Christmas Tree & Community Spirit Lighting up St Margaret’s Hope

Hope Councillor Steve Sankey with Ross and Scott Martin

The Cromarty Square Christmas tree lights in Saint Margaret’s Hope were turned on by local Councillor Steve Sankey at 6.30pm on Saturday 28 November in a most unusual and low-key way. Only a few folk were present from the Cromarty Hall Committee, appropriately social-distanced, just to make sure that all was well with the tree and lights.

The tree was erected by Barrie Moar, his young son Ronnie, and Billy Scott, funded by the South Ronaldsay & Burray Community Council and organised by Helen Butcher and the Cromarty Hall Committee. Councillor Sankey used the occasion to thank the local communities for their spirit and resilience during a difficult year.

He said:

“Just before adding a very welcome piece of Christmas light and cheer into the Cromarty Square and our lives, I’d like to say a handful of words about this difficult and exceptional year that we’ve all experienced.

“If there’s one good thing we can say about the year, it’s that the communities of South Ronaldsay and Burray have really looked after each other, you can see that by all the self-help groups that have sprung up on social media in particular.

“This we always do, of course, but this year has been like no other, and so I’d like to say a sincere thank you to the many, many folk that have worked tirelessly for us all.

“I’m thinking of the shops and hotels in both villages and their staff; all the Pentland Ferries staff, the doctors and their team; both schools, Parent Councils and all the staff involved in running them.

“The Braeburn and Marengo Centre staff and all other carers who look after our vulnerable or their families. The Community Council and Community Associations that keep our tip open and our play areas and halls going as best they can, especially here at the wonderful Cromarty Hall.

“There are all our public sector workers, the dust cart teams, the road men and the emergency services that keep us all safe. Bus drivers and farmers and creel fishers and posties and delivery drivers and anyone and everyone else that I might have forgotten as I flick this switch.

“In so doing I wish the residents of the ‘Hope and both communities of Burray and South Ronaldsay the very best of Christmases despite all, and in particular a Happy New Year that we can all look forward to with the help of a trusted vaccine, that will enable us all to restore confidence and get back to some kind of normality.

“In the meantime, please keep safe and to the rules, enjoy your festivities, and I’ll look forward to joining you on the other side of this test, when we can all just hug each other again.”

Thinking about shopping local? Christmas Shop at The Workshop & Loft Gallery

St Margaret’s Hope, The Workshop and Crafts Co-operative

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