Following a flutter of comments on a post on the proposed Time and Tide Bell at Bosta, dated 18 January this year, I thought I'd better bring matters up to date. Today's Stornoway Gazette reports on the inauguration of the Bell last Saturday, and by all accounts (including those in the comments section on my January post), it was a great and well attended event.
I want to make it clear that my initial posting was my view on the proposal for the Bell. Now that the installation is in place, it only remains for me to express my wish that it will draw more people to Bernera to see the beauty of Bosta, apparently none the worse for the bell on the beach.
I want to make an observation on the matter of formal objections to the planning application for the Bell. It was suggested that only "English" people, not long resident in Bernera (or Lewis for that matter) had lodged formal objections. I'm conversant with the phenomenon of the white settler (not meaning the Island Blogger of that name), who wishes to stifle change in order to maintain the quaint atmosphere of cosy decay. Some private landowners in the northwest of Scotland are / were good at that. Many people come to stay in the Outer Hebrides as a last vestige of pure wildness, nature untamed &c, and would not like to see that image tainted. I suppose my own objection to the Time & Tide Bell fell into that category.
However, I do not feel it is quite in order to single out individuals for being "English", "Scottish" or whatever. Those who live in Lewis do so by choice, or by virtue of birth. Their provenance is irrelevant. Whether your cradle stood in Breacleit, Braemar or Bromsgrove - if you live in Lewis, you're an islander.
Oh for goodness sakes, AL, get real. People will pidgeonhole :-)