From Our Files, November 6 2020

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TEN YEARS AGO
Friday November 5, 2010

School closure plans to be re-examined

The decision to consult on the possible closure of 26 rural schools was deferred for three weeks at a special meeting of Argyll and Bute Council.

Council officers have been ordered to reassess facts within school closure proposals in a bid to clarify any ‘fundamental flaws’.

Executive director for education Cleland Sneddon gave an absolute assurance to children that they would not be forced to travel for more than 45 minutes to their new school.

Any such school would immediately be excluded from threat of closure.

He also did not rule out other schools being crossed off the list of amalgamations, ‘if there were reasons to keep them open, drawn out from the consultation process’.

‘Flaws’ identified by councillors included travel times to school, safe routes to school, roll numbers and capacity.

Campbeltown’s Councillor Donald Kelly, of Argyll First, said: ‘These proposals are fundamentally flawed. How were they put forward as fact?’

Mr Sneddon answered: ‘The parents who have come to protest outside the council chambers have proved there are many more questions to be answered but the proposals are not fundamentally flawed.’

Islay-based Councillor Robin Currie demanded that any future consultation meetings should be held in schools closing rather than in the receiving schools as planned.

He said: ‘Glenbarr, Skipness and Rhunahaorine should have separate consultations in their individual schools rather than one consultation in the receiving school.’

Council leader Dick Walsh said the controlling group of the SNP and Alliance of Independent Councillors had decided to take an ‘agreed approach’ to moving forward with the document.

TWENTY FIVE YEARS AGO
Friday November 10, 1995

Phosphorus devices may be RAF firebombs, Portillo reveals

The Ministry of Defence believes it has identified the phosphorus devices which have been washing up on beaches in Argyll recently as RAF Second World War incendiary bombs.

More than 1,500 were washed up in Kintyre, Gigha, Islay and Jura last month. In total around 4,500 have been washed up in Argyll, north Ayrshire and Arran.

At first the MoD denied the devices were part of any weapon and claimed that no phosphorus weapons were ever dumped off the West of Scotland.

But last week Defence Minister Michael Portillo told MPs that experts now believe they were part of a type of 30lb incendiary bomb used by the RAF during the Second World War.

The Ministry of Defence is now trying to find out the source of the phosphorus devices.

Although the main underwater munitions dump was in Beaufort’s Dyke, between Larne and Stranraer, there was at least one other dump in the Firth of Clyde.

There have been suggestions that weapons, including poison gas, were dumped outside the recognised disposal areas.

The Scottish Office has promised a pollution survey of the Beaufort’s Dyke area this month to check for sea contamination by leaking munitions.

Argyll and Bute MP Mrs Ray Michie said she hoped to raise the whole issue of the firebombs next Wednesday in the House of Commons.

She said: ‘If one good thing has come out of this it is that it has focused the attention of Government departments on the danger of munitions dumping.’

FIFTY YEARS AGO
Thursday November 5, 1970

Sanda stamps should have a ‘curiosity value’

On Monday 3,000 sets of extraordinary stamps will be issued and distributed to stamp collectors in Britain and the USA.

The set of six seabirds, when in local shops, will surprise and delight many people. It will not be issued by a country but by little Sanda Island, or to be more exact, Campbeltown stamp dealer Mr Malcolm Kelly.

The issuing of sets of ‘British private locals’ as they are called began in the 1930s as a means of prepaying the cost of ferrying letters and parcels from remote islands not served by the regular mail-boat to the mainland.

Mr Kelly, 68, of Davaar Avenue, is a part-time lighthouse keeper on Sanda and he approached the owner of the island, Jack Bruce, and obtained his consent to produce the stamps.

The set will be printed in full colour. The birds featured on the stamps will be puffin, gannet, oystercatcher, black-backed gull, tern and cormorant, all of which are familiar sights around the island.

A sheet of mint stamps – that is, those which are unfranked – will cost 8s 6d; the used sheet will cost 6s 6d, and a set stuck on a special illustrated envelope will be sold at 10s 6d.

To date Mr Kelly has had ‘a few orders locally’. He expects to receive further local orders for the sets which he believes have a ‘curiosity value’.

ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO
Saturday, November 6, 1920

Whitehouse

The friends of Mr George Ross, formerly of Whitehouse School, will be pleased to know that the Selection Board of the British Geological Survey have recommended him to the Civil Service Commissioners for an important post on the survey to which he will be attached at an early date.

Mr Ross, who, at the beginning of the year graduated BSc at Glasgow University, was medallist in the Geological Class.

He had already, in last year’s Spitsbergen Expedition, of which he was a member, gained considerable knowledge in this field of research.

Gigha – Harvest home and dance

Through the generosity of Major and Miss Allen of Gigha and of Brackley, Northamptonshire, the annual harvest home and dance was held at Home Farm on Friday 22nd October.

It was unfortunate that owing to private arrangements Major and Miss Allen were unable to grace the proceedings with their presence as they had left for Brackley a few days previously.

Invitations being issued to all over school age, a large company assembled and dancing commenced at 8pm. Mr Neil Bannatyne acted as MC in his usual efficient manner.

The dance music was supplied by Mr Arch. Milloy, who assisted by several of the company, capably fulfilled his part.

Liberal refreshments were provided at intervals, much credit being due to Mrs M’Lachlan, Miss Tilling, Mr Hector Smith and their assistants.

Dancing carried on till 3am, and before parting, hearty votes of thanks, proposed by Mr Smith, farm manager, were accorded to Major and Miss Allen for their great kindness.

Similar compliments, proposed by Mr Duncan M’Kenzie, gardener, were given to Mrs M’Lachlan, Miss Tilling, Mr Smith and their assistants.