Local News for Wednesday 1st May 2019


The annual junior piping competition organised by The Lewis and Harris Piping Society takes place on Saturday, June 8th in Stornoway having out grown its previous venue at Grianan.
The competition, being held in the Nicolson Institute, starts at 10.30am and aims to finish by 4.30pm. It is open to any young person under the age of 18 learning to play the chanter or pipes.

It is split into three main sections – chanter, piping and freestyle – which are broken down further, according to age and stage.

The Piping Society also hopes to reinstate the category of ‘dress and deportment’ which has not been included in recent years.
For The Lewis and Harris Piping Society, organising competitions for young learners is at the heart of their constitution.

A concert will be held in Stornoway Town Hall at 7pm that evening and feature performances from some of the participants as well as a recital by chief judge Jonathan Simpson from Bo’Ness, a Grade 1 player and Pipe Major of Boghall and Bathgate Juvenile Pipe Band. He will be joined in the judging by Allan MacDonald, former Pipe Major of the Lewis Pipe Band, and others.
Entry is free for both the competition and the evening performance, although donations will be taken at the door and go towards the Lewis and Harris Youth Pipe Band.
To enter, contact piping tutor Ashley MacDonald by phone or email – 07919101011 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. – before the closing date of May 10th



Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan has raised the issue of the recent technical issues affecting the MV Isle of Lewis with Minister for the Islands Paul Wheelhouse MSP.
MV Isle of Lewis came off service after returning to Castlebay on 14 April with an issue with her bow thrusters. As the vessel blocked the berth in Castlebay and was unable to put to sea, no relief vessel could come alongside. Bad weather also hampered repair efforts with disruptions occurring on the Sound of Barra service.

The islands MSP raised the issue during a session of General Question Time at the Scottish Parliament.
Commenting, Alasdair Allan MSP said:
“The technical fault affecting the MV Isle of Lewis left Barra without a mainland link for far too long.
“While the weather was certainly a mitigating factor in hampering repair efforts, this incident shows that we need to be moving towards a situation where communities are less reliant on either replacement parts or engineers having to be flown in for vessel repairs.
“The Scottish Government’s establishment of the resilience fund for Calmac vessels was a welcome step in helping to make sure that proactive action is taken to prevent breakdowns and minimise any disruption in the event of a mechanical problem. I hope we see fewer of these incidents in the future.”

Commenting, Alasdair Allan said: ‘While short term letting sites have helped contribute to the tourism industry, there are concerns that they may make it more difficult for people in some tourism hotspots across the Western Isles to find permanent homes to live in.