Letter: Dalintober beach memories

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Sir,

I read with some nostalgia your story on the Dalintober Beach Regatta.

Before leaving the town, some 17 years ago, I lived on High Askomil for 25 years and before that about eight years on Low Askomil, both overlooking the beach.

Long before when I was a teenager I lived in one of the prefabs on Hillside Road.

My friends and I would often head for Dalintober beach, commonly known as Banana Beach, where we would spend some pocket money on Jock Shields’ kayaks.

There were about six or seven kayaks to hire for a shilling or two and go just about anywhere, in all weathers, for an hour, not a life jacket to be seen.

Jock or John Shields ran a bicycle shop on Longrow but was into many things and also had a ship carousel at Banana Beach.

The carousel wasn’t unlike one at the fair but consisted of seven or eight little cargo ships and cruise boats, all home made I think, for one child in each boat.

They were attached to a centre spindle with one ship only having an outboard motor making the whole assembly rotate.

I’m not sure if it was Jock or someone else who hired out rowing boats from the slipway in the harbour.

We would hire two seater or four seater boats, the former being cheaper and we could always pick up another crew member when out of sight of the hirer.

Rowing  to the large mooring buoy in the middle of the loch was no big deal, neither was accepting a dare to ride out the wake from the Duchess of Hamilton or Montrose sideways on.

I’m sweating thinking about it as there were no lifejackets, we must have been crazy.

Other memories of Banana Beach were the toilets and shelter at the top of the pier now long gone, and the push button drinking fountain at the wall near the beach slipway.

Happy days indeed.  Good luck to those trying to restore it for today’s generation where I’m certain lifejackets will be in abundance for boating adventures.

Ronnie Gay,

Hunters Quay.

The queue to have a go at Dalintober Beach Group’s assault course at the inaugural Campbeltown Community Regatta. 25_c33beach01_assault_course_queue