Excerpts from issue 43/22 20 August 2016

islay show

Show Day Thursday was wet and muddy, but despite the conditions, approximately 2,500 attended the 170th edition.

Photo: islay studios

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Congratulations to Zoe

Zoe Wells is the first student from Islay High School to be awarded a bursary by The Botanist Foundation, a recently constituted Community Interest Company (CIC) created by Bruichladdich Distillery. The single discretionary bursary of £2,000 will be available annually to a student from Islay High School. Its purpose is to assist with the costs of their further education and is open to those working in any subjects.
Zoe's attitude and aptitude for work have been demonstrated by her achieving an 'A' grade in Higher Mathematics, securing her a place at Stirling University to study for a BA in "English Studies and Professional Education - Secondary". Zoe was chosen for the bursary because of her commitment to her education, to Islay High School and to the community.
A Bruichladdich spokesperson told the Ileach, "The Distillery has a proud record of developing employment opportunities on Islay, retaining as many elements of supply, production and administration systems here as possible. This has seen the company become the largest private employer on the island. With this success has come a responsibility to the Islay community. The central aims of The Botanist Foundation will be to support education while promoting conservation and sustainability."
The Foundation's Board of Directors said, "We are delighted to be able to make the first award of this bursary to Zoe Wells. We wish her every success for the future."

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Rescue at Soldier's Rock
coastguard helicopter rescue

Both the Port Ellen and Port Charlotte Coastguard teams were called out to attend and assist an injured fallen walker near Soldier's Rock near the Oa at 5pm on Monday, 15 August.
The walker had an injured ankle which later turned out to have been broken in two places, and the person needed to be stretchered to a nearby flat area where a helicopter could land. Even off-road vehicles could not get near the place where the mishap had occurred. The casualty was kept as comfortable as possible while a helicopter uplift was organised, and a safe landing area was prepared with a flare readied so that the site could easily be identified from the air.
The available helicopter at the time was a HeliMed 76 despatched from its base in Perth, which uplifted the injured walker and brought her to the new Queen Elizabeth hospital in Glasgow for treatment.
Senior Coastguard officer Harold Hastie reported, "The callout and casualty recovery went as smoothly as could be hoped for, and the injured walker was attended to as quickly as possible. The teams worked well, we used our training to good effect and it's good to be able to report that all was well in the end."

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Digging into Islay's past

The 170th Islay Show was the perfect event for launching Islay Heritage, a new community-based archaeology group. Despite the dreich weather the Islay Heritage marquee had a busy day, welcoming a large number of visitors to what proved to be a very popular photography exhibition of archaeological sites and monuments on the island.
The exhibition was laid out as a visual trail of Islay's past, moving in pictures of Islay sites from the first Ice Age visitors 12,500 years ago to the deserted townships of the nineteenth century. Many people new to the island were shown a taster of its impressive archaeological sites and monuments, while several Islay residents expressed delight at seeing the island's heritage promoted in this manner. Several of the photographs were quite spectacular, with images provided by Steven Mithen, Chris Abell and Niall Colthart. The exhibition will now be displayed within Ionad Chaluim Chille íle.
Next door to the photography trail, and popular with younger visitors, was an experimental archaeology demonstration supported by Peta Glew and local enthusiast Kerry Baker. Visitors watched as Peta and a costumed Kerry worked away at a replica prehistoric loom throughout Show day, with help from Alexander Millar. Many visitors also enjoyed the opportunity toĘhandle some of the 8,000-year-old flint fragments on display.
Also at the Islay Heritage stand, film-maker Les Wilson conducted short interviews which will be available to view on the Islay Heritage website soon. Les will follow Islay Heritage's activities over the next few years, leading towards a film about Islay's archaeology.
Islay Heritage is supporting excavations by the University of Reading at the Neolithic burial tomb known as the Giant's Grave, located on the slopes of Beinn Tart a'Mhill. Work will take place between 20 August and 3 September. There will be an Islay Natural History Trust walk to visit the dig on Sunday 28 August, leaving at 2pm and a public talk at Ionad Chaluim Chille íle on Wednesday 31 August at 7pm.
Islay Heritage arose out of discussions for a discrete and sustainable trail of Islay's archaeological sites, local interest in having community-based archaeology events and concern about the conservation of Islay's monuments. Islay Heritage aims to work in collaboration with Islay's schools, estate managers, businesses, community groups and organisations, several of which are already concerned with aspects of Islay's heritage.
For more information about Islay Heritage and its activities, visit islayheritage.org or follow the group on social media: /islayheritage (Facebook); @islayheritage (Twitter and Instagram).

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NEXT ISSUE ON SALE 3 September 2016

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islay info

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islay community council

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Islay Diary 2016

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