THE ILEACH :: THE INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER FOR ISLAY + JURA
ardnahoe still

One of two stills being craned into place at the new Ardnahoe distillery on the Sound of Islay coastline. The distillery is expected to be completed in the first half of 2018

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ileach calendar 2018

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Excerpts from issue 45/04 9 December

The best of Islay song
orain ileach

A new book featuring some of the very best of Gaelic songs from Islay has been released.
The book, Òrain Ìleach, was launched at the Islay House Hotel, Bridgend, and was attended by a full house in the former servants' hall.
Guests arrived to the sound of Islay tunes played on the grand piano by Kenneth Thomson. This was followed by some beautiful renditions of the songs by Islay's 17th Mòd Gold Medallist, Alasdair Currie, singing the famous Duncan Johnston war lament, Tuireadh nan Treun. Alasdair was followed by other Mòd winners, and great young ambassadors for Gaelic song in Islay, Elizabeth Macmillan-Currie ('S ann an Ìle) and Ryan Johnston (Mo Chruinneag Ìleach).
Music arranger for the book, Kenneth Thomson, sang the song he wrote with his brother-in-law about Portnahaven, 'Seòladh Dhachaigh', and Lynn MacDonald sang a previously unpublished song by her grandfather, Hugh MacLachlan, 'Nic-Cridhe'. The combined junior and senior Gaelic choirs sang together one of the best known Gaelic songs, 'Sìne Bhàn'.
This was followed by a tea and shortbread, book signings and lots of friendships renewed and enjoyed.
The book is not just a Gaelic songbook. It's fully bilingual, in Gaelic with English translations, including biographies of all the bards at the back. It represents this islands' culture and sets a precedent for similar collections to be made in other Gaelic communities. It features the beautiful and unique photographs of local Bowmore artist Dr Raymond Lafferty.
The book is published by Acair, which is celebrating its 40th year and is available costing £15.

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Islay's influence

Three Islay-natives are part of the team at the newly opened Clydeside Distillery, the first whisky distillery to be producing spirit on the banks of the Clyde in over a century.
Alistair McDonald joined the team in the summer as Distillery Manager. With over 30 years of industry experience, Alistair will use his wealth of knowledge and skill to oversee all aspects of whisky production.
Originally from Islay, Alistair began his career as an Apprentice Distillery Engineer at Bowmore Distillery, before moving to Auchentoshan, where he spent almost ten years, becoming Distilleries' Engineer to oversee operations at Auchentoshan,Bowmore and Glengarioch distilleries. He later became Distillery Manager at Auchentoshan in 2011 where he was able to apply his passion and experience in the creation of an internationally-renowned whisky brand.
Alistair is joined by fellow Ilich, Donald Darroch and Alasdair Currie, who have recently begun their new roles at the distillery, which officially opened to the public last week. As Specialist Whisky Retail Manager, Donald brings over a decade of retail experience with Marks & Spencer in Glasgow. He will oversee the running of the distillery's stunning retail unit, featuring a range of Scotch whiskies from all over the country, as well as some true rarities.
Alasdair has joined the team as a Trainee Process Operator and will be instrumental in the creation of The Clydeside's whisky. Spirit has already started to flow, but it will be at least three years before it can be called whisky. A mixture of Spanish and American casks will be used for maturation to produce what will be a high quality Lowland Single Malt Scotch Whisky.
The distillery, situated between the Riverside Museum and SSE Hydro in Glasgow, sits on the site formerly known as The Queen's Dock, once the beating heart of Glasgow's shipping industry.
Glasgow's links to the whisky industry have been brought to life through words, pictures and film, when visitors make their way through 140 years of history as part of a self-led and guided tour. The Pump House once controlled entry into The Queen's Dock, one of the city's most famous shipping ports, built by Morrison and Mason in 1877. This ensured Customs and Excise could keep a close eye on goods in and out, including Scotch whisky.
Said Alistair: "This has been an incredibly exciting and historic project to be part of. I have been in the whisky industry for over 30 years and to join The Clydeside Distillery from the beginning, creating our new-make spirit, is very special. It's a dream come true."

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T in the Church

Wednesday, 29 November was the final day of T in the Church for 2017 and what a special day it was too. There was a great turn out, not just for the tea, the cakes and the craic but to say a final farewell to Mrs Pauline Ferguson. Pauline has now hung up her pinny!
T in the Church was Pauline's idea in 2014 to help raise funds to support the renovations needed both inside and outside the Church building. She brought a team together, and although some have come and gone, she has led them and baked with them and made teas with them since then. During her four years of leadership, the teas and cakes in Portnahaven have become a feature of visiting the Rhinns, as both international and local visitors will tell you.
As a gift of thanks, the Reverend Valerie Watson presented Pauline with a photographic memento, but a small gift can hardly express our thanks to her for what she has done for the Church and for the wider community. We only hope that when the teas start again in April, we will be able to maintain her high standards and hope you will join us in wishing her well in her retirement.

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to subscribe or advertise, contact ileach@ileach.co.uk

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NEXT ISSUE ON SALE 16 December 2017

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islay info

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islay community council

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Islay Diary 2017

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  • Saturday 9 December
  • Festive Fayre, Rhinns Hall
  • Chatterbox Christmas Sale, Bruichladdich Hall
  • Caol Ila Distillery Christmas Gathering
  • Sunday 10 December
  • Kilmeny Church Carol Evening
  • Tuesday 12 December
  • Bogha-frois, ICCI
  • Wednesday 13 December
  • Baptist Church Christmas Walk
  • Thursday 14 December
  • Port Ellen Primary School Christmas Panto
  • Badminton, IHS
  • Bogha-frois, ICCI
  • Piping Club, Kilarrow House
  • Craft Market, Bruichladdich Hall
  • Friday 15 December
  • Port Ellen Primary School Christmas Panto
  • Saturday 16 December
  • St Kiaran's Coffee Cakes & Carols
  • Christmas Carols, Bowmore Square
  • Sunday 17 December
  • Bowmore Village ChildrenŐs Party
  • Mince Pie Bike Ride, DebbieŐs Bruichladdich
  • Tuesday 19 December
  • Bogha-frois, ICCI
  • Wednesday 20 December
  • IHS Christmas Concert
  • Thursday 21 December
  • Badminton, IHS
  • Bogha-frois, ICCI
  • Piping Club, Kilarrow House
  • 27 December
  • Calum Bell Memorial Shoot, Jura

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