Local News for Wednesday 16th November 2016

Storm heroes on island ferries
A new BBC Alba series which started last night focusess on the work of two Barra mariners in keeping the ferries running. Storm Heroes gives Caledonian MacBrayne lifeline routes a feature role throughout, with masters from MVs Hebrides and Lord of the Isles talking about stormy weather and the challenges they face getting through, as well as the difficult choices they must sometimes make. The four-part series, in Gaelic with English subtitles, sees presenter Donnie Mackay joining people who leave their warm beds to battle the elements on our behalf. We see how they prepare ahead of bad weather, and how they manage to do their jobs when the storm arrives. Barra Masters Michael MacNeil, skipper of MV Hebrides and Iain MacNeil, skipper of MV Lord of the Isles, both featured in yesterday’s programme. Crews from MVs Hebrides, Loch Portain and Loch Bhrusda also feature later in the series, as does SSE Hydro worker Neil McCormick in Uist, delivering emergency power where it’s needed, and care worker Chrissie Macrae in Stornoway, who looks after the elderly in their own homes. Comhairle nan Eilean Siar roads manager Roddy MacDonald also features in a later episode.

Read more: Local News for Wednesday 16th November 2016

Local News for Tuesday 15th November 2016

Community rallies behind Glen House
A call to the community to help save Stornoway’s iconic Glen House has brought in an ‘overwhelming’ response from island people. Local business BeSpoke Bicycles turned to Crowdfunding when the renovation of the house looked beyond hope, with serious damage to the interior meaning the total cost was far higher than expected. Owner Alistair Glover’s aim is to turn Glen House, the oldest building in the Castle Grounds, into a cycle hub and café. After seeing his appeal feature in media, including on isles FM on Friday afternoon, he has been overwhelmed by the public response which has seen over 180 people make pledges – including one anonymous funder pledging £1,000. The appeal has now exceeded its £7,500 target. Alistair said: “I honestly don’t know quite what to say! I’m utterly gobsmacked and there really are not enough thank-yous in the world. Everyone who has pledged, from £2 to the £1,000, is helping to make the dream of The Hub come true and bringing Glen House back to life.” A ‘stretch target’ has now been set at £12,500 , to allow final refurbishment such as car parking area with a permanent tarmac surface. To pledge to the BeSpoke Bicycles’ Crowdfunding site – and find out more about The Hub project at Glen House – please visit www.crowdfunding.co.uk/the-hub-3

Read more: Local News for Tuesday 15th November 2016

Local News for Monday 14th November 2016

War memorials for all the fallen
With a weekend just past of services honouring the memories of fallen servicemen and women, there’s been good news in Barvas, where a new war memorial has been unveiled, and in Tolsta, where the existing memorial has been granted funding for a full renovation. Now Isles MSP Alasdair Allan is encouraging other local groups to apply to the Centenary Memorials Restoration Fund (CMRF) to renovate their local war memorials. CMRF is a £1 million fund, launched in 2013, as part of the Scottish Government’s commemorations of the centenary of the First World War. Dr Allan said: “Our local war memorials are a mark of history and a tribute to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.  While so many communities take great care of local memorials, upkeep can be difficult and expensive. It would be great if as many repair projects as possible could be completed in time for the centenary of Armistice Day in 2018. We owe it to our servicemen to preserve the monuments that honour and remember the fallen.”

Read more: Local News for Monday 14th November 2016

Local News for Friday 11th November 2016

Remembrance events across the islands
Remembrance day events take place across the islands today and through the weekend, as we once again commemorate 100 years since the First World War. Guns fell silent at 11 o’clock on November 11th 1918, and at the same time each year silence is observed at many memorials and in towns and villages across the UK. In Stornoway today a service will be held at the monument outside the Drill Hall at 10.45am today, conducted by Rev Dr Iain D Campbell and followed by the silence. Up to 200 pupils of Stornoway Primary School will then lay poppies at the memorial. This evening at the Drill Hall an evening event will commemorate the battle of Beaumont Hamel, the last big action of the Battle of the Somme, fought in 1916. After speeches and a short service, there will be entertainment by pupils from the Nicolson Institute and piper and singer Anna Murray.

Read more: Local News for Friday 11th November 2016

Local News for Thursday 10th November 2016

Lewis descendant is US President-elect
Islanders woke up yesterday to news that a Lewis descendant is to be the next President of the United States, as Republican candidate Donald Trump convincingly defeated his Democrat opponent, Hillary Clinton, in the race for the White House. Mr Trump is the son of a Lewis emigrant, Mary Anne Macleod Trump, who left the village of Tong to work in the United States. Yesterday’s news repeatedly focused on Mr Trump’s Scottish connections, including not only his Western Isles heritage but business interests in mainland Scotland. Mr Trump visited Lewis in 2008, posing for pictures outside the family home in Tong. His sister, senior circuit judge Maryanne Trump Barry, has been a major benefactor to the Bethesda Hospice and Care Home. In 2015, the Stornoway Gazette reported Mr Trump’s first moves towards the presidency under the headline ‘Lewis linked tycoon could be next US president’.

Read more: Local News for Thursday 10th November 2016