Tower maintenance on the Isle of Tiree
15 July 2019
One of our rigging teams was lucky enough to be working on the beautiful Isle of Tiree, or in Gaelic, Eilean Tiriodh (the land of corn), where they were supervising essential tower maintenance and inspection works. As you can see from the shots, it wasn’t a bad place to call ‘the office’ for a few days.
If the name Tiree sounds familiar, it’s because it’s heard daily on the UK Shipping Forecast. The information is provided by the island’s weather station. But for those who don’t know much about Tiree, it’s the most westerly island of the Inner Hebrides, located about sixty miles west of Oban and twenty-two miles west of Ardnamurchan, the nearest point on the Scottish mainland. Ferries run from Oban, operated by Caledonian MacBrayne (known as CalMac), and take around three hours and forty-five minutes. If you’re lucky, you’ll see whales, dolphins and porpoises, not to mention an array of birdlife.
You can also fly to Tiree. The airport is located at Crossapol and was a Royal Air Force station which was built during World War II.
According to our rigging team, the island is well worth a visit. Thanks to the influence of the Gulf Stream, the island enjoys some of the highest levels sunshine recorded anywhere in the British Isles – it averages over two-hundred and twenty hours in May alone – hence its nickname, ‘The Sunshine Island’. It is also known as the ‘Hawaii of the north’, due to its popularity with windsurfers. Being pretty flat and stuck out in the Atlantic means the island is a very windy place – the winter gales hit in December and January, but in the summer the breeze means that people on the island do not have to suffer midges.
The island is about twelve miles long and six miles wide at its widest point – thirty-six miles of beautiful coastline, with many empty white sandy beaches. With few places on the island sitting more than fifteen metres above sea level, the views are stunning in all directions. The two highest points are Beinn Hynish (one-hundred and forty-one metres) and Beinn Hough (one –hundred and nineteen metres). The Civil Aviation Authority own a golf ball shaped radome which sits on top of Beinn Hynish, which tracks airliners crossing the Atlantic.
So, white sandy beaches, warm blue waters, an abundance of wildlife, friendly people, plenty of places to stay and eat, and relatively easy to get to. Time to book a holiday. You could even book your stay around one of the island’s main events, the Tiree Music Festival – https://tireemusicfestival.co.uk – or the Tiree Wave Classic Windsurfing Competition – http://tireewaveclassic.co.uk/
For more information about Tiree and all that is has to offer, visit https://scotland-info.co.uk/tiree.htm