Precious keepsake returns to family hands after 100 years

Colin Scott Mackenzie presents the historic locket to Mandy Darling

By Eilidh Whiteford

For more than 100 years, a Victorian locket waited to be reunited with someone called Darling in a story that spans three generations and two continents.

“It’s left me with wonderment and a sense of awe and mystery of the universe,” said Stornoway resident Mandy (Amanda) Darling, as a quest, which began long ago on the plains of Patagonia, reached its end when she was given her great-aunt Maggie Darling’s sweetheart keepsake.

Read more: Precious keepsake returns to family hands after 100 years

Hotel looks back at history that started with a school

By Eilidh Whiteford

A truly island location – with the Carloway Broch nearby and the Callanish Standing Stones just along the road – a historic building and a warm welcome are what awaits visitors to the Doune Braes Hotel in Carloway.

Originally housing the local school and headmaster’s living quarters, the Doune Braes Hotel has been under the stewardship of owner Eileen MacDonald since she moved to the Isle of Lewis in 1982.

“In 1966 the local school stopped and the hotel was opened in 1967 and was probably the first major licence outside Stornoway at the time,” said Eileen.

Read more: Hotel looks back at history that started with a school

SoapmakIng proves a natural route for Linda

The latest skin-care range launched by the Hebridean Soap
Company, named after the first Greek goddess,
Mother Earth Gaia

Photographs and story by Eilidh Whiteford

Step into the world of Hebridean Soap Company and you step into a world of all natural ingredients and fragrances as owner Linda Sutherland and team create an array of soapy delights and lotions from the Breasclete-based business.

Established in 2002, and the first commercial soap producing company in the Western Isles, Hebridean Soap came about as Linda, a former IBM systems programmer, looked for a new challenge in life.

Read more: SoapmakIng proves a natural route for Linda

Craft-venture couple take over former post office

By Eilidh Whiteford

Bringing the Old Post Office building back to life, Susan and Austen Dancey were delighted to house their Puffin Studio Crafts shop in Creagorry, Benbecula, in the well-known premises.

“People remember it as the Post Office and before that the Bank,” said Austen, “and say that they’re pleased to see the building in use again.” 

“Many tell us that it seems a lot larger than before but all we’ve done is move things around and open up the windows on the road side, which lets in a lot more light.” 

Read more: Craft-venture couple take over former post office

Smokehouse becomes shop window for Isles

By Eilidh Whiteford
Photographs by  Roz Skinner

Back to basics and ensuring visitors are treated to a full Hebridean experience, Salar Smokehouse in Lochcarnan is back in business.

Set up in 1987 as a small business in South Uist, just over a decade later, Salar Salmon had become an international name and was bought over by Loch Duart Ltd in 2008.

By April 2015 however, the plant was shut down, with the loss of 10 local jobs.

Read more: Smokehouse becomes shop window for Isles