Local News for Tuesday 19th June 2018

Horshader café closes suddenly
The community café based at Raebhat House in Shawbost has closed unexpectedly, leaving regulars wondering what has gone on behind the scenes. Horshader Community Development Trust announced last week that the café and shop would be closed, and have since announced that the shop only has re-opened on weekdays between 10am and 4pm. The café has had a stop-start history, but was recently building up a good reputation with home-baking and freshly-prepared foods, including options for people with dietary intolerances. A new Facebook group, Shawbost Eats, has been set up for those interested in future initiatives in the area.

Glasgow fire affects island band
The Harris band New Tradition was among those affected by the devastating fire in Glasgow city centre at the weekend, with their album launch concert at the CCA cancelled. The album Hebridean Sky will now get its official launch at island gigs in Carloway on Friday and Tarbert on Saturday evening.

Budapest Café Orchestra in first island visit
Meanwhile the London band Budapest Café Orchestra are in the Western Isles this week, with gigs last night in Uig and tonight in Tarbert to be followed by appearances in Benbecula and Barra. The band include in their repertoire Gaelic songs ‘jazzed up’ for their gypsy-style playing, which also features tunes from Hungary, Turkey, Greece and Russia. Setting out for the Western Isles via Skye, the band posted: “Maiden voyages don’t come much more tantalising than this! For the first time ever we travel to the Western Isles to perform four concerts. Come along down and join the Goulash Revolution!”

Loch Duart recognised in awards
Western Isles company Loch Duart Salmon is among eleven Scottish firms shortlisted in a major UK rural enterprise awards scheme. The Rural Business Awards (RBAs) are the only UK-wide business awards specifically for the rural sector and are sponsored by Amazon. Loch Duart has been shortlisted in the Best Rural Food Business category. The firm employs 115 people Sutherland and in North and South Uist. Its contribution to the rural economy includes donations of £20,000 a year to community projects and resources, including a lifeboat station, community halls and schools. The Scottish shortlisted firms will now go through to regional finals at a glittering ceremony on October 9 with an overall grand final to be held in February 2019.

Minister approves new marina
Castlebay’s brand new Marina has been given the seal of approval by Kevin Stewart, Minister for Local Government and Housing. During a visit last week he said: "I am delighted to see this terrific new facility and hear directly from the community about its importance for local people and the economy. Supported by £302,195 from the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund, it will be a fantastic local asset - not only creating additional health and sport opportunities but also providing new economic opportunities to Barra and Vatersay Islands." The newly-opened marina is available for visiting yachts, for the use of the local water sports clubs and local residents. The latest pontoon infrastructure developments completed over the winter of 2017/18 has provided a further 18 berths bringing the total number of berths for visiting yachts up to 32. All berths have access to power, fresh water, wi-fi and waste disposal (re-cycling). Donald Crichton, Chairman of Sustainable Development at the Comhairle said: "This is yet another excellent example of community driven projects in the marine sector. Marine visitor tourism is increasing and Castlebay will be a most welcome addition to facilities throughout the Outer Hebrides with considerable economic spin-offs.”

Shinty disappointment for Island team
Lewis Camanachd’s four-match unbeaten streak came to a screeching halt on Saturday as they were defeated 5-2 by Lochcarron. Lochcarron travelled with an experienced squad and had a dream start to the match, taking the lead after one hundred seconds. Lewis equalised on the half hour mark through Paul Duke and both Donald Lamont and David Cleary both came close to giving Lewis the lead but it was Lochcarron that restored their advantage two minutes before the break and Lewis were 4-1 down within three minutes of the restart. The early goals knocked the stuffing out of Lewis and the game lacked any real spark, ending 4-2 to the visitors. Things don’t get any easier for Lewis as they welcome Lochaber to Shawbost this Saturday, looking to avenge a 7-1 defeat from earlier in the season. Throw up will be at 2:30pm.