From our Files, August 7 2020

Seventy years ago: The 1970 Kintyre Show Supreme Dairy Champion, High Knockrioch Lucy, with Donald Armour.
Seventy years ago: The 1970 Kintyre Show Supreme Dairy Champion, High Knockrioch Lucy, with Donald Armour.

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Friday August 6, 2010

Colliery history film a big hit

Film-maker Jan Nimmo was overwhelmed by the response to her latest documentary about coal mining in Kintyre when it had its premier at Campbeltown Picture House on Friday night.

The queue stretched back to Main Street, a second showing had to be held and the 100 DVD copies of the film she took along all sold out with an order list for more.

More than 200 people saw the film.

‘Unbelievable!’ said Jan, whose father was a miner at Argyll Colliery.

‘I was overwhelmed and want to thank everyone.’

The film will be shown again in Machrihanish Village Hall.

Friday August 11, 1995

High pressure TV disruption reports

Good weather brought unexpected invaders to Kintyre last week – foreign television broadcasts.

Ghost images from foreign stations disrupted BBC 1 and BBC2 reception last Thursday and Friday.

Amongst the programmes almost obliterated were last Thursday afternoon’s editions of ‘Reporting Scotland’ and the ‘One O’Clock News’.

The disruption was caused by ‘co-channel interference’ which happens when high pressure weather systems allow signals to travel much further than usual.

For much of the time, the mystery images could be identified as the Phillips Electronic Test Card, similar to the pattern screened regularly by the BBC for many years.

A clock on the card revealed it was being broadcast from a country where the time was an hour ahead of British Summer Time.

Friday August 6, 1970

Carradale boat takes stricken coaster in tow

The 54ft Carradale herring boat, the Mairi Bhan, on Tuesday morning towed into Ayr harbour a crippled coaster, the Glen Shira.

Her engines disabled, the coaster was drifting north-west of Ayr. The Mairi Bhan, which was the only vessel in the vicinity, took the coaster in tow and got her safely into Ayr.

The Glen Shira, which has a crew of six, was bound for Tiree with a cargo of 200 tons of coal.

The Mairi Bhan had been fishing in the Kilbrannon Sound and was on her way to the market at Ayr with a catch of herring. Her skipper is Mr Donald McMillan.


Seventy years ago: The 1970 Kintyre Show Supreme Dairy Champion, High Knockrioch Lucy, with Donald Armour. NO_c32files01

Friday August 7, 1920

Sparks and flashes

Two veteran Clyde pleasure steamers, the Ivanhoe and the Isle of Cumbrae, are announced to be ‘on the market’ and are unlikely to ply again on the waters of the firth.

During the war they steadily did their bit, maintaining the firth traffic in place of their younger sisters, away on war service, but now these latter are back and reconditioned there is no place for the veterans.

In their day they were noteworthy boats, these two, and in the eighties, Ivanhoe and Jeanie Deans (for so the Isle of Cumbrae was then called) were names to conjure with. The Ivanhoe made her debut in 1880 as a teetotal boat, no liquor being sold on board.


The work of salving bullion from the steamer Laurentic, which was sunk off the north of Ireland, has been resumed. About 250 tons of metal hull or deck plates have fallen on the main objective of the divers – namely the strong-room. About 50 tons of obstruction have still to be dealt with before the gold can be reached.

Even then the difficulties will not be at an end, for so shapeless has the hull become now under the pressure of the water the divers can do little more than guess where stem and where the stern lie and where exactly the contents of the strong-room may be looked for. The strong room itself has collapsed. This is proved by the fact bars of gold have been found separately.

The Laurentic was on her way from Liverpool to Canada, with a secret cargo of £5 million in gold ingots, weighing about 43 tons, to pay for war munitions, £230+ million at today’s prices, when she was sunk by German mines on January 25 1917.

All but 20 bars of gold have been recovered if you fancy your chances but the salvage rights are still in private ownership and wreck is a war grave as 354 lives were lost. Many froze to death. She lies in the stretch of water between Malin Head, Islay and Fanad Head Lighthouse.