Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Making a Move

Although the queens in the Lewis chess set are looking either surprised (above) or bored (below) by the prospect, six of the famous pieces will be returning next month to Lewis, where they were discovered. Their presence will enhance the displays in the newly-installed museum in Lews Castle. See the moves involved in the Stornoway Gazette item.

Scottish Islands Explorer - brings concepts home with each issue
Digital Edition: the really fast moving innovation

Monday, 27 June 2016

Fancy a Free Dig?

Here's a rainbow above the Royal Bank of Scotland and the Museum in Kirkwall. The former has a rear garden, which has treasures below, discovered when used to test-pit an archaeological investigation exploring the 'hidden town'. Now five further gardens are wanted for similar in August. The holes will not be large, the soil will be replaced, but the excavations could yield much. Look for more in The Orcadian.

Scottish Islands Explorer - worth delving into
Digital Edition:  why not test-drive it?

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Self-mead Man!

The United Kingdom has had a bruising week and so where better to seek a place for quiet reflections than Scalloway. Here, a resident, Alistair Morgan, is planning to set up an operation to produce his brew, Viking Mead, on a commercial scale. This is a drink based upon fermented honey and each brew requires some 200 - 300 kilos of the sweet food made by bees foraging for nectar from flowers. It does sound soothing. Read about his plans in Shetland News, the source of the pun in today's blog title.

Scottish Islands Explorer - a brew with Viking and Gaelic strands
Digital Edition: can be fermented fast

Saturday, 25 June 2016

To Dig or Not to Dig?

There are parts of the Old Scatness archaeological site near Sumburgh Airport which needs further investigations. What is thought to be a Neolithic wall has been unearthed and surveys will be undertaken as to whether more digging should be undertaken. See the item in Shetland News.

Scottish Islands Explorer - requires a shallow dig into pockets
Digital Edition: unearth treasures instantly

Friday, 24 June 2016

They Left

There came moments during the early 1970s when the last residents of Scarp, North Harris, felt that they had to leave ... and they went, abandoning their houses, shop and telephone box. In an earlier era someone left their house (below) across the water in Glen Cravadale. However, with the passage of time, people return, not necessarily to settle permanently. Take a look at a part of the website of Marc Calhoun who visits these parts regularly and comes all the way from the Pacific North-West of the United States.

Scottish Islands Explorer - please keep returning
Digital Edition: via new, fast routes

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Remain or Leave?

While the residents of the UK are requested to take part in today's EU Referendum, the residents of Stroma, off Caithness, were never formally asked whether they wanted to remain or leave. They just took the latter course, although the process took over 60 years rather than one day.

In 1901 the population had peaked at 375. The 1961 Census indicated that numbers were down to 12 and in the December of the following year the last indigenous family left. Only the lighthouse keepers and their families were required to remain until 1997. The Church of Scotland had provided a place of worship, the Scottish Co-operative Wholesale Society had established a shop, the Caithness County Council continued running the school until the register contained the names of only two pupils in 1957 and the Post Office was in operation until the following year. The telephone box, now defunct, was apparently the six-millionth to be installed in Britain. When a new harbour was built, the leavers suddenly increased at the expense of the remainers.

Scottish Islands Explorer - remaining subscribers are much appreciated
Digital Edition: leavers of traditional print publications welcomed

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Present on Past Plates

Jack Lowe is on a mission - to photograph present-day lifeboats, their stations and crews with the methods of the past. His camera is 110 years old, from the Edwardian era; his developing techniques with photographic plates were devised in Victorian times.

He is a quarter of his way around the RNLI stations of the British Isles and is photographed above at the Kyle of Lochalsh, Skye. Jack is the grandson of Arthur Lowe, of Dad's Army fame; runs his own studio with the reassuring strapline - 'Craftsmanship in the Digital Age' - has his own website about the project; and is featured in a Shetland News item.

Scottish Islands Explorer - aspires to 'craftsmanship'
Digital Edition: certainly in that era

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Fund Raising

A sea-stack; an uninhabited islet; a distant island and some matching cloud formations make up this fascinating image of the St Kilda archipelago. The National Trust for Scotland is making an appeal for funds to care for the dual World Heritage Site and its outlined on the BBC website.

Scottish Islands Explorer - more written about St Kilda than other islands
Digital Edition: discover more within seconds

Monday, 20 June 2016

Images of an Island

Barra draws people, including photographers. Some are attracted by the island's beaches with a certain Caribbean quality. Malena Persson comes from Sweden, has lived in Scotland since 2003 and continues to be attracted by Barra, although her attention is focused on the many different aspects of island life, including its livestock. These are featured on the BBC website and will be, next week, at The Old Truman Brewery in London.

Scottish Islands Explorer - wishes more would flock, follow and purchase
Digital Edition: for print and digital versions

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Image from an Island

Here's a photograph taken from the old pier at Eoligarry, Barra, towards Eriskay and South Uist by islander, Kealan Donnely. It appears in the popular gallery of recent images presented by the BBC.

Scottish Islands Explorer - frequently depicts one island from another
Digital Edition: download the latest issue before the weekend's over