An elderly couple from the Isle of Skye have proven that love lasts a lifetime as they celebrated 44 years of marriage at HC-One's Home Farm Care Home recently.

Care workers surprised resident Neil McInnes and his wife Mary with a cake and flowers to celebrate the special day, with the couple enjoying a small tipple to toast their happy marriage.

Linda Baillie, HC-One Care Home Manager, commented: "It's apparent that Neil and Mary are devoted to each other and they set a real example to the rest of us that despite ill health and living separately, true love really can overcome any obstacles. We wish them many more happy years together!"

The couple tied the knot in 1973 and share three daughters and four grandchildren. Neil served in the Merchant Navy for years, following which he settled down in Portnalong and worked at Talisker Distillery as well as running a croft. Mary worked for the Highland Council.

Tiny tots from Portree Nursery bounced into HC-One's Home Farm Care Home on the Isle of Skye recently for an afternoon of intergenerational activities.

Residents entertained the children by playing with an Octaband, designed for use by the elderly and children with physical and cognitive challenges, as well as to encourage movement and interaction.

The initiative enables the development of relationships between generations and has been shown to reduce the likelihood of social isolation in the elderly, teach children news skills, as well as aid in cognitive simulation.

Linda Baillie, HC-One Care Home Manager at Home Farm, commented: "It was lovely to have the children come in for a visit. Their inquisitive nature and chatter created much discussion and laughter amongst our residents and it was fantastic to see the interaction between generations."

The Totachocaire path in the Dunvegan area will be closed.

The Macleod estate has been issued with a notice regarding the identification of a pathogen dangerous to larch trees.  

Eighteen rhododendrons have been tested and need to be felled, burned on site and the stumps treated with chemicals.

In the meantime, walkers are asked to stay away from the area in order to minimise the risk of contamination and the pathogen being spread.

Hard of hearing ferry passengers are set to benefit from a new video interpretation service that will make it easier for them to manage their ticket bookings.

CalMac is the first transport operator in the country to offer the British Sign Language Interpreting Video Relay Service (VRS) to hearing impaired customers.

The VRS system provides an easy and flexible way to interact with sign language users through their mobile phone.

Passengers with hearing problems simply down load the sign language app to their mobile and call a number to connect to an interpreter via video link. The interpreter then calls CalMac's customer care team and then interprets back through sign language via video to the hearing impaired customer.

CalMac's Head of Customer Experience, Sandra Crighton said: "CalMac is committed to making our services as accessible as possible to passengers whatever their individual needs. Our team is constantly monitoring new industry developments to see how we can improve our customer care standards. We will always be early adopters of the latest technology if it is is going to improve a passenger's experience of travelling with us.

The Skye winter 17/18 bus timetable has been released.

The timetable can be found here.  Hard copies of the timetable will be available as soon as possible.

Portree is set to be the location for a VisitScotland regional hub.

VisitScotland said 39 of its 65 centres would shut over the next two years, leaving 26 "high impact regional hubs" in response to the popularity of digital services over information centres.

Decisions regarding the location of the regional hubs in Dumfries and Galloway, the Scottish Borders and the Outer Hebrides are to be made following a consultation with the local tourism industry over the coming months.

In the meantime, sites located in Peebles, Jedburgh, Gretna, Kirkcudbright, Dumfries, Tarbert (Harris) and Stornoway will continue to operate as normal for now.

VisitScotland said there had been a significant decline in the number of tourists visiting their information centres, amounting to a 58% drop in footfall over the past 10 years.

The 26 regional hubs will operate in locations of greatest visitor demand and offer information about attractions across wider regions, said VisitScotland.

The current number of information centres will be replaced with 1,500 "information partners", made up of local businesses, such as bed and breakfasts, distilleries or local retailers.

A heroic act 70 years ago resulted in a Glendale man being awarded the RNLI Bronze Medal for gallantry.

On 14 October, Mr Kenneth MacLeod single-handedly rescued three fishermen.  The three men were at the entrance to Loch Pooltiel when a rope fouled their propeller.  Though the men attempted to anchor, their anchor was carried away in the rough seas and the boat was thrown onto the rocks.  

Mr MacLeod set out to rescue the men and signalled for them to climb to a protruding rock.  Three times, he backed his boat to it and rescued the men one by one and transferring them to a larger boat.  

Very few such medals have been bestowed on non-RNLI personnel.

In 1947 the nearest RNLI Lifeboats were stationed at Barra Island, Mallaig and Stornoway - all several hours away from the location of the distress. 

 


Ian Blackford MP is welcoming plans for a new publicly-owned, not-for-profit energy company to be set up by the SNP Scottish Government.

The new company, which they aim to be fully operational within five years, will deliver electricity to consumers “as close to the cost of production as possible”.

Ian Blackford has long campaigned in Westminster against Scotland’s higher electricity distribution costs, which see consumers in the Highlands paying up to 15% more for their electricity than other parts of the UK.

He said: “I welcome this announcement by the First Minister at the SNP conference which will benefit so many people and make a real difference to their lives.

“The Highlands and Islands weather is more severe than most parts of the UK and many people depend on electricity to heat their homes. Due to higher prices imposed on us by the big corporations who answer only to shareholders, a large number of our people are living in fuel poverty, unable to heat their homes properly.

“For many the only choice at present is ‘heat or eat’, which is not acceptable.

“The Scottish Government has taken action to directly combat this disgraceful situation by offering consumers a supplier whose only job is to secure the lowest price for their energy”.

Kate Forbes MSP is calling on local groups in her Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch constituency to apply to the Scottish Government's new Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund.

The Scottish Government announced the new £6m fund in response to the tourism boom across rural Scotland, and the money will be invested over the course of two years (2018/19 and 2019/20) to help ensure the services and facilities tourists and communities need are provided.

The new fund will support a wide range of improvement projects – such as parking, camping facilities, recycling points and footpath access, in areas such as Skye and Fort William as well as at Historic Environment Scotland sites.
Kate Forbes MSP said: "The tourist industry is vital to the Highland economy, which attracts visitors from all over the world each year.

"The new £6m Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund will help cater to the very welcome increasing tourist numbers in Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch and help alleviate pressure on transport, services and facilities.

"This support for infrastructure will enable even more people to enjoy this most beautiful country in the world and is an example of the Scottish Government listening to and responding to the needs of rural Scotland."

It is understood that more details on the application process will be available soon.

Communities across Skye and Raasay have until Wednesday 29 November to get their entries in for the 2017 Eilean a’ Cheò Civic Awards.

This is the seventh year of the Awards which are organised by the Ward 10 Highland Councillors to recognise people from all age groups and walks of life who have contributed to the success and wellbeing of their local communities.

This year’s award categories are: Sports; Arts/Music; Environment; Community; Enterprise and Young People.

All nominees must be resident on the Isle of Skye or Raasay and be able to demonstrate their actions or activities have resulted in a significant benefit and deserve recognition.

Councillors will then consider all applications received and awards will be presented at a ceremony held in Portree at the Ward Forum on Monday 18th December.

Chair of the Isle of Skye and Raasay Committee, Councillor John Gordon encourages people to put forward nominations. He said "We’re inviting people to forward the name of someone or a community group who they feel deserves recognition for the work they do and the contribution to the lives of others that they make. Often such people work quietly behind the scenes without a fuss. These Civic Awards are the ideal opportunity for their efforts to be officially recognised and for us to show our appreciation."

Nomination forms are now available on the Eilean A’ Cheò page of The Highland Council’s website here.

Completed forms should be returned to the Ward Manager Willie MacKinnon by the 29 November.  Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.