District News, March 4 2022

Andrew Hemmings with a selection of his favourite automata at Bellochantuy SWI's recent meeting.
Andrew Hemmings with a selection of his favourite automata at Bellochantuy SWI's recent meeting.

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Bellochantuy:

Rural ladies’ lesson in automatons

An exciting extravaganza of automatons was the subject of a display and demonstration at the February meeting of Bellochantuy Scottish Women’s Institute (SWI).

Andrew Hemmings explained to the ladies that an automaton is basically a mechanical device operating under its own hidden power.

Today’s generation may recognise the relationship with robots which are programmed to perform certain tasks but, as the Bellochantuy group learned, these early examples do not rely on modern day technology but with the finely balanced unseen power of yesteryear.

‘Andrew has an amazing collection of many types of automatons, all of which he has built himself,’ said a group spokesperson.

‘And despite today’s sophisticated examples, the sheer pleasure of seeing these characters in operation, together with Andrew’s description of how they work, was obvious from the fun that we all had watching their antics.’

Andrew Hemmings with a selection of his favourite automata at Bellochantuy SWI's recent meeting.
Andrew Hemmings with a selection of his favourite automata at Bellochantuy SWI’s recent meeting.

After the presentation, a vote of thanks was given by Jill Lines and this was followed by SWI business.

There will be no meeting in March as all West Kintyre SWI groups are holding a combined bulb show, which will include crafts, baking, literature, photography and design.

This joint show is being hosted by Whitehouse SWI and the ladies of Bellochantuy are looking forward to meeting friends from the other groups.

Tarbert:

Yunique Tarbert art for our planet

Tarbert Academy S3 pupil Yunique Ogunshe is a COP26 Local Champion.

She has been working with a panel of young volunteers from Argyll and Bute to take forward the legacy of COP26, supported by Ann Kennovin and Jamie Titterton from the Argyll and Bute Community Learning Department Youth Work Team and local climate change action group Time For Change.

Yunique is aware of all the fantastic work already going on in Tarbert Academy and the wider community in terms of recycling, local food projects and environmental awareness raising.

She has, however, devised a plan through which she hopes to engage even more young people in taking forward the ambitious targets set at the COP26 conference held last year in Glasgow.

S3 pupil Yunique Ogunshe with some of the inspired – and inspiring – creations made from 'rubbish'.
S3 Tarbert Academy pupil Yunique Ogunshe with some of the inspired – and inspiring – creations made from ‘rubbish’.

As part of this, she invited individuals and families in Tarbert to create art from items they would otherwise throw away and to take the artwork, or photographs of it, to Tarbert Library for display during February.

To kick-start this, she organised an event for secondary pupils at Tarbert Academy after school on Thursday February 3.

The group chatted as they created and were shown the work of Andy Goldsworthy, whose ephemeral and minimalist pieces inspired them to see beauty and potential in objects that would normally be thrown away.

Islay:

Live festival to return in 2022

After two Covid-hit years and ‘virtual only’ events, Fèis Ìle – the Islay Festival – is back for 2022.

The festival, held at the end of May, draws whisky and Islay fans from across the globe for a 10-day celebration of Islay, her culture and her spirit.

There is music, song, dancing, chatting, meeting friends – old and new – and perhaps a wee dram along the way.

The first batch of event tickets sold out in record time, but there are some still available.

The Islay distilleries will be announcing their events and programmes over the next couple of months, so look out for those.

The Fèis Ìle Facebook page has all the latest updates.