Friday 15th March 2019 Issue No 2327


Ullapool Boy Represents Scotland at Major Climate Event

Finlay Pringle, a primary school pupil from Ullapool, represented Scotland at a meeting of more than 60 young climate change campaigners from 20 nations this week.

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Finlay, 11, is part of the Fridays for Future movement inspired by 15-year-old Swede Greta Thunberg.   Greta and a number of other young people met in Strasbourg on Tuesday ahead of a European Parliament debate on climate change on Wednesday. The young people also met Green MEPs during their visit.

Fridays for Future has seen school students across Europe hold hour-long strikes outside their school gates to put pressure on governments to tackle climate change.

Finlay, who loves the outdoors and snorkelling, became concerned about climate change after watching nature documentaries. He was the only Scot representing his country at this week’s meeting of young activists.  Finlay, his sister Ella and their friend Megan Ross, who are both nine, have been holding their walkouts since December last year. Last month, young people across Scotland took part in a UK-wide strike, and an international day of action is being held today, 15 March.  Finlay was accompanied by proud Dad Geoff as he made the trip to France.

(picture: Noel Hawkins)

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Clipper have produced the world’s first plastic-free teabags!

So not only are Clipper teabags Fairtrade, unbleached and non-GM, they are plastic-free: “Bags more to feel good about”!

And you can buy them in Ullapool Tesco!  Read more about them at

Ullapool Fairtrade Group



Friday 8th March 2019 Issue No 2326




Between 19.00 and 06.00 on Thursday 14 March,

the A835, 1km north of Tarvie,


due to carriageway re-surfacing.

Waiting vehicles will be escorted through at

9pm, 11pm, 1am and 4am.

Emergency service vehicles will be allowed to pass through the site throughout the working period.

Many thanks to the several people who notified the Ullapool News of this closure. Eds


Coming soon - volume 2 of the Stone Stories 

Many of you seem to have enjoyed The Walrus Mutterer and asked me to let you know when you can get the next volume in my Iron Age historical novel trilogy, The Stone Stories. Well, that moment has almost arrived!

You can pre-order at your favourite bookshop, as it will be out within the next few weeks. If you would like a signed copy then you can order one on my website  or come along to one of the launch events and get it signed in person. It will be lovely to see you!

On Sunday 17 March 2019, I'll be launching The Amber Seeker in Glasgow at the Aye Write! book festival. I'll be reading at the Mitchell Library at 4.45pm.

There will then be a 'home' launch in Lochinver Community Room on Saturday 23 March at 7.30pm as part of a history writing day, 'Putting the Story back into History'. This event will be free and wine will be served!

I will be back in touch again before too long with more news but for now I just wanted to let you know that The Amber Seeker is on the way, and to wish you all a wonderful spring. It is today officially spring here on the croft, as the first primroses are out under the aspens on the shore of Loch Roe.

Wishing you well, Mandy


Ike Gibson

My fabulous and much loved dad Ike died on February 23rd following a fall.  All are welcome to join us at Ike’s funeral which will be held at the Royal Hotel in Ullapool at 11am on March 14th 2019 followed by a private cremation.

Family flowers only please with donations in lieu to The Refugee Council in acknowledgement of Ike’s early life. 



Friday 1st March 2019 Issue No 2325


Ullapool Village Hall

The hall floor replacement is delayed. Issues appeared when the floor was taken up. Our insurers appointed specialists who came this week. It looks likely that the main hall will now be out of use for all of March. We are in touch with our regular hall users who have been notified of this delay and we will be keeping them updated.

Please note that the closure does not affect the hire of the committee room. Also the solicitor, accountant and physiotherapist are not affected by this and it is business as usual for them.

Joan Michael, chair, management committee



The earliest surviving map of Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis, dating from around 1800, has been restored by conservators at the National Library of Scotland.

Chapman’s Plan of Stornoway Bayhead is an important historical document because of its detail, which includes the names of the occupants of all the houses.

Chris Fleet, map curator at National Library of Scotland, said that it had “major value”. The map was to be digitised and put online but its poor condition meant the process could not go ahead without significant conservation work.



Ike Gibson was a brilliant man with a tremendous and kind spirit. He had great passion for all the good that life has to offer.

A loving husband to Ann, a devoted and rightly proud father to Ian and Kate and a doting grandfather to Alex.

Ike has been a lifelong friend and mentor to us and we are better men thanks to him. He will be sadly missed.

Sincerely, Andy, Stephen and Ben Underwood


Friday 22nd February 2019 Issue No 2324



(Down Memory Lane...)

John Tuach

My Great Aunt (GA) and her lifelong friend and co-worker both lived on West Shore Street, then known as The Point. She was always jolly, laughing and reminiscing about older people of her youth and would introduce a story:   "when the young was in me.”   Highly amused, she would rock back and fore and moan with mirth: "OOOOH, I'm going to lose my lochy."

On retirement (and before retirement), the pair made a career of touring the village to take tea, and to receive and distribute the local news. Each morning, GA would arrive at our house early, and help with bed and breakfast chores whilst exchanging local tattle with mother. Our neighbours would often visit. GA’s pal would arrive mid-morning, and they would then depart for a day-long tour of relatives and friends in the rest of the village. Ornsay House, a guest house located beside the Pier, was a popular hotspot where they networked with land-ladies from different parts of the community in the afternoons.

The pair of Pointers loved to scuttle around the village with ‘Breaking News.’   Sabbath violations, traffic or boating accidents, tragedy, personal health crisis, births, deaths, engagements, marriages, illicit and/or legal liaisons (with tut-tuts where bouts of intense pleasure were imagined), personal and religious non-conformity, public altercations, excessive public inebriation, police interventions, lottery wins, miniskirts, roaming cats and dogs, and any local matter that was deemed an impropriety were enthusiastically broadcast, and the severity of the improprieties were, no doubt, at times enhanced.

One event that caused great excitement was a huge early morning fire in February 1960 at the Royal Hotel as it was undergoing major renovations in extremely cold weather. The pair noted that during and after the fire, the firemen went to Lang’s house on the North Road for refreshments from Langs Bakery next door (now the Roman Catholic Chapel) and with difficulty, removed their frozen uniforms which subsequently stood on their own in the hallway.

On another occasion, a Councillor from Achiltibuie landed in the ditch in his car whilst racing home from the pub late one moonlit night: “ I was driving by the light of the moon, and the moon went out!” - the luminary had forgotten to switch on his car headlights.

Little escaped the attention of the news-hounds. All details were recounted, presumably in hope of enhancing their status as first-information enablers in the pre-texting days. Thus was information spread and exchanged throughout the entire village on a personal network platform.



during Fairtrade Fortnight 

Monday 25 February - Sunday 10 March 2019

“Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection”

Article 23 (c) Universal Declaration of Human Rights. December 1948






Friday 15th February 2019 Issue No 2323




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Iain MacColl, Senior Operator of the Screen Machine, was the joint winner of the first ever For the Love of Film award at the EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) hosted by Joanna Lumley at the Royal Albert Hall this week.

The award recognises individuals who have done something amazing ‘for the love of film’. People across the UK were encouraged to submit applications on behalf of those who they felt should be recognised for their contribution. Hundreds of testimonials were considered by a panel of experts including Edith Bowman and Ali Plumb, chaired by Andrew Orr from the BAFTA film committee. Andrew said: “Iain stood out due to his long service and the wide-reaching impact of Screen Machine which has ensured that the cinematic experience is available to communities across the Highlands and Islands.”

Iain MacColl is the Senior Operator of the Screen Machine, the UK’s only full-time, self-contained mobile cinema, serving some 50 communities and over 30,000 filmgoers across the Highlands each year, including 20 islands. He has been with the service since it launched in 1998. The Screen Machine Operators do everything on the ground: drive the Machine to its location, set it up (the trailer expands to become a comfortable 80-seat auditorium), sell the tickets, welcome the audience, project the films, then close up and move on to the next location.

Increasingly the Operators are also delivering special events: for Into Film school clubs, for those living with dementia, and working with archive and artists’ films.

Iain traces his passion for film back to his boyhood in Tighnabruaich, when he used to help the man from the Highlands and Islands Film Guild, the early travelling cinema in Scotland, carry the projector into the village hall, progressing to wiring up lamps and collecting tickets.  He and Neil Macdonald, who is from Wester Ross, work 16-hour days, two weeks on, two weeks off. He said before the BAFTA ceremony: “It is amazing to see the hard work that not just myself but everyone at Screen Machine has put in over the last 21 years, being recognised by BAFTA.”

Iain’s colleague Neil Macdonald, who brought Screen Machine to Ullapool on Monday and Tuesday this week, grew up in Kinlochewe in the 1960s and also helped run film clubs in his youth, in village halls around Wester Ross. Neil commented: ‘Everyone who comes to the Screen Machine says it’s the cinema environment that makes the experience. There’s a real social thing, a gathering for folk in rural communities. People toot their horns and flash their lights when they see us driving in. I love doing a job where folk are glad to see you!’

The present Screen Machine is the second vehicle; the first was in operation from 1998 until Screen Machine 2 was launched in 2005, proving an immediate success and delivering the consistent quality service which had always been desired.  A major refit of Screen Machine 2 was completed in 2017 to allow at least another six years of full operation.   Screen Machine is owned and operated by Regional Screen Scotland, a not-for-profit private company funded by Creative Scotland and HIE, with further support from CalMac.


Inside this weeks newspaper  --  Local man appointed to the Board of West Highland College UHI

AND Local Girl prepares for Austrian European Cup Judo Competition.


Friday 8th February 2019 Issue No 2322



Stephen Mackenzie produced another record breaking performance to win the long jump in the Scottish U20 Indoor Championship at Glasgow Emirates Area on Saturday 2 Feb, in what proved another exciting competition.

He cleared a jump of 7.35m, in the final round setting a new championship best record and pipped his competitor by 0.01cm to take the GOLD medal, a situation that was reversed only a week ago!

Stephen went on to clear a PB in his Triple Jump of 14.66m, landing him the SILVER medal.

A busy week lies ahead, with back down to Glasgow on Thursday to compete at the Scottish Schools Indoor Championships in both Long Jump and 60m and then on to Birmingham to compete at the British Athletics Indoor Championships on Sunday 10 Feb. The long jump event is at 1.00pm and BBC usually provides the television coverage, if anyone wants to watch out for him!


Friday 1st February 2019 Issue No 2321




An Talla Solais Gallery opens its doors next week for the first ever exhibition preview by the Dolphin Arts Project group and we'd like the whole village to come along and join us.

The Project works creatively with people living with dementia in Ullapool and, to celebrate their exhibition Still, the Dolphins would like to welcome the whole community to see their paintings, drawings and sculpture at a special preview from 2pm to 4pm on Thursday 7th February. The group will be there holding one of their weekly activity sessions so you can come along and see the artists at work.

On Friday the exhibition will be open from 10am to 4pm and we're offering a special '15 Minute Dementia Awareness' session on the hour every hour. We know you're busy so we're asking for just 15 minutes of your time to learn a little about what it's like to live with dementia and the small ways you can help those affected when you meet them. Only 15 minutes from your day which could make a really big difference to someone else's day.

The exhibition will be open on Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm too. If you can't attend Friday's '15 Minute' sessions then please pop in anyway. We're offering to come along to your shop, B&B, office or group and do a '15 Minute' session throughout February and March so you can always leave your name and contact details and we'll be in touch to arrange a visit to you in Ullapool. Or email Anne-Marie Quinn on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Ullapool is already a friendly village so please join the Dolphins to make it a Dementia Friendly Community too.




It’s so exhausting working in the Ullapool News office…

Baby Quinn, son of Kirsten Maclennan, our relief collator, who came in last Wednesday evening.





New On-line Service from Traffic Scotland

Tips on Using the Gritter-Tracker

Start by searching, then open the Gritter Tracker box which is displayed. 

The initial map view on the Trunk Road Gritter Tracker provides vehicle trails for the 0-2 hours range and the current location of active gritters only. 

Inactive gritters will not be visible if they have not been operational in the last 24 hours, i.e. parked up at a depot.

To view gritter trails above the 0-2 hours age ranges (e.g. 2-4 hours, and so on up to 12+ hours) and to view a number of gritters at the same location i.e. at a depot, then you must zoom into the map view on a specific area or trunk route to view this information.

You can now use the search-bar at the top left of the screen to search for a gritter by its registration number. The vehicle currently working on the A835 is GK02NZS.  

Many gritters in Scotland have also been given nicknames, which can be searched for in the same way: e.g. Sir Andy Flurry, Gritty Gritty Bang Bang.  


It might be nice if our local gritter could be given a catchy name too! (Annie Lorry perhaps?...)  Eds



Friday 25th January 2019 Issue No 2320


Ullapool Wedding of the Year  –  A Great Big Thanks

mo and robert wedding

We would like to say a great big Thank-You to the people of Ullapool for making our wedding day so special.

Thanks to Heidi Hercus our Church of Scotland minister, the instigator and organiser, who managed to get special dispensation to make it happen. Who organised the cake, flowers, champagne, the photographer and even that lovely boat sound. On top of all that she conducted an amazing service. We must also thank Tony Hercus for providing the humour and an awfy guid pome. Oh and for dressing the groom.

To Steven Gourlay, thanks for taking such superb photos, and for getting them back to us so quickly. We both love them all. Great memories from a great day.  For the catering we have to thank Margaret Maclean (Taffy) for some amazing scones, making the tea and providing the exhausted groom with a hearty soup. Thanks also to Holly MacNicol from The Tea Store who baked an impressive wedding cake.  Our favourite musician played our favourite tunes and Mo’s feet and hands couldn’t stop dancing!!! Thanks Ruairidh Maclean. You are the best!!

Thanks also to Julie and Freya for the surprise accessory (ie the garter), the lack of instruction caused much hilarity at Robert’s expense.

Thanks to Catriona White, for whom nursing Mo wasn’t enough, so she volunteered to fill the witness position too.

A big thank you to the ferry crew of the Loch Seaforth for their cheery salute.  And finally to everyone for the numerous cards, kind thoughts and best wishes, especially those from Ullapool Primary.

Thanking you all once again from the bottom of our hearts

Wee Mo and Robert (Stirling)


mo funeral


Friday 18th January 2019 Issue No 2319


Alice Wilkins Stars in TV Dance Show

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Ullapool Dance’s very own professional dance teacher Alice Wilkins stars in Channel 4’s new show Flirty Dancing on Thursday 24th January at 10pm. Alice has been working with local charity Ullapool Dance for the last year delivering a wide range of classes aimed at getting everybody dancing.

The five-part series, hosted by Diversity’s Ashley Banjo, pairs up couples before Ashley choreographs a routine for them. The couples practice the steps separately for a week, then meet for the first time to perform together in front of the cameras before they are even allowed to say a word.   Alice says “It was a fantastic experience. I’m not allowed to reveal what happens at the end of our dance – you’ll just have to watch it!”


Fresh investment has just been announced by the Scottish Government to promote the scenery, wildlife and culture of the Highland and Islands.

The £5m Natural and Cultural Heritage Fund will be led by Scottish Natural Heritage, and applications opened on Monday 14 January for funding boosts for projects that are seeking to benefit the area, including those that will improve the experience of visitors.

Ten major new projects are expected to benefit.



Coigach & Assynt Living Landscape Partnership are delighted to announce this year we will be holding a ‘Festival of the Sea’ on Sunday the 14 April 2019 at Culag Park, Lochinver.

It will be a one-day event showcasing local producers, suppliers and businesses from the Coigach and Assynt area to celebrate the fin-tastic seafood we have available here. Alongside produce stalls we hope to have some live cooking sessions where you can try some different ways of preparing and using local ingredients. Live music and family activities will also be scheduled over the day.

If you would be interested in having a stall, showing us your cooking skills or supplying the event please get in touch! We would love to have as many local businesses and charities as possible join us for the celebration.

Keep your eyes peeled for the logo reveal and more information of the event!

Contact: Vickii Campen         Office: 01571 844638  email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


Friday 11th January 2019 Issue No 2318



After more years than perhaps even she would like to remember, Barbara Jackson has retired from the Ullapool News.

Largely involved as advertising manager, Barbara had turned her hand to most aspects of the paper in her 40+ years with us and has seen many changes in that time.

She will certainly be missed.  We wish her and Jack well in their retirement!

Ullapool News Team


New Shop opens at the Campsite at the Fuaran Bar, Altandhu

Called A Bhuth Bheag (The Small Shop) this new shop on the campsite will be open Monday to Saturday 9am to 7pm and on Sunday 10am to 5pm (Winter hours) A licensed grocer, and selling the Ullapool News...! After the closure of Polbain Stores, this is really good news for residents and visitors alike.

We wish Catriona and family all the best with their new venture. Eds. 


IMPORTANT NOTICE - Ullapool Village Hall will be closed for replacement of the main hall floor from 16 February to 4th March. Committee room is still accessible for the solicitor and accountant, and there will be access to the Physio's room.



Friday 21st December  2018 Issue No 2317


Merry Christmas A Happy New Year


The Ullapool News Team


Friday 14th December 2018 Issue No 2316



Congratulations to ULLAPOOL SEA SAVERS who have been selected as finalists in the CONSERVATION & THE ENVIRONMENT section of the Scottish Rural Awards.

A set of 11 categories were open for nominations between July and October, with over 250 made nominations in total. 

Now in their fifth year, the Scottish Rural Awards are partnered by Scottish Field and the Scottish Countryside Alliance and backed by a number of sponsors for 2019, including headline sponsor Royal Highland Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS). The awards are the ultimate benchmark of success in Scotland's countryside, highlighting the enterprise, skill and innovation of those who live and work in rural areas

A winner and runner-up in each category will be unveiled at the Scottish Rural Awards& Gala Dinner, which will take place on Thursday 21st March 2019 at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh.

Those who have made special contributions to the Scottish countryside will also be honoured with two separate accolades - the Rural Hero Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Sea Savers are up against:   Fishing for litter - KIMO UK; Forest Holidays;   Invercauld Estate;   Mull Eagle Watch
Ruthven Farm;   Firda; Outdoor Access Trust for Scotland
Glenmuckloch Community Energy Park;   Hands On Environmental Education.

***Good luck Sea Savers on 2 March 2019!***


The Ullapool News Christmas Edition

will be ON SALE Friday 21 December

DEADLINE: 1pm Tuesday 18 December

Next week’s Christmas edition will be the last Ullapool News until Friday 11th January 2019 so it will have as much information in it as possible for locals and visitors.

Businesses - please send in your Christmas & New Year Opening Times also Seasonal Greetings - this is free of charge in the Christmas issue only, lineage only please - anything bigger will be charged at the usual rates.

Personal Christmas & New Year Greetings will also appear in the Christmas issue only, free of charge for lineage.  

Please send GREETINGS & OPENING HOURS as soon as possible by email to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

OR by hand/post to Ullapool News Office, Market Street, Ullapool. IV26 2XE  OR telephone: 01854 613334



 Friday 7th December 2018 Issue No 2315



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The Ullapool News Christmas Edition will be ON SALE Friday 21 December

DEADLINE: 1pm Tuesday 18 December

This Christmas edition will be the last Ullapool News until Friday 11th January 2019 so it will have as much information in it as possible for locals and visitors.

Businesses - please send in your Christmas & New Year Opening Times also Seasonal Greetings as soon as possible. These are free of charge in the Christmas issue, lineage only please - anything bigger will be charged at the usual rates.

Personal Christmas & New Year Greetings will also appear in the Christmas issue only, free of charge for lineage.

Please send GREETINGS & OPENING HOURS as soon as possible by email to:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.      This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

OR by hand/post to Ullapool News Office,  Market Street, Ullapool. IV26 2XE


Friday 30th November 2018 Issue No 2314



Last Tuesday 20th Nov, 14 swimmers from UPS and USC participated for the first time at the Ross-Shire Primary Schools’ Gala, held at Dingwall Leisure Centre.

The pool was packed full, with a great buzz around the place giving for a great atmosphere and some fast swimming!

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Results are as follows:

Girls individuals:

Fleur Couper 1st place 25m Freestyle 

Hermione Lewis-Ing 2nd place 25m Backstroke

Freya Mackay 3rd place 25m Breaststroke

Boys individuals:

Hamish Dingwall 2nd place 25m Freestyle

Marc Mackay 2nd place 25m Backstroke

Hamish Loftus 4th place 25m Breaststroke

Relay races:

Boys 4 x 25m Freestyle: Calvin Butrym, Sean Lavelle, Aidan Gourlay and Josh Leon 2nd place

Girls 4 x 25m Freestyle: Lana Bond, Ania Lintern, Laila Inglis, and Arwen Horsburgh 1st place

The team finished 2nd place overall, which is a fantastic achievement for their first time and a BIG WELL DONE!

Special mention to Freya Mackay and Hamish Loftus in competing at their first ever gala!

Lastly a thank you to Andrew Lintern (outgoing Chairman of USC), Gus Horsburgh (#1 fan and driver) and to Ullapool Primary School.

Ullapool Swim Club Committee.


Ullapool Fire and Light

We hope that everyone enjoyed the show at the “lighthouse” last night (as this is being written before the event - we hope it all went according to plan).

The sound and light show Wizards in Winter lasts for a few minutes and will take place each evening when the lights are on at :

5pm   6pm &  7pm

We hope this will give the opportunity for most people to enjoy it.



Friday 23rd November 2018 Issue No 2313


Sparks Flew at Historic Assynt’s twentieth birthday

Assynt’s community sculpture is well on the way to completion after a dramatic event at Glencanisp when Assynt Foundation’s artist in residence Julia Cowie demonstrated Iron Age metal production with sparks flying. After dark, a furnace was set up, copper was smelted and alloyed with tin, and the resulting molten bronze was poured into moulds to form casts of designs created by local people. Everyone present was invited to help with pumping the huge leather bellows to keep the fire blazing.

Gordon Sleight, chairman of Historic Assynt said, ‘This artist residency has been an inspiring addition to our explorations of Clachtoll broch.  Julia’s furnace was built with local sand mixed with clay and horse dung and fired with locally-made charcoal. The designs have been carved into local beeswax by a range of local children, adults and dig volunteers, so there is now real understanding of how metal objects could have been made by people here back in the Iron Age. We look forward to seeing the final artwork in situ. We’re grateful to Assynt Foundation for hosting this event and making the artist residency possible.’ The bronzes will be installed by Julia in bedrock close to Clachtoll Broch.

The bronze-casting event on Friday 16 November 2018 was part of the twentieth birthday celebrations for Historic Assynt, the community history and archaeology group. As well as metal work, there was a chance to  enjoy some Iron Age food in the form of barley and oat bannocks and soup, followed by a talk by Historic Assynt chairman, Gordon Sleight, entitled ‘Discoveries and Puzzles in Assynt’s Past’, rounding up some of the highlights of the group’s work over the decades.

The birthday events kicked off on Wednesday 14 November in Stoer Village Hall with a slide show and update about the broch project by Graeme Cavers of AOC Archaeology. He emphasised how unique an assemblage of objects has been found, and explained, amongst other things, that the analysis so far is showing that the broch floor was extremely mucky! The floor layers will allow a really rich picture to be established of life inside the broch and its surrounding environment. The audience also enjoyed a talk by AOC’s chairman John Barber about the connections between Assynt’s Neolithic chambered cairns and mounds found from a similar period in Denmark, which have been revealed through research he has undertaken since the 2011 excavation of Loch Borralan East Chambered Cairn, part of the biggest cluster of Neolithic chambered cairns on the Scottish mainland.

These events drew the project to a close for the year, at least in Assynt. Analysis of the finds is ongoing by AOC Archaeology. There will be more events in 2019, including a history books event in March and some more experimental archaeology. The plan is to reconstruct copies of some parts of the broch, including wall, floor and household objects such as mats, fabrics and pots. It will then be burned down to learn more about some of the implications of the broch’s destruction, which was caused by a catastrophic fire and collapse sometime between 100BC and 100 AD.

The broch project is organised by Historic Assynt, a local community organisation. With the assistance of the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Historic Assynt raised around £500,000 to enable the excavation and conservation work to go ahead. The project is part of the Coigach & Assynt Living Landscape Partnership of which the Scottish Wildlife Trust is the lead partner. Funding has been provided thanks to players of the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland, SSE's Sustainable Development Fund, The Pilgrim Trust, Robert Kiln Trust and individual donors.

For more information, contact:   Gordon Sleight, Phone: 01571 855207

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


or the Historic Assynt Facebook page:


Friday 16th November 2018 Issue No 2312


MSP Supports Minch Row

Maree Todd, MSP dropped into Lochbroom Leisure Centre this week to support the Rowing the Minch for MS crew. She chatted with them about their challenge to row from Stornoway to Ullapool in a 22ft St Ayles skiff to raise funds for the MS Society, and took part in a mini workout.

Maree, who keeps fit by running a mile every day, donned a bright orange MS Society t-shirt and used the rowing machine, informing the crew that there is one in the gym at the Scottish Parliament.

“Having grown up in Ullapool, I know well the community spirit which is driving this team. They are keen to raise awareness of Multiple Sclerosis, which affects many people in our community and to show solidarity with those who have the illness, as well as those who care for them. They also want to raise money – so support them if you can. It’s a tough challenge, but they are a great team, and I am confident they will rise to meet the challenge.” - Maree Todd, MSP.

Maree Todd with crew: from left to right, Anthony O'Flaherty, John Grant, Maree Todd, Kathryn Bennett, Lorraine Thomson.   Missing from pic is Gary Lewis who was at work diving for scallops.rowteam 458x500

The crew have set a target for fundraising as challenging as the row itself and are aiming to raise £22,683 which equates to £1 for every pull of the oars (scientifically worked out on the back of an envelope).

The row is planned for 10 August 2019.

To find out more follow on Twitter @MinchRow and on Facebook Rowing The Minch For MS. Donations can be made online:



At the recent Highland Council Quality Awards Tom Grant, leisure assistant at Lochbroom Leisure was chosen for special commendation.

Well done Tom a well deserved accolade.



Friday 9th November 2018 Issue No 2311


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For the Fallen - Laurence Binyon

Probably the most famous and widely read war poem in English and also known, in extract form, as the Ode of Remembrance, For the Fallen was first published in The Times on September 21 1914, just a few weeks after the First World War began on July 28 that year.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning,

We will remember them.

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Friday 2nd November 2018 Issue No 2310


P & J ‘Me and My Garden’ Prize Winner

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Having had her garden featured in the Press and Journal in September, Angela Ford was delighted to be chosen as one of the top four gardens that had been reviewed. Her prize was presented by Jim McColl, of Beechgrove Garden fame, who travelled to Ullapool from Aberdeen with feature writer Susan Walsh. Jim spent a morning with Angela, discussing all things gardening related. Jim gave lots of good advice and enjoyed meeting the rescue hens. P&J readers may have seen a further feature in the Press and Journal on Tuesday, 30 October, and this time the garden was located in Ullapool, not Alness! Angela was very pleased to meet Jim, and plans to put into practice the advice he gave.


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Anna Welti (Lochbroom Field Club) was shortlisted for a Scottish Heritage Angel Award under Category E, ‘Best Heritage Research, Interpretation or Recording’.  At a ceremony in Glasgow City Chambers last week she gained a Highly Commended certificate for her work on the Wedigs Project.  She would like to thank everyone locally who has taken part in the project over the last few years.


CONGRATULATIONS also to Ullapool and Sunnyside Primary Schools who won the Sunday Mail Editor’s Choice Award at the Great Scot Awards Ceremony in Glasgow on Saturday for their “Nae Straw at Aw” Campaign. 


Ullapool and Sunnyside Primary Schools won the Sunday Mail Editor’s Choice Award at the Great Scot Awards Ceremony in Glasgow on Saturday for their “Nae Straw at Aw” Campaign. The campaign which led to Ullapool becoming the first plastic straw free village in Europe was led by last year's P7 pupils from both schools who approached the shops, restaurants and cafes in Ullapool to explain the damage caused by plastic to our environment and particularly our marine environment. Pupils encouraged the use of paper and biodegradable straws or “nae straw at aw”!

Sunnyside Primary then persuaded Caledonian MacBrayne to use paper straws. In Ullapool, reducing our use of plastic and the pupils’ interest in defending our marine environment continues with recycling projects, continuing discussions with our MSPs and MPs, beach cleans, the work of the Ullapool Seas Savers and support for the current “No Kelp Dredge”campaign against proposals to allow kelp dredging in Scotland.

Caillin Paterson now S1 and Josh Leon now in P7 were delighted to represent Ullapool Primary School at the event and answered the presenters questions on stage as well as asking for support from many celebrities for the "No Kelp Dredging" campaign.

Caillin said, “It was an amazing night with so many inspirational people who had done so much. We were all surprised and so happy to win the award. It shows that we can all work together as a school, community and with visitors too.

Josh said “Special thanks go to our community and all the groups who gave their support, especially the Scottish Wildlife Trust and Noel Hawkins. We all hope that Ullapool will keep their plastic straw pledges, and continue to reduce the plastic tide that is poisoning our seas. Plastic straws are just the beginning!”.

Anthony O’Flaherty the P6/7 teacher who led the project said “Our young people showed great understanding, co-operation and determination at every stage of the project and we all learned so much from it.”

Eva Faber, the Head Teacher said, “It was a privilege to be nominated for this important award and we can be very proud of our pupils who have shown how to bring about change for the better.”

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Friday 26th October 2018 Issue No 2309


Thanks to Pedal Power Fundraiser for Clachan

The Glasgow to Edinburgh sponsored cycle ride by Sara Callaghan and Celia Charity in September has raised the impressive amount of £667to date. It is a hugely welcome boost to the funds the Trust needs to help Clachan play an even bigger part in our community.

We want to thank Celia and Sara for the effort – and it wasan effort, covering 45 hilly miles in 4.5 hours! – and for their motivation of attracting support for the project at Clachan.  They, their team, and all their sponsors have given impetus to the ongoing campaign and we are very grateful indeed.

Fortunately it isn’t only Clachan that has benefited.  Sara and Celia say that they enjoyed the challenge too!                                                                                             

SM for Clachan Lochbroom Heritage Trust SCIO SC045744








Ullapool High School Parent Council

Comhairle Nam Pàrant Ardsgoil Ulapul

Come and join your Parent Council.

Ullapool High School Parent Council is here to support the school and its pupils by:

helping with school activities

working with the school for the benefit of the pupils’ education

representing the views of the parents and carers

raising funds for the school and activities

Meetings are

: held once a term

: open to all parents/carers – you don’t need to be a parent council member to come  along

: a good way to keep up to date with what’s happening at the school

The Parent Council is looking for members from all areas however if you are from the Achiltibuie, Lochinver, Scourie, Badcaul and Scoraig school catchment areas please do consider joining to make the council more representative of the school roll. 45% of the current pupils at the High School travel from these catchments but at present only 25%of the Parent Council members are from these areas.

For further info please contact the Secretary, Dave Maxwell on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or see the website

Friday 19th October 2018 Issue No 2308



Autumn with its radical colours is possibly the most beautiful season. We do not mind the daylight hours becoming rapidly shorter as we are rewarded with the most beautiful colours on the trees ranging from multiple colours of green, brown, yellow, orange and red. At first we do not notice the change in the season and then suddenly one day it is just there. Multiple colours! How is it possible that we missed the first season change in nature?

The colours are even more noticeable when the sun penetrates a cloudy sky and shines on a particular tree among a cluster of trees all in colour. The colour of this tree edged against a dark sky is so much more significant. And then the sun disappears behind clouds and the dominant tree blends with the other trees again. Soon we will experience falling leaves and trees which will become bare. For the moment we will enjoy the colour splendour and not concern ourselves with the untidiness of falling leaves.

Our older people in their twilight years are like the autumn season. They are the ones that stand out in our communities where everyone seems to be so busy. They expose the most beautiful colours of a past life, burning with anticipation to share their experience and expertise. Their skills and gifts resemble the beautiful colours on the trees in autumn Soon they too will fail, and as a tree loses its leaves they will lose some zeal and passion that will leave them bare. In nature autumn is a passing season and will be with us for only a short while. And therefore in a sense we are fortunate to always have older people amongst us, showing off their colours. Have we noticed their splendour and have we shown our appreciation towards the many older people among us?

Andre du Plessis.    Ullapool


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Ullapool High School Pupils Trip to France

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Friday 12th October 2018 Issue No 2307



The Spectacular Achiltibuie Run!

The Final Countdown by Lizzie Wilder

The 7th Coigach Half Marathon on Saturday 13th October at 1pm.  We have just a little time left to strengthen those legs… in the meantime, here are some final details about the Big Day.

You are still very welcome to enter and can do so on the day. (However, it would help us hugely if you could enter before Saturday so that we have approximate numbers – mostly so we can ensure there’s enough cake at tea time).

For those who haven’t yet paid: we can take cash, cheques and card payments on the day. Registration is from 11am on Saturday 13th October, in Coigach Community Hall. The hall will be well sign-posted within the village. We have safety pins for running numbers. There will be a bus service from the Hall to the Start (approx 1 mile), at 12.30 and 12.40. There is limited parking at the Start but plenty at the Hall, so please take the bus if you can.

We can transport bags from the Hall or the Start to the Finish. The Start is at 1pm.  There are three water stations around the course, and maybe some sweets.

We’ve been having some wild weather lately; please bring appropriate clothing. There will be tea (hot drinks, sandwiches, cakes) in the Hall after the run; this is free for runners, with a small charge for others – in aid of the Achiltibuie Primary School Playing Field.

Prize-giving will take place at 3.30-4pm-ish, in the Hall.

Your non-running friends might like to join the Reiff Climbing Festival. We hope you’ll join us for a Ceilidh to shake off those post-run aches with the hugely talented Ruaraidh Maclean, also in the Hall, from 8pm. And on Sunday morning, there is Yoga in the Hall from 9am with our wonderful friend Sandy Murdoch. We look forward to welcoming you to Coigach. 

Run registration and contacts: Achiltibuie Playing Field,
by Primary School, IV26 2YG
. Angus MacLeod 01854 622 419 Registration from 11am - 12.30 Community Hall.

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This year, Ullapool’s winter lights are to be switched on

on Thursday 29th November

Make a note in your diary!!



Over the years, a company called DATA (Developing Awareness to Adolescents) have approached several local businesses, asking them to sponsor leaflets on issues such as drugs and child abuse for the education of high school pupils. These leaflets have inaccurate, outdated or unhelpful information in them. The school does not want or need them and we are unhappy about you being asked to part with money in the false hope of assisting the school.

If this company approaches you in the future, please reply that the school do not want the products and that they should talk to the school direct if they have a problem with this.


Ullapool Medical Practice have temporarily run out of flu vaccines for the over 75 age group, due to supply issues. We are expecting our next delivery about the 29th October, please ring 01854 612015 to check



Friday 5th October 2018 Issue No 2306


Welcome to everyone making their annual pilgrimage to Ullapool to attend the 19th Ullapool Guitar Festival. The organisers hope you have a fabulous weekend.




Highland Liquor Co. would like to thank all those who sampled and bought our limited edition Loopallu Gin last weekend.   We were overwhelmed by the response. The phone kept ringing all afternoon from the various shops and pubs requesting more stock.

We’re very very humbled.



A new exhibition commemorating the centenary of the tragic loss of HMY lolaire on 1st January 1919 opened at Museum nan Eilean, Lews Castle, Stornoway this week.

The Iolaire was carrying hundreds of Royal Naval Reserve members who had been granted leave to visit their loved ones back home on Lewis, Harris and Berneray. Having sailed from Kyle of Lochalsh late on the evening of Hogmanay 1918, just weeks after the end of the Great War, the vessel foundered on rocks known as the Beasts of Holm close to Stornoway harbour, resulting in the deaths of 201 out of the 280 men on board.

This new exhibition, An Iolaire - The Iolaire, examines the circumstances of the disaster, its immediate impact and the long-term effects on the people of the Outer Hebrides.

Objects on show include a life-preserver belonging to the youngest survivor, Donald Maciver of North Tolsta, also medals awarded to John Finlay Macleod of Ness whose bravery in carrying a heaving line ashore saved dozens of lives, and a panel from the Great Tapestry of Scotland commemorating those lost.

Documents from the Tasglann nan Eilean collections relating to the Iolaire Disaster Fund are also displayed, showing the donations which came in from around the world and how they were disbursed to those in need.

Nick Smith, Heritage Manager for Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, said:   “As we approach the centenary of the tragic loss of so many lives, it is appropriate that Museum nan Eilean has worked with people here and further afield to bring together an exhibition which tells the story of the Iolaire. We hope that the exhibition will highlight a disaster which is little known outside the islands, and that residents will also discover more about a period in the history of the Outer Hebrides that continues to have a deep impact on lives to this day.

“We would also like to recognise the financial support of the Museums Galleries Scotland World War One Commemoration Fund through which the Museum, Acair, and An Lanntair have worked in partnership to develop commemoration activities.”

The exhibition will run until April 2019. Acair will shortly be publishing a new book commemorating the Iolaire disaster: Darkest Dawnis written by Malcolm Macdonald and Donald John MacLeod.

Meantime John MacLeod’s classic work about the loss of the Iolaire is still in print: When I Heard the Bellis published by Birlinn.


Friday 28th September 2018 Issue No 2305


***Welcome to all those here for

Loopallu this weekend***

Ullapool & District Junior Pipe Band will play in mid-afternoon to mark the start of the Loopallu festival. This will be the pipe band’s final appearance of the season.


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The work undertaken by volunteers at Ullapool Museum was recognised yesterday in an awards ceremony in London. The ‘Volunteers in Museum Learning Award’ was presented to them by the British Museum and The Marsh Christian Trust. The award celebrates the achievements and contribution of volunteers in museums, galleries and heritage sites all over the United Kingdom. It recognises their dedication, innovation and excellence in engaging with their visitors.

After being recognised as Regional winners for Scotland, the team at Ullapool Museum were also declared overall National winners. 

Ullapool Museum’s curatorial advisor Helen Avenell said “This award recognises the huge contribution the volunteer team at Ullapool made to the 2017 museum redisplay project. Our dedicated volunteers worked on all areas of the project, from selecting stories, collecting and displaying our unique oral history and photograph collection, through researching support and sponsorship to constructing and painting the new galleries. Visitors can now explore the history and heritage of Lochbroom in new ways and in a wonderfully revitalised space. The project could never have been completed without their hard work and commitment. I’m hugely proud of them all.”

Brian Marsh, Chairman of the Marsh Christian Trust said “We are very pleased to have been working with the British Museum for the past 10 years to recognise volunteers from museums across the UK who work hard to engage and educate the public. We are conscious of the value that these volunteers bring, both to the museums they dedicate their time to and to the visitors whose experiences they enhance. We hope to continue to celebrate them for many years to come.” The ‘Volunteers for Museum Learning’ award forms part of a programme of awards presented by the Marsh Christian Trust in the fields of science, ecology, conservation, heritage, literature and volunteering.

There were a large number of applications from both groups of volunteers and individuals, from across the UK.

The regional winners each received a cash prize of £500 donated by the Marsh Christian Trust. As overall national winner, Ullapool Museum received an additional £2,000.

Follow updates on the awards via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram Use @britishmuseum or @ullapoolmuseum


Friday 21st September 2018 Issue No 2304


Fin and Ella share their views on sharks

and lots more with Chris Packham in Edinburgh 

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Harbour Notice

The ever popular Loopallu is coming to the pier again on the weekend 28th and 29th September. Whilst every effort will be made to minimise the impact on our regular harbour users there will be access restrictions in place from Monday 24th – Sunday 30th September. Likewise parking on the pier will be prohibited from Monday 24th – Sunday 30th to allow the event organisers to erect the marquees, lay our security fencing and prepare the festival site.

Hopefully with the patience and co-operation of all concerned and a break in the weather the event will once again be a sell-out success, many thanks.

Knockan Crag

National Nature Reserve – Closure on Monday 24th & Tues 25th September

We will be resurfacing our car parking at Knockan Crag National Nature Reserve on the above dates, and the site will be closed to vehicles

If you have any queries, please contact us on 01463 701600. We apologise for any inconvenience.

Closure of toilets

Unfortunately due to maintenance, we will have to close the toilets at Knockan Crag to the public for at least the next two weeks.  We apologise for any inconvenience this might cause.

Sue Agnew, Operations Officer, Scottish Natural Heritage

*** Views sought on the proposed  Loch a' Bhroine Hydro Scheme.  See below ***

Loch a' Bhroine Hydro Scheme

In February, Lochbroom Community Council was shown a presentation on the proposed hydro scheme at Loch a' Bhroine south of Braemore junction, visible from the Dundonnell road.

In the last few weeks we became aware that a full planning application had gone in at the end of May, but for various reasons we had been unaware of it till now. The application is called "18/02458/FUL Land 4655M SW Of Gatehouse Braemore Loch Broom Garve” and can be found by typing that title into the search bar on the Highland Council planning website:

The proposal is to build an adjustable weir or barrage slightly downstream of the loch which would be able to control the loch level and thus allow the loch to drain slowly through a pipe and turbine rather than quickly away down the river. Two smaller burns will also be collected.

Some people have objections to the highest level the loch will be allowed to reach, for the effects on nesting and feeding birds, and vegetation. This level has been reached naturally once in the last 9 years but would be reached more often with the weir. There is scope for negotiation about this as the weir can be remotely adjusted.

This scheme has the potential for considerable community benefit funds. As chair of the Community Council I am aware of the need to preserve and nurture our natural environment. I'm also aware that the desperate shortage of funds which Highland Council is experiencing means we need to be open to the possibility of other sources of money. That is why the community- owned Lael Hydro scheme is so valuable.

We need to be sure that the Loch a' Bhroine scheme, if it goes ahead, properly takes into account the ecological impact of managing the loch level. I would urge readers to look at the application and if they have views about it, to make a submission to Highland Council before Wednesday 26th September.

Topher Dawson,,  Chair, Lochbroom CC.


Friday 14th September 2018 Issue No 2303


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The Clock Is Ticking...

...with only two weeks to go until the (un)official end of summer party that is Loopallu.

Without further ado, we start by revealing that you lucky Loopalluers will witness an ultra rare performance by 'Breath Underneath'. Front man of the band, Erwin Lil VI. said:

“There’s been a place in my heart for Scotland ever since we travelled over from our home country of Peru to play the Electric Banana in Ullapool. Don’t look for it, it’s not there anymore. There was a young lad with a big dream running our gig that night. That young lad was Robert Hicks and when he called and asked me won’t you ever come home, we just couldn’t resist. Scotland and Peru used to be connected physically which is why we feel such a strong bond with the Scottish people and can consider it home. Don’t look it up, the evidence has been hidden. We can’t wait to deliver an electric performance of our 20th studio album ‘Fake News’. Love and peace to you all.”

This year, making their Loopallu debut are two buzz acts from the Scottish folk music scene: Ho Ro have been building a solid fan base over the past couple of years and need no introduction; and hot on their heels are the Hebrides latest export Peat and Diesel.

We always try our best to introduce our audience to tomorrows stars today, and this year is no different. Already tipped for greatness by The Sunday Times are Dundee's finest St Martiins; from Glasgow, LOVE SICK, and all the way from Ullapool, local heroes The Experiment.

Over at the Literally Literary stage Val McDermid is joined by award winning writer Liam McIlvanney whose chilling new crime novel The Quaker was published in July and broadcaster, journalist, musician and author Vic Galloway who is responsible for Rip It Up - The Story of Scottish Pop, the book written to accompany the National Museum of Scotland's current exhibition of the same name.

And finally, our much loved and immensely popular changeover acts The Cowans; The Little Mammoths and Ruairidh Maclean will keep you entertained whilst you refuel.

These acts join the previously announced Alabama 3, The Bluetones, John Cooper Clark, British Sea Power, Bad Manners, Astrid, Mark Radcliffes UNE and HYYTS.

Tickets are currently on sale at or in person from The Arch Inn (Ullapool) and Eden Court (Inverness).

Loopallu. Small, perfectly formed (we think) and still truly independent.

Loop x    

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK  sent in by a reader

Unfortunately, love and compassion 

have been omitted from too many spheres

of social interaction for too long.

Usually confined to family and home,

their practice in public life

is considered impractical, even naïve.

This is tragic.

Insight from the Dalai Lama#


Friday 7th September 2018 Issue No 2302




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Judo player Malin Wilson (23), from Ullapool, took Gold medal position at the European Cup Championships in Bratislava at the weekend.

Malin fought off stiff opposition from Russian, Polish and Slovak players to win her first title at Senior European level. This was a well deserved win, coming after months of focus, determined training, and recovery from a long string of injuries.

Well done Malin, and a big thanks to all in Ullapool who have supported her progress over the years.                          BW


Farewell To Tom  1930 – 2018

Horticulturalist, Crofter, Social Entrepreneur

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Tom Forsyth passed away on Thursday 30th August. Finding himself virtually incapacitated with frailty, he made the bold decision to begin fasting, so he would be “in control of his leaving”.

Born in Dunfermline, son of a mining engineer, Tom opted out of mining and trained in horticulture at the Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh. He later moved to the highlands to work at Inverewe Gardens, where a colleague pointed him to the virtually abandoned peninsula of Scoraig and challenged him to a bet that he wouldn’t be able to grow anything there! With a keen understanding of geology, he saw great potential in the fertile soil, left behind by the glacial deposits of the last ice age, and in 1963 moved to Scoraig with his family. With a natural aptitude for land management and forestry, he reclaimed the land, built a house, and created a diverse garden at the township of Ruigh’riabach, where he lived for the next 45 years.

A pioneer of land reform, Tom was a founding member of the Island of Eigg Trust, that later led to the community buy-out of the island.Tom was passionate about nature, and during his last days, he was brought some bog cotton, that was placed in a vase by his bed. Hardly able to move, he still enjoyed blowing the down to make it move in the breeze. In his last hours, he took several spoonfuls of local honey, a fitting last supper for a passionate bee lover.

We would like to extend a huge thank you to all the staff at Mo Dhachaidh care home for taking such patient and diligent care of Tom.

Tom’s family warmly invite friends to his funeral on Saturday the 8th September. His burial will take place on Scoraig, at Annat Bay cemetery, with a short ceremony at 11am. This will be followed by lunch provided at the Scoraig Secondary School, and a service or ‘sharing’ of contributions from family and friends. Boats will leave Badluarach Jetty at 9.30am, returning around 4.30pm. The walk to Annat Bay is about 2 miles, so please dress appropriately. 

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"When we see the breeze blowing through the bog cotton,

we will know its you Tom"

The Forsyth Family




Friday 31st August 2018 Issue No 2301


Happy Competitors at the Oddballs Day

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Oddballs 2018 would like to thank everyone who took part in this year's event and are delighted to announce that a whopping £1200 was raised.  This will be split evenly between the two nominated local charities "Welcome Ullapool" and "Cycling without age".  Both charities put forward volunteers to help on the night and they did a brilliant job of collecting donations from the generous onlookers. The turnout on the night was incredible with 35 teams entering the contest, a huge increase on last year.

Thank you to everyone who spread the word and encouraged folk to get involved. The night can't work without you all! As always the calibre of costumes did Ullapool proud. We are amazed each year how many hilarious ideas the contestants can think up. Even contestants who have taken part year after year managed to surprise us  (Mr &Mrs Lees we are looking at you). It was also great to see lots of new faces getting involved.  A special mention to all the participating bars (8 out of 9 ain't bad) and to Becky Thompson for her photographs.  

On top of raising lots of money for charity Oddballs offers an opportunity for community spirit,  creativity and really puts Ullapool on the map as a fun and welcoming place to visit. 

Roll on next year.                              ( Kirsten Maclennan )

Winners:    People's choice = STILL GAME    Most topical = THE MINCH SWIMMERS




The bridge on Ullapool Hill was dismantled last Wednesday evening.  Where the bridge has been taken away, is passable at the moment due to the low water level but please take care as the way can be slippery.  Thanks to the volunteers who helped and we will keep you informed of updates over the bridge replacement.

Jenny Grant – Wester Ross Countryside Ranger


Ground investigation works begin at A9/A82 Longman Junction.

Ground investigation works are to start on Monday 3 September 2018 as part of the plans to upgrade the Longman roundabout in Inverness included in the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal.   The work is expected to last around four weeks and the vast majority of it will take place off the line of the existing junction, ensuring the need for traffic management is kept to a minimum.  

A Transport Scotland spokesperson said: "This ground investigation contract is vital to inform the ongoing design and assessment of the improvements to this strategic junction in the Highland capital having let the public see and comment on developing options for the scheme in May.

“Although the vast majority of the work is located away from the existing road network, investigative work is required in close proximity to the live carriageway.  We would thank road users and local communities in advance for their patience during any short duration traffic management operations which may be required to ensure safety of the public and workforce during these elements of works. 

"The contractor will closely monitor the operation of any traffic management measures to ensure that any delays are kept to an absolute minimum. We would ask drivers to plan their journeys in advance using the Traffic Scotland website, Twitter feed or Traffic Scotland radio.”


Help needed - COMMUNITY CLEAN UP DAYSaturday 1st Sept. 2 - 4 pm (or part of)

This is to prepare for the installation of the new zipwire at the Morefield Playpark.  The Community Council is paying for new bark to be laid and arranged for the torn matting at the roundabout to be repaired, now the tidying and weeding needs to be done.  Refreshments will be provided and everyone will be given a raffle ticket with the winner nominating a child for the first go on the zipwire at the opening event in September.

*** Final week of Peter White’s inspirational exhibition at An Talla Solais Gallery - don’t miss it…..! ***


Friday 24th August 2018 Issue No 2300




Exciting news for The Arch this week as they discover they are featured in the prestigious Lonely Planet food guide!

Each entry in Lonely Planet’sUltimate Eatlist details the experience, the culture behind it, and what makes it so special. The book also includes favourite food experiences as nominated by 20 of the world’s top chefs and food writers, from José Andrés to Andrew Zimmern.

Twenty-nine of the 500 featured experiences can be enjoyed across the UK and Ireland, and include smoked salmon in the Outer Hebrides (#39), Irish stew in Dublin (#47), crab sandwiches in Norfolk (#80), balti in Birmingham (#383) and chicken tikka masala in Glasgow (#450).             And at #221 is.. The Arch Inn Restaurant!

Congratulations to Robert Hicks and his staff!

Ullapool is on the map yet again!


arch list




On Sunday 19 August in Aberdeen, Stephen MacKenzie competed in the Scottish National U20 Championships where he competed in both the Long Jump and 200m. He won GOLD in the Long Jump where he jumped his PB of 7.34m. With heavy legs he went on to run his 200m heat and his heat time was second fastest, securing his place in the final where he finished in 6th place. He has a few jump competitions left before the season ends.

With thanks to current local sponsors Lochbroom Garage Services, Lochbroom Filling Station, The Arch Inn, Welcome Ullapool, The Harbour Trust & Sports Aid Scotland.             CM


Friday 17th August 2018 Issue No 2299


The Bridge on the Hill

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If you are a regular up Ullapool Hill you may well have seen the bridge is in disrepair. It has become dramatically worse recently (see photos).For safety of the users I closed the bridge on Friday on instruction from the Highland Council Access Officer. 

Can you please inform your visitors or anyone else who walks the hill paths so that they can avoid this particular section of path.We are working to fix it as soon as possible and may be looking for some handy volunteers to help fix it. If you are interested in doing that, please let me know by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Jenny Grant, High Life Highland Countryside Ranger for Wester Ross 

New Road Needs A Name!

Compass Builders have approached Lochbroom Community Council about the naming of a new road which will be part of the housing development on the old Glenfield Hotel site. Roady McRoadface was sadly rejected in the early rounds of discussion but a short-list of seven names has been drawn up and the community council would like you to help decide which one goes forward.

The names are listed below in alphabetical order along with a short explanation. The option with most votes wins.

1.     Aitken Park: Ullapool was laid out to a plan made in 1787 by the surveyor David Aitken from Tain. He accompanied directors of The British Fisheries Society when they came to Loch Broom that year to inspect potential sites here.

2.     Glenfield Park: The new development is being built on the site of the Glenfield Hotel. (The original hotel on the site was the Mercury Motor Inn).

3.     Hector Park: In 1773, the Hector set sail from Loch Broom, carrying with her the first significant migration of Scottish settlers to Nova Scotia.

4.     Macmillan Park: In 1880, the Rev. John Macmillan was the minister of The Free Church in Ullapool.  This was when there was the first threat of evictions at Leckmelm. Over the next year he wrote letters and addressed meetings where he spoke eloquently and passionately on the side of the crofters.

5.     Martin Park: Named after Isle Martin. Though she is small, our community-owned island has a rich history.

6.     Pictou Park: In 1773, the Hector landed in Pictou, Nova Scotia, with over 170 Highlanders onboard. It is estimated that there are now more than 140,00 descendants of the people of the Hector living in Canada and the United States.

7.   Telford Park: Thomas Telford was a notable architect and civil engineer. He was brought in by the British Fisheries Society in 1790 to do another survey of Ullapool. He also approved the designs of the Parliamentary Churches (also known as Telford churches). The one in Ullapool is now home to our Museum. It is one of the best (if not the best) remaining example of a parliamentary church which is acknowledged by having a Category A listing.


How to vote

  • Email your choice to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Or, answers on a postcard to: Charlie Macaulay, Secretary, LBCC, 20 Morefield Place, Ullapool, IV26 2TS.


Friday 10th August 2018 Issue No 2298


Scottish Success for Stephen Mackenzie 

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Stephen smashed a 12 year record when representing Scotland in the Celtic Games Junior International Track and Field match against Ireland and Wales at Grangemouth on Saturday 4 August.

Stephen jumped a personal best of 7.34m that awarded him GOLD in the long jump, erasing the previous best Games performance of 6.96m in 2006. He is now ranked 3rd in the UK Under 20s age group and has moved into 7th position on the Scottish Under 20 all time best performers list.

Stephen has one more major competition left and he will travel to Aberdeen on Sunday 18 August to compete in the Scottish Nationals U20 and will be competing in both Long Jump and 200m.

With thanks to current local sponsors Lochbroom Garage Services, Lochbroom Filling Station, The Arch Inn, Welcome Ullapool, The Harbour Trust & Sports Aid Scotland.

Corinne Mackenzie


Friday 3rd August 2018 Issue No 2297




The interim Board of the Trust that now owns Clachan is very proud and pleased to say that Clachan is available again for everything that it has always been needed for – weddings, christenings and funerals.This is what the packed meeting at Clachan in January 2014 wanted to ensure. The options for Clachan then were - to be made a roofless ruin, a residence, or rescued and restored into the hands of our community.Thanks to our Lochbroom community, our families and friends elsewhere, we have achieved our aim. Clachan is ours and is available for all its traditional functions. Come and use it!!

Contact any of the local interim trustees - we are all in the phone book: Paul Bennett, Robyn Dutton, Niels Hoffmann, Lesley Spenceley, Jonathan Reid, Peter Newling & Sarah Mackenzie.Interim Board, Clachan Lochbroom Heritage Trust, SCIO, SC04755

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Stephen has been selected for the Scottish Athletics U18 Team to compete at the Celtic Games against Ireland and Wales on Saturday 4 August at Grangemouth Stadium, where he will compete in Long Jump.

Wishing him the very best of luck!


Friday 27th July August 2018  Issue No 2296




On Thursday 12th July, 14 pupils from Ullapool High School set off for Sunderland to join the crew of the Wylde Swan in this year's Tall Ships Race.

Joined on board by sail trainees from England and Denmark, they were divided into three watches to assist with all aspects of sailing the ship across to Esbjerg on Denmark's northwest coast.wyldeswan 500x393

The race ended with the Wylde Swan in 10th place so no awards, but plenty of fun was had while developing new skills and friendships.

The trip was rounded off with two days in Esbjerg where a wide range of activities had been arranged including various sports tournaments and a lively parade of all the crews through the city centre.

Many of the kids wished they could stay on board a bit longer, and one actually did as Ethan Gordon from Lochinver had previously arranged to continue on with the ship to Stavanger in Norway for his Duke of Edinburgh gold residential experience.

A huge thank you to Kevin Peach and Ullapool Harbour Trust for sponsoring the trip yet again, and to Laura Talbot for making arrangements on behalf of the school. Thanks also to Tony and all the crew of the Wylde Swan, which will arrive in Ullapool on 22nd August.

As of last Friday, a few places remained available for booking on the Wylde Swan's trip to St Kilda, see their website for details.


The Ullapool Golf Club Ladies Open that took place last Saturday had teams of golfers from all over the Highlands and was a great success, with the weather being kind and the course in fantastic condition.

Pictured below are the winning teams:

1st Colleen Lindsay & Pat MacLeod (Ull)

2nd Erika Richards & June Nicol (Inv & Ull)

3rd Jill Sharp & Val Rhind (Invergordon)

Nearest the Pin Bronze: Melanie Hossack

Nearest the Pin Silver: June Nicol


Also pictured is Jamie from The Frigate who generously sponsor the event and came to present the trophy & prizes.

The Club would also like to thank the many local businesses that donated prizes for the raffle: Wester Ross Fisheries; Ullapool Smokehouse; The Candle Shop; An Teallach Brewery; Tropic Skin Care and prizes from members. Thanks are also due to our Men’s Captain Steve Farr and Secretary Mike Turner for their help on the day; Vicky’s Café staff for the catering, and our Green-keeper Marc Gray for the great presentation of the course.

Friday 20 July 2018  Issue No 2295


The Belles of Ullapool…!

On a gloriously sunny day in Edinburgh, there was a nice little group of folk from Ullapool at the Queen’s Holyrood Garden Party, representing community activity and local organisations. Strangely we were all unlikely guests, as this was certainly not our comfort zone.

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I was taken aback but delighted to be invited to represent the Ullapool Museum then heard that the Ullapool Book Festival had been invited as well as Noel Hawkins for the snorkelling and beach cleaning projects.

So duly kitted out in the required hats, which proved a boon in the sun, Joan Michael and Effie Mackenzie from the Ullapool Book Festival and I with my daughter for Ullapool Museum met up for an enjoyable afternoon of entertainment in the truly wonderful gardens of Holyrood Palace – people watching and eating dainty sandwiches.

In the crowd of several thousand we missed Noel for a group photo but met with Joan’s former boss at the fishery office – John Bruce and his fiancée Katrina Reid. Effie and Joan kept bumping into Dorothy (nee Ross, West Terrace (and Calum MacIver).

We were delighted that our brilliant local organisations and people were recognised like this. With so many Ullapool Museum volunteers it was an impossible job to choose just one to accompany me, along with the secrecy that had to be kept. So after two attempts, I invited my daughter Catherine.

But it meant recognition for all. Ullapool is a truly busy community of great volunteers.

Catriona Martin, chair of board of trustees.



The SNP’s Gail Ross, member of the Scottish Parliament for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross and Cllr Kirsteen Currie, SNP member of the Highland Council for North, West and Central Sutherland have welcomed the news that the go ahead has been given to develop a vertical launch site in North Sutherland. The site, on the Moine peninsula, has been confirmed as the preferred site by business secretary Greg Clark MP for the UK’s first spaceport, to launch satellites and rockets.

Speaking on Monday Gail said: “Whilst the wait was certainly frustrating at times, I’m delighted that this decision has been made. The potential positive impact on infrastructure and employment for the area cannot be understated. Sutherland needs more sustainable, long term and quality jobs, not only for the future socio-economic development of Sutherland but also to counter any negative impact that the decommissioning of Dounreay will have on the employment and economy of the area. This is not only positive news for Sutherland, it’s great for the space industry in Scotland, which is a key growing industry in our country.”

Adding to Gail’s comments, Kirsteen said:   “This news is fantastic. There is a long way to go in terms of delivering the final project, however, I’m confident that this could have a tremendous impact on the economy and development of my ward.   I hope that the spaceport will bring investment to this rural community which will have long term and wide ranging benefits. I now look forward to hearing detailed plans and seeing meaningful joint working with the local community to ensure this project is a real success.”



Weather for Tuesday 10th June – Monday 16th June

Max temp 21.6C = 71F  min temp 11.9C = 53F

A very wet start to the week with 40mm of rain on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Wednesday saw the brightest day of the week but overall it was mainly overcast.
Round the Pier day escaped the rain for the most part with only a short shower mid-afternoon.  It was breezy though. Sunday was back to rain whilst Monday was somewhat better.
We did record another record for the station. Just before midnight on Sunday night we had the highest minimum temperature for a single day at 16.1C. (


Friday 13 July 2018  Issue No 2294




Brian Burnie, ex-millionaire, sold all of his possessions to create the charity “Daft as a Brush” - Now he’s walking 7,000 miles around Great Britain and Ireland in the hope to take the free service nationwide!  His home for the next 2 years is a converted double-decker bus we’ve named ‘Bluebell’.

Brian has now walked 1,000 miles from Northumberland around Scotland – a massive achievement and ‘step forward’ for the 74 year old, who suffers from Parkinson’s Disease.   Cheryl Finlay, who has been walking part of the way with Brian and staying with him in “Bluebell” said “We have passed Ullapool in the west of Scotland, the area is absolutely stunning; the beaches, lochs and mountains are breathtaking but Brian spends more time checking his maps than taking in the scenery! His regime of 15 miles per day, 5 days a week can be punishing but we’re all so proud of him reaching this milestone, what an achievement!”

This year with a team of 300 volunteers and 30 ambulances, the charity will be involved in circa 30,000 cancer patient journeys in the north east.


Daft as a Brush Cancer Patient Care offers staffed custom-made vehicles to transport outpatients who are undergoing Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy cancer treatment to and from hospital, free of charge.

The service entails collecting and transporting the patients in a safe and comfortable environment, from where they are living and taking them to where they will be having their treatment. If required, staying with the patient whilst they have their treatment and then bringing them back home.

Brian’s dream is to create 1,000,000 journeys by opening hubs around the country expanding the service. After great meetings with Medical Professionals and MSP’s at Scottish Parliament, we’re confident Scotland will host the very first Daft as a Brush Cancer Patient ‘hub’.

You can discover more about the charity’s epic journey at  Follow the adventure on Facebook and Twitter: Facebook: DAABBLUEBELLBUS | Twitter: @bluebellbus


Friday 6 July 2018  Issue No 2293


Welcome to all those here for the annual


this weekend


Good Luck…..!  SWIMMING THE MINCH   Saturday 7 July

Paul Finnegan, Colin Macleod and local Ullapool man Norman Todd (pictured) will be attempting to solo swim the Big Minch Channel between the Western Isles & Mainland UK on Saturday 7 July to raise funds for Marie Curie Cancer Care, Western Isles Community Care Forum and Cancer Research UK.  No-one has ever completed a solo swim across the Big Minch Channel before.
The swim route is from Lemreway (Isle of Lewis) to Rubha Reidh (Gairloch), weather permitting. It is 25 miles across - longer than the English Channel. These intrepid swimmers are hoping for a great welcome as there will be a BBQ and music at Rubha Reidh. They are happy for any boats to escort them in for the last leg.

Article Update:

On Saturday 7th July, three renowned Scottish swimmers will attempt to swim the Minch from Orinsay on Lewis to Rubha Reidh near Gairloch in Wester Ross. 

Colleen Blair, 39, from Perth, Colin Macleod 46, from Stornoway and Norman Todd, Ullapool, 46 will be aiming to swim across the treacherous 25 mile stretch in 15-18 hours supported by a flotilla of boats and kayaks. Among the many challenges the three swimmers aim to overcome are fatigue, dehydration, lions mane jellyfish, strong tides and the possibility of Orca appearing alongside. 

There has been multiple attempts to swim the Minch but none have yet succeeded. The most recent attempt was on Monday night when South African swimmer, Phia Steyn who is coached by Robert Hamilton of Vigour Events, had to abandon her swim after four hours due to multiple jellyfish stings which hospitalised her. 

Offshore worker Todd, whose ice swimming video went globally viral this year is a relative newcomer to long distance swimming.

'I am a middle lane swimmer and certainly not the fastest however I have been training for this for 9 months and it will be the biggest challenge of my life.' 

Highlander Todd has swum alongside Hebridean Macleod on several occasions previously creating a strong partnership. Macleod, who has already swam the 17 mile Little Minch this year, aims to add the Minch to his already impressive swimming resume.

' Swimming the Minch has been has been on my bucket list for years and I am well prepared to take on this epic task' 

Unlike her two fellow swimmers who will be wearing wetsuits, Colleen Blair will only be wearing a swimsuit in accordance to the British Long Distance Swimming Association's rules. Colleen is regarded as one of Scotland's top long distance swimmer. She swam the English Channel at the age of 20 and has gone on to be one a select few to have swum the Northern Channel and the first to cross the Pentland Firth. If she completes this then it will be regarded as the greatest ever accomplishment in Scottish open water swimming history. 

' The Minch swim was suggested to me 20 years ago by a college friend who was from Lewis, the idea has intrigued me ever since. I started to plan this swim 3 years ago but for various reasons, including the weather, the opportunity has not risen until now. When the guys offered me the opportunity to swim with them I couldn't refuse, it's also in aid of great charities. It's a long cold swim which has never been done as a solo swim before so why wouldn't you give it a go.

To view: Norman Todd's ice swim...


As the UN went to press, we’re pleased to announce the wraps were coming off the first acts for this year’s Loopallu.

Expecting blistering shows from long term favourites ALABAMA 3, plus a whole raft of first time visitors to the village including THE BLUETONES, BAD MANNERS, JOHN COOPER CLARKE, BRITISH SEA POWER, ASTRID and something very new and special from MARK RADCLIFFE. In conjunction with Ullapool Book Festival, Literally Literary at Loopallu welcomes VAL McDERMID. Many more acts will be announced in due course.

Tickets are on sale now from The Arch Inn or at


Friday 29 June 2018  Issue No 2292


Crown Estate Scotland has opened up coastline, seabed and rural estates for local management under a new scheme launched recently

The Local Pilots Scheme enables community bodies and local authorities to take on land and property to test new and innovative ways of sustainable development. Scottish Crown Estate assets include seabed, just under half of Scotland’s foreshore and 37,000 ha of rural land across four estates. These are home to moorings, pontoons, fish farms, agricultural farms and much more.

The scheme is an opportunity for organisations around Scotland, whether a small development trust or a local authority, to develop project proposals designed to improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of their local area using eligible Scottish Crown Estate assets.

Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham MSP said: “This pilot scheme paves the way for local authorities and local communities to actively manage land, coastline or seabed in a way that directly benefits communities, but also Scotland as a whole by, for example, promoting sustainable development.

“Crown Estate Scotland has a wealth of expertise to share with local authorities and communities, and I look forward to seeing organisations develop and shape their proposed projects. Small changes at a local level can have a big impact on a community – this scheme creates some really exciting opportunities.”

Projects that enhance economic, social, environmental and well-being outcomes are welcome, and the type of agreement and project can vary according to what suits the applicant and the type of asset it relates to.

Crown Estate Scotland Chief Executive, Simon Hodge, said: “Connections to the land and the sea run deep in Scotland, and we really want to involve local people in managing Scottish Crown Estate assets. We’ve designed this scheme, with valuable input from a wide range of organisations. It provides a great opportunity for communities and local authorities who have ideas about how they can use Scottish Crown Estate to enhance sustainable development.

"We’re really keen to hear of innovative proposals that have the support of local people and existing tenants. If you have an idea, please come and speak to us.

“Whatever the project, our staff will work with applicants, helping them to develop their plans. We see this scheme as a collaboration – not just between ourselves and the applicant – but also involving other interest groups who can contribute to the project’s success and potentially widen the benefits.”

Successful applicants who go on to develop their proposed project may receive appropriate remuneration which will cover their expenses, and can, with agreement from Crown Estate Scotland, reinvest capital raised within the project. The balance of the revenue will be paid to Crown Estate Scotland which, in turn, is given to the Scottish Government to contribute to public spending. Projects must maintain and enhance the capital value of the estate and the interests of existing tenants and other users of the estate must be protected.

The Stage One Application process is open until August 16 2018.   Crown Estate Scotland encourages any interested group to get in touch and discuss details of their plans. Once applications are in, they will be assessed for eligibility. Viable projects will then progress to Stage Two application when applicants will develop and submit their business plans to meet the criteria. Again, an assessment phase will follow. Scottish Ministers will approve the final selected projects.


Land ownership

New register will improve transparency

The first steps are being taken to create a public register of people who ultimately make decisions about how land is used and managed. The Scottish Government is publishing proposals that will, if agreed, reveal for the first time the controlling interests of land owned by trusts and overseas companies. The register will be held by Registers of Scotland and will be free to the public.

Land Reform Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said:

“The proposals in these draft regulations can greatly improve the transparency about who is making decisions about Scotland’s land. This creates the potential for people and communities to be able to directly engage with those parties, which we believe will lead to better decisions about how Scotland’s land is used, ensuring that everyone can benefit from it”.


Friday 22 June 2018  Issue No 2291


The Iron Age Continues at Clachtoll Broch                

Archaeologists and local history enthusiasts will be looking for more evidence of Iron Age life at the broch at Clachtoll, in Assynt, Sutherland, in the first two weeks of July 2018. Substantial excavation and conservation work during 2017, organised by Historic Assynt, uncovered a unique collection of finds from the previously undisturbed floor of the broch. Archaeologists will now complete the conservation and consolidation of the monument and explore into some so-far untouched parts of the building, including a chamber between the walls. The dig will be open to the public, with volunteers welcome, and experimental archaeology activities will explore how local materials, including clay, wood, leather and wool, were used by the Iron Age broch inhabitants and plans are afoot to culminate with an Iron Age feast.


Gordon Sleight, Chairman of Historic Assynt, said, ‘This phase of the broch project will involve a wide range of interactive activities and we hope lots of people will come along and get involved in the dig or try out making an iron age style object using materials still readily available. We have found lots of pottery, evidence of textile work and of course food, and we hope to make some replicas of the finds. This experimental work will be a lot of fun but it also has a serious purpose, for example, we will be using stone and hazel to build an almost full-scale model of a section of the broch in order to understand how the broch’s interior floors and ceilings might have been made.’

Events will kick off with a presentation by the archaeologists at 7.30pm on Friday 22 June 2018 in Stoer Hall, summarising the results so far of research into the archaeological finds.

The hazel flooring experiment will run alongside the excavation, which will be from Monday 2 July to Saturday 14 July 2018. On Monday 25 and Wednesday 27 June there will be pottery workshops with local potters Fergus Stewart and Marc Campbell, using local clay, from 3.30 to 6pm (meet at Clachtoll car park). The pottery will be fired in an open pit kiln on Monday 2 July.  Wool work will be on Thursday 5 July with leather work likely to be on Thursday 12 July. The feast is likely to be on Saturday 14 July 2018. There will also be guided walks and foraging events. Full details will be on local posters and the broch website:

Last year’s excavation removed hundreds of tonnes of rubble from inside the building and produced a unique assemblage of objects including the largest collection of lamps ever found from at such a site in Britain. Because the building collapsed due to a fire sometime after 150BC, everything under the rubble had been untouched since the Iron Age. The broch would have stood up to 14 metres (40 feet) high, with a double-walled cooling-tower shape, with chambers between the inner and outer circular walls. The people who built it were part of a sophisticated maritime culture stretching up to the Northern Isles and out to the Hebrides at a time prior to the Roman conquest of southern Britain.

The archaeology project is organised by Historic Assynt, a local community organisation. With the assistance of the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Historic Assynt raised around £500,000 to enable the excavation and conservation work to go ahead. The project is part of the Coigach & Assynt Living Landscape Partnership of which the Scottish Wildlife Trust is the lead partner. Funding has been provided thanks to players of the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland, SSE's Sustainable Development Fund, The Pilgrim Trust, Robert Kiln Trust and individual donors.

Visitors are welcome to the dig at any time between 2pm and 5pm on Monday 2 July and from 9am and 5pm all other days (except Sunday) up to 14 July.

For more information, contact:

Gordon Sleight, Phone: 01571 855207 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

or see the website at

or the Historic Assynt Facebook page:


Friday 15 June 2018  Issue No 2290



Starts Saturday 16th June

Local duo raising money for Multiple Sclerosis

Two friends are embarking this weekend on a charity cycle from Land’s End to John ‘o’ Groats but plan to forgo their sensible cycling attire and will be making the trip wearing frocks, dresses and blouses.   Elijah Forsyth [20] and Isaac Lawton [20], both from Ullapool, have been close friends since school, and intend setting off on the demanding 1000-mile journey, dubbed the ‘Two Man Lacey Drag Racey’, on Saturday 16th June to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis. Both will be riding second hand Boardman Comp CX hybrid bikes that they recently purchased on line, and hope to make the trip in around twelve days.

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Eli, a product design student at Dundee University said, “On a recent training run from Dundee to Ullapool on our old bikes, we were fraught with bad weather and mechanical failure. My seat bolt sheared, and I ended up on my back in a puddle.”   Isaac, who hopes to be accepted on a welding course in Invergordon this autumn said, “On reaching Inverness, the journey was thwarted, due to my rear gear cassette spectacularly disintegrating. It was a valuable lesson though, that it’s not just a case of getting on a bike and pedalling.”

The pair endeavour to make the gruelling journey without a support vehicle, so will be carrying everything they need, and intend procuring replacement lacy outfits from charity shops en route. “It’s all just a bit of fun,” said Isaac, “so not so much of a race.”. “At least not till we get near the end!” Eli competitively quipped. “There is of course a serious side to this in that we intend to raise as much money as possible for Multiple Sclerosis research. It is a cruel condition that, for some reason, is particularly prevalent in the Highlands. We both know people who are affected. Recent announcements about stem cell treatments are promising, but potential breakthroughs like this would not have been developed without charitable funding.”  

Isaac added, “All donations are welcome and will be hugely appreciated. We’re not quite sure what we are letting ourselves in for, but hopefully our training will have paid off and it will certainly be an adventure”

Donations can be made through Facebook and ‘Just Giving’ crowd funding page: There will be frequent updates throughout the journey highlighting our progress on the trip.   Contacts: Elijah Weightman: 01854 612380. Mobile: 07511 204763; Isaac Lawton: 07456 501488 Link:



UCT have applied for funding from the Calor Gas Rural Community Fund. If successful this will provide the funding to upgrade the facilities in your community charity shop, such that we can sort, wash and store donations more readily and have a quiet office space and distinct Hub area.

We need your votes to be able to qualify for this support. You will find all the instructions for registering and voting on the Calor Gas website. Once registered you will have 10 votes to use as you wish. There are two local projects looking for your support, our own New Broom and Isle Martin Trust.
(also see notices on page 18)
Please take a look and give them your votes. 

New Broom



Monday 4th June, Ardmair Beach.

Swimmers at Ardmair 1

Last Monday night, 30 brave and budding 'adventure swimmers' took the plunge out at Ardmair beach. It was a great evening and a first for Ullapool Swim Club.

We were joined by local 'open water swimming enthusiast' Norman Todd, who gave a talk on his upcoming 'Minch Swim' in July. He also gave us an insight into his training, as well as tips in dealing with the cold water elements, (eat lots of cake!!) which sounded very appealing to us all!  Noel Hawkins from 'Scottish Wildlife Trust' kindly came along too. He offered wet-suits, as well as some cool water based gadgets, to have a go at spotting some underwater wildlife. This was really great!

We had constructed a course of approx 200m in length. This ran adjacent to the shoreline and was designed to be a 'brief introduction swim', however the kids were refusing to come out by the end! Eventually the lure of hot chocolate and snacks prevailed. 

Therefore on behalf of Ullapool Swim Club, a number of "BIG THANK YOUS'!!" for an amazing evening:

  • Norman and Noel for sharing their knowledge of the sea. This was hugely inspiring to all our swimmers.
  • The Safety Team: Em Planterose and John Macintyre, on-board 'Awk' - Isle Martin Trust. Lochbroom Leisure Centre staff of William Godding, India Poe, Mhairi Crook and Erin Meek for being on-shore spotters/rescuers. Robbie Fraser and Struan Reeve for kayak support. 
  • Steven and Nanette Gourlay, who courteously provided some amazing footage with their drone 'spider cam' whizzing overhead.  
  • Ardmair Point Campsite and the Ceilidh Place, for hot chocolate provisions and snacks.
  • The Ullapool schools and Christine Crook for the use of the Mini Bus, to and from Ardmair.
  • Our NEW Club sponsor, 'Ullapool Smokehouse', for contributing towards our brand new swim caps!
  • The Ullapool Swim Club Committee and Coaches, for making the event happen.


Friday 8 June 2018  Issue No 2289


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Ullapool's PROCESSIONS banner heads to Edinburgh

Women from Ullapool will travel to Edinburgh this weekend to take part in a huge public artwork celebrating 100 years of votes for women and reveal a banner they have made reflecting the story of female life in the highlands.  

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Among those travelling to the once-in-a-lifetime event is local farmer Lucy Beattie and her daughter Brenna who is represented on the banner as a girl wearing a rugby shirt. The girl's shirt is made from the actual rugby shirt donated by SNP Minister Maree Todd who played in last season's Parliamentary Six Nations.

The banner has been created by a group of women from different backgrounds in the local area at An Talla Solais in Ullapool during workshops led by artist and storyteller Lizzie McDougall. Its one of 100 banners which have been created across the UK as part of 'Processions'. 

This Sunday, women and girls in Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff and London will walk through the cities displaying the banners and wearing green, white and violet - the colours of the suffrage movement. Organisers say they will form 'a flowing river of colour' and a living portrait of women in the 21st Century. 

The Ullapool banner features many elements of life chosen by local women to represent their history and future in the Highlands including fishing, farming, music and the local mountains. Brenna, 8, suggested early on that a girl was included wearing a sports top and the idea coincided literally with Maree's kind and symbolic donation of her rugby shirt. 

Maree, who grew up in Ullapool and is now Minister for Childcare and Early Years, said: “I play in the parliamentary team, the first woman to do so and still the only female MSP involved. Parliamentary rugby was started by Nelson Mandela, who saw the opportunity to bring very different people together through sport. We play in an international six nations against other parliaments and I am proud to have ensured that women have the opportunity to be involved too. I’m delighted that wee bit of history has been stitched into our banner."

Maree, Lucy and Brenna will join Lizzie McDougall and some of the workshop team at the event this Sunday which will reveal nearly 20 banners which have been made by groups and organisations across Scotland. The historic event is a positive celebration of equality and the women and men who campaigned for universal suffrage. 

“When I consider the different opportunities I have had compared to those women who came before me, the progress we have made is incredible. My granny from Lewis followed the herring. It was a tough life but her only other career option was to go into service so she was proud to be a herring girl. In contrast, I went to university and serve in Government," said Maree. 

She added: "I’m going to be there, along with my mum and my two daughters and thousands of sisters from around Scotland. I can’t wait to gather to celebrate how much we have achieved, as well as recognise how far there is still to go." 

Victoria Caine, who has headed the project for An Talla Solais, said: "Naturally, we are incredibly proud to have been chosen to represent our area of the Highlands for this historic artwork event. Community is everything here and one of the best elements of the workshops was bringing together women who might not have had a connection until now and watching them form a group. Being with them was an absolute joy and I loved their company and stories."  

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Friday 1 June 2018  Issue No 2288 




 Ullapool has been voted among the most charming towns in Scotland in a survey by The online travel magazine invited over 300 travel writers, photographers and selected professionals to name the three towns in Scotland they consider the most appealing.

Towns of all sizes were considered for the survey, only excluding Scotland's seven major cities of Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee, Inverness, Perth and Stirling. The results were then collated in order to determine the top 20 most charming towns according to the number of votes received.

Located in Scotland’s Central Lowlands, Falkirk is the largest town to make the top 20. Home to some of the country’s most outstanding attractions, including The Kelpies, The Helix, The Falkirk Wheel, Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway, and The John Muir Way, its appearance on the list will come as little surprise to many.

Nestled in the western Scottish Highlands on the shores of Loch Linnhe, the town of Fort William also boasts some of the nation’s finest natural landmarks. Known as a gateway to Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest peak, visitors also flock here to explore such delights as the Glen Nevis valley and Nevis Range Mountain Resort.

Meanwhile other Highlands destinations to make the top 20 include the popular port town of Ullapool and the delightful settlement of Plockton on the shores of Loch Carron.

Another region with strong representation in the top 20 is the Hebrides archipelago off Scotland’s west coast. Featuring in the list are Tobermory, capital of the Isle of Mull, and Portree, the largest town on Skye, both in the Inner Hebrides, while the Outer Hebrides is represented by the town of Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis.

Among the other inclusions in the top 20 are the small town of Anstruther in Fife, the Dundee suburb of Broughty Ferry, and the market town of Crieff in Perth and Kinross. Check the full list of the Top 20 towns in Scotland at:

 Apologies for the missing front pages,

this was due to a change in staffing.


Friday 9 March Issue Number 2276


map take 2

Ullapool High School has received £15,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project, the Men of Lochbroom through the eyes of the children of Lochbroom in Ullapool. Led by volunteers from the local community, the project focuses on remembering the men from the Lochbroom area that left to fight in World War One.   The project is based on a book written just after the war by the widow of one of our local soldiers entitled ‘The Men of Lochbroom’, which commemorates the men from Lochbroom who did not return from the war.   Although this project has many parts the final outcome is to produce another book in memory of these men as a number of additional soldiers have been identified as lost in action since the original book was made. We will also be producing a film of the journey that the students took in creating this book.   In order to research the soldiers who died the students will be visiting museums, talking to relatives of those who died, and working closely with experts.   As part of the project we will be building a replica world War One battlefield full-size. This is so that students can experience what life is like as a soldier, also so that the wider community can engage with what life was like in the trenches. We will also be holding a community day at the battlefield where people will be invited to explore the battlefield itself, followed by a community football match to re-enact the Christmas Day truce football game. This will be the High School students versus the men’s team from Lochbroom area. We hope that this day will be very enjoyable for all involved.   As part of the legacy of this project we will also be building a permanent memorial to The Men of Lochbroom which will be located in the village. This memorial will be created by the community and relatives of the men who died. There will also be other opportunities throughout the project for the community to get involved both helping and learning new skills through workshops in willow fence making and ceramics.   As well as receiving Lottery funding we have also secured funding from Historic Environment Scotland for the project.   Also being a small supportive community we have had significant donations both financially and materially from a number of local businesses including; Ullapool Harbour Trust, Dundonnell Estate, Leckmelm Estate, Jewson’s, Fettes sawmill, and Safe Access.  

The overreaching aim of the project is to prevent WW1 being essentially forgotten and relegated to pages within a textbook. The true legacy of this project will be that young people for many years to come understand the implications within a community, of a world at war and continue to talk about WW1 with their children, the next generation.

Please follow our Facebook page – The Men of Lochbroom Through the eyes of the Children of Lochbroom to receive regular updates on the project as well as details of events and workshops.   We hope everyone will get involved and make the most of an excellent opportunity.

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 swimmer 6

Lochbroom Leisure staff decided to make the most of the heavy snow and have some fun with a snow swim on Saturday 3rd March. It all started as an idea for a bit of a laugh after the Beast from the East swept across the country with over 18 inches of snow falling in Ullapool spiralled into a fundraiser that was put together at very short notice by the staff who thought they could raise £200 for their local swimming pool.

There was a great crowd that came to watch this mad event which took place on the leisure centre grounds. The participants who took the plunge in -4 temperatures were Ciara Macpherson, Tom Grant, William Godding and Matthew Haughey. The staff said it was cold at first when they first jumped in, “However after hearing the spectators laughing and cheering us on it spurred us on to the finish. We were totally buzzing after and went straight for a sauna for a warm up.“

The money that has been raised so far has exceeded their expectations and is sitting at just under £2,000. With over 340,000 views and 5500 shares on social media, the staff are overwhelmed with the video’s success.

A big thank you to Steven Gourlay, Norman Todd, Noel Hawkins and Ruairidh Maclean for the videos, photos and input on the day.

Well done to all!



Friday 2 March 2018   Issue No 2275


Coigach Community

Wind Turbine

wind turbine

Coigach Community CIC's bond offer is now open!  

If you would like further information please go to  for all the details of how to invest.  

The offer will be promoted widely in two weeks' time, but in the meantime you have a head start!   Of course you can invest at any time up until the offer closes on 30th April subject to availability. The bond offer document is available immediately online at and there will be printed copies available soon.

If you require a printed copy please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., phone Julia Campbell 01854 622 379 or pick one up at Coigach Community Hall, Achiltibuie Stores or The New Broom in Ullapool.

You should ensure you read the Offer Document in full, including the section on key risks, before deciding whether to invest in the bonds. Investing in the bonds is not the same as depositing money in a bank account as your capital is at risk and you may not get back the full amount that you invested. An investment in the bonds is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

This financial promotion has been issued and approved by the UK division of Triodos Bank NV (incorporated under the laws of the Netherlands with limited liability, registered in England and Wales with branch number BR3012). Authorised by the Dutch Central Bank and subject to limited regulation in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority.

Details about the extent of our regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority are available from us on request. Registered office: Triodos Bank NV, Deanery Road, Bristol, BS1 5AS.


Rev Hercus

A woman who helped hardened gang members in California turn their lives around has been ordained as the minister of a Highland church.

Rev Heidi Hercus was inducted into Lochbroom and Ullapool Church on Saturday (Feb 24) - a move that ends a seven-year vacancy.

The 43-year, who grew up in the US state of New York but has had a love affair with Scotland for nearly 30-years, said it was a dream come true.

Mrs Hercus’s late father, Rev Willis Jones, was a church leader and she said ministry has been in her “blood and bones since the day I was born”.

She first came to Scotland in 1989 when her father did a pulpit supply in Nairn and she finished her schooling at Nairn Academy.

For the next 25 years, she flitted back and forth between the USA and Scotland, where her parents settled, and eventually went to Highland Theological College in Dingwall, where she graduated with a BA in Theology in 2016.

Mrs Hercus, who is married to Tony with whom she has a six-year-old son, Jack, said: “The idea of having my own charge fills me with joy, hope, nervousness and excitement.

“I have been a volunteer co-ordinator on St Thomas in the Virgin Islands in the 1990s after a hurricane that strongly influenced my desire to reach out and help others wherever I can.  I worked in a gang community in Hawaiian Gardens in Los Angeles County for nearly two years where I learned there that even the hardest of hearts and hardened criminals can be transformed and changed forever by the power and love of Jesus Christ.  I knew for some time, that as a minister, I could share God's love, and reach out but this huge responsibility and privilege filled me with fear and doubt for far too long.  I ran away from becoming a full-fledged minister because I just didn't know if I was up for the challenge.”

But Mrs Hercus said God’s timing was perfect and she knew she was exactly where she was supposed to be.  I have felt something special about Ullapool for some time now, I did some locum work there in 2015,” she added.  “I hope to be a minister that is accessible, supportive, patient, has a sense of humour but most of all who shows God's grace and love to all.  I know I won't get it all right all the time but I believe God has great things in store for Ullapool, where we will live, and I am feeling a wonderful new chapter is about to begin for all of us.”

Mrs Hercus, who spent her probation year at Crown Church in Inverness, said her long term goal was to grow the church community in Ullapool and Lochbroom so more people grow to know God.

“Initially I hope to engage with the congregation, parish and community,” she added.  I plan on spending a lot of time visiting the parish, hearing peoples stories and learning about people’s passions, skills and gifts.  Building and fostering relationship first, is my goal.  Then I have many ideas like Messy Church and Friendship Clubs for the elderly, a drop in centre for teens, perhaps a community lunch for all ages once a month and a holiday club for children in the summer.

“Ullapool Church is a small church but it is a faithful church filled with infinite potential and I hope to see it really flourish and grow.  I would love for the church to become a real hub of the community, where all who enter through those doors whether two years old or one hundred and two know they are loved and valued and belong.“

Mrs Hercus has carried out placements at Highland churches including Rosskeen, Alness and Conon Bridge and has been involved in chaplaincy at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.

She has been a youth worker for three Church of Scotland Churches in Troon and Dundonald.

Rev Susan Cord, Interim Moderator of Lochbroom and Ullapool Church, said: “Villagers are really excited and thrilled to be welcoming Heidi and her family to Ullapool.  The congregation are buzzing with the prospect of working with their new minister.”



Friday 23 February 2018  Issue No 2274



Dear Eds,

Copies of my emails to Bear Scotland & their replies    

Sent: Saturday 3 February 2018 14:22

To: Enquiries

Subject: POTHOLES A835

I would like to report dangerous potholes on the A835 road from Ullapool to Inverness. The worst stretch of road runs alongside Loch Glascarnoch. 

On Tuesday 30th January I was travelling back to Ullapool late in the evening after a visit to Raigmore Hospital, with my heavily pregnant daughter, the weather was very wet and windy and we were travelling slowly around 40 miles per hour. Along the side of Loch Glascarnoch we hit a very deep pothole and immediately realised the car was damaged as it began to rattle from the back. In the rain it was impossible to see the extent of the pothole as it was full of water, we had to travel very slowly along the road, through more potholes before I found a safe place to stop. Luckily another motorist was kind enough to stop and help us, travelling slowly back to Ullapool behind us to make sure we arrived safely. The garage confirmed the following day that the rear shock absorber was broken and I had to have this replaced as a matter of urgency so my car would be roadworthy when my daughter needs to attend the hospital.

I feel very strongly that the road surface had deteriorated greatly in the last few months and is becoming a danger to drivers particularly in the dark. This road is vital to local communities and as part of the NORTH COAST 500 route will be increasingly busy as the year goes on. Everyone I told about my experience agreed that they also have had to weave about the road to avoid potholes and have felt in danger of damaging their cars or potentially causing an accident trying to avoid areas where there is poor road surface.

I would be grateful for details of how to reclaim the cost of repairing the damage to my car and reassurance that this matter will be assessed and resolved as a matter of urgency.

Yours sincerely, Ailsa Strange

From: Enquiries     Sent: Saturday 3 February 14:40

Subject: RE: POTHOLES A835

Thank you for your enquiry below, a third party claim pack will be arranged for you in the coming days, for any future enquiries relating to the claim please direct them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Kind Regards

Incident Liaison Officer | BEAR Scotland Ltd

To: Enquiries   Subject: RE: POTHOLES A835

Thank you for your response,  I would however like to make it clear that rather than the cost of repairs to my car being my main concern, it is the repair to the road surface that I am most concerned about.  When I said I hoped the matter would be assessed and resolved I was referring to the road. I want to be able to drive safely to Inverness.

Yours sincerely, Ailsa Strange

Good Evening Mrs Strange  

Thank you for your email below, as it’s the weekend I unfortunately won’t be able to provide you with a definitive response, but I will send an email to the relevant teams who will be able to provide a response for you early next week. Hope this helps with your enquiry for the moment.

Kind Regards,

Incident Liaison Officer | BEAR Scotland Ltd

Sent: Thursday 15 February

I am disappointed to have had no further contact from you since my initial email on Saturday 3rd February. The weather continues to be terrible and from all accounts the road continues to concern all who use it. I can only hope that plans are underway to make repairs but have had no reassurance to this effect.

Yours sincerely, Ailsa Strange

From: Doreen Cockbill

Sent: Monday 19 February 11:55

Subject: POTHOLES A835

Dear Mrs Strange,

We are sorry to hear you had an unpleasant journey home on 30 January.   Unfortunately, the recent prolonged period of difficult winter weather conditions – cold / snow / rapid thaw under rising daytime temperatures, accompanied by heavy rainfall with low temperatures overnight – has been such that accelerated deterioration of the road surface has occurred at localised sections across the trunk road network.  

We have now started a rolling programme of urgent resurfacing works across the network and the A835 at Loch Glascarnoch is programmed for delivery in Spring 2018.  This section and any areas out with these planned works will continue to be regularly inspected and localised repairs will be undertaken as required.   In addition to the above, BEAR Scotland has a contractual obligation to inspect the trunk road network, including the A835, at 7-day intervals. These inspections are primarily to identify defects that require prompt attention (Category 1 defects) because they present, or could present, an immediate hazard to road users. For road surface Category 1 defects, the operating companies are required to carry out temporary repairs by 6am the following morning and permanent repairs within 28 days.   Lesser defects and general deterioration which do not necessitate such an immediate safety-led response are then considered with findings from our annual testing of the network to determine future maintenance schemes. These schemes may include localised patching repairs or larger structural maintenance schemes, which are then programmed and considered against competing priorities across the trunk road network.   We have arranged for a claim form to be sent out to you for completion.   We hope this is helpful.  

Regards, Doreen Cockbill

Correspondence Officer I BEAR Scotland I North West Unit

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

council Column




Friday 16 February 2018  Issue No 2273



Black Belt

Congratulations to the two students from Cameron’s School of Martial Arts who successfully graded to 1st Dan in Kempo Ju Jitsu in Maryburgh Amenities Centre on Saturday the 27th January 2018.   Ross Barnes-Miller who trains in our Scourie Dojo and Sarah Robbins who trains in both Scourie and Ullapool Dojos were put through a four hour grading to demonstrate the skills they have learned and the dedication they have shown over approximately five years of training.

Thanks also go to the Grading Panel and the other students for assisting on the day and for the support from the families over the years. Cameron’s School of Martial Arts has classes in Scourie, Gairloch, Maryburgh and Ullapool. For further details find us on Facebook or phone Ali Cameron on 07810000946.

Congratulations Picture2

Harbour News 23 January – 13 February 2018

27 arrivals for the period

Whitefish totalled 2,000 boxes from two Scottish trawl landings and three Anglo-Spanish liners. The Banff-registered Endeavour IV and the Venture III, both owned and run by the Lovie family from Whitehills, landed shots of monkfish, ling and cod from the Shelf Edge. The majority of the Anglo-Spanish fleet continue to work further north landing hake and ling into Lochinver or Scrabster as is the pattern at this time of year.

Shellfish landings were also fairly quiet with ten landings from visiting trawlers combined with the efforts of the local fleet. The offshore crabber Our Hazel continues to land weekly; catches are exported live to the Chinese market.

Non-fishing activities were restricted to fish-farm support vessels with the tug Tie Venture and the landing craft Arromanches day running to the Summer Isles.

Harbour projects are starting to gather some pace. Highland Council has agreed to sell the Wee Jetty to the harbour and legal formalities should be concluded in the next four weeks. Now that the technical details have finally been agreed, work is scheduled to start on the refurbishment next week. The project has attracted funding from HIE and EMFF and the shortfall will be covered by Ullapool Harbour Trust. The work site will be fenced off from next week and the site will be monitored by CCTV. We apologise for any inconvenience that the restricted access will cause but hopefully the end result will be worth waiting for.

Separately, following months of discussion, Highland Council has agreed to lease the ground floor of the public toilet building to the harbour. The plan is to convert the space into a designated Changing Place accessible toilet and a separate workshop for community use. The Changing Place element of the project has attracted significant funding from Transport Scotland and Ullapool Harbour Trust will cover costs relating to development of the community workshop. The contract is currently out to tender and the project awaits a planning decision but all being well works will start early next month.



Friday 9 February 2018  Issue No 2272




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Thanks to everyone involved in donating well-loved hand sewing machines, cottons, spools and material for this project.

Thanks also to those behind the scenes who made keys and mended boxes.


                                                        Mike 500x246

SOS hosted us last Tuesday and we had a very busy morning cleaning, polishing and trying out the machines.

I suspect some people were surprised how well they remembered how to thread up a machine.

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Thanks to John Lavelle for providing postcards of Ullapool so we could send messages of goodwill to the Rohinga people in the camp and to Julie and Ian for help with technology and moving the machines.

Russell arrived just at the right time from Elphin to give the machine owned by Bridie's mother and to take some lovely photographs which will also be sent.

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John Menzies has offered to transport the machines to Newcastle and the Bangladeshi group there will arrange their onward transport.

I have enjoyed being part of this project, working with Gill Wilson from New Broom and have witnessed, once again, the enthusiasm and generosity of the different groups of Ullapool working together. 

Thank you. Jill Beavitt

Pics courtesy Russell Pursey


History of the Fire Service in Coigach

Prior to 1973 there was no fire cover locally in Coigach. There were a few chimney fires and the availability of fit and young labour working at the Salmon Fishings had resulted in the boys helping out at the odd chimney fire. The traditional way to put it out was to stuff a wet bag into the bottom of the chimney and thus deprive the fire in the flue of oxygen and hopefully it would go out.

In the autumn of 1971 a serious house fire occurred at Blairbuie involving the extension at the east end of the main building. I took a portable pump that we had for net cleaning and went down to Blairbuie. The end building was well alight and our little pump was obviously of little use. I asked if anyone had called out the Fire Brigade and it was suggested as they were in Ullapool it was too far for them to come. I went into the house phoned the Ullapool Exchange which was also the emergency number in those days and asked for the Fire Brigade. About an hour later the appliance arrived with Leading Fireman T Rae (Totty) in charge. And after some fairly hard work the fire was out just in time as the flames were just beginning to get into the roof space of the main house.

Around the time of this incident the R&C County Council was putting a water main in Coigach and I had been in contact with then Northern Area Fire Brigade (NAFB) about a year before the Blairbuie fire asking about the provision of fire hydrants and asking if they would give or lend us a portable pump and some hose that we might use if we were asked to help at one of these fore mentioned chimney fires. Following the Blairbuie fire, support from councillors must have been successful and some months later I received a letter from the Fire Board along the lines of ; They would be establishing a Volunteer Fire Unit in Achiltibuie in 1973 and a Senior Officer would meet with the locals and set up a simple first aid fire fighting unit, providing a crew could be found in the parish.

The meeting took place on the 31 January 1973 and the Unit was officially set up on the 1 February 1973 with 11 local folk coming forward to provide the Crew.

Alastair Armitstead, Robert Irvine, Calum Macdonald, Hector Mackenzie, Donnie Mackenzie, Gilles Maclennan, Jim Muir, Boysie Sinclair, Rob Tweddle, Ali Macleod, & Lyon White.

On the 1 February the Unit went live or in FB parlance went on the run and after a democratic vote I was put in charge as what was then called a Leading Fireman. Some 8 years later the officers in charge of the 90 Volunteer Stations in the Brigade were all promoted to Sub Officer and a Leading Fireman appointed as their deputy. That job went to Jim Muir.

No females in the Brigades in those days apart from Control Room staff and civilian admin staff.  Our Pay Rate in 1973 was 70p per hour and training was two 2 hour sessions a year.

Some 40 years later it is worth noting that Donnie Mackenzie’s son Donnie is one of the Crew Managers of the current crew, while Ali Macleod is the other. Ali is the last of the original members still involved but has not served continuously having left the original crew to go to sea in the Merchant Navy and rejoined the FB in May 1981 when he came home. I retired in February 2003 with 30 years service and Stuart Edwards was promoted from Leading Fireman to Sub Officer in charge on that date. He still runs the Station but under the new system of Roles rather than rank is a Watch Manager.

There are nearly 50 names on the roll of those who have served the parish over the years that is displayed in the Station.

The first “Station” was a small wooden shed with hoses and a pump and some other items which was located to the East of the Summer Isles Hotel. In 1978 this was moved to the rear of the Roads Depot then in 1984 when we were one of the first three volunteer stations upgraded to a “mobile unit status” moving to a Wooden Garage in Polbain where we kept our first proper fire appliance,  properly called an Ultra Light Fire Appliance.

This Ford Van attended over 100 call outs while in service with us before it too was replaced and we moved again. This time into the Roads Depot in 1997 where we housed various larger vans classed as Light Fire Appliances until we were one of the fortunate stations to be upgraded again.

The next move in August 2002 was into the current station, a purpose built facility where a succession of machines have been kept with the current appliance, a full size Water Tender Ladder. Its proper title indicating it carries both water and a large extending ladder.

Over the years the Brigade has had various titles:

From 1973 to 1975 Northern Area Fire Brigade, 1975 to 1983 Northern Fire Brigade, 1983 to 2005 Highland and Islands Fire Brigade, 2005 to 2013 Highlands and Islands Fire and Rescue Service.  The Scottish Government changes in 2013  resulted in one Brigade for the whole of Scotland to be called the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

Academic NOTE!! It was Highland in the singular from 1983/2005 then plural for the next 8 years. None of us know why it was so. But you were forcibly reminded and corrected when the title was in the singular if you inadvertently called it “Highlands and Islands Fire Brigade”!

Diana Wilding was the very first female fire fighter in the Achiltibuie Crew joining in April 2001 but has now retired. Currently the Achiltibuie Crew has no female members but I know Stuart Edwards will welcome recruits of either gender, and the Station needs to keep up its numbers to maintain the viability of the Achiltibuie Crew.

Currently across virtually the whole of the Highlands stations are struggling to stay open due to shortage of folk coming forward to join. The centralised Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) has no mercy or sympathy or sentimentality if a community cannot provide enough recruits to maintain crew numbers.  The SFRS will close stations which saves them money and SFRS will stand back and blame the community for not putting forward recruits.

Hopefully in another five years we will be marking a half century of fire cover in Coigach.

A Armitstead.



Friday 2 February 2018  Issue No 2271


‘The Day a Mountain Changed My Life’

New monthly outdoors writing competition launched by John Muir Trust, Trail magazine and Mountain Equipment 

A new writing competition is asking lovers of the outdoors to submit entries based on the theme ‘The Day a Mountain Changed My Life’.   The monthly competition is a partnership between the John Muir Trust – which looks after some of Britain’s most famous mountains including Ben Nevis, Bla Bheinn and Helvellyn –outdoor mountain gear company Mountain Equipment and Trail Magazine.

Each month for the rest of this year, a winning entry will be published in Trail magazine. The winner will also receive a year’s membership of the John Muir Trust and up to £100 worth of Mountain Equipment kit.

At the end of the year, one overall winner will be selected to spend a day on a John Muir Trust managed mountain such as Ben Nevis or Helvellyn with a Mountain Equipment professional guiding them to a memorable experience. The overall winner will also get the opportunity to write a feature-length article for Trail magazine.

Kevin Lelland, Head of Development and Communications for the John Muir Trust said “The connection between literature and mountain landscapes stretches back centuries from Alfred Wainwright to Nan Shepherd and Duncan Ban MacIntyre.   These and contemporary writers such as Robert MacFarlane, Jim Crumley and Cameron McNeish have inspired countless thousands to take to the hills and make our upland landscapes part of their lives.

“As a charity that manages special and dramatic peaks, we’re looking forward to reading people’s accounts of the life affirming relationships they have with mountains. Perhaps we’ll find the next generation of inspirational mountain writers.” 

Find out more about ‘The Day a Mountain Changed My Life’writing competition at:



Friday 26 January 2018  Issue No 2270



1st-22nd January 2018, 34 Arrivals for the Period

Whitefish totalled 5,500 boxes from four Scottish trawl landings and eight Anglo-Spanish liner/netters. The Inverness-registered Adventurer returned to work on 27 December and landed three lorryloads of monkfish, ling and haddocks for the New Year trip;   they followed this up with two further landings of quality groundfish from the Shelf Edge.   The brand new Kinlochbervie-based trawler Sparkling Star UL 290 (pictured below) landed 260 boxes of top quality goundfish from waters west of the Butt of Lewis. Built by Parkol Marine in Whitby for Durness skipper James Corbett, the 20m vessel was launched at the end of November. Congratulations and best wishes from all at the harbour to Skipper Corbett and his crew.

Harb pic

Kinlochbervie fish market is undergoing a four-month long refurbishment and it is hoped that displaced fishing vessels will use Ullapool to land their catches. Finally, the Anglo-Spanish fleet has returned from fishing north with several vessels landing good shots of hake and ling in the past few weeks.

Shellfish has been quiet.  The local fleet works away as weather permits. The harbour has had three visits from Gairloch-based prawn trawlers.  The Oban-registered scallop dredgers Star of Jura and Rois Mhari both landed a few bags of clams from local waters.

Non-fishing was fairly quiet with a few Irish pelagic vessels came in for fuel, the fish farm support vessel Tie Venture day-running and the NLB support ship Pole Star in for a crew change.

Local shellfish entrepreneurs Heddle Costie and Josh Talbot took delivery of another creel fishing boat Bon Ami UL 77 which was previously based in Jersey. The new vessel arrived by lorry and was lifted in on Friday

morning in wintery conditions. Congratulations and best wishes from all at the harbour to Skippers Talbot and Costie.

Harbour projects are slowly moving in the right direction. The Changing Place accessibility toilet received a welcome boost with a successful application for 50% funding from Transport Scotland and a further contribution from Calmac Ferries Ltd. The works are currently at the planning, building warrant and tender stage with work scheduled to start in March.

The Wee Jetty rebuild awaits confirmation of a Marine Licence which should come any week now. The project has been awarded to Lochshell Engineering and work is scheduled to start in early March.

Many thanks to the sailing and skiff clubs for relocating their vessels and activities for the duration of the works.



Great news! As you all probably know, after the recent setback of our original site, we were in talks with the High School, and now it’s been confirmed that they have given us permission to go ahead with our wonderful Ullapool Garden of Reflection plans.  Our heartfelt thanks to Ullapool High School, for the amazing support they have shown us. 

If anyone has any ideas, please feel free to pitch them to us via our Facebook page. We want your input. 

We will keep you updated on the progress, and thanks again for all of your continued support!

Reuben Mowbray


Friday 19 January 2018  Issue No 2269


Bay Watch

Happy New Year from Living Seas & Congratulations Plastic Straw free Ullapool!

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Hopes to get local businesses converted to alternatives from plastic straws suddenly accelerated just before Christmas. This was a mix of wanting to get it done and realising a number of other places were looking to do the same or similar. Thanks to all the businesses that agreed to go for it. It really has caught the public eye - along with the media and politicians. Ullapool and Sunnyside Primary and the village's non plastic straw stance was featured in a number of national papers, on STV and all over social media and the internet. The kids were also mentioned in Westminster in a Motion. We have also been contacted by a number of other people, groups and communities (even overseas) who are following our lead in their areas and Kate Forbes MSP has launched a campaign calling for an outright ban on plastic straws in Scotland and the UK. Not bad work.

Out and about over the festivities, some people raised concerns at what they took to be plastic straws still in use - e.g. at The Arch. These are actually PLA - a non plastic substitute that is not only not made from oil and carbon neutral, but also biodegrades. They are not as good as paper but are better than plastic. Also some people have raised concerns about people with medical conditions who need to use straws: as stated before, we are not trying to ban straws, just look at alternatives and are happy to ensure businesses have them or point individuals to ones they might want to try themselves too as there are lots of alternatives out there: bamboo, paper, glass, metal, PLA, silicone, etc.

If all this seems a lot of nonsense for a small thing - there literally are millions of plastic straws being used (briefly) everyday then thrown away - mostly into landfill but also into the sea where it lasts for centuries. We hope the campaign has demonstrated that such items can be removed or replaced from daily use with little cost or interference. Also showed that small voices can be heard too. Hopefully a good thing too! If it's possible with one example, what about others: plastic cutlery, packaging, throw away coffee cups, water bottles? Reality is that all these things have a hugely detrimental effect of the environment, nature and wildlife - and eventually us. Not only is usage accelerating but recycling is going to become a bigger issue as China has decided to stop taking our plastics so the UK is facing a rise in domestic plastic waste. Figures vary of how much we export but 2014/15/16 it ran at about 800,000 tonnes a year (mostly to China). Our beach clean at Dun Canna was around 2 tonnes and was 300 bags of rubbish. That would mean we're exporting about 2 bags a person in the UK (these are very rough figures and our bags were more densely packed than domestic so could be a lot higher). This is going to leave the UK struggling to deal with plastic waste. Options are, stop using, reduce using, re-use, then recycle. (keep an eye out for what Craig is planning up Braes - great initiative)

So yeah, straws were a wee thing, but maybe can be the start of more. I'm pretty optimistic the kids will find other targets and hope the schools and village will support them and give it a go.

Should give credit to Tesco too - they have agreed to offer paper straws there too. They are also considering some other quite forward looking ideas too. And the kids are also in talks with the school suppliers so will hopefully be getting plastic straws removed out of their suppliers too. And if none of this moves or motivates you in anyway at all, then at least take from it that the village got some additional great publicity which combined with the creel tree, all our music and festivals, etc. so hopefully is a good thing.

Think worth mentioning, if you have seen, it is Year of Young People 2018 in Scotland #YOYP2018. Ullapool and Sunnyside are off to a flying start - who knows what they'll achieve by the end of it all! We are currently speaking with Sunnyside about plans for Ullapool kids going down to visit them, so hopefully good things ahead.   Links to articles and TV clip on our facebook page.

Cheers, Noel (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,


Friday 12 January 2018  Issue No 2268



Message from the Ullapool Surgery

“As you have seen in the news there are a significant number of cases of influenza being diagnosed at present. Influenza can be a serious illness, sometimes requiring treatment in hospital  and can in rare cases be fatal.  The seasonal influenza vaccine (flu jab) is a safe and effective preventive measure. The vaccine cannot give you ‘flu, as it is not a live vaccine and side effects are rare.

Please consider having a vaccination if you are 65 years old of older, if you are pregnant or if you have a long term medical condition. Children are eligible whilst in nursery or primary school. By doing so you will protect yourself, reduce the risk of spreading influenza to other people who may be more vulnerable than you and reduce pressure on the NHS.

We have vaccine in stock and vaccination is free. 

Please ring 612015 or see


Harbour improves accessibility

Ullapool Harbour to benefit from additional funding.

A fully accessible toilet and changing facility will be installed at Ullapool Harbour, thanks to funding from the Scottish Government.The new Changing Places development is being part-funded from the 3rd round of allocations from the Ferries Accessibility Fund and will be installed following the extensive renovation of a disused building.

The award of over £43,000 is being made on a match-funding basis.  Minister for Transport and the Islands Humza Yousaf said: “We want our ferry and harbour operators to provide the best passenger experience possible and improving accessibility is a key area in that regard.

“This new facility at Ullapool Harbour will be a great example of what we’re trying to achieve with the Ferries Accessibility Fund.  It will provide changing, shower and toilet facilities for people with physical or mental disabilities, as well as older people.  It will be available for everyone to use so hopefully it will benefit the wider community, not just ferry passengers.”Harbour Master Kevin Peach said: “This is a fantastic Christmas present for the Ullapool community and I would like to thank the Scottish Government for their continuing support. 

This new facility will make a real difference for passengers with disabilities, as well as older travellers, and I look forward to the work getting underway.”



Additional information