From Our Files, July 24 2020

Ten years ago: Elliott Fisher, picked to play the part of a child prisoner at Inveraray Jail.
Ten years ago: Elliott Fisher, picked to play the part of a child prisoner at Inveraray Jail.

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Friday July 23, 2010

Off to jail with him!

Elliott Fisher, aged 10, of Campbeltown, has been jailed.

But he will be starring as, not serving as, a prisoner.

Elliott is one of the youngsters selected to play child prisoners this summer at Inveraray Jail, the award-winning, living history tourist attraction in the town.

Elliott will be in costume and have a story to tell about his background and what crime he had committed to earn his ‘time’ behind bars.

Friday July 28, 1995

Prince clips wings

The Prince of Wales has grounded himself permanently as a result of his crash landing on Islay last year.

On the same day the RAF Board of Inquiry issued its findings, which blamed the RAF pilot of the plane, Prince Charles announced he would never take the controls of an aircraft again.

The Prince was at the controls of the BAE146 of the Queen’s Flight as it came in to land at Glenegedale in June 1994.

The plane came in too fast and touched down almost half-way along the runway. The brakes were applied before the anti-skid protection system was activated and two of the undercarriage tyres either burst or deflated.

The pilot, Squadron Leader Graham Laurie, then took control back and tried to turn the plane onto a taxi-way. But the nosewheel undercarriage went off the paved surface of the runway and sank into soft ground. This caused the plane to swing round and the nosewheel undercarriage broke.

The report put the blame on Squadorn Leader Laurie for failing to intervene early enough when it became apparent the Prince was in difficulties. Squadron Leader Laurie has lost his status as an instructing pilot which means he can no longer hand over the controls of a plane to a guest pilot.

The plane’s navigator was also criticised for failing to pass on reports of high tailwinds at the time.

It cost more than £1 million to repair the plane and remove it from Islay.

Thursday July 23, 1970

New Gigha ferryboat launched at Crinan

A new ferry for the Tayinloan-Gigha service was launched at Crinan Boatyard last week by the wife of the boat’s owner, Mrs Flora MacKechnie. The vessel was named ‘Canna Lass’.

After the launch, 14-year-old Miss Nancy Simpson, the yard’s youngest employee, presented Mrs MacKechnie with flowers.

An increase in traffic on the route means the Canna Lass will operate in addition to the present boat Shuna.

The vessel, the eighth of its type to be built at the Crinan yard, was designed by yard foreman Neil Cameron, who has been building boats for 40 years.

Waiting to escort the Canna Lass round to the Crinan Canal basin was the former Lady Ailsa, which was skippered for 10 years by Mr Ian MacKechnie of Crinan Boats when she was a ferry boat at Craighouse, Jura. The Lady Ailsa is now employed in the yard.

Saturday July 24, 1920

An Arran volcano – a relic of denudation

Arran has been classic ground for the geologist since the days of Hutton, the great founder of physical geology.

With its narrow compass, it presents such a wide variety of phenomena that it has been described in a geological sense as an epitome of the British Isles.

In recent years it has been even more carefully examined and though the claim of its more ardent admirers might be disputed, one cannot hesitate to affirm that it contains a fuller record of certain great Scottish formations than any other district of equal extent.

Though it is now over a century ago since geologists first began the investigation of the Arran rocks, so complex is the structure of the island it was only in 1901 that Messrs Peach and Gunn, of the Geological Survey, made the remarkable discovery of the existence of a volcanic vent of Tertiary age which up till that time had escaped the notice of previous investigators.

This volcanic vent is much more recent in time than those associated with the carboniferous rocks of the Glasgow district. In fact, it belongs to that great period of volcanic activity represented by the lavas of the Giant’s Causeway and Staffa.

One of the most interesting features of this ancient volcanic neck is the presence in it of blocks of strata similar in age and character to that seen on the Irish coast in the neighbourhood of Portrush and the Giant’s Causeway.

But for the presence of these remnants in this volcanic neck, we would have known nothing of the former existence of these Irish rocks in the Firth of Clyde.

The fragmental rocks of this ancient volcanic neck appear to be part of the strata which covered this spot before the volcanic eruption had blown the hole away and these rocks would appear to have fallen or slid back into the old crater.