From Our Files, December 25 2020

In 2010: Counting votes after the Machrihanish airbase buyout ballot.
In 2010: Counting votes after the Machrihanish airbase buyout ballot.

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Friday December 24 2010

Oh so very close!

The community buyout of Machrihanish airbase is at the mercy of the Scottish Government after the ballot failed to reach the necessary 50 per cent mark.

Machrihanish Airbase Community Company hopes that the worst winter in two decades and the resulting postal backlog will mitigate in its favour.

The postal ballot was called after minor errors in the summer vote, which was overwhelmingly in favour. But on Friday night at the Burnet Building, under the watchful eyes of councillors Donald Kelly, Rory Colville and Alan Reid MP with honorary sheriff Irene O’Neill acting as returning officer, the vote failed.

Fifty per cent of the papers, 2,909, had to be returned but only 2,789 came back. The vote was 2,642 in favour, 144 against and three papers declared spoiled. The vote showed 94.3 per cent were in favour and only 5.17 against.

Ian Wardrop, MACC chairman, said: ‘This has got to go before the minister and Scottish Government – the weather has been exceptional; there are mitigating circumstances.’

On Monday 244 ballot papers arrived in the post. After watching the count, Alan Reid MP said: ‘In view of the huge majority in favour of the buyout, I hope the minister will use her discretion to approve the bid, even though the turnout was just under the 50 per cent required.’

Friday December 22 1995

Flu bug sweeps Argyll

Health chiefs say that the flu bug sweeping Argyll is not an epidemic.

GPs throughout Argyll are reporting a continual rise in flu-like illnesses. But a spokesman for Argyll and Bute NHS Trust said: ‘To date we have been fortunate that it would not appear to be an epidemic.’

Typical symptoms of influenza include fever, headaches, aches and pains, running nose, a sore throat and coughs. Sufferers can also feel very weak and sweat during exertion.

According to Argyll and Clyde Health Board’s consultant in public health medicine, Dr David Sloan, most people with the flu do not need to see the doctor.

He said: ‘For most people, a dose of the flu is best treated by retiring to bed, taking something for aches and pains and waiting until it passes in four to seven days, usually.’

But he added that people who are severely affected or who may get complications should see a doctor sooner rather than later.

Single life over in Kintyre

The last shop in Kintyre selling top 40 singles plans to pull them from its shelves shortly. Woolworths’ Campbeltown branch is to stop selling top 40 singles on CD and cassette.

A Woolworths spokesman said it had decided to withdraw singles as they were not making the Campbeltown store any money.

He explained it was a non-profitable line. Most branches of Woolworths sell singles, but the spokesman said the company would withdraw products which were not profitable in individual stores.

The spokesman stressed the Campbeltown store would still sell albums and videos. But singles’ fans may still get a reprieve. The spokesman said: ‘If we get responses from our customers against the decision, then we will re-consider.’

Friday December 24 1970

Lairds ban campers and caravanners

Campers and caravanners have been banned from three of the Hebridean islands – Gigha, owned by Lieutenant Colonel Sir James Horlicks, former chairman of the hot drink firm; Jura, whose landlord is Mr Frank Riley-Smith, a Yorkshire brewer; and Colonsay, which belongs to Lord Strathcona.

Each island has a small hotel with a maximum of 40 beds between them. Lord Strathcona has a notice posted on the McBrayne’s ferryboat stating that the island is out of bounds to campers and caravanners.

Mr L McKinnon, the tourist officer for Mid Argyll, Kintyre and Islay, has been asked by Lord Strathcona’s factor to make it clear in the association’s brochure that campers and caravanners are not wanted on Colonsay.

The tourist officer has also received a letter from Mr Riley-Smith asking him to delete from his brochure the statement that caravan holidays can be arranged through the Jura Hotel, which is owned by Mr Riley-Smith.

Mr McKinnon, when approached by the Courier, said that the type of people who frequent the Inner Hebrides were bird-watchers and nature-lovers who normally abide by the code of the countryside and it is quite wrong that the landlord should ban them; after all, in a few years’ time, these are the type of people who will return with their families to the islands if they are made welcome in their earlier visits.

Saturday December 25 1920


Men are required for the newly constituted regiment of Lovat Scouts.

The raining of the new regiment will be the same as that carried on the Observation Battalion in France during the last part of the war.

All ex-Lovat Scouts wishing to re-join should do so before the end of the year to count their former service towards obtaining their Territorial Efficiency Medal.