Archive for September 2012

Be prepared!

An islander prepares for a weekend of fun and jollity.

Stone skimming goes ahead!

This afternoon both Easdale People and ForArgyll received word that Eilean Eisdeal directors had at last seen sense and produced their Public Liability Insurance, enabling them to hold the Stone Skimming contest. The insurance certificate has been passed on to Jonathan Feigenbaum’s solicitor, who is making sure it is legally watertight.

This whole stushie could have been avoided if the Chair of the charity, Keren Cafferty, had engaged in dialogue with Jonathan last April, when he first made his request to see the Public Liability Insurance – as any decent landowner would need to do when a large scale festival is to be held on their land. The facts in this matter are that Cafferty and the other directors chose not to respond to Mr Feigenbaum’s approaches until September 6th, saying that they had Public Liability Insurance but “declined” to show him a copy. He was then legally obliged to advise them that, without seeing the document, the event could not go ahead.

Also in April of this year Mr. Feigenbaum advised the Charity that he requested a small fee for staging the event, and that that money was to be spent in a way that would benefit all of the island residents. Again, he received no response. But to that end this afternoon he was in contact with the Residents’ Association with regard to engaging its members as to the best way that fee could be spent.

Since its inception in 1997 the charity Eilean Eisdeal [EE] has received more than £ 1.2 million of public money – an amount that equates to approximately £24,000 per adult full-time resident! This has come from, among other funders, the Big Lottery, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the Scottish Land Fund. These funds have been spent on capital projects like the hall, the harbour and buying the museum – all well and good, should islanders actually have benefitted from them. But a great deal of EE’s money may have been used to pay, for example,  John Campbell QC to fight against the wishes of the majority of the island residents in the Local Plan consultation; and architects to draw up plans for developments that islanders have said they don’t want; and a planning consultant to propose developments that islanders haven’t been asked whether they want or not.

 We’ve been unable to find out exactly how much EE has spent in this way, as the charity is able to hide the full details because it is only legally required to submit “abridged” accounts. So even its members are not told!

In the last two years EE’s directors could have spent thousands of pounds trying to obtain planning permission  for a wind turbine on this tiny island, that – as you’ll remember – over half of the population formally objected too. A serious waste of community money; money which is supposed to be used for the benefit of the community and NOT to fight against its wishes.

This story has had great interest both in the national media and on this website. We’ve had thousands of extra views in the last 2 days so keep viewing and we’ll update you as to how the community spend the money. 

Open letter from Jonathan Feigenbaum

Jonathan Feigenbaum, Easdale Island’s owner, has requested us to post the following open letter to all residents and property owners:


16 September 2012



It is with deep regret that I am taking this opportunity to write to everyone with an interest in Easdale Island, concerning the forthcoming planned World Stone Skimming Championships, which were meant to take place on 23 September 2012.

Contact was made with Eilean Eisdeal and Keren Cafferty in her capacity as Chair back in April, this was plenty of notice to resolve the issues Easdale Island Company Limited had with this event being staged on its land.

The most important issue was adequate Public Liability Insurance cover that protected all parties including Easdale Island Company Limited, as it was its land being used. This request was ignored until 6 September 2012 when Keren Cafferty sent our Solicitor an email saying they are “fully insured” but the insurance “document is not public, and we decline to exhibit it to Mr Feigenbaum”.

Furthermore, Easdale Island Company Ltd asked for a nominal fee to be paid for use of the land over the Stone Skimming Event, this was a nominal amount in relation to the proceeds raised by Eilean Eisdeal and the various commercial businesses on the Island that gain from the Event. It was made clear that any revenue generated would be used to generally improve the Island, again this request was refused. The offer of leasing the area used in the Stone Skimming event was also offered by Easdale Island Company, therefore securing this event for Eilean Eisdeal for the future, again this was ignored.

It was with a heavy heart but as you can see I had no real choice to make it clear to Eilean Eisdeal and its Directors that permission to use any company land or asset has been refused for any organisation, individual or group of individuals, for the purpose of conducting any stone skimming or indeed any event. Should it be that the event does indeed take place and unauthorised use is made of Easdale Island Company Limited land or assets then those responsible will face the legal consequences of such conduct.

Easdale Island Company Limited has always tried to support the endeavours of all the Islanders and various interest groups, and I believe this is the first ever time that we have had to take such action. This action was unavoidable due to the general mismanagement of this event by Eilean Eisdeal.

Yours Sincerely,

Jonathan Feigenbaum

For Easdale Island Company Limited


Jess’s Tablet

Using thumbscrews and the rack, we’ve extracted from Jess her Secret Recipe for her unbelievably delicious tablet, which we’ve all wanted for so long.

Actually, she gave it up quite willingly … and here it is:

4lbs granulated sugar

6oz butter

14 fl oz milk

Melt butter on a gentle heat in a large thick-bottomed saucepan.

Add the milk and sugar.

Bring to the boil, stirring regularly, then simmer slowly for 20 minutes, again stirring often, scraping any crystallised bits in from around the pan sides.

Add a large tin of condensed milk and bring back to the boil.

Simmer for a further 20 minutes, or until the mixture has reached “soft ball” stage. (Put a teaspoon of the mixture into a jug of cold water and you should be able to roll it in your fingers.)

Remove from heat.

Add a teaspoon of vanilla essence and beat for 5 minutes or so until it becomes thick and grainy.

Pour into a greased tin (10″ x 15″) and leave to set, marking it out into squares before it is solid.

Tablet to die for! Thank you, Jess!