From Our Files, March 12 2021

In 2011: Commander Keri Harris of HMS Campbeltown, right, presents the original telescope given to the ship by the RNLI back to George Bradley, operations manager of Campbeltown Lifeboat.
In 2011: Commander Keri Harris of HMS Campbeltown, right, presents the original telescope given to the ship by the RNLI back to George Bradley, operations manager of Campbeltown Lifeboat.

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Friday March 11 2011

Town bids a fond farewell to HMS Campbeltown

Campbeltown is saying goodbye to its ship this week with a final visit from HMS Campbeltown.

After 22 years’ service around the globe, the Royal Navy frigate is to be decommissioned and she is visiting her affiliated town of Campbeltown from Wednesday March 9 and leaving on Monday March 14 for the final time.

She was escorted into port by a number of local boats and, as is tradition, the ship’s company conducted a parade through the town, with a huge crowd turning out to support them.

Today (Friday) a number of local schools go on board for a visit and tomorrow the ship will be open to the public from 10am to noon.

HMS Campbeltown will sail from Kintyre for the last time at 10am on Monday March 14.

A number of events are being held over the weekend including football matches and a church service.

Friday March 8 1966

Islay lifeboat hitch

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has ordered a redesign of its Severn class boats following the discovery of flaws in the first one built.

Islay is among the stations waiting on delivery of the new boat, which is now likely to be delayed for months.

The design problems showed up when the first Severn class boat ‘fell’ from the crest of a wave during trials with a crew from Stornoway and was badly damaged.

An investigation highlighted problems with the bulkhead, mast structure and side-keel.

The redesign and modifications are expected to add thousands of pounds to the cost of the £1.4 million boats.

An RNLI spokeswoman said it was not known yet how much it was going to cost to rectify the design flaws.

Divers rescued

A fishing boat came to the rescue of three divers after the engine on their dinghy failed off the island of Cara on Monday night.

A flare launched by the divers was seen by the fishing boat Green Isle which picked its way through the reefs to reach the dinghy. The dinghy was then taken to Tayinloan.

Fears that the flare signalled the divers were in serious trouble meant Islay lifeboat was launched and a rescue helicopter from Prestwick was scrambled.

Thursday March 11 1971

Marines scare: contact made with ‘missing’ commandos

Carradale was buzzing with excitement this week when it was discovered four Marine commandos had been missing for days in the hills of Kintyre.

The Marines, who were taking part in an exercise, were to have reported back to a vessel berthed at Carradale harbour, to be taken back to the barracks.

The original number of ‘missing’ men had been 12, but eight gradually found their way back to the boat, an Admiralty MFV.

Villagers were concerned about the safety of the Marines who were not accounted for.

A Marine spokesman told the Courier at Carradale on Tuesday evening that four men were still ‘missing’. Minutes later, the MFV steamed away from the village, minus the men.

A Land Rover had earlier searched a wide area in vain for them.

On Tuesday morning, three Marines called at the village bar and asked for sandwiches. An employee said they were obviously very tired and had just come from the hills.

Contact was established with the missing men in the early hours of yesterday. They had been in the hills and were discovered by a Land Rover which had been searching for them.

The men were yesterday trying to make their way back to the base at Plymouth. It is understood they have not been seen since the weekend.

The men had, in fact, being separated for a time but had managed to meet up with each other, too late to catch the boat at a pre-arranged rendezvous.

Council brevities

The cost of converting council-controlled coin-operated locks to take decimal currency was to be £500. Since the annual return from the locks amounted to only £39, the council has decided to dispense with them.


Fees on the burgh putting green and trampolines this summer will be 3p (adults) and 2p (juniors).


The council on Monday evening agreed to accept an amended plan of the swimming pool. The building will not now have a learners’ pool or wall of glass brick, but windows can still be fitted.


The quay and harbour committee is to meet Mr Peter Woodie, of Western Ferries, for discussion on the company’s expansion plans locally.

Saturday March 12 1920

Glasgow Stallion Show – Campbeltown Horse’s success

At the Glasgow Stallion Show last week, Mr Andrew Smith, Bleachfield, had a very creditable position in the prize-list with the Clydesdale horse Royal Masterpiece bred by himself.

In a field of 21, which paraded for the Glasgow premium, Royal Masterpiece was well placed in a class of eight. He was described by an expert as a very nice moving horse shown in his winter coat, thick and weighty.

There were two other horses whose record at the show is of considerable local interest. Among an entry of 39 in the class for stallions foaled from 1914 to 1917, Mr George A Ferguson was second with his six-year-old stallion Ardendale, which is the Kintyre premium horse this year. Ardendale was shown in splendid form and gave a good display, moving grandly both in front and in rear.

Mr Thomas Clark, Pitlandie, Stanley, Perth, had fifth with Royal Tide, bred by Mr Robert Barclay. He was Glasgow premium horse last year when he had an unprecedented season for Glasgow district. He was shown in great bloom and has been hired to Biggar and Peebles for the year and to Campbeltown District for 1922.

Carradale – a pretty wedding

A marriage in anticipation of which local interest has been largely centred for several weeks was solemnised at Carradale United Free Church on the 25th ult., the contracting parties being Mr Archibald MB Crichton, Willow Bank, Albert Road, Gourock, and Miss Catherine C Mitchell, Carradale.

The church was well filled by guests when the service commenced at the ‘solemn twilight hour’, and this scene was truly an impressive one when the principles arrived at the appointed time.

The officiating clergymen were the Reverend George S McLeod and the Reverend JAA Baker.

Mr Crichton was accompanied by Mr Alan Headridge as best man, while the role of bridesmaid was capably filled by Miss C Cook, who was attired in a charming creation of white crepe-de-chine.

The bride’s dress was of white georgette over charmeuse with an inset yoke of silver tissue, trimmed with seed pearls and relieved with orange blossoms at the waist.

After the church ceremony, the wedding guests, numbering over 50 couples, were sumptuously entertained in the adjacent spacious school room.