The Late Angela Skrimshire

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It is with great regret that we record Angela’s passing, 1st June 2015, after some nineteen years as a much-loved and appreciated resident in Colonsay.  Angela was a constant source of surprise and inspiration, self-effacing to a remarkable degree yet a lady whose talents outshone the vast majority of people.  Angela was an acknowledged and published expert on the German Arthouse Movement (see her Appreciation of Edgar Reitz’ Heimat Films), played and actually built her own spinet (a form of ...

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The Stevenson Lighthouse

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The magnificently restored Stevenson Lighthouse is a triumph for the Colonsay & Oransay Heritage Trust, and is attracting attention from on high.  On Saturday 6th June, it is to be visited by the Lighthouse Commissioners and members of the executive of the Northern Lighthouse Board, who will also visit the Rubh a’ Mhail lighthouse lens, which is preserved in the gardens of Colonsday House.  It is now securely sited in the Glebe and will hopefully be an additional feature of ...

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John De Vere Loder 80th Anniversary Symposium

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John de Ver Loder’s Colonsay and Oronsay in the Isles of Argyll was published in 1935 and remains an essential reference work for any future study.  On the 80th anniversary of its publication Colonsay and Oransay Heritage trust is sponsoring a workshop to discuss the significance of this work, and how later work has deepened our understanding of the history of the islands.  The Trust is grateful to Colonsay Estate for financial support towards the cost of this event. Contributors ...

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Ceol Cholasa 2015

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Once again the organisers of Colonsay’s 8th Folk Festival have been lucky to attract some of the top names in Scottish Traditional music to the festival. Jointly topping the bill are the legendary Blazin’ Fiddles and internationally acclaimed Breabach.

The incredibly busy Kris Drever will be making his 4th appearance at the festival, this time with fellow guitar virtuoso Ian Carr; (Previously with John McCusker and Roddy Woomble, Megan Henderson and Eamonn Coyne ...

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Church of Scotland Renovations

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Following an architect’s inspection, two Georgian windows at the church were condemned, creating a serious financial challenge for the tiny congregation.  It was decided to launch an appeal for funds, but also to completely change the approach to ongoing maintenance.  In the past, work has been commissioned as and when required but this is now recognised to be inefficient.  Instead, an ongoing Fabric Fund has been established and maintenance is moving onto a proactive footing – each autumn, necessary work ...

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Rebuilding The Archive

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Owing to an error by the hosting company, the archive of the first 100 editions of The Corncrake was wiped from the record. Owing to the kindness of a number of individuals, especially Melanie McKellar and Angela Skrimshire, it will be possible to recreate that archive.  It will take a wee while, but work will start fairly soon.
Incidentally, Melanie is researching her Colonsay connections and visited the island recently.  Melanie has kindly left a copy of her extensive research, ...

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Doctor in the Wildnerness

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It would be good to be fit and healthy for as long as possible, and any pointers in the right direction might be of value.  Many Colonsay folk will remember that the late Dr. Walter Yellowlees had some theories on the subject, and that he seemed to be living proof of their validity.  His book, Doctor in the Wilderness, is unfortunately no longer in print, but a copy was obtained online for £0.01 plus postage – a brilliant investment.  It ...

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Putting The World To Rights

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What an extraordinary month!  There are 64 SNP members of the Scottish Parliament, out of 128 in all; then along came the General Election and 56 SNP members were elected to the UK Parliament, out of a possible 59.  From a purely objective point of view, it seems that Scotland is the most united part of the United Kingdom and that the other members should maybe watch and learn.
Amidst all the excitement, it had been learned that Hebridean Air ...

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RSPB Nature Notes

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May was largely dominated by Northerly winds which slowed down spring migration, it felt more like autumn at times!

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We heard our first corncrake of the year on the 22nd of April and they really started making themselves known on Oronsay during the first few weeks of May with their distinctive ‘crex crex’ bring heard throughout the day and night. An initial survey ...

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MacPhee Bagging

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The MacPhee Bagging project on May 4th was a great success – lots of people were there for the start and even the youngest children conquered the first three peaks. Support dwindled a little thereafter, but three people (and a dog) completed the full 21 miles and 21 peaks of the circuit. The event was to raise funds for Educational Travel for the Primary Schoolchildren, and a total of slightly more than £700 was raised, thanks ...

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Festival of Spring

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The Festival was a huge success, thanks to the support of the sponsors including Hebridean Air Services, Colonsay Estate and CalMac, and the services of all our experts, artists and guides, and in particular sue to the sterling efforts of Sarah Hobhouse. The text of a proper appreciation of the splendid three week long programme of events has gone missing in the ether, so it is hoped that a few photographs in this issue will speak for themselves. ...

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Hazel Rose

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Hazel is one of 3 finalist for “Graduates In The Spotlight” competition! This is through Nude Jewellery which is a gallery in Mayfair London. If she wins she gets the opportunity to show her jewellery in the gallery and get lots of publicity. Winning relies upon getting the most votes so if anyone would like to do this follow this link or go to the Nude Jewellery website and go onto the blog.  It requires logging ...

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Marine Harvest

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There is good progress – the shorebase application for Planning Permission has gone through, the 60ft service vessel has been built (in Holland?) and is to be named Beinn Eibhin, at least one Colonsay member has attended a successful induction course, the manager has been appointed and moorings for various craft are being finalised.  Colonsay looks forward to welcoming this exciting new venture, a fish farm to be operated to the highest environmental standards by a major international company providing ...

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