From our Files, July 16 2021

In 2011: A wee gecko with a big name, T Rex, was the winner of the other pets section at the annual Campbeltown pet show.
In 2011: A wee gecko with a big name, T Rex, was the winner of the other pets section at the annual Campbeltown pet show.

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Friday July 15 2011

Chinook pilots cleared of blame for Mull of Kintyre crash

The two pilots of an RAF Chinook helicopter which crashed on the Mull of Kintyre have been cleared of blame.

The independent inquiry, chaired by retired judge Lord Philip, found they should not have been accused of gross negligence.

Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox told the House of Commons on Wednesday that the finding of gross negligence has now been set aside and an apology given to the families of Flight Lieutenant Jonathan Tapper and Flight Lieutenant Richard Cook, from Hampshire, who have fought so long to clear the men’s names.

Twenty-nine people died in the crash in thick fog in June 1994; the worst RAF peacetime crash, and apologies will be given to the families of everyone who died.

During the debate, MP for Argyll and Bute Alan Reid paid tribute to the work of the enquiry and to the families and campaigners who had fought so long to clear the pilots’ names and asked the defence secretary what procedures were in place to make sure if a verdict was ever again subject to such widespread challenge, including a fatal accident inquiry, it should be dealt with more rapidly.

Friday July 12 1996

Saudi sailors get a taste of the Wee Toon

Playing pool and football with youngsters has helped to fill the time for the Saudi sailors who have been spending a bit more time in Campbeltown than they bargained for.

HMS Shaqra has become a familiar sight tied up at the New Quay; her sea trial is delayed, while fine-tuning of some of her equipment is carried out.

For the crew staying in local hotels, the additional shore time has them the chance to get the feel of one part of Scotland.

Strictly Muslim, the men do not drink or smoke, but that has not stopped them enjoying themselves. Some have hired cars and taken trips around the peninsula and some have preferred horseback as a mode of transport going for hacks and beach rides at the riding school.

While some of the officers were accommodated in Balegreggan Country House, several of the crew stayed at the Royal Hotel where they have enjoyed kicking a football around with local lads and were keen to arrange a game against a local side.

But with HMS Shaqra having undergone daily sea trials, she departed on Monday July 8.

The international football match could still go ahead, however, as the Shaqra is due to return to Campbeltown early in August.

And for locals, who may have been curious about the melodic chanting coming from the harbour at regular intervals, it was the faithful turning towards Mecca for their daily prayers.

Thursday July 15 1971

Our ‘shanty town’

The Royal Burgh of Campbeltown had some flowery descriptions such as ‘frontier town’ and ‘shanty town’ attributed to it at the monthly meeting of the town council on Monday evening.

Councillors were taking part in a general debate on noise in Main Street late at night and the unwelcome presence of undesirables in the town’s main thoroughfares.

The lengthy and lively discussion was sparked off by Councillor Dan Black who asked if the council have any control over taxis which stand in Main Street.

He said squads of teenagers come up the street late at night and he has had to get out of bed many times to complain about the noise.

‘It’s high time the taxi byelaws were made,’ he added.

It was pointed out by the town clerk that the proposed taxi byelaws had been turned down because what was included in them was not within the powers of the Secretary of State.

Councillor Harry Moffat told the meeting he knew of a driver who was at the wheel of a cab only two days after passing his test.

Bailie George McMillan said the council had no powers to do anything but license the taxis. The debate then switched to the noise on Main Street.

Councillor Black said: ‘On Sunday night, a crowd of men went down Main Street arguing at the pitch of their voices and singing anti-Protestant songs. A pack of oafs. It’s ridiculous in this day and age.’

Councillor Dan McKinven went further: ‘You can’t walk down the Main Street at night without being subjected to insulting language from people hanging about in shop doors. This place would be a cowboy town if the houses were more shanty looking.’

Councillor William Crossan told the meeting he had seen and heard drunk men, ‘winos having their trip’, singing loudly early in the morning.

Councillor Archibald McCallum said he had seen men having a breakfast time drinking session in Main Street near the Town Hall.

Saturday July 16 1921

Putting pitch opened on Quarry Green – a successful start

The enterprise of Mr Hugh S Thomson, Drumlemble, in forming a putting green on Quarry Green, Kilkerran Road, permission to do so having been cordially given by the Town Council, has had a most successful and promising inauguration.

The formal opening took place on Friday evening last and since then local interest in the venture, combined with the ideal summer weather which had been experienced, has attracted large numbers to the spot and the success of the enterprise seems already assured.

The pitch was laid out to natural advantage on the natural green and fenced round, while a portable hut for the storage of ‘gowfers graith’ completed the equipment of quite an attractive nine-hole green.

At the opening ceremony, the Town Council was represented by Dean of Guild M’Arthur, Councillor John Smith and Councillor William Reid.

Boys’ camp at Baraskomill – a memorable holiday

The boys of the Welfare Club connected with Messers Scotts’ Shipbuilding and Engineering Company Limited, Greenock, pitched their holiday camp this year once again on the Baraskomill Shore, a short distance beyond Trench Point.

And favoured with weather which was practically an uninterrupted succession of days of radiant sunshine and balmy nights, the camp was unanimously voted the most successful of the series held by ‘Scotts’ Boys’.


In 2011: A wee gecko with a big name, T Rex, was the winner of the other pets section at the annual Campbeltown pet show. His owner Angel Louise entered him along with a python. All creatures great and small could be seen on the green on Saturday. NO_c29files01