THE ILEACH :: THE INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER FOR ISLAY + JURA

Excerpts from issue 45/22 18 August 2018

In this issue: Islay Show results and photos, Mary T's 100th Birthday, Kildalton Cross Week, Bowmore's Superfast Fibre, RNLI Open Day.


machrie hotel

Almost within touching distance of being open for business, this is the new face of the Machrie Hotel as seen by the golfers beginning their rounds on the famous links course

Photo: Islay Studios

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The future of Islay's energy

Islay has been chosen as one of three areas in Scotland for modelling work to look at how our energy needs will be met in the long term future.
Chosen by Scottish and Southern Energy because Islay is both a high energy consumer and an island, the modelling will consider energy demand in the area and what new opportunities there may be for electricity generation.
"The project will look at four different scenarios from business as usual and how we might progress with nothing more than incremental changes through to the other extreme, which is super-green electrification of everything with all points in between," explained George Dean, Chair of Islay Energy Trust.
As a rural area off the gas grid, Fort William has also been chosen, along with the northern suburbs of Dundee, the latter as an example of an gas connected urban area, making up the three guinea pig areas.
Over the course of the next few months, SSE consultants will be collecting data from stakeholders, including the Islay Energy Trust.
"They will look specifically at where there are pinch points in the network and we are all aware that there are several within the Argyll and Bute network. We are relatively tight in terms of capacity, so by participating in the project, it should signpost where things are almost inevitably going to be needed."
Islay currently produces only 8% of its own energy needs - local generation by wind, hydro, solar panels - with the island reliant on the mainland for remaining 92%, imported via sub-sea cables.
To become more self-sufficient, George is of the opinion that the best long term solution would be harnessing tidal power. "In the case of tidal power, you need relatively simple wind turbines under the sea and it's an easier process to deal with than wave power. The technology is further down the road than wave will ever be, but it has still taken longer and currently costs more than people expected."
Over the next few months IET hopes to develop its work to reduce Islay's reliance on imported energy, improving knowledge of our carbon footprint and what is needed to reduce it.
"The work will require input from all sectors of activity on the island so that we can agree the scale and nature of the issue," said George.
Islay Energy Trust has appointed Kirsten Gow to work as a Project Development Officer, providing research into domestic heating systems as part of the geothermal Atlantic Area study, in which IET is a participant. She will start later this month.

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Islay Sea Kayak Challenge
kayak trip round islay

Joe Hughes writes:
After 146km with 27 hours of paddling, we stopped short of Laggan point on the return. This was mainly due to fatigue on my part. I would like to thank John Paschke for his company on the journey in which we both exceeded previous paddles by some distance. For me, that was on my first attempt a few weeks ago.
We set out from Bowmore at 02:30 around the west coast and came off the water at 05:00 the following day. We were lucky to see most of the wildlife around Islay, ranging from minke whales to otters.
The biggest part of the challenge was taking on The Oa in the dark with no support. Leaving Lagavulin after our coffee stop, we arrived at the headland around 00:40, where we knew the tide would be changing. We then had to make the decision whether to sit for five hours or continue paddling. With a relatively calm sea, we decided to continue, and once past the monument, we had a swell of around 1.5 to 2 metres, combined with a westerly wind. With the tide now against us, we had to paddle hard for a couple of hours to make it into Loch Indaal.
Ultimately, we have to reflect on what we have achieved; it can't simply be regarded as 'just a paddle'. The trip tested our paddling skills, night navigation in a tide race, endurance, mental awareness and fitness. I have heard people say "it's only a paddle around Islay": I invite you to give it a try if you think it's that easy.
On this attempt special thanks go to: John Paschke, Dougie Whyte, Pam White, Douglas McFadzean, Jane Hughes & Joseph Hughes. I would also like to acknowledge Gus Newman & Stormcats for their support with boat repairs over the last couple of years during preparations for the challenge, and to Harold and Margaret Hastie for keeping a look out for us. Again thanks to those that supported and donated to our endeavours.
A final update will be posted once the equipment arrives on Islay. Meanwhile, the whisky auction will take place from 24 August until 3 September at www.whiskyauctioneer.com
If you're interested in following the auction, the lot numbers are: 127549, 127198, 127197, 127196, 127195, 127194, 127193, 127192, 127191, 127190, 127189, 127188, 127187.

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Where will you read yours?

Islay Book Festival is looking for more volunteers as it gears up for its most ambitious event yet, at the end of September.
"If there is anyone who can spare us a bit of time to help with the events between September 27 and 30, we'd love to have them on board," organiser Isla Rosser Owen told The Ileach.
"The more the merrier, because there is loads to do setting up and clearing away for the events, selling books and raffle tickets and generally looking after the participants."
The Festival, which has been running since 2006, emerging from the original Port Ellen Book Club, has just finalised its 2018 line-up: Internationally acclaimed writer, Bernard MacLaverty, once an English teacher at Islay High School, and crime fiction star, Lin Anderson, are among the big names headed for Islay. The festival will also feature four locally-based authors: Mary McGregor, Les Wilson, Lynn MacDonald and Stuart Graham.
Award-winning children's author, Catriona Black, will be presenting her most recent work 'Sly Cooking: 42 Irresistible Gaelic Words'. The linocut illustrations she created to illustrate it will be on display at Ionad Chalum Chille Ile from the beginning of September.
"This is our most ambitious programme yet. There'll be three times as many authors as in previous editions, we have introduced a Gaelic segment and the events are spread right across Islay and Jura," said Isla.
"So if you can help at all, just drop us a line at hello@islaybookfestival.co.uk or send us a message via our Facebook page.
The current team of volunteers have been busy promoting this year's event on social media, with a campaign encouraging their followers to take 'selfies' reading in unexpected places under the #WhereWillYouReadYours hashtag. "It is just a bit of fun, but it has really raised our profile. It'd be great to see more people following us and taking part on Facebook or @islaybookfest on Twitter," added Isla.
Tickets for IBF 2018 events can be purchased in advance on www.islaybookfestival.co.uk.Tickets for the raffle - top prize, a special festival bottling of Port Charlotte 2007 donated by Bruichladdich - can be purchased at The Celtic House in Bowmore and the Blue Letter Box in Port Ellen.

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NEXT ISSUE ON SALE 1 September 2018

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islay info

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Islay Diary 2018

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  • Sunday 19 August
  • Songs of Praise, Portnahaven Church
  • Tuesday 21 August
  • Timebank Stroll, East Lodge
  • Wednesday 22 August
  • T in the Church, Portnahaven
  • Tuesday 28 August
  • Timebank Stroll, Islay Airport
  • Thursday 6 September
  • Badminton, IHS
  • Tuesday 11 September
  • Kilmeny Ceilidh, Ballygrant Hall
  • Thursday 13 September
  • Badminton, IHS
  • Friday 14 September
  • Islay Jazz Festival
  • Saturday 15 September
  • Islay Jazz Festival
  • Sunday 16 September
  • Islay Jazz Festival
  • Monday 17 September
  • Islay Quilters AGM
  • Thursday 20 September
  • Badminton, IHS
  • Friday 21 September
  • Jura Music Festival, Craighouse
  • Saturday 22 September
  • Islay Quilters Workshop
  • Jura Music Festival, Craighouse
  • Sunday 23 September
  • Jura Music Festival, Craighouse
  • Thursday 27 September
  • Islay Book Festival
  • Friday 28 September
  • Islay Book Festival
  • Saturday 29 September
  • Islay Book Festival
  • Sunday 30 September
  • Islay Book Festival
  • Badminton, IHS
  • Thursday 4 October
  • Badminton, IHS
  • Thursday 25 October
  • Badminton, IHS
  • Thursday 1 November
  • Badminton, IHS
  • Thursday 8 November
  • Badminton, IHS

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