Tag Archives: christmas

Tyree Gin Spreads Festive Cheer

A Hebridean distiller is set to spread some festive cheer this December by giving a free miniature bottle of local gin to every islander on their native Tiree.

Tiree residents over the age of 18 will be treated to a free miniature of Tyree Gin or Hebridean Pink Gin in the run up to Christmas as distillery bosses add some unexpected joy to what has been a difficult year.

Rather than coming down locals’ chimneys, owners Ian Smith and Alain Campbell have teamed up with the island’s local shop, Buth a’ Bhaile, so that lucky residents can collect their miniatures from the store in Crossapol on the island. Ian Smith, owner of Tiree Whisky Company, said:

“2020 has been a challenging year for most people so we wanted to inject a bit of festive cheer into the lives of everyone in Tiree and give them a small gift. “We’ll be taking orders and delivering to Buth a’ Bhaile from today until 23rd December. Together, as a community, we can reflect on 2020 and raise a glass to the New Year.”

Islanders over the age of 18 among Tiree’s population of 650 people can apply for their gift by filling out a form on the Tyree Gin website.

The Isle of Tiree has a fascinating distilling heritage which Tiree Whisky Company Ltd has resurrected in recent years. Their distillery is the first on the island in over 217 years.

The company’s first product, Tyree Gin, was launched at Tiree Music Festival 2017. This product reflects the landscape in which it is distilled, incorporating kelp harvested from the icy waters, coastal salty flavours and a range of botanicals from the machair ground inland from the shore. Earlier this year, the small spirits’ producer launched Hebridean Pink Gin, which comes in a striking pink bottle and is distilled using juniper berries, raspberries and sweet peels.

Despite the challenges of 2020, the company also recently invested in new stills and equipment for future production planned for 2021 as they look ahead to a positive year.

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!

Festive Fun

Following on from the success of the Senior Citizens’ party the young people of  Tiree showed that they too know how to let their hair down and enjoy themselves.
The arrival of Santa bearing wonderful gifts was eagerly anticipated and the highlight for many of the youngsters.
The girls had dressed for the occasion in dresses that sparkled and the boys looked equally smart.
Congratulations and thanks once again to the Parties Committee for all their hard work throughout the year.

Santa came to call, and parties were had by all

The Senior Citizens party was held on Saturday 11 December and by all accounts all of our 90 guests had a very good time.

The Guests were piped in, on arrival, by Colin MacKinnon, Balevuillin and then before dinner, the lovely cake made by Evelyn, was cut by Hugh MacLeod who recently celebrated his 95th birthday. We then had an excellent dinner prepared by Josie and the An Talla Team.

The entertainment was brought by Iain and Iona Brown and Kenny Nicolson and our thanks to them for coming and giving the folks at the party a sing-a-long. Another Special Visitor, dressed all in red with a big white beard (any guesses who it might be??) arrived after the meal and he came bearing gifts for our lucky prize-winners, after some dancing he left to deliver more presents elsewhere. We had an extra special raffle of a painting, kindly donated by Patricia Sharp which raised £249 and was won by Margaret Ryan, Hynish.

Gordon, Billy and Katie played and the dancing and entertainment, including some fun games and stand up bingo, began and carried on till the bus came and it was time to wind down for another year.

The Parties Committee would like to thank The RBS Community Fund, Tiree Association, Agrimarine, I&F MacLeod together with all the personal donations we have received this year. This all goes towards the costs of running the parties.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from The Tiree Parties Committee.



Following the Senior Citizens Dinner/Party a Disco and Dance was held for Primary 5 to Secondary 2 pupils on Friday 18 December.

The twenty-five youngsters who attended enjoyed games and dances – congratulations to Laura and Bernie for being the best disco dancers. Andy and Daniel are to be thanked for providing the music.

On Saturday December 19 seventy-five children attended the pre-school to primary 4 party and had a great time playing games and dancing to the music of Gordon, Kate and Ewan Brown – thanks are due to this “trio”. Food and refreshments were served by committee and friends. Having not been there I heard many excellent reports from parents and Grandparents for days afterwards. Many thanks to Santa who visited these parties distributing gifts. He is due a good rest now – it’s just a pity the snow didn’t follow him to Tiree!

Accepting a cheque from the bank

The senior pupils were issued with complimentary tickets to the Boxing Day Dance which by all accounts was a lively evening – oh to be young again! Finally, the parties would not be as successful without all the musicians, Iain and Fiona MacLeod, Andy and staff at the Co-op, Jessie Gray and her team at Tiree High for the Community Card Service, Nancy and Angus MacKechnie who transported folk to the Senior Citizens’ Party and also financial assistance/donations from the Tiree Association, AgriMarine Ltd, The Royal Bank of Scotland and many other individuals.

There is so much generosity and kindness around. If I have omitted anybody from the above list I apologise profusely. In a few months time the committee will be starting to organise its summer events and the ever popular Craft Fayre. Meanwhile they deserve a well earned break. Again grateful appreciation to everyone and I hope 2010 works out well for you all.

Ann Langley

And A Good Time Was Had By All


Tiree Christmas Parties Committee held their Senior Citizens’ Party in An Talla on Saturday 12 December.
Iain Cameron, Chairperson, started off proceedings by warmly welcoming everyone and thanked his committee who fund-raised throughout the year and all those who contributed in any other way in making the Christmas Functions so successful. Mrs Janet Brown, Balephuil, then cut the cake (this year again an “Evelyn” work of art) prior to an absolutely delicious meal, ably prepared by Josie and her An Talla team, and served by a jovial committee and helpers.

Refreshments and mints were also included in this repast – we were sure spoilt! Into the bargain there were many free raffle prizes distributed by a very tall and cheery Santa! A busy schedule is ahead of him yet. Also, throughout the evening young Colin MacKinnon kept us tapping with his piping – well done! Aren’t we fortunate on Tiree to have such musical talent.

All in all a good time was had by all – being a senior citizen for a year or two now I can sit back and enjoy – which I did!

Ann Langley

P.s. Forgot to mention that this year we had an additional act – “Stand Up” Bingo organised by Josie – very entertaining!