From Our Files, November 19 2021

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TEN YEARS AGO
Friday November 18, 2011

MP calls for fuel duty to be scrapped

Alan Read MP for Argyll and Bute spoke against the government on Tuesday when
he joined other rebel MPs calling for January’s 3p per litre of fuel duty increase to be
scrapped.

And he called for Kintyre to be included in the fuel discount scheme planned for the islands.

Mr Reid was speaking in a House of Commons debate on fuel prices on Tuesday,
held after Robert Halfon MP for Harlow tabled a Commons motion in response to an
e-petition signed by 110,000 people.

‘The price of fuel adds to the price of everything in a rural area. The high cost is
holding back economic recovery,’ Mr Reid told the house.

He also welcomed government plans for a 5p per litre fuel duty discount on all the
islands in his constituency but said it didn’t go far enough.

That reduction will go part of the way towards removing the price differential between fuel on the islands and fuel on the mainland.

‘I am sure that the pilot scheme for the islands will be successful; if it is, I would like
it to be extended to remote parts of the mainland.

‘I represent a sparsely populated constituency so I am well aware of the impact of
high fuel prices on individuals and businesses.

‘For example, the price of fuel on some of the larger islands in my constituency, such
as Islay, is typically about 15p to 20p a litre higher than in a city centre supermarket, and on the smaller islands, such as Coll and Colonsay, the price is usually about 30p a
litre higher.

‘This is not because of profiteering. The reasons for the higher prices are low turnover, compared to all the fixed costs that a rural filling station has to pay, and the costs of the distribution network.’

TWENTY FIVE YEARS AGO
Friday November 15 1996

Marathon men

South Kintyre cousins, Hendrie Barbour and John Galbraith returned home this week
from the New York City Marathon.

Hendrie and John were just two of 30,000 runners who took part in last weekend’s race, managing to clock up times of three hours 18 minutes 4 seconds and three hours
59 minutes 57 seconds respectively.

The cousins, who decided to compete around last Christmas, had to have their entry
forms in by February due to the huge demand for places.

As non-Americans they also had to go through one of several special tour companies in order to obtain their places.

For the sum of £380 they got return flights, entry to the race, and a huge pasta dinner
and party the evening before the race. But the best part of the whole thing was the people lining the streets.

‘There were two million Americans out lining the route on Sunday and all of them
were cheering. It was excellent,’ said John.

The race was John’s first marathon and Hendrie’s second, but both of them now
plan to go on and run at least one more.

FIFTY YEARS AGO
Thursday November 18 1971

1971: A Royal Navy lorry loaded with six tons of explosives left the road and nearly
overturned south of Tayinloan.

Seven people plucked to safety

Seven people, including a nine-month-old baby, were adrift for nearly an hour in stormy seas off Islay at the weekend after a Dutch coaster developed a bad list.

The vessel, Regina, was on route from Port Rush to Benbecula with a cargo of
bricks when she began listing badly in a Force Nine gale.

Captain John Machers gave the order to abandon ship and sent out a Mayday call which sent out the Islay lifeboat.

The survivors were thrown a rubber raft from the 80,000-ton freighter CP Ambassador
which had sped to the scene.

As the raft was being hauled through the heavy seas, however, the line snapped and seven people were cast adrift.

The Islay lifeboat, commanded by Coxswain Donald McPhee, reached the raft in just under an hour later after a 35-mile steam from Port Askaig to the scene.

They were landed at Port Askaig and given warm food and clothing before being flown to Glasgow for the first part of their journey home.

The baby, tiny Vanessa Machers, the captain’s daughter, was none the worse for her
ordeal; in fact she slept through it all.

The original Mayday message was intercepted by the watchman at Southend Coastguard Station and Islay lifeboat was advised to standby before the official
message came through.

The rescue operation itself was controlled by Southend Coastguards. Coastguards
from the station also picked up the life raft, which was washed ashore at Westport on
Monday. The Regina is presumed to have sunk.

Explosives lorry lands in field

A Royal Navy lorry loaded with six tons of explosives left the road and nearly
overturned south of Tayinloan on Wednesday evening.

The lorry, which was on its way from RAF Machrihanish to Glen Douglas, caught the
grass verge and ploughed through a fence ending up in a field. It is understood that the articulated vehicle was carrying mines.

US Navy officials rushed to the scene and Campbeltown police were kept busy
directing a steady flow of traffic past the crashed lorry.

A no smoking ban was imposed until the lorry was pulled back onto the road by a mobile crane.

ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO
Saturday November 19 1921

An Communn Gaidhealach Ceannloch successful ceilidh

The recently formed branch of An Comunn Gaidhealach Ceannloch in Campbeltown
inaugurated its first winter’s ceilidh in the Town Hall last Thursday night.

There was a remarkably large attendance, the hall being filled by an audience that
enjoyed the evening’s programme to the full, and marked the occasion with an
enthusiasm that augurs well for the success of the Ceannloch branch.

A Highland gathering has an atmosphere all of its own and this meeting lacked
nothing in cordiality and warmth and good-will to give it the true stamp.

Sheriff Macmaster Campbell, the hon President, was in the chair. He explained that
he had been asked to preside owing to the absence through indisposition of the
president Mr L M‘Innes.

The address of the evening was delivered by the Rev Donald Macfarlane, Gigha, who
braved a very stormy crossing from his island home to fulfil his engagement to be
present.

Machrihanish telephone call office

A new call office has been opened at Machrihanish Sub-Post Office (Campbeltown).

The fee for the use of the call office will be 3d, and it will be connected with any
exchange or call office in the United Kingdom where full trunk facilities are available. The total fee for a three minutes conversation with a subscriber at Campbeltown will be 41/2d, Glasgow 2s 3d and Edinburgh 3s 3d.