Archive for October 2011

Past Times

More local news from the Oban Times commemorative issues.

Builder’s bum

It seems Mike Mackenzie has been trying to establish himself at Holyrood as the expert on building knowledge and good practice. (See the debate HERE.)

 Is this the same Mike Mackenzie that ran the building company Mike Mackenzie Builders on Easdale Island?  Is this the same Mike Mackenzie whose workforce might not be accused of ‘builder’s bum’ but could easily be accused of ‘builder’s mouth’ instead?  Abuse, insults and harassment have been aimed at local residents by both Mike Mackenzie and his builders, much of which has been reported to the police.

 So, Mike Mackenzie MSP claims to have ‘worked all over the UK.’; is this true? During the recent decade that I knew Easdale he rarely left the island. However, if this is the same chap, perhaps all his travelling took place before I knew him.

 Finally, ‘good practice’ and in particular, the mention of hard hats.  In all my time on the island, the only occasion that I saw any hard hat on Mackenzie or his team of builders was in a photograph of Mackenzie during his election campaign.  Worse still, rather than more appropriate footwear, the apprentice was usually seen in what appeared to be trainers.

 Good Health and Safety practice seemed not to feature in Mackenzie’s building operations.  When questioned by the Health and Safety Executive official he apparently denied that ready mixed cement had been carried in bulk across the island by construction machinery even though residents had witnessed it happening.  When questioned by the Health and Safety Executive official about the speed that his construction vehicles were driven on the island he apparently claimed that the vehicles moved at walking pace.  Evidence shows this to be untrue.  At the time I wondered whether Mackenzie had any formal building qualifications – I am still not aware of any that have been quoted.

(This piece was submitted by a former island resident.)

Oh dearie me!

As readers can see for themselves the wind turbine sited on top of the Pirate Ship in the children’s play area has been destroyed by  high winds. The people responsible for  placing this wind turbine in the play park are the Green Streets project team of Eilean Eisdeal directors Keren Cafferty (Chair), Jan Fraser (Sec.), Donald Melville (Treasurer) and off -Islander Iain Macdougal, plus Mike MacKenzie and architect Waseem Hussain.

Despite being advised of the obvious dangers to children islanders and visitors they chose to ignore the advice and unilaterally went ahead with the insallation. 

When these turbines fail they shed their blades at enormous speed and the jagged blades are flung great distances. In this instance, it was the tips of the blades which failed due to the high concentration of centrifugal force, necessitating cutting all three blades down to stumps.


Fortunately no one was injured this time, but if they had been who would have been held responsible? This is a health and safety issue that urgently needs to be addressed, and the turbine should be removed forthwith.

I do hope that all those who bear any responsbility in this matter take sensible and prompt action.

Scary staff!

New faces on the staff in the ferryshed! Ghoulish groans echo down the slipway as Captain Hallows and Crewman Gallows remind us that it’s Hallowe’en soon.

Who did that skull used to belong to … ?

And whose were those eyeballs … ??

Aaaaaaaaarrrrggghhhhh !!!!

Winter Tales

Winter Tales

“Winter Tales” by George Mackay Brown is a selection of 18 short stories featuring the contrast between light and dark: in human behaviour, as well as in day and night, or summer and winter. By turns, the stories will make you smile, make tears well up in your eyes, or make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck – sometimes all of those within the space of a few sentences in the same tale. The prose is beautifully poetic and, as you read, you hear the cadences of a musical Orcadian accent. As a review on the jacket says, “It is easy to imagine Mackay Brown … enthralling all before him as the peat crackles and another bottle of malt is encroached”.

He was a prolific writer, so if you enjoy “Winter Tales” you’ve many more treats in store. And if “The Paraffin Lamp”, the first story in the book, doesn’t make you laugh and want to share it with everyone you know, then there’s no humour in you!

It’s winter

And that’s official.

In its wisdom, Argyll & Bute Council has decided that the winter ferry timetable should start on 1st October this year, instead of after Clocks Back as previously. There seemed to be a bit of confusion for the first few days. Was it the winter timetable or not? “Sort of,” said Alan. However, now we’ve definitely settled down into the winter half-hourly. Better for the ferrymen in horrible weather, but it takes a while to get your brain re-adjusted out of casually strolling along for the on-demand!

As autumn and winter draw on (how many days is it till Christmas, Willie?) a careful eye has to be kept on what the weather’s going to be doing, so we’ve posted some useful weather forecast sites under “Weather Watch” on the “Handy Info” page (tabs at the top of the screen).

Shaggy bull story

The Oban Times commemorative section this week contained the following item:

The Easdale People team is proud to bring you what we believe to be that very film!

See it HERE.