From Our Files, May 7 2021

In 2011: Stephen senior, Greg, Robert, Stephen junior and Mark Scally at Campbeltown Lifeboat Station. 
In 2011: Stephen senior, Greg, Robert, Stephen junior and Mark Scally at Campbeltown Lifeboat Station. 

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Friday May 6 2011

It’s a family affair for lifeboat crew members

A Campbeltown family can celebrate the proud fact that four generations have served on the crew of the town’s RNLI lifeboats.

And two of them have both received the Royal National Lifeboat Institute’s bronze medal.

Mark Scally, now aged 17, has just joined the crew at the lifeboat station, and he joins brothers Greg, 19, and Stephen, 22. Their father Stephen, aged 42, is in his 16th year of service with the crew.

His father Robert is now aged 70 and, before retiring, he served 22 years and his father, the late Robert Scally senior, served for 20 years.

The sea is in the Scally family blood; Stephen senior, who is also the Campbeltown harbour master, was a fisherman, as was his father.

‘My grandfather was a fisherman and he met my grandmother at Mallaig, where she was one of the herring lasses who followed the fishing fleet as it followed the herring around the coast,’ said Stephen senior. ‘Her family came from Peterhead and all her brothers were fishermen.’

None of the latest generation of Scallys to serve is a fisherman.

Between them, the Scally family have served on Campbeltown lifeboats City of Glasgow, City of Glasgow II, Walter and Margaret Cooper and Ernest and Mary Shaw.

Stephen Scally senior and Robert Scally are both recipients of the institute’s bronze medal for bravery and both are qualified coxswains.

Friday May 3 1996

German giant to call in the Wee Toon

Germany’s flagship passenger cruise ship is to visit Campbeltown next summer with up to 700 passengers on board, it was revealed this week.

The Hamburg-based MS Europa will be docking in the town for six hours on Wednesday July 2 next year, during a voyage around the British Isles.

The cruiser, owned by German shipping firm Hapag-Lloyd, is 40 metres high and nearly 200 metres long.

It carries between 600 and 700 passengers.

It will dock in the loch around midday and leave for Oban at 6pm. Campbeltown Harbour Office said that the Europa was ‘arguably the biggest boat to come into Campbeltown for a long time’.

The chairperson of Campbeltown Community Council, Mrs Nancie Smith, hoped a special gala day could be organised to mark the ship’s visit.

She said: ‘This is an opportunity we should grasp with both hands. I anticipate there will be some form of civic entertainment laid on.’

Mrs Smith added that she hoped many shops in the centre of town would not close for the half day to make the visitors feel welcome.

She told the Courier: ‘It is important that the visitors see the town looking at its best and we hope this will be supported by all the businesses and shops which will stay open for business that day.’

The local director of Argyll, the Isles, Loch Lomond, Stirling and the Trossachs Tourist Board, Mr Bruce Urquhart, hailed the Europa’s planned visit as a great opportunity for Campbeltown.

Thursday May 6 1971

Farmer’s heroic effort to save barn

Fire dealt a cruel blow to a local farmer yesterday afternoon, for the second time in three years.

As fire fighting units raced from Campbeltown, a barn at Low Tirfergus Farm near Drumlemble was ablaze from end to end. Flames were fanned by a fresh easterly breeze.

And despite a heroic effort by the farmer, Mr Roderick Morrison, son-in-law of the farm’s owner Mr A Barker, the fire had a firm hold by the time the fire brigade arrived.

The alarm was raised by Mr Morrison’s wife who alerted him.

Armed with a pitchfork, Mr Morrison tried to separate the blazing straw, which was being used as feeding, from the rest of the barn’s contents, but it was in vain.

Firemen had to jump clear as the roof caved in with a tremendous crash.

The straw inside the barn was totally destroyed.

The £800 barn was erected three years ago after 50 tons of hay and 20 tons of straw were destroyed in a blaze at the same farm.

It stood on its own, some distance from the other farm buildings.

Labour back in control – by one seat

Labour retained control of Campbeltown Town Council at Tuesday’s municipal elections, though they lost one seat to the Progressives.

The composition of the council now reads: Labour nine seats, Progressive eight seats.

Provost Daniel McKinven and Councillor Edward Scragg, who formerly sat under the Independent Socialist and SBP banners respectively, fought the contest as Progressives. Both were re-elected.

And 21-year old William Crossan, of Kinloch Road, Campbeltown, became the youngest member ever to sit in the council chambers.

Saturday May 7 1921

Coal strike

Attention should be paid to the announcement in our advt. columns regarding the pressure of gas from the local works, special arrangements commencing on Saturday night with the object of conserving the stock of coal.


A coal laden schooner, carrying about 100 tons of household coal, which arrived here just at the beginning of the coal strike and was prohibited from discharging by the customs authorities, had the embargo removed this week, the cargo being transferred to one of the local coal merchants.

One hundred tons dished out in half-cwt lots, which is the household allowance for a week, will help a bit to keep the home fires burning.


The coal fight drags on without the smallest sign of either side giving way. Apparently the nation will have to suffer much more before a settlement is reached, and unfortunately there is no very clear guarantee that even a settlement of the coal dispute would restore us to anything like prosperity.

Every minute of the clock-round stocks are being reduced, and if the dispute lasts much longer, the miners will produce a general lock-out of their fellow-workers, which will have all the dire effects of a general strike without any of its heroics. It is a deplorable situation.