Covid, lockdowns and social distancing continue to make production of Chatterbox a challenge but we’ve done our best and the Winter edition is in the shops now (if they’re still open).

Australian steel buildings were the inspiration for a family firm based on the Black Isle. We meet the man behind it, Rory Macleod of Newhall, and his partners – daughter Lili and son Andrew.

Just around the corner, former acrobat Lauren Hendry is out of the spotlight and back home in Jemimaville to pursue her new career. She tells us about her work to raise funds for a new centre for young people with learning disabilities and complex needs, to be based in Inverness.

Someone else with big plans for the future is John Lockhart whose hospitality empire has spread from Aviemore and Daviot to Munlochy, where he has big hopes for his latest project – the Allangrange Arms. We find out what he has in mind.

Sarah Dunton is based in Avoch, but thanks to the internet her art can be seen all over the world. She describes the virtual exhibition which has kept her busy during lockdown and features scenes from the Black Isle and further north.

Still in Avoch, we meet the Skiffties, who were delighted to be back on the water after months of lockdown.
The future of the Scottish wildcat is in the balance. We meet Dr Kerry Kilshaw, one of the team hoping to bring the species back from the brink, and find out how Black Islers can help.

Sadly, our latest edition remembers two popular Fortrose residents who died in recent months: former Academy teacher Sheena Munro, poet and familiar face at St Boniface Fair; and retired exciseman and WEA stalwart Jack Middleton. We’ll miss them.

Russell Turner
Editor

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