THE ILEACH :: THE INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER FOR ISLAY + JURA

In the current issue

The community comes together for St. Columba, Glenegedale's hospitality award, Ardnahoe distillery's five stars, Slimming World returns to Bowmore, Stuart Graham solves a wartime mystery, Remembering the Baraboo, Golfing for girls, Whisky Academy winner, 'Auld Reekie' set to return to Port Ellen


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ileach 2020 calendar

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Excerpts from issue 47/02 9 November 2019

ardnahoe distillery staff

Photo: Islay Studios


Islay's ninth and newest distillery has received a Five Star grading from VisitScotland.
Ardnahoe Distillery, received top marks in the national tourism organisation's Quality Assurance (QA) Scheme in recognition of its exceptional standards. The QA Scheme is a benchmark for quality across the tourism industry and operates across accommodation, visitor attractions and food sectors.
The distillery opened in April this year and has so far welcomed twenty four thousand visitors. With a range of tours, tastings, gift shop and restaurant; the restaurant has a commitment to using quality locally sourced produce, it received VisitScotland's Taste Our Best award. Ardnahoe becomes one of only two distilleries on Islay to receive a Five Star grading from VisitScotland, the other being Bowmore. It becomes the third distillery in Argyll & Bute to receive the accolade, sitting alongside Oban and Bowmore.
Paul Graham, Visitor Centre Operations Manager, said: "The whole distillery team at Ardnahoe have a real passion for whisky and Islay. Coupled with their expert knowledge and warm welcome, they have offered an exceptional experience for visitors since we opened in April. I'm thrilled to see our hard work recognised by this award from VisitScotland."
David Adams McGilp, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: "Congratulations to Paul and his team on this exceptional achievement. To achieve a Five Star grading on the first time of asking is a testament to the hard work of this business to offer a quality experience. "Our Quality Assurance Scheme is world-leading and provides a trusted, independent and impartial source of information for visitors. It is about much more than just a star rating - it is about the entire visitor experience and investing in the business to make it as economically sustainable, and profitable, as it can be."

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'Auld Reekie' set for Port Ellen return
auld reekie

The restoration of "Auld Reekie' continues at Crinan Boatyard and at the end of last month a test launch of the vessel was successfully carried out, after the complete renewal of some of the hull plates.
The vessel was pulled back up the slip at Crinan to complete the remaining work, including the forward crew accommodation, fitting of a steam winch and a coat of paint. All being well, the work should be be completed by spring of next year, when the official launch will take place when it is hoped to steam over to Port Ellen on the maiden voyage.
This project has been on the go for quite some time and is a credit to Crinan Boatyard and the owner John Dunlop. If it were not for him, the restoration would have ended many years ago due to spiralling costs. However, with the dedication of John and his workforce, they are almost there.
The restoration was initially instigated by Duncan MacGillivary in 2008 when he was manager at Bruichladdich Distillery, when he spotted the rusting vessel in Ardrishaig basin. At that time, it was called 'Vital Spark', having been used in the filming of the Para Handy series for BBC a few years earlier.
Duncan and John bought the vessel, hoping that it would be a fairly easy restoration, but once on the slip at Crinan, it became apparent that it would take a lot of time and money; which has indeed, proved to be the case.
Duncan invited Neil Brown, Douglas Smith, Captain Calum Anderson and Jimmy Campbell to help with the restoration over the years, although most of the work has been undertaken by the skilled workforce at Crinan Boatyard. Unfortunately, Duncan has been unable to attend the work parties at Crinan over the past couple of years, due to illness, but they all hope he will be able to attend the launch next spring and be in Port Ellen to see the vessel come in.

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Remembering the Baraboo 21
baraboo memorial plaque

Upon the sinking of the SS Tuscania one hundred and one years ago, the survivors from that ship, now known as the the Baraboo 21, are remembered for carrying on after the sinking with their war efforts.
High School History teacher, Steve Argo from Baraboo, Wisconsin, USA, reminds his students to remember the history of those who have gone before, with honour, respect, and also with gratitude and appreciation for the services rendered by those who left their homes at the call of their country.
The practical care, dignity, respect and compassion shown by the islanders (Islay) folks at that time, cannot be fully measured by human estimation.
Families now exist, generations in fact, across the pond, who celebrate, not just because it is the right thing to do, but for freedom, justice and righteousness, part of the very pillars of our society that were threatened.
Ileach readers who may travel to Wisconsin (Baraboo) might like to see the memorial that has been built, in recognition and deep appreciation to both the Islay and Wisconsin communities for their part in the Great 1914/18 War. The bronze plaque (above) at the Tuscania Memorial built in Mary Rountree Evans Park, depicts the scene from the Mull of Oa. The park that sits alongside the Baraboo River.

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NEXT ISSUE ON SALE, Saturday 23 November 2019

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islay info

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Islay Diary 2019/20

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  • Sunday 10 November
  • Country Dancing, ICCI, Bowmore
  • Monday 11 November
  • IHS Remembrance Service
  • Tuesday 12 November
  • Chit Chat Strollers, Museum of Islay Life
  • Wednesday 13 November
  • Port Ellen Lunch Club, Islay Hotel
  • Thursday 14 November
  • Badminton IHS
  • Friday 15 November
  • Quiz Night, No.1 Charlotte Street
  • Saturday 16 November
  • Christmas Sale, Ballygrant Hall
  • Sunday 17 November
  • Country Dancing, ICCI, Bowmore
  • Crochet Workshop, Islay Quilters
  • Tuesday 19 November
  • Chit Chat Strollers, Carraig Fhada
  • Wednesday 20 November
  • Port Ellen Lunch Club, Islay Hotel
  • Thursday 21 November
  • Badminton IHS
  • Friday 22 November
  • Islay Sessions
  • Saturday 23 November
  • Islay Quilters Christmas Fair
  • Islay Sessions
  • Sunday 24 November
  • IHS Table Top Sale
  • Country Dancing, ICCI, Bowmore
  • Islay Sessions
  • Wednesday 27 November
  • Port Ellen Lunch Club, Islay Hotel
  • Thursday 28 November
  • Badminton IHS
  • Sunday 1 December
  • Country Dancing, ICCI, Bowmore
  • Carols at Islay Lifeboat Station
  • Monday 2 December
  • Mactaggart Leisure Centre AGM
  • Wednesday 4 December
  • Port Ellen Lunch Club, Islay Hotel
  • Baptist Christmas Walk
  • Thursday 5 December
  • Badminton IHS
  • Bruichladdich Hall AGM
  • Saturday 7 December
  • Round Church Coffee Morning, Bowmore Hall
  • Port Ellen Primary Christmas Fair
  • Thursday 11 December
  • Port Ellen Lunch Club, Islay Hotel
  • Thursday 12 December
  • Badminton IHS
  • Port Ellen Primary Pantomime
  • Friday 13 December
  • Port Ellen primary Pantomime
  • Sunday 15 December
  • IHS Table Top Sale
  • Country Dancing, ICCI, Bowmore
  • Wednesday 18 December
  • Port Ellen Lunch Club, Islay Hotel
  • Thursday 19 December
  • Badminton IHS
  • Sunday 2 August 2020
  • Ride of the Falling Rain
  • Thursday 27 August 2020
  • Islay Book Festival
  • Friday 28 August 2020
  • Islay Book Festival
  • Saturday 29 August 2020
  • Islay Book Festival
  • Sunday 30 August 2020
  • Islay Book Festival

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