Saturday, 27 December 2008

Keeping an eye open

Although currently off island, I could not help glance through the Western Isles news website just now. A young man of 21 from South Uist went missing in the early hours of Christmas morning, after alighting from a minibus at Iochdar. This village was the scene of a tragedy 4 years ago, when 5 members of the same family were washed away during the hurricane of January 2005. Conditions in South Uist were described as cold but calm at the time. Hundreds of islanders have scoured the shores of the island, as well as its northern neighbour Benbecula, offshore sandbanks and nearby lochs for the Merchant Navy seaman. His disappearance is a total mistery.

Woolworths in Stornoway closed its doors this afternoon, one of the first of the chain's shops in the UK to close down. Its employees have been made redundant. Although Woolies was described as the shop where you could get everything somewhere else, this did not apply to Stornoway. It's only a small town, population about 7,500, and not all that many shops. What other shops there be are usually a good deal dearer, and I'll be very sad to see it shut upon my return in the New Year.

The Arnish Fabrication Yard is once more changing hands. Its operator, Altissimo, has done the exact reverse that its name implies, and gone down rather than up. Now yet another crowd, Bi Fab, will take over operations there. I'm getting very, very tired of this sorry saga of empty promises and money being poured down bottomless pits.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Merry Christmas

Although currently off island, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all readers, in Lewis and beyond, a very Merry Christmas and a happy, prosperous and healthy New Year.

Blogging on this site will resume after January 5th, 2009.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Buses on the go

In the near future, the island's bus services will see a deterioration in levels of service. It is reported on the Hebrides News website that the buses, currently serving the town of Stornoway and environs, will be latched onto existing out-of-town buses. The article also discusses issues surrounding tendering (or not, as the case may be), but the upshot does appear to be that nobody will be any the better for the imminent changes.

Buses to Back will divert through the Cearns
Buses to Ranish will take in Newvalley
Buses to Point will go via Melbost

This will mean longer journeys for those in outlying areas, whose bus is diverted to take in another village.

Reading the article, it would seem the town circular route, running through Newton, past the Springfield Road Health Centre, up Perceval Road to the Hospital and, after a loop through the Cearns, back into town along Macaulay Road, will disappear. Although not a terribly busy route, people will be inconvenienced.

I have always had a lot of regard for the level of bus service in this island, bearing in mind that it has a population of only 20,000 or so. It is a pity that about half of them stand to lose out if this restructuring goes ahead.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008


Christmas Decorations

Last week, the Christmas Decorations were illuminated in Stornoway. I went out this evening to take pictures of them, and it struck me that there were fewer Christmas lights than in previous years. This year, only Point Street (from Bank Street to Cromwell Street), Cromwell Street and Perceval Square had lights. In 2005, the decorations stretched up Francis Street past the Gallery, down Kenneth Street, over the Ferry Terminal and Maritime Building (now demolished). In 2004, the lights even stretched into the Castle Grounds. The hurricane of January 2005 smashed those.

Cromwell Street

Point Street

North Beach Street

Perceval Square


The body of a man, found on Eoropie Beach on November 30th, has been identified as that of a Kelso resident. The 48-year old had been on a walking holiday in the island. A relative has had to travel north to make an identification, hence the delay. Police spoke to a large number of people, like bus drivers and B&B proprietors to establish the identity. There are no suspicious circumstances and a report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.


Friday, 12 December 2008

Don Quixote continues

In the week that the Leader of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is given an award for his services to the cause of renewable energy, we also see the imminent release of a report stating that windfarms may yet appear in the Lewis Moor, from the Pentland Road north to the Ness shielings. The summary on Hebrides News makes depressing reading - if, like me, you're opposed to any major windfarm development.

A cluster of windturbines could be built along the Pentland Road between Marybank and the junction to Achmore. Problem there is the proximity to golden eagle nesting sites and the fact that Stornoway Airport is close by as well. Rotating turbine blades apparently interfere with the airport radar, stationed at Plasterfield.

Going north, turbines could also be planted a mile off the A857 at Borve, and either side of the same road between Barvas and Stornoway.

Another lot would turn up at Cuidhsiadar, 4 miles south of Skigersta in Ness, with powerlines running over the moor to North Tolsta. I'll just put in a few pictures of that area, which I took nearly 4 years ago.

Yes I know it's empty moorland. It's one of my favourite spots in the island, precisely because there's nothing and nobody there.

One consoling factor. It is a scaled-down version of the original Lewis Wind Power plans, and the same EU environment directives that thwarted the LWP plans stand in the way of this new plan. Wonder what the point of this whole exercise is.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Final post

Arnish Lighthouse has reached its third anniversary on BBC Island Blogging, and that's where it will end - that is to say, on the BBC website.

I think Island Blogging was a wonderful idea, linking people from all the Scottish islands together, and I've had a whale of a time. Apparently, I'm the most prodigious of bloggers in the Western Isles (510 posts), which bears out my enthusiasm. Looking back, I enjoyed putting up my many pictures (current collection has grown to nearly 18,000).

I seem to have become drawn into to controversial subjects like the proposed windfarms, the health board and the fabrication yard behind my alter ego, the lighthouse at Arnish. Things did get a wee bit nasty at times, when I believe I rattled a few cages that those inside did not appreciate. Nonetheless, I hope I made a contribution of sorts. Even if some of my comments were a bit off the wall. And of course I should not forget the fun at the Dell Fank.

As the rain clatters down on a dark December night, I'm drawing the curtains over Arnish Lighthouse, BBC style. Arnish Lighthouse will continue on an external site, as do quite a few other blogs. Come and have a look.

To all my readers and commenters since December 2005, many thanks. ]]>

Wednesday, 10 December 2008


I have entered and categorised all island blogs on this site known upto 7pm on Wednesday 10 December 2008. If and when further blogs appear, they will be entered in one of the categories, these being:

- Outer Hebrides

- Skye & Small Isles

- Argyll Islands (includes Firth of Clyde)

- Orkney

- Shetland

- Non Island

Those blogs where I could not determine where they were from, are assigned to Blog Roll.
Sunny is assigned as Non Island, as are the main Island Blogging and Help Me journals.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Community post

Deckhand has posted to report the death of one of the family cats. In my mind, that is about as sad as losing a member of the family. Please pay a visit, to offer some consolation. As I mentioned in my comment, some believe that pets pass over a Rainbow Bridge after they die, to await us when our time comes.


A new ferry ship, the Pentalina, is currently heading north up the Minch, as shown in this AIS [Automatic Ship Identification] screenshot from 5.38pm this evening.
The catamaran is capable of carrying 350 passengers and 32 to 58 cars as well as 9 lorries. She is yet to be fitted out completely. The ship was built in the Philippines and has safely negotiated the pirate-infested waters of the Gulf of Aden on Friday. She is expected to arrive in Orkney waters tomorrow. Pentalina will take up the run between Gills Bay on the northern coast of mainland Scotland and St Margaret's Hope in Orkney, a crossing that will take her 45 minutes.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Not at the helm

In the four years I have spent in the Isle of Lewis, the hazards of life at sea have been amply illustrated in a number of tragedies and accidents. A common theme ran through three of these, which I'm highlighting below. This entry is dedicated to the memory of those lost at sea.

6 November 2008
A fishing boat went down off Bayble, some 5 miles east of Stornoway. Fortunately, all crew were saved uninjured. An inquiry has revealed that the skipper had left the wheelhouse of the Faithful Friend II a few minutes beforehand to make a cup of coffee, leaving the boat to proceed on auto-pilot. She struck a rock, which was well charted, and sank fairly quickly. A quick Mayday call, nearby vessels and a rapid response from the Coastguard prevented loss of life. The owner of the Faithful Friend II has been forcefully reminded of the necessity of watch-keeping on his boats at all times.

1 June 2006
Fishing boat Brothers leaves the harbour of Gairloch in Wester Ross (southeast of Stornoway) and proceeds to head west across the Minch. It never returned to port, and sound nor sight was seen of it again. A massive search was launched in the Minch, but the wreck of the Brothers was finally located beneath 40 feet / 12 metres of water off an island just north of Skye. The bodies of the two men on board were not in the wreck. One of them turned up in Gruinard Bay, 35 miles to the northeast 3 weeks later. The other was never found. It is thought they left port after a few drinks the evening before and dropped off to sleep. When the boat ran aground, it must have sunk quickly, leaving them no chance to save themselves.

19 December 2004
Fishing boat Audacious leaves Stornoway harbour in the early hours of the morning. The crew leave the boat on auto-pilot, which appears to malfunction. At 6.30 a.m., the boat runs aground just south of the lighthouse at Arnish. The skipper drowned, but two other crew were rescued.
A memorial to the skipper was later erected near the lighthouse.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Yet again

Yet again, I find myself kicked off a blogging platform. In October, I found myself scrabbling to move my journal from AOL to Blogger. And now it's Island Blogging going off the BBC. What can I say? Nothing.

I've just customised the header of this new blog, and am still trying to get myself familiar with the set-up of this blog under Wordpress.

Anything for Arnish Lighthouse to comment upon? The fish processing plant at Marybank is closing down, with 130 losing their jobs. The Arnish Fabrication Yard has once more run out of things to do, and I am awaiting the announcement that it will be mothballed again. Treat last sentence as a severe bout of sarcasm, it is not based on fact. Just a total lack of confidence in the future of the Yard, which is most deplorable.

So, more employment is wanted in Lewis. And the Council have once more buried their head in large scale wind farms, thinking that's the be all and end all of all the island's economic woes. A large windfarm will certainly be the end of tourism as we know it in Lewis.

First post on new site

This is the first post of Arnish Lighthouse on Wordpress. Hope all Island Bloggers come to join us here.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

New pyramid

This is the new pyramid, with an angle of 58 degrees, which stands at the corner of Cromwell Street and North Beach Street in Stornoway. It has a circular seating area around it. Picture was taken at around 3pm last Friday, when it was already getting dark.

Thursday, 27 November 2008


Jill from EK asked about the pyramid. I don't have a terribly good picture of it.

In the above image, the pyramid can be seen to the right of the third person from the left. It was in use as a seating area in the middle of the town, outside the Town House, Woolworths, Murdo Maclean's and Furniture World. As I showed in a post yesterday, it was removed at the start of this year as part of the wholesale refurbishment of the town centre. Today's weather isn't conducive to taking photographs, so I'll post a pic as soon as weather allows.

Island Blogging

Road leading away from Arnish Lighthouse

I am not a frequent contributor to Island Blogging these days, so I nearly missed the announcement that this forum will be closing down early next year. Much endebted to MJC in IN for bringing it to my attention.

I am very, very sad that for the second time in four weeks I find that a blogging community of which I am a member is being ripped up. It is ameliorated in this instance by the willingness of the BBC (read: our very own Carol) to keep the community together and maintaining our blogs on its servers. I wished AOL had bothered doing all that a month ago, when they scrapped their blogs. I am still picking up the pieces of that rather traumatic event.

I look to Carol for guidance and coordination in keeping us all linked up, perhaps on another blogging platform. I sincerely hope we will all stick together.

Over the past three years, I have enjoyed writing on Island Blogging, being a minor thorn in the side of local authorities like the Western Isles Health Board and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. I am also satisfied that my blog, amongst others from this island, has served to raise the profile of the Isle of Lewis in the world, by highlighting its natural beauty and promoting aspects of its culture.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Late November

As darkness starts to fall before 4 o'clock, and mornings are similarly constricted, hours of daylight now come at a premium. Much as hours of darkness came at a premium in May, June and July. Personally, I find it hard to pick a season I do not like in the island. Perhaps the month of November most closely foots the bill, although being a weather buff, I cannot but enjoy the occasional gale or storm.

MV Pentalina B (which I stubbornly call MV Iona) is still carrying out the freight runs to the mainland, although normal service has been restored to Ullapool. MV Muirneag, our usual freight ferry, is still in dry-dock on the Tyne. Methinks they are being extra careful after its run-in with the Castle Grounds earlier in the year.

Until this year, the Pyramid was situated outside Woolworths in Stornoway's Cromwell Street, but its place has been taken by a faintly distorted triangle. One of its angles is at 58 degrees, the latitude of this town. I shall post a picture of it in an entry in the next few days. The above picture, dating back to last March, shows the gap following the removal of the Pyramid.

Sunday, 16 November 2008


It is 4 years ago that I arrived in Lewis, and among the handful of activities that I have engaged in over that period of time is photography of wargraves and war memorials. I have so far located over 330 individual graves of war dead or gravestones linked to these casualties in the two dozen cemeteries in Lewis and Harris. The task is not complete, as I initially focused on the victims of the Iolaire Disaster, later of World War I and this year World War II.

Photographs and additional information can be accessed through this page on the Scottish War Graves Project website.

This is an example of a wargrave in the cemetery at Gravir, South Lochs.

Murdigan Aonghais Alasdair
Last address in Lewis: 10 Calbost
Son of Angus and Christina Finlayson, of Lochs.
Service: Merchant Navy
Date of death: 1 February 1944
Lost on SS Caleb Sprauge, when that ship was sunk at Newhaven by enemy action.
Had served in RNR for 2 years 9 months before war
Interred: Gravir Cemetery
Local memorial: Pairc, Kershader

Last month, I visited the island of Hoy in Orkney to take pictures of all the (named) wargraves in the Royal Naval Cemetery at Lyness. I have now completed the task of putting images and information on a different page of the Scottish War Graves Project. . In this cemetery lie buried the dead from all over the United Kingdom, as well as more than a dozen German service personnel.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Ferry news

As of Monday 10 November, there is quite some disruption on our primary ferry link to Ullapool. The linkspan at Ullapool, used for loading and unloading vehicles, is undergoing essential maintenance for about 10 days. As a result, the ferry service is reduced to one sailing a day to Ullapool (at 7.15 am) and one back (departing Ullapool at 5.15pm), carrying passengers only.

Vehicles have to go to Tarbert in Harris to cross to Uig (Skye), and an amended timetable is in place on the triangular route between Uig, Lochmaddy and Tarbert. Details are available by telephone from the ferry office in either port, please consult the Calmac website for details.

MV Muirneag, which normally does the freight run to Ullapool, departed for the Tyne for its annual refit yesterday. Its place is taken by the Pentalina B, formerly known as Calmac ferry Iona. This came to my attention when I noticed the Pentalina B on AIS docked alongside pier no 1. Pentalina B will sail back and forth to Uig in Skye, direct from Stornoway, with freight. Apparently, it will do two runs each night, except for Sunday/Monday.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Iolaire Disaster

With only two days to go before Remembrance Sunday, I was very pleased to read in this week's Stornoway Gazette that the 90th anniversary of the sinking of the Iolaire off Stornoway Harbour will be formally commemorated on New Year's Day 2009. A film is currently being shot around the island about this tragedy. On New Year's Day, a remembrance service will be held at midday at the memorial, situated at Holm Point, which overlooks the site of the sinking. A wreath will be laid both on land and at sea. In case of inclement weather, the service will be moved to the TA Hall on Church Street in Stornoway.

You can read more on the Iolaire Disaster on this webpage.

The memorial from the site of Iolaire's sinking

Wednesday, 22 October 2008


I don't have children going to school, but am only too aware of the 'problems' surrounding the provision of education to the island's youngsters. As I indicated in a previous post, I am totally lost as for the rationale behind the decisions being taken, only to be reversed within hours, by Western Isles Council. I had to bite back a sardonic cackle this evening when reading that 'hard decisions' would have to be taken. For goodness sakes, hard decisions were called for this summer, and were very effectively avoided.

Now I read that the provision of primary education is to be reviewed. All 38 primaries in the Western Isles catchment area (Barra to Butt) will come under close scrutiny. However, should the secondary segments (S1/S2) in outlying schools come to be closed (can't, for the muddle, tell whether or not that's the case), classrooms will start to lie empty, which could be used for primary education.

Confused? How DO you mean, confused?!

Back in the late 1980s, someone was employed by the Council to go round and axe schools, left, right and centre. He was the scapegoat and could safely leave the island, with all the impopularity on his unfortunate shoulders. Being electorally aware has, by the sound of things, made our councillors scared of making impopular decisions, only batting for their own wards. Fair enough, up to a point, but it's already led to insults from a parliamentary representative - something I don't agree with in itself - but it IS time Sandwick Road got its act together, made a firm decision and stuck to it. We've got a Butt of Lewis in our island, we don't need to be the Butt of Jokes.

Monday, 20 October 2008

October notes

Road-equivalent tarriff has been introduced on the routes linking the Western Isles to the Scottish mainland today, slashing the single fare for a footpassenger to £7.25 on the Ullapool crossing. I hope it brings the much-vaunted hike in passenger numbers, otherwise someone will have to pick up the tab for the decreased revenue for Calmac. Calmac's annual losses (some £32m) are covered by government.

Earlier this month, I went to Orkney and came away with 1200 pictures of the trip, of which 700 were photographs of wargraves. 3 from the cemetery by St Magnus in Kirkwall, 125 from St Olaf's Cemetery on the road to Scapa Flow and 580 from the Royal Naval Cemetery at Lyness (Hoy). I'm currently gathering the info associated with the pics from Lyness. Took me 2 hours to go round there and snap the headstones.

Here are some assorted piccies from the rest of the trip, in no particular order.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Hailshower over Loch Broom"]Hailshower over Loch Broom[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Arriving at Ullapool from Stornoway"]Arriving at Ullapool from Stornoway[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Snowcapped Ben Wyvis as seen from Inverness"]Snowcapped Ben Wyvis as seen from Inverness[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Helsmdale Harbour"]Helsmdale Harbour[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Scrabster at 7pm"]Scrabster at 7pm[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall"]St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Lyness"]Lyness[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Royal Naval Cemetery, LynessRoad on Hoy"]Royal Naval Cemetery, Lyness[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Pegal Burn, Hoy"]Pegal Burn, Hoy[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Victoria Street, Stromness"]Victoria Street, Stromness[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Excavations at Skara Brae"]Excavations at Skara Brae[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Inside the Italian Chapel"]Inside the Italian Chapel[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Helmsdale"]Helmsdale[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Road to Ullapool"]Road to Ullapool[/caption]

Thursday, 18 September 2008

SS Empire Light

SS Empire Light was sunk in 1941 in the Indian Ocean by the armed German raider Pinguin. Survivors of the encounter were picked up by the German vessel, which itself was then attacked by HMS Cornwall. The Pinguin was sunk, taking the survivors from the Empire Light to the bottom with her.

Twenty-six of the Empire Light's crew perished on 8 May 1941, six of whom came from Lewis. Their names are:

Norman MacIver, 37 Vatisker
Murdo MacDonald, 32 Gress
Donald Graham, Garrabost
Murdo Campbell, 5 Sheshader (also quoted at 42 Inaclete Road, Stornoway)
Norman Malcolm Montgomery, 17 Sheshader
George Campbell, 5 Portnaguran

A visit to the Eye cemetery reveals that this was not just an island tragedy, it was a family tragedy as well. Norman Malcolm Montgomery of 17 Sheshader was related to Murdo Campbell of 5 Sheshader. Norman's mother, Isabella Montgomery nee Macleod, died 6 months after the sinking of the Empire Light. Her husband Norman was lost in the sinking of HMY Iolaire on 1 January 1919, one of the 205 drowned in that disaster.

Thursday, 11 September 2008


Summer has long gone, although the mercury has stayed in the 60s these last number of days. The machair has now lost its carpet of flowers, the ferry comes in at 8pm with its lights on - the equinox draws nigh.

Found myself at Ness once more earlier this week, notching up my 4th visit there in about 6 weeks or so. The first one, which I reported on this blog, was for the purposes of gathering pictures of wargraves in both cemeteries at Habost. During the following two, I was showing overseas visitors round, who were most impressed with the coastal scenery north and west of Eoropie.

A debate has been raging about schools in recent times. Rural Lewis has several primary schools, to which is attached a two-year extension of secondary education. Examples of such schools can be found at Shawbost and Lionel. It means that the youngsters don't have to travel all the way into Stornoway (18 and 25 miles away respectively). Of course, it does have a cost implication. Apart from that, there is also a policy from the Scottish Government which would appear to preclude S1/S2 education anywhere but at the Nicolson Institute here in Stornoway.

Western Isles council are unable to agree whether to shut the S1/S2-schools outside Stornoway, sometimes changing their minds within an evening's debate. I am getting a bit dizzy watching the pendulum swing from 'going to close' to 'keeping them open', not to mention all the bluster that comes with that.

Friday, 29 August 2008

Arnish Fabrication Yard

Work is resuming at this site of heavy industry, a few miles south of Stornoway and about a mile from the lighthouse after which this blog is named.

A European manufacturer of windturbines has granted a contract to Arnish, which would see it producing one turbine a week for a variety of projects across Europe. This is good news for employment in Lewis, although employee confidence in the Yard has plummeted following the collapse of two previous operators; at one point, the Yard had to ship one of its products away to Denmark for completion as it could no longer finish the turbines in question.

NHS Western Isles

Former Chief Executive of NHS Western Isles, Mr Dick Manson, has formally left the employment of the Health Board, two years after being spirited away on secondment to another section of NHS Scotland. For that period, he remained on the payroll of the NHS Western Isles, although the costs of his salary were met by NHS Scotland. Mr Manson's secondment has ended, and so has his link with the Health Board. By September 5th, Mr Manson will take up another position in NHS Scotland, without having faced disciplinary action in Stornoway over allegations over bullying and mismanagement.

NHS Western Isles has gone through 6 CEO's in two years. Let's hope a period of stability has set in, allowing some substantive progress to be made in reducing the colossal budget deficit and reestablishing staff morale, and confidence of staff in senior management.

Thursday, 21 August 2008


Following the approval of part of the Eishken Windfarm, the focus is now shifting to the interconnector and other infrastructure required to bring the electricity, generated by that windfarm, to the mainland.

The village of Gravir, in South Lochs, has been earmarked by Scottish & Southern Energy as the place where powerlines will leave Lewis and go subsea towards the mainland. This entails the erection of a large electricity substation, pylons and other edifices. The villagers of Gravir have expressed their vehement opposition, but indications are that SSE will press ahead with their plans. These, curiously enough, relate to the Pairc Windfarm which has not been approved (yet).

The owner of the Eishken Estate has offered to take the interconnector into Loch Shell, which has been declined by SSE. Another alternative route, from the Arnish substation just outside Stornoway, has also been discounted, as this makes it necessary to erect a large pylon-line.

I wonder whether the Comhairle, in rubberstamping these schemes, have considered the implications of the infrastructure, associated with windfarms. We have to assume they did.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Weaving loom in action

Visited the Gearrannan Blackhouse Village on Friday, and found the Hattersley loom in action. This piece of kit is used to weave Harris Tweed. Better look sharp about watching it out there or on here, as the industry appears to be in terminal decline.

Watch the video from this link.

Friday, 8 August 2008

No Sunday Sailings

Once again, Calmac have denied the residents of Lewis and Harris the opportunity of a direct mainland ferry link on a Sunday.

I invite any intrepid soul in or out of the islands, to take Calmac to court over this issue. Such a challenge will be successful, as there are planes flying in and out of Stornoway airport. Furthermore, all other islands in the area of Comhairle nan Eileanan Siar have a Sunday ferry service, but not Lewis and Harris.

It is possible to travel to the mainland by taking a ferry from Leverburgh (Harris) to Berneray, driving 10 miles to Lochmaddy and taking another ferry to Uig (Skye). Takes all day.

With all due respect to those who object to a Sunday service on religious grounds, I hold the opinion that it is more important for islanders to be able to come home for the weekend, and return to their place of employment in time for work on Monday. The current system is a recipe for depopulation.

Monday, 28 July 2008


On Friday afternoon, I took the bus to Ness (fares had gone up, tut) to photograph more wargraves in the St Peters and Habost cemeteries. The machair was flowering beautifully, but the flies were horrendous. The presence of several dead rabbits in the old (St Peters) cemetery did not help matters. The same cemetery contains the final resting place of 400 old bibles, interred there in 2006 after being found to be too delapidated to be used again.

After locating a total of 16 gravestones, I headed up the machair for Eoropie Beach. It was more like Blackpool than the Hebrides, and those present were having great fun. I then proceeded further north, along the coastline towards the Butt of Lewis lighthouse, before rejoining the bus back to town.

Machair flowers
Bible grave
Ruined chapel in St Peters cemetery
Habost Cemetery
Eoropie Beach
Blackpool or Eoropie?
Cunndal inlet
Coastline west of the Butt of Lewis
Port Stodh
St Moluag's Chapel and Knockaird