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The truths they don't want you to read....

Thursday, December 08, 2011

An open email to Tony Robson, Stornoway Amenity Trust


New Year Celebrations

As a resident of Stornoway who is interested in the amenity of the town, and as someone who is a long term supporter of your very worthwhile projects, I must protest in the strongest terms at the decision to terminate the New Year celebrations early, to avoid running into Sunday.

Firstly, can you advise me exactly who made this decision; and after consulting with whom?

Secondly, can you please ensure that this matter is reconsidered by the entire Amenity Trust at the earliest possible opportunity, as it is giving an utterly wrong impression of life in Lewis.

With Public Houses having late licences until early Sunday morning, I am sure that it is really the aspiration of the Amenity Trust to provide family enjoyment, and to encourage the family to be together at the celebration of the New Year; rather than to see participants believe that the only way to celebrate in Stornoway is in the pub.

The decision gives the impression to potential visitors of not so much an air of quaintness, but more an air of weirdness and a certain detachment from reality.  This will only continue to be played up by the national media.

It is not too late to retrieve the situation, and I truly hope that the celebrations - thanks to the very hard work of the Trust members - are successful.  And held at midnight.

Yours sincerely



Anonymous said...

Awaiting more posts!

Anonymous said...

Is there any point? The Olympic torch is arriving on a Sunday, being parked and nothing happening until the Monday. Re the opening of the sports centre, all has gone quiet with efforts to open on a Sunday and now the New Year celebrations..... do you see a trend? Nothing is going to change, this fanatical bunch will get their way, the young will continue to leave as before and like Saudi, change will only happen very slowly over the next 100 years, but don't hold your breath. Its just the spirit to fight killed off, its rather depressing and just sad.

Anonymous said...

Dear Tony

Can you also stop blocking carparking space for shoppers with Funfairs at Christmas, and "European Markets" in the summer. We have about 14 - 16 empty shop units in Stornoway- this is not helping.

Anonymous said...

Tony's mistake was to refer to "local traditions" which probably referred to religion. If he hadn't, nothing would have been said, as there have been numerous displays held before midnight. By Tony choosing these words, this of course irks the "progressive" amongst us, who are missing out on what the mainland has. Therefore we have another opportunity to jump on the bandwagon and slate those who respect Sundays.
I think we should be congratulating the Trust for trying to put on some entertainment at this time of year. Those who continually snipe have ample opportunity to do something themselves.
Angus - you have over a year now to organise something next time. Form a committee with the other well-wishers and we look forward to seeing in 2013
"A problem is a chance for you to do your best"

Anonymous said...

Are the Stornoway Trust/Amenity Trust subject to the Freedom of Information Act??

Anonymous said...

Stornoway is 7 degrees West so local midnight is 20 minutes past GMT.

New Year is celebrated at 0.00GMT and the Sabbath starts at 0.20GMT
Everyone celebrates till 0.20GMT then the Taliban can get into their Toyota pickup trucks and do the rounds like Wee Wullie Winkie to make sure that everyone but them is sadly tucked up if wide awake.
Perhaps the solution is to use Longitude to create a bit of latitude?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, angus. You have to recognize that some people (locally and nationally) are 'players'. Cherish those that are not: they're few on the ground.

Anonymous said...

12:52 PM LOL

Anonymous said...


Ditto LOL

Anonymous said...

Angus, can you advise why I don't recall your complaint last year, or the year before, or the year before that? The New Year celebrations have never, to my knowledge, been held at mid-night here and no-one has ever complained. All of a sudden because a down market journalist decides to make himself a bit of money stirring it up everything's wrong with the world! Local traditions matter to a lot of people here just as trying to allow everyone to enjoy the celebrations matter to Tony and the rest of the organising committee - if that means having the celebrations early this year, as they have in the past, so be it. Try standing above his stirring little story and be proud of who we are and what we stand for in these Islands.
I too look forward to your organised event next year, but hope that you won't be subject to the childish sniping that Tony and the committee have had to put up with for trying to make this a better place to live when you do.

Anonymous said...

Same old story, same Bigoted comments in regards to Sunday Observance, Two Ferries and numerous planes leave here everyday and give people the option, do you stay or do you go.

Well we all seem to stay because it is a very good place to live and work and raise family's even with the DREADED no SUNDAY, Golf, swimming Pool, Supermarket, Theatre, Cinema etc

Sunday is a welcome day of rest whether you go to church or not.
Me ? I don't go to church very often but I would not wish a Sunday Like they have on most of the mainland on anyone, but as I said we do have the freedom to go and join them on the mainland if we want.

Anonymous said...


LOL - that will be you then John MacLeod

Anonymous said...

My goodness you people are pathetic.

What is the big deal?

Grow up.

Anonymous said...

8pm the last few years?????

This is a non story.

Anonymous said...

Angus, your letter is pathetic, who are you anyway that should demand such answers?

Are you of some special standing in the community, NO!

Bizarre you complain this year, so transparent it's idiotic, bigot!

Anonymous said...

I am absolutely not a church goer but i am a girl who was born and brought up on Lewis. I went to University and after my degree came straight home like the majority of my friends. I know plenty of people who prefer to live away, who like the hustle and bustle of a city and thats their choice. But it is our choice to stay here. I LOVE the fact that i am part of a unique community, a community that lets us all stop for a day and rest, spend time with our loved ones and take a breath before another crazy week begins!!!! How dare anybody mock the people on this island who believe in keeping the Sunday holy. Other people may not agree with their beliefs but how dare you mock. And how dare you mock Tony Robson, a man who dedicates his own time to provide for an entire community. And he should not be singled out. These people are willing to give up their own time to arrange a hogmanay for US!!! if they make a choice about when to host the event, then we, as a decent community should do nothing but respect that. If anyone feels so strongly against this then please feel free to come forward and get involved yourself. That is the problem with some people, they are all talk and no action. Earlier this week we were mocked on National Television for not having a murder on the island in 43 years. Is this not something to be proud of????? I love my community and every single tradition that comes with it! This blog entry is a disgrace. As are all those people that support this view.

John said...

Anonymous posters, banging out suspiciously similar posts - on a Sunday - complaining about Angus's reasonable letter.

It's local taxpayers money that is funding this event.

Only a minority of local residents and/or taxpayers are churchgoers. An even smaller minority are honest believers in their faith. It is overdue that this ideology-driven splinter group of people were removed from having the power to dictate how the monies of the residents of the Western Isles - christian, atheist, agnostic - was spent.

Hogmanay starts at midnight. This is Scotland, whether you like it or not, and that is when Hogmanay starts. If you don't like it, then find a even smaller lump of rock - St Kilda seems appropriate in more ways than one - and go and p**s off there to impose whatever religious restrictions you want on yourselves, to leave the MAJORITY of people in the Western Isles to do as they see fit.

We're fed up of funding, and being restricted by, your miserable brand of voodoo religion. Just go away, and don't come back.

Anonymous said...

8:39 & 5:30

Just why has this subject caused you to respond with such anger? Quite simply - as the subject started both here and on Iain X's
site, the Firework Display was moved from midnight to 10pm and the bells curtailed because the Trust admitted it had done so to appease some more intolerant of the vagary religious groupings that contest rightiousness on Lewis.

Your anger can only be because this has been exposed and your views contested. Its not just the venom of your reply that worries me but the complete intolerance of, and accepting of, that other people have differing views than your own.

Angus has 'put his money where his mouth is' as the saying goes and overtly made a complaint. No wonder given the bile it causes with the other camp that few others of the same mind have done so.

Anonymous said...

5:30 Your comment "Earlier this week we were mocked on National Television for not having a murder on the island in 43 years." bringing a local tragedy into your argument, just shows how low you are and morally bankrupt your "reasons" are.

Go and think about what you've written. And consider your own apology.

Anonymous said...

Typical hijacking of events by religious extremists. Hogmanay is nothing to do with them. The same as the so-called "Christ"mas was an event hijacked / stolen from other beliefs.

Solution seems pretty obvious. Taxpayers money should be spent on events open to all e.g. Hogmanay bells at midnight. Church and private money should be spent on whatever the christian people want to do e.g. bells at silly-o-clock.

That way, everyone reasonably gets what they want, without inflicting their belief on others.

One day, this silly fad amongst a local and vocal minority for extreme christianity will fade. And it is a fad; the Outer Hebrides have been inhabited for over 5,000 years, and beliefs and stuff have come and gone in this time.

Anonymous said...

Hogmanay is the 31st, i.e. New Year's Eve

Anonymous said...

I feel I must interject, one thing that is being forgotten about here is the Iolaire. We should not forget about this tragedy....... Ever. Any way there has never been a mass party during the bells or a fireworks display, its just being turned into an issue by small minded jakie bigots. Get a grip. Ferry sails on a sunday now so you don't have an excuse to stay here and moan about the culture our fathers and fore fathers fought and died for, don't be so ignorant.

Anonymous said...

Please remember " My lOOOvely horse, running through the.......... FIELD" (Probably to its death due to those dasterdley fireworks!)

Anonymous said...


"Ferry sails on a sunday now so you don't have an excuse to stay here and moan about the culture our fathers and fore fathers fought and died for, don't be so ignorant."

I don't have massively strong feelings on this particular issue, but I do object to your quite contemptuous (and contemptible) statement on those in your 'culture' with whom you happen to disagree on this issue!

In our fathers' and forefathers' day things were changing too, all the time. Sometimes indeed our crofter forefathers, not the landlords, were the ones who actually instituted that change. You should know what I'm referring to.

Their 'culture' back then was as different from today's as today's will be different to the culture here in the year 2100.

Revolution is Evolution in action.

Anonymous said...

Religion aside. It has always been the Scots tradition to spend the bells at home with your family. WHere has this new idea of spending it outside in the howling wind flanked by hundreds of drunken revellers or worse, in a pub come from? Who cares, the pubs will be open anyway for those who wish to ooze their way into the new year, the rest of us can stay at home to let the old year out and the new year in.

Anonymous said...

In Lochs, every day's a Sunday :)