THE ILEACH :: THE INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER FOR ISLAY + JURA

Excerpts from issue 45/20 21 July 2018

Hugh Smith - an appreciation, New owners at Port Charlotte Store, Smiley Silage, Donad Morrison hangs up his gavel, Big Fit Walk, The Islay Boys buy Islay Ales, Islay Lifeboat's busy week, Highland Dancing success.


islay quilters charty quilt

Ladies from Islay Quilters are seen in front of this year's charity quilt displayed at their recent exhibition in Ballygrant Hall. And following their sterling work for the recent WW100 service on Islay, the US Ambassador, Woody Johnson, has asked the Quilters to produce two Stars and Stripes flags, one for the new US Embassy in London and the other for his own office.
"We are just waiting for confirmation of the dimensions for the flags and to establish whether they want a replica of the original US flag, produced by the Quilters, or an updated one with all 50 stars," explained Marian Senior.

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SITUATIONS VACANT

bridgend hotel

Two, Full-Time Chefs de Partie
Bridgend Hotel, Isle of Islay

We are currently looking for two Full Time Chefs De Partie to Join our team with immediate start. We offer a competitive salary and accommodation is available if required.
If you require more information please contact us on 01496 810212. Please send your CV to Scott Chance, Head Chef on info@bridgend-hotel.com

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Donald hangs up the gavel after 45 years
Donald Morrison

One of Scotland's longest-serving auctioneers, and a regular visitor to Islay, is to step out of the rostrum in the Autumn.
Donald Morrison, of United Auctions, will relinquish the selling aspect of his role serving the west coast of Scotland, almost 45 years to the day since he started in the sale ring aged just 17 years old. His last time in the rostrum will take place on Friday 28 September 2018 on Islay.
The existing team of auctioneers, comprising Raymond Kennedy, Peter Wood, Ross Fotheringham, Derek Anderson and Richard Close, will conduct all the sales from September.
"The milestone of 45 years seems like a good time to hang up the gavel and step out of the box to let the next generation in. The team has been working together for a while now as part of the company's succession planning, so it will essentially be business as usual for our customers at the sales, said Donald.
"I'm often asked how long it takes to train as an auctioneer and the answer is: a lifetime. You're never fully fledged; there's something new to learn every day, because as farming changes, we have to change and adapt. I don't think you can ever know it all. That's why I'm looking forward to still being involved with the sales without being the man in the box, so I can, probably, enjoy it more. And keep learning."
George Purves, Managing Director of United Auctions, said that Donald had worked tirelessly for nearly half a century on behalf of the crofters and farmers in the West Coast of Scotland. "As an islander himself, he inherently understands the needs of the community, how the area works and will continue to add to his impressive legacy."

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Portnahaven shortlisted for its beauty

Scotland is home to over 7000 charming, picturesque and historic towns and villages that each have their own individualities and offerings which make them so special in their own rights.
Coastline communities with cute harbours, small villages tucked at the foot of crags, towns enclosed by lush fauna and flora, Scotland has everything to offer. Everyone has a town or village that has a special place in their hearts, each with a valid reason why it's the best, so now is the time to crown the most beautiful.
Portnahaven has been shortlisted as one of 35 finalists of the 2018 'Scotland's Most Beautiful Town or Village' competition and the winner will be announced on 10 August.
Each finalist in the running for the title each has its own unique character which makes it stand out from the rest. In the running are Millport, Oban, Fort Augustus, Findhorn, Anstruther, Stonehaven, Pittenweem, Crieff, Melrose, Kelso, Kirkcudbright, St Monans, Rosemarkie, Ballatar, Pennan, Braemar, Applecross, Torridon, Killin, Cromarty, Portree, Plockton, Tobermory, Lanark, Forres, Crovie, Stromness, Portnahaven, Crail, Luss, Dunkeld, Broughty Ferry, Peebles, Comrie and Pitlochry.
Whether you want to support your town that made it to the final shortlist or you've fallen in love with a village on your travels, show your support and vote here today!
You can vote by visiting https://hiddenscotland.co/scotlands-most-beautiful-town/

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Weather or not

Having enjoyed a virtually unprecedented period of superb weather over the last couple of months, it was felt that the impact that it has had or having, positive or negative, on Islay would have been tangible. However, having sought opinion from tourism, farming, the water authorities, and the distilleries it seems we have taken it in our stride.
Jack Fleming, Chair of the Islay and Jura Tourism Group, didn't feel that it had had a positive impact on visitor numbers, but more perhaps on what those visitors did when they got here. "The impact on tourism is negligible - except for the fact that our guests enjoy themselves more and spend more time outside!" he said.
"More people are spending longer on the beach than visiting the indoor attractions, which usually offer welcome shelter from our more common weather conditions.
"As to visitor numbers, the weather has had virtually no impact, as most people had planned to be here anyway, booking a year ago in many cases. The good weather is just a bonus. There may be some who decide last minute 'let's go to Islay because it's sunny', but numbers will not be significant."

As for the farmers, there are pluses, but as you could no doubt guess, minuses as well. "The long, hot dry spell started out as a welcome relief for many of our members who, after suffering a dreadful twelve months of bad weather, have had an opportunity to cut hay and silage, graze livestock outdoors, and generally enjoy the simple pleasures of working outside in good weather," said NFU Scotland President Andrew McCornick.
"The quality of the hay and silage made in June and July is likely to have been tremendous and early reports on the soft fruit harvest suggests exceptional quality, the hot weather fuelling excellent demand and packhouses at full throttle.
"However, as the weeks have worn on, we have seen the downside of warm weather in Scotland. Many parts are desperate for rain to replenish water supplies for livestock, restart grass growth and to swell grain, as we quickly approach harvest time. Straw, used to bed livestock over the winter, also looks like it may become an issue later in the year."

Surprisingly we are not on the verge of hosepipe bans.
"There are no issues with public water supply for customers on Islay, nor are there any issues with the reservoirs in the area at this time," said a Scottish Water spokesperson.
"We are continuing to closely monitor water levels across the country and managing our network to ensure there is no impact on customers' supplies. While there are currently no issues and no restrictions in place, we are asking customers across the island to use water wisely during this period of dry and warm weather, like using a watering can rather than a hose to water plants or wash the car. We'd urge everyone to use water wisely."
As for the distilleries...
"We have done a lot of work over recent years to improve water efficiency at our distilleries throughout Scotland, including Lagavulin and Caol Ila on Islay. This means we have greater resilience to manage periods of low rainfall and so far we haven't had to reduce production at our Islay distilleries," said a Diageo spokesperson.
So there we have it. All this wonderful weather and no adverse fall-out.
Who would have thought it?

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NEXT ISSUE ON SALE 4 August 2018

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islay info

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Islay Diary 2018

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  • Saturday 21 July
  • Port Ellen Sports Day
  • Stawberry Tea, Rhinns Hall, Portnahaven
  • Jura Half Marathon, Craighouse
  • Jura 10k Run, Craighouse
  • Sunday 22 July
  • INHT Nature rAmble, Port Mor
  • Tuesday 24 July
  • Kilmeny Ceilidh, Ballygrant Hall
  • Timebank Stroll, The Big Strand
  • Saturday 28 July
  • Bowmore Sports
  • Ardbeg Islay Half Marathon
  • Fly Fishing Competition, Loch Gorm
  • Sunday 29 July
  • MLC Car Boot Sale, Uiskentuie Strand
  • Gaelic Service, Portnahaven Church
  • Tuesday 31 July
  • Timebank Stroll, Uiskentuie Strand
  • Wednesday 1 August
  • RSPB Family Fun Day, Loch Gruinart
  • Family Ceilidh, Rhinns Hall, Portnahaven
  • Saturday 4 August
  • Sale of Work, Rhinns Hall, Portnahaven
  • Sunday 5 August
  • Ride of the Falling Rain
  • Lifeboat Open Day, Port Askaig
  • Thursday 9 August
  • Annual Islay Show, Bridgend
  • Saturday 11 August
  • Safari Supper
  • Monday 12 August
  • Dunyvaig Dig (until 30 August)
  • Tuesday 14 August
  • Kilmeny Ceilidh, Ballygrant Hall
  • Tuesday 11 September
  • Kilmeny Ceilidh, Ballygrant Hall

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