Friday 5th October 2018 Issue No 2306


Welcome to everyone making their annual pilgrimage to Ullapool to attend the 19th Ullapool Guitar Festival. The organisers hope you have a fabulous weekend.




Highland Liquor Co. would like to thank all those who sampled and bought our limited edition Loopallu Gin last weekend.   We were overwhelmed by the response. The phone kept ringing all afternoon from the various shops and pubs requesting more stock.

We’re very very humbled.



A new exhibition commemorating the centenary of the tragic loss of HMY lolaire on 1st January 1919 opened at Museum nan Eilean, Lews Castle, Stornoway this week.

The Iolaire was carrying hundreds of Royal Naval Reserve members who had been granted leave to visit their loved ones back home on Lewis, Harris and Berneray. Having sailed from Kyle of Lochalsh late on the evening of Hogmanay 1918, just weeks after the end of the Great War, the vessel foundered on rocks known as the Beasts of Holm close to Stornoway harbour, resulting in the deaths of 201 out of the 280 men on board.

This new exhibition, An Iolaire - The Iolaire, examines the circumstances of the disaster, its immediate impact and the long-term effects on the people of the Outer Hebrides.

Objects on show include a life-preserver belonging to the youngest survivor, Donald Maciver of North Tolsta, also medals awarded to John Finlay Macleod of Ness whose bravery in carrying a heaving line ashore saved dozens of lives, and a panel from the Great Tapestry of Scotland commemorating those lost.

Documents from the Tasglann nan Eilean collections relating to the Iolaire Disaster Fund are also displayed, showing the donations which came in from around the world and how they were disbursed to those in need.

Nick Smith, Heritage Manager for Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, said:   “As we approach the centenary of the tragic loss of so many lives, it is appropriate that Museum nan Eilean has worked with people here and further afield to bring together an exhibition which tells the story of the Iolaire. We hope that the exhibition will highlight a disaster which is little known outside the islands, and that residents will also discover more about a period in the history of the Outer Hebrides that continues to have a deep impact on lives to this day.

“We would also like to recognise the financial support of the Museums Galleries Scotland World War One Commemoration Fund through which the Museum, Acair, and An Lanntair have worked in partnership to develop commemoration activities.”

The exhibition will run until April 2019. Acair will shortly be publishing a new book commemorating the Iolaire disaster: Darkest Dawnis written by Malcolm Macdonald and Donald John MacLeod.

Meantime John MacLeod’s classic work about the loss of the Iolaire is still in print: When I Heard the Bellis published by Birlinn.