Happy newly weds

Honeymooners Jed and Charlotte Case are still wondering if it was really the fairies who helped get their marriage off to a, well, fairy tale start!

The pair were travelling around Skye when they stopped off  at the popular Fairy Pools to have a look around but on returning to their car, complete with its "Just married" message written on the rear bumper, they discovered an unexpected surprise.

For on their vehicle they discovered a handwritten note and inside a £10 note. the message read "Here's to a (small) round of drinks, a good time in Skye and a great life together."

 

A Taste Trail across the island could be just part of the planned Spirit of Skye Festival set for this summer.

Organisers of the event are hopint to encourage local businesses to get involved with the event, due to be held at Portree's Aros, on June 16-17.

They say: "The purpose of the festival is to celebrate and promote the fantastic food, delicious drink, vibrant music and the wonderful Island of Skye and its surrounding areas. The festival seeks to include the best produce, whiskys, gins, ales, chefs and suppliers to create a tasty and thirst-quenching visitor experience.

" It  also aims to support and promote local businesses, to showcase the local produce and recognise the talent of local people. The festival plans to attract tourists, residents and visitors from across the Highlands & Islands to this unique experience and enjoy Skye."

 

Usually it's Skye's magnificent scenery that movie and advert makers concentrate on when the come to the island to film.

However, power company Dewalt came up with a very different angle, quite literally, when they decided to use the Misty Isle to prompt their new 54v Flexvolt SDS-Max hammer drill.

To find out what follow the link here

Kate Forbes MSP

 

The MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch has called for an urgent review of the retendering of bus service contracts by Highland Council.

Highlighting examples right across her constituency, Kate Forbes MSP said that the 15 per cent budget reduction by the local authority had “disproportionately decimated” timetables.

Meanwhile the row of Skye's "missing" Portree-Broadford-Armadale 52 service rumbles on.

Sleat Transport Forum's Rob Ware said: "Passengers and visitors are being inconvenienced on a daily basis with those arriving on the CalMac ferry at Armadale with no service northbound and along with those intending to travel from Broadford southbound are having to resort to seeking transport via taxi to get them to their destinations.

" Local residents who use the service for employment, shopping or other purposes are having to make alternative arrangements. Having met visitors and locals at the pier in Armadale during the past few days it is clearly evident that this is a totally unacceptable situation that cannot continue.

Danny in action

A Swiss mountain biker had to be airlifted to safety after being injured while apparently trying to copy Skye's daredevil cyclist, Danny MacAskill.

The woman was found injured in the Coirie Lagan area after apparently falling while riding through the rocky terrain.

Although wearing all the right protective gear she still sustained a broken leg after falling during the accident which happened at around 2,000 ft up the mountain side

Danny made his 2014 short film The Ridge in the Cuillin featuring a range of stunts and since viewed by over 50 million people on YouTube.

A Mountain Rescue spokesman said: "We have been coming across people on bikes in places they shouldn't really be.

"Once they do get to these places they soon realise that in reality it is a very different prospect from what they thought it would be like.

"Our message is please don't try and be like Danny MacAskill."

Highlands and Islands MSP, Rhoda Grant, has called on Uig Pier owners, Highland Council, to push through as quickly as possible upgrades and improvements.

She said “Further to the recent public consultation on the proposed design of the new dual fuel ferry for the Uig triangle I have been in dialogue with the owners of the Uig Pier; Highland Council.

"Concerns were raised on the suitability of the existing pier at Uig and its ability to accommodate the new ferry and the increased volume of travellers. As the owner and operators of the Pier it is Highland Council that is responsible for any upgrade proposals. It has confirmed it is currently investigating what investment will be required to upgrade the current infrastructure."

Three months after his death leading church figure Rev Dr Iain D Campbell has been condemned for what has been described as behaviour "seriously inconsistent with that expected of a Christian minister".

Dr Campbell, who was ordained on Skye and ministered on the island for seven years, was the centre of a thorough investigation by the Free Church of Scotland after allegations came forward of "inappropriate" relationships with four women.

The Reverend Dr Iain D Campbell was alleged to have had inappropriate relationships with four women going back to 2010.

Following the investigation by Western Isles Presbytery a statement was issued on their behalf by Rev James Maciver, who said: "The Western Isles Presbytery has completed a thorough investigation into serious allegations about the conduct of the late Rev Dr Iain D Campbell prior to his death.

"The presbytery has now sadly concluded that elements of Dr Campbell's moral conduct were contrary to, and censurable by, the Word of God (Bible), and seriously inconsistent with that expected of a Christian minister.

"Following the investigation, each local kirk session has carried out appropriate disciplinary action, according to guidelines laid down in the Practice of the Free Church of Scotland.

"Bearing in mind that the Church has a duty of care to all parties, this has been carried out in private."

Dr Campbell grew up in Stornoway on Lewis and studied at the University of Glasgow.

He was ordained on Skye in 1988 and spent seven years on the island before returning to Lewis.

Dr Campbell was the moderator in 2012 and was also well-known in the Free Church of Scotland as a theological writer.

4 star luxury

A private gated croft estate in Elgol has gone on the market for a cool £1.25m asking price.

Mary's Thatched Cottages has been run for nearly 20 years by Mary and Drew Sim who also have their own successful website Isle of Skye cottages.

The sale would include the croft estate covering 2.6 acres which comprises of a gated community including four traditional and well appointed thatched cottages for holiday rental, a five bedroom main house with premium B&B capability together with a large well appointed barn sized shed.

Land at Staffin

Ambitious plans to create new homes in Staffin have now been formally submitted for planning approval to Highland Council.

Staffin Community Trust are a driving force behind the proposal which, if given the go ahead, would see the erection of six dwelling houses, two Class 4 business units and one Class 6 storage unit on land  Land 260M South West Of Staffin Primary School.

In their application the Trust say: "A major report, which followed a study of the affordable housing need in Staffin, north-east Skye, was published in September 2014 by the Highlands Small Housing Communities Trust (HSCHT).

The report, which was funded by Highland Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, highlighted the alarming situation in the community including the prohibitive cost of properties for families and young people on the open market and analysed the results of the returned survey questionnaires.

Layout of new homes

HSCHT concluded there was a clear demand for new affordable housing in Staffin which would be integral for the community’s long term sustainability. One major Staffin business,which employs 20 staff, confirmed it faced problems recruiting or retaining staff on five separate occasions because of a lack of suitable housing. It also stated that it needed “at least four” affordable homes in Staffin to satisfy its current demand."

A fledging ballet class is hoping more youngsters will step forward before the final curtain comes down.

The Growers Ballet at Portree's Church of Scotland Hall is being held each Monday between 4.30pm-5.15pm and is aimed at 7-8 year olds.

However, despite all attempts to boost numbers the turn out has not been what was expected and now supporters are hoping more would be young dancers will come forward or the class may be closed down.

Portree lifeboat in call out

A multi agency response was involved in getting proper medical care for a casualty who had to be evacuated from Raasay.

Portree Lifeboat was launched around 10pm last night (Apr 25) after Scottish Ambulance Service requested assistance. The local RNLI crew were tasked to transport Ambulance crew across to the island.


A planned new major fund-raiser in Portree has just one rule...no stopping!

For in June a team of determined swimmers will set out to make a real splash for locally born charity, Lucky2Bhere and youngsters at MacDiarmid Primary School.

If all goes according to plan the squad will stage a 12 hour continual swim which is due to take place on  Thursday 29th June from 8.00am until 8.00pm at the Fingal Centre swimming pool in Portree.

Announcing the madcap idea on their new website Just Keep Swimming the organisers say: "And why are we doing this? We really wanted to make a real difference to our local community and so decided to nominate a charity.

Voters taking part in the forthcoming Highland Council elections on Thursday 4 May are reminded that in filling in their ballot papers they should use numbers against the name of candidates in order of choice, using 1, 2, 3 and so on – and not a cross.

The system being used to count the votes is the Single Transferable Vote. The ballot paper lists the name of each candidate. To be elected a candidate must reach a set amount of votes known as the quota.  The votes are counted in stages.  In the first stage, only first preferences are counted.  Anyone who reaches the quota is elected.

Any votes received over the quota are not needed by the elected candidate and so are transferred to the second preference.  If not enough candidates have reached the quota, the candidate with the lowest number of votes is eliminated and all of their votes are passed to the next preference on the ballot papers.   This process is repeated until three or four candidates have been elected.


VisitScotland have put out a further reminder that their popular and much used Portree office is to close next week.

Last year Portree iCentre welcomed 151,000 visitors but it is to be temporarily relocated from Tuesday 2 May to allow refurbishment to take place.

The nearby Royal Hotel on Bank Street, within a stones throw of the existing office, will be utilised during the two weeks or so that the work is taking place. VisitScotland say this will "minimise" disruption for visitors.

When completed the new-look centre will include an upgrade of the iCentre’s digital facilities and free wi-fi. Research has shown that visitors prefer to use their own devices to access content and free wi-fi provision enables this.

A variety of emergency services were required yesterday (Apr 24) to assist an injured man on the small Isle of Eigg.

Mallaig RNLI Lifeboat was called out to take Scottish Ambulance Service paramedics to the island after the man had fallen and hurt his head. Eigg Coastguard Rescue Team were also involved assisting the evacuation of the casualty to the lifeboat.

Posters put up by volunteers


There was strong criticism today (Apr 24) over the continuing silence from Highland Council over the on-going public transport row involving the south of Skye.

As revealed in the Skye Times on Friday due to a dispute between the local authority and McLeans Coaches there is now no public bus service from Portree to Armadale for the forseeable future.

In an open letter to the Highland Council, SkyeConnect's Rob Ware said: "I have to say that it is extremely disappointing to hear nothing further after the extensive dialogue on Friday last which confirmed that there would be no public bus service from today on the Armadale/Broadford/Portree service.

You will be aware that the Sleat Transport Forum has been highlighting for weeks the issues that would arise if the Highland Council could not reach agreement to provide a service that was planned to be effective  from today.

Anne Martin

Skye Gaelic singer Anne Martin has joined forces with an East London-born beatboxer to create a rare musical collaboration.

Anne, born, brought up and still living in the Trotternish area, has teamed up with Manchester-based Jason Singh to create a multi-cultural experience, Roots.

In July, it will be given a 15-minute showcase at the Hull Festival before being the opening performance at Skye's Féis an Eilein festival.

Roots emerged from the musicians' project, Ceumannan, which began more than 10 years ago. Anne said: "I met Jason in 2015 when he came to my house after a performance on Skye.

Rare flame shell


Loch Carron is at the centre of a major row over the impact of scallop dredging.

Marine conservationists have condemned what they say as the devastation of a rare flame shell reef which is said to have been intensively dredged recently on at least two occasions causing damage which made take decades to recover from.

Although the dredger was operating legally supporters of further protection rules see the latest incident as a failure of Scottish inshore fishery management.

Police in Portree have called off their search for the owners of this missing pet.

Turns out the collie, called Monty, is being re-united with his Mum after being found wandering in the car park outside Portree Community Centre earlier today (Apr 24).

Kt's first book in the series

 

Skye - its landscape but just as importantly its people - has helped provide the inspiration for a new work of fiction.

Writing under the pseudonym of Kt Adams, the self publishing German based author behind the new book says it was based strongly around her time on the island and encouraged by the local residents that she met.

 Kt's latest novel follows on from her first in the series about time travellers called "Wolf and the End of the Future" which is available from Amazon.

Kt said: "The second book is basically set in Skye and as I like setting my books in locations I know, the characters of this book enjoy some of the places I loved going to when being there in Sleat.

"In a way, I wanted to commemorate some of the people in Skye who I thought were really great guys. I couldn't put in all of them, so I chose the persons who made a living at the southern edge of Skye possible by providing all the things one needs on an everyday basis."

Skye's Skeabost House Hotel was the island's sole success in this year's prestigious Scottish Hotel Awards.

The local establishment was named as Island Hotel of the Year during the 14th annual awards held at the Crowne Plaza Glasgow and hosted by Carol Smilie.

Over 400 people attended the much anticipated and prestigious event to celebrate the accomplishments of Scotland’s best hotels and hospitality professionals. Beautiful dining and exciting entertainment paced the evening and provided a memorable occasion to all attendees.

The annual Dunvegan Castle 10k & Fun Run will once again come under starter's orders next week-end (Saturday 29th April)

Entries are still open so follow the link here

Meanwhile marshalls are still being sought by the organisers who can be contacted by their Facebook page.

Just days after returning to service the Skye ferry will not be operating on Thursday 27 April.

The community run ferry company behind the operation of the Glenachulish, the last manually operated turntable ferry in the world, say she needs to go back to Kishorn where she spent much of the winter being re-fitted and a new deck house installed.

Casting around for new business?  Then a planned Meet the Supplier session could be a good place to be.

On Wednesday 26 April, from 6.30pm-8.30pm, Marine Harvest are hosting the event at Kyleakin Community Hall as they look to find local suppliers for their needs.

Main contractors for the planned new Alltanavaig feed mill project, will be on hand covering a range of specialities from  mechanical and electrical installation to raw material silos and the processing oil tanks, plus civil contractors for both the main and marine structures.

Sleat has suffered another and significant transport link setback with the news that its public bus service has been cut.

As well as on going difficulties with the Calmac ferry service between Mallaig and Armadale, which is said to be impacting on local businesses, Sleat Community Council say that the south end of Skye has now effectively been left without a commercial bus service.

Based on what they say is information  received from the Highland Council Public Transport Team and Stagecoach Ltd, the Community Council said: "Due to on-going contractual issues between Highland Council and its public bus services with effect from Monday 24th April there will be NO commercial bus service operating between Armadale/Broadford/Portree.

The Highland Folk Museum, Achnagairn Castle and Tour Skye Ltd are among 37 of the region’s top tourism businesses who are heading to Scotland’s biggest travel trade event in Glasgow next week.

VisitScotland Expo, which takes place at the Scottish Events Campus (SEC) on 26 and 27 April, will be the 38th staging of Scotland’s biggest business-to-business event for the travel trade.

The national tourism organisation’s flagship show will give 276 Scottish tourism businesses – including accommodation providers, visitor attractions and activity providers – from every corner of the country the chance to showcase their products and services to more than 600 tour operators and travel agents from all over the world.


Minginish Community Hall Association are holding a drop in session on Monday 24th April between 12.30pm and 7pm to show the planned designs for the new car park at the Fairy Pools.

Project Officer Richard Powell will be there all day to answer questions along with others from MCHA. 

The annual Dunvegan Castle 10k & Fun Run will once again come under starter's orders next week-end (Saturday 29th April)

Entries are still open so follow the link here

Meanwhile marshalls are still being sought by the organisers who can be contacted by their Facebook page.

Mairead Hamilton, winner of MG ALBA’s scholarship in 2016, trainee director on the set of BBC ALBA’s Bannan (picture credit, Cailean Maclean).


As part of MG ALBA’s strategy to provide training and support for Gaelic writers, the Gaelic Media Service (MG ALBA) is offering talented Gaelic writers the opportunity to apply for its coveted scholarship to study television fiction writing at Glasgow Caledonian University.

The MA Television Fiction Writing course is the only dedicated one year postgraduate programme of its type in the UK, providing aspiring screenwriters with the tools to embark upon or strengthen their career in television fiction writing, and MG ALBA are supporting a placement on the course for one Gaelic speaker.  An option to undertake the course on a part-time basis over two years is also available.

The course is taught by a combination of leading TV scriptwriters and academic staff including course lecturer Professor Ann Marie Di Mambro whose credits include EastEnders, Casualty and River City, and Chris Dolan, author and playwright, whose credits include River City, Taggart and taking Inspector Rebus to radio for BBC Radio 4.

Social media may have stretched Skye's world famous Fairy Pools to breaking point but now it could be their saviour.

For locals who have rallied round to try and bring about much needed improvements have turned to the internet to help achieve their aims.

A Facebook page and donation website have been set up as the Minginish community aim  to reach a £10,000 target which would go towards expanding car parking facilities and relieving conjestion which impacts on visitors and locals alike.

Via social media the local fund-raisers say: "The Fairy Pools is a beautiful and world-famous attraction on the Isle of Skye. In recent years, the increase in visitor numbers has stretched the limited facilities well beyond their capacity.

Pictured with Lucky2BHere's Ross Cowie is Trevor Robinson from the Stenna Carron Drilling ship


Crew members on-board a massive drilling ship have dug deep, into their own pockets, to support a life saving Skye charity.

A £1,000 donation has been handed over to Lucky2BHere thanks to the charity fund-raising events staged aboard the giant Stena Carron. With overall length of 228 metres and a gross tonnage of 58294 tons the huge vessel operates in seas around the world.

The Stenna Carron

Now the money raised will go towards the charity's potentially life-saving training in schools.

 

The Cuillin, setting for concert


If you wanted a musical high then you couldn't do much better than the Cuillin on Skye.

And over the Easter week-end that's just what 75 people did as they headed into the hills for the island's very first "Concert in a Coire"

However, first of all the "audience" had to work for the opportunity to hear something different with a two hour walk to get into Coire Lagan and the one-off performance.

With snow falling at altitude, two two musicians, violinist George Smith and cellist Duncan Strachan, joined with sound engineer Sam Annand to stage the site-specific performance in the natural “amphitheatre”.

A change of use application could see a flower shop turned into a hot food takeaway and cafe.

Highland Council are being asked to consider the application which involves premises at the Skye Bridge Filling Station in Kyleakin

At Part of 4 Camuscross, North of Collies, the erection of dwelling house and ancillary writing studio building have been put forward.

Other applications are as follows:

Coast Guard and lifeboat staff were involved in two island emergencies off the coast of Skye.

In an Easter Sunday incident Ambulance Control requested assistance with a casualty evacuation from Rassay which resulted in Portree Coastguard Rescue Team (CRT) helping  transfer the individual to a waiting ambulance after being brought to port by Portree RNLI.

Schoolboy Jamie Budge has been using pedal power to support a local cause.

The youngster go on his bike and in a marathon 2hours 6 min ride made his way from Dunvegan to Portree rasing over £700 for the local RNLI.

Dinah and her two wheeled companion


A quick..ish scoot around Skye has a whole new meaning for have-a-go Dinah Bosomworth.

For the 52 years old plans to do just that - and not to mention the Western Isles and Mull as well - all on a real life two wheeled scooter!

Starting on Thursday (April 20) the grandmmother of four, together with a bright orange kick scooter - no motor here - nicknamed Nerys will depart from Oban before making her way from Vatersay to the Butt of Lewis (The Hebridean Way), then across Skye from Uig to Armadale. Once over to Mallaig she goes on to Kilchoan, before  putting in a loop on Mull and then from Oban to home in Mid-Argyll.

On the way the massage therapist, who lives in Ormsary near Lochgilphead, also hopes to raise a total of £3,500 to support the work of the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH).

New postmaster Mhairi Cousins training with the Post Office's Paul Clark


Open and ready for business that's Sleat's newest Post Office.

For as part of the An Crùbh community complex, a brand new post office service has been opened bringing an end to an era.

For the opening co-incides wirth the retirement of long standing post mistress Flora Anne MacDonald whose family have been associated with the postal service locally for many years.

The new facility will be open during shop hours at An Crùbh.

Announcing the opening on social media they said: "We would like to pay tribute to Flora Anne MacDonald, who can now enjoy a long anticipated retirement after so many years of exemplary service to the community.

Silurian at anchor

The Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust’s (HWDT) research vessel, Silurian will be making a special trip to Skye next week-end.

Whilst anchored in Armadale, HWDT are inviting local people to come on board and explore the yacht. There will be a chance to meet the team and gain an insight into life on board, the volunteer experience and the Trust’s latest research findings.
Silurian will be open to the public on Sunday 23rd April from 11.30am to 1.30pm and visitors will be transported to the boat via RIB. Tours of the boat will run informally throughout this time, subject to demand.

Typically the vessel undertakes visual and acoustic surveys for whales, dolphins and porpoises, from April to October each year, supported by paying volunteers. Data collected on board over the last decade has been used to inform conservation efforts and accompany an innovative education and outreach programme.

 

Temporary road closures and speed restrictions will be in place next weekend (22 - 23 April) during the Etape Loch Ness cycling event.

The restrictions and prohibitions which are being put in place are for participants’ safety and to allow the Etape to take place on public roads.

Access for emergency services vehicles will be maintained at all times and for vehicles employed to ensure the safety of the Event participants.

The following roads will be closed to all other vehicles on the dates and times as follows:

Skye Camanachd is certain to be well represented at the funeral of a Portree grandmother with strong connections to the club.

Mary Gillies’ son John Angus Gillies is a former Skye Camanachd player and was part of the club’s 1990 Camanachd Cup winning squad. John Angus is also currently a Grade 1 referee, officiating each week at top games throughout the country.

His son, Mary’s grandson, John Gillies, broke into the Skye Camanachd first team at the start of last season and the Scotland U21 cap has been an ever-present since then.

Veronica and Max

A feast of feel-good acoustic blues, award-winning Scots trad, luscious jazz and rousing classical music is in store for Sleat audiences over the coming months as Skye’s most lively performing arts promoter continues its exciting music programme for Spring.

 SEALL (Skye Events for All) is gearing up for its summer festival, which takes place from 4 July to 28 August at venues mainly around the south of Skye. Before the festival kicks off, however, the Spring programme continues to showcase the outstanding talents of some of Scotland and beyond’s most respected award-winning musicians.

Nestlé is recalling a batch of its KITKAT Original Milk Chocolate Bites Pouch Bag because it has been mispacked with KITKAT Peanut Butter Bites, which means that peanuts and nuts are not declared on the label.

This means the product is a possible health risk for anyone with an allergy to nuts and/or peanuts.

Dynamic and enthusiastic singer, Amy Macdonald, was the reason for the packed venue at Inverness.  

Ironworks, the purpose-built music venue, was crammed with an audience hailing from as far as the Isle of Skye to as near as Inverness itself - all keen to see the multi-award winning singer take to the stage. 

The Highland Council advises that Non-Domestic Rates (NDR) bills for 2017/18 are now being issued.  NDR is also known as Business Rates.

Local Authorities in Scotland are responsible for the administration and collection of NDR including administering relief schemes determined by the Scottish Government. Rateable values are determined by the Assessor.

The Scottish Government has announced a Transitional Relief (TR) scheme for 2017/2018 that applies to certain categories of NDR properties.  The scheme is in response to the rateable value increases for certain property sectors. If your gross rates liability (i.e. before reliefs applied) has increased by more than 12.5% (14.75% including an inflationary factor) you may be eligible for Transitional Relief.

A motorcyclist has died following an accident on the A82.

Police Scotland were called to the incident at Laggan Locks, near to Invergarry after a serious road traffic collision involving a bus and a motorcyclist which happened at around 1pm today (Apr 12)

Tragically, the male motorcyclist died and next of kin have been informed. Neither the bus driver or bus passengers suffered any significant injuries.

The A82 is closed between Spean Bridge and Invergarry while crash investigators carry out a thorough examination of the scene. Diversions are in place.

One of Skye’s best known restaurants is hoping to serve up something special for the island’s mountain rescue heroes.

Every year the forty five staff who work at The Three Chimneys Restaurant and The House Over-By hold an in-house ballot to select a charity to support for the year.

And for 2017 they have chosen The Skye Mountain Rescue Team who came out on top and they will now be targeting all of their charitable efforts this year to help them.

Skye Live festival organisers have now got their full headline acts lined up.

Topping the bill will be art-rock outfit Django Django while some of the finest bands and DJs from Scotland and beyond will join them.

Skye Live runs on Friday 22 and Saturday 23 September with the unique venue of the The Lump in Portree being used as the festival site.

According to the organisers DJ sets from Berlin producer Apparat and Irish techno ace Mano Le Tough complete the headliners for the festival, while also on the bill are sets from Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard – who drops his second solo album Electric Lines later this month – Edinburgh electronic mainstays Finiflex, Glasgow six-piece Pronto Mama, and Lord of the Isles.

The DJ line-up features much-loved Glasgow duo Optimo, LuckyMe’s Eclair Fifi, Joy Orbison and Dekmantel Soundsystem among others read the full bill below.

MV Lord of the Isles


Less than two weeks into the 2017 summer season and the simmering discontent about Skye's Mallaig-Armadale ferry service has once again erupted.

Sleat Transport Forum have hit out after no less than 36 cancellations on the route since March 31 and there are now increasing concerns, despite assurances from ferry operators, Calmac and the Scottish Government, that a similar poor level of service experienced last year will plague the crossing again in 2017.

A spokesman for the Forum said: ‘this is due entirely to the deployment of unsuitable vessels on the route which are affected by tides and unable to operate in moderate winds. These problems were foreseen by the forum and the communities on both sides of the Sound of Sleat but all attempts to secure a reliable and regular service have fallen on deaf ears at both the Scottish Government and CalMac.

"The problem could be resolved at a stroke by the return of ’MV Coruisk’, the vessel purpose built for the route which is at present deployed as a second ship on the Oban-Craignure service. There are other options available to meet the needs of Oban-Craignure route if the will existed to look at these."

New King Arthur blockbuster


Skye's spectacular landscapes, used once again for another Hollywood blockbuster,  are to take centre stage in a new tourism campaign.

The Isle of Skye and Wester Ross were used as filming locations for Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, which will see Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam take on the lead role.

Now UK tourism leaders have unveiled plans for a six-week international campaign showcasing locations in the film, due for release next month, which also used Windsor Great Park and the Forest of Dean in England, as well as Snowdonia in Wales.

The Quiraing on Skye and the Bealach na Ba pass on the Applecross peninsula feature prominently in the new hit movie.

Humza Yousaf

One of Scotland’s most iconic roads will be top of the agenda at a summit on the A82 in June 2017.

Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf has asked for the meeting to be organised to bring together the various groups that have an interest in the operation of the trunk road which links the central belt with the North West and the Western Isles.

There has been significant investment in the route in recent years with improvements including the £5 million Crianlarich Bypass and the £9.2 million Pulpit Rock realignment. Work is continuing on the design stages for the upgrading of the Tarbet to Inverarnan section, which will bring further improvements alongside Loch Lomond.

In addition, in the last ten years, £82m has been spent on maintenance on the A82, with more than £11m in the last financial year.

One of Portree's landmark buildings, the 19th century built Black Memorial Hall, could be set for a change of fortune.

Built in 1820 the former church on The Green has been unused since around 2007.

However, Highland Council are now being asked to consider an application for a change of use which would see it converted into hostel letting accommodation.

Other applications to go before the local authority are as follows.

The University of the Highlands and Islands is inviting applications for 26 fully funded PhD studentships.
 
The studentships, which are being funded by the European Social Fund and Scottish Funding Council, offer opportunities in a range of research areas. Topics include the use of digital technologies in healthcare, the history of distilling and whisky production, eco-tourism, salmon farming in Scotland and the impact of the nuclear industry on British communities.
 
Candidates from around the world are being invited to apply for the studentships by 12 noon on Monday 8 May. Successful candidates will start in October and have their fees and living expenses covered.

One of Anne's creations


Talla Dearg Gallery at the Hotel Eilean Iarmain is once again running its summer exhibition series.

This year it features eight hugely talented artists and makers who will take turns to exhibit their work and will be on site for much of the time. The series runs through until mid-October.

Now on display, unitl April 25, are the creations of Ann Coomber who specialises in domestic-scale sculptures in stone and wood, based on organic forms. Each one contains a personal story or memory, recording her journey through life and landscape. This is her first Exhibition at An talla Dearg.

Just in case you were wondering the work going on at Bayfield in Portree is all part of a new community landscaping initiative.

Portree & Braes Community Trust are behind the improvements, which after securing funding, has seen volunteers involved in the work. This will continue over the coming weeks with picnic benches to be purchased and installed.

 


Skye's favourite ferry was today (Apr 10) getting busily back to what it does best.

After an £80,000 refit during which the original wheelhouse was replaced with a state of the art new one, new electrics and steering mechanism the Glenachulish is now better equipped then ever for its to and fro trade between Glenelg and Skye.

After several days of land and coastal searches police divers have now been called in as they continue attempts to locate  missing Plockton man James Fewell.

Known locally as Bruce, the 62 years old was last seen at around 12.30am on Saturday, 8 April, at the Plockton Hotel.

Local volunteers and community members have also been involved trying to trace Bruce with searches carried out close to the area where he was last seen, along the coastline and near where he lives in the harbour area.

With Scottish Council elections taking place in just a few weeks, voters in the Highlands are being urged to make sure they are registered to vote and are able to take part on polling day, Thursday 4 May.

The call for voters to sign up comes as the Electoral Commission launches a national voter registration campaign to encourage as many people as possible to register ahead of the elections taking place this year.

The Highland Electoral Registration Officer is now also reminding voters that they need to register by the deadline of Monday 17 April otherwise they won’t be able to take part in the Scottish Council elections. If you have received a poll card from the Returning Officer, there is no need to re-register.

Waternish has now got its own Food Bank drop off point.

This has been set up at Allt a Chaim, the first house on the left as you come onto Waternish. It’s a long, white bungalow with a timber building to the side. There’s plenty of room to either pull into the top of the drive or park on the road with a shiny, aluminium bin which will be emptyed daily and taken to the Food Bank storage point in Portree. Items can also be picked up from local homes call 592304.

Unfortunately, the Food Bank cannot, at present, receive fresh food so  tinned & dried foods are required. Equally, toiletries, personal hygiene items and even odd treats are much appreciated.
General Information re ‘Skye and Lochalsh Community Foodbank

Skye Ghillie Mitchell Partridge is use to capturing wildlife on camera but has certainly never snapped a superstar singer dangling from a helicopter...until now.

The shot is said to show One Direction's Harry Styles dangling from a aircraft as it passed over the Storr Lochs during filming for a new music video.

The stunt earlier this week in in north east Skye saw Styles dangling from a helicopter while being filmed from another.

Police in the Highlands are warning retail staff to be on their guard following an incident of counterfeit currency being tendered within the Inverness area.

At about 5.00pm on Wednesday April 5, 2017 two young males entered the Co-op store in Wester Inches, Inverness and purchased items separately costing no more than £5 and paid with Bank of England £50 notes.

Finnian and his selfie


Who said selfies weren't an art form.?

And, for Raasay's Finnian Croy his ability to click with competition judges has earned his photo creation a place in a very special exhibition.

For the teenage has just return from London's Saatchi Gallery after being shortlisted in 10 best shots selected from over 14,000 entries from 113 countries.

Although not acclaimed the outright winner of the "Selfie for Saatchi" competition, Finnian's work will still be seen by hundreds of people during an exhibition of the winners which will run in the gallery through until May 30.

The new shaped £1 coin

Four new parking meters are having to be ordered for Skye...because they don't take the new £1 coin.

Highland Council is said to be having to order 20 new parking meters to replace not just those on the island but also others in Fort William although elsewhere the meters are reported able to cope with the changing shape and weight of the new coin.

Although the local authority has said the 12-sided coin can be used at its other car parking spaces it will mean having to order and install the additional machines, which could take as long as three months.

Popular stand-up comedian and brilliant cook, George Egg, has never visited the Highlands before but he's now heading for Skye.

 The Edinburgh Fringe favourite has enjoyed sell-out performances at venues across the UK and Europe but confesses he has never been north of Scotland’s central belt.

 It is with some enthusiasm, therefore, that George brings his critically-acclaimed, award-winning show Anarchist Cook on a mini tour of the Highlands this month, starting at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on Wednesday 19 April as part of the SEALL (Skye Events for All) Spring programme.

Allan on Skye

A stunning new photographic book which captures the nature and topography of  Skye will be launched in Portree next week.

On Monday 10th April, Scottish landscape photographer Allan Wright will be joined by MP for Ross, Skye & Lochaber Ian Blackford for the official launch  of ‘Skye - A Photographic Communion’

The event takes place at Portree's Aros centre and an exhibition of photographs from Allan’s book are currently on display through until Thursday 20 April.

Mark Beaumont

Around the World in Eighty Days is a classic adventure novel by the French writer Jules Verne published in 1873.

In the story Phileas Fogg of London and his newly employed French valet Passepartout attempt to circumnavigate the World in 80 days on a £20,000 wager set by his friends at the Reform Club.

Now, more than 144 years later, endurance athlete Mark Beaumont is capturing that same spirit of adventure with the Artemis World Cycle, his Record Breaking quest to cycle around the World in 80 days.

As a warm up to the Artemis World Cycle, he will first cycle around the coastline of Britain, setting off on 4th April to cover 3,500 miles in 15 days.

And, with Mark due in Sleat as part of the warm up, newly established business and tourism organisation SkyeConnect are encouraging local folk to turn out on Wednesday 12 April and cheer him on his way. He is expected to be at Isle Ornsay/Eilean Iarmain at around 10am.

The Food Standards Agency have confirmed that Tesco is recalling its Finest Crab & Chilli Linguine because it has been mis-packed with Tesco’s Finest Spaghetti Carbonara, which means that milk and egg are not declared on the label.

This means the product is a possible health risk for anyone with an allergy or intolerance to milk or milk constituents and/or to egg.

The Glenelg - Skye ferry "Glenachulish" returns to full service next week with a brand new wheel house and a new colour scheme.

The first day back will be Monday 10th April, 10am to 6pm so if you want to get an early look at her new look then that's the time.

Meanwhile though there is also a chance to win a free return trip for a car and four passengers...and have fun while you do it!

Police Scotland have given out more information about vehicle damage caused in Portree over the week-end.

Now an appeal has gone out for anyone who might have information about the vandalism which occurred between 9.00pm on Friday March 31 and 10.30am on Saturday April 1 in Rathad na Fheoir, Portree.

Clan Donald Estate in Sleat has urged walkers to take care as forestry work is ongoing.

They say extra care is needed particular in the area above the Steadings on the red trail which is currently closed for Health & Safety reasons.

 

Redwood House

Redwood House at Greshornish is seeking the go ahead to create a kitchen,laundry, restaurant and staff bedrooms in the former pool building.

Highland Council is being asked to give planning permission at the Edinbane premises which would see a change of use of the former garage building to form additional guest rooms together with the erection of boiler shed.

Other applications to be considered are as follows:

The Raasay Development Trust has commissioned The Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust to carry out an in-depth local survey of housing need now and analysis of future demand.

Every household on the island should receive a copy through the mail, then complete it and return it to HSCHT for analysis. If you have not received a copy by mid April contact them on 01463 233 549 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.ndicating if you require a paper or electronic copy of the survey. An online option will also be available.


Skye and Lochalsh Running Club's Kingsburgh Forest Handicap gave some fresh faces a chance to enjoy a moment of glory.

For with the normally fastest runners senting off last some of the slower competitors in this year's winter series found themselves leading the way.

On the day first place was taken by Alexander Tindall with Stephanie Rossiter second and third sport going to Andi Dunkel.
The handicap was over a five mile course covering forest road and track.

Portree lifeboat

Portree lifeboat crew were called out shortly before 9am today (Apr 3) to help with a medevac incident on the Isle of Rona. No further details are known at the moment.

 

 


Police in Portree are investigating two incidents of damage.

The first, said to have taken place overnight March 24-25, involved a window being broken at a property in Matheson Place.


Portree's busy  VisitScotland Information Centre (iCentre) is set for a facelift.

With the tourist season already underway the decision has been taken to refurbish the facility with work set to go ahead in early May and lasting about two weeks. During the enforced closure the centre's work will be transferred across the road to the Royal Hotel.

In an open letter to accommodation providers, local Industry Relationship Manager, Alan Mackenzie said: "I am delighted to be writing to inform you that following a very busy 2016, VisitScotland will be refurbishing the Portree VisitScotland Information Centre (iCentre) in early May in order to provide a fantastic new facility with new opportunities for visitors, locals and businesses during 2017 and beyond.
 
"With 151,000 people visiting Portree iCentre last year, we are committing to providing an iCentre that meets and exceeds users’ needs.  The refurbishment is in keeping with our customer experience strategy and the iCentre will benefit from a complete internal redesign as well as refreshed VisitScotland branding – ensuring we are providing the optimal experience, information and inspiration at this much-used iCentre.

 There was healthy turnout for the first meeting of the Isle of Skye Veterans Breakfast Club in Portree this morning.

They next meet on Saturday the 6th of May - 9am at The Red Brick Cafe@Jans - Portree.

Commenting afterwards on the group’s Facebook Page Jack Macfarlane said; “A grand breakfast and good banter.”

Richard Freeman added: “An all in breakfast next month, really enjoyed, thanks all.”

 

 

Co-op is recalling Co-op Irresistible Scottish Breaded Ham because it contains wheat (gluten) which is not mentioned on the label.

This means the product is a possible health risk for anyone with an allergy or intolerance to wheat or gluten.

Product details:

At an undisclosed location on Barra there is a small pinery that has been growing pineapple plants for over two years.

Today, the first two pineapples to be produced on Barra ever will be auctioned off in Buth Bharraigh, the Castlebay community shop,  at 12 noon. 


This is a massive achievement for the crofter who has diversified into pineapples, says the local producers group, Beairteas Bharraigh which translates as the Wealth of Barra.