From Our Files, October 8 2021

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TEN YEARS AGO
Friday October 7, 2011

Airbase buyout

Machrihanish Airbase Community Company (MACC) is now a registered charity.

The group has secured funds from the Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and LEADER to appoint TC Young and McDowell Consulting to assist them.

The consultants have been advising during negotiations regarding a number of issues about the infrastructure at the base, which must be resolved before a buyout can go ahead; these include water and sewerage.

MACC members have met Ministry of Defence, Scottish Government and Highlands and Islands officials.

‘We are hopeful that some kind of solution will come out of the meeting. Our solicitors and the MoD’s solicitors are in discussions over issues such as ongoing maintenance and conveyancing,’ Mr Ian Wardrop said.

There has been a review of planning issues with the help of Argyll and Bute Council officials.

He also confirmed that the MACC business plan was being updated as the many complex issues were resolved.

‘The community will be updated as soon as MACC is in a position with regard to affordability is known,’ Mr Wardrop added.

And MACC is also looking for a new director to be appointed from the community to help the board; people who are on the voters’ roll within the PA28 6 area are invited to apply to become a voluntary co-opted director of the board.

TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO
Friday October 4, 1996

New yard jobs on the cards

Campbeltown’s Lithgow’s shipyard has been chosen to build the first of possibly several new well-boats in a £2 million investment for the Scottish fish farm industry.

The first order, which was announced this week, is the result of the formation of a new joint venture company between Lithgow’s Ltd and J and A Gardner and Co Ltd.

Known as Knapdale Shipping (Campbeltown) Ltd, the new company is expected to create at least a dozen new jobs in the Kintyre area.

Additionally, as the first Scottish-based firm to provide well-boat charter services all year round, the project is expected to have repercussions throughout the Scottish fish farming industry.

‘We see the establishment of a Scottish well-boat charter company as essential to the Scottish salmon farming industry in its continuing drive for growth and improved efficiency,’ said Hugh Currie, managing director of Lithgow’s Ltd.

‘We aim to provide a first class service to a vibrant young industry which is already a very major contributor to the economy of rural Scotland.’

The first vessel is due to be in service by early next August and Knapdale Shipping has said that further orders are expected to be announced shortly.

Well-boats are in extensive use throughout Scotland, but apart from one vessel, are all chartered from Norway and over the past three years, the availability of the Norwegian boats has declined.

Knapdale Shipping’s charter service will take advantage of a new design developed at the Campbeltown Shipyard; it allows better manoeuvrability when close to the cages, easier loading by helicopter and greater carrying capacity.

FIFTY YEARS AGO
Thursday October 7, 1971

No number 13

Work on the new housing scheme at Castleacres, Campbeltown, is reported to be well ahead of schedule.

This is thought to be due mainly to the good weather which has been prevalent recently.

Work on the first 10 three-apartment houses is almost complete, and they are expected to be ready for occupancy in a few weeks.

At the moment 50 men are employed on this site; this figure includes painters and joiners.

Number note: the contractors have refrained from using the number 13 on any of the houses on the estate. Instead, the house numbers run from 12 to 14.

Quick tour of West Coast

Taking advantage of a short stay in port at Campbeltown, where their ship, a large United States tanker, lay berthed, a 30-strong party of sailors chartered a special coach from West Coast Motors and set off to explore the beauty spots of West Scotland.

The party travelled to Oban, via the Pass of Brander and Loch Awe.

Places visited in Oban included the tweed mills and the glass factory, where purchases were made for back home.

The highlight of the conducted tour was a visit to the ancestral home of the Duke of Argyll at Inveraray Castle.

A delighted party returned in time to rejoin their ship outward bound from Campbeltown a few hours later.

The coach driver spoke of the Americans’ delight at seeing so much of Scotland in such a short time, which was used to the very best advantage, and many miles covered.

Explosives return

The Clyde puffer Spartan which left on Wednesday with a cargo of high explosives returned on Friday.

The puffer was laden once again with explosives, which were unloaded onto lorries from the US Navy for the return journey to RAF Machrihanish; police escorted the convoy.

ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO
Saturday 8 October, 1921

Longrow United Free Church – unveiling of war memorial

The memorial to the men of Longrow United Free Church who fell in the Great War was unveiled and dedicated in the church on Sunday forenoon.

The special services which marked the occasion were shared by the minister, Rev DS Brown, and the Rev Alex Wylie Blue of Belfast, a distinguished son of Campbeltown and of the Longrow congregation.

There were very large congregations at all three services held during the day, while the attendance in the evening practically packed the church before the bell began to ring.

Rev Mr Blue preached with great power and dramatic force on the two occasions on which he occupied the pulpit.

The memorial service in the forenoon was of a strikingly simple and solemn character and was deeply impressive throughout.

St Kieran’s RC Church – war memorial unveiled

At St Kieran’s RC Church on Sunday afternoon a memorial to the men of the congregation who fell in the Great War was formally unveiled by Bishop Martin of Argyll and the Isles.

There was a large congregation. The ceremony was conducted in conjunction with a confirmation service held by the bishop, and the solemn and impressive ritual of confirmation added to the memorable occasion.

The memorial is a particularly striking and imposing one. It has been erected at the left-hand corner of the entrance to the church, and is in the form of a grotto after the pattern of the shrine at Lourdes.

The congregation have, in this memorial, honoured their gallant dead in a way that is singularly impressive and praiseworthy, and the design and workmanship of the grotto, carried out with consummate skill by Italian craftsmen, makes it a notable contribution to the memorials of the district which has made such a deep impression on the hearts and minds of this generation.