Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Hello folks. This is me, Gordon, on the ISLE OF TIREE, giving you a taste of the music I love to sing. This time around it's Robbie Williams' 'Angels'. If, at the end of the film, you think you hear static or dead air it's not. It's the wind and rain lashing the Man Shed when I was doing this!
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Adam Ingram is spending a couple of days this week out in the Atlantic on the sunshine island of Tiree.
Minister for Children and Early Years, he will have the chance to experience Tiree's approach to teaching and learning.
The question is, with two days available, will the Tirisdeachs take the Minister to the beach and give him a whirl on the ocean? READ MORE
Young people in Glasgow and the west of Scotland have been discussing their fears about climate change and how rising sea levels will affect their local area.
Pupils at schools in Prestwick, Glasgow and Tiree have taken part in a workshop run by Atlantic Rising, an education project raising awareness about the consequences of sea level rise for low-lying communities around the Atlantic. READ MORE
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Cops and airline chiefs have launched an investigation after two CURRIES were stolen from baggage in a plane's hold.
The spicy dishes belonged to two passengers who bought them in Glasgow to take home to Tiree in the Hebrides - where there are no Indian eateries. READ MORE.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
This is a reasonable quality phone-cam recording of the band playing at the Scarinish Hotel, Tiree. Good fun and a great insight into the band unwinding.
Tiree is very busy this summer and it is essential visitors to the island who bring their vehicles of bicycles are familiar with the protocol for driving on Single-Track roads. Failure to follow the following simple rules may result in frustration on the part of other road users or, worse, an accident.
So, when driving or cycling on single-track roads please remember:
- Passing places are marked with black and white poles, or
- passing-place signs, and must be used to permit oncoming traffic
to proceed and to allow following traffic to overtake
- Never park in passing places. They are not viewpoints
- Always stay on the left-hand side of the road when using passing places
- If the passing place is on your right-hand side, wait opposite (on the left) and allow traffic to pass
- No-one minds how slowly drivers travel along our roads, so long as they pull in to allow following vehicles to pass. Remember, the car behind could be a doctor in a hurry, or other emergency services. A vehicle attending an emergency call, will have its hazards flashing and headlights on so please let it pass at the first safe opportunity
- Use sidelights at night when stopped in passing place
- There is no vehicular right of access across croft land or common grazing
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Former Guides from Keighley who took part in annual summer camps to the Hebrides are being sought for a reunion.
The fortnight-long 4th Keighley Guide company camps were held between 1957 and 1981, with hundreds of girls making the trip and many returning several times.
Eighteen former Guides enjoyed a millennium reunion on the Isle of Tiree and a larger group went to the Isle of Harris in 2005.
Now another get-together is planned — on Tiree – for next June, to celebrate the Guide movement's centenary.
More than 30 former members have already expressed an interest in attending.
Jean Brown – who was skipper of the Guide company and led the camps with Margaret Brown and Hazel Belsey – said: "It will be a magical journey down memory lane, not to be missed.
"It is essential that we leave no one who would love to join us behind.
"We are asking everyone to contact others, wherever they may be, and try to come to our preliminary meeting."
The meeting is being held at Currer Laithe Farm, Thwaites Brow, next Thursday, at 7pm.
Further information can be obtained from Jean on 01535 604387.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Scotland's island communities face growing challenges maintaining their populations as they prepare to celebrate life in the isles.
The Convention of Highlands and Islands, which involves the Scottish Government, agreed last year to make 2011 Islands Year of Culture.
Islanders told the BBC Scotland news website depopulation and ageing communities remained a serious issue. READ MORE.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Saturday, August 08, 2009
Ian Sharp was - with former Daily Record chief crime correspondent, Arnot McWhinnie - a partner in the Glasgow Court Agency, following spells at the Daily Express (as a reporter) and The Herald (firstly as a reporter, later as night news editor).
But five years ago, after ten years at the GCA, he was diagnosed with liver and lung cancer, though the liver diagnosis was subsequently proved to be unfounded. After undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy, he had a lung removed 18 months ago.
Sharp has had a holiday home on the island for 25 years, but is now living there permanently. "It's the best of both worlds," he said of his new business. "I expect to be sourcing quite a few stories per month".
He can be contacted on 01897 220 384 and 077510 98546.
Friday, August 07, 2009
Here's a video of the inaugural Tiree to Coll Adventure Race from last year's Wave Classic. The event, which involves running, wind surfing and cycling, was won by Will Wright of Tiree. This is a unique race and we can't wait to see how it turns out this year!
Thursday, August 06, 2009
I have been trying over the last few days to distil my thoughts about the sort of year we have had as members of TREL. It feels like we have spent much of our energy averting potential disasters and the fact that we have succeeded in doing so and that we still have a viable project at the end of such a challenging and stressful year is a minor miracle in itself. It is also down to the tenacity, strength of spirit and sheer bloody-minded determination of the members of this committee and the strong support of our lenders and lawyers.
We have had to deal with the international banking crisis and global economic meltdown and this has affected the project in a number of ways. The financial cost of the project has risen as a result of a rise in the price of materials and the weakness of sterling against the Euro and the US dollar. At the same time the constraints applied by the banks have tightened considerably and lenders are understandably much more nervous about how much they are prepared to lend and to whom. Given these constraints, the Co-op bank have been enormously supportive and the fact that they still believe in the turbine in the context of the banking crisis underlines the strength and viability of the project as a whole.
We have also had to deal with a lack of structure and technical guidance from the agencies with whom we have been dealing. This is in part due to their lack of knowledge about community projects of this type and scale and it is hoped that a more coherent framework can be developed as a result of our experiences and that this can be used to help future projects in other communities.
Much of the first half of the year was spent negotiating and finalising the huge number of legal documents generated by the lenders, the funders, Argyll Estates, the electrical company, the turbine supplier and the insurance companies. In all there were more than 60 documents that had to be agreed and checked and approved by our lawyers before they could be signed by TREL and the Trust.
Despite these problems we confirmed our grid connection offer in January and in March the Land Court signed off on the resumption of the land in Ruaig. The large pile of legal documents was signed over the end of March and the start of April. This effectively kick-started the process of buying and erecting the turbine and set in motion the drawing down of funds from BIG and the loan from the Co-op bank.
The project as it now stands will cost £1.93M with £1.22M coming from the Co-op bank and £712K from BIG. With this money we intend to erect a 900kW Enercon E44 wind turbine in Ruaig. Delivery is scheduled for October this year with initial site works due to start in early July.
As I have said many times before, the turbine project has been a long, hard slog with many thousands of voluntary hours put in by the members of the TREL board and particular mention has to go to Ann Kirby, Ian Tainsh and Steve Thomson whose tireless energy and steely determination have carried this project forward from the outset. I would also like to mention Mark Ewing and Douglas Collingham of the law firm T C Young for their dedication and expertise in steering us through the legal quagmire and the team at the Co-op bank who have bent over backwards to make this happen.
I hope that by next years AGM the turbine we have talked about for so long will finally be turning and earning some money for Tiree.
Learn more about the work of Tiree Renewable Energy Limited - CLICK HERE
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
The trial "route equivalent tariff" (RET) scheme has reduced ticket prices by some 40 per cent, with many campervans paying the same as cars. It cuts fares to the cost of travelling the same distance by road, and runs on the Western Isles and Coll/Tiree routes from last October until 2011. READ MORE.
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Following on from yesterday's biography of Mary Ann Kennedy (whose Father came from Tiree) here is a video of her performing on 'The Highland Sessions' television programme.
Monday, August 03, 2009
From the moment she was born Mary Ann Kennedy was destined for a life in music.
"Music is my earliest memory," she says. "I remember lying in bed at the family home in Glasgow listening to my mum, her sister and brother all singing together in the front room.
"For me, singing has always been part of my life."
Born and brought up in a Gaelic-speaking household in Glasgow, Mary Ann is the daughter of island parents – her father was from Tiree and her mother, renowned Gaelic singer Kenna Campbell, hails from Skye.
The ease with which she communicates on stage and on air stem from years of experience, from performing the traditional music of her upbringing, to the rigorous training of a classical musician, to the several years that she grafted in a BBC newsroom.
She studied piano at the Royal Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow and continued postgraduate studies at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester where she majored on concert harp, while researching Gaelic mouth music – a unique combination.
She moved to the Highlands capital, Inverness, in 1993, where several years followed living the double life of a musician and news presenter.
Ultimately, she was responsible for the BBC's entire Gaelic radio news output, but sleep deprivation and her true passions eventually took over and she returned to the life of a freelance musician and broadcaster.
She has never looked back. Mary Ann is one of a handful of singers to win both Gold Medals at the Royal National Mod – Gaeldom's premier cultural festival - and has also twice won the International Celtic Harp competition in Lorient, Brittany.
She also received a Saltire Award for Lasair Dhé, a musical collaboration between her award-winning band, Cliar, and Gaelic choral music, originally commissioned as the finale of the 1999 Highland Festival, and which went on to wider success.
Her work today covers radio, television, live performance and studio production, the latter often as a team with husband, Nick Turner, at their broadcast and recording studios, Watercolour Music, based in Ardgour in the West Highlands.
Their most recent success was the 2005 Scots Trad Music Media Award for the BBC Scotland TV series on Gaelic song, Aig Cridhe ar Ciùil (At the Heart of our Music is Song), for which they produced the soundtrack.
Mary Ann sees her broadcasting career as something of a catalyst for other music and musicians to reach new audiences.
This includes presenting the Sony-nominated BBC Radio Scotland show Celtic Connections, where much of the show's success stems from her passion as a musician.
"I'm discovering new stuff that's really exciting all the time, and I'm able to be passionate about what I'm playing," she says.
"On Celtic Connections we play everything - from the most hardcore of Scottish seann-nòs song to Puerto Rican reggaeton to brassy Balkan club grooves.
"The enthusiasm I have is that of a musician responding to other musicians' work." Mary Ann broadcasts her radio programmes from the Watercolour Music studios in Ardgour, thanks to the miracles of digital technology. "It feels like the edge of the world and the centre of the universe," she says.
Sunday, August 02, 2009
Here's a video we made back in September of 2007 showing the journey from Scarinish to Cornaigmore via Crossapol and Kenovay.
We'll be making more of these 'road' videos soon so we thought now might be the time to show this one again.
Music by DJ Steveboy.