Local News for Tuesday 15th November 2016

Community rallies behind Glen House
A call to the community to help save Stornoway’s iconic Glen House has brought in an ‘overwhelming’ response from island people. Local business BeSpoke Bicycles turned to Crowdfunding when the renovation of the house looked beyond hope, with serious damage to the interior meaning the total cost was far higher than expected. Owner Alistair Glover’s aim is to turn Glen House, the oldest building in the Castle Grounds, into a cycle hub and café. After seeing his appeal feature in media, including on isles FM on Friday afternoon, he has been overwhelmed by the public response which has seen over 180 people make pledges – including one anonymous funder pledging £1,000. The appeal has now exceeded its £7,500 target. Alistair said: “I honestly don’t know quite what to say! I’m utterly gobsmacked and there really are not enough thank-yous in the world. Everyone who has pledged, from £2 to the £1,000, is helping to make the dream of The Hub come true and bringing Glen House back to life.” A ‘stretch target’ has now been set at £12,500 , to allow final refurbishment such as car parking area with a permanent tarmac surface. To pledge to the BeSpoke Bicycles’ Crowdfunding site – and find out more about The Hub project at Glen House – please visit www.crowdfunding.co.uk/the-hub-3

Offensive posters – call for information
Police in Stornoway are carrying out enquires into reports of offensive posters put up in locations around Stornoway. They are believed to have been posted on Friday 4th November in locations including the Council Offices, Bus Station, Perceval Square and Tesco’s. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 if they wish to remain anonymous.
Barra Lifeboat station donation
A generous donation from the friends and family of Martin Johnstone, who died alongside two crew mates when the fishing vessel MV Louisa sank off Mingulay on 9th April, will bring a new building at the Isle of Barra Lifeboat Station closer. RNLI Barra received £8,750 after Mr Johnstone’s family held a fundraising event in the Royal British Legion in Thurso. Barra Lifeboat was actively involved in the search for the crew of the MV Louisa and the family said they had wanted to raise the funds in support of the Barra Lifeboat Station and their volunteer crew and to help others in the future. Barra Lifeboat Operations Manager Roderick MacLean said, ‘On behalf of Barra Lifeboat Station we are very appreciative of this magnificent sum that was raised in memory of Martin Johnstone and his crew mates Paul Alliston and Chris Morrison. The family have asked that the sum be used towards our new building which we hope will be started next year.”
CalMac website update
CalMac says it’s going to improve its online ticketing to make it easier to use, but while the change is being made, the company’s booking system will be taken off-line overnight. The change is due sometime during next week  – the exact date is yet to be confirmed. “The look and feel of the ticket booking area of the website will be much cleaner,” said Alan Hood, CalMac’s head of ticketing. “The new booking progress line is a helpful aid to customers and the pages are clean and straightforward to follow. We would advise customers to plan ahead if they are planning to travel during the week beginning November 21st, as the night that the system goes down, tickets will not be able to be booked either online or by phone to our call centre. There will be a short overnight interruption to our booking system during the upgrade week and we would like to thank customers in advance for bearing with us while we make these improvements and also to ask them to let us know about any glitches they may find once the upgrade is complete.”