Local News for Thursday 3rd May 2018

Cruise ships replace war ships
As operation Joint Warrior draws to a close today, the Minch will become busy with cruise ships rather than warships for the rest of the season. Due into Stornoway today is the German liner Hamburg, which will berth at pier no. 3 at lunchtime with up to 400 passengers, predominantly German, and an international crew of 170 on board. NATO submarine activity continues this morning off Lewis and the Uists, but the Norwegian, Belgian, Dutch and Danish battleships involved in the last part of Joint Warrior will then be heading off as the exercise closes.

HebCelt accommodation appeal
With ten weeks to go before Hebridean Celtic Festival 2018, islanders are being asked if they have rooms, beds and even driveways spare to help accommodate visitors. Festival-goers double the population of Stornoway to around 16,000 over four days in July, and there’s pressure on tourist accommodation of all kinds. VisitScotland has made the appeal earlier than usual as this year’s festival is expected to attract one of its biggest-ever audiences, with music fans coming from across Europe, Canada, the US and Australia. Alan Mackenzie, VisitScotland Island Manager, said: “The buzz around HebCelt started some time ago and we already have a waiting list for accommodation in Stornoway for festival week. It is the first time we have asked for space in driveways but it can help visitors arriving in campervans to find safe places to park.” Anyone who can help should contact Stornoway VisitScotland on 01851 703088.

ABC cup final this weekend
The first silverware of the 2018 footballing season is up for grabs this coming Saturday, when Lochs FC take on Westside FC in the ABC cup final. Kick-off is at 18:30 at Goathill. On Saturday lunchtime Ness travel to meet Iochdar Saints for their postponed first-round tie in the Co-Op Cup – kick-off for that match is at 12 noon. There are matches tonight in the youth league between under 15s teams – Back v Aths, Western Thistle v Aths Girls and United v Back, all kick-offs at 7pm.