Diabaig Bridge (October 2009 by D.B.)

The people of Diabaig wish to thank Russ and Christine Davis of 2B Shore, Diabaig who have built a new bridge over the burn's waterfall, with the help of Sean Wallace and Kevin Coady of Abington, Oxon in May 2009.
The bridge is dedicated to the memory of Leslie Bosworth, and Alexander (Sandy) Mackenzie.
(D.B.)

Ocean Sunfish sighting (August 2009 Pete Meredith)

Whilst sailing with a friend in Outer Loch Torridon on 30th August we had a brief sighting of a sea "animal" that we were unable to identify. It was lying just below the surface and appeared to be a broadly circular white mass of about 4 or 5 feet in diameter. As we passed it a long fin rose out of the water and flopped across to the other side. Sailing conditions didn't make it easy to stop for a closer look. After researching our sighting on the internet we have decided that this was almost certainly an ocean sunfish (mola mola) thought to be the largest bony fish in the world's oceans. These gentle giants, growing up to two tons, are increasingly being sighted further north - possibly as a result of rising sea temperatures. They feed largely on jellyfish. See the website Ocean sunfish photographs for pictures.

Effort to plug loss of postbuses (April 2009)

A stopgap service to replace axed postbus services in remote Ross-shire communities was put in place last week pending efforts to hammer out a long-term solution.

Highland Council announced the interim arrangements to replace pos-bus services withdrawn by loss-making Royal Mail, which has declared the routes economically unviable.

The local authority says the transport it has arranged will remain until it has had a chance to meet local people "to identify sustainable long-term arrangements". The services withdrawn by Royal Mail are: Diabaig-Achnasheen; Applecross-Torridon and Shieldaig-Strathcarron; Thurso-Tongue; and Bettyhill-Thurso.

Convener Sandy Park said, "I am very disappointed that Royal Mail have confirmed their withdrawal from the five routes. However, transport officers within TEC Services have moved promptly to put in place short-term replacement services in these rural communities. We will closely monitor the effectiveness of these interim arrangements before consulting with local communities about a sustainable way forward."

In Wester Ross, arrangements have been made with Lochcarron Garage for services which will replace the Applecross-Torridon and Diabaig-Achnasheen postbuses on similar timetables, albeit on an on-request basis. Bookings are required by 6pm on the previous day (6pm on Saturdays for a Monday journey) by phoning Lochcarron Garage on 01520 722205. Four-seater cars will be used, which is the same as the existing capacity on the Applecross route, but less than on the Diabaig route. However, both cars will be able to cover the Torridon-Achnasheen section if demand exceeds the capacity of one car.

The Shieldaig-Strathcarron postbus is the least used of the network, and other existing buses provide adequate alternatives. A small diversion to Achintraid is being added to DMK Motors' Shieldaig-Strathcarron bus route on request as this diversion was only served by the postbus.

Torridon Cookery Demonstration (April 2009 By Jean Maclean)

On Monday 20th April in Torridon Community Hall we had another "star" performance by Lady Claire MacDonald when she gave morning and afternoon demonstrations of 11 recipes. She is so passionate about food, and with her bubbly personality and wonderful sense of humour makes the whole cookery business great fun and convinces us that we can do it. It was good to see friends from Inverness, Aultbea, Gairloch, Kinlochewe, Shieldaig, Kishorn and Lochcarron along with some visitors. Again, a very big "Thank You" to the ladies of the Arts & Culture Committee for all their hard work and for the welcome morning coffee, delicious lunch and afternoon tea and home baking. A wonderful day out of instruction, entertainment and the best of food - great value for money.
JMM

Torridon News (April 2009 By Glyn Meredith)

Our condolences go to Donnie Beaton, Seaview on the sad passing of his brother George. Although George has not lived in Wester Alligin for some years he was fondly remembered by many in the community and we will miss seeing him on his regular holidays here.

The Arts and Culture Group ran two very successful food events recently. The Food Fair and Claire MacDonald Cookery Demonstrations were enjoyed by a large number of people and look set to become regular events.

The party for our retired Postie Gill Beamer on Saturday May 2nd has been postponed. Please keep a look out for a new date.

Highland Liliums will be giving a talk and selling plants in the Hall on Tuesday 5th May at 7.30pm. Admission £3 including tea.

A craft workshop on Monday 11th May will include patchwork as well as cake decorating skills 10am - 4pm £3 including lunch - no experience necessary. Phone 01445 791270 for more information.

Don't miss the dance on Friday 29th May at 9pm with Fergie MacDonald in aid of Hall funds. There will be a licensed bar and admission is £8.

If anyone has any news please contact Glyn on 01445 791270 if they would like it included in the An Carrannach 'Torridon News'.

Big Thank You from Glyn (March 2009 By Glyn Meredith)

I would like to thank everyone who made my 60th birthday the best birthday ever! You all know who you are! Your company was outstanding, the food delicious and the music second to none. The singing cockerel with original lyrics by a local songwriter will never be forgotten (especially as we have him on video!!!) I am still stunned by the wonderful surprise present. My love and thanks to you all, Glyn

Torridon News (February 2009 By Glyn Meredith)

Gill Beamer our Postie retired recently and we would like to wish her a very happy retirement and many thanks for years of dedicated service to us all.

Thanks also to Colin Stevenson for his tireless efforts in the snow plough during the cold spell gritting the roads and keeping them open.

A music group is meeting regularly in Torridon. Ten 'aspiring' musicians have recently been assisted by Bob Massie (Anna Massie's Dad) and hope to encourage anyone who either plays (or would like to play) an instrument to join them. Tel 01445 791270 for more information.

Community Craft workshops continue to be popular and meet in the Torridon hall once a month. Anyone is welcome to come and try their hand at sewing a bag or making patchwork items or perhaps bring some new ideas along. The next craft day is on Monday March 9th 10 - 4pm.

Don't forget the Torridon Food Fair day on Friday 27th March, many of you will remember the Food Fair held for Highland 2007 with its wonderful stalls and seafood platters, we hope to surpass ourselves this time so please look out for the posters.

On Monday the 20th April we are delighted to have a return visit from Lady Claire MacDonald who has promised us an exciting day of cookery demonstrations. Keep this day free in your diary, tickets will be available nearer the time.

Lastly, but by no means least, the Edinburgh Quartet will be back in Torridon on Mon April 27th.

The Torridon Hall Extension Fund have received a generous grant from the Scottish Community Foundation to buy extra land from the National Trust for car parking.

Leslie Bosworth, Diabaig (February 2009 By Daisy Bosworth)

BOSWORTH, Leslie Walter who passed away suddenly Jan 7th 2009.
Daisy, sons Tony & Ralph, daughters-in-law Helen & Gill, and all the grandchildren wish to thank Dr. Caroline Brown and Dr Helen Stewart, also the nurse of Torridon Medical Practice for all they did for Leslie and I on the day he died and during our 11½ years in Diabaig.
Thank you to George Macleod for his very efficient funeral arrangements, and to Rev Donald Macleod for the lovely service in Torridon Village Hall. Thanks also to Dorothy Hall for the music, and for the people who came to join us at this time, and gave generously to the Torridon Medical Practice and Torridon First Responders - a total of £420.
Thanks for all the help from people in Diabaig and thank you to the ladies who made soup & sandwiches, coffee and tea after the service in the hall.
Thank you for all the cards and kind thoughts from all the people of Torridon, Shieldaig, Alligin & Diabaig.

Torridon Stores (January 2009 By Jo Harris)

News on the Stores
and a little bit more...
19381954
Photographs kindly provided by Mr D. McDonald

After being closed for rather longer than expected, 2009 is the year that the Torridon Stores will finally re-open!!

I know many of you have been watching progress since September as the foundations for the store & café have gradually filled most of the plot, and the walls have started to go up. In November, the best garden shed in the village made a short appearance but rapidly transformed into what will be a front door.

In the next few weeks the upstairs flat will start to appear & once the roof is on we can concentrate on fitting out downstairs so that the new store & café can open as soon as possible.

I know that everything has taken rather longer than expected but I hope that once it is all finished the Stores & Café will provide the friendly service & meeting place that Donnie & Morag always provided - a hard act to follow!

Other shops may be closing but the Torridon Stores is coming back!
Watch this space for Jo's Place at the new Torridon Stores & Café!!

Torridon News (January 2009 By Glyn Meredith)

Last November a very successful Craft Fair was held in Torridon, it is hoped that this will become an annual event. Many of you who attended will have seen the beautiful tableau which has been put up on the east wall of the community hall. Set into four panels, over a hundred squares have been worked by local people depicting many local places, characters and wild life. A tremendous amount of work went into these beautiful fabric squares and the tableau has become a focal point and a reminder of community members, past and present.

Arts and Culture will kick off this year's events with a Food Fair day on Friday 27th March, many of you will remember the Food Fair held for Highland 2007 with its wonderful stalls and seafood platters, we hope to surpass ourselves this time so please look out for further information nearer the time.

On Monday the 20th April we are delighted to have a return visit from Lady Claire MacDonald who has promised us an exciting day of cookery demonstrations. Keep this day free in your diary, tickets will be available nearer the time.

Lastly, but by no means least, the Edinburgh Quartet will be back in Torridon to perform one of their wonderful concerts - further information on all of the above will be available in next month's An Carrannach.

Many of you will have noticed the recent progress on the Torridon Stores and Cafe, you will doubtless be pleased to hear that it is hoped to be open by late Spring.

A loss to Diabaig (January 2009 By Tibby Ross)
The village of Diabaig has been deeply saddened by the recent passing of two of its residents, namely Alexander Mackenzie and Leslie Bosworth.

Alexander Mackenzie, or Sandy, as he was familiarly known, was a native of the village, the eldest of a family of six born to Murdo and Marion Mackenzie at 2 Shore, in November 1932. Memory recalls the thrill, for a little girl, of being allowed to visit and hold the baby, when he was but a few hours old. There were three families, with children, at the Shore and we shared the escapades of school days and holidays.

Sandy left school at 14 and joined his father on their fishing boat the "Springing Well". He afterwards crewed on several boats in the Loch Torridon and Gairloch areas. He also ghillied on Loch Coulin and Loch Maree and worked with his father at the Red Point salmon fishing station. Indeed, it was at Red Point, that in 1956, he first met the girl from London, who eighteen years later was to become his wife. Latterly he was employed by Highland Council in their roads department, until his retiral in 1992.

Possessing a likeable and pleasant personality, he was known over a wide area and had a large circle of friends. He loved boats, as is evident from the pictures and models in his home and even as a small boy at school, playing with plasticine, Sandy made boats.

Loved by old and young alike and gifted with a wonderful sense of mimicry, many a happy hour was spent in his company. The younger people listened, enthralled, to his stories, as he made the characters come alive. He liked giving the young folks advice about the sea and the popular spots where the fish were wont to bite. For many years his mother ran a guest house and he added to the guests enjoyment by taking them in his boat on fishing trips.

We were happy for him, when in 1974 he married Hilda and they settled in the village. As the last native Gaelic speaker in Diabaig we miss him so and we are very much the poorer for his passing. The sympathy of the whole community and of a much wider circle, goes out to Hilda in her irreparable loss, as also, to his sister, brothers and other relatives.

T.R.

A Big Thank You (January 2009 By Hilda Mackenzie)

Hilda Mackenzie (Diabaig) would like to thank everyone who joined Sandy's family in saying their last farewell to him on December 18th. It was indeed a thanksgiving for a life. He was a character we all loved and Diabaig pier will be an empty place without him.

My sincere thanks to everyone who has supported us over the past year, especially the Medical and nursing staff at Torridon Medical Practice. My thanks to Rev. Jeremy Ross (of Aultbea and Poolewe) who took the time to visit me and gave such an uplifting service. Also thanks to Mr. Ronnie Ross and his son for their handling of the arrangements.

Not least, I thank the "FIRST RESPONDERS", for whom over £470 was raised, to provide extra equipment for this newly inaugurated group of local volunteers. Also, from Lochcarron, Dr. Murray and the ambulance crew who came so swiftly and the crew of the NHS helicopter, to Mr. Bernhard Wolf and the staff of Raigmore Hospital Accident and Emergency Unit, I give my sincere thanks, they did all they could. People complain about the NHS I have nothing but praise for those who helped us in our hour of need.

Thank you all, especially "The Locals" for all your love, care and words of comfort expressed on so many cards. "Thank you" is too small a phrase to say all that is in my heart.

Hilda

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