Community paper for Mallaig, Morar, Arisaig, Lochailort, Glenfinnan
Glenuig, Knoydart and the Small Isles

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June 2012 Issue

Apologies for the delay in getting the June copy online

Contents of the online version:

Top stories
Monthly news from Knoydart, Muck, Rum, Eigg, Canna
Railway and harbour news

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Thousands of people across the North West Highlands, Skye and the Western Isles were without phone or broadband provision for a day and a half after thieves trying to steal copper cable from below the sea mistakenly damaged a fibre-optic cable instead.
The incident occurred on Thursday 7th June in the Stromeferry/Lochcarron area at low tide at Strathcarron, and repair work could only take place at the next low tide. Phone lines, broadband and cash machines were all affected. 999 calls could not be made.
Dave Thompson, MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, said 'BT engineers and the police did a wonderful job to ensure that local communities were affected as little as possible and to reconnect thousands of houses to the telephone network within a matter of hours after accessing the cable at low tide. I would also like to congratulate OpenReach for offering a reward of £1000 to anybody who can resolve the investigation by turning in the perpetrators. I strongly urge anyone who witnessed any suspicious activity in the area to contact the Police on 01478 612 888 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.'
Police have urged the public to be alert to copper theft in general. Over the last few months across the Highland region and in Lochaber itself there have been a number of reported incidents of copper cable being removed from remote sites such as mobile phone masts. The most recent of these occurred at a site in Arisaig. Other items have been stolen; even commemorative plaques are not safe from thieves.

Anger continues to be expressed by the villagers of Arisaig over the new stretch of pavement built along the road to St Mary's Church and the Primary School, which turns the road into a single track with a blind bend at the church and makes the road more dangerous than it was before. A Special Open Meeting on 23rd April, called by Arisaig and District Community Council, resulted in work on the pavement being halted for the time being but Council officials refused to reinstate the road as it had been.
A second public meeting was held on Monday 21st May
Present were Sam MacNaughton and Hugh Logan of the Highland Council Transport and Infrastructure Dept, local Councillors Allan Henderson and Eddie Hunter, Dot Ferguson, Lochaber Ward Manager, members of the Community Council and 39 members of the public. There are strong complaints that there had been no consultation with the village. Local residents hold that the pavement is not seen as a safer way to walk because of the passing places and that it should be removed and the whole concept looked at again. There were some questions about whether a 'safe route' was actually needed, as there had never been an accident on the present route. Perhaps the main point is that to get to the pavement, children have to cross the main road from the village and there is no money in the budget to deal with that problem at present!
Sam MacNaughton explained that the funding for the footpath came from "Safer Routes for Schools" run by the Scottish Government. The plan to build a footpath, making that part of the road single track, had been decided because there was a maximum of 500 vehicles a day using this stretch of road, and single carriageways with passing places can deal with 2000, so there would be no safety issues. He felt that, after second thoughts, there were not enough passing places planned and had brought a plan of changes he was prepared to make. This also included a section with a dropped kerb where parking for the church could take place. The path would eventually be extended as far as the school by use of the right of way through the field or putting a footpath by the side of the existing road. At the first meeting, Mr MacNaughton had seemed unaware of the church services which take place during the week and the need for additional parking for weddings and funerals, etc.
Cllr Henderson said there had been no 'joined-up thinking'. Funding had already been found through the Core Paths initiative to improve the path from the church to the new graveyard and this could have been incorporated into this plan.
Fr Barrett pointed out that the path would not be made safer by putting in more passing places. There were already marks on the kerb to show that people were driving up onto the path even with the existing high kerb.
Graham Moss, chair of the PTA, said the school agreed the pavement was necessary, but didn't like the passing places. It was generally seen by the PTA as a good thing.
One concern is that the passing places are making the pavement more dangerous as cyclists and children may not be seen by motorists concentrating on the negotiation the single track road. Alternative ideas expressed by local residents included a new plan with a narrower by the passing places to keep the children off the road, or passing places on the other side of the road.

A vote was taken and people were keen to remove the path and start the planning again from the beginning with proper consultation taking place. It would cost in the region of £15,000 to reinstate the road as it was. It has already cost £30,000.
Further suggestions then were that a dropped kerb be installed the full length of the pavement. This would remove the need for any passing places and drivers would be extra careful driving up onto the footpath. Pedestrians would then have a clear right of way, so motorists would be more aware of them. A 20mph speed limit along the length could also be considered.
Another meeting will be arranged in June to discuss progress.

Well, they're back. And no matter how well you think that your tried and tested methods of assessment, avoidance and anger management worked in previous years the first full on assault by the Midge is a shocking experience. You inevitably quickly remember that you have got to keep moving and swearing to keep them out of your ears. Apart from the one that is loudly trapped there. And the whirlygig you dance no doubt creates enough wind disturbance to put off a few landings/chews. The glory of the midge - you cannot whack it. Alongside the midge it has been a good month for all sorts of wildlife. It seems to be a crazy year for the cuckoo, the woods constantly echoing their call. The mackerel are also plentiful although the rate that Nat from the pub is taking them out of the water there is talk of an Icelandic deputation to impose a quota. But of course the most spectacular of all has been the massive pod of dolphins, variously numbered between 300 and 1000, that has been resident between the Sound and the Small Isles through the last weeks of May. The footage has been spectacular. For us humans though the weather has helped - helped to bear the midge and view/catch everything else. Sunburn has been the most common form of pigmentation, sunstroke not unknown, worry about children being burnt a constant. But such a different set of consideration from the months of rain last year could hardly have been imagined.
In between the barbies and the beer though there has been odds and sods going on. There was a big strategic planning meeting about the future development of the hydro and the Renewables company that looks after it. Folk from all over were over and it produced a lively set of discussions and ideas. Not that there isn't forward planning in action at the moment as the utilisation of the good weather to overhaul and paint some of the more dilapidated transformers shows. Looking to the future can also be seen in the May vegetation monitoring carried out by the Foundation, this year though Kilchoan Estate has instigated its own set of monitoring transects to gather evidence for its land practice and development. More power to them. Thoughts to the future are also turning round round Airor way with a lot of work going into a croft development plan that takes in the crofting and landowner aspirations. And of course the long-standing commitment to reducing the negative impact of Rhododendron Ponticum on the local biodiversity continues, along with the odd grumble about it.
New residents were a bit scarcer on the ground in May with most of the temp staff in and working. Special mention should go to Anna's rabbits whose cuteness and fluffiness were much commented on and the source of much discussion.
Parties though were not too scarce. Top of the billing for the last month was the all-nighter/ all weekender for Mark Harris's 21st featuring the guys from Halcyon in various guises. Good times. Good times in fact for all of the young Harris brood with Tom leaving school and Stephanie gaining that First in Sound Control/Engineering that she so richly deserved. Yee Ha. The month ended with a few jaunting away to Knockongorroch and Glenuig to jump about and shoogle. No doubt there might be the odd excuse to do the same in June.
Davie Newton

West Word sends sincere condolences and our deep sympathy to the Knoydart community after the tragic accident which happened just before we went to press.

18th May marked a very special event in the story of our island - the opening of the new hall. A triumph for everyone on Muck and particularly for the small group of ladies who four years past set out upon the rocky road which culminated in the cutting of the tape by Allan Henderson and the island children. Once inside the islanders and their many guests sat down to a delicious lunch prepared by us all. And Allan spoke of the special connection between his family and the island. How he had brought his grandson to see Wave built by his uncle Charlie in Mallaig and for 57 years an island lifeline. Allan was followed by Robbie Gordon of Kishhorn Development Ltd who also has a connection with the island for he helped build the new school which 20 years ago was as much an affirmation of our islands future as the hall is today. Robbie spoke warmly of the help which KDL had received from the islanders during construction but the feeling is mutual, so much so that KDL may be about to about to undertake another major project on the island. After the speeches came the songs from the school pupils and their rendition of 'Wild Mountain Thyme' was superb. Then there was a break while day guests departed on Sheerwater. Later came a bar-be-que and we were joined by more guests from Eigg. The Pneumatic Drills played far into the night and Duggie the Dyker arrived just in time from Pabbay to sing in his own special style. Altogether a day to remember for many a year.
The hall opening also marked a change in the weather. Gone was the cold snap which had lasted six weeks. On came the warmth and with it the grass and we were able to finish feeding silage. Next week saw a truck load of stirks, cows and barran ewes heading for the sale at Fort William. Prices were encouraging. At last stirks which last year were selling at prices little higher than in the early 80s showed a substantial rise.
Lawrence MacEwen

There's something in the air, definitely a more upbeat feel about the place; it's not just the sunshine either, the new folk are breathing a much needed breath of fresh air about the place, a different perspective is never a bad thing and it's nice for there to be younger children running around again since the bigger ones have moved on to high school. There's a lot happening too - building work, gardening, livestock everywhere, talk of new ideas and business opportunities. It feels nice.
The anniversary ceilidh was great, fantastic to see Ross, Gabe and Tam again and get the craic; we had an unlikely Prince William lookalike wandering around, though his manners were not up to scratch with his royal doppelganger!!
This month we held the AGM for the community trust and along with congratulating Vikki on all the funding she's pulled in this year we heartily thanked Sean and myself for being directors for the last 4 years and also John Hutchison for his invaluable support. The board now comprises of Charlie King (chair), Allan Henderson, Jinty Crocket, Rachel Wild, Derek Thomson, Lesley Watt and Ali Morris.
Camille visited from Eigg this last Friday along with Marion Smith from VAL to hold a community planning event, the purpose of which is to get more input from the Small Isles to the Lochaber Community Plan. The evening was well attended and stimulated a great deal of discussion, in particular recycling from the islands in relation to carbon reductions i.e. was it worth it just to get rid of the waste, and about the future of the health provision for the Small Isles in light of the tragic death of Dr Rachel. Sadly missed.
There will be another craft fair and local produce market on Wednesday 20th June in the village hall, in addition to the usual of array of loveliness, the school will be there too selling chocolate cookies to raise funds - trust me these biscuits are worth every penny and with the extra sunshine we've had I daresay there'll be some summer vegetables for sale too. 12 till 3pm
IRCT made a successful application to the Climate challenge Fund and got a grant for Greening Rum. The money will help to provide a community polytunnel, a rotary compost bin for the wildlife garden, OWL meters for the houses and double glazing for the village hall. All of this will help us all to be more fuel efficient, manage our waste a bit better and produce more local produce. Fantastic!
The new Kilmory deer hide is also finished now and is open to use to get a close up view of the red deer and a cracking view of the hills too.
We're planning a 'Midgefest' - intrigued?? Watch this space for more details.
Fliss Fraser

Rum's newest crofting residents settle in
The Isle of Rum Community's newest crofting family has arrived, and is settling in well. Originally from Sussex, the Goddards have spent the past year wandering the country, wondering where their lives will take them next; they arrived on Rum in the autumn of 2011 and were immediately smitten. Nic Goddard said; "We are very excited to be part of the latest chapter in Rum's journey from 'The Forbidden Isle' to 'The jewel of the Small Isles'. This is an amazing place to raise our children, make our home and create a living for ourselves. Within a very short time we already feel part of the community and very much at home". Their vision for a low impact, self sufficient, sustainable lifestyle, is perfectly answered with the opportunity of becoming crofters on Rum. The two adults and two children swelled the island's small population by 11% when they made the move in April, and have quickly made friends and become familiar with the rhythm of island life.
The island's population is experiencing something of a surge this year, with another two new residents beginning renovations on the Tattie House, the only privately owned property on the island, and the successful applicant for the mechanic / technician vacancy who moved here with his wife in June. Further expansion of the population is constrained by the lack of available housing, a problem which the Isle of Rum Community Trust is working with the Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust to overcome.
Crofting offers the potential for both new housing and new economic opportunities, and two of the three crofts on Rum are now let. The last remaining croft is being advertised over the summer and has already attracted a number of enquiries. The bare land croft extends to 5.36ha on semi-improved sloping ground overgrown with rushes, and will require a significant amount of work to improve it to anything beyond rough grazing. However, the croft enjoys an open, south facing aspect with fine views across to the peaks of Hallival and Askival, up Kinloch Glen, and out to Loch Scresort.
Interested parties are encouraged to visit the island before making an application for the croft, and community members will show people around and answer questions. This is an exciting time to be part of the growing community on Rum, with several development projects underway and some ambitious projects planned for the next few years. Details of how to apply for the croft can be found on the Isle of Rum website: www.isleofrum.com/news.php

We used to depend on May for warm and sunny days, but the cold N. - N.E. winds that continued to dominate throughout the first half of May resulted in a distinctly late & staggered season for both bird & plant life.
John, our Scottish Wildlife Trust warden, reports however that the hot and sunny latter part of the month brought forth a surge in plant life as well as a flurry in insect activity, including midges unfortunately. Butterflies suddenly appeared in good numbers with, apart from the ubiquitous Green Veined Whites, Small Heaths, Common Blues & both Small Pearl-bordered & Dark Green Fritillaries being seen by the month's end. Migrant birds also appeared by the end of the month with bonuses in the shape of a couple of singing Corncrakes & four Grasshopper Warblers. Interesting sightings included a Black Throated Diver on the 23rd, a lingering Great Northern Diver which remained until the month's end, a regular passage of Whimbrels, a Common Crossbill on the 30th and a Yellowhammer on the 22nd whilst heavy rain on the 17th dropped a Knot, 3 Sanderling & 79 Dunlin into the South East bays. With the breeding season in full swing young birds continued to appear throughout the month. More unusual species in which breeding was confirmed included Sparrowhawk, Water Rail, Great Skua & Long Tailed Tit - the latter a very irregular breeder on Eigg. Offshore Minke Whales have been regularly sighted with a large number of Common Dolphins reported in or around the Small Isles.
In times of sorrow, there is much comfort to be derived from nature, and gardening during the latter part of the month has occupied many of us as we are still coming to term with the tragic loss of Rachel, our Small Isles Doctor and fellow islander. A good many islanders made the journey to Inverness for her cremation which was also attended by many mainland friends who wanted to pay their respects. We are now bracing ourselves for the fight to retain the type of medical service for the Small Isles that Rachel struggled long and hard to retain.
As the good weather brought a more relaxed mood to the island, many of us went over to Muck for the opening of the new Hall, which was a heart-warming occasion, especially as there were so many kids and teenagers about! Well done the Muchanach and their hard-working Hall Committee. Then we had the pleasure of being host to a delegation of 12 officials from the Autonomous Province of Papua, brought to Eigg by Alastair McIntosh, Professor at the Centre for Human Ecology and founder of the original Eigg Trust, to look at issues of community empowerment, governance and bottom up development. As Papua's vast rainforests are under threat from logging, both legal and illegal, and villagers find themselves coerced into selling their land to palm oil companies owned by powerful corporations, the Papuan provincial government planners are very concerned about the implications of people losing their connection to the land and their culture through the development of a cash economy. Since much of the rainforest is actually owned by the indigenous population in a system based on ancient systems of ancestral tenure, they were particularly interested to meet Maggie and Neil and hear of the many ways crofting and community trusts benefit the local community. They also found the way forest school is integrated in mainstream education on Eigg very inspirational, and were of course much taken with our green grid, as Papua 's huge resources in solar and hydro power have yet to be tapped. They were equally taken with the micro-hydro and the solar water heater in demonstration at the Earth Connection Centre (which is now opening its door to visitors). And with 'Eiggy Bread', the new Eigg catering duo, they were also treated to a feast of local food ("delectable perfection" was the comment from our visitors!). The visit to Eigg culminated in a presentation at the community hall by Alex Rumaseb, Papua Province Head of Planning. "We like the idea of "soil, soul and society" working together" said Alex, "We want this to inform our 100 year plan for a healthy, happy Papua province. The evening continued with a ceilidh where islanders and Papuan delegates shared food, dances and songs. It was a great experience for all: we were certainly taken with the Papuan traditional dances, an intricate form of line dancing with many different steps and a pretty groovy rhythm!
As Donna MacCulloch piped the group away, our new Papuan friends sang a traditional Papuan farewell song with much emotion as they left for Skye to continue their journey. On the eve of our 15th Community buy-out celebration on 9th June this year, it was also very moving for us to find that our efforts have been an inspiration to a people on the other side of the world. We wish them the best of luck, as the issues they have to address are so much more complex than those we have to deal with.
Camille Dressler

Weather! Hot! Cutting up of working jeans into make-do shorts alert... Three weeks of warm sunshine and just as Murdo was predicting drought, the rain came for a week, washed the island and now we are basking in a brilliant sunny, green and peaceful island. Can't help wonder if the 'stone' has cursed the rainmaker for a wee while.. wouldn't that be nice. We have been busy here on the island with lots of cruise ship visitors, and the yachties are bobbing in the bay in good numbers. Gerry and Murdo inform me that the farm has done really well this year and I can vouch that due to my care and attention (well, watching and studying from my window) that the lambs and calves look fantastic. Gerry confirms lots of fat, healthy beasts this spring. And she is now getting ready for her favourite season…shearing. Our new family are settling in really well, it is fantastic to see progress being made in the garden- there are signs of a polytunnel at long long last. Both Graham and Olivia are keen birdwatchers and wildlife fans, so add a welcome skill set to the island as well as seeming to be good folk!
The girls have all been busy with studying and exams so we are wishing them all the luck in the world - Sinead and Kathryn speshally ... fail on spelling??
The wee shop is doing well, homemade sweeties are selling madly, so if anyone has any recipes for bulk tablet please let me know!
The moorings project is coming along, research and planning all underway - research seemed to consist of some people bobbing about on a boat on a glorious sunny day, pointing randomly at patches of water with seals splashing about (presumably helping map locations) and oystercatchers squealing out the best spots.
And finally, our thoughts and much support for all on Eigg just now, much strength and love from all of us here on Canna.
Amanda, Gille Brighde

An early-Christian stone discovered by chance on the National Trust for Scotland's Isle of Canna is Scotland's first known example of a bullaun stone.
Dating from around 800AD, the stones tend to be associated with early Christian crosses - of which there is one on Canna. They are usually found at the foot or side of the crosses. Examples are well-known in Ireland, but experts say that this is Scotland's first example. The stone, which was chanced upon in Canna's old graveyard by the conservation charity's farm manager Geraldine MacKinnon, is approximately 25cm in diameter and is marked with a clearly engraved early Christian cross.

photo photo

After alerting property manager Stewart Connor who made contact with the Trust's Head of Archaeology, Stewart then discovered that the stone fits exactly into a large rectangular stone with worn hole which was located at base of the Canna cross.
Stewart said: 'When Geraldine notified me of the stone in the graveyard we spotted the un-familiar outline of a Christian cross as the light hit the stone. We knew right away that it was important and immediately reported the find to our archaeology team. We knew of the importance of bullaun stones and that it could be a really significant find. Our head of archaeology confirmed a possible link to the stone at the cross and I was so excited that I went back out at 9pm that night to check whether it fitted the stone with the hole and it did. The whole community is really excited by the find, which is really significant for the island and potentially, for Scotland too.'
Head of archaeology for the National Trust for Scotland Derek Alexander said: 'This is an amazing find. Bullaun stones tend to be found close to early Christian crosses in Ireland, but this is the first find in Scotland. Often it is usually the socket stones or the dished depressions that are found but there are some examples with the circular rotating stones on the isle of Inishmurray, Co. Sligo. They are usually associated with holes or worn patches in the ground, as it's believed that the convention was for these stones to be turned multiple times by worshippers when either prayer for or possibly cursing someone. It was very exciting when Stewart sent me the photo of the two stones fitted together.
'Canna has a long and fascinating history, and this find just tells us even more about the treasure trove that we have in the Trust's care. However, it is also a hugely important find for Scotland, adding more to our knowledge of this distant period in our nation's past. It will be interesting to see if more bullaun stones emerge around Scotland.'
Dr Katherine Forsyth, a leading expert in the history and culture of the Celtic-speaking peoples in the first millennium AD, based at the University of Glasgow said: 'I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the first pictures of this beautiful stone. What an amazing find! Stones like this are found in Ireland, where they are known as 'cursing stones', but this is the first to be discovered in Scotland. They date from the early Christian period but have continued to be used by pilgrims up to modern times. Traditionally, the pilgrim would recite a prayer while turning the stone clockwise, wearing a depression or hole in the stone underneath. These bowl-shaped lower stones have been found elsewhere in Scotland, including on Canna, but this is the first time a top stone has been found. This exciting find provides important new insight into religious art and practice in early Scotland and demonstrates just how much there is still to be discovered out there.'
The island of Canna in the Inner Hebrides has been inhabited for thousands of years. In the early-Christian period, it belonged to the monastery on Iona. There are a number of archaeological remains on the island dating from this period, including a series of highly decorated cross shafts and the wonderfully located hermitage site, 'Sgur na Ban Naiomh'. The island was gifted to the National Trust for Scotland in 1981 by Gaelic scholar John Lorne Campbell who would have been fascinated by the recent discovery. As well as its rich cultural heritage, the island is renowned for its seabirds and boasts puffins, razorbills and Max shearwaters. There are also sea eagles and golden eagles.

On 28 May 2011, a local Rum resident observed a man acting suspiciously in a remote common gull colony on the Isle of Rum. Alison Morris, a long-term resident of the island and a field researcher for the Red Deer Project based at Kilmory was out in the study area conducting individual deer checks during the calving season.
'I was sitting out on the hill, tucked in tight as the weather was pretty poor for the time of year when I spotted a man entering Shamhnan Insir from the east. This is in no way unusual, other than causing some disturbance to the deer that I was observing and I waited for him to pass through the area. I thought nothing more of it until he started walking into the middle of the gull colony. I began watching him more intently, wishing he would move on quickly so the gulls would be off their eggs for the shortest possible time. However, he began acting very strangely, dashing about in the colony, picking up eggs for some minutes before disappearing into a black-house.'
Being out of radio contact with the rest of her team and with a very patchy mobile phone signal, Ali continued with her deer checks despite being very nervous and spending the rest of the day looking over her shoulder. On her return home late that night after a long calving season day, Ali told her husband, Sean, of the bizarre scene that she had witnessed earlier in the day and he immediately told her to phone the police.
The following morning, Ali and Sean Morris met with Richard Kilpatrick, the Scottish Natural Heritage National Nature Reserve Manager to inform him of the situation. After several conversations with the police and keeping an eye on the suspect man, the police decided to come over to have a chat with him. On arrival at the Rum Ferry Terminal, and asking the man for his details the Wildlife Crimes Officer immediately placed Matthew Gonshaw under arrest. Matthew Gonshaw has served three previous terms in prison for egg theft and a raid on his house in London, as a direct consequence of his arrest on Rum, revealed almost 700 clutches of eggs, some from highly protected and vulnerable species. This resulted in his fourth jail term of 6 months imposed by Thames Magistrates Court on 13 December 2011. On 24 February 2012 Gonshaw was issued with an ASBO at Stratford Magistrates Court banning him from visiting Scotland during the bird breeding season for the next 10 years. He was also banned from visiting any RSPB or Wildlife Trust land for the same time period.
Gonshaw appeared at Inverness Sheriff Court on 11 May 2012 charged with the offences committed on Rum. The court heard how Gonshaw had gone to the Isle of Rum, a National Nature Reserve in May 2011. Later police searched him and found 20 eggs and an egg blowing kit in his rucksack.
Gonshaw admitted illegally taking and destroying seven meadow pipit eggs, and five others that could have been reed bunting or blackcap as well as eight Manx shearwater eggs.
Sheriff Margaret Neilson told Gonshaw "You have been unable to provide any explanation for your twisted behaviour and have shown no remorse whatsoever. You may call yourself a wildlife collector. You are in fact a wildlife destroyer." Sheriff Neilson jailed Gonshaw for the maximum 6 months allowed by law, his 5th jail term for wildlife crime offences and banned him from visiting Scotland during the bird breeding season for life.
If it had not been for the vigilance of local residents and in particular, the attention to detail from Ali Morris who was only in the location due to her job with the Edinburgh University Red Deer Research Project, Gonshaw would have got away with his mission. It is a credit to the community of Rum to have caught such a prolific egg thief.

It was beautiful weather for the official opening of the Hall as guests arrived from the mainland and neighbouring islands for the occasion.
Provost Allan Henderson shared the cutting of the ceremonial ribbon with Robbie Gordon of KDL, the contractors who built the hall. Twenty years ago Robbie had been involved in building the new school on Muck!
Helping themselves to a sumptuous buffet and complimentary glasses of champagne, guests admired the green island cake made by Mary Fichtner-Irvine and cleverly decorated by Zoe Moffatt.

The red ribbon was cut by Robbie Gordon of KLA (left) and Provost Allan Henderson in company with the island children.

photo photo

Photographs Richard Lamont

Allan Henderson praised the 'amazing community effort' which has achieved the new hall - as he said, 'I don't get to open many new halls these days' Allan's link with Muck goes back to his grandfather who had a boat built by the MacEwens.
Robbie Gordon had the hard job of keeping the building on budget and paid tribute to the support of the islanders at every stage.
Mary and Ruth MacEwen, members of the 5-strong hall committee, told the assembled guests that it was nearly five years to the day that the committee started planning the hall. They visited many small halls in the area to garner ideas and put in various successful funding applications. Much fundraising was done by the islanders with ceilidhs and raffles - Lawrence even shaved off his beard to raise money!
Eventually KDL were due to start on site in January 2011 but February and March that year brought gale after gale, preventing materials from being delivered. In spite of that, the hall was finished in time and on budget.
It will be used as a sports hall and has a comfortable seating area with a library on the half floor above, which looks down on the main room. An excellent asset for islanders and for their many visitors.
Appropriately, the very first musical performance in the hall was by the Nursery and Primary school children.
In the evening, there was a barbecue and ceilidh, with music by the Pneumatic Drills, the band headed by Robert Nairn of Acharacle. More guests arrived on an evening sailing of the Sheerwater and dancing went on into the night.
A great start to what we hope will be many years of music, laughter and fun in a hall built by hard graft and dedication by a handful of islanders. An amazing community effort indeed!

Some photos from the Agricultural Show on 9 June 2012 at Camusdarach, Arisaig

The Olympic Flame reaches the Ag show!

Riders in the Storm

photo photo

Photos courtesy of Robert MacMillan and Alison Wooffinden

When their 12 year old shorthorn cow became stuck irretrievably in a boggy hole on their croft, Mairead and Catriona MacDonald knew who to call - the Fire Brigade!
More than a dozen fire fighters from Mallaig and Acharacle spent five hours on the operation, ably assisted by crofter neighbours Bill Henderson, Gep MacMillan, Hughie Craigmore and Angus Tougal, before the cow was extricated from her muddy predicament.
The animal had probably been trapped for several hours before being discovered. By the time her rescuers arrived, she was already exhausted by her struggles.
The bog would have created a vacuum which would cause the animal to sink in further the more she struggled. A high pressure jet of water was directed into the bog under the cow to break the pressure of the peat.
It was still a long, very slow job to assist the exhausted animal out of the mud but eventually she was free and able to walk over to her waiting calf, to the delight of the rescuers.
What the fire crews found interesting was that the crofters spoke to the cow in Gaelic to calm her!

From 'Personal Angle'
It's been a bit remiss of me not to respond to an email printed in West Word in March from Derek Donnelly, Linlithgow. He was reminiscing about his footballing days in Fort William and of matches he played against Mallaig Stars FC in the Lochaber Welfare League.
He asked if anyone remembered him - of course we do!!! 'Doods' as we knew him was a strong, bustling player with quite sharp elbows I seem to remember,
He played for Lochaber Boys' Club (under the guidance of Davy MacLeod), and they were always competitive and a difficult team to beat.
Aye 'Doods', the Kennedys, MacDonalds and MacMillans, who all played for The Stars, send you their regards.
Any old footballing photos of the times you played against The Stars Doods?


Board Members
The inaugural meeting of the Authority, now operating under the auspices of The Mallaig Harbour Revision Order 2012, was held on Friday 1st June. At the meeting the appointment and terms of office of the Members was confirmed as follows: Non-Executive Directors Michael Currie, 3 years; Michael Foxley, 3 years; Jacqueline Wright, 3 years; Charles King, 2 years; Allan Henderson, 2 years; John MacMillan, 2 years; Anthony Kenning, 1 year; Andrew Race, 1 year. Executive Director - Robert MacMillan.

Saltire Return
I am pleased to report that the St Andrew's flag which went missing from the flag pole at the new Marina base on the week-end of the official opening has been returned safe and sound, to the Harbour Master. Thanks!

After duly advertising and interviewing the applicants the Authority has appointed Mr Peter Weirman to the position of Marina Operative. He commenced employment with the Authority on Monday 14th May so for all Marina issues and workings you can contact Peter on 07824 331031 or VHF Channel 37.
An ex fisherman who skippered his own trawler from Mallaig for many years Peter has recently been employed in oil related activities in the North Sea so he brings a vast knowledge and experience to the post of Marina Operative at Mallaig.
A new leaflet/pamphlet advertising and detailing the new Marina is now available. Prawn Landings
The dearth of prawns in the North Sea has resulted in over thirty East Coast trawlers operating in the South Minch and landing their catch into Mallaig.
Landings into the port during April and May show a considerable increase in whitefish and shellfish landings at the port when compared with this time last year and with top prices being paid for shellfish the series of big landings look set to continue, at least in the short term.
The importance of prawns to Mallaig can be illustrated by the fact that shellfish landings accounted for 73% of the total volume of landings at the port for year ended 31st March 2012.


The world's only sea going paddle steamer the Waverley called at the port on Wednesday 6th of June to pick up passengers for a cruise up Loch Nevis and visit to Inverie - only accessible by boat proclaims the brochure!

Robert MacMillan
Port Manager/Secretary
01687 462154

Six call outs for the month of May 2012 for Mallaig's Severn Class Lifeboat Henry Alston Hewat.

Thursday 3rd May: The transmission of a DSC Mayday Signal initiated a full scale search on the nirth-west coast as Coastguard attempted to pinpoint the vessel's location. Fearful for the vessel's crew, it was decided to launch both Mallaig and Barra Lifeboats, and the Stornoway based Rescue Helicopters was also tasked to search.
With Barra Lifeboat coming up the east side of the Uists, Mallaig Lifeboat was tasked to search the south end of Skye to the north west towards Neist Point. Rescue Helicopter 100 began to search the lochs on the west side of Skye.
At 18.19 hrs both lifeboats and helicopter were stood down as 'the casualty' had been found safe and well in Boradford Bay, Skye, by the Coastguard. There had been a malfunction of the automatic mayday alarm.
Lifeboat refuelled and ready for service at 19.15 hrs.

Friday 4th May: Lifeboat launched at 10.50 hrs at the request of the Stornoway Coastguard to medivac a patient from the Isle of Eigg. With two paramedics aboard the lifeboat, aided by a stiff northerly breeze, made good time arriving at Eigg Pier at 11.30 hrs. The patient was met by the paramedics and quickly escorted onto the lifeboat. Departing at 11.35 hrs, the lifeboat proceeded back to the pontoon at Mallaig where the patient was transferred to the Ambulance Service for onward travel to Fort William's Belford Hospital. Lifeboat refuelled and ready for service at 12.45 hrs.

Friday 4th May: Mallaig Lifeboat launched for a second time this day at 22.13 hrs to medivac a sick female from Knoydart, suffering from severe abdominal pains. On scene in 25 minutes, the lifeboat was met by the patient, her partner and the family dog! With locals and crew members assisting, the patient was able to walk slowly on board the lifeboat for the return trip to Mallaig.
Arriving back at Mallaig at 23.00 hrs, the patient was handed over to the awaiting ambulance crew for transportation to the Belford Hospital in Fort William. Lifeboat refuelled and ready for service at 23.20 hrs.

Thursday 10th May: Mallaig Lifeboat launched at noon to go to the assistance of the 8 metre yacht Sandpiper of Sleat. The yacht crew had reported to the Coastguard that they had a fouled propeller coupled with faulty steering and were located west of Loch Eynort (west coast of Skye).
The Fisheries Protection vessel Minna was in the vicinity and stood by the yacht relaying messages between the stricken vessel and the Coastguard. The Minna's large RIB was launched and sent to ascertain if they could assist in any repairs and to check that all eight crew on board the yacht were all well. Unable to free the prop or deal with the steering fault, the Minna stood by the drifting yacht until the lifeboat's arrival.
On scene at 13.10 hrs, the lifeboat crew quickly established the tow rope to Sandpiper of Sleat and by 13.20 hrs, with a moderate breeze from the north-east, the tow commenced. Rounding Sleat Point, the wind had slackened somewhat and the yacht skipper requested to divert to Armadale in Skye, from where the vessel had been chartered. Arriving at Armadale at 17.30 hrs, the lifeboat transferred the tow rope to the charter's tender and set off for Mallaig, arriving there at 17.43 hrs.

Saturday 12th May: Calm conditions with a clear, cloudless sky, were the weather conditions when at 10.08 hrs the Mallaig Lifeboat was launched to go to the assistance of a holiday maker on the Isle of Rum who had fallen and was suffering from a suspected broken arm. Arriving at Rum at 10.40 hrs, the patient was taken on board, then subsequently transferred to the waiting ambulance personnel when the Mallaig Lifeboat berthed at Mallaig Pier at 11.30 hrs.

Sunday 20th May: Stornoway Coastguard requested the launch of the Mallaig Lifeboat at 11.25 hrs to go to the assistance of the 10 metre yacht Stormdancer and escort the vessel into Mallaig Harbour.
Leaving Canna Harbour earlier that morning, Stormdancer's gearbox was not functioning properly, but with the wind being favourable the yacht was able to leave Canna under sail and proceed towards Mallaig. Once the vessel was two miles off Mallaig the lifeboat was launched to assist and when Stormdancer was strapped alongside the lifeboat the vessels, in near calm weather conditions, were soon in port with Stormdancer secured to the new yachting pontoons and the lifeboat at the RNLI pontoon.
Lifeboat refuelled and ready for service at 12.20 hrs.

Ewen Nicholson held a successful book signing event in the Mallaig Heritage Centre on Wednesday 30th May, to launch his first book, New Horizon - Tales of a Hebridean Skipper.
The book tells the story of the seventy years of his life from the age of six to the present day, and of his struggle with alcoholism until he became a Jehovah's witness.
Pictured above with Ewen are (l to r) John Young, Provost Allan Henderson and his son Allan Henderson. Right: Ewen signs a copy.
Councillor Henderson helped Ewen get the book published through 'For the Right Reasons', a charity based in Inverness which helps people with drug and alcohol problems, and some of the proceeds will go towards their programme of support.
The book is on sale at the Heritage Centre for £7.99.
Photo Steve Roberts

On and Off the Rails

Clarifications and corrections!
OK, Ok, OK, I was wrong to submit my copy for last month without totally proof reading it, had I done so I would have realised that I had written Monday 6th June instead of Monday 4th June as the commencing date for the afternoon Jacobite steam train service. Sorry. What then made matters worse is that I used the (wrong) date to set the question for the competition to win a pair of tickets for a trip on the Jacobite in June 2012. I had a HUGE response to the competition, far and away the most popular competition since Off the Rails began. The strange thing is that no-one pointed out to me in their entries that I had made a mistake, all went for the day and date as I had written it, so I have decided to make the draw for the winner at the end of this column, as all entries (over 20) were correct as I had written it. Please go to the end of this column to see who the 'lucky dip' winner is, and thank you all for entering.

Arisaig Station Signal Box gets a 'makeover'
During the month of April, a gang of carpenters, joiners and painters - and a look-out man - descended around Arisaig Signal Box, after being contacted by Network Rail, to spend a week repairing, and replacing where necessary, rotten and broken wood panels and making good. They removed the broken steps to the upper floor of the signal box and replaced them with a new set of steps and a new top platform, repainted the whole exterior of the building, making it wind and watertight, and fitted new locks to both floors. A good job was done by all, and thanks go to Network Rail for releasing the funding for it.
Since the Box closed, with the introduction of RETB signalling in the 1980's, the Box had fallen into disrepair, but due to its British Listed Building status, it cannot be demolished (thankfully) and so, with the funds in place, Network Rail authorised its exterior refurbishment.
The Box was categorised as a Listed 'B' Status Building on May 29th 1985 along with the Railway Station, Ticket Office and Waiting Room. Its listing is Historic Scotland Building ID326, with its OS Grid co-ordinates being given as 166371, 78640 latitude/longitude 56.9129 - 5.3896.
The Listing text reads as follows: Signal Box 1900-01 2-storey single bay weather boarded signal box painted 2 contrasting shades green. Glazed upper storey reached by forestair. It is hoped that at a later date a useful purpose will be found for the Box. The Station Building has had recent refurbishment and is used by Hi-Trans as a working conference centre, and by Network Rail as a relay room for the RETB Signalling System.


If anybody has any useful suggestions as to what the Signal Box could be used for, or knows of anybody who is looking for suitable premises, such as an art studio, craft workshop or similar, they can contact me in the first place and I will happily put them in touch with the relevant authorities to speak to.
The recently beautifully restored/refurbished Signal Box at Glenfinnan Station is currently being turned into an Audio-Visual learning centre, where the history of the West Highland Line and the Mallaig Extension will be on view.

Jacobite Steam Train Service Commences
With the Monday to Friday daily morning service now well underway from Fort William to Mallaig and return, it is time for the seagull chicks to be born alongside Platform 2, beside the rails.
On the rails, the first two weeks saw the NELPG 'K1' 62005 performing well and pleasing passengers on the service. Coming into service on Monday May 28th is the John Cameron owned engine 'K4' 61994. This will be replaced on Monday June 11th by the Ian Riley owned 'Black 5' 4-6-0 45407 for two weeks. Ian Riley's other 'Black 5' 4-6-0 44871 is scheduled to be in Fort William for the commencement of the afternoon Monday to Friday Jacobite service, due to start on Monday June 4th. We wish all the owners, support crews and staff a trouble-free and happy season. The first Saturday/Sunday morning Jacobites commence Saturday June 23rd.

ScotRail News
'Club 55' - travel anywhere in Scotland for only £19 return if you are 55 years of age or over - continues to ensure good bookings. This offer runs until June 30th for your outward journey. Full details at any staffed railway station or go to www.club55.co.uk
'Treyn Holidays' and 'Great Railway Journeys' continue to block-book tours using ScotRail plus local Hotels, as do various and numerous coach companies. It is a very healthy situation, but it does mean that locals have to compete for seating space, especially around the middle of the day/mid afternoon services. If you know you are going to travel on a specific date and time, even if only to Fort William and back, take advantage of the free reserved seating on offer through any staffed railway booking office. That way you will be sure of a reserved seat after your shopping trip, hospital visit, lunch with friends etc. etc. It does work!!

The Royal Scotsman Luxury Touring Train
This beautifully appointed service continues to visit us on its 'Western Journey'. In the glorious late May weather our area needed no help to sell itself. The guests on board the late May tour consisted of Russians, Americans, Canadians, with a smattering of actors and 'celebrities', all 'blown away' with the line and the scenery.
On Saturday May 26th The Scotsman and West Coast Railway played an important part in local life. On that day, Ronnie MacLellan, much loved ex-train driver and crofter (as well as wonderful husband, father and grandfather to his family) was to be buried in Morar Old Cemetery, following his funeral service in St Cumin's Church, Morar. With permission from his lovely wife Mary, I spoke to the Train Manager that morning and, as The Royal Scotsman went past the Croft at 11.40am, the whole family was outside with waving white handkerchiefs as the on-board and train staff paid tribute by sounding a lamentful horn as we slowly went past. Ronnie was a legend, and still will be. We will miss him, but will remember him fondly. In 2011, we had Ronnie on the footplate of the Jacobite from Arisaig to Mallaig. He met Ian Riley, the owner of the Black 5 engine on that day, and recalled his driving days to him. It was pure magic. Our condolences and love go to his family. RIP Ronnie. We were proud to know you.

May Competition Result
The winner of the two Jacobite tickets to be used in June 2012 is Mrs Agnes Watson from Kirkwall, Orkney. Congratulations Mrs Watson, I hope to meet up with you in Mallaig and maybe have a photo for the July West Word.

Peter's Railway Books for children who love trains
As featured in my column in previous West Words and also used in a competition, Christopher Vine, the author of these wonderful books, has just written a further collection of four paperback books in the series.
The books are suitable in several age groups, three of the latest are for 6 - 12 year olds and one is suitable for 3 - 6 years.
The one written for 3 - 6 year olds is called Little Peter's Railway - The Picnic.
The 6 - 12 year versions are titled as follows: 1. Peter's Railway - Now and Then; 2. Peter's Railway - A Big Smellie Bogie; 3. Peter's Railway - Molten Metal.
All are very reasonably priced at £2.99 each, and make excellent reading in quite big print, with remarkable illustrations by John Wardle. They would make an ideal bedtime book as well as being an educational experience.
If you would like a chance to win all four copies of the new Peter's Railway Books, just answer the following question, and send it on a postcard to me, Sonia Cameron, 'Fasgadh', Marine Place, Mallaig, PH41 4RD to arrive no later than Monday 25th June.
Q. What is name of the author of the Peter's Railway books?
The winner will be announced in July's West Word and the books will be despatched direct from the author. Good Luck!
To view all of Peter's Railway books and to order either the soft back or hard back versions, go to www.petersrailway.com
Postal address PO Box 9246, Bridge of Weir, PA11 3WD, or telephone 01505 614513

See you on the train.
Sonia Cameron

Arisaig Games has announced an exciting programme of events for its 2012 season. Note, that is season, now, not just a day.
Operating across Arisaig Week, the Games start on Monday 23rd July with an exciting development with the addition of Fèis Àrasaig to the cultural offer. Arisaig Games' Fèis Manager spoke enthusiastically about this latest development, saying, "It's great that we are able to play a part in the very successful fèis movement, helping young people to develop their skills and talents in traditional and Gàidhlig music and song culture."
Fèis Àrasaig is a joint effort operating as part of Fèis Òigridh na Mara, which covers the whole of Arisaig, Morar, and Mallaig, providing continuing teaching for youngsters in the area. The Fèis Manager said "We are very grateful to Fèis Òigridh na Mara for all the help and support they have given us with our work. Without them, and Maria MacInnes, Lochaber Fèis Development Officer at Fèisean nan Gàidheal, it would have been a whole lot more difficult. This way we make the best of all the talent around, and that's what's important for our youngsters."
Tutors have been announced for Fèis Àrasaig with two very impressive and youthful musicians signed up to lead what is going to be primarily a groupwork fèis. Ewen Henderson, part of that great musical Lochaber family now playing across the globe with the Battlefield Band and Manran amongst others, will be joined by Sìleas Sinclair who has her own band and is a former leader of Oban Gàidhlig Choir. The objective is to encourage young people, who already have some skill with their instruments, to learn the art of playing as part of a group. However, there will also be a Taster Session on the Tuesday for those who are new to instruments. Innovatively, Fèis Àrasaig will not only be held in the local school in Arisaig, but the third and final day will be spent in performance at Arisaig Games as part of the teaching process. The Fèis Manager explained, "This will give the musicians a chance to learn with their tutors, as well as feel the interaction with an audience, which is such a vital part of the performing process, be it professional or leisure based."
Supporters of the RNLI, Coastguard, and other water based charities will also be excited by another addition to the programme for Games day on July 25th. The Hunky Dory is a competition based on sea life, rescue, and fitness, in common with many other of the sports and performances at Highland games. Teams of four will be competing against the clock to haul a dory boat on a trailer around the field. As Chas Mac Donald, Pas de Bas Producer at Arisaig pointed out, "Before we had the hugely mechanised fishing industry seen in the past fifty years, most boats would have been much smaller and launched daily from the shore. Indeed, many inshore lifeboats and Coastguard RIBS are trailer shore launched, so it is a skill that remains useful today. We think this is going to be an event which will provide great entertainment value for spectators."
Mr. MacDonald went on, "But more than the fun for the crowd, we have been generously supported by Marine Harvest, one of our largest sea based employers, now, with £500 prize money. Teams will compete to win the prize which must be split with one half going to RNLI or MCA stations, and the other half to water based charities. This is about Arisaig Games continuing its tradition of doing its small bit to support the local lifeboat and MCA stations. It's fun, but it's important, too."
The competition is open to any team with a water based background, be it fishing, fish farming, pleasure boating, rescue, transport, or the like, as long as the work is done at least partly on the water. Swimming pools can take part too, for instance.
Arisaig's third major development is a pre Games Cèilidh Barbecue on Tuesday evening before the Games. Held at the Games field this will be a chance to meet people and also to meet the committee who work so hard to put the event on. The entire committee is voluntary, and spend Games day working, so don't have much time to meet the people who come to the Games. The barbecue is being provided by Caledonian Catering, and the cèilidh by Lochaber Cèilidh Trailers. Allan Mac Donald, veteran Secretary of the Games welcomed the addition of the barbecue and the Cèilidh Trailers, saying, "It's very good that we are seeing the young people getting involved in music, and coming out to spread that bit of Highland culture to people. Tuesday is the night when we get everything finished and ready, so we can relax a wee bit, and look forward to a successful Games day."
Games night will see two more developments designed to tantalise. The hugely successful band Skipinnish will be playing at the Games dance in the Astley Hall. But before that, it is hoped that there will be a performance of new work from Allan MacDonald, Glenuig, and friends, who have put together a somewhat satirical look on the perceptions of those involved in the Clyde steamer industry. Para Handy was a joke, as were the steamers often, but Allan argues that this was extremely unfair, and that the Clyde steamers provided a vital and valuable service to the west coast. The music will challenge the snobbery involved, and throw a few well aimed jokes back at the detractors.
Arisaig also announced the judge for this year's Boisdale Prize, the young people's art competition sponsored by Ranald, Younger of Clan Ranald, and his London restaurant group, Boisdale. Richard Bracken is a native of Lochaber and a sculptor and artist. He is currently artist in residence at Room 13 in Caol Primary. Welcoming his nomination, Ranald commented that "it is brilliant to see a young artist from Lochaber getting involved in this way. Richard's work is striking and thought provoking, and his sensibility will be of great interest to those entering the competition."
Games week starts with Fèis Àrasaig on Monday 23rd July, Taster Sessions and the Cèilidh Barbecue on Tuesday 24th, and the Games proper on Wednesday 25th. More details can be found on the Games website.

Some 80 friends, locals and nationwide supporters gathered on Saturday 19th of May - in glorious sunshine- to celebrate an special anniversary of a the remarkable Wild Woodland Garden of Larachmhor.
The garden was in prime condition with a host of Rhododendrons, both from Holmes' early plantings and from the more recent introductions of the Botanic Garden team in full bloom. After Holmes died in 1938, his gardener John Brennan lived on, in a rude bothy in the heart of the site, for a further 20 years, tending the encroaching vegetation until his demise. But since 1962, exactly 50 years ago, a team of volunteers linked to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) have managed and continued to develop the site. They have maintained its unique wild character, and continued to add exciting new exotic trees and shrubs, from Botanic Garden and other expeditions around the globe, especially in the Sino Himalayas, in Chile and in Japan. The garden remains a private site, and is part of Arisaig Estate, but welcomes a steady flow of local and tourist visitors.
The focus of the celebrations was the opening of a replacement for 'Brennan's Hut', the original garden bothy where the former gardener had lived - but which burnt down tragically some 5 years ago during the construction of the new A830 roadway. There could be no more fitting way to acknowledge a half century of the RBGE team's involvement than to rebuild this vital base for the garden team. On the original footprint of its predecessor, and constructed entirely by volunteers at weekends over the past twelve months, the new Bothy is a poignant echo of the original. It was opened by Ian Hedge, the original Botanic Garden team lease-holder (now in his 80's), and Etta Mann, niece of John Brennan, who came over with family members from Ulster.
The garden team is known as the Larachmhor Garden Association, and is coordinated by Alan Bennell (who is still based at the RBGE) and who organised and led the proceedings at the launch event, assisted by garden Curator Ian Sinclair - who escorted the company on a sporting walk around the entire site.


After the formalities, everyone retired to the excellent setting of the Astley Hall in Arisaig for a hearty buffet lunch and then the showing of a short movie about the garden. Some 30 members of the Larachmhor team, past and present, with local friends and supporters lingered in the garden for a closing bonfire and barbecue to round off a memorable day!


A native Wych Elm was planted by everyone present who wished to wield a shovel full of soil. The tree was produced from stock raised as cuttings from a 150 yr old elm that once grew in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh.

Wide World West Word

We're all over the place this month!
And by the look of some of these photos we need to investigate waterproofing!
Thank you to everyone for taking part n this bit of fun - where will we be next?

Wendy MacDougall left Stirling with Fiona Ferguson to visit Fiona's daughter Jennifer and first grandchild Ruairi in Sydney, Australia. Wendy is originally from Arisaig.


Ian and Cynthia Buick, Arisaig, took us to the Eurovision Song Contest in the Crystal Hall, Baku, Azerbaijan!


Heather and Willie Simpson, Mallaig, read theirs at The Politician in Eriskay, which is named with reference to Whisky Galore.


In a nice twist, bringing her copy back to its roots is subscriber Irene Fentz,
over from Denmark for a holiday with husband Hans! Well - we ask you to take us on holiday!


George and Jessie Alice Lawrie took their copy from Mallaig Pier to Fishermen's Wharf, Freemantle, Western Australia.


Arisaig's Catherine and Steve Brown took their issue to Canada,

where Catherine preferred hers to looking at Niagara Falls from the Maid of the Mist

and Steve found news from home more startling than the CN Tower in Toronto.

Ian Massie, ex Morar/Mallaig, brought his copy right back home to read - outside West Word's office in Morar!


Avril Trotter took her copy with her on her 50th birthday treat to a spa break on the Isle of Mull! Pictured here (l to r) are Marlene, Grace, Maria, Doreen and Avril.


Watch this space for extracts from next month's issue!
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