VIP Jeannie’s big day out

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Jeannie MacColl got the red carpet rolled out when she was given a special socially-distanced tour of one of Ulva Ferry’s new affordable homes.

Cut off from physical interactions with her many family members and friends, the pensioner had been getting increasingly fed-up with lockdown at her home in Craignure’s Bowman Court so a chance to visit her beloved Ulva Ferry to see one of the new community owned houses being installed was too much too resist.

Sticking to Covid rules last week, Jeannie’s daughter Sheena picked her up to go and have a safe look at one of the new houses being lifted into position at Acharonich.

Born at Lagganulva farm just along from Ulva Primary School, Jeannie spent much of  her life living at Ulva Ferry, bringing up her five children there. She now has 13 grand-children and 15 great grand-children and is ‘a true matriarch and pillar of the community at Ulva Ferry and Mull’ says Moray Finch from the Mull & Iona Community Trust.

In the 1990s, concerns over Ulva Primary School’s future saw Jeannie draft in two of her grandsons, then living in Tobermory, to attend the school to boost numbers up to three! More recently, she was a massive supporter of the successful 2010 campaign to persuade Argyll and Bute Council not to close the school.

Her fundraising efforts are just as legendary, arranging raffles and bingo nights the pensioner has raised many thousands of pounds to support Ulva School Community Association.

Jeannie’s other daughter Heather Beckett said: ‘Mum really loved her day out and was so pleased to see the house being installed, she was also delighted to have a personal tour of one of the other houses which is nearing completion.’

Mull and Iona Community Trust is building the houses for affordable rent at the site to help keep up the Ulva Primary School roll. The houses are funded by the Scottish Government’s Rural Housing Fund, Argyll and Bute Councils Strategic Housing Fund and a mortgage from Ecology Building Society.