Excerpts from issue 44/17 10 June

ardnahoe distillery

Following the announcement earlier this year of Hunter Laing's intention to build Islay's ninth distillery at Ardnahoe, building work has progressed at the north Islay site. The company has also opened a shop in Islay House Square.
The image shows the state of play last week with the retaining wall now in place to keep the hillside back. This will be back-filled at some point. The diggers are excavating the foundations for the metal stanchions that will hold the building up. These will most likely be installed some time in July.

Photo courtesy islay studios

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Beach Rugby

From our rugby correspondent:
Port Ellen, once again, played host to the beach rugby, with teams from across Scotland descending to do battle over a fantastic weekend.
After some rain the day before which made the pitch perfect for playing on, the sun appeared in the afternoon to let everyone enjoy the day. With other Beach rugby tournaments springing up around the country, Islay still attracts teams thanks to the high quality of rugby and the hospitality shown by Port Ellen and Islay.
The Ladies teams continue to return, though this year, due to other commitments, there were fewer female teams. The girls from Team200 continued to dominate, beating the girls from Watsonians in the cup final 5-1. Oban went down 3-2 against Cartha Queens Park in the Plate final.
Teams from Oban, Kintyre, a large contingent from Loch Lomond and the distillery teams joined those from further afield to play some of the best beach rugby in the world. Kintyre made it through to the third place (Bowl) final where they went down 7-3 against Trinity Accs. Loch Lomond had a good game against Aberfeldy in second place (Plate) final and beat them 3-0.
The Islay boys had their work cut out this year, not only playing for Islay but also making up the numbers for Argyll and Bute, often finishing one game and immediately starting another. At one point they appeared to be playing two games at the same time!
Having lost out to the guys from Kilchoman Distillery in recent years, Oban Lorne met them in the semi-finals and beat them 2-1. This set them up for a final against Bruichladdich but the distillery boys were too strong for them and they went down 9-2.
It was another great beach rugby and the Islay weather played its part in the drama. No sooner had we walked off the beach but the heavens opened and sent everyone running for cover. Everyone was standing in the tent catching up with old friends when the squall picked up the tent. It was a scene from Up with everyone hanging onto it. A great beach rugby moment.

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Islay Tidal Energy Park

Ministers have granted permission for a major tidal energy park off the coast of Islay. The 30 turbine, West Islay Tidal Energy Park has been approved at a site about three miles off the south-west coast of the island. The development by DP Marine Energy Limited will generate up to 30MWh, the equivalent of powering 18,000 homes. It is also expected to create up to 32 jobs.
Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said marine renewables offered "huge potential" to the Scottish economy.
Crown Estate Scotland has also welcomed the planning approval. Chief executive Ronnie Quinn said: "Crown Estate Scotland looks forward to working with the Islay Tidal Park's development team as work progresses and to continue our work in helping to build strong, sustainable marine industries, of which offshore renewables is an important part."

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Pressing the record button

brian palmer writes:
Music education at Islay High School differs substantially from recollections of that which I tried very hard to avoid in my own schooldays, more years ago than I'm willing to admit to. But it's not only the methods of education that have been transformed in the intervening years, but virtually every aspect of earning a living as a musician today.
Glasgow's Conservatoire is an identifiable and achievable target for the musically ambitious and gifted, but candidates now require to have even more strings to their bows in order to survive in the age of restricted recording budgets and high-speed communications.
In the good old days of yore, making a recording was almost exclusively a case of turning up at the studio with instrumentation in tow, setting up, then leaving the technical stuff to the guy wearing headphones behind the control room glass.
Economics have since combined with a need for musical self-sufficiency, essentially making the folks on both sides of that pane of glass into one and the same individual. In other words, it has become prudent for today's aspiring musicians to be conversant not only in the intricacies of their chosen instrument(s), but equally as comfortable curating the recording process all on their lonesome.
With this in mind, in order to teach recording techniques to school music students, IHS Music Teacher, Craig Weatherhogg is currently in the process of raising funds to build a recording studio inside the school.
Projected cost of this facility is approximately £25,000, some of which is already in place. As a further step in this fundraising drive, several school piano and flute students performed individually at a music recital in Ionad Chaluim Chille Ile on the evening of Friday 9 June.
I have written on previous occasions of departing after a school music presentation, harbouring feelings of great inadequacy, a sensation that was hardly diminished at the end of yet another masterful series of performances.
The ability, tenacity and dedication of each performer towards a predominantly classically based repertoire, belied the common misapprehension that today's pupils are solely absorbed with vacuous pop music played at high volume through coloured headphones.
However, tribute must also be paid to the tutors of these young musicians for whom the evening's display must have offered great satisfaction and pride. It is to be hoped that Mr Weatherhogg's fundraising drive succeeds sooner rather than later and doubtless all and any contributions would be greatly appreciated.

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NEXT ISSUE ON SALE 8 July 2017

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islay info

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islay community council

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Islay Diary 2017

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