During the last week two of the island’s stalwart “elders” both passed away.
On Saturday night (26th November) Bert Baker died peacefully in his sleep in the hospice in Dunoon and on Wednesday night (30th November) Petre Withall slipped away at home on Easdale.
Both had almost reached their “four score years and ten” and both will be sorely missed. We hope to publish remembrances of them shortly.
This will be a very difficult time for Jean and for Mary and our thoughts go out to them.
We heard today that our former ferryman Tom Plunkett has recently died.
He ferried us back and forth from 1991 to 2002, and after his retirement he and Dot moved to Dingwall where they settled in very happily, returning here every couple of years or so to renew old acquaintances.
Our thoughts are with Dot.
Please check the local weather forecasts if you’re planning to travel to Easdale from far afield – or even from quite close at hand – because the weather here can be very different from that in Oban … or even in Balvicar!
Have a look at “Weather Watch” on our Handy Info page.
This evening was gorgeous, with the horizontal rain and Force eights died down, and a beautiful rainbow filling the sky!
For the first time within living memory Stone Skimming Sunday dawned bright, clear, sunny and warm and – astonishingly – remained like that for the whole day. So the Fairbairn family were pleased to be able to set up their RNLI stall under sun-shade parasols rather than under rain- and wind-swept umbrellas!
Tombola, RNLI merchandise, soft drinks and crisps were on offer, all with the aim of raising funds for the RNLI.
With Willie acting as a most effective “barker”, visitors stopped by, looked, bought, and enjoyed their winnings from the tombola. (Thanks to so many generous donors, there were very good prizes to be had!)
And the amount raised on the day by the Fairbairn family’s stall was sufficient to attract funding from the TSB to bring it up to a truly staggering total of:
to help fund the work of the Oban Lifeboat.
The Island Residents’ Association also played a small part, with a stall inviting passersby to “Save the Sailors from the Cruel Sea : and help the RNLI save real lives at sea”.
Adults and children alike enjoyed making helicopter noises – chug-a-chug-a-chug-a-chug-a – or THWACKA!-THWACKA!-THWACKA!-THWACKA! – as they lifted the mariners from the water with a hand-held SeaKing! The modest amount of £32.90 was taken. But every little helps.
Remember that the RNLI is a charity, funded solely by donations, and that its crews are all volunteers. Those guys put their lives at risk every time they go on a “shout”.
Meanwhile, we ask how much money went into Eilean Eisdeal’s coffers from this year’s Stone Skimming Day? This has yet to be revealed.
Apparently £9,500 was realised from the Stone Skimming event last year. That’s A LOT OF MONEY!!
Where has it gone? How have islanders benefitted from it?? Rhetorical question probably, because … we … just … don’t … know!!
We also ask ourselves what happened to the money received from the Climate Challenge Fund:
- Eilean Eisdeal Energy Education Programme. The Easdale Island energy education programme aims to raise awareness of energy usage, change behaviour and reduce household energy consumption and the carbon footprint of the island. The installation of a whole-island electricity usage meter with detailed information displayed via a large screen monitor in the ferry waiting room will raise awareness and assist in evaluating the progress of the project. £12,060
Now, that’s certainly A LOT OF MONEY! Raise your hand if you’ve been engaged in an “energy education programme”, or if you’ve seen that “whole-island electricity usage meter” in the ferryshed.
H’mm. If that money wasn’t used, was it forfeited?
In the same way that a load of the GreenStreets grant money was forfeited when it became abundantly clear that island residents did not want a wind turbine!! And abundantly clear, in fact, that islanders hadn’t been consulted before that GreenStreets money was applied for.
From Eilean Eisdeal’s Newsletter no. 49 dated November 2012 we also learn:
- SOLAR PV FEED-IN TARIFF
- We received our first payment from British Gas who are our feed-in tariff provider for the solar PV panels on the Hall roof. This came to just over £700 for 7 months, 20% of which will go to the island children for whatever project they decide.
OK, that’s almost a year ago. And presumably there’s another year’s-worth of feed-in tariff received by now. So how have the island children been involved and invited to decide how that money (we calculate £140 for the first year and now presumably doubled) should be spent?
Again … we don’t know. Parents don’t know .. children don’t know. So … where IS that money… ???
Lots of questions … no answers!
The winter ferry timetable commences on
SUNDAY 20th OCTOBER 2013
ASP Ship Management (the company who have taken over the ferry operation on behalf of Argyll & Bute Council) have issued a notice to passengers, and a link is given below so that all are aware of the rule now in force:
Following a spate of incidents unpleasantly targetting one of our ferrymen, Argyll & Bute Council have re-issued their notice indicating what sort of actions and behaviour cannot be tolerated towards their employees. It is very sad that this has been necessary, because our ferrymen are our friends and neighbours, and we rely on them totally for the excellent service they so willingly give. Click on the link below to read the notice:
Trawling the net for images to illustrate what Ellenabeich used to be like, we came across a website that matches location shots from old films with what those places look like now. In 1959 Ellenabeich, Seil and Oban were used as locations for a film called “The Bridal Path” starring Bill Travers, George Cole and Gordon Jackson, among other names familiar to those of a Certain Age.
The plot looks pretty dire, and features every stock Scottish comedy character in the book. A young man from a remote Hebridean island (er … Ellenabeich) is forbidden to marry his childhood sweetheart because the local Elders believe her to be his cousin and are concerned about “in-breeding”. Accordingly, he sets off to The Mainland in search of a suitable bride. Long story short … the Elders finally establish that the childhood sweetheart is not, in fact, his cousin and he returns home to claim her hand amid general rejoicing.
Here’s one of the shots from the film:
Spot the location! The “now” shot shown alongside it is quite startling. You can see the rest of the images on the Reelstreets website HERE.
The whole film is on YouTube, split into seven sections, and the second section featuring the image above (and shots of Oban with some wonderfully tank-like cars on the pier) is HERE.
Scenes for “Ring of Bright Water” were also shot in Ellenabeich in 1969 – again starring Bill Travers. This is him coming down the hill to the village, with Easdale in the background, and it looks as though The Bull has completely closed the harbour:
Getting closer to the village, there’s the square in its original condition, and a surprisingly intact pier surmounted by the crane:
And M.A. Cameron’s General Store was to become the Oyster Bar:
Search for “Ring of Bright Water” on the Reelstreets website for more images from the film.
Wonderful thing, the internet.