Britain’s ‘most remote pub’ awarded £500,000 for community buyout

The Old Forge in Inverie is only accessible by an 18-mile hike or a seven-mile boat trip.

A community hoping to take over Britain’s remotest mainland pub has won more than £500,000 in funding. Maurice McDonald/PA via PA Wire
A community hoping to take over Britain’s remotest mainland pub has won more than £500,000 in funding.

A community is on track to take over mainland Britain’s “remotest pub” after it was awarded £500,000 in funding.

The Old Forge in Inverie, which lies on the Knoydart Peninsula in Lochaber, is only accessible by an 18-mile (29km) hike over Munros or a seven-mile (11km) journey by boat.

The pub, listed in the Guinness World Records as mainland UK’s most remote pub, went up for sale earlier this year for offers over £425,000.

The Old Forge Community Benefit Society, a group of Knoydart residents fundraising to bring the pub under community ownership, had raised £256,035 to buy the property.

Maurice McDonald/PA via PA Wire
Mainland Britain’s remotest pub The Old Forge (Maurice McDonald/PA)
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But now the group has won a £508,000 cash injection through the Scottish Land Fund (SLF) to support its community buyout.

SLF provides more than £1m to eight local community groups in the country to help them take ownership of land and buildings that matter to them.

The funding was announced by the Scottish government’s land reform minister, Mairi McAllan, during Community Land Week.

She said: “All across Scotland, communities are taking ownership of the land and buildings that matter to them with the support of the Scottish Land Fund.

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“I know how hard people will have worked to develop their projects and to achieve this success, and I look forward to seeing the benefits for their communities.”

Other projects awarded funding included Port Bannatyne in Argyll and Bute, Canna in the Scottish Highlands, Easter Breich in West Lothian, Carloway Estate Trust in the Western Isles, Bigton Collective Ltd in Shetland, Balquhidder, Lochearnhead and Strathyre Community Trust in Stirling and Inchinnan Development Trust in Renfrewshire.


Mother and son missing as fears for their welfare grow

Linda Newlands and Andrew Baird may have travelled to Edinburgh, police said.

Police Scotland
Linda Newlands, 30, and her 10-year-old son Andrew Baird were last seen in the Dingwall area on Wednesday evening.

A search has been launched for a mother and son who have been reported missing in the Highlands.

Linda Newlands, 30, and her 10-year-old son Andrew Baird were last seen in the Dingwall area at around 7.40pm on Wednesday.

Police described Ms Newlands as 5ft 2in in height, with a stocky build and long red hair.

She was last seen wearing red glasses, green trousers, a long black coat and trainers.

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Her son Andrew was described by officers as 5ft with a stocky build and dark brown hair.

He is said to have been wearing a black hoody, black tracksuit bottoms and black trainers.

Police said the pair are believed to still be in the Highlands, but may have travelled to Edinburgh.

Officers said that they are becoming increasingly concerned for their welfare as time passes.

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Sergeant Rhys Reid said: “We are appealing for anyone with information on Linda and Andrew’s whereabouts to come forward and contact police as soon as they can.

“If you believe you have seen them, or know where they are, please call 101, quoting incident 3596 of October 14.”


‘Guide Dogs gave me my life back’: Charity celebrates 90th birthday

At 23-years-old, Scott Cunningham thought his life was over until he met his first guide dog.

STV News

In the space of three weeks in 1993, Scott Cunningham lost his sight.

The 23-year-old lay in pain in a bed at what was then the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow.

“My optic nerves had died away suddenly due to this condition that I’ve got,” he told STV News.

“Basically, my world had caved in because there was no future. There was no real reason to continue on with life, to be fair.

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Then and now – development of services showing My Sighted Guide.
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“You know, I had a car in the driveway I had a job, I had everything to live for and then all of sudden I had to try and accept being a member of the blind community.”

Now 51-years-old, Mr Cunningham remembered how he struggled to come to terms with the loss of his sight.

He was living like a “hermit”, too scared to leave his home and drinking heavily to deal with how he felt.

But in 1995 something changed.

“I started building up trust, confidence in this amazing creature who became my best friend.”

Scott Cunningham
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One of only two Guide Dogs charity centres in the country was ten minutes from his parents’ home and he had been invited to come and train with them.

“I remember vividly the first walk, with the harness on, Debbie the trainer let go of her lead, my right arm went out rigid, I was beyond petrified”, he said.

“I grew a bit of a backbone, and I started building up trust, confidence in this amazing creature who became my best friend, gave me the confidence, gave me the mobility, gave me my independence back.

“I was able to go to shops, be able to go to pubs, restaurants myself, be able to get fit again, lose that massive amount of weight I’d put on.”

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Then and now – road crossing

Thanks to his first guide dog Ike, Mr Cunningham was able to go back to full-time education and he completed an HND course.

He went on to return to employment and said it was all thanks to Guide Dogs.

Mr Cunningham has just completed a twelve marathon challenge and to date has raised more than £350,000 for the charity.

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The organisation began 90 years ago, initially helping soldiers blinded in the first world war.

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Historical shot of guide dog training

Now in the 21st Century, roads are a lot busier but the basic principles remain.

With new services, new technologies, staff, dogs, and supporters, Guide Dogs plans to double the number of people it helps by 2023.

As the charity marks its birthday, it is asking for the public’s support to help people with sight loss live the lives they choose by joining its Guide Dogs 90 Appeal.

For more information click here.


Manhunt after takeaway delivery driver ‘threatened with knife’

The victim was sitting in a car when the suspect leaned into the window on Thursday evening.

© Google Maps 2020
The takeaway driver was sitting in his black Ford Focus on Magdalen Way, in Paisley.

A hunt is underway after a man allegedly demanded a delivery driver hand over cash while brandishing a knife.

The takeaway driver was sitting in his black Ford Focus on Magdalen Way, in Paisley, at around 6.30pm on Thursday when the suspect leant into the car window.

The man allegedly threatened the victim with a knife and demanded money from him.

Police said it had been a “frightening experience for a man who was simply doing his job”.

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No cash was taken and the suspect ran off.

He is described as a white man with a local accent, of slim build, with his face sunken around his eyes and he may have had some facial hair.

He was wearing a navy blue jacket with the hood up and dark coloured trousers.

Detective constable James Campbell, of Paisley CID, said: “Thankfully no-one was injured as a result of this but it was a frightening experience for a man who was simply doing his job.

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“I’m appealing to anyone who may have witnessed this incident or has any relevant information to contact us.”

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101 quoting incident 2738 of October 14 Alternatively, Crimestoppers can be called anonymously on 0800 555 111.


Tim Minchin: Performing in Scotland ‘always a special feeling’

The comedian has been speaking to STV News ahead of his live show in Aberdeen this weekend.

STV News

Tim Minchin says performing in Scotland always gives him a “warm and special feeling” as he gets ready for his return to the stage.

The Australian comedy star, who is performing at P&J Live in Aberdeen this weekend, made his name at the Edinburgh Festival and says the capital has always felt ownership of him.

Speaking to STV News ahead of Saturday’s show he said: “I think particularly Edinburgh audiences feel ownership of me and I feel it too.

“I think the fact that Scotland was the place where everything changed in my life, gives me a special, warm feeling about playing here.

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“Edinburgh people are very possessive of people that their festival breaks and I think my sense of humour has always worked in the UK.”

Minchin also revealed that there will be no mention of Covid at his live shows as it is his job to “make the audience forget the world”.

Coming from the strict lockdown measures to Sydney to the “pretty much completely open” UK has been a strange feeling for the 44-year-old as he brings his Back Encore tour to Scotland.

And he has promised not to follow in the footsteps of many entertainers by talking about the pandemic as “we are all just sick of it.”

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He said: “Weirdly in Australia we had this period where we basically kept Covid out of the country, so I toured a bit a couple of months ago and that was strange doing some half full masked audiences and stuff, which is not what you want when you are trying to get laughs.

“Having come from locked-down Sydney it feels quite strange coming into a pretty much completely open UK, you sort of just feel a little bit fight or flighty the whole time.

“But, just like every tour ever, I hate the whole build up and then you get opening night done and it’s just pretty much all fun.”

And despite Covid-19 dominating the news and lives of millions of people all over the world for the last two years, Minchin has made a “conscious decision” to keep it out of his show as he wants to help the crowd forget their problems for the night.

He said: “It’s my job to make sure they forget the world.

“There’s no doubt that a lot of comedians and stuff will be doing a lot of talking about Covid and talking about vaccines and government responses, it’s not really my area.

“I tend to talk about slightly broader issues, like sex, death and god and stuff, and I’ve actually made a very conscious decision to not spend the night reflecting on Covid because we are just sick of it aren’t we?

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“I think the vaccine might be the best medicine, but live performance could be a close second.”


Film exploring Tiree teen’s passion for surfing set for UK premiere

Ride the Wave charts Ben Larg’s life tackling some of the biggest and most dangerous waves in the world.

STV News

A documentary about a Tiree teenager’s passion for surfing is set to have its UK premiere at the London BFI Film Festival.

Ride the Wave charts Ben Larg’s life from 12-year-old surfing champion to just a few years later embarking on a journey to tackle some of the biggest and most dangerous waves in the world.

Film maker Martyn Robertson spent four years capturing Ben’s incredible talent and quickly his idea of a documentary about Scotland’s surfing sensation grew into a film.

Taking it all in his stride, Ben told STV News: “I’ve been surfing from two on the front of my dad’s board then when I was seven, I began surfing every day.

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“After I had done a few comps I wanted to do big wave surfing – it’s a bit more extreme and I enjoyed that. 

“We went to Ireland and we surfed a wave called Mullaghmore. It was about 30ft.”

The now 16-year-old says that casually but as you see from the film, it’s not such a relaxing sport for the onlookers, particularly Ben’s family.

All keen surfers themselves, running the Blackhouse Watersports business in Tiree, Ben’s mum Iona said: “We all got pulled into the film too. The change in him doing competitions to wanting to surf big waves and how that impacted us as a family.

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“We support his passion but when you see him paddling out, you just become a mum and you want to pull him back, but you can’t do that.”

Ben’s proud dad, Martin, said that it was emotional to watch his family on screen but praised the opportunities the filming has given Ben and the places they have been able to visit and surf off the back of it.

The film will be released in February.

Meanwhile, in Uig, on the Isle of Lewis, another film about surfing is currently being made, although this one is a little different.

Producer Chris Young, who previously produced the Inbetweeners Movie, describes Silent Roar as “an adolescent film about surfing, sex and hellfire.”

It tells the story of a young surfer struggling to come to terms with the death of his father and although shooting on Uig hasn’t always been easy, with extreme weather conditions taking their toll, Chris said he wouldn’t have wanted to make it anywhere else, insisting “part of what makes the film special is the landscape.”

Actor Derek Horsham, who plays a character called Bonco in the film, said: “It’s time for another film like this. I mean Local Hero was one, Gregory’s Girl another, but they gave that sort of quirky side to Scottish life and this is another one.”

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Two very different films both centred around surfing in Scotland; surely destined to cause a splash.


UEFA drop Sparta Prague v Rangers ‘racism’ case after investigation

The governing body said there was "insufficient evidence" for disciplinary action.

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Rangers player Glen Kamara was targeted with repeated booing during the game.

UEFA has confirmed it will not take disciplinary action against Sparta Prague over the behaviour of fans during their match against Rangers.

The governing body had opened an investigation after Rangers player Glen Kamara was repeatedly booed by the crowd at the Letna Stadium. An investigator who was appointed to look into alleged racist behaviour said he found insufficient evidence to continue.

Adult Sparta fans were banned following racist abuse of Monaco’s Aurelius Tchouameni in August, but around 10,000 schoolchildren were permitted to attend the 1-0 win over Rangers along with some accompanying adults.

UEFA had begun a probe into “potential discrimatory incidents” during the match and Rangers had contacted them directly to complain about the treatment of Kamara, who was racially abused by Ondrej Kudela, a player for Sparta’s rivals Slavia, last year.

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Children were photographed at the match holding a poster showing support for Kudela, who was banned for 10 games for his racist language and missed playing for his country at Euro 2020.

A statement released by UEFA stated that that investigators had failed to find enough evidence to proceed with a disciplinary case.

It read: “In accordance withArticle 31(4) of the UEFA Dicsciplinary Regulations, a UEFA Ethics and Disciplinary Inspector was appointed to conduct a disciplinary investigation regarding potential discriminatory incidents which allegedly occurred during the 2021/22 UEFA Europa League group stage match between AC Sparta Praha and Rangers FC played on 30 September 2021.

The investigation has now concluded that there was insufficient evidence of racism or discriminatory conduct at the match to warrant the opening of disciplinary proceedings against AC Sparta Praha.”


Postecoglou feels Celtic are settled after early squad upheaval

The manager says his whole squad are better prepared for challenges ahead.

Craig Williamson via SNS Group
Postecoglou is near to having a fully-fit squad.

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou believes his squad is more settled after a challenging start to the season and a significant turnover of players.

The Australian was happy to report that his international players had all returned from injury, which came as a relief to Postecoglou after key players Kyogo Furuhashi and Callum McGregor had both missed matches after the last break.

Recent signings and players returning from injury had the benefit of two weeks in training before the return to domestic fixtures and the manager feels both of these factors have helped the squad feel as settled as it has during his time in charge.

“It has been, right from the start, probably unsettled is the word,” he said.

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“Because even four weeks ago we had guys leaving who were pretty important players. We played Rangers just before the previous break and guys like Odsonne Edouard and Ryan Christie, who were in the starting line-up, left, and we lost Cal and Kyogo for the next three or four weeks.

“It has been unsettled but after the Aberdeen game I was hoping we’d get through this international period without any issues and the ones who have been rushed in and thrown into playing can settle themselves, even off the field. Guys were literally coming off a plane and we were putting them in the team.

“Not just me, I think the whole squad feels better prepared than we were before.”

Postecoglou revealed that he had spent the international break not only on the training pitch but also in a series of meetings looking at the bigger picture and long-term planning, in part with Michael Nicholson, who took on the chief executive role after Dom McKay’s abrupt departure.

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“He understands, because he’s been here, the job that is ahead of us in short, medium and long-term,” Postecoglou said. “We’re working together to put the pillars in place that we need to.

“We have some immediate concerns, obviously, and that’s around the football department and looking at January.

“But you want to build something something that’s not just for immediate success but for sustainable success. So you’ve got to get into some more strategic thinking.

“I’m working hand in hand with Michael on that. For me, it’s been helpful that he’s already been part of the organisation here and has a long history and understands what success looks like.

“Hopefully together we’ll be building something that’s sustainable for the future.”


Tory MP Sir David Amess dead after stabbing at constituency meeting

Sir David Amess, who represented Southend West in Essex, was attacked on Friday.

UK Parliament via Website
The 69-year-old was attacked on Friday at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea.

Conservative MP Sir David Amess has died after being stabbed multiple times at a meeting with constituents.

A suspect, a 25-year-old man, has been arrested on suspicion of murder after the Tory veteran was stabbed during a constituency surgery in Essex.

The 69-year-old victim, who had been an MP since 1983, was fatally injured at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea on Friday.

The father-of-five is the second sitting MP to be killed in such circumstances in five years, following the death of Labour MP Jo Cox in 2016 as she attended a constituency surgery.

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Witnesses described the scene as “very distressing”.

A police spokesman said: “A man has been arrested on suspicion murder after a man was stabbed in Leigh-on-Sea.

“We were called to an address in Eastwood Road North shortly after 12.05pm today.

“We attended and found a man injured.

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“He was treated by emergency services but, sadly, died at the scene.”

Police said a 25-year-old man has been arrested and a knife was recovered.

Detectives are not looking for any other suspects, and have asked witnesses with footage such as CCTV to come forward.

Councillor John Lamb, who was at the scene, said: “He’s a family man, he’s got four daughters and a son.

“He’s always trying to help people and especially refugees he’s tried to help.

“He’s a very amicable person and he does stick by his guns, he says what he believes and he sticks by it.”

Aerial footage showed multiple police officers outside the church and an air ambulance at the scene.

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A large cordon extended down Eastwood Road, with members of the public gathering behind it, and multiple side streets closed off.


Excitement but some fears as Glasgow businesses get set for COP26

Leaders from across the globe will take part in the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.

ChrisHepburn via IStock

A restaurant owner whose business is located beside the COP26 blue zone says she feels like they are going into another lockdown ahead of the climate conference. 

India Quay is one of the closest establishments allowed to stay open during the two-week event. 

But Spinder Purewall-Johal believes the road closures in the area will mean they will lose business and they’ve been told they will not be compensated.

She told STV News: “It’s just a case of wait and see and that’s the biggest worry especially having gone through everything with Covid and being closed for so long.

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“You’re just back up and running and effectively this feels to us like we’re going into a lockdown again.”

STV News
India Quay: Spinder Purewall-Johal.

At the moment India Quay has just two bookings during COP26 and their regular customers haven’t made reservations during the summit.

Ms Purewall-Johal believes they would have been better off if they had been told to close.

She added: “We probably would have preferred that because at the moment it’s not just ‘are we going to have customers coming in here?’, it’s going to be ‘what if there are protests outside our door and we’ve got customers sitting, how do we deal with that?’

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“Just a lot of uncertainty and not knowing how things are going to go.”

‘We’re really excited’

STV News
Gallus Alice: Jennifer Lemon.

Gallus Alice is located slightly further away from the conference in Finnieston.

Bosses have ordered plenty of stock ahead of the summit and are hopeful for an “influx” of customers.

Jennifer Lemon, Gallus Alice co-owner, said: “We’re really excited.”

She highlighted that it’s been a difficult year due to the pandemic, but especially for the retail sector.

She added: “Without people being in-store we’re having to depend on the online side of things.

“I’m really hoping with the influx of a new potential global customer that even after COP26 that they will continue to shop with us online afterwards.”

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