Excerpts from issue 43/14 30 April 2016

islay woolen mill

Islay Woollen Mill have recently produced a tartan tweed for Saville Row tailors 'The Huntsman' in conjunction with the 'Rake Magazine'. Aleks Cvetkovic from the Rake and Campbell Carey from the Huntsman visited Islay to view the tweed coming off the loom. The event was filmed for future use on therake.com. Our photo shows Gordon Covell of Islay Woollen Mill with, Aleks and Campbell inspecting the tweed.

Photo:islay studios.co.uk

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Finlaggan problem puts ferry capacity in question

Fears are growing that a problem with the MV Finlaggan's mezzanine deck could seriously affect the tourist industry in Islay and Jura.
The Islay and Jura Ferry committee discovered in the first week of April that the mezzanine was out of action, reducing the Finlaggan's car carrying capacity by 18 vehicles per sailing. When the Ferry Committee requested extra sailings to make sure that there would be space for everyone wanting to travel to or from Islay and Jura, CalMac claimed that they were able to accommodate bookings across available sailings.
Now with the islands on the threshold of one of the busiest months of the tourist season, Islay and Jura Marketing Group chairman, Jack Fleming, reports, "People trying to book sailings off Islay for next week are finding 20 out of 25 sailings showing as 'not available' on the website, with 16 out of 25 for the following week already showing the same."
Responding to an enquiry this week from the Ferry Committee, Simon Richmond of CalMac said that an attempt last weekend to make an 'interim repair' to the mezzanine proved unsuccessful. Another attempt will be made this weekend. It won't be fixed permanently until the Finlaggan can go into drydock at the end of the summer.
Jack Fleming said, "The Marketing Group have long held the view that overall demand is being neither recognised nor met and, while understanding that the current mechanical problems contribute to restricting capacity, believe that the current situation is indicative of the sub-optimal ferry provision."
On Friday, 2 April, Argyll and Bute MP, Brendan O'Hara, met the Ferry Committee along with Mike Russell who was canvassing on the island. Both were made aware of the current and long term concerns of the committee. Mike Russell agreed to take these up with Transport Scotland if he is returned as MSP. (To be fair the Committee had a similar question for the other candidates at the Hustings but time ran out.)
Islay and Jura Marketing Group members can bring their concerns to the Ferry Committee through their representative on the Committee. The travelling public are represented by community councillors from Islay and Jura and should use the email address islaycc@googlemail.com to record any problems they experience, anonymously if they prefer.

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Infra red photography exhibition at ICCI
michal sur photography

Islay Gaelic College in Bowmore is currently holding a photographic exhibition by Michal Sur.
The exhibition shows some of the most striking images from Michal's project 'Islay'. The photographs were made between 2011 and 2014 and the full body of work was exhibited in August 2015 in Stranraer Gallery, Dumfries & Galloway. The images depict some of the well known Islay sites, but also places rarely visited, unknown ruins and solitary trees shaped by the elements of the west coast. Working on the project Michal focused on contrast and simplicity. He often returned to the same places, studied the light, its intensity, direction, shapes and shadows in order to make an image he had imagined. He used long exposures to enhance the movement - to smooth the motion of water and clouds and blur the foliage in the wind.
Michal was born in Slovakia and now lives in Scotland. He studied forestry and since 2003 has been working in nature conservation combining his passion for the natural world with photography. Fine art photography is now taking most of his free time. Michal is currently based at Loch Gruinart Nature Reserve.
Michal specialises in digital infrared B&W photography. According to Michal this technique produces images of unusual tonality, high contrast and often creates surreal effects. His photographs are made in daylight using a special filter that filters out the visible spectrum of light. It can therefore be said that his work literally shows an unseen world.
The exhibition started on 18 April and will be on until 17 June 2016. Opening times are 10am - 5pm, Monday - Friday with free entry. All works are for sale. More of Michal's work can be seen on his website michalsur.sk

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From bump to birth

Katherine Wells writes:
A new charity has been established with the aim of improving maternity services on Islay and Jura.
Islay and Jura Bump to Birth Fund is run by a group of local mums who, along with the midwives, recognised a need for some families to receive a little financial help with the associated costs of living on the islands but having their babies on the mainland. As well as numerous trips to the mainland throughout the pregnancy for routine ante-natal appointments, a lot of expectant mothers are encouraged to stay near the hospital in the run up to their due date, from approximately 38 weeks gestation. Of course, babies very rarely arrive on their due date and pregnancies can go up to 14 days past this date.
For expectant parents on the islands, this is a huge expense as they have to cover the cost of travel, accommodation and food for the duration of their stay. Some expenses are covered by NHS Patient Transport, but families are still left very much out of pocket. Islay and Jura Bump to Birth Fund is available for every expectant mother, without discrimination, and offers a small payment for those who feel that they could use some help with the financial burden. Payments are calculated depending on how many days the expectant mother spends in the mainland up to the day the baby is born, with a maximum of 14 days payable. If the baby were to need mainland hospital care after being born, the Islay & Jura Sick Children's Fund can be contacted to assist further.
In addition to this financial assistance that the Bump to Birth Fund provides, it will also use funding to pay for equipment needed or deemed useful by the maternity department and for services not currently available in ante and post natal care on Islay and Jura. The sustainability of the fund will rely on successful grant applications and local fundraising events, so please support this worthy cause where you can.
The committee, consisting of Emma Crawford (chair), Katherine Wells (co-chair) Maria Heads (treasurer), Kirsten MacIntyre (treasurer), Rebecca Hart (secretary), Lizzy Jorgensen and Emily Johnson, are currently planning a bingo night for 27 May, which will kindly be run by Sheena MacMillan in Bruichladdich Hall, in order to kick start fundraising efforts.
Applications to the Fund will be open from 1 May 2016 and details of how to apply can be found on the Facebook page 'Islay and Jura Bump to Birth Fund' along with the form to download and complete. Alternatively, applicants can contact the committee at bumptobirthfund@gmail.com or ask the midwives for information. The committee are looking for more members to join them and would love to hear from parents of children who are primary school age and younger who would like to get involved. Contact can be made through the Facebook page or email address.

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to subscribe or advertise, contact ileach@ileach.co.uk

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NEXT ISSUE ON SALE 14 May 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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