July 2016 Newsletter


We are in the middle of another busy season here in Northton and already we have had an invasion of North American visitors searching for information on their families. We have also welcomed people from many European countries and from Australia and New Zealand and people from the United Kingdom. With our family trees and family information now online for Harris, Stornoway Parish including Point, Tolsta and the Back areas, as well as Uig parish, including Carloway and Shawbost, we are focusing on Barvas Parish and hope to have this area ready for transferring on to www.hebridespeople.com before too long. We now have information on 80,000 people on the website. Meantime book sales from the website are increasing.

The Genealogy module we teach from here along with Sabhal Mor Ostaig UHI, attracted 20 students this year and although it meant more work it was a very satisfying experience. They come from many varied backgrounds and places which means we get an interesting variety of stories and genealogies.

This summer we have artworks from John Maher, Vega, Margarita Williams and new artworks from Jane Harlington for sale. Along with the tweed items from Catherine Campbell, Harris Tweed, Isle of Harris, we have a selection of new items from Jacqui Akister and Harris Tweedery in the form of keyrings, placemats, brooches, including the very distinctive 5 foot long lined mens’ scarves and matching dicky bows as well as beautiful ladies’ lined tweed scarves and would you believe doggy pooh bag covers!

Later in July we will have an exhibition of new works from Richard Moult who exhibited here last year. We now sell nine different cards from Richard, including his artworks from around Northton as well as new cards of the Callanish Stones and St Clement’s Church.

On the 14th of July we had the annual Hebridean Celtic event here. This year we hosted the band Fara from Orkney, with fiddles and piano and vocals and what an evening of music to a capacity audience.

This past year we have worked along with the new Harris Distillery in Tarbert on promoting their facility which opened in October 2105. It has provided a new experience for local people and for the visitor to Harris. Standing at the head of the harbour in East Tarbert it sends out a welcome to all. 

“There are few places on earth where time spent around the fire can be as welcoming or as full of cheer. At the head of the harbour in East Loch Tarbert, visible to everyone arriving there by land or sea, the first distillery in Harris is now creating true island spirit.

Opened in October 2015, we welcome guests to our hearth every day bar the Sabbath to witness and share in our work. It is a welcoming place, with a peat fire glowing at its heart, the flavours of the island in the canteen and the feeling that here in the distillery you will find something of the essence of Harris.” Quote from their website http://www.harrisdistillery.com/

If you sign up for their Friday newsletter they will keep you abreast of developments at the distillery and more broadly on the island: http://www.harrisdistillery.com/join-us