Log Cabin Export – Islonia

I took a road trip for our family holiday this year – a road trip to Scotland taking a slow week to get there, and a quicker route to get back. There were ulterior motives though! Perhaps, rather sadly, they were Log Cabin and customer related (even on holiday!).

We have been dealing with a lovely customer periodically over the last few years;

Mr McWhinney has been a customer since 2013 and he has ordered four log cabins from us over this time. Jos who looks after sales and is also my wife was fascinated with his stories and where the log cabins were and what they were being used for during her conversations with him, and had built up quite a rapport.

Jos suggested this should be at least one of the places we visit whilst in Scotland – Jos is as daft as I am when it comes to our buildings and what finally happens to them after we have delivered them – we have the big build up, the delivery and then rarely hear anything again so it’s always nice to see what happens to them and the ongoing story of their life and the people behind them.

Unbeknown to Jos or I we were actually visiting Royalty and another country and had been exporting our log cabins all this time without knowing it and not even declared it to the VAT man or listed it on the monthly INTRASTAT return!

Our destination was Dry Island in Badachro, Scotland.

Dry Island in Badachro

Dry Island in Badachro, Gairloch

The story developed once we were there and discovered that in 2010 Dry Island was declared a Micronation and was now named Islonia, with Mr McWhinney and his wife the King and Queen of the nation!

Jos had been primarily fascinated with the Shellfish safaris that were run from the Island and she quickly booked this up when we arrived at our cottage in Badachro and after visiting our first Islonian log cabin known as the ‘Islonia Embassy’.

Lennart 58mm log cabin

The Islonia Embassy on the quay using one of our 58mm Lennart log cabins

Lennart 58mm log cabin

Lennart 58mm log cabin

The Lennart Log Cabin is ideally suited as an ’embassy’ and somewhere for Islonia customers to book up their Shellfish Safari, strong and sturdy at 58mm and double glazed, it does make a rather splendid embassy!

I always like to check installations of log cabins when I see them just in case and although this one is perfect, I would prefer to see a storm kit applied to it. It is rather exposed on the quay side and although fixed down to the base, the canopy at the front is rather large, so I will be sending out one for the Embassy.

Opposite the Islonia embassy was another cabin that looked suspiciously like one of our Clockhouse Log Cabin, it is the identical building but I didn’t get to speak to the owners to be sure.

Clockhouse log cabin in 45mm and double glazed

Clockhouse log cabin in 45mm and double glazed

Having booked our trip, we headed for the island across the incredible floating bridge – known as the ‘bridge over the Atlantic’.

Bridge to Islonia - Dry Island at high tide

Bridge to Islonia – Dry Island at high tide

Bridge to the Island at low tide

Bridge to the Island at low tide

After the bridge we were met with our second log cabin:

The Islonia boarder

The Islonia border

Peter 34mm log cabin being used for passport control, border duties and occasional snacks

Peter 34mm log cabin being used for passport control, border duties and occasional snacks sold by the Islonia residents (two small children generally)

We boarded the Zephyr, one of Mr McWhinnie’ boats;

The view from Islonia quay with the Zephyr the bottom right hand corner.

The view from Islonia quay with the Zephyr the bottom right hand corner.

Mr McWhinnie explained a great deal about Creel fishing, the history and area.

Mr McWhinnie explained a great deal about Creel fishing, the history and the area and allowed us to handle many a creature, my children were fascinated as was Jos and I.

Langoustine caught in the traditional manner and exported across the world in 24 hours.

Langoustine caught in the traditional manner and exported across the world in 24 hours.

I highly recommend this tour if you are in the area, links to this are above. Mr McWhinnie was very welcoming and invited us to see the other two log cabins he had from us, one was being used for ‘Glamping’ (we had tried to book this for ourselves but was fully booked all year so get in early!)

Coventry 58mm log cabin, double glazed and being used for glamping on the Islonia Island.

Coventry 58mm log cabin, double glazed and being used for glamping on the Islonia Island.

Coventry 58mm log cabin, perfect for a glamping project.

Coventry 58mm log cabin, perfect for a glamping location.

Coventry log cabin kitchen area is in the annexe to the side.

Coventry log cabin kitchen area is in the annexe to the side.

For ablutions ... the Turdis was to the side.

For ablutions … the Turdis was to the side.

Fully kitted out inside for a family of four to enjoy their glamping on their own private island.

Fully kitted out inside for a family of four to enjoy their glamping on their own private island.

Looking the other side of the coventry log cabin was a set of bunkbeds for the children.

Looking the other side of the Coventry Log Cabin was a set of bunkbeds for the children.

The ‘Bothy’ as it was referred to (Bothies are to be found in remote, mountainous areas of Scotland, Northern England, Ireland and Wales.) was well hidden on the island, a gorgeous, hidden retreat and one I will stay in one day.

Hidden in the woods was the Bothy.

Hidden in the woods was the Bothy.

Perhaps more was hidden in those woods than we knew about

Perhaps more was hidden in those woods than we knew about

Mr McWhinnie and I

The ‘Bothy’ in Islonia, our third log cabin exported to the micronation.

Our fourth and last log cabin was a little harder to see, we approached it from the water in a small boat.

A smaller boat for a trip to see the fourth cabin and the pub!

A smaller boat (bottom right) for a trip to see the fourth cabin and the pub across the Loch!

A past, long forgotten civilisation?

As we approached the other small island ….. A past, long forgotten, civilisation?

A tad cheeky!

We approached further ….. A tad cheeky!

OUr fourth log cabin export, the lovely Idonea

Our fourth log cabin export, the lovely Idonea. The Idonea was built mainly by the children on the island, it still needs finishing with the roof shingles and treatment but it was lovely to see her being enjoyed as a hideaway somewhere so remote.

This is my personal blog but I cannot bore you more with pictures of my holiday, suffice to say Mr McWhinnie’s and Islonia is a lovely place to visit – if you are in the area please pop in or better still enjoy our cabin and the Islonia Experience

I had tried to visit other customers in Scotland while I was there but never want to intrude, I visited the Isle of Skye and saw our cabin at the Skye Shepherd Huts.

Mr McWhinnie and I agreed one of our shepherd huts would be great for Glamping on the islands ….

Shepherd hut is an ideal building for glamping on the islands or surrounding area.

Shepherd hut is an ideal building for glamping on the islands or surrounding area. This one is mine with my very loved Hebridean sheep enjoying living under it.

Hebridean Sheep

Genuine Hebridean Sheep on the Isle of Skye – they need a hut too!

We also agreed other plans for a year or two ahead with the supply of an Edelweiss as a bigger project for glamping and holiday lets in the area and I look forward to exporting an Edelweiss to the Island or surrounding areas:

Edelweiss log cabin in 70mm.

Edelweiss log cabin in 70mm.

Before I leave this post, Badachro showed up two other interesting things;

One …. the timber frame base used on the Coventry log cabin but a better one locally which was amazing …….

Timber frame base used for the Coventry log cabin.

Timber frame base used for the Coventry log cabin.

Amazing timber frame base.

Amazing timber frame base on a timber building.

And lastly …… our Log Cabin Roof Shingles being used on several houses locally …… these are amazing shingles and often we offer free shingles with log cabins.

IKO roof shingles used on one of the houses locally.

IKO roof shingles used on one of the houses locally.

We rarely hear from customers once we have delivered the product, we love to hear the stories and adventures and to follow up with a story of what happens next and maybe even visit. If you would like to feature in my blog please let me know.

This entry was posted in Customer Reviews, Log Cabins 45mm, Log Cabins 58mm and tagged , , , , , by Richard. Bookmark the permalink.

About Richard

This blog is my personal platform which I do enjoy. It is my own viewpoint and my own ideas. I may not be right and other installers / experts may offer a different view point or a alternative way to do something. I welcome contributions from anybody experienced to do so.

All my blog writing is MY OWN personal opinion ONLY and is NOT always the opinion of TUIN | TUINDECO as a company.

Log Cabins and Garden timber have a myriad of intricacies , I love to give away the secrets, there are a lot!

I enjoy using this blog to expose them so you know what you are buying. I love to know I am causing a few problems in the industry as it can be on occasions less than honest.

I actively encourage everyone to install their own buildings. So many times I would fit and the company I was working for would charge loads for my time, only then to be faced with the embarrassment when the customer says 'I could have done that' and YES you can without paying hundreds of Pounds!

I have over 19 years experience within the garden timber industry. I have particular expertise in garden buildings including the manufacture, design and installation from sheds to log cabins and all the way up to timber framed houses.

In my time I have been involved with virtually every manufacturer and supplier of garden buildings. I have also installed pretty much every make of Garden Building there is from ALL suppliers and manufacturers.

Prior to my career change I was a Watch Commander in the Fire Service with particular expertise in chemical incidents, training, technical design / technology / IT /Procedures / ISO Systems and road traffic accidents. I retired due to a nasty injury after 20 years service.

During my time in the Fire Service, on my days off, I was a self employed fitter for any type of garden building, I worked with most of the well known companies as a subcontractor.

I now work with Tuin | Tuindeco in the UK, supporting and advising on the vast range of products. I keep an eye out for help requests when we a supposed to be closed and can usually get back to you out of hours via email only (wife and children permitting on my days off).

In my private life I consult as an independent expert assessor for companies or private individuals when a dispute is present over their structure which results in producing an impartial report and assessment for whoever requires it. This is often higher valued than a structural engineers report born from my credentials, experience and widely recognised as an 'Expert' in the field.

I am a freelance writer for numerous companies, publications and blogs as well as an independent expert and fault finder for parts of the Industry and consumers with a particular emphasis on timber structures, both framed and of an interlocking design such as log cabins.

I produce numerous articles about timber in general, information on general timber products and specific guides when needed. I hope you enjoy and find my writing useful.

Please contribute and comment to my posts as you would like and I will try to respond as best I can.

Thank you

Richard.

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