Local News for Monday 24th July 2017

Crowds come out on sunny Saturday
Blue skies, sunshine and crowds of people created a memorable weekend for shows and events in Stornoway and beyond on Saturday. With temperatures up to 22 degrees the streets of Stornoway sizzled with life and excitement, street circus and buskers. A second day of sunshine for Hebridean Celtic Festival brought the crowds out into the open at the Castle Green, with performances enjoyed not just within the tents, but outside on rugs and deckchairs too. One dedicated fan of the band Tidelines, who played on the LWP Islands Stage on Thursday evening, got a treat at the weekend when she was visited in hospital by Robert Robertson and Alasdair Turner, who had heard that she wouldn’t be able to make the gig after being taken ill. Dougie Maclean also made Friday his chance to mingle with the crowds in the circus tent and around the festival arena, and Lucy Spraggan celebrated her birthday on Friday backstage, with a cake especially supplied by HebCelt organisers.

On Saturday at Stornoway Harbour the RNLI funday got underway at 11am as runners set off for the Family 5k. Winners of the Round Table trophy for most family members across the finishing line were the MacIver/Murrays with 12 runners, walkers and toddlers. Later the annual emergency services tug-of-war saw the Coastguard team soundly beaten by the Fire Brigade, who in turn lost against Stornoway RNLI. The lifeboat crew triumphantly retained the Sportsworld Emergency Services Tug O'War trophy for another year, but there was a cheer for the fire brigarde too as their pagers sounded as soon as they dropped the rope, and they sped off along the pier with lights flashing.

Read more: Local News for Monday 24th July 2017

Local News for Friday 21st June 2017

Biggest weekend of Lewis year
The biggest weekend of the summer promises a town buzzing with activity and the sun shining down on events today and tomorrow, with the 22nd Hebridean Celtic Festival just the largest of a number of events hosting visitors. Two days of music, street theatre, fringe activities and performance are promised, with HebCelt bringing bands from Canada, Ireland and all across the UK to the stages of the main arena on the Castle Green. Headliners Imelda May and The Waterboys will be preceded by a parade of talent, including the home-grown variety, and there are community events in the town and further afield, Tarbert seeing island favourites Na h-Oganaich tonight.

Read more: Local News for Friday 21st June 2017

Local News for Thursday 20th July 2017

HebCelt main arena shows begin
The main arena on Lews Castle Green opens its gates this evening on HebCelt 2017, with Lewis Pipe Band leading the crowds to the door, and island singer songwriter Eleanor Nicolson the first performer to take the stage. Eleanor will perform at 7pm on the Lewis Wind Power Islands Stage, just a day after her 4th EP was released. She’s followed by quality performances from Tide Lines, national icon Dougie Maclean and high octane Celtic dance band the Peatbog Faeries ending the night. Meanwhile at An Lanntair, the first island performance of Willie Campbell’s Gaelic album Dalma provides a treat for festival-goers. In Harris, the community performance by Canadian fiddlers The Lumber Jills has been moved to the Bays Community Centre following a bereavement at Seallam, where the band were scheduled to appear.

Read more: Local News for Thursday 20th July 2017

Local News for Wednesday 19th July 2017

HebCelt opens tonight
The opening concert of Hebridean Celtic Festival 2017 is this evening at 7.30pm, as three fiddlers from across Scotland’s island bring their unique collaboration to the stage at An Lanntair. Between Islands is the second phase of a project produced by An Lanntair, which began in 2015 with a collaboration between singer/songwriters from Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles. Now Lewis fiddler Jane Hepburn is joined by Shetland’s Maggie Adamson and Orkney’s Louise Bichan to explore the similarities and differences in island tunes, traditions and playing styles. Also tonight is the community concert at Breasclete with Tidelines, a concert that has been sold out for some weeks.

Read more: Local News for Wednesday 19th July 2017

Local News for Monday 17th July 2017

Columbus on his travels again
Columbus the celebrity cat from the Leverburgh pier feral colony has been on his travels once again, this time on a fishing trip to the Monach Isles. Columbus hit headlines last summer when he stowed away at Leverburgh on a visiting yacht and was put ashore at Oban, needing combined efforts from Argyll Animal Aid and island visitors to repatriate him to his Isle of Harris home. This time he joined the fishing vessel Valhalla and spent a few days with them off the shore of North Uist and the Monach Islands, returning with the crew when they landed back at Harris. He’s been described by locals as ‘the Steve McQueen of the feline world’ and is an important part of the Leverburgh fishing community – keeping rats and mice down around the pier area – but he obviously also has a taste for fresh fish.

Read more: Local News for Monday 17th July 2017