Finally...... The Islay News Roundup is back :-) The last one was from March this year and somehow, there was so much other stuff to write about, I had forgotten all about it. I know it's a sad excuse but it's just the way it went! The news round-ups will commence again from today onwards, every fortnight on Saturday, and hopefully without any further interruptions, but I can't give guarantees. Who can? The format will remain the same, more or less, and perhaps I will include some news items from forArgyll as well, when appropriate, just to broaden the horizon a little.
If anyone of the Islay readers is interested in adding their own news items, which can be submitted anonymous if you like, please don't hesitate to contact me and I will either add it to the news round-up or post a dedicated article, anything is possible!
From now on I will also include a fortnightly Islay picture to start the news round-up. This weeks picture is the last of the autumns Rose Hips near Persabus.
What follows next is a wee overview of Islay news published in the Ileach newspaper and from various other sources, which haven't been published before on this blog. The news that has already been published is available in the November archive where you can find more information about the silo collapse at Port Ellen Maltings including pictures, the posts written by Teresa Morris in her Islay Seasonwatch section and Jeremy's nature reports.
Amna Campbell retires: The Ileach had a picture of Amna and the Oban Times had a lengthy interview with her on their website: "An Islay Loganair worker, Amna Campbell, is hanging up her wings after more than three decades of service at the airport. Before setting out to enjoy her retirement in sunnier climes, Amna spoke to The Oban Times about the changes and adventures she has had while working for the airline. Amna said: â€˜There have been tremendous changes since I started work for the company in 1977. â€˜Sheep were removed from the runway by Bess a German sheepdog and there were no boundaries to where the airport began and ended. â€˜Then there was the time that Prince Charles flew himself into the airport and crashed his small plane into a peat bog. I think he was relieved that it wasnâ€™t a more serious crash. He shook us all by the hand â€“ what a nice man he was. â€˜I have had a wonderful career in the golden age of flying but the rate of change in the airline helped me decide that it was time to retire to have more time to myself." The picture from the Ileach shows Amna with her Loganair colleagues.
Currie Proposes Islay air link to Colonsay: Discussions are underway to provide an air link between the islands of Colonsay and Islay which could dramatically cut the time it takes for residents of Colonsay to get to Glasgow. Councillor Robin Currie, who represents both islands in his Kintyre constituency, says the link could be a â€˜major step forwardâ€™ for the island of Colonsay which has around 100 inhabitants. Currie wants Argyllâ€™s new air service, which provides flights from Oban to Coll, Colonsay and Tiree, to link with flights from Islay Airport to Glasgow. The Argyll Air Service from Oban to Colonsay started in June of this year after a much criticised investment programme costing around Â£9,000,000. It has so far been used by fewer than 200 people a month and is operated by Highland Airways as a public service obligation for Argyll and Bute Council. Continue reading.....BBC Alba audience figures: BBC ALBA has now been on air for seven weeks, and weâ€™re delighted with the audience response to our programmes. When the first survey results came in, we found out that more than 610,000 people (around 15% of Scotlandâ€™s adult population) tuned in during the channelâ€™s first week, and that around one in four people (23%) in the Highlands and Islands had watched the channel â€“ really encouraging figures! We know this is only the beginning of the story, of course, but it shows that people in Scotland respond positively to Gaelic if itâ€™s presented in an attractive way.
Halloween at Bruichladdich: Staff at Bruichladdich Distillery (picture) were given an appropriately ghoulish ultimatum at Halloween - either come to work in fancy dress and give generously to the RNLI or... I will leave that to your own imagination. Around Â£200 was raised.
Sausage triumph for Keills Primary School: Fourteen children from Keills Primary School entered the British Pig Associationâ€™s Pedigree Pork Sausage competition at the BBC Good Food Show in Glasgow on Saturday, 1 November 2008. The children are all members of an after school healthy eating club, led by Dunlossit Castle cook Catriona MacGillivray. Catriona showed the children how to manufacture and flavour their own sausages using pedigree pork supplied by Dunlossit Estate (it was from a Large Black pig). With twenty-eight entries for the competition (thatâ€™s a lot of sausages), Islay can be proud of the fact that a Keills pupil won third prize in the Speciality Sausage Class.
Kilchoman Armistice Day Service: Around thirty members of the congregation of St Kiarans Church and their friends laid a wreath at the Kilchoman War Memorial (picture) at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month with the help of Mark and Rohaise French of Rockside Farm who kindly provided transport across the field and through some truly appalling weather. Bugler Iain Steele played the last post and the service was read by the Rev Bill Bristow who has seen naval service and has been an army chaplain.
Islay Birding sponsors Wheelers: Port MÃ²r Wheelers, the kids cycling club based at Port MÃ²r just outside Port Charlotte are now officially affliated to governing body Scottish Cycling - and are now registered as a voluntary club. Their membership has been sponsored by Jeremy Hastings of Islay Birding. Port Mor Wheelers has now finished for the year, and will start back again in February of 2009.
Friends of Laphroaig Lounge: John Campbell and Vicky Stevens are pictured in the new â€œFriends of Laphroaigâ€ lounge at the world famous Islay distillery. The elegantly appointed new room with its associated shop has been developed in one of the old warehouses to give visitors a comfortable and relaxing time - particularly the 350,000 people who have become â€œFriends of Laphroaigâ€ over the years. All these Friends are cordially invited to visit the distillery and collect the annual rent on their square foot of prime Islay real estate and John and Vicky are keen to make Ilich aware that that includes their local friends too.... In the past, despite having historically perhaps the highest profile of the Islay distilleries, Laphroaig did not really have the facilities to welcome visitors without an appointment - but all that has now changed. The historical records and old photographs in the new lounge really are fascinating - and work is already underway to develop a distillery museum in an adjoining space. It has become a very welcoming place to enjoy your generous annual rental entitlement.
Jura and Argyll News, Blogs & other snippets: As you might know I also run a website for Jura called www.jurainfo.com. Recently I started a blog there as well called the Isle of Jura Blog with posts about everything related to Islay's neighbour Jura. The latest post on the Jura Blog is about Willie Tait who also was a manager of Bruichladdich Distillery a while back. The post contains a link to a very interesting interview with him. Very much worth listening to! Check out forArgyll for the latest news in Argyll and Bute. There is a new blog dedicated to Bruichladdich called Bruichladdich blog, not to be confused with the official Laddie Blog who wrote last week that they sold an academy slot for $8500 at an auction for a charity! Armin published his latest blogging roundup last Sunday. That's all for now, I hope you enjoyed it and I wish you a good weekend!