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Issue 212 - June 2010 e-mail edition

KINTYRE ON RECORD "archives" online at




In the 'Days of Sail', there were many vessels sailing the short distance between the shores of Ireland and Kintyre, many of these using the little and primitive ports such as those at Marypans, Carskey, Pollywilline, Glenhervie and Feochaig but, the most frequented port was that at Dunaverty, sometimes referred to as Machrimore, where there was a customs officer! Besides being situated at the extreme end of the Kintyre peninsula, Machrimore offered different landing sites which could be used according to the different wind directions though, if wind and tide permitted, the normal landing place would be within the mouth of the Conie Water, under the shelter of Dunaverty Rock. The ferry seems to have continued running passengers and cargo till around the 1850's when it was overtaken by the convenience and the comfort of the many steamer services which by then plied The North Channel. On Friday, April 27, 1888, Perth's "The West Australian" newspaper tells us that a secret survey had lately been made in the North of Ireland and on The Mull of Kintyre, with the object of arriving at data for an estimate of the cost of a tunnel across the narrow straight which separates Ireland from Scotland. "It is said that one Sir Edward Watkin had interested himself in the scheme; possibly with a view to prove the practicability of a long sea tunnel and that the estimated cost of the tunnel would be around £8 million pounds sterling, or about a million pounds per nautical mile ."On the Irish side the existing line of railway approaches within a few miles of the promontory which forms the nearest point of Scotland, but on the Scottish side an approach railway of about eighty miles would have to be constructed from the Lochgilphead station of The Crinan Railway, 'now under construction to The Mull of Kintyre', where would be the entrance to the proposed tunnel. "Even this would not give continuous railway communication between England and Ireland, for the western terminus of the short railway which is intended to connect the west coast of Argyllshire with The Firth of Clyde is situated at Kilmun, on The Holy Loch, from which passengers have to be conveyed by steamer across The Firth to Greenock. Even though communication was effected between The Mull of Kintyre and The Oban Railway, which would bring it into direct connection with the railway system of the country, the route so opened up between England and Ireland would be an extremely roundabout one”. "The avoidance of a sea passage is of course so important an element, that even an extension of time might be calculated as not altogether condemnatory. By far the most suitable point for a tunnel, had the depth not been almost prohibitory, is the strait, almost as narrow as the other, between Portpatrick and Donaghadee. This would have given almost direct connection between Belfast and Scotland and The North of England Industries".


Nine years later the July 1897 issue of 'The Irish Builder' reports that "a deputation from the Irish and English Committees and gentlemen from the SW of Scotland are going to The Chairman of The Board of Trade to ask for £15,000 to commence trial tunnel borings, an MP, named as Arnold Forster, is mentioned as a supporter and too mentioned in the delegation is The President of The Belfast Chamber of Commerce. Responding to the delegation's request, Mr Ritchie, The President of The Board of Trade, said that handing out public money for a railway project would be a new departure (the railways of that era of course were all funded privately and had no government investment involved in their construction or operation) and says that he would have to put the request for the requested £15,000 before The Chancellor of The Exchequer (though we do not know if this happened - Ed. here)."Mr Ritchie (thus) very politely promises every help except actual financial assistance (as) many shipping interests would not entertain paying taxes to do themselves out of business! "In the March 1900 issue of 'The Irish Builder' (which includes a route diagram), a further report, from Lyndon Macassey, the well-known Ulster engineer of the day, tells us that the cheaper, now £8.5 million tunnel scheme, running from Cushendun to a point (on the diagram) near The Mull of Kintyre itself (probably to somewhere near Southend), would take an estimated 16 years to complete, the construction work on any, vastly more expensive, tunnel between Donaghadee and Portpatrick not likely to be completed in less than 40 years !Though nothing more seems to have been recorded about 'The Irish Tunnel' proposals, in 1910 and again just after World War I, in 1919, The Glasgow and South Western Railway Company, successful in their Fairlie Pier railway connection arrangements with the new turbine steamers to Campbeltown, had an idea of taking over the narrow gauge Campbeltown to Machrihanish railway, it beginning to carry passengers in 1906 and building a line up the west side of Kintyre from Dunaverty to Cour. The line would have run up Conie Glen to a crossing junction at Drumlemble, on to Bellochantuy where a new 'Turnberry-style' hotel would be built and a new golf course at Killean and then run from Tayinloan ferry, via the Narachan Burn and Sunadale, to Cour where a new pier would be built and a connecting steamer then run to Fairlie, or even to Greenock and, on occasions, to Ardrossan. The idea being not only for a through passenger route between Ireland and Scotland but a line which would have run coal out for shipment, via Dunaverty, to Ireland or, via Cour, to Glasgow. The 'Sou' West' company also proposed running a second, unconnected, line from Ronachan Bay, via Clachan and Glenrisdell, to another new pier at Skipness, the original pier there opened in 1879, so as to better connect Jura and Islay with Fairlie etc. and of course Glasgow A monument to yet another unexecuted scheme of The Glasgow and South Western Railway is still to be seen at Carrick Castle, at the mouth of Loch Goil, where the company built 'a railway station', the curious looking building beside the pier, for a line to connect into The Oban and Callander Railway, the necessary Parliamentary Orders never pursued. Nothing is known about 'The Crinan Railway', though it most likely would have been but a narrow gauge 'tramway' running along the side of The Crinan Canal, from Ardrishaig to Lochgilphead, Cairnbaan and Crinan and the idea of extending any such construction to Kilmun, on The Holy Loch, can only have been 'notional', rather than financially practicable. A full 100 years after these proposals to 'bridge' The North Channel with a railway tunnel and exploit the Kintyre peninsula as a 'route centre', enabling passengers (and cargoes) to move easily to and from Ireland without demanding transit via 'over-trafficked' Central and West of Scotland routes, office-bound planners and but occasional venturers into these parts from Scottish Government and other related agencies, almost 'studiously' avoid all mention or consideration of the historical evidence which marks out 'the shortest crossing' between Ireland and Scotland as that most likely to viable, even to this day, in terms of traffic revenue, prevailing weather conditions, operating costs and start-up, establishment, costs. Within the last few years, even before the re-establishment of The Scottish Parliament, in 1999, there have been debates about the 'financial viability' of a ferry service between Kintyre and Ireland, the politicians on both sides of The North Channel, swayed by office-bound and non-seafaring officials, persuaded to 'go for the long haul' and promote and support the idea of running a ferry service between Ballycastle and Campbeltown, with, if the office-bound officials and their appointed consultants can get way with it, 'a route extension' to the Ayrshire port of Troon. Though that consultants' report has been 'under lock and key' since it was completed in May 2008, more than a year ago, the document here written in September 2009, there is no single mention of the work anywhere on the consultants' own website, where all their employments (and many case studies) are proudly listed, since the beginning of 2004 ! Whatever the reasons for such secrecy, it can be revealed that The Scottish Government's consultants are indeed experienced in marine matters for, as they were completing their study on 'The Irish Ferry', they were, paraphrasing one of the consultants' own press releases, 'commissioned, along with partners, to carry out the work on behalf of Glasgow City Council, which represents a group of local authorities in the West of Scotland, to assess the viability of developing a waterbus commuter service on the River Clyde. 'The findings of the study, expected to have been delivered by the end of March 2008, were to explore how the River Clyde could be used for public transport services, similar to other networks deployed in London,

Sydney and New York and would see the development of a commuter service linking Glasgow and The Clyde Estuary as well as providing additional tourist networks to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, Loch Long, Loch Goil and Rothesay. 'Reviewing 'best practice from across The World', the consultants were to assess the likely demand for such a service, as well as opportunities to integrate with existing transport services and were to also provide recommendations for feasible service patterns, vessel specifications and assess the economic viability of the services. 'The conclusions were to focus on the potential to enhance the use of The River Clyde, to open up public transport linkages between locations which are currently poor or non-existent, to boost cross-river public transport movements by the introduction of waterbus services and to examine the opportunities for interchange with other modes of transport to ensure waterbus services integrate with existing transport networks'. Like 'The Irish Ferry' report, this 'waterbus service' report, which could have been written by anyone with a knowledge of the old Clyde 'Clutha' ferries, which provided a well-used 'waterbus service' between Glasgow's Victoria Bridge and Whiteinch in the years between 1884 and 1903, has also escaped the clutches of 'the public domain'! Just what the similarities of, for a start, weather, between The Clyde, Sydney and New York may be, are probably as much of a mystery to the meteorologists as they are to those of us mortals who actually live and work in west of Scotland and the idea of any competent sea-going officer ever attempting to take a 'waterbus' west of The Cloch Lighthouse in any southerly sea, or even trying to head eastwards, up-river, in even a moderate easterly wind, 'beggars belief' and 'best practice from across The World', as the consultants phrase it, just does not and cannot apply in these waters. In these matters, history tells us that, in the 1960’s, The Caledonian Steam Packet Company questioned motorists disembarking from the Dunoon car-ferry at Gourock about their intentions and found that the majority of those returning south to England turned not to Glasgow and then the A74 but south down the Ayrshire Coast to Dumfries and Galloway and The Lake District for their final nights of their holidays. The traditional pattern of tourist movements around Scotland finds that traffic moves anti-clockwise i.e. from 'The South', northwards to Edinburgh and then to Inverness and south again to Fort William and Oban. The tourist travellers then heading homewards as their funds run out, the final funds being kept for a final night's 'fling' in the 'border' and Lake District areas and the essential 'first-thing' and 'next-morning breakfast' grocery supplies needed when they got home! Despite the prevalence of cash dispensing machines and credit cards, nothing has altered the tourists' attitudes over the years. When the Fairlie-based car ferry "Cowal (II)" began a daily service Fairlie Millport (Keppel Pier) and Brodick to Tarbert in 1970, the service essentially 'unadvertised' being designed to provide a relief for the sometimes over-loaded Ardrossan - Brodick car ferry "Glen Sannox (III)", motorists loading their cars at Tarbert confirmed the earlier findings and, much to STG’s surprise and thanks largely to the editor of the weekly "Autocar" magazine, quite a considerable traffic built up for the Tarbert section ! The proposals to reinstate the car-ferry service from Campbeltown should take account of these findings and, instead of simply focusing on the provision of an Irish service, should seek to establish links with both Ireland and the Loch Ryan area drawing traffic through Kintyre which would otherwise be lost to the already well patronised Stranraer - Larne ferry services. Additionally, the proposed new services would open up a through continental link to the Cork - Roscoff vehicle ferry. Refrigerated lorry traffic from Spain hauled fruit across the English Channel, the empty lorries came north to the various West Highland landing ports for shellfish before returning home again, not infrequently through Poole, in the south of England and the homeward route through Kintyre had the potential for shortening driving hours and delivery times. The Kintyre - 'Loch Ryan' link would again pull homeward bound southern tourists through Mid Argyll and Kintyre and, through reciprocal ticketing arrangements with the Stranraer - Larne and other Irish Sea ferry operators, a completely new set of mini-break, weekend and mini-circular tourist breaks, operating in all directions, would be created. There has been no recent history of commercial trading between Kintyre and the Ayrshire ports to suggest the viability of any Kintyre - Ayr - Troon or Ardrossan freight service. Robin Taylor's "Red Baroness" and "Red Duchess" and other ships already carry out the only natural cargo that Kintyre produces, trees and not one of these ships ever arrives laden in Campbeltown and not one of these ship-owners or their agents has ever been asked to bring in the raw steel etc. for the wind turbine towers and assemblies manufactured at Machrihanish. The export of these 'non-stackable' tower products requires expert handling, in case of damage to their outer skins and

requiring secure stowage on their outward journeys, the truth of the matter being that these tower products need special care in transit and, as any insurer would likely advise, they should not be carried 'cheek to jowl' with 'ordinary' car ferry traffic. Despite the appeal of any short Kintyre - Ayrshire ferry to some, not least the most recently engaged Scottish Government consultants, the actual (up to 3 hour) crossing times, the additional time needed for booking in, boarding and disembarkation would nullify the seeming advantage of such a route. There could be no real time improvement in moving freight by this route, one easily affected by weather conditions, no support could be expected from road hauliers on either side of The Clyde, not so much because of the expense of the passage but too by the problems of re-booking, in the case of services cancelled by weather conditions, but rather by the fairly obvious challenge of trying to recover already, pre-paid, charges from the ferry operator(s), that of deep concern to road hauliers working on ever decreasing margins and potentially doing severe damage to their tight cash flows! It should be remembered that the only commercial traffic, 'in now long past recent time', was a 'near-regular' lorry going eastwards from Campbeltown, which ran to the fish processing plant in Annan and, before that, some few seasonal runs of lime from the now long defunct Kintyre Farmers to the area around Kircudbright, it better served with lime from Northern Ireland. Hyslop 'The Butcher', from Tarbert, made very occasional and irregular trips to the old market in Lanark, three lorries from Tweed Valley Transport, in convoy, made two trips a year to Kintyre and Hendry of Galston's cattle float and trailer used to make weekly trips to Kintyre's farms, that reduced as often or not nowadays to but a single trip each month. From the foregoing summary of commercial traffic movements, it is difficult to understand just how any 'Ayrshire ferry' service could be made viable, Troon too far north in any case to catch, or even appeal to, 'tourist' traffic, which traditionally moves in the pattern identified above. In any case, 'one-ship' ferry operations are notoriously known to 'founder' ! A 'one ship' operation running between Ballycastle, Campbeltown and Troon would not only be at the mercy of the weather, the sea conditions on the long reach between Ballycastle and the east of the Kintyre peninsula uncomfortable at the best of times for passengers and oft upsetting in even moderate westerlies and easterlies and crossings from the shelter of Campbeltown Loch to the Ayrshire coast and gaining access to any of the Ayrshire ports, Ardrossan, Irvine, Troon, Ayr and Girvan not for the feint-hearted traveller in sometimes even moderate southerly winds, but, with only one ship in ownership and nothing similar, least in 'high season', to provide a replacement, delays and breakdowns would inevitably jeopardise the success of such an ill-devised and 'extended' venture. However, there are already and ample enough berthing facilities for stern and side-loading ferries at both Cairnryan and Stranraer, the former being favoured, right at the entrance to Loch Ryan and, unlike the Ayrshire ports, there is good shelter from the winds in Loch Ryan. So, no 'Irish Railway Tunnel', no 'Ayrshire ferry crossing', no 'waterbus' and no 'fuel-guzzling' high-speed catamarans or hovercraft ! The answer perhaps lies in 'Going Back to The Future', for The Government of Newfoundland has long being wanting to build a bigger ship to replace Western Ferries' "Sound of Islay" on the St. Brendan's car ferry service (she seen here in February 2009) and, though some thought her too slow in service when she opened up the Campbeltown to Red Bay ferry service in 1969, she is understood to have been fairly recently re-engined. Though on the Irish side, rather than Red Bay, the natural destination for any ferry service from Kintyre should be Larne, with good berthing facilities and, importantly, good route communications to the whole of Ireland by bus and by train, ideal for ‘non-landing day trip’ excursions from Ireland to Kintyre, the original Red Bay slipway, built by Western Ferries, is still in place and, if it not still fitted below her stern vehicle ramp, it would be easy enough to manufacture the 'T-Bar' frame which would allow her to berth on today's Campbeltown ferry berth link-span. Just as before, the "Sound of Islay" could be returned to her old timetable on a revived Campbeltown - Red Bay service, a daily double run in 'high season'; a daily double run over weekends, Fridays to Mondays inclusively and a single daily run, Tuesdays to Thursdays in the 'shoulders' of each season and a single daily run in winter, a pattern of sailings which Campbeltown's John Leesmoffat who, along with Clachan's Bob McLundie, captained both the "Sound of Islay" and the "Claymore" on previous Irish ferry operations from Campbeltown, both having an intimate knowledge of these services' traffic patterns and the prevailing local weather conditions throughout the year, which is more than 'the consultants' have ever asked or known about ! Such a service would require no subsidy on the basis of previous traffic returns, the service would be 'fuel-and-laboureconomic' to operate and, the ship still in current certification, albeit Canadian and having originally only cost the Newfoundland Government some £275,000 in September 1981, it is suggested that the re-purchase of the ship and the total cost reinstatement of the Red Bay car ferry service might cost even less than the £1 million annual 'subsidy' currently being offered by the Scottish Government, the only problems, suggests retired Captain John Leesmoffat, being that "One

would need to telephone Greenock to bring in a Customs' Officer and get someone to put a 'chalk-board' notices outside the information centre on Campbeltown Quay and on the roadside at Red Bay" ! Donald Kelly.

This economic appraisal, which was undertaken at the request of Scottish Government and Northern Ireland Executive Ministers, examines the case for restoring the Campbeltown - Ballycastle ferry service which ended after the 1999 season. Despite being dated January 2009, the report was not made publicly available online until November 19, 2009 and the Internet link to the document only made public on page 1 of ‘The Campbeltown Courier’ of Friday, April 2, 2010, not one Scottish Government minister, MSP or even local councillor decrying the delay in making known the document’s publication, that in itself a matter of some, at best, ‘curiosity’ ! It also a matter of some ‘curiosity’ that The Scottish Government chose to appoint the MVA Consultancy to prepare the report as the only other ‘marine’ studies in their portfolio of appointments appear to be those for a Glasgow City Council/Argyll and Bute Council-commissioned report for a ‘Clyde Waterbus and Ferry Service’ and a ‘Transport Study’ for The Forth and Clyde Canal The MVA Consultancy also now have another couple of pages about the Campbeltown - Ballycastle study online at which asserts SOCIO-ECONOMIC CONTEXT “Our analysis confirmed that both areas suffer from deprivation and high levels of unemployment relative to national averages. We found that there is an established market for travel between Scotland and Northern Ireland but that aviation had been taking market share away from ferries. We identified that the Campbeltown - Ballycastle ferry would serve a largely different, although small, market to the existing ferry services between Scotland and Northern Ireland and would therefore mainly generate new trips. OPERATIONAL AND INFRASTRUCTURE ISSUES “Having examined the harbours at Campbeltown and Ballycastle we identified that the existing facilities were suitable to allow the reintroduction of a ferry service with some minor remedial works. Troon and Ardrossan harbours were identified to accommodate a leg to Ayrshire. Our assessment of vessels found that it would be difficult to source a suitable second hand vessel to operate the service whilst construction of a new vessel could be expensive and incur significant waiting times for delivery. OPTIONS FOR A FERRY SERVICE “Taking into account factors such as routes, home port, vessel specifications, service frequency, demand and fares we developed 13 options for a ferry service 7 for a Campbeltown - Ballycastle service, 4 for a Campbeltown - Ballycastle service with a leg to Ayrshire 2 for a service between Campbeltown and Ayrshire alone We then sifted these down to 5 options 4 for a service between Campbeltown and Ballycastle 1 with a leg to Ayrshire which were taken forward for detailed appraisal.


APPRAISAL OF OPTIONS “Each of the options was assessed against the five STAG criteria of Economy, Environment, Integration, Safety and Accessibility and Social Inclusion. This included initial, qualitative appraisal and detailed, quantitative appraisal of the options. COMMERCIAL VIABILITY AND BENEFITS “All five options were assessed for their commercial viability using a revenue maximising fare and with an old and a new vessel. In addition, sensitivity testing using a Road Equivalent Tariff (RET) fare was also undertaken. For this assessment we developed a bespoke demand forecasting model. We found that all options would require a substantial public subsidy but that providing links to Ayrshire offered additional benefits in terms of enhanced accessibility between Kintyre and the Central Belt. We therefore recommended that if the service was to be taken forward it should include a leg to Ayrshire. The majority of economic benefits would accrue to Scotland, especially Kintyre, with no major net impact on Northern Ireland. MARKETING THE SERVICE “We concluded that a combination of destination marketing (i.e. the attractions of Campbeltown and Ballycastle) and direct marketing of the service would be required for maximum success. In particular, the ferry should seek to attract niche markets based upon the local attractions like sports, outdoor pursuits and the natural environment”. The main link to The Scottish Government / Northern Ireland report, which, it is asserted, was prepared in accordance with Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG) and the report consists of 3 documents : The 97-page Appraisal Report The 165-page Option Generation and Sifting Report The 85-page Consultation Report Those with any interest in the creation of ferry links between Kintyre and Ireland might like to read about the history of earlier operations on the route at and this document also includes a full set of Summer and Winter Traffic Projections for the route, these figures and notes first made freely available to Argyll and The Isles Enterprise in 1995 and ‘almost studiously ignored’ by successive agencies and fee-paid consultants ! Here too in this document are the Traffic Returns for the short-lived, 1997-1999, Campbeltown Ballycastle route, it operated by the ex-CalMac car ferry “Claymore”. Most recently another document about the potential of the route was also put online, it focusing on the original Campbeltown - Red Bay route and it is suggested that these documents be read in conjunction with the MVA Consultancy report highlighted here. As some may agree after reading the 350-page report, there is but little ‘real’ mention of the weather conditions which can be even more severe inside The Firth of Clyde than in The North Channel and it is little surprising that the ‘office-bound and fair weather’ consultants and government officials somewhat glibly gloss over the subject. However, in leaping to their defence and likely ignorance about the problems of the area’s weather and sea conditions, it is probably fair to assume that even the oldest of those involved in preparing the various reports was either too young, or else otherwise interested, to be fortunate enough to regularly, that deliberately italicised, on the old “Duchess of Hamilton” or “Queen Mary (II)” to Campbeltown or Ayr, or sail on the old “Glen Sannox (III)”, between Brodick and Ardossan, in good or bad weather nor, in more recent time, transit The North Channel, between Campbeltown and Red Bay and round to Rathlin, on the “Balmoral” or the “Waverley”. Even on a good day, in an almost flat calm, there is a swell running south of the line between Skipness, The Garroch Head, Little Cumbrae and The Ayrshire Coast and, even the most insensitive person is aware of it immediately leaving the security of piers and berths and, on the ‘long reaches’ of the runs from Campbeltown to Pladda and the Ayrshire

Coast ports and on the diagonal crossing from the south end of Kintyre, inside or outside of Sanda, to Ballycastle, weather and tidal streams can easily not only reduce a 14-knot ferry’s service speed down to just 11 or 12-knots but too demand that the ship’s route length, for the comfort of passengers, even in ‘ordinary’ conditions, be increased by an extra 10% to 15% in mileage. In heavy weather conditions, none of the Ayrshire ports can be entered, or indeed left, without considerable problems, Ardrossan long troublesome and frequently demanding the Arran ferry service to be diverted to Gourock, the lone berth at the south side of Wemyss Bay Pier unsuited to accommodating ‘big’ ferries and unusable in certain weather states in any case and e.g. should a scheduled ‘morning run’ from Campbeltown to ‘Ayrshire’ (Ardrossan) be operated in dubious conditions, it would almost certainly lead to the cancellation of the ‘afternoon’ sailing to Ireland, the ship, even if the weather improved, unable to catch up sufficient time the rest of the day to make any further sailing(s) possible. As any ship operator will confirm, a ‘one ship service’, trying to work a two-route service, such as is proposed in the MVA Consultancy reports here, is a ‘recipe for disaster’! The primary need is for an ‘Irish’ service, with a through link to The Continent, through the south of Ireland and, perhaps, a link to ‘The North of England’, any ‘notional idea’ of a link between Kintyre and ‘The Scottish Central Belt’, via Ardrossan or Troon, must be strongly resisted at this time.

“Poorhouses or almshouses have existed in Scotland since medieval times, principally in burghs. Between 1845 and 1930 over 70 poorhouses were constructed in Scotland, (including one in Campbeltown) many serving a number of parishes called 'poor law unions' or 'combinations' (Islay, Mull, Lochgilphead and Lorne). They were built following the Poor Law (Scotland) Act 1845, which established parochial boards in rural parishes and in the towns, and a central Board of Supervision in Edinburgh. The poorhouses were for those categories of paupers who did not receive 'outdoor relief' (normally in the form of small weekly sums of money). The regime, diet and living conditions in poorhouses were austere, partly to discourage applications from those who could rely on family support instead. On the other hand poorhouses provided medical and nursing care of the elderly and the sick, at a time when there were few hospitals and private medical treatment was beyond the means of the poor. In 1948 the poor law was abolished and replaced by the modern social security system, and by then hospitals had largely replaced the medical function of poorhouses. Many poorhouses, indeed, expanded to become hospitals (for example Govan poorhouse, which formed the nucleus for the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow). Others became old people's homes or social work administrative offices”. Extract from the Internet - _topic.htm In the years after the Second World War elderly or frail men and women without families often found themselves as ‘patients’ in buildings which still had all the hallmarks of a workhouse or poorhouse. Under the control of the Hospital Secretary - more often referred to as the ‘Master’ – everyone who was capable of work was expected to carry part of the burden of keeping the House running. By the mid 1950s very little had changed. In a typical day in one ex-poorhouse south of the border John, Mr Berry, ‘Dummy Mary’ and Mrs Goody had their usual breakfast - a round of bread and jam and a mug of tea - and left the main hall. ‘Dummy Mary and Mrs Goody went to the women’s wing to begin their domestic chores while John and Mr Berry followed the long established pattern of working in the extensive vegetable garden. The remaining ambulant men moved to the east wing to a series of small bedrooms with between five and 20 beds and the women to a similar set in the west wing. Neither wing had a sitting room as such and most made use of a series of dilapidated Windsor chairs, one of which had castors added to its legs for a veteran of the first World War who had lost both his legs. On the floor above in both wings the bed-ridden ‘patients’ were attended to by a dedicated team of SRN or SEAN nurses who did their best with the limited facilities at their disposal. Apart from the nursing staff, the ‘Secretary’ and the ‘Matron,’ a gathering of unlikely characters provided ancillary services. Either they ‘’lived in’ or came in from the surrounding villages on a shift basis - two cooks, three kitchen assistants, three general porters, three domestics, a stoker and an office worker, amongst whom were a retired lumber-jack from Canada, a Fleet Street Deputy Editor with an alcohol problem, Ambrose -an elderly out-of-work actor, a live-in transvestite son of the assistant cook, a Greek domestic, and a Jehovah Witness serving out his National Service. Some of the more exotic staff appeared in plays organised by the ‘Secretary’, Mr Chinn, whose son had a very similar name to the author of plays

performed by the Carradale Drama Club ! During the following thirty-five years until these establishments closed, changes came slowly through a number of initiatives more especially from the move to home-based individual care. But has this quiet revolution produced the desired effect ? Are elderly people better served by care workers with tight schedules dropping in at or close to their programmed one hour slots than the socially unacceptable earlier provision ? What happens when the care worker leaves the ‘service user’ or ‘client’ after bed-time and the panic button is misplaced or doesn’t work ? Thankfully the independent providers - Campbeltown’s Nursing Home, the Church of Scotland’s ‘Auchinlee’ and the ‘Abbeyfield’ - have taken up the challenge and provided additional accommodation to that available at the constantly threatened Campbeltown Hospital. As a result, and despite the difficulty and delay in getting a ‘free’ Scottish care package, fewer cases of self-neglect reach the Social Work offices. However it is not so long ago in Kintyre that to gain a care package and local provision in Campbeltown, a man in his late nineties had to agree to be moved to Benderloch - a distance in miles matching his age - only to be told a week later that a place was available at Auchinlee. Other cases could be quoted where appropriate local provision was not available or was not offered because of personal or perceived temperamental differences. Another stumbling block on the road to community solutions is the plethora of national consultation diversions and the chimera of public consultation which offer involvement in the process of helping the care agencies to construct temporary ‘Bailey’ bridges between economic cut backs and Government policy. By referring agreements to other ‘partner agencies’ and to executive committees the implementation is often caught by internal structural changes and further financial economies. So is there any real hope of improving the care offered to the elderly who, while not completely bed-ridden, have increasing problems in old age, or is it simply a matter of waiting until social workers are blamed for a death which would not have occurred in the more traditional environment of a care home. Living, or rather dying, at home may be everyone’s wish but the second partner or single person is more at risk now than ever. Is that an improvement or retrograde step ? In 2001 the home shared by John, Mr Berry, ‘Dummy Mary’ and Mrs Goody was redeveloped and now luxuriates as a gated community for well-healed commuters from the local town. The unmarked burial sites in the ‘hospital’ graveyard remain monuments to 19th, 20th and 21st concepts of ‘care in the community’. G. P.

THE A83 VERSUS THE B ......... 842
On Friday 16th April the ‘Campbeltown Courier’ carried a report of a recent ABC Area Committee meeting. The crux of the matter was that Campbeltown-based Councillors suggested that greater emphasis should be placed on the repair of the non-trunk sections of the A83 between Campbeltown and Kennacraig - presumably at the expense of repairs on other Mid Argyll, Kintyre and Islay roads. As most East Kintyre travellers are perhaps more likely to use the B842 escape route to the delights of Tarbert, Lochgilphead and Glasgow. it seemed worthwhile to compare the state of the road for motorcyclists and cars between Carradale and Campbeltown and on the southern, non-government funded A83. Those who use two-wheeled transport are only too aware of the need to keep eyes firmly glued to the road surface to avoid potholes and the emerging rail-like troughs; this journey was no exception. Clearly spring patching work, as always, starts from Campbeltown and has now reached Ugadale which clearly lessens the need to watch for potholes but increases the need to watch for repair humps. On turning north from Campbeltown on the A83 to Lochgilphead there are certainly poor sections on the A83, but these are fewer than on the B842 and are separated by sections of ‘pure motoring delight’. The perception of Campbeltown-based Councillors is not surprising given that they rarely travel on the B842 north or south of Campbeltown. The moral is perhaps to leave technical judgements to Stewart Clark, the Area Road Engineer whose job is to assess real rather than perceived need. Despite the writer’s support for the Council’s professional staff, a Carradale winter migrant returning from rural Spain by road and ferry confirms that after travelling through Spain, England and Scotland his under-stated view is that compared

with the rest of his journey the B842 is ‘bad’. Only a few days after this journey was made Argyll & Bute Council published an agenda for a ‘Special Mid Argyll, Kintyre and Islay Area meeting’ to be held at Kilmory on May 5th. It contained proposals made by Campbeltown-based Councillors at the earlier Area Committee meeting to concentrate on the A83. Hence the proposed Kintyre list specified spending in keeping with their preferences – A83 Drumore: resurfacing £75,000. A83 Clachan : resurfacing £100,000. A83 North of Tayinloan : Structural repair and surface dressing £100,000. B842 Whitestone Bridge : Proprietary treatment £20,000. B843 Machrihanish Road : Structural repair and surface dressing £175,000. B8001 West of Claonaig : Proprietary treatment £80,000. Total £550,000 Again, like many other aspects of society, its a case of those who shout loudest and longest receiving the most attention! But perhaps it is not quite as simple as that; it may be that Argyll and Bute Council have decided to revive its earlier suggestion to allow minor roads throughout the County to return to their pre-macadam days. G.P.

JEAN MacKINLAY (1926 - 2010)
Jean was born on the 17th of January 1926 in Ayrshire and was the much loved daughter of Jocky and Maggie Paterson. Kilkerran Road was where she started her life and ironically she ended her life just a few doors away in the Kintyre Care Centre. She met the love of her life Willie and they married on the 19th March 1947. They started their married life in Campbeltown but following the birth of their son John then the sad loss of Jean’s mother they moved to Carradale. Jean being the caring person she was took on the job of looking after her daddy and he moved with them. The move was followed by the birth of their daughter Sheena. Jean was 100% dedicated to her family and took on the role of caring for her daddy and the children as Willie was often posted abroad with his work for long spells. When dad, Jock,y became gravely ill Jean nursed him in the family home until he passed away in 1963. When John and Sheena ‘flew the nest’ and started their own homes it wasn’t long until she was blessed with six grandchildren and then two great-grandchildren. And although family circumstances were complicated that didn’t change a thing – she took the same interest in all of them. Jean took her role as Nannie very seriously. She was there at every milestone. The girls remember fondly the great anticipation every birthday waiting to see what colour of meringues Nannie had made for them – pink, green and sometimes even blue! When Morag started playing the clarinet she attended every music festival and band concert she played in. Jean also developed an interest in football when she started collecting all the sports pages in the papers and sent them to Karen once a week. Willie and Jean made their final home at 30 Tormhor where they spent many happy days ‘pottering’ about in the garden. Jean loved the sun and loved nothing better than either sitting round the back or on the bench at the top of the road enjoying the sunshine, chatting or just watching the world go by. Jean was always a busy person. She was actively involved with the Gaelic choir and attended many Mods – each Mod having a different tale to tell! She worked in various boarding houses, in Stewarton Store, with Walter and Nellie in Portcrannaig shop and tea-room and finally as breakfast cook in Carradale hotel. In her ‘retirement’ she spent many happy hours cleaning both churches – a job she took great pride in. She loved flowers and on many occasions made the floral arrangements for weddings and funerals in the church. Despite her own health problems, when Willie developed cancer Jean promised him he could stay at home and again she took on the role of looking after him. She nursed Willie at home until he sadly passed away in august 2005. She tried to adjust to life without him but never really got over losing him. Following a bad fall and months of ill health she moved to Kintyre Care Centre in November 2007. Jean was content in the care centre. When she first went in she enjoyed sitting in the day room chatting to the other residents or sitting at the window watching the boats and activity in the harbour. She looked forward to her visits from the family and was keen to hear all the news from the village. When her health deteriorated further she took to her bed and was comfortable in her own wee room surrounded by all her personal belongings. She enjoyed listening to Argyll FM and got great pleasure from her CD collection. She spent many happy hours singing her heart out whether it be to hymns or to old

war time classics. The family made sure there was always flowers in a vase just like there always had been in her own home. Jean always took pride in her appearance and the staff in the care center made sure her trademark white hair was always done and they even matched her bed socks with her nighties. She was loved by all the staff and was described recently by one member as a “gracious old lady who always said thank you and I would love to have her as my mum.” Jean’s last few days were spent with her family. Sheena was able to stay with her throughout. On Sunday there was a short spell where Jean was awake. Pat phoned from Lourdes and prayed with her and she was able to tell Pat “that was nice”. Even although Pat wasn’t her official daughter- in-law, she looked on her as being that special kind of person. She also turned to Morag and said “oh, it’s you” as she often affectionately referred to her and told her to “look after herself” and then turned and said the same to Sheena. After that the rest of the family visited and spent a lovely afternoon just being together. Jean fell asleep and sadly passed away on Monday morning with Sheena and Morag by her side.

SANDRA MACKINNON (June 6, 1946 - April 12, 2010)
Sandra was born at Criagard, Campbeltown on 7th June 1946. She was the eldest daughter of Archie and Jenny McAffer and sister to Ian, Isobel and Eila. Sandra‘s first home was Rhonadale, which coincidently looks straight across the river Carra to Drumbuie, her last home. Her dad Archie worked for the Semple family at Dippen and from Rhonadale, they then moved to Church Cottage from where she started school and where she named all the hens her mum Jenny kept. From there farm work took the family to Crossaig and then Clockeil. Sandra was at Clockeil when she left school and started her first job at 15 years old as a shop assistant in Campbeltown and cycled a 14 mile round trip to and from work. When she was 18, the family returned to Dippen and Sandra found employment in Carradale West Post Office where she first spoke to a local young farmer called Alec. They gradually became better acquainted at local dances and married on 1st November 1967 when their first home together was a static caravan at Auchnasavil with no running water or electricity. By that time Sandra worked at Carradale Forestry Office for 5 years until her first born, Catriona, came along in 1971. Shortly after, the family moved to their first house at School Park, Carradale. Over the next 10 years the family grew with the additions of Christine, Mairi and finally Sandy when the family was complete. Alec and Sandra were delighted with the birth of a son and it is rumoured that Alec created a new dance in the Auchnasavil living room on hearing the news. In 1975 the family moved to Auchnasavil where in addition to raising the children, Sandra filled milk bottles for delivery early morning and then washed the empties returned in the afternoon along with other farm chores. Although the work on the farm was never ending, Sandra never complained and this was evident throughout her life and even during these past months. When the milk round stopped in 1987, Sandra didn’t sit back but went to work at the Landmark Trust, Saddell as a housekeeper where she was a valued and reliable member of staff. Sandra enjoyed this work, especially meeting people, both colleagues and Landmark customers. Sandra was very socialable and liked nothing better than catching up with family and friends, a visit was even better. Alec and Sandra remained at Auchnasavil for the next 33 years until retirement when they moved to Drumbuie where unfortunately Sandra enjoyed too short a retirement. The family have all flown the nest as far afield as New Zealand where our thoughts go at this time to Catriona, Sandy, their partners and children who unfortunately could not be with us today. Catriona and Sandy recall how mum supported them in their decisions to move to New Zealand even though she knew she would miss them greatly. A trip out to see them all in New Zealand just over a year ago was a real highlight for Sandra and Alec. The grandchildren still remember granny reading stories, watching them swimming in the creek and doing jigsaws (better than papa). Another vivid memory is of Granny being asked to be a cheerleader on the sidelines during a game of hoops.

It was a great delight to Sandra that she saw her newest grandchild, baby Erin, arrive safely into the world and that she was able to meet her and hold her. When she held her for the first time Sandra was positively beaming with pride. To Catriona, Christine, Mairi and Sandy, they remember Sandra as a loving mum who passed on her traditional values and principles. When they were growing up she was strict but kind, firm but fair and not afraid to give to them a clout when she felt they needed it which even they admit now they did ! She taught them right from wrong, to work hard, to save something for a rainy day and she led by example. They will also always remember her cooking whether it was family meals or baking for a sale of work. They especially remember the many pots of soup, pancakes, sponges and tablet she made. They also remember the countless journeys to band practice, brownies, guides, cubs, scouts, youth club, football practice and Sunday School which mum made and again never complained. There was much laughter in the house, testament to a happy marriage and contented family life which she had created. In addition to this, Sandra found time to attend her own club/groups in the village. She was an active member of the Church and Church Guild and treasurer of the ladies Wednesday club, in all of which she found pleasure. Sandra loved music and dancing. She enjoyed singing at the Mod with the Carradale Gaelic choir in younger years and she enjoyed dancing. Alec and Sandra were regular participants at the local Scottish dances. Even if the music was fast and contemporary, they could be seen cutting a dash around the floor with a quickstep. The things Sandra valued most in life were her family and friends. Judging by the number of good wishes received in recent months, Sandra had many friends who thought well of her. Many of the cards arriving this week have reflected on Sandra’s friendly manner, cheery disposition and ready smile. Alec and family would like to thank everyone for their good wishes to Sandra over the last 7 months which she and they greatly appreciated and to the messages of condolence received this week from which they draw solace. Sandra faced the last months of her life with courage, dignity and good grace. The way she coped with what came made a difficult time easier for everyone around her. She retained her cheeriness and sense of humour throughout and she will be remembered and missed by all who knew her.

MATTHEW McDOUGALL (1920 - 2010)
Matthew (Matt) was born at Portrigh on May 25th 1920. He was born the only son of Robert and Christina McDougall and had 4 sisters, Flora, Mary, Chris and Roberta. Matt went to Carradale Primary School until he was 14 then left school to follow the fishing. Matt was called up for the Navy in 1941 and went to Lowestoft from where he was drafted to Scapa Flow. He went from there to Barry in Wales and also Milford Haven. Matt was promoted to the rank of Petty Officer then served with the Air, Sea, Rescue. He was de-mobbed in 1946, came back to Carradale and back to the fishing on the Watercress. Matt later married Catherine McGregor in 1956 and they had two sons, Robert and Allan. Matt and Cathie ran Dunvalanree Guest House for 25 years before retiring in 1990. Matt liked nothing better than to stand looking across to Arran, puffing at his pipe while chatting to guests, many of whom keep in touch to this day. Matt’s eyesight deteriorated a number of years ago and he got the ‘talking books and tape’s of the Oban Times and Campbeltown Courier to keep up to date with the local news. He liked to watch football and snooker on T.V., he also loved bowling. Although he couldn't see very well at last, he never missed going to the bowls; in his day he was a good bowler.

Matt loved company and always enjoyed visitors, a dram and a yarn - preferably about fishing. I heard a few days back of a gathering of the older generation who were reminiscing about the good old days gathered at Portrigh where Matt was remembered for his great nature and his part in saving a shipmates life. Perhaps not many know of this. Matt was a life long member of this congregation. He was always pottering around the garden and repairing things, He claimed that it was a ‘Portrigh thing’, like myself, and called for the same man - we were frightened of dogs (another Portrigh thing). Matt was especially happy when up a ladder which he frequently fell off but he prided himself of always having clean rhones. Matt suffered poor health for many years but never complained. After a fall in January last year he never fully recovered. He took great delight in his two granddaughters, Lesley and Jennifer, and his great grandsons Ryan and Stuart. Matt was a kind, gentle, man and his passing is a great loss. He will be sadly missed by us all. M. R.

On Monday 19th of April a small section of Lochgilphead’s much damaged Hydro shop window had the banner ‘181 days to go before digital TV’ prominently displayed. Intrigued, our nosey reporter went inside and asked how reliable was Highland’s switch-over calendar. The assistant explained that the contractors had issued a new series of changeover dates for sections of Highland Scotland, working from Shetland southwards. Apparently Lochgilphead will join Wales, England’s south-western peninsula and the Lake District on or about Sunday 17th October. Campbeltown and the other southern mainland subsidiary masts will change over in February 2011 - a full three months earlier than the stated date of May 2011. The helpful assistant produced a pamphlet stating that rural areas may receive between 20 and 40 programmes depending on the setup of each subsidiary mast mast. Requirements for the new service are a digital box and perhaps a slightly upgraded terrestrial aerial; a ‘dish’ is not required.

The appeal for funds to repatriate the body of the fisherman, Marius Kliuskas, who died so tragically in a Campbeltown fire on April 2nd, has attracted a large number of contributions since the appeal was made. Matthew Ramsay of Carradale, an Auxiliary Superintendent for the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen, who has helped coordinate the collection said that at the time of going to press £2,000 had been donated; he was hopeful that further contributions would cover the complete cost of repatriation to his native Lithuania.

Mrs Anne Marie Elliott who presently serves as Head-teacher of Drumlemble Primary School has been seconded part-time to act as Head-teacher of Carradale Primary School following the retiral of Mrs Marion Morris.

Once again the Carradale Drama Group have cleared the table with lifting three cups at the 62nd Argyll Drama Festival held in Ardrishaig Village hall over the three nights 21st to 23rd April. They won the cup for best overall, best comedy and best acting. Ten clubs took part, three on Wednesday night, four Thursdays with Carradale on this night and lastly three on Friday night. The club scored over their group on Thursday then went on and were overall winners; they are overjoyed. Just a mention that Margaret Leighton had to jump in at the last moment as one of the cast Shelagh (Cameron) had been admitted to hospital for some checks. We wish Shelagh a speedy recovery and well done to Margaret on her performance. Report an photos by Johnny Durnan.

CAMPBELTOWN : Change of use from school house to bunkhouse accommodation. The Old School House, Big Kiln Street, Campbeltown, PA28 6JF. Kintyre Amenity Trust C/o Mr David Gardiner, Crannoch Lodge, Campbeltown,

PA28 6SW John Gilbert Architects, 201 The White Studios, 62 Templeton Street, Glasgow, G40 1DA 14 - Listed bldg. + con. area consents 171824-620316 TORRISDALE : Erection of 1½ storey house, double garage and store Land north of Greenhill, Torrisdale, Argyll & Bute. Mr & Mrs James and Celia Holgate, C/o Agent Angus Young, Duncan House, Wester Inshes Place, Inverness, IV2 5HZ. 03B - Housing - Local 179410-634530

PLANNING - Weekly Planning list for 07 May 2010
Development Type: Grid Ref:10/00343/PP Officer: Allocated To Area Office Telephone: 01546 604070 20 - Kintyre And The Islands Erection of replacement holiday let Garden Ground of Lochpark House, Lochpark, Carradale, Campbeltown, Argyll & Bute, PA28 6SG Mr D. Dandy, Lochpark House, Lochpark, Carradale, Argyll, PA28 6SG N/A 10B - Other developments - Local 181667-638558

PRESENT : Shelagh Cameron, Stuart Irvine, Andrea Hopkins, Ronnie Brownie, Lachie Paterson, Elizabeth McMillan, Tom Adams, Councillor Donald Kelly APOLOGIES : None Convenor Shelagh Cameron welcomed everyone present. MINUTES OF LAST MEETING : Correction to wording, a small donation was made by Colin Burgess, should read a small donation is going to be made by Colin Burgess. Proposed by Elizabeth McMillan seconded by Ronnie Brownie. MATTERS ARISING : Dog Foul Bins : one wheelie bin in place. Hopefully the other will arrive in due course, Councillor Kelly too follow this up. A sign has been placed on the bin PAL (Poo and Litter Bin). Convenor Shelagh Cameron to follow up signs for passing places. Notice Board : Tom Adams received several leaflets on design and cost £250 to £300, depending on what is required. Angela is still happy to have notice board put up at shop. Treasurer Stuart Irvine to speak to Eric Norman to see how much it would cost to have one made. Treasurers Report : Accounts presented but not audited yet Wind-Farm Projects : Several projects were discussed and it was agreed to go ahead with path maintenance, solar lights, notice boards - 2 for Carradale (notice board and information board) for harbour, also notice board for Saddell. Applications for wind farm trust grants have to be in by 16 April. Wind-farm trust grants will be considered on Thursday 6 May after the usual community council meeting. Parking Problems : Police advised residents in Tormhor that they were not allowed to park outside their houses but had to use the parking facilities available. A discussion followed and it was brought up that unless residents parked their cars properly in the car parks there was not enough room for everyone. It was suggested that all car parks be white lined, Convenor Shelagh Cameron to phone Roads Department. Councillor Donald Kelly to take forward as well. Planning: Erection of Sub-Station – Crossaig Forest - no objections Bruce Cottage - Portrigh, amendment to plans. A discussion followed as to whether the community council should get involved with planning issues. It was agreed that the community council should only get involved in pre-planning and only

after, if there has been a breach of plans submitted. Road Campaign : Notes and photographs of all potholes have been taken, more people have signed the petition. Councillor Donald Kelly suggested that, if not already done so, all six Councillors should be asked to sign the petition. No further information on upgrading road, for further information log onto the community council blog: CORRESPONDENCE : • Development Management of Community Council Meetings - meeting tonight (1 April, 2010) Cairnbaan • NHS Highland (Mental Health) – leaflet • Constitution - signed and returned • Wellpark - letter - Stuart Irvine dealing with this • Offshore Wind Farm - Machrihanish - scoping document • Community Justice Authority – leaflet ANY OTHER COMPETENT BUSINESS : Fish Farm - up and running • Pontoons - Lakeland have some available, will Argyll and Bute Council help with cost of installing, permission needed from Argyll and Bute Council in first instance. Before all this happens it was suggested an engineer along with local fishermen should be consulted to work out feasibility of were to put pontoons. Convenor Shelagh Cameron thanked everyone for attending. DATE OF NEXT MEETING : Thursday 6 May 2010

Following their captain's success in a competition in ‘The Cricketer’ magazine, when he won a coaching session for his team with Andy Flower, the England coach, eleven excited cricketers set off by coach to Loughborough, their expenses being paid by Sky Sports? who sponsored the competition. The following morning, the bus picked up a remarkably fresh looking outfit before 9am for the short journey to the English Cricket Board coaching centre where they were greeted by Sky Sports representatives. After coffee, they met Mr. Flower, who described the format for the morning. This started with a warm up (surely a first for Carradale !) and then some very strenuous fielding practice, where the team really excelled itself. This was followed by coaching in the wonderful indoor net facilities, complete with bowling machines which did exactly what the coach asked of them, including one which bowled spinners a la Shane Warne, the great Australian bowler. There was a hawk eye which measured the speed of each bait where it pitched and even the number of revolutions a spin bowler put on the ball. Again, the lads showed great enthusiasm and, with Andy Flower's encouragement, were soon giving the ball a good wallop. One particularly fine straight drive almost left England without a coach in the West Indies! At the end of the session, captain Aidan thanked Mr. Flower and his staff for a superb experience and presented him with a gift of a stay in a Machrihanish Dunes cottage and a game of golf.

In the afternoon, the team played a 20-20 match against a Loughborough University XI on the magnificent cricket ground next to the coaching centre. Although they found the opposition a tough proposition, they acquitted themselves well and thoroughly enjoyed the match; especially the lunch between the innings! A tired, but happy band then boarded the bus for the long journey home after an experience they will never forget. The team is now looking forward to the coming season. A set of sight screens and covers for the wicket have been obtained during the winter, thanks to a grant from ‘Awards for all’. The covers should make a tremendous difference to the quality and pace of the pitches which have, so often in the past, been damaged by rain. The league involving Sannox, Oban, Mid-Argyll and Carradale continues this year, as well as many friendly fixtures. All prospective playing or non-playing members will be made most welcome (subscription£10). For more details contact 01583 431321. R. J. A.

May I through the columns of your paper take the opportunity to pass on my thanks to the communities in Carradale and East Kintyre and beyond. The British Red Cross Transport has been granted funding from Argyll & Bute Council, for another 12 months of community based transport. I would like to pass on my thanks to all those that had so strongly informed the Council and local councillors, that you feel that we provide a valuable service to your community and that if the service were to have been cut, what a detrimental effect this would have imposed on the lives of a great number of residents within the area. With this funding now in place, I look forward to delivering the continued service to you that I have built up over the last five years since starting in this post. Once again, my heartfelt thanks to the wonderful people of Carradale and thanks also to Dr Elder and staff at the Carradale Surgery for their continued support, and coffee ! Regards, Karl Hurd (RCTI) Campbeltown F/A Group. Tel: 07879 403775 or 01546 602386

We always enjoy taking our visitors up the east coast from Campbeltown. Often they have driven down the Atlantic coast so the contrast is striking. Our first stop is Saddell where we visit the ancient remains of the abbey and the stones, before a walk down and along the beach to look at the castle and house in Saddell Bay. The rich history over a breadth of centuries is always a surprise to our guests. We then continue north past Ifferdale and Torrisdale, up and down and round the route of the Kintyre Way till we reach the village of Carradale. Although there are forest walks to take, it is once more the beach that calls. Recently, instead of walking along the sands to be able to look back at Carradale House, we were lured seawards by the signpost marked Vitrified Fort. We took rather a circuitous route following sheep tracks and wondered if we would ever find it. In the meantime we bumped into a magnificent herd of goats who trotted past us, completely unfazed by our trespass into their domain. It was at this point that we were saddened to discover huge quantities of debris washed ashore above the tideline. It was Maggie, our friend, who discovered the fishbox and started our rubbish collection. We trudged round the headland struggling with our constantly increasing burden and finally spied what must be the fort in the distance. Abandoning our load temporarily, we crossed 'the causeway' and reached our destination, marvelling at its commanding position which now provided us with a 360 degree panorama. After a time of letting our imaginations run riot on what life might have been like living in this fort, we returned to our beachcombing as we walked back along the shore. We wondering what on earth we might do with all the rubbish we had collected as it would not have fitted into the car. So we were delighted to find a bin with a sign dedicated to our particular needs – well thought Carradale !

Last year 53 members of The Cinema Theatre Association came 'doon the watter' in The Waverley to visit The Picture House. They were thrilled with their visit to 'the most beautiful cinema in the UK' and wrote appreciatively afterwards of the extreme rarity of the Art Nouveau style of the building – 'this may be the only example within the entire UK'. They also commended the 'wee hooses' which had been added by the original architect, Albert V. Gardner, when he returned in 1935 to remodel his original creation – this “atmospheric” style is considered to be one of only two remaining examples of their type left in Scotland. The oldest cinema in the world is thought to be the Lumiere Cinema in Pisa, Italy, founded in 1905 with the first official sound screening in 1906 – that is only seven years before our own Wee Pictures opened here in Campbeltown! On your next visit to the cinema pause to look at the photograph at the foot of the stairs leading to the balcony, this shows what the cinema looked like back in 1913. These interesting facts about our historic building are worth telling to all visitors to the area. If you run a B and B or a hotel or a guest house could you tell your guests of this gem in Kintyre. Anyone can subscribe to an email alert to What's On by going on to the website, and clicking on the Subscribe sign. A poster of the current features can also be downloaded to attract customers to the only family entertainment that is available six days a week, every week of the year. There are some great films on the horizon this summer, particularly ‘Clash of the Titans’ showing at the end of May, ‘Ironman 2’, ‘Shrek Forever After’ and ‘Sex and the City 2’. The Wee Pictures is described by Peter Irvine in ‘Scotland the Best’ as “Cinema Paradiso on the Kintyre peninsula, lovingly preserved Art Deco shrine to the movies … to see a film here and emerge onto the esplanade of Campbeltown Loch is to experience the lost magic of a night at the pictures”. The Directors of Campbeltown Community Business continue to be extremely grateful to the support The Picture House receives from the East Kintyre Windfarm Trust and are in the throes of replacing the aging lenses for the projector as a result of their latest grant. Jane Mayo, May 2010.

East Kintyre Community Council Wind-farm Trust
The Wind-Farm Trust met on Thursday, 6 May, 2010 to review grant applications in the Spring tranche. There were thirteen applications from which there was one rejected, three were granted less than the amount applied for and nine were granted the full amount of their application. The total distributed amounted to £ 10,900. The following is a list of the successful grants : Network Carradale Ltd Peninver Village Hall Carradale Cricket Club Carradale Primary School Peninver Players Special Education Needs Kintyre and Argyll Mull of Kintyre Carradale Playpark Carradale Village Hall Argyll and Bute Region EKCC Revenue Costs Insurance Costs Gangmower Laptops SCDA Finals Holiday UK Surf Tour Half Marathon Picnic Tables, Bark Revenue Costs Education Forum Path clearing/Notice Boards £ 850 £ 800 £ 600 £ 1,000 £ 400 £ 1,000 £ 1,500 £ 250 £ 500 £ 2,000 £ 1,000 £ 1,000