Local News for Wednesday 20th June 2018

Iron Age House re-turfed
The Iron Age House roof at Bosta has been completely re-roofed, in one marathon six-hour session, thanks to local volunteers. As a reconstruction of one of the original Iron Age Houses found at Bosta, the house is also an experimental archaeological site. Because there was no evidence of what the roof was made of, different roofing techniques have been tried, first thatch and now turf. Five years ago a layer of turf dug from the surrounding area and the common grazing was laid. This proved insufficient for the job and by this spring was mostly gone, due to weather and rabbit damage. Having tried to find suitable turf in the area, Bernera Historical Society decided to import turf from the mainland and lay it over the roof area. This time three to four layers have been applied across the whole area which is hoped will knit together and provide a deeper and longer lasting surface. There was some turf left over and this was laid in the Bosta Cemetery to cover some of the bare patches, while excess compost was given to the Community polytunnels.

Read more: Local News for Wednesday 20th June 2018

Local News for Tuesday 19th June 2018

Horshader café closes suddenly
The community café based at Raebhat House in Shawbost has closed unexpectedly, leaving regulars wondering what has gone on behind the scenes. Horshader Community Development Trust announced last week that the café and shop would be closed, and have since announced that the shop only has re-opened on weekdays between 10am and 4pm. The café has had a stop-start history, but was recently building up a good reputation with home-baking and freshly-prepared foods, including options for people with dietary intolerances. A new Facebook group, Shawbost Eats, has been set up for those interested in future initiatives in the area.

Read more: Local News for Tuesday 19th June 2018

Local News for Monday 18th June 2018

German yacht towed to port
Stornoway Lifeboat crew were out late last night after a call to the Coastguard at 8.40am from a German yacht in difficulties at Cellar Head, north of Tolsta. The sail training vessel Seeadler, with seven people aboard, had taken sails down due to rough weather on their passage from Iceland back to Germany, and then had engine problems, which left them at the mercy of gusty winds with up to gale force 8 expected. The RNLI lifeboat crew launched from Stornoway and took the yacht in tow, bringing her into Stornoway around midnight, when a Coastguard volunteer crew helped them to berth. All were safe and well on board.

Read more: Local News for Monday 18th June 2018

Local News for Friday 15th June 2018

Pilot confirmed dead in helicopter crash
The 58-year-old pilot of a helicopter which crashed into a loch in North Uist on Wednesday has been confirmed as the only casualty of the accident. The man sadly died at the scene. Police said yesterday that his next of kin had been informed and that no other people were on board the helicopter at the time. The pilot was working at a fish farm in a loch south of Lochmaddy when the small AS350 Squirrel helicopter went into the loch. Despite an intensive rescue operation involving coastguard teams and other emergency services he did not survive the crash. Chief Inspector Ian Graham, Area Commander for the Western Isles said: "Firstly, our thoughts are with the man's family and the local community at this difficult time. Our enquiries into this are ongoing and we are liaising with other agencies, including the Air Accidents Investigation Bureau, in order to establish the full circumstances.”

Read more: Local News for Friday 15th June 2018

Local News for Wednesday 13th June 2018

Exceptional dry weather comes to an end
The exceptional spell of dry weather in Lewis has come to an end with the first ‘measurable precipitation’ for over three weeks falling today. Increasingly wet and windy weather is now moving in, after a record number of dry days in May and June. Exact measurements aren’t helped by the fact that the Met Office radar at Druim a Starraig is currently under repair and awaiting parts, but weather expert Eddy Graham said there had been 22 consecutive days when not even a tenth of a millimetre of rain had been detected. The Met Office has issued a warning for strong winds in the Western Isles, effective from 3am to 3pm tomorrow, during which time gusts up to 60mph are likely.

Read more: Local News for Wednesday 13th June 2018