Local News for Tuesday 2nd April 2019


The Pipe Major Donald Macleod MBE Memorial Competition, being held in Stornoway on Friday April 5th and sponsored by Point and Sandwick Trust is to be live streamed as of this year.

Organisers hope to reach piping fans in the four corners of the globe, and ultimately grow the live audience, by broadcasting the piping competition online.

The address for the live stream is www.piobdm.com and it is being managed by the Comhairle’s Multi-Media Unit, with sound engineering by Wee Studio.
The event commemorates the musical legacy of Donald Macleod – a piper and composer from Stornoway, whose tunes include the piobaireachd the Lament for the Iolaire.

The competition is run by the Lewis and Harris Piping Society and there were fears it would have to be moved to the mainland to cut costs, until community wind farm charity Point and Sandwick Trust stepped in with a five-year £25,000 sponsorship deal to keep it in Stornoway.

Eight of the best pipers in the world are invited to take part in the Donald Macleod and taking part this year are Willie McCallum, Roddy Macleod MBE, Callum Beaumont, Stuart Liddell, Glenn Brown, Finlay Johnston, Iain Speirs and Dr Peter McCalister.

Read more: Local News for Tuesday 2nd April 2019

Local News for Monday 1st April 2019


On Friday 15th March a total of 38 pupils from the Nicolson Institute and Tolsta Primary including Conductors Gavin Woods & Calum Watt set off in three minibuses and with an equipment van for the finals of the Scottish Concert Band Festival.
They had a busy weekend ahead of them with a rehearsal in Trinity Church, Stirling, that evening followed by a stay in Stirling Youth Hostel. The next morning saw a final rehearsal in Trinity Church, before the band made its way to Perth where the finals were being held in the town’s Concert Hall.
Perth Concert Hall is one of the biggest venues the band has ever played in, making the performance a daunting prospect for some of the younger members. Despite this, the Lewis and Harris Youth Concert Band rose to the occasion and delivered a performance to be proud of and all the hard work had paid off when the Lewis and Harris Youth Concert Band won gold!
Gavin Woods, conductor, said: “The standard of the band has increased dramatically over the last two years as a result of their hard work in preparation for the Scottish Concert Band Festival. We are delighted to now have reached gold standard and will look to continue working at this level as the competition’s standards continue to rise.”
A special thanks goes to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Tolsta Community Development Ltd and Car Hire Hebrides without whose support the band’s success wouldn’t have been possible.

Read more: Local News for Monday 1st April 2019

Local News for Thursday 28th March 2019


Trading Standards are asking residents in the islands to be wary of any telephone calls purporting to be from their bank.
A spokesperson said: “We have received reports that the scammers call claiming that there has been suspicious activity on your account, usually a large four figured amount of money being paid out to someone you don’t know.
“In order to trick you into believing that they are genuine callers, they ask to check that the caller display is the same as the contact number on your bank card.”
“Scammers are using technology to use cloned telephone numbers which appear as genuine contact numbers.
“Since scammers have also been known to keep your telephone line open without your knowledge, if you phone use your phone immediately after the call, you may be unintentionally still talking to the scammers.
“Our advice is to end the call and to either use a different phone, such as a mobile, or to wait 10 minutes before contacting your bank.”
To report scam calls contact Trading Standards on 01851 822694

Read more: Local News for Thursday 28th March 2019

Local News for Friday 29th March 2019


A community wind farm project on the island of North Uist is entering the construction phase after a fundraising campaign raised a total of £452,850 – more than £100,000 more than the community needed for its equity stake in the project.

North Uist Development Company (Trading) are delighted with the final figure for UistWind, the project which will build two 900kW turbines at Criongrabhal, near Clachan-na-Luib, and raise more than £2million over the project’s lifetime for the community to invest in good causes.

North Uist Development Company (Trading) expressed their delight at the sum raised – and thanked all the investors who made it possible, as well as the organisations and lenders which supported the project.

Thanks must go to Scottish Government's Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) for significant financial support and also to Triodos Bank UK, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, the Ministry of Defence, the Western Isles Development Trust, Local Energy Scotland, Community Energy Scotland.
and to Western Isles MP Angus Brendan MacNeil.

Uistwind said: ‘The biggest thanks, have to go to all those who put their faith in the project and invested their money – as well as to the wider Uist community and all the community energy projects from across Scotland which gave encouragement and advice to UistWind at times of pressure’.

Read more: Local News for Friday 29th March 2019

Local News for Wednesday 27th March 2019


A poignant family tribute to an inspirational Gaelic song enthusiast, singer and teacher will be staged as part of the Hebridean Celtic Festival this summer.

Rod Mackenzie, who passed away two years ago, was the founder and leader of three Gaelic choirs from Back, in Lewis, who frequently enjoyed success at the Royal National Mod and other competitions. His extensive work and commitment to his community earned him a place in the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame.

A concert ‘ Mackenzie Clan’ will feature three of Rod’s four daughters Eilidh, Gillie and Fiona, known collectively as the group Mackenzie, along with some of his 13 grandchildren, in-laws and members of his beloved Back Choir, now conducted by his good friend Avril Allen. The concert will be prepared under the musical direction of Rod’s grandson, the award-winning musician, Innes White.

The event will be held on Wednesday, 17th July, opening a musical programme at An Lanntair arts centre in Stornoway during HebCelt.

The title, Mackenzie Clan stems from the time when Rod, coming to terms with his terminal diagnosis in August 2016, took to sharing his musical memories on social media and the positive response he received brought much comfort during the next six months.

Read more: Local News for Wednesday 27th March 2019