BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

16 October 2014

Arnish Lighthouse

BBC Homepage
»Island Blogging
Western Isles

North Uist
South Uist

Argyll & Clyde Islands
Northern Isles

House Rules

From the BBC

Contact Us

Sunday sailings

I found it quite interesting to hear that the possibility of Sunday sailings will be discussed at a Calmac Board meeting on Wednesday. What makes it even more interesting is the demographics of the opposing camps.

Thousands are rumoured to have signed a petition, spearheaded by the Lord's Day Observance Society, opposing Sunday sailings. A couple of dozen have contacted Calmac to ask the ferry operators for a Sunday sailing.

I am aware of the sensitivities involved, and that those commenting on balance appear to be opposed. However, I do have to point out that legally speaking, the opponents haven't got a leg to stand on. How come?

1) Ferries already ply to and from and within the Southern Isles on Sunday, so why not from Lewis?

2) Planes already fly in an out of Stornoway Airport on Sunday, so why shouldn't ferries sail out of Stornoway harbour?

Am awaiting outcome of said Board meeting with bated breath.

Calmac have postponed this discussion for 2 months, in order that it does not interfere with a debate about Road-Equivalent Tarriff. This would mean that ferry travel would cost the same as travelling the same distance by road. The Stornoway to Ullapool ferry is one of the routes under consideration for this.
Posted on Arnish Lighthouse at 17:50


Lets hope freedom of choice prevails! - at the end of the day if you don't agree with sunday sailings nobody is forcing you to get on the boat. I moved to Lewis because of work and all my family are on the mainland and I find it incredibly frustrating having to take an extra day off work when I visit family because I have to sail on a monday rather than a sunday. I'm not asking for the shop and restuarant etc on the boat to be open - all I want is the option to move on and off the island when I need to!

js from lewis

The LDoS claim to have around 4,000 signatures on a petition supporting their opposition to sunday ferries,so what,a petition is only going to represent the views of the people who support the issue.If the LDoS organised a referendum on this subject then we could see once and for all just what the people of the Islands really want,of course this will not happen as it would result in a mandate for sunday ferries.The argument that ferry services are not needed because there are sunday flights does'nt hold water because of the cost ,even with ADS. Do the council still lock the swings up in the childrens playgrounds in Stornoway on sundays?

swampy from Derbyshire

swampy, I definately agree with you on the flights issue, particulalry as the sunday flight is from Edinburgh or Glasgow (can't remember which!), for those of us that are a lot further north of the central belt flights are not an option.

js from Lewis

We have had this discussion before and will no doubt again. I am all for freedom of religion but I wish that those to whom I grant tolerance would do me the favour of reciprocating. I do not have a faith, I would like peace to enjoy my disbelief, compliments of the season.

Hyper-Borean from A quiet corner

I hope that it goes ahead and that the Sunday Ferry service starts soon. My partner cannot visit his little girl as often as he would like because he cannot take Mondays off work. Life is hard enough, having no ferry on a Sunday makes it even harder. It's all very well having flights on a Sunday, but they are so expensive. Please let the Sunday ferry sail, for the sake of the estranged parents if nothing else...

Janette from Mainland

I don't think this has anything to do with religion. It is about control. I myself have my own beliefs but I don't ram them down other peoples throats at every given opportunity. Also are we really sure that this is what the big man upstairs meant about a day of rest? His son picked corn on the sabbath and got knocked by the pharises (wrong spelling probably). When is the Sabbath exactly - does anyone really know? Also does that mean I am going to the big fire cos I have two young kids so therefore can't have a day of rest as the bible says. Surely there are more pressing things to worry about rather than wether a bleeding ferry sails or not. Anyway I'm sure if the big man upstairs aint happy about it it will blow a hoolie every Sunday!

lm from bleeding holy mo's

And, while we are at it, let's free the Town Crier!

mjc from NM,USA

I dont want it to blow a hoolie every sunday because of the boats sailing and him upstairs not being happy. the Weather is invarible nice every sunday! It can blow a hoolie six days of the week but lets have sun on sundays!

Mark from Gravir

At last,thank you mjc !!!!!!!!

Town Crier from can i hang my washing out yet?

we should start a petition FOR the sailings and really put the cat among the pidgeons....

just me from harris

Good point about the Sabbath. Which day is it? The commandments say 'For six days you shall labour and do all your work. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work'. So as long as you take a day off a week (and make it holy if you want to), does it matter if it isn't Sunday?

Janette from Mainland

Old Navy Men used to say, " Six days shalt thou labour and do all that thou art able and on the seventh thou shalt holystone the deck and scrub the cable."

Hyper-Borean from The Andrew

And that's why, Hyper-B., those navy men got old before their time.

mjc from NM

Whatever happened to Island Voices-Documentary, Arnish L.? Did they leave the islands unscathed? Are their productions scheduled for an airing? Amazing what/who gets funded in Scotland.

mjc from NM,USA

The good lord said that for five days thou shall work like _______s but on the Sabbath thou shall rest. He did not say thou shall not go to Ullapool or Uig and as the crews are working let there be shipping, and the lord looked down in disbelief “ the people of Lewis are having a ball, how can the LDOS stop this?”

Sunday Sailer from IOM

Sunday Sailor, I thought He said Six Days, not Five! What next? Did he stipulate the 35 hours week, four weeks off summer, 2 weeks off winter, and assorted national holidays (Burns Night, Guy Fawkes, Haggis Festival, Notting Hill etc)?

mjc from NM,USA

Island Voices, MJC? Have to admit that one passed me by altogether, and their website doesn't mention anything at all.

Arnish Lighthouse from Stornoway

And I, mjc, thought it had more to do with what Churchill politely paraphrased as "Rum, sodomy and the lash." I once read that alcohol killed more of Nelson's seamen than the French did.

Hyper-Borean from A much lower deck

He did say five days, even our lord has to shop. But not in Ullapool on a Sunday!!!

Sunday Sailer from IOM

Unsurprising that a Sunday ferry - or any change at all - is not welcomed by the inhabitants of an island where there are 22,000 inhabitants and only four surnames. God forbid that they be reminded that they are part of the real world and not a law unto themselves... I visit the island regularly due to work comittments and find it a bleak and unwelcoming place. I'd rather not have to go at all. Cut it off completely for me, stop all ferries and flights and leave them to it.

Hamster from Kent

Bleak and unwelcoming? No-one can help the bleak part, which is due to geography and weather, and I don't believe the unwelcoming bit at all. You have to give a little to get a little.

Flying Cat from I like a nice juicy hamster...

Oh, come off it, Hamster! I bet I could find a half dozen welcoming souls within an hour of my landing on the island.

mjc from NM,USA

Oh Hamster. I actually think Stornoway is quite a handsome little town and the Grounds of Lews Castle are quite enviable. I also found the pub/hotel staff I met quite reasonable.

Hyper-Borean from The treadmill

I can't imagine what Hamster has been up to on Lewis to evoke such an unwelcoming response from the inhabitants. On the many occasions that I have visited the island, I've found the people to be second only to those of Glasgow in their degree of friendliness. I suppose Lewis has its fair share of social category E types who eat peas with a knife, but they seem to keep well out of my way. From Kent, you say. I think I know who you are.

Malkie from Glasgow

Ho! Malkie. "I eat my peas with honey/ I've done it all my life./ It makes the peas taste funny/ but it keeps them on the knife."

Hyper-Borean from The hive

"From Kent, you say. I think I know who you are. -- Malkie from Glasgow," That's a good one Malkie (but do you, really?! It's a small world!). # Would someone care to explain the ravings about eating peas with knife. I eat mine with knife AND fork - don't you all (incl. residents of Lewis)? About putting honey on peas in Lewis, I have it from the local police that such aberrant behavior does not occur in Stornoway. # Do the people in Lewis, like the Glaswegians, give voice - even in the middle of the night - when they have of drink well partaken? I like Glasgow. I particularly enjoyed the People's Museum and Winter Gardens, because it does in fact attract local folks from all walks of life. Everybody seemed cheery and appeared to be having a good time.

mjc from NM,USA

Fpu says her best memory of the People's Palace was being in Glasgow for a weekend Weegie fix, whilst mpu and babybipeds stayed home. It was a dreich Sunday, before the restoration (of the P's P, not the monarchy) and, in the all-too-decaying splendour of the palm house, the hammer dulcimer society were having a practice session.

Flying Cat from If I Had a Hammer...

Re eating peas from a knife:- mpu says (because he's too idle to get out of his recliner and come to the computer) "mjc, we recommend getting hold of the current BBC production of Cranford..." Oh don't ask me, I'm just a cat...

Flying Cat from blowing a Gaskell

Cranford: will do. Apparently it is a joint production with WGBH (Boston), and so should air on Public Televison in the States sooner or later.

mjc from NM,USA

The reference to eating peas with a knife, mjc, was a sardonic reflection on Hamster's characterisation of Lewis as an island with 22,000 people and 4 surnames. Its what in-bred retards do when, like me, they could eat peas with a spoon.

Malkie from Glasgow

Eating peas with a knife and honey is unavoidable on board any Calmac ferry, certainly on a Sunday ;-)

Arnish Lighthouse from Stornoway

Hi Malkie, people like you are the reason I feel at ease in Glasgow. Take care. (and what is your favorite song, when you decide to entertain tourists under their windows in the dark of night?)

mjc from NM,USA

Three men went tae jine, went tae jine the Parish...and the rest. Copyright Mr W Connolly.

Flying Cat from Milandaland

Hi, mjc. I defy anybody to feel at ease anywhere near me. I eat rivets and drink blood. And talking of eating peas with a knife, Homer J Simpson does it in the episode where Homer, Barney Gumbal and Mo Szyszlak join the Naval Reserve.

Malkie from Glasgow

You can actually REMEMBER an individual episode of The Simpsons???

Flying Cat from shock&awe

This blog is now closed and we are no longer accepting new posts.

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy