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Yes Scotland Christmas card by ex-drummer with The Buzzcocks

A former drummer with punk band The Buzzcocks has provided the image for a Christmas card distributed by pro-independence campaign Yes Scotland.

John Maher, who is originally from Manchester but now lives and works on the Isle of Harris, played on the band's 70s hits What Do I Get, Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've) and Promises.

The band initially dissolved in 1981 but Mr Maher joined them for a reunion in the late 80s before retiring from music and later reinventing himself as a photographer.

He has supplied an image of a Hebridean sky with the words "Yes Scotland" emblazoned in the stars for the campaign's Christmas card.

The card is being sent to thousands of Yes Scotland supporters and is also available for sale to the public.

Mr Maher said: "I really love what Yes Scotland has done with the image.

"The conditions for this type of shot don't crop up too often.

"I'm limited to a four or five-day period centred around the full moon and need relatively clear skies to provide the light quality necessary for the effect I'm after.

"I was pleased with the shot before but now I like it even more."

The picture was taken at Scarista on the west coast of Harris, overlooking the island's nine-hole golf course from a house that was under construction. It has since been completed and is now available to rent to Harris holidaymakers.

As well as photography, Mr Maher has also built a business building high-performance VW engines following his retirement from the music business.

He said it was the natural beauty and night skies of the Outer Hebrides that inspired him to turn to photography.

He added: "The almost total absence of light pollution, in combination with the stunning Hebridean landscape makes the perfect backdrop for the subjects of my night photos.

"What started as a hobby purely out of the need to do something creative has proven to be popular with not only the local population but people from around the world.

"A few years ago it was suggested I print a batch of photos and enter them into the annual Grinneas exhibition, held in the An Lanntair art gallery, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis.

"The response was excellent and has led to healthy sales of prints and ultimately the creation of a dedicated website to make prints available online: www.theflyingmonk.co.uk."

Jennifer Dempsie, a member of the Yes Scotland executive and who also has a home in Harris, approached Mr Maher about using one of his images for the Christmas card.

She said: "I just think it's a great photograph and a wonderful image for the card. It has the ability to be thought-provoking and amusing at the same time."

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