Cànan ‘is Ceòl ann an Colbhasa

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With the grant awarded to Colonsay Community Development Company (CCDC) by Bòrd na Gaidhlig a weekend event was held celebrating Gaelic culture, music and language, specifically that of Colonsay & Oransay. The event ran from Friday 9th – Sunday 11th October 2015 and kicked off the local food & drink festival, Connect with Colonsay.

The program consisted of ‘taster’ sessions in the morning – an hour-long seminar with speakers delivering a short talk on Gaelic ...

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Arandora Star 75th Anniversary

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On the morning of July 2nd, flowers were placed at the memorial at Leum a’ Bhriair on behalf of all Colonsay residents and in remembrance of over 800 souls whose lives were cut short by the tragic loss of that ship.  It was a moment of solidarity with friends throughout UK, Germany and Italy, particularly with the good folk of Borgo val di Taro, who so kindly granted honorary citizenship to all residents of Colonsay to cement our relationship.
The ...

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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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Colonsay & Oronsay Heritage Trust

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Writing the History of Colonsay
John de Vere Loder’s book Colonsay and Oronsay in the Isles of Argyll was published in 1935, eighty years ago. It remains an indispensable source of historical and archaeological information. The Trust is holding a workshop on Saturday 27 June to discuss the significance of Loder’s work, and to consider how later work has modified and extended his understanding of the island’s history.
We invite friends of the island, and those who are interested in ...

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SS Arandora Star

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This year we mark the 75th anniversary of the sinking of MV Arandora Star and the loss of over 800 persons. There will be a commemorative service at the memorial plaque, details to be announced.  In the meantime, military historian Alan Davis (author of Colonsay’s Fallen) will be in Colonsay at Easter and intending to mount a small exhibition at COHT to remind us of this tragedy.  Incidentally, Alan has provided an extraordinary resource online, including details of all who ...

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SS Arandora Star

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The 75th anniversary of the tragic loss of the Arandora Star arises on 2nd July 2015, an event in which over 800 individuals perished.  The people of Colonsay were profoundly touched, since a number of the bodies were recovered locally.  The sinking was never forgotten locally and the thoughtful compassion of the Colbhasachs of that time was recently marked by the townspeople of Borgo Val di Taro when they granted honorary citizenship to the entire population of Colonsay.

Military historian Alan ...

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The Costguard Lookout

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Would it be a good thing to restore this building? It would be a brilliant place for birdwatchers and photographers, especially during storms or for night sky photography and observation.  Years ago, the famous war photographer Don McCullin used to come to Colonsay for R&R, to concentrate on photographing storm conditions.  Now the world and his wife are claiming “dark skies” (even Coll, whose own light-pollution can be clearly seen from Colonsay!), but at least we have them – there ...

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Cnoc an Ardrigh

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Readers might remember the Christmas competition, which aimed to identify a tiny holding on the 1808 Estate Map; purely by chance, it has now been noticed that the area in question has a proper name and is clearly shewn on the modern O.S. map – it is Cnoc an Ardrigh.  As many people will know, Symington Grieve had been told that this was some sort of “pleasure ground” associated with Dun Eibhinn and he took the name to mean “Hill ...

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Oban Times March 8th, 1879

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COLONSAY Ploughing Match:  Competitions for ploughing supremacy were commenced on this island twenty-four years ago, and, with the exception of a few years’ break, have been continued to this day.  The last was held on the 14th ult. , on Kiloran farm, tenanted by Mr. William Stroyan.  The morning opened wet and unpromising, but as the day advanced the weather cleared up, with a sharp east wind, which, however bracing to the nerves of the competitors, nearly killed the onlookers, ...

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Colonsay & Oronsay Heritage Trust

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The restoration of the Scalasaig minor light is making good progress and we expect the completed light chamber to be returned to the island in March 2015. The Trust plan to re-erect the light as a feature  in Scalasaig  with information panels giving some background history to the light which was originally erected in 1903 by David A Stevenson. We also plan to create a “lighthouse trail” with directions to the optic which is a central feature in the walled ...

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Christmas Competition

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Our illustration is from a later edition of David Wilson’s Colonsay Map of 1804; this particular edition includes the new Mill, so is probably dated about 1870, but the edition is not relevant.  We have reproduced a section between Scalasaig and Machrins, and it shows the new road passing An Garbh Cladaich, but does not yet show the one across the Monadh Thomach (which is, presumably, as yet undrained).

 

A “D” shaped enclosure is shewn to the south of the road ...

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Colonsay & Oronsay Heritage Trust

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COHT has secured the services of Hazel Smith to assist in the professional preparation and submission of bids for funding.  Your correspondent looks forward to further news, but is aware that Hazel has already made great progress in drawing together the representatives of all agencies involved – to an outside observer, things are looking very encouraging.  Prof. Colin Breen, from University of Ulster, was in Colonsay last week and has assured the Primary School that he will be back again in ...

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Scalasaig Minor Light

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This year Colonsay and Oransay Heritage Trust were awarded a grant by the Association of Industrial Archaeology to restore the original Scalasaig minor light. The light, which was oil lit, was built by David A. Stevenson on commission from the Northern Lighthouse Board in 1903. Known locally as An cruisgen it was subsequently replaced by a gas light on a square building in 1957 and when this was demolished in 2003 the original light was broken up and kept in ...

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