The First Responder Scheme (report by Susan)

A Community First Responder scheme is a locally managed group of volunteers who are trained in basic life support and the use of a defibrillator, and attend potentially life-threatening emergencies.

First Responders do not replace the emergency services, but do increase the chances of a patients survival.
In an emergency you would still dail 999 and the ambulance service would contact the first responders on call ( there are usually a minimum of 6 trained responders who work on a rota ) at the same time an ambulance/ helicopter would be dispatched.  The First Responders would be able to reach the emergency quickly and ensure the patients survival until the paramedics arrive.
First Responders will receive 2 days of training, including Respiratory and Airway Management, Basic Life Support, Defibrillation and other medical related emergencies.
The Scottish Ambulance Service are very supportive of setting up a scheme on Scoraig and would fund all the training and subsequent refresher courses, plus most of the Responder Kit.  The community of Scoraig needs only to buy the defibrillator which costs £1000.  £500 is hopefully going to come from a Highland Council Grant, the remaining £500 we need to raise as a community, this will easily be achieved if every household contributes £20 or however much people feel they can contribute.  (Note: Please make cheques out to “Scoraig Community Association Ltd.’ and pass them to Susan.)

First Responders can save lives.

Information leaflet here (PDF)

“If you have some free time and want to participate in providing a valuable service to your community or assist in establishing a Community First Responder Scheme please contact: Susan McSweeney – Scoraig



(originally published in the Scoraig Leak in 1988,
Ray remembers Scoraig in the 1960s)
The peninsula, when we came to live here, was deserted except for Roy and Jack and the Bushes – six people in all – and it was treeless except for a sizable patch at Roy and Jack’s, There were odd ones growing beside the empty houses and ruins – always a rowan for protection against the beings of darkness – but there were others in the walled-about gardens, notably a stunted beech at Carnoch (now a big tree),
and an apple and a pear tree at No,3 Ruigh’reabhach (now Samadhan), That is all there were! It is hard to imagine now, when there are over 70 people resident and many stands of fine trees, In place of the trees there was cropped grass, heather and rushes; and from every dwelling you could see the pier and ‘the other side‘!
Though it was empty and deserted l felt a sense of expectancy from the school, the buildings and the land, as if they were waiting and asking for new life; so it was exciting, and l felt a wonderful optimism, l loved to wander in and out of the ruins and houses and wonder who had lived there and what their lives had been like, and l would think to the future and wonder who would come to re-enliven the places,

At our very first visit, seven months before we came to live, Alan and Asa with Helga, Atti and Martin had iust moved to Scorraig, Roy and Jack had been there 18 years, Billy Macrae was still in ‘Gregor’s’, and Ali Shawnett was still on his croft. The last two
mentioned had left by the time we came permanently; though Billy worked the salmon in the summers from the salmon bothy and Alan used to crew for him. We would
live like lairds on salmon damaged in the nets, and I bottled the surplus,

We lived at Carnoch our first year while we ‘did-up-a-ruin‘ at Ruigh’riabhach – namely the bothy, fenced around No_3, and made and planted a garden. There was no fencing worthy of the name at Ruigh’riabhach, just straggles of rusty, twisted wire
strung between posts in varying stages of decrepitude, The posts kept us in firewood for some months.

The telephone was at the top of the road coming up from the shore (through the gate as it bends to go past the church) to the left near Ali Shawnetts. Asa and l would meet there on Wednesday to phone our grocery orders through to Liptons, (Liptons was a
grocery chain store in the 60’s which had a branch in Ullapool.) That was one luxury we had; we would phone our order every week and it would be delivered by van
on a Friday to the pier shed, This continued until the van driver ditched the van one day after a visit to the pub, Dolly, the post-mistress who lived in. the house at the top of the pier road would get us meat from the butcher van which came round, Alan would
collect it and deliver it with the post.

Sunday, on the other side was a very strict and sombre day when no one was allowed to work – except to keep an eye on what we were up to! We felt the effects
of this dour mood, and it took some courage to use the tractor, or even hang out the washing, The first time I did hang out the washing on the sabbath a gale blew
up, the line broke, and the sheets landed in the mud!

After one year we moved to the bothy, Chris came, and Miklos and Celia with Janos and Sandor, The school opened, with four pupils, Ewan, Fiona, Aaron, Davy, Neil, Sally and Simon were yet to be born,

How it was then and how it is now came together for me last year, when I came over for a visit, Martin had come over to the pier to ferry me, and had brought David for the ride, On the way back I noticed how like Alan Martin is when at the helm, A quirk of the light, with Martin and David against the sun and it could have been me in the boat 23 years ago with Alan at the helm, and Martin beside him, for the ride.

Ex -Patriot

When you come back when you don’t live here anymore,
one day is like forever,
All that has happened in between is eclipsed
and all that there is, is here.
All that has happened since
is like being asleep at night
and is forgotten when
you wake again on Scorraig, _
What marks the passing of time is that
the trees grow
and the children
and there are new faces, new babies,
young families, new life,
More ruins are roofed ,
and more lights are seen from the other-side.
Outwardly I’ve changed, inwardly I’ve changed,
yet somewhere l’m still the same young woman
with the long brown hair
who came all those years ago
who planted trees
who helped to roof a ruin
who backpacked children along the tracks
and over the hill
Who trod her paths across the land,
weaving them into the paths of other feet
from other tines
-webbing the space-
as you who are here continue to do,
It is a question of time and not living here anymore.


Scoraig Community Association Meeting on 19.2.12


Abridged minutes (if you want to read the full minutes and don’t already get them sent to you by e-mail or post, get in touch with Cathy)


Present: Directors Laurence Glass (chair) Cathy Dagg (secretary) Hugh Piggott (Treasurer) Nick Lancaster, Malcolm Alston, Aggie Brudenell

Members: Alan Beavitt, Chris Latham, Andrew Cox, Nigel Rushforth, Bill Burstall, Estha Cutler, Jill Beavitt, Ewan Bush, Joany McGuire

Apologies from Morag Hepburn


  1. Mooring Boat: Agreed that everyone is happy with the present tick system, but that the price of a tick should rise to £2.50
  2. Harbour Dues: these should in theory be paid by all boats using the piers, although the Harbours Authority may have decided it’s too much work to chase up everyone. Note that if we want work done on the piers we should be paying dues
  3. Pier Extension: Agreed that dredging should go ahead as soon as possible to see if this solves the problem of this winter’s silting at Scoraig pier. If this turns out to be only a short-term solution, Aggie and Ewan will have started looking at options for an extension. It was felt that any extension should be as simple and therefore as cheap as is practical.
  4. Hugh was thanked and congratulated for his work in setting up the new website. This will cost £90 to run this year, cheaper in subsequent years. Agreed to charge e-mail users  £10 p.a.
  5. Road Works: There is still £1,000 to be spent with the present funding, and future funding from Highland Council will depend on all of this having been spent. Hugh has printed subcontractors timesheets so it’s easy to put in a bill. It was noted that the quality of material extracted from the new quarry by the lighthouse isn’t great, and hoped that Chris will soon get his license back to produce aggregate. The Council has offered to give us a digger for a couple of months. Ewan, Bill and possibly Bev, Martha and Kevin  (the three known road workers) will survey the entire length of the track to note the priority sections.

Cathy wished it to be noted that the Badrallach footpath is in a very bad state

  1. Lighthouse: Bill will organise the painting of the exterior and other minor improvements were discussed. The empty panels are to be: Primary School’s choice of subject, loch-crossing photographs, violin-making
  2. Fundraising: carried over to next meeting. £230 was raised by the Burns Night
  3. Next meeting 29th April

Road Works

I’ve always felt a degree of responsibility for the track as it passes through my croft, and don’t mind doing a bit of ditch clearing or pothole filling. After all I’m a road user, mostly on foot but I get my post and groceries by vehicle. I’ve looked on my free labour as a mild, voluntary, form of road tax.
But now I’m in a quandary. If there’s money to pay a road mender, should I stop? Should I put in an invoice for my hours? If I stop, how long will I have to wait for the road mending team to get along to Ruigh’Riabhach? Do the road menders feel put out of work by my amateur efforts?
Meanwhile the rain falls, the potholes get deeper. The Council money sits waiting to be claimed.

looking for a career in road mending? Apply to the SCA today.


New fees introduced for email and adverts

It was agreed at the SCA meeting yesterday that email account holders should be asked to pay £10 per annum toward the SCA charity funds, and that a full page advertisement costs the same.  Simple links to web pages are to be free of charge, and we hope they will be reciprocated.

If anyone would like a new email address or advertisement then please contact us and we’ll provide.

Payment can be by cheque made out to Scoraig Community Association or by BACS transfer, or standing order to the bank.  Again contact us for bank details.

Open for participation

This is a community website so it’s open for all to contribute and express views, make comments etc.  If you have an item of news or information or opinion to express then you can send it to [email protected] for publication here or apply to be able to log in and use the site yourself.

The simplest way to write something is just to hit “leave a reply” below one of these posts and make a comment.

SCA meeting Sunday 19th February 2.30 at Secondary School

  • Mooring boat price of tick
  • Pier extension / dredging issues
  • change of web host and charges
  • Road works
  • Lighthouse painting and exhibition
  • Fundraising and discretionary funding

Please come and share your thoughts and ideas

Silting at Scoraig pier

Extract from an email from Bill to Tony Usher and Highland Council, with photos of the pier at low tide.

Hi Tony,
Herewith 4 pictures of the Scoraig pier at 1530hrs on friday10th Feb
2012.  This was about half an hour after LW  (0.5m).  The Barometer was
reading 1025  which isn’t particularly high, ( high pressure can make a
big difference to low water levels just as low pressure can contribute
to very high tides), and 0.5 is not a particularly low tide,  we expect
0.3 next moth and 0.2 in April.

Since the piers on both sides of the Loch were improved/extended in the
1980’s they have both suffered from a gradual silting up and therefore
become less serviceable, but for some reason the weather in December of
last year caused a build up of nearly a foot of sand and stone on the
Scoraig side,  seriously restricting access for 2 hours either side of
low water springs.The pier at Badluarach suffered from similar silting
up but not to the same drastic extent.

There is quite a lot of enthusiasm amongst the community for further
extensions to the pier, but there are obvious problems with this in the
current economic climate, it would be well worth investigating dredging
as an alternative.

Cheers Bill