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Welcome to Round & About

We are an independent monthly magazine established in 1991,
serving the islands of Mull, Iona, Ulva and the surrounding area.
Round & About is compiled and printed on the Isle of Mull.
Deadline for submissions, advertising etc - usually 19th of the previous month.
Date of issue normally the last day of the preceding month.
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All photos and editorial content on this website are copyright Round & About unless stated otherwise.

R&A Photo Competition 2020

Our photo competition will now run until early September as usual, with a prize money of £50.
Photos MUST be submitted electronically, size A4 at 300 dpi, and should have been taken in 2020.
Remember also to allow for our headers and footers at the top and bottom of the photo.
Send to R&A email address:
Entries by 8th September please.

Articles etc. invited during Coronavirus Pandemic

The current 'lockdown' due to the coronavirus pandemic will affect the content of R&A, since there will be no events for the foreseeable future. We are therefore inviting our readers to contribute articles on any topic at all for inclusion - if possible something positive/cheerful! If you write fiction this is your moment!

See below for useful phone numbers for local help.

September issue 2020

The Pedlar’s Pool and Cairn

A short drive from Craignure and about three quarters of mile along the old disused Glen More road beside the River Lussa from Strathcoil, in what is now the Ardura Community Woodland, can be found a small cairn surmounted by an iron Celtic cross with fleur-de-lys emblems on three of the points of the cross. This is the Pedlar’s Pool and Cairn and the cross is inscribed ‘John Jones, died 1 April 1891, aged 60 years’. As well as being a lovely short, tranquil walk the story has always interested me.
It is a sad tale of a man who is said to have lost his life helping and caring for others; a story that has much relevance to us in these times in which we now find ourselves.

As often is the case with such stories, however, there are actually a few different versions of it. Peter Macnab in his ‘Mull and Iona Highways and Byways’ tells us that John Jones was a pedlar, who, during his rounds, called at a house in the Ross of Mull where the occupants had been stricken down with smallpox. That disease was regarded then, according to Macnab,: “with almost superstitious horror by the people, who would do little or nothing to help the victims. Food and drink would be left near the stricken house for the victims to collect, if they could.”
.... more in the full issue

Duart Castle – Past & Present

In these strange times when many of us have unexpected time on our hands it is an opportunity to reflect on the past, in Duart Castle’s case it has a very chequered past indeed.
The castle as we know it today was built in the 14th Century by the fifth Chief of the Clan Maclean. He married Mary Macdonald, daughter of the Lord of the Isles, and in doing so was granted the land that probably included an earlier fortification where he built what we now know as Duart. The only easily recognisable part today from that era is the Great Tower.
Since those days the castle has witnessed its share of events, including inter-clan warfare and the marooning of a chief’s wife on a rock in the Sound of Mull (spoiler alert, she was rescued). It has played host to hostages from a Spanish Armada ship which went on to blow up in Tobermory bay, been attacked by Cromwellian warships, including three that sank off Duart Point, been seized by the English Crown, taken by force by the Duke of Argyll's forces, and played host to a chief who burst into his widowed mother's wedding reception and murdered 18 of the guests and then held the unfortunate groom at Duart under ‘daillie tortour and panis’... more in the full issue

Photo of Duart Castle ca. 1912 from the Duart archives

Virtual Lifeboat Week

Tobermory RNLI’s volunteers have gone the extra mile for their virtual lifeboat week – 2,184 to be precise, raising over £3,500 for the charity which saves lives at sea.
Tobermory’s Lifeboat Day had been scheduled to be held on Sunday 16 August 2020, but the station’s volunteers realised very early on that the event would not be possible due to Covid-19. So instead they decided to move the event online and have a ‘virtual lifeboat week’.
The key event was the ‘17-39 Challenge’ inspired by the number of Tobermory’s all-weather lifeboat, Elizabeth Fairlie Ramsey. The lifeboat’s number is 17-39 because it is 17 metres in length and was the 39th Severn class lifeboat to be built. Tobermory’s volunteers undertook to walk, run, swim, cycle or row a total of 1,739 miles between 1 and 16 August. The volunteers not only reached the target three days early but went on to complete 2,184 miles in total – the equivalent of travelling across the Atlantic from Tobermory to Newfoundland or circumnavigating the Isle of Mull more than seven times..... more in the full issue

Photo: Coxswain David McHaffie, Mechanic Paul Gunn and Lifeboat Operations Manager Dr Sam Jones taking a quick breather on the final day when they topped up their miles with a few laps of Tobermory’s iconic Main Street. © RNLI/Seonaid McHaffie


Information for Local Help during these Troubled Times

A website has been set up for the Island with all current information:
Help lines for small businesses will be found on this website.

The Ross of Mull (including Tiroran and Gribun)
• The Ross of Mull and Iona Community Transport Scheme will collect shopping and prescriptions.
Contact Terry Hegarty 01681 700600 (please contact him if you can also volunteer help)
• Telephone linking service on 01681 700403
• The Keel Row will do ready meals and delivery in most of the area 01681 700458 Lunch Club Thurs-Sun
• The Ferry Shop - open 10am-6pm, Mon-Sat, 11am-1pm Sunday. Deliveries for those self-isolating 01681 700470
• Spar Shop Bunessan - open 9am-1pm & 2-4pm Mon - Sat, 11am-1pm Sun, phone in your order for collection or free delivery if self-isolating 01681 700395
• Pennyghael Stores - 9am-4pm Mon-Fri. Place order on Friday morning for following week.
01681 704229
• Ardalanish Farm - Beef, Lamb & Venison available in welcome room freezers. 01681 700674
• Crofter's Kitchen - Veg, meat, eggs, preserves. 10am-6pm Mon-Sat

Iona: if anyone requires assistance please contact any member of the Community Council
(Shiona, Mark, Rob, Toben, Jane, Don) Jane Martin is co-ordinating 700643

• For shopping, collecting prescriptions and general help contact:
Sue Royle, 07811083227. Helen Dewar, 0748833585. Kate Grierson. 0780170279

Lochbuie: contact Flora Corbett 01680814153

• For help with shopping, prescriptions, posting mail and general help contact:
Kerry Mitchell, 07825577419. Helen McWalter, 07967094775. Eilidh Allen 07810747431
• Salen Spar Shop 8am-8pm Mon-Sat, 11am-3pm Sunday

• Dervaig Post Office and Stores 9am-6pm Mon-Sat, 12noon-2pm Sunday, will do deliveries 01688 400208

Ulva Ferry
• The Community Transport is available for shopping and prescriptions and any other help 07775531301.
• For help or a chat contact Josh Liddle. 01688500139

• For general help contact:
Sarah Darling 07562 793345, Cathy Mellor 07526 078959 or Karen Taylor 07562 782556 or 01688 302 334.
• Shopping service: phone Sarah Smith 07394074829 or order via for deliveries from the Co-op throughout Mull
• The pharmacy in Tobermory can arrange deliveries for prescriptions etc. 01688302431
• Tobermory Stores: open Monday-Friday 8am-1pm, Phone 01688 302808.
Free weekly delivery service to the North of the island - phone or email
• Tobermory Bakery will deliver ready meals and groceries in the Salen and Tobermory area 01688302225
• The Tobermory Fish Co. will deliver in North Mull 01688302120
• The Park Lodge Hotel will deliver meals in the Tobermory area. 01688302430
• Meat deliveries contact Fiona Boa (pork boxes) 07765966239 or Torloisk Farm 01688500130

This list was compiled with the assistance of Mull Community Council

More useful contacts for help at this difficult time:

Home Start For families with young children who would like some help call Home Start, Aileen Binner 07718768305. This is a totally confidential service with trained volunteers on the Island who can help.

Mull Safe and Sound (Mental Health)

Relationships Scotland or phone 0300 111 0031

Alcoholics Anonymous phone 01505 871889 (24 hours) (An AA member on Mull will call you back)

Samaritans phone 116 123 (free, 24 hours) or email: