FROM OUR FILES, August 23 2019

Want to read more?

We value our content  and access to our full site is  only available on subscription. Your subscription entitles you to 7-day-a-week access to our website, plus a full digital copy of that week’s paper to read on your pc/mac or mobile device In addition your subscription includes access to digital archive copies from 2006 onwards

Already a subscriber?
Subscribe Now

TEN YEARS AGO
Friday August 21, 2009

Hat-trick of wins for Sweet Emily

Davie MacPhail of Albyn Avenue, Campbeltown, is celebrating a hat-trick of championships with his Clydesdale Gar-Cal-Fra, or Sweet Emily, to give her stable name.

The three-year-old yeld mare has won the champion rosette at Mid Argyll, Kintyre and Bute shows this year – a remarkable achievement; she was also well placed in classes nationally at the Royal Highland Show.

‘She’s a very showy mare,’ said Davie, ‘she likes being in the ring.’

Sweet Emily is now in foal to stallion Whinhill Rising Star, which was bred by Kintyre’s Malcolm McFadyen.

Davie MacPhail with his champion Clydesdale, Sweet Emily. NO_c34files01

TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO
Friday August 26, 1994

Tourist Office closure outrage

The West Highlands and Islands of Argyll Tourist Board could face near revolt among members in Kintyre after it took the ‘highly regrettable’ decision to close its Campbeltown area office in the winter months.

The decision means the two full-time staff will be made redundant when the office shuts at the end of October. It will reopen in spring 1995.

The closure plan was greeted with dismay in Campbeltown, with board members attacking the ‘scandalous’ plan – with a promise to fight the ‘tooth and nail’.

Chairman Allan McKie told The Courier this week that the move was finalised last Friday.

‘The decision was taken as the core function of the office is being moved to Oban,’ Mr McKie said.

‘Membership was being handled in Campbeltown for the whole board area, and there is far bigger back-up in Oban. It was not a financial decision – it was an administrative one.’

Pressed on whether he thought the closure would have an adverse effect on tourism, Mr McKie said: ‘I don’t think Campbeltown will suffer at all.’

He continued: ‘In winter months, it was totally unrealistic to stay open and serve tourists, for all that there are. It is unfortunate. We took a long time to come to this decision and it is highly regrettable.’

FIFTY YEARS AGO
Thursday August 21, 1969

Road bridge row comes to an end

The ‘dry bridge’ at Bridgend, Islay is to be raised to give clearance of 16ft 9ins.

This was announced at the meeting of the Islay District Council on Monday.

The total cost of the improvements will be borne by Western Ferries and several of the island’s distillery companies. Work is expected to start at the end of the month and should be completed by the send of September.

Councillor Frank T. Spears stated that the work would not involve any long-term closure of the main roadway.

The ‘dry bridge’, owned by Lord Margadale, has been the subject of much discussion and minor rows for the past several months. Since Western Ferries Ltd. began their sea service, heavy articulated lorries carrying malt and grain to the island’s distilleries have been unable to go under the bridge. Matters came to a head three months ago when Argyll County Council re-imposed a weight limit on the Glen road – the diversion used by the transporters to avoid the bridge.

The bridge owners came quickly to the rescue and allowed the heavy traffic to use their private road at Bridgend for a three-week period, but following local protests and legal consultations the transporters were again allowed to use the Glen road.

Lifeboat saves three on rocks

The crew of a lobster fishing boat were marooned on a partially-submerged rock for more than two hours when their vessel foundered off the north-east coast of Islay on Thursday morning.

The 48ft ‘May’, owned and skippered by 66-year-old Mr Lachlan Clark of Port Charlotte – the veteran of several sea-dramas – struck the rocks while they were lifting lobster creels.

The Islay lifeboat was called out to rescue the skipper and his crew – Alastair MacDonald, a 29-year-old fisherman, and Norman Gardiner, a 16-year-old Colonsay doctor’s son who was making his first trip and deputising for a sick crew member.

Following the rescue, the crew – who were unhurt – were landed at Port Askaig.

ONE-HUNDRED YEARS AGO
Saturday August 23, 1919

National Health Insurance Act

A number of contraventions of the National Health Insurance Act were the subject of prosecutions in Campbeltown Sheriff Court on Thursday – Sheriff MacMaster Campbell on the bench.

The first case was that of a Clachan merchant who was charged with neglecting to stamp the card of a female servant.

Mr M. Dick, solicitor, who appeared for accused, tendered a plea of guilty, and said the observations he was about to make would apply equally to all the cases subsequently to be heard. These were the first prosecutions of the kind in this court. The Act, as his Lordship knew, was a most voluminous and complicated measure.

The sheriff observed that some excellent and very lucid summaries had been circulated.

Mr Dick, proceeding, asked his Lordship to examine the contribution card. He would find that the part which was the very kernel of the offence was embodied in the middle of Art. 3 in very inconspicuous type. The employer was there required to stamp the card ‘not later than the time at which wages are paid’ but to read that one required to hold the card at about 90 degrees.

The sheriff asked if he was to understand that this was the first occasion on which a domestic servant had been employed by accused? If not, he must have been trained in the use of this wonderful document years ago.

Mr Dick said his Lordship must consider this, that in cases of this kind there were two standards of clearness. What was clear to the judicial mind might be very far from clear to the lay mind.

It was a matter of common knowledge that there was a very general belief in this part of the country that if insurance cards were stamped at the time they were run out the Act would be complied with.

The card, of course, bore that the stamps must be affixed ‘not later than the time wages are paid’. He asked his Lordship to consider the phraseology. These cards came into the hands of many rustic employers of labour. Why should it not be stated in bold characters on the card that the stamps must be affixed at the time wages are paid?

In the country wages were paid sometimes by the half-year, sometimes by the month, and sometimes at irregular periods suitable to the circumstances of the worker.

The cards represented not the half-year of the feeing terms, but the calendar half-year. All these circumstances contributed to the confusion of the lay mind, and encouraged the widespread impression that if the cards were stamped at the end of the period the duty of a citizen was thereby fulfilled.