Local News for Thursday 27th April 2017

Tairsgeir travels from Arnol to Nanjing
A peat basket and peat iron (Tairsgeir) from Arnol Blackhouse will be on view to audiences in Nanjing, China, from today as part of a new exhibition called Romantic Scotland. The exhibition compares the romantic view of Scotland’s past with archive evidence of what life was really like in days gone by. Curated by Historic Environment Scotland and the National Galleries of Scotland, the exhibition shows nearly 100 objects, paintings, photographs and other treasures, which have been flown over 5,000 miles to be enjoyed by visitors at one of China’s largest cultural institutions. The peat-cutting tools, once in daily use in Lewis, will be shown alongside images from eighteenth century Scotland, when artists became part of a new movement that came to be known as Romanticism. Romantic Scotland aims to draw Scotland and China closer together by strengthening the cultural ties between the two nations.

Island games squad need sponsors
Fundraising has begun in earnest to support the Western Isles Island Games Association as they prepare a squad for competition in the NatWest Island Games in Gotland, Sweden this summer. The week-long international event starts on 24th June and will see 90 Western Isles participants, including athletes, coaches, managers and medical support, travelling to Sweden to compete against 23 other island groups from around the world. WIIGA expects island competitors to take part in eight sports and Gotland organisers expect over 3000 to participate, making it the biggest games to date. General Team Manager, Iain GG Campbell, said, "Preparations are in full flow and the selected team members thoroughly deserve their chance to compete in Gotland. It's another young squad with half of them aged 21 or under, which is great to see and very encouraging for the future”.  Attending the games is a costly business, and anything up to £180,000 is needed for the team to go. This year’s major sponsor is the Scottish Salmon company, and individual donations have also come from organisations and businesses including Charlie Barleys, Harris Tweed Hebrides and Point and Sandwick Trust. The Women’s Football team have launched a crowdfunding appeal on JustGiving, aiming for £1,000 towards their accommodation costs. They say: “We love football. We love our Islands. To represent our beloved Outer Hebrides at the games would be a dream come true, with five games in six days against very strong opposition. As a squad we have worked hard and saved our pennies to make this happen - any donation you could make would help our cause greatly and be forever appreciated. “ You can support them by following the link on the Isles FM Facebook page, or support WIIGA by contacting GG Campbell via Lewis Sports Centre.
Norgroves ‘overwhelmed’ by charity response
Charitable folk have responded in overwhelming numbers to a call for help from John and Lorna Norgrove, founders of the Linda Norgrove Foundation, which is based in Lewis. The charity was established by the Norgroves in memory of their daughter Linda, who was killed while working in Afghanistan. Since 2010 more than a million pounds has gone to help women and children in Afghanistan, with education and projects supporting women key targets. Last year John and Lorna felt that not enough projects could be supported on funds raised, so they put £20,000 of their own money in and Gift Aid raised it to £25,000. The Norgroves then asked supporters to match the fund – and generous supporters responded so strongly that, at one time, cheques totalling up to £1,000 a day were coming in. The Norgroves said they were touched not just by the donations, but by the letters and messages of support that came with them.