I've found a great video tonight, created by someone from Sweden, showing all eight Islay Distilleries from the air. It's shot using a DJI Inspire drone equipped with a 4K camera, which produces very high quality video. The music might not be the best choice but the views are amazing. Enjoy!
The Museum of Islay Life is now closed after a successful season. The Museum had about 10% more visitors than last year, quite likely helped by the indifferent weather that we had to put up with during the so-called summer. As a haven from rain and cold winds, the Museum, with its constant temperature of 18°C (required to maintain our collections in the best possible conditions), was pleased to offer a warm welcome to visitors from not just Islay, Scotland and the rest of Britain, but from many countries abroad as well. It is always a pleasure to help those who come seeking information about their forebears who had left Islay and settled abroad generations earlier. One traveller from Australia was amazed to see a photograph of his grandfather, looking smart in his soldier’s uniform together with members of his family, in our display about World War I. We continue to be grateful to Ilich and others who bring us items for our collections. Continue reading....
It was back in 2007 when I witnessed a very special moment on Islay. Just before the start of Bruichladdich Open day a crowd had gathered in the centre of Port Charlotte, opposite the Youth Hostel, to witness the "Peat Cutting Ceremony" . A special ceremony followed by a toast to the newly to be build Port Charlotte Distillery. Everything was ready, planning permission was there, the equipment was bought but the years passed and nothing really happened. So much for the 9th distillery on Islay.The great thing is that there is Port Charlotte Whisky but the distillery has yet to be built. Back then Mark Reynier told me that the worldwide financial crises was the reason for the delay. Also, the new owner, Remy, might have other priorities at the moment. As plans go on Islay, they sometimes don't come to fruition, which is for now the case with Port Charlotte Distillery. It's not that it won't happen in the future, just not now.
A few years ago there was another announcement of a new whisky distillery, the one at Gartbreck, on the shores of Loch Indaal. The owners from France bought the farm and grounds and put up a sign telling folk that the distillery would start production end of 2015. Which is actually now but every time I look out my cottage window across Loch Indaal I notice no changes on the horizon. Gartbreck Farmhouse is there, some outbuildings have been demolished in spring, but apart from that silence. There are some rumours but as nothing has been confirmed I'll keep them to myself so for now I'm waiting for construction to start. There still is a chance that Gartbreck will indeed become the 9th distillery on Islay but there is more to this story..... Continue reading...
The Met Office issued a Yellow Alert for wind today which will be valid from 1800hrs on Thu 12 Nov to 1400hrs on Fri 13 Nov. It's the first serious winter storm of this season which can possibly bring 80Mph winds to the north of Scotland. It will be somewhat less for the south west and Islay. The Islay ferry service is already on amber alert so diversions and cancellations are possible tomorrow and possibly also on Thursday morning. Make sure to stay up to date if you're travelling to and from Islay.
Now there's nothing special about a storm in the winter period, we do get them quite frequently. This one however is the first storm that is named. By naming the storms the Met Office hopes that the warnings messages will be clearer and more consistent when picked up by journalists and social media. An initial list will be used during autumn and winter 2015/16 when a storm is deemed to have the potential to cause substantial impacts in the UK and/or Ireland. The list for this winter season is as follows: Abigail, Barney, Clodagh, Desmond, Eva, Frank, Gertrude, Henry, Imogen, Jake, Katie, Lawrence, Mary, Nigel, Orla, Phil, Rhonda, Steve, Tegan, Vernon and Wendy. The Met Office also wrote that any ex-Hurricanes will keep their cyclone name.
Update: The 0945 sailing from Kennacraig on Thursday 11nov has been cancelled due to adverse weather.
The Maggie is one of Ealing studios lesser known comedies. A wily old skipper of a Western Isles 'Puffer' and his motley crew lead all who come into contact with them a fine old time! Many scenes on Islay!