November 22, 2008 § Leave a Comment
The Comann Eachdraidh Uig has some amazing photographs of the Uig area back in the 60′s up at the moment.
September 7, 2008 § 5 Comments
Abhainn a’Ghlinne Dhuibh, Newmarket, Isle of Lewis. Via Islandboy
Production has started at a distillery near Uig on the Atlantic coast of Lewis, 164 years since the last legal distillery in the Western Isles closed.
Island businessman Mark Tayburn has set up Abhainn Dearg distillery (Red River in Gaelic) on the site of a former salmon hatchery. Casking has begun and the first bottles of single malt will be ready by 2011, when the Royal National Mod returns to the islands.
The business is run on environmentally friendly lines, with a small hydroelectric scheme planned.
Mr Tayburn, who also runs a recycling business in Lewis, said 10,000 litres would be produced this year, and up to 25,000 litres by 2009-10.
He has based his distillery on an illicit still working on the islands until the 1950s, using copper stills and American oak bourbon barrels.
Meanwhile, a second distillery may open in the islands shortly. Uisge Beatha nan Eilean Ltd (the Island Whisky Company) plans to produce 25,000 litres a year in Barra, where the film Whisky Galore was made.
With the dark nights drawing in, it’s almost time to buy the first bottle of the season! Last year it was Ardbeg’s Ten Year Old, this year who knows….
PS Hopefully the Abhainn Dearg folks will be doing cask purchases when they get going. If so I’ll be game for going in for one (and reaping the rewards ten years hence) with a few other like minded folk if anyone else cared to chip in?
August 11, 2008 § 1 Comment
Uig Hills, Isle of Lewis. Via edbrenager
Comann Eachdraidh Uig is the local historical society in the district of Uig, in the far south west of the Isle of Lewis. They run a registered museum, maintain an archive, research aspects of local history, collect objects and photographs, help with genealogy enquiries, organise talks, undertake occasional projects and meet regularly to discuss old news and new news.
The community of Uig consists of some 20 small active crofting townships on Loch Roag and the open sea, from Gisla to Brenish. The population is about 400. Local interest in history and heritage (whether archaeology, the Vikings, legends and stories, clearance and settlement, ethnography, genealogy, crofting or fishing) is huge and the Comann Eachdraidh has amassed a large and very detailed body of knowledge. Previously housed in Lochcroistean School (now a cafe), the society moved in 1998 to the new community centre overlooking Timsgarry and Uig Sands, where the museum and archive can be visited.
Their website makes for great reading and seems to be updated several times a day at the moment! Some great posts from this week…
July 11, 2008 § Leave a Comment
Norman Macleod was born in the village of Coll and as a teenager moved to Stornoway where he attended The Nicholson Institute. After an apprenticeship served in the famous shipyard of John Brown and war service in the Merchant Navy he returned to his native island where he set up business as a partner in a firm of electrical contractors. With the establishment of a shop specialising in electrical and sports goods in the early fifties, the Sports Shop as it has been known to generations of Stornowegians was born.
It was here I bought my first rod and reel, both cheap Daiwas, and a copy of his guide to fishing brown trout in Lewis. Norman’s first-hand knowledge of the lochs he describes in his excellent book Trout Fishing In Lewis was based on his lifelong passion for angling. Not content with leaning back on his knowledge, he fished every loch in his book during the two years he spent compiling it. Such a meticulous approach to a job to be done was characteristic of the man.
My first copy is rag-eared and decrepit after being brought on fishing trips, washed out of tents and dropped in pools but my current and updated copy is faring well. Probably as I haven’t been out fishing in over a year. I’m looking forward to getting out again next week to the Lochs area (with a few pointers from Mike Reed of Island Flies’ pamphlet) for some Brownies and then on to Uig for more of the same (with a little inside knowledge from Simon Hunt at Uig & Hamanavay Estate).
I’ll be fishing a Grey’s Missionary 9’3 5/6 AFTM rod with floating line and 6ft taper and the new Grey’s Spinning rod with a simple bubble float, size 12 hook and a wriggly earthworm as bait.
Hopefully there will be some photos of the one’s that didn’t get away to follow.