Contrary to my suspicions on Monday, the Uist rocket range was reprieved from closure. This means that 125 people in the Southern Isles will keep their jobs, and the threat to the upkeep of the St Kilda national reserve is removed. I fully back Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond in his praise of the efforts of the Taskforce and others, thanks to whom the range will now remain open. Losing 125 jobs in a community of 5,000 would equate to losing 125,000 jobs across London - at a stroke.
BBC4 has been running a three-part documentary on the present plight of Harris Tweed. The 3rd instalment will be aired next Tuesday, 22 September, at 9pm. BBC4 is not available on terrestrial television; the episodes can be seen on BBC iPlayer - if you're in the UK. Apologies for the plugging of BBC services.
More to the point, it showed the fate of the Kenneth Mackenzie Harris Tweed Mill here in Stornoway, which was mothballed earlier this year, shedding all of its attendant jobs. Owner Brian Haggas had sought to convert it to a production unit for men's jackets made out of Harris Tweed, with 4 patterns. He utterly failed to grasp the idea behind Harris Tweed. And as a result, he as good as had to admit failure of his Stornoway enterprise.
Harris Tweed is still in demand, as the programme shows. However, with production capacity of tweed and yarn reduced drastically, it would require the re-opening of the KM mill in Stornoway. For that, it would probably be advisable for Mr Haggas to sell the plant, in order to cut his losses. If not, Harris Tweed is doomed to be reduced to handbags and seatcovers.