Monday, 29 August 2016

Days Out Extended

CalMac is extending its Days Out trips owing to popular demand. See what's on offer by clicking here or for a a report on the services available go to the Stornoway Gazette.

Scottish Islands Explorer - items and images always on offer
Digital Edition: for one issue or for a year at a time

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Feminine Presence

The Stornoway Gazette item on the recent appointment of a Church of Scotland minister to two parishes in the Outer Hebrides indicates how times are changing. Cuithir Church, Barra, (above) and Howmore, South Uist (below) serve Protestant congregations in Catholic heartlands.

The Revd Lindsay Schulter succeeds, after a time caused by vacancies, the Revd Eleanor Muir on Barra and the Revd Jacqueline Petrie on South Uist. So the 21st Century has seen female domination in these posts. Male clergy in the Western Isles have long been the norm - with the Roman Catholic and the Free Church of Scotland traditions.

For those interested in church architecture - the central communion table at Howmore is probably the longest in Scotland.

Scottish Islands Explorer - some island-names have gender associations
Digital Edition: 'speed-dating' for readers in a manner of speaking

Saturday, 27 August 2016

From Calf to Pod

The Calf of Linga, to the south of West Linga, is a drying island in Symbister Harbour, Whalsay. Activities in this part of Shetland were customarily quiet until Wednesday morning, when a pod of two killer whales and three smaller cubs appeared. Ivan Reid was close and captured some fine, and rather frightening, photographs. See what he saw on Shetland News.

Scottish Islands Explorer - photographs always at hand
Digital Edition: see a pod on your pad

Friday, 26 August 2016

Dougie MacLean

Here's a man who has a home on the Isle of Lewis, writes songs about the Scottish islands and was originally famed for his composition, Caledonia. It's Dougie MacLean and his 12th Perthshire Amber Festival will be taking place in November. Tickets have just been released and full details are available here.

Scottish Islands Explorer - now in its 17th year
Digital Edition: connected as fast as his ticket sales

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Nurse Raasay

Islands may attract visitors, but their communities do not always find it easy to engage professional help. Muck has troubles finding a teacher; Raasay a nurse. Do consider the Facebook appeal for the latter, with its SOS focus, and if you know of anyone both interested and suitable, get in touch with the authorities. There are regular, dailyCalMac service from Sconser, on Skye, and well-established facilities on the island.

Scottish Islands Explorer - attracts many
Digital Edition: with speed added

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Centre on St Kilda

The Press and Journal has an article on the St Kilda Centre that could be finished at Uig, Lewis, by 2020. It anticipates some of the interest in what will be the 90th Anniversary of the Evacuation of the island's residents. The response of Iain Thornber on the context of the Centre is well worth considering.

Scottish Islands Explorer - read, then visit
Digital Edition: acquire the magazine with alacrity

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Spiggie Hotel

This Autumn may well see the closure of the Spiggie Hotel in Shetland's South Mainland. Keith Massey, who has been the owner of the establishment since 2007, has been unable to find a buyer and has announced his intention to retire. The details are in Shetland News.

Scottish Islands Explorer - is interest sparked?
Digital Edition: find out more through the internet

Monday, 22 August 2016

The Rhenigidale Road

Here's Kenny MacKay in a typical welcoming way at his village, Rhenigidale, in North Harris. He was born in 1935 and has devoted much of his life to bringing innovations to a settlement that did not have a maintained, metalled road until the late 1980s. In fact, it was linked only by footpaths and sea-routes; had one wireless-based telephone; a school with one pupil; and a Gatliff Hostel to encourage visitors to make the trek. He has now written a book about his community's fight for survival over past centuries and its flourishing in the 21st Century. Read about it in the West Highland Free Press account by Fiona Rintoul.

Scottish Islands Explorer - a full-page feature on the book in the current issue
Digital Edition: available in Rhenigidale thanks to the broadband connection

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Long Reach

It was a long reach to take the first step on the route from North Tolsta to the Butt of Lewis, but the track never became a road. The Bridge to Nowhere is a monument to the abandoned scheme of Lord Leverhulme. The long beach at Tolsta is obviously attractive, but attracts relatively few visitors owing to its being relatively remote and on a dead end. However, North Tolsta is the first place in Scotland to trial a new hi-tech carrier of broadband - Long Reach VDSL - to bring live, fast connections to some 20 homes. Read more through the BBC.

Scottish Islands Explorer - innovations evident from Buxton Press
Digital Edition: employs hi-tech methods

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Linga for Five Minutes

It's time for a little weekend speculating and lingering for five minutes (well, actually for six-and-a-half) on and over Linga, a 64-acre island that's some 500 yards from Walls, Shetland. Do view what, the solicitor and agent, Neil Risk, is offering and take the impressive YouTube tour. There's a lot to be done, but the project has been planned with a pier, pump and property. We are talking in terms of £250k ... for the initial outlay.

Scottish Islands Explorer - many more to mull over
Digital Edition: saves time acquiring the magazine