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Issue 210 - April 2010

e-mail edition

KINTYRE ON RECORD "archives" online at




- THOSE WERE THE DAYS - PART 3 - John MacMillan
- EAST KINTYRE COMMUNITY COUNCIL - Draft Minutes of Meeting on Thursday 4 February 2010

THOSE WERE THE DAYS - PARTS 2 and 3 - John MacMillan
(Now including Part 2 which had been lost in the post and was not in original e-mail edition of this ‘Antler’)

Part 2

When the 'Annie' and 'Betty' where receiving their annual maintenance in Port Bhan. Their nets were removed and 'barked'. They
were taken by horse and cart from Lephincorrach to a boiler located on Riverside property close to Torrisdale bridge. Wood for
the fire came from the estate sawmill located a short distance up Torrisdale Brae, 'slabs' - the outside cut of the tree including the
bark were used. It may have been waste wood, although it had other uses. Some were used as sheathing on sheds. After 'barking'
the nets were high on poles located across the burn to dry. During that time I remember a steam yacht painted in brilliant white at
anchor off Torrisdate. Many years later, about 10 years ago, my wife and I were on a visit to California and staying in San Diego
decided to visit the waterfront At the Maritime Museum, it was difficult to believe that there I was looking at the yacht that had
been anchored off Torridale some 60 years before.

It was the steam yacht ‘Medea’ painted in brilliant white, fully restored and in working condition. She was built for William
McAliste Hall of Torrisdale Castle by Alexander Stephen & Sons, Linthouse, on the Clyde and launched on August 29, 1904. She
was used for social occasions and hunting excursions around the islands and lochs of Western Scotland. In 1917 she was sold to
the French Navy; that was before I was born. However she did return to British ownership and I’m sure visited Torrisdale more
than once when I was a boy. During a recent stay at the Castle my wife, son and I were privileged to view a model of the 'Medea'.

During that visit I was reminded of the great advances in technotogy since my days in Carradale School. Such as writing on slates
with slate pencils and doing homework by the light of an Aladdin lamb. We were also served thick dark cocoa, which I dislike to
this day.

My parents bought a new rowboat ‘punt’ from the boat yard in Tartert when I was in school. Fifteen feet of knot-ree larch
finished in gleaming varnish with 'Fiona' painted across the stem by Angus MacDonald of Airds. My father also commissioned
Angus MacDonald some years earlier to paint for him the R.M.S. Davaar. on which he sailed for several years. That painting hung
in our living room at South Dippen as far back as I can remember and is now in the possession of my sister in Toronto - a
masterpiece around a hundred years old. We moored the 'Fiona' to the jetty in Port Bhan, courtesy of Major Hall. Planks along the
rocks secured to bolts set in cement made up the jetty and allowed boarding at various tide levels. Rings also set in the rocks with
cement secured the ropes. These ropes were ran through a pulley attached to a buoy some distance from the shore, which kept
the punt afloat always.

Whitings were plentiful in the Bay then and with my father at the oars, along with my mother, we would row out to designated
landmarks and let go the anchor. Using hand lines, baited with herring pieces on multiple hooks, several meals were caught in no
time, usually there were several other boats there mostly from Waterfoot. I think Bob Park rented boats at Waterfoot. Sometimes
I would get a spell at rowing with strict instructions to 'feather' the oars. We sometimes trawled for lythe along the rocks almost to
Whitestone, using home-made rods and flies. My father tied parts of various coloured hen's feathers to hooks which made the
flies They were very successful and caught three or four each time out. Then the seine net boats arrived from the East Coast and
that was the end of the whitings. I could watch them from home and read their registrations - FB, LH, BU etc. They would drop a
buoy and shoot the ropes in a half circle. Then drop the net and shoot additional ropes in another half circle before picking up the
buoy. With the engine going slow ahead, it was all winched onboard by special winches which also coiled the ropes. That was a

lucrative fishing on virgin ground. I have fened on many nvers and lakes in Ontario, along the Gulf coast of Florida and Alabama;
casting, trolling and through the ice. However my memories of fishing from the ‘Fiona’ at Torrisdale I will cherish forever.

Part 3

The R.M.S. Dalriada article (in the February Antler) brought back many memories of watching her at South Dippen, steaming to
and from Campbeltown in the Kilbrannan Sound.

Many days she received a good at ‘washing’ when heading into a strong southerly breeze. I remember being onboard with my
mother after meeting her family in Hamilton and the crew having great difficulty unloading several sheep into the ferry at Pirnmill.
My mother was a very resourceful lady who won quite a few prizes at the Women’s Rural Institute for her baking, jam and
knitting. She was un officially the local midwife and at times the mortician. During the war a parachute washed ashore on the
beach below our house and mother used most of the material to make a suit of oilskins for my father. When the sewing on a
Singer treadle sewing machine was finished they received several coats of linseed oil by my father, drying outside between coats.
They would not wear out and stayed serviceable for many seasons, receiving additional coats of linseed oil during the boat
cleaning time. They did not crack like the manufactured oilskins as the material was almost like silk and very flexible. I don't think
that synthetic materials such as nylon and rayon were developed back then. During that time the R.A.F. using Swordfish bi-planes,
were practising dropping torpedoes on a target anchored in Carradale Bay and the parachute may have been connected to that
operation. However I don't remember any torpedoes being dropped. Around that time limit navy ships located near Ailsa Craig
were firing practice shells which we could hear go overhead, to a target somewhere in a remote Argyllshire location; I never found
out where. We could see the gun flashes and hear the reports from home and at times feel the vibrations.

Mother knitted jerseys, with dark blue wool in a cable stitch pattern, and sea boot stockings for my father to wear at the fishing.
She also looked after the family's finances, which required a great deal of juggling to make ends meet. No credit cards back then,
although the local merchants were very trusting when it came to giving credit.

I left school at 14 to become cook on the ring-net fishing boat ‘Rolling Wave’. I think that I replaced Archie Paterson who was
called up for the Navy. We arrived home from the fishing one morning to find soldiers in full battle gear marching up the road
towards Carradale. Several were at the house with blistered and bleeding feet being treated by my mother. Maybe it was wrong to
get involved but it was difficult to ignore the plight of these soldiers who were in agony and could no longer walk. Coarse woollen
socks, salt water and stiff leather boots were not well-suited. We later found out that the soldiers came ashore from landing craft
around Peninver and Saddell in a training exercise.

One did not require great culinary experience to be a fishing boat cook. Storage cupboards were small and did not preserve food
very well. The stove was coal-fired, difficult to light and keep going and would only accommodate one utensil at a time. Meals in
home waters consisted mainly of tea with condensed milk, bread, hard biscuits, butter and jam. Boiled herring was also a main
staple. Away from home required more exotic meals like meat, mince with vegetables and potatoes. Sometimes bacon and eggs
when available in port. Rationing played a big part and getting provisions was difficult when away from home. The ‘Rolling
Waves’ skipper was Robert (Red Robertson) Paterson with father, Angus Paterson Senior, Kye Ritchie and me as crew. Angus
(Angie) Mitchell came on board later as Kye was ashore most of the time; I think he left Carradale to become an hotelier. Angie
then became cook and I was relegated to looking after the engine, a 44 hp Kelvin two-cylinder with petrol start, which I could
barely turnover, and working the winch etc. I made one trip to Glasgow and back with Robert on the canal to have the engine
over-hauled, opening and closing the locks as we went. That was fun. Other duties of the cook as I remember them were hauling
in the corks when the net was shot, keeping the boats apart by using a long pole when removing herring from the net, tying the a
rope to the net end when shooting our net, or when bringing the neighbour boat’s net end on-board when they shot, securing it
both times for towing.

The ‘Fairy Queen’ was on neighbour-boat, skippered by Robert Paterson with Sandy Ritchie (Sandy Boy) as cook. Donnie
MacNicol looked after the engine, electric start I think, and very temperamental. In an effort to get it started several times we
tried towing in gear to assist in turning it over; sometimes it worked. We did not have electronic aids for navigation or for
detecting herring, and relied on the compass and good eyesight when steering. Because of the war all lighthouses were shut down
and channel marker buoys removed to prevent the enemy aeroplanes or submarines from locating their position. However, they
did manage to locate Campbeltown where they bombed the Royal Hotel. We heard the planes that night and a German submarine
was sunk, or sank by accident, in Kilbrannan Sound between Torrisdale and Arran. I don't recall the details. Car headlights were
covered except for a slit slip about an inch wide. Dark blinds covered the windows of all buildings. The Home Guard (volunteer
local army), checked for visible light. We were all issued with gas masks which were carried to school where we drilled with them
in place. I received an identification card, which I still have, that was issued by Robert MacCallum of the Square, Torrisdale, but I
can't recall at what age or why it was issued; I kept my last Seaman’s Ration Book also.

Locating herring required great patience and catching them was like a game of chance. Occasionally the catch would be so large it
required the help of additional boats to avoid bursting the net. Often times there would be little or nothing. On quiet evenings, or
quiet moonlight nights, we would stop the engine, usually inshore, to listen for herring jumping, or playing, splashing on top of
the water. They also could be located with the search light in shallow water and would show as dark spots leaving the shore for
deeper waters just after daybreak. Gannets diving indicated a possible shoal and a reddish or oily slick on the surface known as
‘putting up’ was another sign. Phosphorescence, also known by the fishermen as ‘the burning’ illuminates fish as they swim
producing a trail of sparks. Herring, when in a shoal and suddenly disturbed, glow, give a ‘bluish flash’ and its intensity indicates
their density and depth. I enjoyed being on the starboard bow with father on the port bow while steaming and looking for herring
in the ‘burning’. Father used the wooden mallet to strike the ‘gunnell’ (gunwhale) in an attempt to produce vibrations (sound
waves) that would startle any herring we came across. Mackerel on the other hand were more easily disturbed and formed a
luminous ball that could be seen ahead or to the side. They were difficult to catch and required skill to shoot around and keep in
the net, flashing the search light across the net opening sometimes worked. A whale in the area indicated that herring could be

Feeling with the ‘wire’ was another method of finding herring. A fine wire on a lead weight was held over the starboard quarter by
hand and towed slowly close to the bottom. When it struck fish the operator felt them. Jamie Campbell, with the ‘Irma’, was
‘king’ at the wire. He could be seen steering through the wheelhouse window while holding the wire. Father, who wasn't keen on
the wire, encouraged me to take over as he said my fingers would be more sensitive. I was at the wire one evening just before
going into Whiting Bay, when there was a light tap upon the wire. After waiting for a short while, nothing more. There was a stiff
offshore breeze and nothing much doing so I casually mentioned it to Robert who was steering. He said “there is nothing doing,
we will give it a try”, and made a short sweep back to shoot with the ebb tide. After towing towards the shore the boats came
together and we started hauling the net - no indication of herring. Nothing ‘mashed’ (caught in the net mesh) in the wings.
However, after the sole (bottom of the net) was on-board, I thought the net felt heavy. Not being sure of the ground, I was
wondering when, quite by surprise, the net came to the surface with a good shot of gleshens (saith), an unusual catch in big
demand. After hailing onboard the ‘Fairy Queen’, we accompanied her to Lochranza and let go the anchor to wait for her return
from Tarbert, where they unloaded 43 baskets.

Sinking the net in Loch Fyne was no fun. We added lead weights to the sole and extended the ropes securing the buoys. The Loch
would freeze over and hauling the net was a difficult and finger numbing experience. Sand on the sole-rope also didn't help. Some
boats were protected from the sharp ice by securing metal sheathing around their bows. I expect that they were able to steam
faster when protected and avoid being damaged. We went to the clams (scallops) when the herring fishing was slack, towing two
dredges, one each side. Initially it required some experiment to get the towing speed and rope length just right and we became
quite successful. Working daylight hours was a bonus also. This may have been the first of what was to become a very successful
operation for some Carradale boats. Scallop beds were not known then and there was a lot of trial and error. We dredged around
the Cumbraes and discharged in Fairlie, I think. That was almost 70 years ago and my memory is a bit hazy on the port.

Father and I also gathered whelks at slack fishing times, from rock pools and stony beach areas at low tide from Torrisdale to
beyond Whitestone. That was backbreaking, cold, tedious work that required great stamina, although our hands were accustomed
to working in cold wet conditions scraping along the rocks and stones soon made our fingers very tender and sting. Father was a
big fellow. (Big George) who found bending difficult, but he never complained. The whelks were shipped in large burlap bags
sewn across the top with a sail-makers needle and twine. A metal tag with an embossed identification number, which we received
by mail from Billingsgate fish market in London, was attached. We used the ‘Fiona’, our punt, for transportation to Torrisdale,
where they were shipped to Campbeltown by bus - the driver was Willie Ramsay - from Campbeltown to Glasgow by road, then
by train to London. Some were then shipped to the continent where they were considered a delicacy. When a bit younger, with
some of my sisters and aunt Mary from Hamilton, we would gather wilks in a tin, balance the tin between two stones over a wood
fire to boil on the beach, then eat them with a pin. We tried limpets that way also, but they were always tough.

The first picture film I saw was at the Picture House in Campbeltown, one stormy winter evening during 1942. Several boats
where there also. Angie Mitchell, Sandy Ritchie and David Shaw were eager to get ashore and to see the picture. It was about Kid
Gallahad, a young boxer; I don’t recall the details, but remember the name and the excitement. It was also a newsreel about the
war which we watched in amazement, and later on hoped for another stormy night. For many summers Glasgow Boy Scouts
camped on a level area close to the beach below our house at South Dippen. It was a spectacular sight to see them march to
church each Sunday in full uniform with flags flying. Quite often we would take two scouts out for a night at the fishing. Most
were never on-board a boat before, except for coming down on the steamer, and seeing herring being caught and taking a meal
back to camp was very special. The odd boy became sick while we were still at the pier and had to go ashore. A few had black
faces going ashore in the morning (a prank while they were sleeping). Sometimes their Glasgow accents made communication a
bit difficult. They used a well on the hillside by our house for drinking water. Father maintained it by installing a wooden cover
and placing whites stones from the shore along the bottom. The stones where replaced periodically. I heard that barrels of the
water were shipped to Campbeltown by a distillery to be used in blending whisky - fact or fiction ? To be continued . . .

Present : Shelagh Cameron, Lachie Paterson, Stuart Irvine, Elizabeth McMillan, Andrea Hopkins, Ronnie Brownie, Councillor
Rory Colville, Councillor Robin Currie, Councillor Anne Horn

Apologies : Community Police Officer, Councillor John McAlpine

Minutes of Last Meeting : Proposed by Stuart Irvine, seconded by Ronnie Brownie

Matter Arising : Brian Gee brought up the issue of the minutes not being published early enough. Shelagh Cameron said that this
issue had been resolved and the minutes would be published and put up in the usual places in the correct time span.

DOG FOULING : no progress as yet.

NOTICE BOARD AT HOTEL : Not fixed yet. Tom Adams had approached Angela at the shop and asked if it would be
possible to use a window to put the notice in as an alternative, this was agreed, but have to consult tourist group.

Treasurers Report : Interest £0.15, Balance £1718.52

START OF YEAR ADMIN : The Constitution was read through and duly adopted.

HARBOUR DEVELOPMENT PLANS : Pontoon - landing craft have started to do moorings for cages. Lakeland stated these
would be finished by March and the first fish could be in place by the first week in March. Job interviews to take place next week.

PONTOONS : These are only opinions, company putting in the cages make pontoon . could get a good quote. As there is only a
small amount of space in the harbour, realistically we should think about what can be achieved and build on this. Start with a small
pontoon which could attract leisure craft. This can be added too IN the future, maybe for the fish farm to use or for buyers for the
fish. All this could make the harbour more accessible and welcoming. A possible meeting could be arranged so anyone interested
can come along and put their views forward. It was also suggested an Information board be put up to show what facilities were
available in Carradale, possibly a web-site for the future. Councillor Rory Colville suggested that to get things moving a plan
should be made of all suggestions put forward and feed this into the Local Development Plan.


ROAD CAMPAIGN : Shelagh Cameron suggested that it was time something was done about the roads, potholes, lay-by signs,
hedge cutting, drains and winter gritting. A lively debate followed, everyone attending having a different opinion on what should
take priority. After much discussion it was agreed on the following suggestions.

1. As gritting lorries cannot carry enough grit to do a round journey, if possible a winter grit store should be set up locally.

2. The road from Carradale to Skipness should be upgraded to a priority 2.

3. A risk assessment and list of daily users to be submitted.

ANTLER ISSUES : As Geoffrey Page did not attend the meeting it was agreed that a list should be drawn up for the next
meeting in March. Whether it be complaints or compliments all would be discussed. Then Mr Page would be invited to the
meeting in April to answer all the issues raised.


Scottish Health Council - Mental Health booklet
Scottish National Heritage - booklet
Newsletter - Mental Health leaflet
Play park - leaflet
GRAB Trust – newsletter

Kintyre Initiative Working Group - Agenda, Minutes, meeting Friday 5 February, 10.00am, Council Chambers

COMMUNITY COUNCIL BI-ELECTION : Carradale, Saddell and Peninver, one person was elected, Tom Adams, who
joins the Community Council at its next meeting in March.


Shelagh Cameron thanked everyone for attending. Date of Next Meeting : 7.00pm, Thursday 4 March 2010.

IN THE 1930's, 1940's, 1950's, 1960's and 1970's
A slightly more comprehensive commentary than one which appeared in The Antler some years ago.

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us and lived in houses made of asbestos.
They took aspirin, ate blue cheese, raw egg products, loads of bacon and processed meat, tuna from a can and didn't get tested for
diabetes or cervical cancer. Then after that trauma, our baby cots were covered with bright coloured lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets or shoes, not to
mention, the risks we took hitchhiking - As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags - We drank water from
the garden hose and not from a bottle - Take away food was limited to fish and chips, no pizza shops, McDonalds, KFC, Subway
or Nandos - Even though all the shops closed at 6.00pm and didn't open on the weekends, somehow we didn't starve to death.
We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and no one actually died from this - We could collect old drink
bottles and cash them in at the corner store and buy Toffees, Gob stoppers, Bubble Gum and some bangers to blow up frogs
with - We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soft drinks with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because . .
we were always outside playing !

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the street lights came on - No one was able
to reach us all day. And we were O.K. - We would spend hours building our go-carts out of old prams and then ride down the
hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. We built tree houses and dens and played in river beds with matchbox cars - We did
not have Playstations, Nintendo Wii, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 999 channels on SKY, no video/dvd films, no mobile
phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms . . we had friends and we went outside and found them !

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no Lawsuits from these accidents - Only girls had pierced ears !
- We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt and the worms did not live in us forever - You could only buy Easter Eggs and Hot
Cross Buns at Easter time. We were given air guns and catapults for our 10th birthdays. We rode bikes or walked to a friend's
house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them. Mum didn't have to go to work to help dad make ends

Rugby and cricket had try outs and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment.
Imagine that !

Getting into the team was based on merit - Our teachers used to hit us with canes and gym shoes and bully's always ruled the
playground at school - The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law.

Our parents didn't invent stupid names for their kids like 'Kiora' and 'Blade' and 'Ridge' and 'Vanilla' - We had freedom, failure,
success and responsibility and we learned how to deal with it all !

Donald Kelly

There has been international concern over the message of thanks for Tony Leighton and Mike Foreman’s talk on their Atlantic

It seems that after knowing two Torrisdale ladies for nearly forty years the Editor, like some other long term male members of the
Carradale community, is still unable to distinguish a CA from a NMcH. While he knew that the most likely correspondent was not
in the Antipodes he gave credit to her sister-in-law who was. Grovelling starts here. Apologies.

3rd February 2009 - Proposed North and South Kintyre Landscape Capacity Study

External landscape architect consultants have been engaged by the Council to produce a series of Landscape Capacity Studies for
all Rural Opportunity Areas located within National Scenic Areas and Areas of Panoramic Quality as defined by the Argyll and
Bute Local Plan. This report concerns the proposed Landscape Capacity Study for North and South Kintyre.


That the Council amends as appropriate and approves the Landscape Capacity Study for North and South Kintyre.


Council Members are aware the principal objective of this study is to provide a robust set of documents that will clearly identify
the opportunities and constraints, in landscape terms, for development within the Rural Opportunity Areas (ROAs) identified in
the Local Plan. The Argyll and Bute Local Plan contains development control zones which are mapped planning policy
designations. One of these development control zones is the ROA designation which carries a particular policy stance towards
development in the Plan.

This policy stance is positive towards many small scale development types, and in particular, positive towards small scale housing
development, with a general presumption in favour of up to 5 new houses (subject to design, siting, development pattern etc.). A
significant area of Argyll and Bute is covered by National Scenic Areas (NSA) and Areas of Panoramic Quality (APQ - former
Regional Scenic Area) designations, which are detailed within the Plan. Many of the ROAs are located within these NSAs and

The Plan was subject to Public Local Inquiry and one of the issues identified was that of potential conflict between ROA
designation and NSA or APQ designation. The Council has taken the view that this potential conflict should be addressed
through the production of landscape capacity studies that look closely at how new developments could be assimilated into such
valued landscapes. Until these studies were completed and approved by the respective Area Committee, a moratorium has been
placed on development in the open countryside within affected ROAs. The only other acceptable alternative to this action would
have been to delete ROAs from NSAs and APQs.

These landscape capacity studies are being undertaken by appropriately qualified consultants and cover all of the ROAs located
within NSAs and APQs located in Argyll and Bute (with the exception of Jura and part of the Mull NSA as studies in these areas
have already been completed). The landscape studies are consistent with all current national and local planning policy and will help
support, and be consistent with, the Corporate Strategy and the Development Plan for Argyll and Bute (ie. both Structure and
Local Plan) in meeting their aims of strengthening the economy; creating sustainable and vibrant communities in the area; and
protecting and enhancing the environment.

The North and South Kintyre landscape capacity study is one in a series of documents which will provide the Council and the
public with a clearly defined set of guidelines for development within ROAs located within NSAs and APQs.


The North and South Kintyre landscape capacity study is one in a series of documents which will provide the Council and the
public with a clearly defined set of guidelines for development within ROAs located within NSAs and APQs. They will be used as
technical guidance by planning officers assessing planning applications located within such ROAs and will also be useful in the
production of the Local Development Plan.

Following the recent spell of severe frosts, the road network has suffered widespread damage. Operational Services intends to deal
with damage in the following manner -

Well defined single potholes – Infill with hot material whenever possible. Specialist cold-applied material to be used for find and
fix squads if/when hot material is unavailable. Series of potholes over closely defined area – potholes to be in-filled then hand-
screeded with hot-applied material. Series of potholes over length of road – potholes to be in-filled then machine screeded with
mini-paver. Longitudinal cracks from frost heave – Hot pitch to be poured into cracks to seal. Potholing / crazing etc – jet-
patching to be considered for extremities of network and the islands. Weather dependent. Stewart Clark . 3 February 2010.

On four occasions since the onset of wintry weather, Waterfoot and Shore Road residents have been without the services of
Argyll and Bute Councils Waste Operatives; twice because the unsalted road was impassable and twice because the collection
vehicle had a mechanical failure.

The most recent non-collection day was on Friday 26th when it was clear that something was wrong yet again. Collection time
came and went without a sign of the massive vehicle and its cheerful operatives. Following the usual practice residents contacted
the Council office in Campbeltown and were correctly redirected to the cheerful voice of the relevant service. “There was a
problem and your bins will be emptied a little later – please leave your bins out”. Bins were left out all Friday and Saturday but no
collection was made. Sunday saw them safely in their accustomed places but suddenly at 6pm on Monday, just as it was getting
dark, flashing lights heralded the arrival of the ‘Vulture’s’ successor. Residents were seen scurrying in a snow flurry to feed its
rapacious appetite. Subsequently there were reports that a collection was made on Friday in some parts of the village but not in

This leads one to suppose that the Council are softening us up for an extension of their trial ‘once a fortnight collection plans’.
Which leads one to suppose that in the STV world of Harry Hill, “Which is better – regular fortnight collections on a particular
day of the week or irregular weekly collections ?’ There’s only one way to find out …….. fight !

When a company says it will do its best to honour its promises, too often it means that there is little chance of it ever happening.
Political parties are good at this – the promised change is forgotten until a few months before election time comes round again.
Lakeland, the company intending to have fish cages off Grianain, faced with a high level of community interest, said it would give
a commitment that everything else being equal, local applicants would be considered favourably when appointments were made.
Surprise, surprise, that is exactly what Lakeland did.

Although the manager is a company man, everyone else, including the reserves, will be from the Carradale area. Now if that is not
the best news for the early months of 2010, I don’t know what is.

The weather outside was exceedingly cold but the competition inside was red hot. Audiences on both nights were well entertained
and eventually the worthy winners were Carradale Drama Club, with their performance of David Campton’s ‘Our Branch in
Brussels’. This play had everything – brilliant costumes, mystery and plenty of laughs.

From the moment the curtain opened the stage was under the command of Mrs Bee (Sue Stansfield) who along with her quiet (?)
demure (?) maid Effie (Lynn Galbraith) is preparing to entertain the trustees of her charity for unfortunate girls. Their peaceful
preparations are suddenly shattered by the arrival of Daisy (Joanne Paterson) who causes utter chaos for Mrs Bee and has to be
disposed of before the arrival of two of the trustees –Miss Felicia Laurelle (Pauline Burrows) and Mrs Maud Hardie (Shelagh
Cameron). As their names suggest these two are the female equivalents of laural and hardy and they certainly gave a great take of
them. Chaos ensures again with the reappearance of the most comical rubber-limbed Daisy. The final trustee, the acid-tongued
strait-laced, Miss Beatrice Endicott (Morag Allan) arrives and the fun becomes fast and furious leading to an unexpected finale.

Altogether from all the cast, producer and backroom staff an excellent performance – if you haven’t seen this play make a point of
seeing it when it is performed in Carradale in May.

Best wishes to Carradale Drama Club for their performance at the Divisional Competition at the Arts Guild Theatre, Greenock,
on March 21st. ‘Break a leg’ ! M.C.
The sessions of informal Gaelic conversation continue weekly in the White Hart Hotel, Campbeltown every Tuesday evening at
7.30pm. Classes were started some time ago by Eva MacDonald MBE, and her husband Chris who is a fluent Gaelic speaker.
Fluent Gaelic speakers and learners will be made very welcome. For further information, Eva can be contacted at

For many, the idea of leaving the warm quiet of home to go running outside seems painful, ridiculous, or even horrific. But for
me, I know I am truly comfortable in a place when each day, the anticipation of donning my spandex and pink Nikes has as much
allure as a comfy chair by the fireside.

Both of my parents are avid runners (or, were, until tired joints forbade them), and maybe because of genetics, or maybe because
exercise is as valued in my house as hygiene, I have followed in their runners’ footsteps which, incidentally, go through Carradale.

My grandfather, John Forbes, bought Ardcarrach years before I was born. Whenever my parents came to visit from the United
States, they loved jogging around the village, through the forest trails, and down the coast. And what's not to love? Carradale is a
jogger’s dream: enough hills to be physically challenging without becoming tedious; spectacular and diverse scenery that changes
as soon as one rounds a corner or crests a slope; the roads are empty enough to really spread out on, but not so deserted that help,
if needed, would ever be far away; and the trails are long and meandering and full of surprises (monotony is the great enemy to
runners everywhere). But my personal reason for cherishing Carradale as a jogging Mecca is that, in the forest or along bay, I can
feel totally alone and isolated, hearing only my breath and footfalls, open to the vast ruggedness and beauty of rural Scotland, but
still feel perfectly and utterly safe.

My running career has its origins in Alaska, where I grew up. There, if you have that perfect feeling of being isolated in the
wilderness, the chances are you going to run into trouble and that trouble is going to run a lot faster than you can. In Alaska I
must either stick to the city streets or run with a buddy. Neither option is bad, but neither is ideal. I've also run the streets of New
York City (too many stoplights); the mountain trails of California (too many cougars); the city parks of London (too many
people); the vineyard alleys of Spain (too hot); the beaches of Florida (too humid); and long stretches of Texas back roads (too
many whistling men). Once I spent four months running the same 400 meter athletic track in Mexico City day after day, because
running anywhere else meant getting chased by pick-up trucks full of young guys. And recently I spent four months in the South
African bush, unable to run at all, because lions and cheetahs are hardwired to pursue such movements. In the running world,
there are many criteria for the perfect conditions, from views to people to weather... and Carradale is the Goldilocks’ favourite of
them all.

In Carradale, at any time of day (you may even see me with a head torch at night), I can set off into the trees and soon be lost, if I
wish, in the thick green branches and heavy wet soil, in the sharp calls of birds through the cold air and moss spilling over the
rocks – and not see another soul. But still, I never feel afraid, and I always find my way home.

None of this is to suggest I am a particularly gifted runner. For years, I raced, though never enjoyed much success. While it's
sometimes disheartening that I don't have much natural ability, it's something I truly love: a time in my day totally focussed on just
being and running where I am. Sometimes it's for 20 minutes, sometimes it's for 2 hours. Sometimes I focus on distance, other
times on speed, and sometimes on nothing but my own breath. When I'm in America, I miss Carradale for a host of reasons – the
view of my namesake isle, waking up in the small hours when the boats go out, the smell of our old musty house, but I also miss
the idyllic runs. I equate running with total freedom, and in that, I am most free in Carradale.

So if you see me on the move, give a wave! I'll be too breathless to chat, but nothing keeps muscles warmer than a smile from a
passing driver, or a greeting from a dog walker. Maybe someday you'll even feel compelled to test my claim that Carradale is a
running paradise – and give it a try yourself.

Arran Forbes (who has just returned to the United States but – will be back !)

Carradale village nestles, here In a charming beauty spot.
This place holds memories most dear And I can forget it not.
Twas here I spent my childhood And had many a happy day
As I wandered in. the wild wood And went swimming in the bay.
We played in the fields and on the beach On the kills and in the wood
Skipping and rounders we played each And as often as we could.
To school we walked, daily And to, Sunday school too
The miles we covered gaily And had errands to do.
We all loved to go singing And joined in the choir
We had the rafters ringing As, we sat round the fire.
The family were very cheery So homely and sincere
We could not be dreary When we all gathered here.
The net poles along the shore They were a special sight
On the nets children would swing galore With, shrieks of delight.
The old quay was a landmark. Where the people liked to meet
The fishers had their nets to bark And care for the fleet.
The boats all clean and varnished bright And ready for hard work
Would leave from the old quay every night To try and find where the herring lurk.
The steamer came every day With mail arid papers too
To the quay villagers made their way To see what was new.
From the baker we had lovely new bread From the farmer milk and butter
From the boats with fish we were well fed And had few complaints to utter.
This was the Carradale I knew A friendly happy place
Where folk worked hard but were kind and true And life ticked by at a leisurely pace.
But these things are all in the past Though we keep looking on
It's the old memories that last. Of days, that are gone.

E. G. McKinven 1992. (Beth McMillan)