Programme Archive Tasglann Phrògraman

Eileanan Fraoich

BBC ALBA – Series commences Tuesday 8 April at 8.30pm

Eileanan Fraoich

BBC ALBA - a’ tòiseachadh Dimàirt 8 Giblean aig 8.30f


Islay-born Heather Dewar has travelled the world but, like most islanders, the only island she really knows is her own. In this new eight part BBC ALBA series ‘Eileanan Fraoich’, Heather leaves the comfort and familiarity of Islay to explore eight thriving and diverse island communities.

Heather, an accomplished artist, cook and gardener, meets fellow islanders on their own home turf to find out what makes each island so unique. Her travels take her to Scalpay, Rum, Tiree, Gigha, Eigg, Raasay, Rathlin and Lismore, meeting local artists and business people, crofters and boat builders, historians and cooks along the way.

Learning about each island’s past as well as its present, Heather is encouraged to witness the creative and spirited ways in which island communities are fighting back against decades of population decline. This charismatic and energetic presenter takes viewers on her very personal guide to each island.

Programme one: Scalpay (Tues 8 April)
• It’s an exciting time in history of Scalpay as the community prepares to take over ownership of the island. Heather chats with a few of the island’s fishermen about the heyday of the industry on the island – the 1970s, when ring-net fishing was producing large and lucrative catches of herring. She also takes a walk out to the iconic Eilean Glas lighthouse, one of the original four lights commissioned by the Commissioners of the Northern Light,; and visits the loom shed of weaver Sheila Roderick whose textiles have made it onto the sets of major blockbuster movies including.

Programme two: Isle of Rum (Tues 15 April)
Kinloch Castle, Rum
• Isle of Rum is the largest of the Small Isles, is owned by Scottish Natural Heritage and has been designated a National Nature Reserve since 1957. For decades it was regarded as closed to the public but today it’s very much open to visitors and in this programme Heather explores its offerings. She visits Kinloch Castle, the weird and wonderful brain child of the industrialist John Bullough. During her visit Heather takes time to sketches the beautiful Rum ponies including a newly born foal, and the island’s Ranger takes her foraging for Chanterelle mushrooms. Heather also meets the growing community that exists alongside the reserve and learns how crofting has returned to the island for the first time in decades.

Programme three: Tiree (Tues 22 April)
• The stunning Isle of Tiree is known as ‘the land below the waves’ because of its flat landscape. Heather gets a glimpse of real community spirit whilst visiting the island’s lunch club for retired residents. She calls in on Tiree-born crofter’s daughter Seònaid Brown to reminisce about the old days of crofting on the island and meets Rhoda Meek who tells her about the Maritime Trust’s work to conserve the island’s traditional fishing boats. Heather sketches the island’s unique ‘pudding’ or ‘spotted’ houses before visiting Hynish where Professor Donald Meek tells her why and how lighthouse engineers created the village as a base from which to build Skerryvore Lighthouse. Heather finishes up on a peaceful stroll along the beach with Floyd, one of the few remaining Clydesdale Horses on the island, which was once an important horse breeding centre.

Programme four: Gigha (Tues 29 April)
• Gigha lies off the west coast of the Kintyre peninsula and it’s here that Heather meets Willie McSporran who tells her how the island has fared under community ownership since the famous buy-out of 2002. Heather learns how important harnessing nature’s natural resources can be for small island communities as she is shown the three wind turbines on the island - the ‘Dancing Ladies’. Heather gets a tour of the famous Achamore gardens and gets shown around one of Gigha’s newest ventures – a business producing and selling organically reared halibut. Indulging in her artistic side Heather meets Henri Macaulay who gives her a tour of her art gallery, before they take a walk out to the site of an ancient quern stone quarry.

Programme five: Eigg (Tues 6 May)
• Heather visits Eigg in the Small Isles and being a keen gardener herself, she is delighted to meet Neil Robertson who runs organic gardening courses from his beautifully situated croft. Local historian Camille Dressler takes Heather to the scene of a dark moment in the island’s past – Uamh Fhraing where a dreadful massacre took place in the 16th century. Heather also visits Maggie Fyffe who looks back on Eigg’s 16 years under community ownership before meeting Tasha Lancaster who tells Heather how crucial voluntary work – by both islanders and visitors - is to the running of the island. To round it all off Heather gets a glimpse of what Eigg would have been like in years gone by as she is shown round Cleadale Crofting Museum, a beautifully preserved croft house kept as it would have been in the 1900s.

Programme six: Raasay (Tues 13 May)
• Raasay sits off the east coast of Skye and during her visit Heather meets local farmers as they gather in the sheep for dipping and spraying whilst local forager Rebecca MacKay guides Heather to some of the best spots for gathering seaweed – and shows her a quick and easy way to cook it. Jewellery making is next for Heather who gets a lesson from silversmith Fiona Gillies who helps her carve her own Raasay pendant. She visits the site of an Iron Ore Mine worked by German POWs as well as locals during the First World War and takes a walk along ‘Calum’s Road’ – the track built by local hero Calum MacLeod using just a pick, shovel and wheelbarrow following decades of unsuccessful campaigning to have the road built by the council. Her final experience on Rassay is a taster of Sorley MacLean’s poetry (one of the most significant Scottish poets of the 20th century) as Heather is shown some of the real life places that inspired his work.

Programme seven: Rathlin Island (Tues 20 May)
Rathlin Island
• Heather visits Rathlin, off the Antrim coast in Northern Ireland to attend the Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival and to explore the island that shared strong links with her native Islay. Local historian Gusty McCurdy accompanies Heather on her island tour, taking in sights such as Bruce’s Cave where Robert the Bruce is said to have been inspired by a spider that tried again and again to weave its web. They head for dry land where Heather joins the festivities in Church Bay where she samples some of Ireland’s very own whisky to see how it compares to that distilled on Islay and gets a taste of Irish music with a set of jigs performed by a local Uileann piper (Uileann - national bagpipes of Ireland). She brings her day to a close cheering on the competitors in the hotly contested Currach boat race.

Programme eight: Isle of Lismore (Tues 27 May)
• Lismore in the Inner Hebrides is Heather’s last island visit and whilst there she’s shown some of the gems in the collection of the heritage centre where the island’s Gaelic and crofting traditions are celebrated. She learns that the centre is named after St Moluag, an Irish missionary who came to Lismore in the 6th century to convert the Picts to Christianity. The island is rich in historic buildings and Heather takes time to explore its beautiful Iron Age broch as well as a church that incorporates the remains of the medieval cathedral that was the centre of the Diocese of Argyll. As well as revisiting the island’s past, she enjoys Lismore’s present, attending its biggest event of the year – sports day!

Produced by Caledonia TV for BBC ALBA, Eileanan Fraoich is an eight part series that will commence on Tuesday 8 April from 8.30 until 9.00pm and each consecutive Tuesday thereafter.


Rugadh Fraoch Nic an Deòir ann an Ìle agus shiubhail i an saoghal, ach, cleas iomadh eileanach, chan eil cus eòlais aice air eilean sam bith ach am fear dham buin i. Anns an t-sreath seo tha i a’ cur cùl ri Ìle tìr a h-àraich, agus a’ gabhail cuairt timcheall ochd eileanan beothail eile.

Tha Fraoch na còcaire, na gàirnealair agus na neach-ealain: tha i a’ tachairt air eileanaich eile nan coimhearsnachdan fhèin feuch am faigh i a-mach dè tha sònraichte mu na h-eileanan acasan. Tha i a’ gabhail cuairt a Scalpaigh, Rùm, Tiriodh, Giogha, Eige, Ratharsaigh, Reachlainn agus Lios Mòr. Tha i a’ coinneachadh ri luchd-ealain agus luchd-gnothaich, cruitearan agus saoir bhàtaichean, eòlaichean eachdraidh agus còcairean.

Tha i a’ cluinntinn mu na lathaichean a dh’fhalbh, agus mu shuidheachadh nan eilean san latha an-diugh: tha e na thogail inntinn dhi a’ faicinn mar a tha na h-eileanaich a’ strì an iomadh dòigh an aghaidh bliadhnaichean caillte crìonadh an t-sluaigh. Tha Fraoch a’ tarraing an luchd-amharc leatha, a choimhead nan eilean tro a sùilean agus a faireachdainnean.

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2015 Programme ArchiveTasglann Phrògraman 2015

2014 Programme ArchiveTasglann Phrògraman 2014

2013 Programme ArchiveTasglann Phrògraman 2013

2012 Programme ArchiveTasglann Phrògraman 2012

News Archive Tasglann Naidheachdan

Follow this link to the 2014 news press release archive.

Lean an ceangal seo gu tasglann naidheachdan 2014.