Local News for Mnday 24th April 2017

Funeral of island historian
The funeral is to be held today of island historian Norman ‘Norrie’ Macgregor, who has died aged 83. By profession a BT Telephone Engineer, Norrie was best known as a historian. He was a long-time member and chairman of the Stornoway Historical Society, but it was as the host of the Isles FM favourite ‘History File’ that islanders will remember him. Norrie and colleagues from the society broadcast live each Monday night, in a totally unrehearsed show that became a hit with listeners. In one hour-long programme about Sandwick Cemetery headstone inscriptions, he and co-presenter Sandy Matheson digressed so much that they only managed to cover two headstones in the entire programme. Norrie was married to Zena Mackenzie, a school teacher from Crossbost, and they had two daughters, Barbara and Ruth. A keen golfer, he was captain of Stornoway Golf Club in 1983 and 1984. He also belonged to the Isle of Lewis Probus Club and was a Stornoway Parliamentarian from the days in Smiths' Shoe Shop and in Lodge Fortrose until his final illness. Norrie’s funeral is today, Monday at 2pm, with the service at 1.30pm, at the Free Church Seminary. Interment will be at Sandwick cemetery.

Isles FM live – ‘a huge success’
Isles FM’s marathon 24-hour live broadcast has been hailed a huge success by volunteer presenters and listeners alike. With live music, competitions and shows running day and night from Friday breakfast-time until mid-morning on Saturday, the shows brought requests and dedications came from Canada, Australia and New Zealand as well as from all parts of the Western Isles and the UK. Prizes including fresh salmon from Marine Harvest, a meal at the County Hotel and coffee and cake for a year from the Blackhouse Bakery brought entries flooding in, and at some points presenters were stretched to keep up with live requests, studio visitors and competition results. The broadcast was co-ordinated by Isles FM volunteer Crazy Carl Easton and presented by Carl, together with Kathleen Maciver, Uilleam Macleod, Norman Campbell, Maggie Smith, Iain Maciver and Stella Frampton. Segments of shows were live-streamed on Facebook, where more than 22,000 people engaged with the shows over the 24 hours.
Surfer’s ‘self-rescue’ at Dalmore
Coastguard rescue teams from Bragar, Breasclete, Stornoway and Ness were called to Dalmore on Friday after a report of a surfer in difficulties. The search and rescue helicopter R948 was also called, but as the teams arrived a second call came in to say that the surfer had self-rescued. All the teams were immediately stood down.
Audit Scotland reviews Lews Castle College UHI student numbers
Audit Scotland has reported ‘under-achievement’ at Lews Castle College UHI, with a shortfall in the number of further education students against targets during 2015/16. Whilst the report clearly states that the College is not in immediate financial difficulty, and gives the accounts a clean bill of health, there will be cuts in future funding as a result. A spokesman for Lews Castle College said that the number of further education students in the islands has fallen. Over recent years due to funding changes, demographic trends and changes in choices made by young people leaving school. The College has agreed with the UHI Further Education Regional Board a reduction in its credit target for 2017-18 to a level that is realistic and achievable. Board Chair Clive Rowlands said: “The College Board is convinced that the new targets we have agreed for 2017/18 will be achievable with the continued hard work and commitment of our excellent staff.”
Runners fly Stornoway flag
Young athletes from Stornoway Running and Athletics Club joined their fellows from North and South Uist, Orkney and Shetland yesterday for the first of the 2017 series of competitions as the Island Select team in Aberdeen. Among the day’s achievements were personal bests for High Jump and Long Jump for Angela Horne, and a 100 metre win for Sian Macdonald. Full results will be posted on the Stornoway Running and Athletics Club website soon.
Bowling outdoors
Stornoway Bowling Club celebrated light nights at last as they started their summer season at Bayhead on Friday. During the winter, club members play indoor bowls at Lewis Sports Centre. They start the summer this year with 50 members – and always room for more.