Friday, 30 December 2011

Eishken Windfarm expanded

An additional 6 turbines have been approved for the windfarm for the Eishken Estate. It would appear that construction could start next year (2012 at time of writing), to coincide with the construction of the interconnector.

I have been out of the loop a bit in the past few weeks as I am blogging off island. However, I was not aware that the interconnector had been approved. The same applies to the Beauly to Dundonnell powerlink. I think Mr Oppenheimer is jumping the gun a bit when he makes such a sweeping announcement.

When I first came to Lewis, in November 2004, I spent some months in the wilds of South Lochs for some peace and quiet. Wondering the moors with nothing to bother the eyes but the low hillocks and tranquil lochans between Habost and Gravir.
If that infernal windfarm, together with the one in Pairc, gets built, there will be nothing wilderness about the southeast of Lewis. It will be a money-spinning factory for Oppenheimer, who so very generously has left us with some beads and mirrors, in the shape of the 6 turbines and their output + revenue.

With thanks to commenter Lady Gargar for drawing my attention to this.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Hogmanay in Stornoway

This year, the Hogmanay celebrations in Stornoway will be held in the town centre, with a massive street party. About 5,000 people are expected to flock to this big shindig - which will end at 11 pm on December 31st, 2011. The thing is that New Year’s Day 2012 is on a Sunday, and any partying extending beyond midnight would infringe the Sabbath. So, it was ordained that Hogmanay in Stornoway will end an hour before “the bells”.
I have previously stated on this blog that I have the deepest respects for people’s religious convictions. I do not extend that to imposing said convictions on other people’s lives. If anyone feels that they should observe the Sabbath in a certain fashion, then they are at perfect liberty to do so. However, that should not mean that others should be forced to do the same.

There is another aspect to this question, which annuls the argument, put forward by the relevant authorities against extended the permit for the Stornoway Hogmanay do. Are the pubs closing at 11pm on December 31st? The answer to that is an emphatic no. You can get sozzled as much as you like well beyond midnight on Hogmanay. Again, a personal choice, with which I am fine as long as it does not impinge on other people. Unfortunately, we are all familiar with the results of over-indulgence in alcohol, whether it be anti-social behaviour or road traffic accidents, resulting in damage, injury or even death.
I find this discrepancy a case of breathtaking hypocrisy and double standards, and would call for an extension of the street party beyond midnight - or else have the pubs shut at 11pm.

No, I’m not holding my breath in expectation of that all to happen.

Sunday, 4 December 2011


HS2 is the postcode for the outlying areas of Lewis, and the announcement that an HS2 tunnel is being considered for construction has been broadly welcomed outside Stornoway. We have seen in recent days that severe weather is common in this part of the world in November and December, and being able to walk, cycle and drive in the dry, out of the reach of the ravages of show, wind and rain is a welcome prospect. As plans currently stand, there will be a tunnel from Brenish to Port of Ness, with branches from Miavaig to Kinlochroag as well as one from Carloway to Achmore, terminating at the harbour in the latter village.

I hope Calumannabel will be able to fill us in on the details for the tunnel, which is hoped could be completed in time for the Dating Extravaganza at the Dell Fank on April 1st.

I am endebted to local Twitter user balfae for localising the Government plans for an HS2 tunnel in England.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Found murdered in Stornoway

Liam Aitchison, aged 16, went missing on 22nd November after visiting the Co-op supermarket on Macaulay Road in Stornoway. He was last seen on Anderson Road, in the north of the town. Liam came to the island a few months ago after leaving the Uists. He was due to stay with a friend of the family on the 22nd, but never turned up.

On 29th November, a member of the public reported that a body had been found in a derelict building in the village of Steinish, a mile or two northeast of Stornoway. As the days went by, it was confirmed that the body was that of 16-year old Liam, and yesterday, that the death was no longer treated as unexplained but as murder. This due to the scene encountered by detectives.

Police are appealing for any information on Liam’s whereabouts during the time between November 22nd and 29th, and any suspicious movements or activity near the building in Steinish. It stands on the eastern end of the village, and was originally the control centre for Stornoway Airport, which it overlooks.

Any information should be forwarded to Stornoway police on 01851-702222 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

My sympathies go out to the family and friends of the victim of this crime.