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TEN YEARS AGO
Friday January 21 2011
Farewell to HMS Campbeltown
HMS Campbeltown will sail out of Campbelltown Loch on March 14 this year for the last time.
Commissioned in 1989, she has paid many visits to her named town, cementing the links that have united the ship and the community ever since.
Another community, across the Atlantic, has strong links with the ship and when Campbelltown, Pennsylvania, celebrated the 250th anniversary of its founding in 2009, the bell from HMS Campbeltown was taken back to Campbelltown for the ceremony by two of the ship’s crew, Lieutenant Commander Rob Welford and Chief Petty Officer Tommy Cooper.
The bell, which had come from the original HMS Campbeltown, had been handed back to Campbelltown after the ship had played an illustrious role in the Second World War by being used to blow up the dock gates at St Nazaire on the west coast of France.
HMS Campbeltown was originally an American ship, the USS Buchanan, and when the new HMS Campbeltown was commissioned in 1989, the people of Campbelltown held a vote to decide whether or not the bell should go back to the Royal Navy’s new frigate.
They agreed by a majority of five votes and the bell had pride of place on HMS Campbeltown for 30 years.
Unfortunately HMS Campbeltown has fallen victim to the government’s cuts and will be scrapped this year.
TWENTY FIVE YEARS AGO
Friday January 19 1996
A compromise was reached at Campbeltown Community Council when a move to ban smoking in the council chamber was discussed.
Previously, smoking was allowed after 8pm but after complaints from non-smokers the matter was raised again.
After some fuming and a few smouldering glances, the council agreed to have a five-minute recess during the meeting to allow smokers to withdraw.
Smithy the musical
Pupils at Campbeltown Grammar School are preparing for this year’s drama production – a musical about a school drama production.
Smithy – the musical, is set in a fictional Scottish school where preparations are being made for a school play.
Smithy, driven by the fact that the girl of his dreams, Belinda, is taking part, joined the cast. The problem is, Smithy, a teacher’s nightmare, causes so much chaos that the head teacher ends up on a life support machine.
Enter Dr Hannibal Lecture, the replacement head, and the stage is set for a war of nerves. The musical is on next Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with the curtain going up at 7.30pm.
West Coast Motors will be extending its local town service to include the school on the three nights of the production.
FIFTY YEARS AGO
Friday January 21 1971
While the financial problems of the Beatles are being investigated in London, Paul McCartney is believed to be in America. He left his farm, High Park, on January 2, after celebrating the New Year there with his wife and children.
Visit on – but support is needed
Confirmation has been received from the mayor of the French village of Montbeliard that a party of Campbeltonians will be welcome at the village’s music festival on July 3-4 this year.
Provost Dan McKinven told the Courier: ‘I now propose to call a meeting within the Town Council Chambers of all interested in taking part. I would expect representation from pipers, Highland and Scottish country dancers, choirs and pop groups. Any individual performer would also be welcome as a cross-section of our community and its talent is essential.’
The present plan is to travel directly from Campbeltown to Montbeliard by luxury coach. The village is about 70km from the Swiss border and the city of Basel.
Provost McKinven added: ‘We would expect to form a committee which would be responsible for organising the finance and travel arrangements for about 30 people inclusive of press, photographer and artists.’
ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO
Saturday January 22 1921
Two boys birched
At a children’s court last Friday – Sheriff McMaster Campbell on the bench – two boys were charged with the theft of purses containing money from a house in Burn Road. The crime was admitted.
The boys, it appeared, were messengers, and the younger one was in the habit of calling at the house in this capacity daily. The purses were taken on separate days. On the first occasion a purse containing £1 16s 6d had been left lying on a small table near the window of one of the rooms. The window was probably partially open. After the younger boy’s visit in the afternoon it was missed.
Next day a purse containing 4s 6d was left in the same position, and on the boy calling at the house, the occupier challenged him with the theft. He admitted taking the purse and handed it over to the owner. Only 18 shillings of the 36 shillings and sixpence remained in the purse.
While this interview was going on at the back door of the residence, the older boy, who accompanied the other on the second occasion, appeared to have devoted his attention to the room where the first purse was got, and he possessed himself of the second purse and its contents. His lordship sentenced each of the culprits to receive seven strokes with the birch rod.