THE ILEACH :: THE INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER FOR ISLAY + JURA

Excerpts from issue 47/26 10 October 2020

finlaggan

Cnoc Seannda at Finlaggan. See article below

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In this week's issue:

Screen Machine returns to islay, Redundancies and closures affect Islay and Jura hospitality trade, Vanadalism in Port Ellen, Council faces budget shortfall, Co-op removes hand-sanitiser for customers, Small Isles Primary Panoramas, Islay to benefit from 'Shop Local' campaign, Islay and Jura primary schools; how have they fared?, Souper trikes at Bowmore Primary, Those 11 options for the A83, Council leader and chief executive: what do they do?, Perry Green's favourite benches, Summer in the city: how has the island's summer been for accommodation providers?, Cybercafe to gain new recording studio.

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ISLAY & THE COVID-19 VIRUS: IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Last updated Friday 9 October 2020

Prepared for the benefit of Islay residents, this downloadable PDF file offers general information along with details of the Islay Volunteer Network and the state of play with regard to local businesses and services. Please check this page regularly.

DOWNLOAD HERE

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Cnoc Seannda

Raymond Lafferty writes:
With the Finlaggan Visitor Centre closed, while the Trust undertakes a series of coronavirus-delayed maintenance projects, it is an opportune moment, in admittedly trying times, to maintain Finlaggan in the public sphere and to inform the Ilich and visitors, of part of the site's lengthy and 'hidden' past.
Although known as the 'Cradle of Clan Donald' and 'the Ancient Seat of the Lords of the Isles', Finlaggan has a history stretching back to the arrival of Christianity in Scotland and beyond to the Mesolithic Age. Much has been lost to the ravages of time or human exploitation and only fragments of the original site remain.
Nonetheless, Dr. David Caldwell (lead archaeologist during the National Museums of Scotland's excavations at Finlaggan in the 1980s and '90s) has written the following short piece on one such 'fragment': Cnoc Seannda, the small hill that lies to the north of Loch Finlaggan.
"Overlooked by many as they walk to and from the historic site, its symbolic significance remains intrinsic to Finlaggan's allure over the many centuries of its occupation.
"The mound of Cnoc Seannda, just behind the Finlaggan Visitor Centre, is a natural, hemispherical mound of limestone. It is a prominent landmark at the top end of Loch Finlaggan and may have been the actual place where kings and Lords of the Isles were acclaimed. There are mounds at other important centres in Ireland, and, of course, Scone in Scotland, where kings were made.
"Excavations a number of years ago, show that the summit had been crowned in the Bronze Age with a small burial cairn retained within a kerb of stones. There was evidence of a cremation burial.
"Next to the cairn was a rock-cut chamber lined with slabs, which may also date to the Bronze Age. It contained animal bones (food debris) and a bone whirligig toy, possibly of Iron Age date. It is displayed in the Visitor Centre.
"It is clear that the knowledge that the mound was a tomb, survived until recent times, although 19th-century Ilich believed it was the burial place of the Princess Margaret, wife of John I, Lord of the Isles."

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This is Islay
this is islay podcast

A new monthly podcast featuring individuals, personalities and features of Islay and Jura. Listen now at https://anchor.fm/thisisislay

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Laphroaig doors open
to'ak chocolate

Following Bruichladdich Distillery's decision to remain closed to visitors and the re-opening of Bowmore Distillery's Visitor Centre as reported in our last issue, last to the Islay party is the Visitor Centre at Laphroaig Distillery, which re-opened to visitors on 24 September.
Charlie Beaumont of Beam Suntory said, "We are thrilled to announce that we have opened our doors once again to welcome guests back to Laphroaig." The gift shop will open from Thursdays to Mondays from 11pm to 16:00 with social distancing measures in place. Tuesday opening will commence from 13 October. Visitors are required to book in advance via the distillery website.
Tastings and tours are not on the agenda yet, but Laphroaig hope to announce a limited and phased reintroduction of these in due course. Their website, is the best place to get up-to-date information.
And for those who might like to taste Laphroaig in a slightly different way, To'ak chocolate are offering a 50g (1.76 oz) block of Ecuadorian dark chocolate, which has been aged in a cask of Laphroaig Single Malt for a period of three years.
The price for such Islay inflected luxury? A mere £167.

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Islay to benefit from 'shop local' campaign

Islay, along with mainland towns within Argyll and Bute, is to benefit from Scottish Government funding, delivered through Scotland's Town's Partnership. The funding will support eight towns across the region to promote a 'shop local' message.
The council will work with Community Links to talk to local organisations and businesses on Islay, to generate 'shop local' artwork and messaging ideas that represent the distinct characteristics and offerings of the island.
The towns involved, including Bowmore, are those currently without Business Improvement Districts (BIDS).
Over the next few weeks, there will be opportunities to contribute ideas for a local poster campaign encouraging people to shop local. Staff from Community Links will contact community organisations and businesses to get their views. Based on these, a brief will be produced and supplied to a designer, who will then create a draft poster for each town, and the banner for Argyll and Bute.
The decline of the high street in Scotland's towns has been a matter of public concern for many years. A fall off in local shopping has had negative economic, social, community and environmental consequences. The impact of COVID 19 could mean that new shopping habits developed during lockdown further reduces footfall and income to local shops.
The council, in partnership with the Scottish government, has deemed there to be an urgent need to encourage people to shop locally. The Scotland's Towns Partnership funding will pay for 'shop local' posters tailored to each town.
Councillor Alastair Redman, Policy Lead for Economic Growth, said, "Shopping locally is something in which I passionately believe.
"We have fantastic products on offer here in Argyll and Bute, ranging from locally-grown and reared produce, to artisan crafts. Supporting our local businesses makes sense for our local economy and keeping people in jobs. I would urge as many people as possible to get involved.
"This also reflects the commitment the council has to investing in our town centres through our various Conservation Area Regeneration Schemes and Townscape Heritage Initiatives. These are making our towns more attractive places to live, work and visit for future generations.
"We can all do our bit to shop locally wherever we can and support local businesses."

Colin Duff, the consultant leading on this for Community Links SL, said "We'd love to do this face to face, but because of COVID, it's going to have be online and on the phone. A short life website www.shoplocal-argyll-bute.co.uk will allow local people to keep up to date with opportunities to contribute. We're going to ask existing local organisations to help promote it through their networks and social media too. If anyone reading this wants to contact me, then my email is colin@communitylinkssl.co.uk and my mobile number is 07784 357 303."

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Still here

The Ileach is now about to enter its 48th year and has weathered more than just a few economic downturns in its time, local, national and global. However, the current situation is unprecedented in our lifetimes.
We have every intention of continue to produce the newspaper for as long as is practical and possible. And just as in previous times of difficulty, we would appreciate your support in making this happen.
Although the office in Main Street, Bowmore is closed to the public, there will still be staff in the office Monday - Friday, 10am - 1pm. If you have stories to tell, articles to submit or need to advertise your services, please call on 01496 810 355, or e-mail theileach@ileach.co.uk
To keep up to date with important local information, please check our twitter feed @theileach or check this page regularly.
If you're staying at home and unable to pick up a paper copy, why not consider a PDF subscription? Annual cost is £27. We thank you and appreciate your continued support.
Stay safe.

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NEXT ISSUE ON SALE, Saturday 24 October 2020

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