Campbeltown Courier letters to the editor – week 42

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Seek out White Nights

I read with interest your story of the White Nights movie starring Helen Mirren among others and the crashing of the jet airliner at Machrihanish airport (The Courier October 4).

I remember when the producers and crew were going to film at RAF Machrihanish they advertised for locals to take part as extras, some as injured passengers and some as Russian soldiers. I think the going rate was £50 per day, quite a sum in 1985, and I believe there was quite a queue, unfortunately I couldn’t sign up as I was working at Jaeger.

It was quite an event and some friends who were taking part told me later about their experiences with fake blood and bandages etc and others getting kitted out with Russian army uniforms and weapons. Several of the buildings around the airfield were flying the Hammer and Sickle and painted up with Russian signage etc to suit the situation.

If I remember correctly the premiere of the finished film was shown in Campbeltown and those watching who had ever flown into the town on normal domestic flights could easily recognise the approach to the airport and runway with the loch beyond. With a few patches of artificial snow here and there it could well have been in Siberia. There were great hoots and laughter at the showing whenever those in the audience recognised their pals in uniform with rifles at the ready or being carried in on stretchers. Great memories.

I also remember the scrapped jet engines from the wrecked airliner lying in McFadyen’s yard in Glebe street for a long time. It was a great movie anyway and anyone who hadn’t heard about it should seek it out to watch.

Ron Gay,

Dunoon.

Broken promise

Sir,

The Scottish Accident and Emergency (A&E) waiting time target has been missed by a long way for yet another month, with only 85.7 per cent of patients treated within 4 hours in September compared to the 95 per cent target.

Doctors and nurses work incredibly hard, but they’re hindered by the SNP government’s poor workforce planning. Social care, mental health and primary care services are all crying out for more support, and better resourcing them would take the pressure off the accident and emergency service.

The SNP government have failed to meet the A&E target time every month for over two years. They need to take swift action to properly prepare A&E departments before winter sets in. A good place to start would be publishing the integrated workforce plan that staff were told would be out last year. Another broken SNP promise.

Yours,

Alan Reid,

Liberal Democrat candidate for Argyll & Bute.

Connected nation

Sir,

Before I address Alan Reid’s comments on superfast broadband (The  Courier October), it ought to be remembered that this is the same ex Liberal Democrat MP who propped up the Tories and imposed years of toxic austerity measures on Scotland, shrinking the UK economy by £100 billion, imposing Dickensian social policies – like the Bedroom Tax – on the poorest in society, and voluntarily choosing to make Tory cuts possible.

The Liberal Democrats are deeply stained by austerity and they will remain, rightly, untrusted as the Tories little helpers.

Mr Reid berates the SNP government for alleged failure to deliver superfast broadband. Yet, inspite of the unique difficulties in delivering superfast broadband in rural Scotland, which BT described as the ‘most significant geographic challenge in the UK, and arguably Europe’, the latest Ofcom ‘Connected Nations’  report shows that Scotland outperforms the UK as a whole when it comes to new broadband deployment.

There remains work to be done and the Scottish government is committed to delivering the best possible value and completing the roll out by 2020/21.

Mr Reid is right to say that contracts have not been finalised yet, but with telecommunications and broadband reserved to Westminster, the changes in contracts imposed by UK ministers mean that bidders require additional time to recalibrate their bids.

It is up to Mr Reid to carp from the sidelines, but readers can be confident that this SNP Scottish government will deliver a future proof network that will make Scotland one of the best connected places in Europe.

Yours,

Ron Wilson,

Secretary Kintyre SNP.

Coffee thanks

Sir,

This year our World’s Biggest Coffee Morning fundraiser entered its 29th year.

In community centres, schools and workplaces, thousands of coffee mornings were held across Scotland to raise money and help us support people affected by cancer.

I would like to offer a huge and heartfelt thanks to every single one of your readers who held or attended a coffee morning – your energy and generosity never ceases to amaze us.

Whether it’s specialist cancer nurses, support workers or benefit advisors, we can only offer the support that people with cancer need thanks to the tireless fundraising efforts of our supporters.

The number of people who need our help is growing, and we want to offer support to everyone who needs it. We are almost entirely funded by the public, so every coffee morning held – every cup of coffee bought – makes a difference.

And please remember, if you need information, support or a chat with Macmillan you can call us free on 0808 808 0000.

If you’d like to support Macmillan and do something amazing today, you can also visit macmillan.org.uk/getinvolved.

Thank you all so very much.

Yours,

Janice Preston,

Head of services for Macmillan Cancer Support in Scotland.