Sunday, 19 July 2009

Reflections on a novelty

I hope that the novelty of the Sunday ferry will wear off soon, so that it will become as normal as the departures through the week. From my perspective, my day is punctuated by the vessel's appearance in and out of port, and I can add that routine to the Sunday. It is not my intention to demean the sincerely held beliefs of those who object to the Sunday sailings on religious grounds. Unfortunately, events have now caught up with them. I do believe that it is perfectly feasible to operate the ferry on Sundays without any fuss. As long as shops don't open, or buses start to run, the impact will be minimal.

Tourists will be able to come 7 days a week now, which is good for the local economy - in the summer months. Leaving that to one side, there will be one less reason for families to move away. Anyone working away will now be able to come home on Friday evening and return on Sunday evening, on time to go back to work on the mainland on Monday morning. Depopulation being a major demographic nightmare for the local authority, that is another plus for the Sunday ferry.

I was asked if there are any downsides to this Sunday sailing. It has been suggested that an upsurge in crime is to be expected. Well, the alcohol-fuelled disorder that is sometimes in evidence over the weekend is already there, thanks to the Sunday opening of pubs. If there was ever an ungodly decision made in these parts, it was the one to allow Sunday drinking in pubs. Not the one to sail the ferry on Sundays.


  1. Couple of follow ups....locals have spoken about need for bus service as Ferry without bus is only ok for drivers or people taking car over to mainland? Secondly, as alchohol is such a problem in Scotland and even Lewis,both in pubs and homes,maybe a cultural attitude needs to change?

  2. not living on lewis,no doubt i shouldn't reply to this blog,but as regards the alcohol problem,in the late sixties/early seventies,in Perth,pubs were closed on a sunday and you could only drink alcohol in a hotel bar--result people would get completly drunk on a saturday night then go to a hotel bar and get drunk again on the sunday. The people who create trouble due to alchohol will do it anyday of the week regardless if pubs are open or not:Also I don't the alcohol is restricted to Scotland and lewis ,its the same worldwide(except certain muslim countries)

  3. Oops,missed out the word "problem"in the last sentence of the above reply

  4. Augustine Olav Grech31 July 2009 at 17:54

    I am a roman catholic myself,but if one has to practice what the bible says "BY THE BOOK" one has to live it when it was written,i.e.
    thousands of years ago.In my opinion,if the islanders want a better future for themselves and their children,one has to move on.