From Our Files, December 24 2021

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TEN YEARS AGO
Friday December 23, 2011

Christmas comes early for Ring and Ride bus service

A Christmas present came early in the shape of news that the Ring and Ride bus service in Campbeltown will continue.

Users of the service have been fighting to keep the bus going and arrangements are being made for it to continue to run for three days every week from early February.

The decision comes after several discussions between Argyll and Bute Council and community transport groups, people who use the service and West Coast Motors.

The council also carried out a survey of people who are using the Ring and Ride service and found the continuation of the service will meet the needs of all users on these three days.

This option will also provide the best value for available funding. Users of the service mainly include people with learning difficulties, pensioners and disabled people. A petition was also circulated to try and save the service.

The funding the council gave to support the service was reduced as one of the savings options accepted by the council in the 2011 budget.

Elaine Flaws, whose daughter Jacqueline uses the bus on a regular basis, said: ‘A reduced service is better than nothing but we must ensure that there is enough money in the budget for this coming year to get the service back to five days a week.’

In 2011: Santa Claus went along to Campbeltown Lifeboat Station on Saturday to visit the children and give them presents at their party.
In 2011: Santa Claus went along to Campbeltown Lifeboat Station on Saturday to visit the children and give them presents at their party.

TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO
Friday December 20, 1996

Alert skipper saves children after vandal attack

Schoolchildren could have been seriously injured following an incredibly irresponsible act of vandalism at the Tayinloan ferry dock last weekend.

Sometime during Sunday night, after vandals smashed the security cameras, a cattle trailer was dumped into the ferry docking area partially blocking the end of the slipway.

‘We do an early run in the morning with the schoolchildren,’ said Gigha skipper, Freddie Gillies.

‘If we had come charging in there in the dark, who knows what would have happened.’

Apart from the personal danger to the passengers and the crew it was expected that hundreds of thousands of pounds of damage could have been inflicted on the front loading doors of the ferry.

‘It was quite serious and could have had very grave consequences,’ said Mr Gillies.

Several people must have manhandled a mobile cattle trailer down the slipway at Tayinloan and left it semi-submerged in the water.

‘It was just by the grace of God that a local fishing boat coming across from Gigha spotted it.

‘If it hadn’t been for them it could have been a real mess.’

Skippered by Archie McAllister, the Mari-Dor fishing boat was on her way back into Tayinloan dock to pick up a crewman when the dumped trailer was spotted.

They immediately notified the authorities while local farmer Malcolm Smith of Ferry Farm dragged the trailer out with his tractor. The incident forced the first sailing of the morning to be cancelled.

FIFTY YEARS AGO
Thursday December 23, 1971

Club buys golf course

Every paid-up member of the championship Machrihanish golf course can now stake a claim on the hallowed ground.

The chance in a lifetime came when Machrihanish Farm went on the market; the farm ground took in the 18-hole and nine-hole courses.

Club members, in a circular from Mr Lachlan McKinnon, their captain, were asked if they would be prepared to stand guarantors over the buying of the links.

The response was overwhelming and it was decided to go ahead with a bid, which turned out to be a successful one.

The club took over the farm and the 200-acre golf course ground.

For the next nine years, members will pay an extra £5 per year in subscription fees to clear the bank loan which was necessary to make up the buying price. The farm is to be resold.

The course, which has palm trees dotted over it, giving it a semi-tropical look, has been host to the Scottish PGA and other important championships in the past.

Cattle and sheep however were free to roam over it and it was necessary to fence off the greens. Many a golfer saw a peach of a shot rebound from the many fence posts into bunkers or other obstructions.

And the club had a special rule printed on membership cards which said that a player could retrieve a ball from cow dung without penalty. Now, with these obstructions removed there should be nothing but good golf played.

The course has been open for nearly 100 years and is treated with respect and caution by the thousands of golfers who have played on it.

In recent years, the club took over a private house in the village and converted it into a first-class clubhouse, complete with every facility.

Two miles of golden beach go with the course and it was made clear this week that no restrictions other than usual will be placed on members of the public swimming or picnicking outings.

ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO
Saturday December 24,1921

Unemployment in Campbeltown – relief committee formed

A meeting of the special committee appointed by the Town Council of Campbeltown, to deal with the distress prevailing in the town in consequence of the present exceptional scarcity of employment in all industries, was held in the Town Hall room on Thursday last week.

Colonel C Mactaggart, vice convener, presided. Explaining the reasons for the formation of the committee, the chairman said it had come to the knowledge of the Town Council that there was a good deal of distress and want owing to unemployment among certain classes of people not ordinarily needing relief.

A special meeting of the Town Council had consequently been convened on the previous Saturday to consider what should be done.

The council felt it was up to them to initiate a movement to raise funds for the relief of suffering from want and considered that the best course to take was to form a committee as strongly representative as possible of the people of the town as well as of the Town Council to undertake this work.

Among the suggestions made at the meeting for the raising of funds, the first was the obvious one of opening a subscription list at the various banks.

Next was that churches might be asked to devote a Sunday collection to the cause of the unemployed; another that one or more flag days might be held, but the council thought that as the flag days are to be a means of raising money, activities should be confined to collections in the streets, and that there should be no house-to-house calls.

Entertainments were also favoured and it was thought that the Grammar School Former Pupils Association might be asked to repeat the very excellent dramatic performance they had given recently, or to organise a mock trial such as the Glasgow students had given the other day.

A few of the gay bachelors in the council had favoured a fancy dress ball as a promising means of assisting the fund and at the same time giving a fillip to spring trade.*

Regarding the distribution of the money the council were strongly of the opinion that
they should be in the hands of a small committee, the number of members suggested
being five.

*Editor’s note: Please be aware that this had an entirely different meaning in 1921. Although the UK passed the National Insurance Act in 1911, it did not cover all
workers and very basic help was given for a short time only. Welfare support and
charity was still a local matter, looked after primarily by councils and churches.