Harris kids distraught after fire destroys instruments

feis na hearadh2

A group of young island musicians have made a plea for the local community to come to

their assistance after their instruments were destroyed in a fire just weeks before a key event.

Last Friday a devastating blaze engulfed a net-washing factory in Scalpay, Harris, that was used among other things to provide storage for Fèis Eilean na Hearadh.

It is understood the fire took hold in the drying room and at one stage six fire appliances battled to get it under control. The building was completely destroyed.

Talks are underway by the factory operators Net Services Scotland to continue work at another site and maintain the 20 jobs that the factory supported.

Fèis Eilean na Hearadh celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and there are only two months to go before the festival is held.

However, as a result of the fire, they have lost a number of instruments including drums, guitars, fiddles and accordions.

They have launched an on-line appeal to raise the £4,000 required to source replacements and as of Tuesday were heading towards the £1,500 mark.

A statement from Fèis Eilean na Hearadh said: “We had decided earlier this year to build on our stock to relieve pressure of borrowing items, but for now we aim to replace what has been lost. Second-hand materials and instruments will also be greatly appreciated.”

Also lost in the fire was the archive of the Harris community newsletter ‘Dè tha Dol?’