Tam's Tall Tales

- You Canna Do That!

Panorama of the Isle of Canna, taken from Compass Hill on Canna, overlooking Canna Bay and Sanday towards Rým.
© Emoscopes via Wikimedia Commons

You Canna Do That!
The small population on the tiny Hebridean island of Canna has been rocked by its first theft in over twenty years. Canna is the outermost of the Inner Hebrides on the west coast of Scotland. Graphic of Canna from the ferry approaching the island is © Peter Van den Bossche via Wikimedia Commons.

The community shop in Canna, in the Inner Hebrides, has been run on an honesty basis for four years, with customers noting down the groceries and items they take in a book and leaving the money in a box.

The shop was regularly left open overnight to allow fishermen who dock at the island's pier to get what they need at any time That is due to change as the community group that runs the shop has stated that the theft changes the trust-based system.

The theft entailed sweets, biscuits, coffee, toiletries, batteries and six hand-knitted wool hats.

Bill Clark, the island's councillor for 13 years, said: "It's quite unbelievable, it's something you don't hear about at all in the Inner Isles."

A message posted on Facebook by the Isle of Canna Community Development Trust said: "The thieves would have had to fill carrier bags with the amount of items they took."

Roughly four miles long and a mile wide, Canna has a population of about 20 people. The last crime was reportedly the theft of a carved wooden plate from a church in the 1960s.

There are roughly 20 buildings on Canna including three churches and a school - which had 4 pupils in 2003 when the picture on the left was taken © Gordon Brown via Wikimedia Commons). There is also a post office which was converted from a garden shed. The island is isolated and the inhabitants must buy their provisions from the mainland, but it has a telephone link, a red public telephone box and broadband internet access, although there is no mobile phone coverage. Electricity is provided by a diesel generator and there is a private water supply. A mainland-based policeman visits the island twice a year, mainly to inspect gun licences. A doctor based on the neighbouring island of Skye is available for house calls - once a month.

Later reports suggested that the theft may have been carried out by non-residents who came to the island at night by boat.

Please give me whatever feedback comes to mind via tamfromrampant@gmail.com.

Tam O'Ranter

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