Introducing James McGregor

James sadly left us. He died a couple of weeks before christmas 2009. The page below was created on request by James himself and I've decided to keep it to remind everyone what a great guy he was. We miss him very much and he will be especially missed by his friends at Islay Masters Swimming Club. James will live on in our hearts......

James McGregorJames McGregor runs Islay IT services and is based in Port Charlotte. His company offers professional and affordable computing services to residential and business customers on Islay, Jura and mainland UK.

What is your name and what is/are your past/current occupation(s)?
James McGregor, IT Consultant

Have you been born on Islay or have you moved there later in life?
Moved here in 2005.

What was the most important reason for your move to Islay? Why particularly to Islay?
To get out of the rat race, run my own business and live somewhere truly wonderful.

Are your ancestors from Islay? How far do your roots date back?
No ancestors, but my ex-wife's mother was born on Islay so I have relations here.

How important is the preservation of Islay's past, tradition and culture to you?
Very important but just like everywhere else, Islay moves forward with the times.

How does the fact that Islay is an island affect your daily life? Which advantages and disadvantages do you see in it?
High prices for certain items (like fuel) but other than that, island life is great. The fact that everyone knows everyone else and what they're up to is both a blessing and a curse, but mostly a blessing!

What do you appreciate most on Islay?
The kindness and generosity of the people here is simply stunning and every day I appreciate it more and more.

What do you miss most on Islay?
My parents.

What is your favourite place/area and season on Islay?
Bridgend woods in the spring, beaches in summer, hillwalking in the autumn and the pub in the winter!

Do you leave Islay quite often? For private or professional reasons?
Five or six times a year, mostly to visit friends and family but also for business trips.

Where do you spend your holidays?
Holidays? What holidays?

James and the Islay Masters Swimming ClubAre you involved in any committees or charity organisations on islay? What is your motivation?
Yes, the Islay Masters Swimming Club - I'm a part-time swimming coach.

What do you do in your spare time?
When not working, eating, sleeping or looking after my son, I go swimming with the Islay Masters Swimming Club, cycling, play bass and guitar, shoot arrows around the place (not at anything that's alive, I hasten to add) and if there's any time left over after doing all that, I make occasional (but somewhat lengthy) appearances at the Port Charlotte Hotel or the Lochindaal.

How do you see the economic situation on Islay? Is it getting better/worse? Why? How does it affect you?
It's getting better on the whole, but the farmers are probably finding it tough.

What is your opinion about the fact that young people are moving away from Islay?
Well, it happens and it's not difficult to see why. The lure of the bright lights and the big city is hard to resist.

Do you think Islay needs more holiday homes and more tourists? Also if it drives up the house prices even more?
It certainly doesn't need more holiday homes. There's too many already that spend most of the year unoccupied, especially in Portnahaven.

Are you happy with the current Ferry services provided by Caledonian Macbrayne? If not, what should they improve?
It's too expensive for a start and the childcare facilities are dismal. Other than that, it reliably gets people to and from Islay.

Are you planning to spend the rest of your life on Islay? Are there enough facilities for elderly people?
Yes, I am. No idea how long that might be, though!

What is the most impressive, most special story, experience or event that has happened to you on Islay?
Being with my son and exploring the beaches. Time is the most valuable asset we have because you can never get it back.

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