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Monday, 26 June 2017

Anyone for tennis? Pool? Air Hockey?

Some months ago Voluntary Action Orkney (VAO) launched a scheme where island communities could apply for funding for projects called "Your Island Your Choice".  Irene Mathieson on Graemsay volunteered to go along to meetings and find out more.  Folk from VAO then visited Graemsay and handed out survey forms to gather ideas.  The outcome from the community was that we wanted various things for our Community Hall and after discussions on the island, and voting, we agreed to put forward some proposals. We all felt it was important to get things for the hall itself, and something for the children and young people to use, perhaps as a start up for a youth club.

So first, we settled on getting mains water to the hall. The funding pays for phase 1 - getting a standpipe outside the hall itself and we can then go for further funding to do some more work to the kitchen to get a sink in etc.  This will make a HUGE difference as currently we have to take water up in canisters to use in the kitchen to even make a cup of tea.  The work is ongoing getting that connected at the moment and we should have a working tap outside the hall in about a week or so.

The hall was also in need of a new cd player, and as technology has moved on it was agreed to also buy one with "bluetooth" so that we can connect up to phones, tablets etc to play music if we wish. The one we got also allows us to have karaoke sessions (eek!).

Here is Bobby Mathieson setting up the sound system.

And the kids having a go at the Karaoke.  It has to be said that the adults didn't need to read the words OR use a microphone as it was playing a classic ABBA song. Haha!

The Craft Ladies asked for some lights to help them with their craft sessions, particularly in the winter months - you can see the super bright light to the right of the picture above.  Two "daylight" lamps to help with "craft".

The children and young people (we have six on the island) specifically asked for a games table. So some research was undertaken and THIS is what we have - a table that morphs from a pool table, to air hockey, to table tennis.

Some lessons being given!

Serious match in progress

And with the flick of a switch and a bit of manoeuvring it turns over into the air hockey pitch.  A fan blows a layer of air and the discs are pushed around - ideally into the goal.  I think there are rules - but nobody was paying much attention to them!

Hmm probably a bit unfair when you have extra long legs and arms and can lean halfway across the "pitch" .....

And to round off the evening, a game of table tennis!

This was the first time everyone had seen all the new goodies so there was great excitement and as you can see from the photos, lots of fun too.  Hopefully we will have many years of fun out of all the new "toys" and many cups of tea from the new tap!


  1. Well done to the islands grant fund writers and supporters of the community hall. These small resources make u huge difference to island life and especially to the young people who need somewhere to chat,play games and have music at their fingertips.

  2. This is so wonderful for all of you on the island. Your gathering place is special to all the folk, and I am happy for you. Here's to many happy times, and water from the tap for your tea.

  3. Oh, I haven't payed you a visit for a while and now this happy and blessed event!! In Sweden we have those little villages quietly dying away, people moving out, houses falling apart and here you are: small island, isolated, desolate, not all that many inhabitants, but very much alive and very much engaged in the common good and the survival of that beautiful haven!!! Really Sian, I am soo happy for you and so glad that I took some time to look in!!