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.