From Our Files, December 17 2021

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TEN YEARS AGO
Friday December 16, 2011

Teachers to go as CGS pupil roll falls

A significant drop will be seen in the pupil roll at Campbeltown Grammar School over the coming years.

Acting head teacher Michael Casey was questioned about present staffing at the school by Councillor Donald Kelly at the Mid Argyll, Kintyre and Islay Area Committee and said presently the school was fully staffed.

‘However, this situation will change in the next six to eight years; there is a significant drop in the school roll,’ he said.

‘We have a pupil roll of about 520 students.

‘Looking at the census carried out this year, in about eight years’ time, the roll of the school is projected to be below 350.’

This would mean the school would need to lose on average 1.5 to two staff members per year; it is currently at 39.4 and will be around 29.4.

He said this would be made possible through a natural loss of people retiring, but a balance of the subjects taught would need to be kept.

‘For example,’ he said, ‘history teachers at the school will be retiring in the next few years. The school would need to bring in more staff to cover the loss, which may mean another subject would need to go.’

‘Argyll College will become even more significant in the future,’ said Mr Casey, who took up the post as acting head teacher in August after rector William Crossan retired.

TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO
Friday December 13, 1996

No one wants RAF houses!

The Royal Air Force housing at Machrihanish is up for grabs but nobody wants to live there, according to a survey carried out for Argyll and Bute Council.

Out of 338 households questioned in the Campbeltown area, only 11 respondents indicated that they would be prepared to consider living at RAF Machrihanish.

The survey was undertaken by Housing Plus as a result of the MOD declaring the 127 houses and surrounding land outside of the perimeter fence of the base, surplus to requirement.

‘The former district council started negotiations with the MOD two years ago regarding the future use of the Machrihanish housing,’ said Malcolm MacFadyen the council’s head of development and client services in the Department of Housing Services.

‘They have now made it clear to us that even in the event of a re-activation of the base, there are no active plans for those houses and they are anxious to secure an alternative use for them.’

Nancy Smith, vice-chairperson of Dalintober and Millknowe Tenants and Residents Association, said that the association had assisted with the distribution and collection of the survey carried out by Housing Plus.

‘The council is basing its policy on the RAF Machrihanish houses on a very small sample,’ she said. ‘Only 338 households returned the questionnaire and there are 500 households in the Dalintober and Millknowe area alone.’

Mrs Smith also said that she knew of several families who had indicated a wish to move to RAF Machrihanish.

Malcolm MacFadyen, however, said that although the actual number of responses was small, statistically speaking it was significant.

Based on the results of the survey and the potential difficulties involved in either leasing or purchasing the RAF property, the Housing Services Department produced a report for approval at the Mid Argyll, Kintyre and Islay Area Committee meeting last week.

It concluded: ‘The availability of the 127 houses and the surrounding land at RAF Machrihanish has come at a time when there is evidence of only very limited housing need in the area.’

FIFTY YEARS AGO
Thursday December 16, 1971

He’s a Captain now

A former Dux of Millknowe School, Campbeltown, has just been promoted to the rank of captain with BEA [British European Airways].

He is Mr Jim Mustarde, who formerly lived in Ralston Road.

His widower father, Mr John Mustarde, now living at 2 Fisher Row, Campbeltown, received word of his appointment this week.

Captain Mustarde, who was a pilot officer in the RAF, is married and lives in Wokingham, Berkshire.

He takes regular BEA flights from London to all major European airports.

Longrow could be one-way

Following a meeting with Argyll’s Chief Constable Mr Kenneth McKinnon, senior Campbeltown magistrates were able to report on Monday evening that there was no upward trend in vandalism in the burgh this year.

So far, 42 cases have been reported and 21 had gone to court. Last year, 50 cases were reported, of which 25 reached the court.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss in general terms the control of vandalism, traffic, regulations for taxicabs and other incidental matters.

With regard to taxis, Town Clerk Mr William Wilson told the meeting that he had obtained the general approval of the sheriff to an extension of the bye-law making powers of the council and a draft of the new regulations on the lines previously agreed had been resubmitted to the Secretary of State.

On ‘no waiting’ restrictions in the town, Mr MacKinnon felt that some adjustments should be made.

He thought that Longrow could be made a one-way street, perhaps on an experimental basis of six months, as was done in Oban.

ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO
Saturday December 17,1921

Presentation to distillery manager in Islay

A notable event at Caol Ila Distillery, Islay, took place recently, when Mr Alex Ferguson, manager, was the recipient of a testimonial by the staff at the distillery on his retirement after 47 years’ service there.

The token of regard to Mr Ferguson took the form of a handsome liqueur stand and a gold mounted umbrella was presented for the use of his sister, who has been his constant companion for many years.

Eulogistic speeches were made by representative workmen, the presentation being made by the worker of longest service, who had completed 40 years at the distillery.

In accepting the gifts, Mr Ferguson feelingly responded, remarking that he had commenced his distillery career at Campbeltown 50 years ago.

He had been served by most faithful workers and hoped their future years might be attended by prosperity and contentment.

Afterwards Mr Ferguson entertained the numerous company to supper, followed by music and dancing, and a very enjoyable evening was spent.

Mr Ferguson is being succeeded by Mr Peter Dewar, late of Campbeltown.

In 2011: For the first time since 1988 the TS Campbeltown Sea Cadet unit has been awarded a mark of excellence. A burgee was presented to the unit at its annual prize-giving on Monday night and recognises the quality of training offered to the cadets. It also recognises the administration of the group including how well the activities run each year are assessed. At the prize-giving, cadet James Arbuckle, pictured, was awarded the Jubilee Rose Bowl for the best cadet.
In 2011: For the first time since 1988 the TS Campbeltown Sea Cadet unit has been awarded a mark of excellence. A burgee was presented to the unit at its annual prize-giving on Monday night and recognises the quality of training offered to the cadets. It also recognises the administration of the group including how well the activities run each year are assessed. At the prize-giving, cadet James Arbuckle, pictured, was awarded the Jubilee Rose Bowl for the best cadet.