Tails from an Island: Tobermory Replaces Iconic Sign
The iconic sign which hangs outside Tobermory Distillery on the Isle of Mull has been replaced and now features two of the most recognisable characters on the Island – the distillery cats.
The sign which shows the bay of Tobermory, including the distillery, was painted by local artist Stewart O’Donnell. Stewart decided to add the cats, named Tobermory and Ledaig after the distillery’s malt whiskies, because their cheeky antics on the island have created a stir with locals and visitors.
The Island of Mull is known as a haven for artists, but the team at Tobermory didn’t have to look far for a sign painter – artist Stewart has been employed as mashman at the distillery for over 15 years producing the famous malts. He also painted the previous sign over 13 years ago, which has been photographed by thousands of whisky lovers and visitors to Mull.
The cats’ official residence is at the distillery, but visitors have found the furry friends sleeping on hotel beds, jumping into open cars, catching the bus and enjoying the warmth of local bars and restaurants.
Artist Stewart says: “The sign is instantly recognisable as Tobermory Bay and the cats are always strutting around town, so we wanted to paint them in as a wee joke for the locals. It’s now turned into a challenge for visitors to the island who want to spot them in the sign.”
Distillery Manager Graham Brown says that the cats are known by everyone in the town. “Tobermory and Ledaig are meant to be the distillery’s cats, but they’re never here! They sneak into hotels and houses, find a comfy bed and stay there til it’s time to get some food from the next person. Ledaig likes the bus as well – the driver often finds him on the seat so just takes him on the journey. They get spoiled rotten by the locals as everyone likes to give them treats. And they know when the fishing boats are due in as well to see if they can scrounge anything from them!”
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Notes to editors:
• Tobermory Distillery is in the town of Tobermory on the Isle of Mull
• Tobermory Distillery was established in 1798 and is the only distillery on the Isle of Mull
• The Distillery produces Tobermory 10 year old Single Malt, Tobermory 15 year old Single Malt and Ledaig 10 year old Single Malt
• Tobermory Distillery is open to visitors Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm