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TEN YEARS AGO
Friday March 25 2011
Airbase: it’s ours at last!
A new chapter in the history of Kintyre has begun with the confirmation that the community buy-out of the former Machrihanish Airbase has been successful.
For the independently-valued price of £1, Machrihanish Airbase Community Company (MACC) can now buy the base, which stretches to more than 1,000 acres and is home to Campbeltown Airport and the Skykon factory.
Ian Wardrop, chairman of MACC, said: ‘This is arguably the largest and most complex buy-out ever. The first time that a second ballot was required, all with an amazing 94 per cent support of the community members who voted and the many organisations and individuals who gave their time, effort and financial support to achieve this unprecedented result.’
TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO
Friday March 22 1996
Wee Toon workers’ nightmare
The Campbeltown area is one of the hardest places in Scotland to find a job.
Analysts at Durham University using government figures have calculated that there are 37.5 people chasing every job vacancy in the Campbeltown Travel to Work Area.
The figures for the three months up to January were 24.3 people chasing each vacancy.
The February figures put Campbeltown and surrounding area at the top of the league table in Scotland for numbers of unemployed per vacancy.
Islay and Mid Argyll were seventh in the table with 20.5 people chasing each job while Oban was 31st with 9.8.
Bottom of the table, the easiest place to find work, was the Aberdeen area.
Since Durham University prepared its figures, Campbeltown has suffered two major jobs losses.
Mull of Kintyre Seafood is expected to close next month with the loss of 50 jobs and last month Campbeltown Shipyard laid off 20 men, about one-third of its workforce.
FIFTY YEARS AGO
Thursday March 25 1971
Fishermen backed to the hilt
Campbeltown Town Council is to urge the government to take ‘every possible step’ to protect Scottish fishermen’s interests if Britain enters the Common Market.
A resolution submitted by Mr AIB Stewart, secretary of the Clyde Fishermen’s Association, was unanimously accepted at a meeting of the council and representatives from the fishing industry.
Fishermen stand to lose the protection of a 12-mile fishing limit if the country joins the Common Market.
Mr Stewart said, with a trace of witty sarcasm: ‘Of course, in return we could fish in the Mediterranean.’
He then referred to the large quantity of herring which was bought in Scotland by other countries, whose once huge fishings have finished.
‘They have over-fished their own grounds. Three-quarters of the herring landed in Britain are caught between the Clyde and the Minches,’ he revealed.
If the limit was abolished, Mr Stewart went on, foreigners would not send carrier boats, but ships to catch fish.
He concluded by wondering what would happen to communities like Campbeltown, Carradale and Tarbert and places all around.
Mr William McAffer, of Tarbert, said his main fear was unemployment.
‘If we lose the limit, we will lose our identity,’ he said.
And Councillor Henry Moffat warned: ‘We’re going to finish up with plenty of empty boats and more men on the dole. People’s livelihood is at stake now.’
ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO
Saturday March 26 1921
The Poor Roll
A considerable number of applications for poor relief were disposed of, and the roll of outdoor poor was revised, several alterations in the payments made to individuals being sanctioned.
Bailie Campbell, in connection with the usage where by children in receipt of Parish Council assistance are struck off the roll on attaining the age of 14 years, suggested that the rule should not be rigidly enforced, but that allowances should be continued as long as children remained in school.
Such a concession might be a help to bright pupils, and in the case of others it would keep them off the streets and out of harm till such time as they secured employment.
Mr M’Arthur thought it was a waste of time keeping children in school after 14.
Pupils of exceptional educational promise might be helped on the recommendations of responsible authorities, but as for the others the best service that could be done them would be to assist in securing employment for them, and particularly with regard to girls, getting them into domestic service.
Rev Mr MacLeod, as convenor of the Temperance Committee, submitted his annual report on temperance.
He said it had been hoped that the report this year would be of exceptional interest, but the No-Licence Poll taken last November showed that they had still a long way to go before they reached the goal of their desires.
There was little cause for elation in the present situation, but still there was no reason to be discouraged.
The failure of the efforts on behalf of No-Licence last November was due to the apathy of Christian men and women and to their indifference to the terrible effects of the drink traffic.
They congratulated their Arran brethren on the magnificent fight they had put up and the splendid result achieved.
Shiskine had been the prime factor in the struggle, and there great things had been done but in the north end good work had also been achieved, against odds.
Mr MacLeod emphasised the need for no slackening of effort in bringing home to the minds and consciences of the people their duty in relation to the drink traffic, and advised especially the education of the young with regard to this matter.
There was plenty of room for increased effort in these directions in all congregations of the Presbytery.
Mr MacLeod was thanked for his report.