills – even the judges were generous with their ‘strictly ceilidh dancing’ scores!

A rousing chorus of ‘Auld Lang Syne’ drew the evening to a close. The evening was held in memory of Joan MacKechnie who worked tirelessly for The Tiree Association and profits will go towards fundraising for A Bhuain in May 2016.

The Committee would like to thank BORD NA GAIDHLIG for their generous sponsorship as this allowed us to keep ticket prices down. Also, many thanks to all those who ventured out on a very wet and windy evening to enjoy the buffet and the entertainment………and remember, if you’re on Tiree at Easter time, our SULA, SOUP and SANDWICH evening is on at An Talla on Saturday 11th April – hope to see you there!

 

Anne Ronald

Harbour Development For Tiree?

This year has seen a number of success stories, due to the £9.58  million Coastal Communities Fund being available for towns and villages all over Scotland. Among many other succesful projects Stornaway has received a huge £250,000 to go towards building a floating heavy duty pontoon in Stornaway harbour.

In addition Lochboisdale Community Development has also been awarded £221,973 to regenerate an unused quayside in Southern Uist with the addition of a pontoon, along with Barra and Vatersay Community Ltd. who received a massive £698,568 to install a set of pontoons in Castleby Harbour for the use of local water sports clubs, local residents, or visiting yachtsmen.

All the above are excellent examples of what can be achieved within a small community, and perhaps something that is in great demand within our own community of Tiree? Tiree Trust are currently trying to set up a steering group to investigate the opportunity of developing a harbour project on the island, if you are interested in being involved in the steering group then please get in touch with a member of the Trust Team.

On Saturday 31st January 2015 An Iodhlann held an Open Day to give more local Tiree folk the opportunity to come in and find out about what goes on there. The building was dressed with colourful bunting to draw people’s attention, and a number of staff, committee members and Summer volunteers were present to welcome visitors and provide additional insights into Tiree’s history.

An Iodhlann first opened its doors to the public in 1997 after refurbishment of the original building, known as The Reading Room (pictured left), which was built in 1886 as a waiting room for ferry passengers. The history of the building makes fascinating reading. The extension was built a few years after 1997, and the current permanent exhibition was opened around 2008.

Entry was free and each visitor received a free raffle ticket, the top prize being won by Morag MacKenzie. The event was a success with around 25 people dropping by over the course of the day (that’s 21 more than during the whole of November through January!) one person decided to join our growing family of members, and we raised a few funds through raffle ticket sales and donations.

Many thanks to all who attended and made the day a success, to the volunteers who helped out, to those who donated raffle prizes, and to Alan & Janette at the Cobbled Cow for the use of their ‘Open’ sign.

Janet Bowler

 

I went along to the open day but will have to go back as it merits a full half day rather than a quick half hour.

The layout has been well considered and there’s lots to see and discover. I was lucky to grab a few minutes with Janet to find out more about her role at An Iodhlann, here’s what she had to say:

My job title is Archive Manager, a role I have enjoyed since January 2009. It is the only paid position at An Iodhlann and part-time. My job is to catalogue and care for our library and all the historical artefacts, documents, photographs, and audio recordings, to welcome and assist visitors, to search the archive in response to queries from the public, and to keep an eye on the building’s fabric.

From time to time I work on additional specific projects such as Frasan, our ‘app’ that allows users to see some of our collection as they explore the island http://www.aniodhlann.org.uk/index.cfm?method=home.frasan . At the moment I am collaborating with our IT manager to create a new website, one of the aims of which will allow people to search the archive database themselves online.

Other specialised work is done voluntarily by members of the An Iodhlann Committee, most notably Dr John Holliday who is our chairman and does most of the historical research and collecting, and Mr Duncan Grant who is our genealogist and who helps people from all over the world trace their Tiree ancestors.

 

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

The annual RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch took place over the weekend of 24th and 25th January. Here, the RSPB ask the public to record the numbers and different species of birds they see in their garden or local park. These results are then logged and used to help the RSPB target specific areas of concern.

John Bowler, our local RSPB representative, teamed up with the Tiree Trust to hold a birdwatching session at the Rural Centre to mark this national event. Those who attended made bird feeders before heading outside to see what birds they could spot. John’s expertise was invaluable, and a wide variety of birds were spotted, including snipe, golden plover, song thrush and lapwing, as well as the more common starling and herring gull.

The afternoon was rounded off with hot-chocolate, biscuits, and lots of chat. There was a good turnout, and everyone enjoyed the afternoon’s activities.

The results will be posted on the RSPB website in due course, and for any further information on birds, unusual or otherwise, you can contact John Bowler on 220748 or by email john.bowler@rspb.org.uk

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