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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.

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.

December issue 2020

Sound of Iona Breakwaters

During October Argyll & Bute Council (A&B C) lodged planning applications for breakwaters in the Sound of Iona, both on the Fionnphort and Iona side. This came somewhat as a surprise to members of the Sound of Iona Harbours Committee (SOIHC), who had been working closely with the council and Calmac on this matter for some years, but were not consulted on the plans.
Finlay MacDonald of Iona, a member of SOIHC, said “We have subsequently had discussions with the council and raised some questions regarding the plans on both sides of the water, which have been answered, and it has been made clear that this is still an ongoing process.”
What is of concern however is the fact that the council appears to have ignored much of the advice given by the Irish firm Byrne Looby, who conducted a feasibility study which was well received by SOIHC, since it took local knowledge and conditions into account... more in the full issue

‘Leanabh an àigh’ (‘Child in the manger’)

An annual local tradition at this time of year is the singing of the local song ‘Leanabh an àigh’. Many of you will know more than I do about this song but, when Janna got in touch to ask if I’d be willing to write a piece on it for this month’s R&A, I thought I’d take the opportunity to share some of the things I’ve come across over the years with you.
The song was apparently not all that well-known when it was composed (more on that below) but it has gone on of course to become extremely well-known across the world, by way of English versions set to the melody published in Lachlan MacBean’s 1888 book ‘The Songs and Hymns of the Scottish Highlands’ (available in digitised form on the National Library of Scotland website). MacBean’s English version was entitled ‘Child in the manger’ but the original Gaelic title literally translates as ‘child of wonder’ or ‘child of joy’. Later English versions set to the tune published by MacBean and known as ‘Bunessan’ were entitled ‘Child in a manger’ and ‘Morning has broken’, as you will all know ... more in the full issue

Mull Rally 2021

We’re starting to make plans for the 2021 Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally after what has been a pretty torrid year all round in 2020. The current team of organisers have been around since 2012 and have kept things in much the same format since 1990. Following the enforced break this year and feedback from some of the rally stalwarts we felt it was time to try some changes to modernise, make it feel a bit different for the regulars and maybe attract some new competitors. Historically the Mull Rally was unique in its ability to close public roads for rallying thanks to having its own act of parliament and in 2019 this was superseded by the new Closed Roads legislation. This new legislation removes some of the previous restrictions which limited the timings of road closures.
This year we are planning to run the event in 2 legs, start earlier on the Friday and finish earlier on the Saturday. This will allow us to run more of the stages in daylight and make it more hospitable for spectators and volunteers. As this is such a big change to what everybody is used to, we thought we should let you know early so that we can address any concerns you may have about the new format. It will mean that we will reduce the number of times some roads are closed but close them for longer. Its important as organisers that we understand what implications this has on the businesses and residents of Mull and we have already started direct consultation with organisations that may be affected. If you want to contact us please email:- by the 30th December 2020 .... more in the full issue

Winter Hardship Fund

Help to cover essential living costs such as heating, food and transport.
For island residents experiencing hardship due to COVID-19, funded by the Waterfall Fund.

How to apply: Complete a simple form available on our website or by emailing

Mull & Iona Pantry (Food Bank)

Food Parcels for those in need
Phone Ruth Fleming 07549 018157 - all calls completely confidential.

or email

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. Deliveries for those self-isolating 01681 700470
• Spar Shop Bunessan - open 9am-1pm & 2-4.30pm Mon - Sat, 11am-1.30pm 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. 9am-9pm Mondays only

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.
• The pharmacy in Tobermory can arrange deliveries for prescriptions etc. 01688302431
• Tobermory Stores: open Monday-Saturday 7am-6pm, Phone 01688 302808.
Weekly delivery service island-wide - 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

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: