Local News for Friday 4th January 2019


Police Scotland can confirm that the pedestrian who sadly died following a road traffic collision on the A857 at Swainbost was Joan Murray Morrison, 67, who was from the local area.

The collision occurred at around 5.30pm on Monday 31st December, and involved a Black Dacia Logan. The driver of the car was not injured.

Sergeant Christopher Murray of the Road Policing Department, Highlands and Islands Division, said:
"Our thoughts at this time are with those involved and their families. Road Policing Officers have travelled to Lewis and an investigation into the collision is underway. We have already spoken to a number of witnesses and we are grateful for the assistance the local community have provided.

In order to help establish the cause of the collision, I would urge anyone who saw either the vehicle prior to the collision, a pedestrian walking in the area or the collision itself and who has not already come forward, to do so."

Anyone with information can contact Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 080055511 in confidence, quoting incident number 2648 of the 31st December, 2018.


The Sandwick Hall Iolaire Exhibition, which has been open since 4 December, has been well attended by the public and very well received. As of January 1st the exhibition is being augmented by a new film commemorating the tragedy through the eyes of Alyth McCormack and her grandfather’s story as told to her by her mother.

Alyth has co-produced the short film with Graham Maciver of Studio 27, originally from Benside, and Karen Maciver, whose grandfather Norman Maciver from Arnol survived the disaster, composed the musical score.

Karen knew nothing about her family connection to Lewis till her father died when she was just 16. She and Alyth met while both were working with Scottish Ballet in 2004 and have remained friends since.

Alyth has worked on other projects with Graham but this is their biggest to date. Most of the footage was recorded on Lewis in the last few weeks but includes images provided by the Stornoway Historical Society and the Comunn Eachdraidh around the Islands and also some vintage footage from the Imperial War Museum and Screen Ocean which gives a flavour of where these sailors had travelled to and what happened after the disaster.

A number of local people speak of their family memories of the Iolaire Disaster and give their opinion.
Alyth has always been very interested in the artistic response over the years to the disaster compared to the silence that fell over the island in the years that followed. She co-wrote a song with Nashville songwriter Rob Simbeck entitled ‘So close to home’.

The exhibition which is hosted by Sandwick Community Council, Stornoway Historical Society, Point Community Council and Point Historical Society, is open until the end of February on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The exhibition is also augmented by contributions from members of the community who wish to share their Iolaire story or contribute a self-penned piece of literature or perhaps something that has been in the family for a long time. Now seems the time to share. There is a second room in Sandwick Hall which is to be used to display any contributions from the public. Just bring them along.