View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Thursday 8 March

Another of those eminently forgettable days in terms of weather. Grey, overcast and very windy. The ferry is stormbound in Ullapool overnight, the freight ferry is once again not running tonight - because we are on warning for a force 9. Not complaining though, I find the Hebrides' changeable weather one of its many redeeming features.

I have completed one more section of transcriptions of the Napier Report from 1883, this time for the county of Inverness. The commission of six sat at Glenelg, Arisaig, Inverness and Kingussie. The next section incorporates the hearings in Argyll - Tiree, Mull, Lismore, Morvern and Tarbert, Loch Fyne. After Argyll, only the hearings at Edinburgh and Lanark remain for me to transcribe. The Napier Commission posed some 47,000 questions, resulting in a report of about 4,000 pages. It is a keystone of Highlands and Islands history, which (through these internet transcriptions) I hope to make more easily accessible and searchable for other researchers.

I was saddened to hear of the death of the six British soldiers in Afghanistan. Each life lost is one too many. However, as an ex-army man myself (although never seen active service), I am only too aware that death is a major occupational hazard of soldiering. I think those guys knew it, having seen nearly 400 go ahead of them in Afghanistan. Their friends and family knew it too, and I was heartened by one relative who said that the mission in Afghanistan had to go on, on to success. Else all the blood, sweat and sacrifice would have been in vain.

I was disgusted to hear that our local council has rubberstamped the construction of another bl**dy windfarm on the outskirts of Stornoway. It is the substitute to the scheme that got thrown out in 2008, which would have seen 180 turbines, each standing 450 feet tall, marching over the Lewis moor from Stornoway north to Port of Ness. The forty turbines that have now been proposed will be in a smaller area, around the Barvas Hills, 4 miles north of Stornoway. These two images show the terrain on the Hills, and the view north. You can't get more desolate than that. And have turbines all around them? No way.