Tarbert will be the location for a big party tomorrow evening (Saturday 29 February) as the Isle of Harris distillery says farewell to one of its longest serving staff members.

Kate Preston was one of the original ‘Tarbert ten’ who set up the distillery and visitor centre in 2015. Since her appointment, she’s shaped a role to fit her many talents – as catering manager, visitor host and general problem-solver.

But today is her last day at the distillery before she heads off over the sea to Skye, where she’s stepping up to a new role as general manager of the Hebridean Inn at Harrapool in Broadford Bay.

Kate said: “It’s sad for me to be leaving because I was one of the company when it started and I have built the canteen into something really exciting. But it’s a step up for me and the right time to be moving and it means that one of the younger team members can hopefully step up into my role.”

The role is a big one to fill, according to Kate’s colleague, guest host Sandra Fraser, who said: “We are actively searching for the right person, but it’s a hard role to fill. Kate was one of the Tarbert ten and she has shaped the role, so whoever takes it will be faced with an exciting challenge.

“It’s sad to lose one of the original team but it’s exciting for her and she is only across the water from us, I’m sure she’ll be back to visit!”

Meanwhile the team will be in party mode tomorrow night, with a send-off planned to start at the distillery itself and very likely to progress around other locations in Tarbert.

And Kate will be leaving with a toast in Harris Gin from her distillery colleagues, who said: “Here’s to our South African Hearach, thank you for everything!”

Pictures show Kate in her role as visitor host during a tour, and hard at work in the Isle of Harris Distillery canteen.