Local News for Wednesday 20th July 2016

Gold for Lewis duo
A daring duo from the Isle of Lewis have raised nearly £5,000 for The Leanne Fund by completing the Peking to Paris Rally, and getting a gold award in the process. Claudine Bloom and Andy Twort set off from the Great Wall of China in June, in their faithful 1965 Volvo Amazon model 122, nicknamed Amy Amazon. They finally reached Paris on July 17th after an epic journey across two continents. Finishing in 14th place – well within the top section of drivers – gives them Gold status, which Claudine said was 'far far higher than our wildest dreams'. Chrisetta Mitchell of the Leanne Fund, said: "We are so grateful to Claudine and Andy for supporting the Leanne Fund through this amazing challenge. We have enjoyed watching their progress along the way and we were delighted to see the Leanne Fund t-shirt in various locations including the Great Wall of China and Belarus." You can still support Amy Amazon's challenge for The Leanne Fund visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/AndyTwort or find them Amy Amazon on Facebook to read all about the adventure.

Read more: Local News for Wednesday 20th July 2016

Local News for Tuesday 19th July 2016

Record breaking HebCelt
The weekend’s Hebridean Celtic Festival smashed all records with the most successful event in its 21-year history. An estimated 18,000 people – by far the highest audience yet – savoured four days of outstanding music in Stornoway and surrounding communities. Rock legends Runrig, who brought the festival to a close on Saturday night, led the praise for this year’s event. Keyboard player Brian Hurren said: “It was incredible. The crowd was unbelievable. It was so good to hear Runrig’s music played at home, it just comes alive like nowhere else. It was definitely one of the top gigs the band have ever done.” Drummer Iain Bayne posted on social media: “There are gigs and then there are experiences. We love every concert we play of course, but few can match HebCelt. What a crowd! The atmosphere and the energy were amazing. From the first beat to the last note we gave it everything. We were all on a high afterwards. Thanks for proving yet again that Stornoway is very, very hard to beat.”

Read more: Local News for Tuesday 19th July 2016

Local News for Monday 18th July 2016

HebCelt sell-out a Runrig-away success
The 21st Hebridean Celtic Festival was a runaway success, closing on a sold-out high, with headliners Runrig delighting the crowds. Heavy rain through the weekend did nothing to dampen the spirits of festival-goers, who donned their wellies and waterproofs to sample the best the festival had to offer. A team of volunteers, made up of local helpers as well as visitors from around the world, contributed over 3,500 unpaid man-hours over the course of the four-day festival, to ensure everything went to plan. Volunteer teams including Coastguards also formed part of the safety planning for the event, which saw the population of Stornoway doubled for the long weekend. A police spokesman said that it was a fantastic event with a great family atmosphere, and thanked those attending for the way they conducted themselves.
Isles FM maintained live coverage throughout the festival, with acts including Breabach, Whisky Kiss and Skipinnish in the studio during 20 hours of live broadcasting. Over 65,000 people had viewed updates, videos and photos on the Isles FM Facebook page by yesterday evening.

Read more: Local News for Monday 18th July 2016

Local News for Friday 15th July 2016

Big weekend for the islands
The busiest weekend of the year gets underway today, as Hebridean Celtic Festival sees the first of two full days entertainment in Lews Castle Grounds. Headliners tonight are the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, Astrid and King Creosote, with Whisky Kiss and Julie Fowlis performing tonight on the LWP Islands Stage. The acoustic stage this evening features Brian O Headhra and Fiona Mackenzie, with an eclectic mix of Scottish, Gaelic  and world music, and Amythyst Kiah, from Tennessee. Skippinish are on at An Lanntair tonight, with new singer Norrie Maciver. The gates at the main arena open at 2pm, and music continues until around 11.30 tonight.

Read more: Local News for Friday 15th July 2016

Local News for Thursday 14th July 2016

New museum opens doors
Museum nan Eilean will open to the public from 10am today, in a building which combines the old surroundings of Lews Castle and grounds with architect-designed new spaces. At today’s public opening the pipes and drums of 7 Scots will play in the courtyard from 9:45am, while the Chair of the Lews Castle Project Board, Cllr Angus Campbell, will ring the Castle bell to mark the public opening. Later in the day the talented island band 'Faram' will play, adding to the excitement in the grounds as the HebCelt arena heads towards its opening.

Read more: Local News for Thursday 14th July 2016