27 Dec 2012

Maggie MacKinnon's Funeral

Maggie MacKinnon's funeral will take place at 2.00pm on Monday 31st December, in the Parish Church.

20 Dec 2012

Crown Vets' Visits in 2013

Crown Vets, Fort William, have been delighted with the response in the West Ardnamurchan area to their monthly visits to Kilchoan but regret that, due to a shortage of vets and vets' holidays, the Kilchoan clinics scheduled for January and February have had to be cancelled.  They will be back here on the second Monday in March, the 11th.  Their website is here.

For anyone with an old dog which may be showing signs of arthritis, Lorna, Crown Vets' Clinical Manager, has written an article about the condition.  You can download it here.

18 Dec 2012

Lift Wanted to Glasgow

Tom Bryson is looking for a lift to Glasgow on Thursday 3rd January, preferably in the morning, and/or a lift back on Saturday 12th.

Will contribute to fuel costs.

Contact Tom on 279.

17 Dec 2012

WACC Minutes

The minutes of the West Ardnamurchan Community Council meeting which took place on 3rd December are available for download here.

15 Dec 2012

Time to Remember

From Fiona Ogg:

On Thursday December 13th there was a short service held at the Ardnamurchan Parish Church at Kilchoan. 'Time to Remember' was time out for all who had been bereaved, particularly during the last year, and find this time of year difficult. 

We sat in peace, prayed, listened to words and music and gave ourselves time to tell God of our pain and hurt, to remember the pain and hurt that Jesus and He must have felt when they were rejected by humanity. We left the building having shared tears and memories and having found comfort in knowing that we are not alone.

This is a photos of some of the candles that had been lit during the service. Each candle represented a loved one and each was lit the darkness became less.

May all who are grieving find comfort in knowing that God and Jesus share our tears and pain. But because Jesus came to show us God’s love and to release us from the ties of sin and grief, we are free to celebrate and to join in the festivities surrounding the remembrance of Jesus birth.--

Rev Fiona Ogg
Church of Scotland Manse, Acharacle, Argyllshire. PH36 4JU
01967 431 638

Christmas & New Year Refuse Collections

As Christmas and New Year's days both fall on a Tuesday, the Kilchoan refuse collections will change to Wednesdays 26th December and 2nd January.

Davie Ferguson

13 Dec 2012

Church Services over Christmas



The service on Sunday 23rd December is at 2.00pm and will be conducted by Rev. Fiona Ogg.

There will be a carol service in the church on Christmas Eve at 4.00pm. It would be nice if lots of Mums and Dads and children could come to it, in fact as many people as possible – to fill the church!!

The service on Sunday 30th December is at 11.00am.  It will be conducted by Rev. Fiona Ogg.

12 Dec 2012

Sunday Service



Sunday 16th December

The service this Sunday will take place at 11.00am, and will be conducted by Rev. Fiona Ogg.

5 Dec 2012

Sunday Service



Sunday 9th December

The service this Sunday will take place at 2.00pm, and will be conducted by Rev. Fiona Ogg.

4 Dec 2012


There's a new, dedicated phone number for ordering prescriptions from the Acharacle Medical Practice.  The line will be manned each day, Monday - Friday, from 8.30 to 10.30am, and two days' notice should be given.

The new number is 01967 431 479

Repeat prescriptions can also be ordered by email - ask the Practice for details.

The Practice will be closed on Tuesday 25th and Wednesday 26th December, and on Tuesday 1st and Wednesday 2nd January.  If a doctor is needed during these closures, phone NHS24 on 08454 242424 - the operator will call out the duty doctor if needed.  Repeat prescriptions for the Christmas period should be ordered by 17th December.

1 Dec 2012


There are carols at Glenborrodale Castle on Thursday 6th December at 6.00pm and the peninsula carols celebration will be held at Strontian village hall on Sunday 9th December at 7.00pm.

29 Nov 2012

Kilchoan Hotel Open

Kilchoan House Hotel is pleased to announce that it is back with its previous owners, and reopened for business yesterday (Wednesday) under new management.  Book early (510 200) for fish & chips as usual on Friday night as we know we are going to be busy.

28 Nov 2012

Sunday Service



Sunday 2nd December

The communion service this Sunday will take place at 11.00am, and will be conducted by Rev. Fiona Ogg.

22 Nov 2012

Electrical Equipment Testing

Under current Health & Safety legislation and the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, all mains powered electrical equipment in Workplaces, Hotel Accommodation and Letting Accommodation must be tested. Frequency of testing is dependent upon type of business.  Failure to have equipment tested and labelled may invalidate an employer or owner’s insurance.

Steve Gradage is offering a PAT electrical testing service in West Ardnamurchan.  Contact him at stevengradage181@btinternet.com or phone 01972 510 718 or mobile 07824 832 249.

21 Nov 2012

Sunday Service



Sunday 25th November

The service this Sunday will take place at 2.00pm, and will be conducted by Rev. Fiona Ogg.

20 Nov 2012

A Winter Fair


At Kilchoan Crafts & Gallery

Saturday 24th November

We will be open all day - 8 till late.
Come and join us for complimentary mince pies and mulled wine, check out the craft shop in all its glory.

Soup and home baking will be for sale.

Look forward to seeing you there.
For more details contact
Jacqui and John on 510 262

19 Nov 2012

WACC Minutes

The unconfirmed minutes of the last West Ardnamurchan Community Council meeting are available for download here.

17 Nov 2012

Remembrance Day

Last Sunday's Remembrance Day was commemorated in Kilchoan by a special service in the Church of Scotland led by Parish Minister Rev. Fiona Ogg.  After the two minutes silence a wreath was laid by Jim Angus at the War Memorial in the church.

Afterwards  a short service was held at the War Memorial in the village at which three wreaths were laid. The first, for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, was laid by Alisdair MacColl, the second, for the British Army, was laid by Ricky Clarke, and the third, from West Ardnamurchan Community Council, by John Chapple acting for May McNicol.

14 Nov 2012

Cats Protection Secretary

Good organiser? Love cats? Cats Protection’s Ardnamurchan and Mull needs you!

Cats Protection Ardnamurchan and Mull needs to recruit a volunteer secretary to provide vital administrative support to the charity.  
The branch, which is run entirely by volunteers, needs someone who can spare a few hours a month to take on a range of admin jobs. No previous experience is needed and the charity will provide plenty of support.
The branch does a huge amount of work to help local cats, but we really need someone to help keep on top of the administrative jobs – such as taking minutes at meetings and dealing with correspondence.
The role is a voluntary one and by sparing just a couple of hours a week it can make a huge difference to needy cats. We are sure whoever takes on the role will find it incredibly rewarding.
Expenses will be given.
It’s also a great way to make new friends – both human and feline!
Anyone on the Ardnamurchan peninsula or Isle of Mull interested please phone Sheila Paterson on 01967 431203

Cats in Need of a Home

Two beautiful, healthy, neutered short haired brothers need to be homed together. The lady who they were with has moved to Greece so was unable to take them. They like being out in the garden, do not like dogs or children. Their names are Corky and Kito and they are black except for white paws. They will be microchipped by Cats Protection before being homed.

If anyone can give them a home please contact Sheila Paterson on 01967 431203

Sunday Service



Sunday 18th November

The service this Sunday will take place at 11.00am, and will be conducted by Rev. Fiona Ogg.

13 Nov 2012

Herbal Medicine, Massage & Aromatherapy

Monday 10th December 

Herbal Medicine, Massage & Aromatherapy

With Clare Holohan BSc (Hons), qualified Medical Herbalist, Massage Therapist and Clinical Aromatherapist

Herbal Medicine

Initial consultation £38
Follow up visits £25 

Massage & Aromatherapy 

1 hour treatment £38
1/2 hour treatment £20

Please phone 07903 922781 to book your appointment 

12 Nov 2012

Crown Vets, Fort William

The Fort William veterinary practice is planning to hold a surgery in Kilchoan on the second Monday of every month.  Currently, Kilchoan surgeries are between 10.30am and 12.30pm.  For more information, and to book an appointment, phone 01397 702 727, contact them at info@crownvetsfortwilliam.co.uk, or see their website here.

8 Nov 2012

Remembrance Day Service



Sunday 11th November

The service this Remembrance Day Sunday will take place at 2.00am, and will be conducted by Rev. Fiona Ogg.  The laying of wreaths at the war memorial will follow the service.

6 Nov 2012

Funding for Rural GP Services

From Councillor Andrew Baxter:

On Monday 5th November, I attended a meeting with NHS Highland and Highland Council to discuss funding arrangements for rural GP services and in particular the future of the practice in Acharacle.

This meeting was at my request, following a question I tabled at the September full Council meeting, asking what action Highland Council is taking to make sure that NHS Highland resolve the current problems with medical services on the Ardnamurchan Peninsula. Along with Councillor Drew Hendry (Council Leader) I met with Garry Coutts (Chair of NHS Highland) and Gill McVicar (Director of Operations for North and West Highland)..

During the three community meetings that NHS Highland held to discuss the issue, it became clear that whatever model is adopted it is likely to require additional funding. My concern remains that unless an additional funding commitment is made by NHS Highland and the Scottish Government, any new arrangements (even if that was a private practice) will remain unsustainable and we will be back in the same situation in a few years’ time. We discussed how Councillors can highlight concerns about sustainability and the possible need for a specific resource allocation for out-of-hours provision with Government ministers. We are now going to seek a meeting with the new Health Minister, Alex Neill, to lobby on this issue.

The three community meetings, to explain the current situation, were welcome but I still believe they took too long to meet with local residents. It is important that they continue this engagement, in an open and transparent manner, without any preconceived wish for the final outcome. Whatever options come forward, in addition to the suggestion made by Dr Gartshore from the Mallaig Practice, local communities must be allowed to have their opinions heard. Gill McVicar confirmed that a draft advertisement for the practice is almost ready and will come to Community Councils for comment.

The most useful aspect of the meeting was to demonstrate to NHS Highland that they are under continued scrutiny to get things right in Acharacle and that the local communities must be involved in the decision-making process, including the final outcome. Although NHS Highland may not welcome the additional scrutiny from residents and Councillors, including public criticism in the media, it is ensuring that health managers can’t allow it to drop down the list of priorities or push ahead with an option that doesn’t have widespread support.

Councillor Andrew Baxter - Independent Councillor for Fort William and Ardnamurchan Ward
12 Riverside Road, Kinlochleven, Argyll, PH50 4QH
Tel: 01855 831563
Mob: 07740 698173

For local news and views take a look at:
Twitter: LochaberVoice

Dr and Mrs Gartshore at the Community Council

These are my personal notes on the meeting

The main item at last night's Community Council meeting was a session with Dr Iain and Mrs Mary Gartshore from the Mallaig and Arisaig Medical practice, who came to talk about their proposal for a much larger medical practice, to include Ardnamurchan and the Small Isles, to replace the existing Acharacle practice.

Having started in Arisaig, the Gartshores took over the Mallaig practice some five years ago  Their practice, as the Acharacle one was until our doctors left, is a 'subcontractor' to NHS Highland.  Each year, they put in a budget to run the GP services in the area and, following discussion, NHSH agrees a sum.  In recent years the Gartshores have managed to maintain their budget despite widespread cuts.

Dr Gartshore emphasised that there were serious problems with small practices because of the changes in GP expectations, particularly among the younger GPs, the much greater requirement for training, the new (2004) GPs' contract, and the need for rural GPs to feel that they had support.  Any proposals for Ardnamurchan would have to take account of this, and he felt that their proposal would be both 'resilient and sustainable'.

They have built excellent relations with the Scottish Ambulance Service, which operates out of their Arisaig base, and the Community Nurses, who operate out of their Mallaig base.  As a result, the three 'services' work very closely and co-operatively.  This is something they hope to bring to the Ardnamurchan practice.

Their proposal is to have between 6 and 8 doctors, not all full-time, working within the practice.  Three of these would be based at The Pines, but they would be supported - for example, if one went on holiday or for training - by the other doctors.  Since the service would be integrated across the practice's various bases, it would be possible, for example, for a Kilchoan resident to see a doctor in Mallaig.

Out-of-hours cover would be taken on by the practice but, because there are more doctors available to share the work, it would mean that individual doctors wouldn't be under the pressure that our previous two doctors were, which caused them to withdraw from OOH services.

In answer to a question, they said that there was no reason why one of these doctors should not live on West Ardnamurchan - but they could not specify that one had to.  An attraction would be if a house were available, for example along the lines of the old Nurses House, which the doctor could rent from the Community.

The Kilchoan Nurses' Base would be retained.  It would continue to be used for doctors' surgeries, by Practice Nurses and Community Nurses but, as is the arrangement at Mallaig, it might be shared with others such as the Emergency Responders.  Although the Mallaig and Arisaig Practice does not dispense medicines because there is a chemist in Mallaig, they would retain the dispensary at The Pines.  They were keen for our Emergency Responders to be more involved, for example in dealing with minor wounds.

We are waiting for NHS Highland to publish their requirements for the Acharacle and Small Isles practices.  It is then open to GPs to put in proposals, of which the Gartshore's will be one, along with a budget for running it.  Even if this all happens fairly quickly, it is unlikely that the new set-up will be in place before mid-2013.

The Gartshores listened to the concerns of the meeting.  Since their proposal is still a 'work in progress', they asked that anyone who wishes to share their worries and ideas with them should do so through the Community Council Secretary, Jac Crosbie.  She can be contacted at wacckilchoan@yahoo.co.uk

2 Nov 2012

Harvest Feast

The Community Garden warmly welcomes you to their Harvest Feast at
The Sonachan Hotel 7pm onwards
on 9th November, to celebrate a good growing year.
A three course, all you can eat buffet with all the meat and vegetables sourced from the Ardnamurchan peninsula. 

£15 a head, all proceeds going to the Community Garden. 

Music to dance to after the meal. 

Bar and Raffle. Any raffle prizes gratefully received! 

Tickets selling fast, so please let Jacqui Chappel (510 262) know if you would like us to reserve a ticket at the door. 

Really hope to see you there,

The Community Garden

31 Oct 2012

Sunday Service



Sunday 4th November

The service this Sunday will take place at 11.00am, and will be conducted by Rev. Fiona Ogg.

28 Oct 2012

Community Council Agenda

The agenda for the next Community Council meeting, to be held on Monday 5th November, is available here.

25 Oct 2012

Constituents' surgery tomorrow

Councillor Andrew Baxter will hold a Constituents' Surgery tomorrow (Friday 26th October) at Kilchoan Community Centre from 10.00 to 11.00am.

Apologies for the short notice

24 Oct 2012

Harvest Celebration



Sunday 28th October

The service this Sunday will be a Harvest Celebration.  It will take place at 11.00am in the Kilchoan Community Centre, with tea afterwards.  The service will be conducted by Rev. Fiona Ogg.

Harvest Feast

invite you to a

Harvest Feast
Sonachan Hotel
Friday ~ 9 Nov ~ 7.00
Raffle with lots of great gifts
DJ ~~~ love mussel
3 course menu using local garden produce £15 per head
Ring 01972 510 262 to book your ticket.
Call at the Ferry Stores to buy your ticket.

23 Oct 2012

Seasonal dates for your diary

Weather permitting, Bonfire night this year will be held on Saturday 3rd November at the Coastguard Hut on Pier Road from 6.30pm. (Thanks to Jessie for noticing my original mistake with the date!)

If you have any wood for the bonfire please phone Gael (07920 752742) to arrange for it to be picked up this Saturday (27th).

The Halloween Party is this Saturday at 6.30pm at Sonachan Hotel.  Fancy dress competition, pumpkin competition and spooky party games.

PS: The Children's Christmas Party is on Saturday 22nd Decmber from 3.00-5.00pm. More details to follow. All welcome!

20 Oct 2012

17 Oct 2012

Church Service



Sunday 21st October

The service this Sunday will take place at 11.00am, and will be conducted by Rev. Fiona Ogg.

10 Oct 2012

Sunday Service



Sunday 14th October

The service this Sunday will take place at 11.00am, and will be conducted by Rev. Keith Mack.

9 Oct 2012

Veterinary Services

Crown Vets, based in Fort William, held their first local surgery in Kilchoan's Community Centre yesterday.  Two vets attended, and were fully employed for some two hours.  The general reaction to the initiative seems to have been very positive, and it is hoped that this will become a regular feature.

Crown Vets cover all aspects of Veterinary services, including large animals and pets.  Their website is here, or you can follow them on Facebook, here.

3 Oct 2012

Sunday Service



Sunday 7th October

The service this Sunday will take place at 11.00am, and will be conducted by Rev. Fiona Ogg.

New Local Business

 Homeopathic Medicine
Katie Bryson, BSc(Hons) 

2 Pier Road, Kilchoan, Acharacle. PH36 4LJ 

Gentle and effective treatment to help relieve the symptoms of physical and emotional health problems. 

Tel: 01972 510271 Mob: 07929 359999 

2 Oct 2012

Community Council Meeting

This is a brief, personal impression of events at the meeting.

The first two-and-a-half hours of yesterday evening's WACC meeting was spent in a briefing session with five representatives of NHS Highland, led by Gill McVicar, and Alan Knox from the Scottish Ambulance Service.  The main points that came out of it were -

1.  The GPs' Practice: NHS Highland does not intend to hurry to replace the two GPs who have left.  It feels that a small, independently-run practice of this sort is no longer sustainable, and that, therefore, new proposals have to be considered.  One, the outline of which is already on the table, is for our practice to merge with Mallaig and the Small Isles.  Others will be sought.  Small practices in remote areas do not work because the GPs feel isolated, lack support, have limited training and professional development opportunities, and face too heavy a workload, particularly if it includes out-of-hours emergency call-outs.  Therefore, some sort of arrangement which involves a large team of health professionals (full and part-time doctors, nurses, etc) who can be rotated between urban and rural work seems a way forward.

Our practice is one of fourteen which are vacant in the NHSH area.  The problem, as was made clear by Dr Jim Douglas, NHSH's local Clinical Director, is so serious that a major national review is urgently needed.  What we have done, here on West Ardnamurchan, by taking our fight to Holyrood, has made a contribution to the pressure that needs to be put on Scottish politicians to take urgent action.  This needs to be continued.

NHSH asked the Community Council to support the idea that time be taken to find a solution.  While there were concerns expressed both about how long this would take, and about how carefully NHSH would listen to input from the grass roots, the meeting agreed this.  We were given firm assurances that the current locum service would be sustained - WACC has yet to receive any adverse comments.

2.  The Emergency Responders:  The meeting gave warm praise to Alan Knox and his team of Emergency Responders.  Their level of training is now extremely high; their equipment and resources are impressive; and they have attended and successfully dealt with far more incidents than were expected.  Better still, Alan Knox is anxious to raise standards even higher, particularly through the use of teleconferencing facilities.

One of the few things that seems to be unclear is when an Emergency Responder should be called out.  The broad answer seems to be - if in doubt, call 999.  If it's not an incident to which an Emergency Responder can be despatched, the Operator will advise the caller of what alternative action they should take, such as ringing NHS24.

3.  The Community Nurses:  Between the Community Nurses, the Practice Nurses and the locum doctors, there is now a medical presence in Kilchoan Surgery almost ever day, Monday to Friday.  A Nurse isn't present every day at 9.00am, but most services that used to be offered at the Kilchoan Surgery are, once again, available - including such things as the taking of blood and ear syringing.

Accessing the Nursing Service is still seen as a problem, but a new leaflet, a draft of which is available for download as two files, here and here, and in printed form through The Ferry Stores, will be made available by NHSH to everyone shortly.

It was felt that progress in providing the sort of Nursing Service we had hoped to see here has been made.  However, there is some way to go, particularly in making clear what is available, when and where, and how it is accessed.

1 Oct 2012

REMINDER: NHS Highland attending Community Council meeting tonight

The Community Council Meeting tonight will be held at 
6.00 PM
NHS HIGHLAND will be attending to discuss future provision of GP services for the area and will also cover nursing provision.

Please attend if you possibly can

26 Sep 2012

Sunday Service



Sunday 30th September

The service this Sunday will take place at 11.00am, and will be conducted by Rev. Stuart Robinson.

23 Sep 2012

Community Council Meeting - Monday 1st October

The Community Council meeting on Monday 1st October will be held at 6.00 PM at Kilchoan Community Centre. Agenda available here.

Representatives from NHS HIGHLAND will attend to discuss future provision of GP services for the area and the provision of nursing services from Kilchoan Nurse Base.


19 Sep 2012

West Ardnamurchan Community Council minutes - September

Please see minutes from our September meeting here.

Please also note that our next meeting on October 1st will be at 6.00pm instead of our usual time. Representatives from NHS Highland will be attending to discuss possible options for future provision of GP services. Please attend if you possibly can

Sunday Service



Sunday 23rd September

The service this Sunday will take place at 11.00am, and will be conducted by Rev. Fiona Ogg.

13 Sep 2012

KFC Match

[Click on poster to enlarge]

Lighthouse Celebration

A reminder that all residents of West Ardnamurchan are warmly invited to a celebration of the 15th Anniversary of the founding of the Ardnamurchan Lighthouse Trust - free drinks and food, free trips up the tower, music, speeches.  The party starts at 6.00pm this Saturday at the lighthouse, please share cars as much as possible.

12 Sep 2012

Sunday Service



Sunday 16th September

The service this Sunday will take place at 11.00am, and will be conducted by Rev. John Shields.

8 Sep 2012

Courses at Kilchoan Learning Centre

Here's a list of courses available over the next few months at Kilchoan Learning Centre. Pat Glenday, the Centre Manager, says, "I've tried to make sure that there is something for everyone on the list. Fingers crossed I've succeeded! There is a booking sheet available, which you can fill in, or you can just let me know by email or phone the courses on which you would like to book places. The earlier I know who wants to do what, the easier it is for me to get the courses you want organised, so it would be very helpful if you could get back to me in the next few days."

[Click on the list to enlarge]
A booking form, and more details are available from:
Pat Glenday
Rural Learning Manager - West Highland College UHI - Kilchoan
Contact: 01397 874260 or Pat.Glenday.whc@uhi.ac.uk

7 Sep 2012

Letter from Alex Neil

Letter from Alex Neil, the new Cabinet Secretary for Health & Wellbeing, to Jac Crosbie, Secretary of West Ardnamurchan Community Council:

 7  September 2012                                                                                                                             
 Dear Jacqueline,

You will no doubt be aware of yesterday’s announcement on changes to the Scottish Cabinet and that I am now the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing. 

It is with regret that I am writing to advise that the Ministerial visit to Ardnamurchan scheduled for Monday 10 September is being postponed.  I appreciate that plans for a visit by Nicola Sturgeon had been underway for some time but I am sure you will understand the changed circumstances.

I am sorry for any inconvenience caused and please reassure members of your Council and the wider community that this is just a postponement.  I look forward to visiting the community when new arrangements can be made and at the earliest opportunity.