Local News for Monday 5th November 2018

SNP MSP Alasdair Allan recently joined Minister for Children and Young People Maree Todd MSP on a visit to Pairc Playgroup in South Lochs.

Pairc Playgroup have been operating an extended hours project in partnership with HIE and Muaitheabhal Trust offering wrap around childcare.

The Playgroup have been awarded an ‘Excellent’ grading by the Care Inspectorate for their care of the children and awarded a ‘Green Flag’ from Keep Scotland Beautiful for their Eco work with children.

Commenting, Alasdair Allan MSP said: ‘Thanks to the staff at Pairc Playgroup and to the children for letting us interrupt their play time!

‘It was really useful to hear about the impact extending childcare hours in South Lochs has had, and learning about how this has enabled parents to go either to work or into further education. It underlines the potential of the Scottish Government’s pledge to double the number of hours of free early years education and childcare to 30 hours a week for vulnerable 2 year olds and all 3 and 4 year olds by 2021.’

Stornoway Library is celebrating International Games Week up to the 10th November. They are offering gaming programs and events suitable for the whole family, to encourage people to come together.

A number of activities have been arranged for the week, focusing on different types of games. It’s not only familiar board games, such as scrabble, that will be available, but Virtual Reality ones as well.

The highlight of the week is a chess challenge with members of the Nicolson Institute Chess Team. Members of the public can sign up to test their skills against the up and coming players.

Helene Lagrange, Library Assistant with Western Isles Libraries, said:
‘The library stocks a number of different board games which are freely available to the public in The Space at all times to meet up for a friendly game and chat.’

For more information on the events at Stornoway Library, contact them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or check their Facebook page at @westernisleslibraries

The public launch recently of the new book on the Iolaire tragedy, written by Malcolm Macdonald and Donald John MacLeod was a sold out event.
The Darkest Dawn: The Story of the Iolaire Tragedy was launched at An Lanntair as part of the Faclan Hebridean Book Festival.

The book, published by local firm Acair, is a hardback, of nearly 500 pages.
It tells of the loss of HMY Iolaire, which went down on the Beasts of Holm in the early hours of January 1, 1919 – with the loss of 201 lives.

While not claiming to be any kind of definitive account of what happened on that dreadful night, The Darkest Dawn is an encyclopedic volume that covers all aspects of the incident.

The Darkest Dawn tells the story of all the men onboard – those who were lost and the 80 survivors – as well as the stories of their families and the community they left behind.