Saturday, 18 May 2013
The proposals to harness the tides in the straits between Skye and the mainland have their detractors and objectors. Read about them on the BBC Website item. The Glenelg ferry has, of course, performed the function of a 'propelled bridge' at Kylerhea since there was a demand from vehicle owners for a short, fast crossing. The vessel goes admirably backwards and forwards - suitable indeed for the longest place-name palindrome in Britain.
Scottish Islands Explorer - keen to get across the variety of interesting places
Friday, 17 May 2013
Archaeologists in Orkney are, as ever, house-hunting. They are currently uncovering a Neolithic (New Stone Age) settlement within the vicinity of Kirkwall and the house that is being exposed appears to be in good, appropriate shape, although constructed in the very distant past. Details are at The Orcadian and further information of a technical nature is linked. The image above is of the burial mound from the same era at Maeshowe.
Scottish Islands Explorer - often features unearthed relics
Thursday, 16 May 2013
Two Shetland schools are due for closure following consultations. Their roll-numbers hardly add up. Olnafirth Primary School, which was built for 125 children, now has 13 pupils, decreasing soon to eight. The Out Skerries (above) barely supports the smallest secondary school in the UK, with three pupils currently attending. The details are in an item from Shetland News.
Scottish Islands Explorer - prints over 5000 copies per issue
Wednesday, 15 May 2013
Had St Columba seen Orinsay (above) in the South Lochs of Lewis before he discovered Iona in 597, history could have been different. The Islands Book Trust is presenting a Conference on St Columba's Trail from Thursday 22 - Saturday 24 June 2013 and it will be held at the Mission Hall, Orinsay, and at
the Ravenspoint Centre, Kershader, where it is based as an organisation. Here is an opportunity to follow the progress of a key figure in the progress of Christianity from the time that he left Donegal in 563, 1450 years ago. Slighe Chaluim Chille will be stimulating, as is the stunning scenery.
Scottish Islands Explorer - leaves a paper trail
Tuesday, 14 May 2013
Being inspired is a great human attribute. There's no accounting for the cause of curiosity and compulsion. Gilbert Goudie was a schoolboy living in Edinburgh when he became fascinated by the Broch of Levenwick, some 17 miles below Lerwick on the east side of Shetland's South Mainland.
He went on to explore and become an authority on the structure. His diagram of the construction, before it was damaged in a gale of 1900, is a centrepiece of a new exhibition at the Shetland Museum and Archives.
Brochs have their devotees; beaches their enthusiasts. The Beach of Levenwick (above) has the look of a place that will attract many. Young Gilbert went to the broch with his spade and 'kaishey', while others would be delighted just to take these pieces of kit to the sands.
Scottish Islands Explorer - this blog has its 98 'Members'. Make it a ton?
Monday, 13 May 2013
... time on the Summer Isles, in charge of a thriving business? It has nine houses, three jetties, stamp-issuing facilities, a cafe, a range of activities and a steady stream of visitors. Then there's its history, connections with Frank Fraser Darling and
the care and attention supplied during the past three decades by the Wilder family. At least download the details supplied by CKD Galbraith and reflect on what the new owner will acquire. He or she will be looking to spend ... £2.5 million. That buys something relatively ordinary in London. Here it will purchase something extraordinary.
Scottish Islands Explorer - covers this island in each issue
Sunday, 12 May 2013
Yesterday saw the RSPB's Wildlife Walks in the Western Isles being featured. Now that organisation is behind the First Orkney Nature Festival which begins this weekend.
It has a wide range of components and will enable local people and visitors to relish what is on offer in the Northern Islands.
Scottish Islands Explorer - aware of Nature's potential
Saturday, 11 May 2013
The RSPB has launched an extensive programme of Wildlife Walks to cover those parts of the Western Isles where they have a strong presence. Some of the details are available in this Stornoway Gazette article which will point you in the direction of coast and lochs, machair and mountain.
Scottish Islands Explorer - always walking on the wildside
Friday, 10 May 2013
At present, the Pentland Venture conveys passengers between Burwick, Orkney, and John O'Groats from May until September. Pentland Ferries, would like to lease the Burwick Terminal (below) and establish a full, all-year-round service. Its owner, Andrew Banks, has gone a step further and offers free use to Orkney residents if awarded the £10 million subsidy that is currently paid by the Council to Serco for operating the Stromness- Scrabster service. The details are on Orkney News Today.
Scottish Islands Explorer - yet to receive a subsidy
Thursday, 9 May 2013
Trading standards can incorporate geographical locations. So Champagne should come from that region of France and Cornish pasties from that county of England. However, Cheddar cheese does not have to originate from Somerset, for it's a recipe or process rather than a product defined by boundaries. Now the European Union has ruled that Stornoway black puddings have to come within a specific territory and four butchers are celebrating this special status. Naturally the Stornoway Gazette has the account.
Scottish Islands Explorer - focuses on an area with special status for many