We at HEB Magazine do our best to let the world know exactly what our islands have to offer, and where exactly to find what you're interested in. HEB is printed once a year and thousands of copies are distributed across the Islands.
And the on-line edition - below! - is updated throughout the year with new reports, photographs and information from all across the Islands.
So, just click the download button, or go to our page-turning version, and enjoy learning about the beautiful Scottish Hebrides, and, if you aren’t here already, make sure to plan a visit sometime soon!
By Eilidh Whiteford
Lewis-based designer Paulette Brough is returning to her roots as her Harris Tweed accessories company Rarebird introduces its first range of jackets, waistcoats and skirts this year.
Named after the elusive Corncrake – the small island bird often heard but rarely seen – Rarebird was established by Paulette in 2007 at her small cottage in Ness before opening a Carloway workshop in 2009, and an additional workshop and studio outlet at 1 Bells Road Stornoway in 2016.
Concentrating on handmade quality and clean designs, Paulette’s Harris Tweed accessories – scarves, gloves, hats, bags and more – have found homes the world over with Rarebird products sold in over 50 shops and galleries across Scotland, England and Wales and several outlets in the EU, USA and Japan.
Rarebird products are available in the British Museum in London, as well as from the National Trust of Scotland who also asked Paulette to make several of her designs in their own NTS tweed.
Working with Harris Tweed is the fulfilment of a dream for Margaret Rowan of Adabrock Weaving Company.
She arrived in the Outer Hebrides to become a Harris Tweed weaver in January 2015. She explains how she felt that she had already done a lot - raised two wonderful sons, taught textiles, written four sewing books and run a flourishing Soft Furnishings business for 25 years – but she knew inside there was something else she needed to do.
“My lifelong love of fabric and yarn, my artistic and creative abilities, art school, studying woven textiles and printmaking were all for a reason.
“The year before I moved to the Outer Hebrides my father mentioned that he had discovered my grandmother was a silk weaver in Paisley.
“Could I have inherited her genes? Are there weavers’ genes…or was it fate?
By Brian Wilson
Each September, the textiles world assembles in Paris to display its wares. The show is called Première Vision and it is a vital cog round which the Harris Tweed orb has long revolved.
Collections are displayed, old friendships renewed, new customers introduced, sample orders taken and off the whole cycle goes for another year.
The show is located at the vast exhibition park close to Charles de Gaulle Airport. Harris Tweed Hebrides takes a stand at Première Vision each year and our sales team work overtime for three intensive days with precious little opportunity to enjoy the delights that Paris has to offer. The old hands can get a good feel for the season ahead from the response at Premiere Vision.
Picture by Jane H Macmillan
The last house…on the right of the main road. No, really…that’s Tom Hickman’s address right up at the north end of New Tolsta on the road from Stornoway towards the ‘Last Bridge’ and Lord Leverhulme’s unfinished dream of an island circular road to Ness.
And Tom Hickman is an artist whose work is worth travelling up this road to see…combining skills and talents in different spheres of artistic endeavour to create complex artworks in paint, wood and textiles.
Over the decades. Tom’s studio has been wherever he happens to be; on a long haul flight to Western Australia where he has many friends; camping in the cramped confines of his car in the wilds of Scotland; in the calm of his 17th century Breton farmhouse or – now – in his newly created, but ancient-feeling studio, amidst the stone buildings of a croft.
He worked with locally-based builder Steve Adams to take the new studio through from conception to completion, slotting it in between the remains of a former blackhouse and the former lambing shed, both of which have been partially rebuilt by Tom. Tom bought the house in 2005 and over the years has moved between his homes in Brittany and Lewis as he created his new artistic base.
Recently exposed on Cliff Beach in Uig, Isle of Lewis, are some of the remains of the Esra, a three –masted wooden barque, which was wrecked on November 3, 1898. Built in 1874 in Norway, the Esra lost her rudder off the Butt of Lewis, and headed down the coast for shelter from a storm, and it is thought she was grounded on purpose at Camas na Clibhe.
She was on passage from Norway to Belfast with a cargo of timber. Local man Malcolm Smith swam out with a rope and 10 crew and one passenger were brought ashore - they were housed by families in Uig until they could return to Norway. The ship’s bell, bible and a couple of other items were gifted to local people and are now lent to Uig museum. The cargo of timber was used in Baille na Cille church and in local houses. The mast was used in the sheep fank at Cliff.
The last time the wreck was so exposed was 1960 when some wood was taken away and carved into ashtrays.