From Our Files, February 25 2022

In 1997: AB Diver ‘Bungy’ Williams, Lt Adrian Dann, PO Diver Harry Wallace and ABDiver ‘Buster’ Brown, members of the Northern Diving Team from Faslane with the recovered MMK5 mine.
In 1997: AB Diver ‘Bungy’ Williams, Lt Adrian Dann, PO Diver Harry Wallace and ABDiver ‘Buster’ Brown, members of the Northern Diving Team from Faslane with the recovered MMK5 mine.

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TEN YEARS AGO
Friday February 24, 2012

Ugadale Hotel reopens

This week saw the finishing touches being made to the long awaited restoration of the Ugadale Hotel.

On Wednesday, the Courier was given an exclusive tour of the new hotel. Restored back to its former glory, Southworth Development LLC has been working hard over the last year to get the hotel restored and back open again for people to enjoy.

Machrihanish residents were able to see for themselves yesterday (Thursday) the exquisite attention to detail and luxurious and comfortable rooms as they were invited to take a look around.

Tomorrow (Saturday) invited guests will celebrate the official reopening of the hotel and the Kintyre Club with a reception.

On Sunday, members of the general public are invited along to look around the hotel for themselves from noon to 3pm.

In 2012: David Southworth, president and CEO of Southworth Development LLC, right, with Marc Wexler, project executive, outside the newly refurbished Ugadale Hotel.
In 2012: David Southworth, president and CEO of Southworth Development LLC, right, with Marc Wexler, project executive, outside the newly refurbished Ugadale Hotel.

TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO
Friday February 28, 1997

Mine recovered

A practise mine which was lost in Campbeltown at the end of last year was brought back up by a Royal Navy diving team earlier this week.

Originally trawled up by the fishing boat Crimson Arrow in November last year, the mine slipped through the trawler’s net as it was being brought into the loch.

But due to the way it slipped through the net, the mine remained undiscovered for just over two months despite the efforts of two separate searches by the Royal Navy.

An inert submarine laid MMK5. The mine was finally rediscovered by HMS Bicester early last week.

Bad weather made it impossible for the crew of the Bicester to attach a surface riser to it and the mine was left to a Navy diving team to bring it up.

Led by Lt Adrian Dann, the four-man Northern Diving Team from Faslane finally pinpointed the mine on Tuesday morning and brought it up later that day.

The two-tonne mine is currently lying on the New Quay waiting to be picked up by the mine laying team from Cromby, Fife.

FIFTY YEARS AGO
Thursday February 24, 1972

End this filth say churches

Campbeltown churchgoers, in common with other congregations throughout the country, are being asked to sign petition forms calling for an end to public filth in television and literature.

Already many people, including non-churchgoers, have appended their names to the forms which are also in several businesses in the town.

The forms are headed: ‘Petition for public decency.’

It states: ‘Being concerned about the effect on society – particularly on the young – and of the increasing exploitation of sex, the public portrayal of intimate or unnatural sexual behaviour and violence and brutality, we the undersigned call upon Her Majesty’s government:

(1) to note the concern of the public about this matter.

(2) to ensure that the law as regards of sanity stops this public affront and is so designed as to be an effective instrument for the maintenance of public decency.

Some church congregations in the town have already begun signing the petition and others planned to follow suit in the near future.

All of Campbeltown’s ministers are in agreement that the obscenities on television and in literature are going too far, and hope that the petition has the desired effect.

The Reverend James W Hood, of Lorne Street Church, commented yesterday: ‘I think it is perfectly right that the church should be given the opportunity of speaking its mind.’

SEVENTY YEARS AGO
Thursday February 21, 1952

Kintyre saw funeral of King on TV

The majesty and pomp of King George VI’s funeral procession through London, and later its journey to Windsor Castle, was seen and heard by people in Campbeltown and Tarbert on Friday, in the history-making experimental television broadcast.

In both places, reception was remarkably clear and those who were privileged to see it saw this royal journey of dignified and poignant pageantry in a much greater detail than the vast crowds in London and Windsor.

At both places, the sets, with 12-inch screens, were shown by radio dealers to parties of friends.

Mr Anthony P MacGrory, Campbeltown town councillor and housing convener, had his set installed in the radio showroom of his firm’s shop in Main Street.

At Tarbert, the set there was arranged by Mr Douglas C Smith, Electrical and Radio Engineer, Harbour Street.

Earlier last month, Mr Smith informed us that he was getting surprisingly good results from the test from the Scottish television station at Kirk o’ Shotts – the Scottish station which is using only low power transmission.

Scottish TV reception of this historical occasion was the previous day viewed with serious misgivings and doubts by BBC experts, who pointed out that the Kirk o’ Shotts station was not due to open until March 14 and that this is the first-ever television radio link up, connecting Scotland to London, through Manchester, was merely an experiment and the Scottish transmitters were still undergoing adjustment.

So, until the TV programme went onto the air on Saturday, the BBC could give no guarantee that the venture would be successful.

It was a great success and thousands of Scots over a wide area, from Dumfries to Aberdeen, saw clear pictures of the funeral processions.

At Campbeltown and Tarbert, the pictures were almost as clear as everyone was looking at them on the cinema screen, the detail in some of the pictures being unbelievably perfect.

One local businessman, who saw it, described it as ‘uncanny’.

But, throughout the years, this has been the descriptive of all great inventions when they first made their impact on the public mind.

It was a pity, of course, that this great moment in Scottish television progress should have been heralded in with such a sad event as the funeral of our King.

Considering that Kintyre was not regarded as a good reception area and that this 400 miles relay was the longest ever attempted by the BBC, the result was truly amazing and will no doubt mean the booking of many orders from this part of the country.

Already, Mr McGrory has been receiving enquiries from various parts of Argyll.

We were privileged to see the screening in Mr MacGrory’s premises that afternoon. The scenes from Paddington to Windsor were impressive, especially the arrival at Windsor and the unforgettable journey to St George’s Chapel.

To those people in Kintyre, so far from the television network, it must have been an unforgettable experience to have this outstanding London ceremonial brought hundreds of miles to before their eyes and to be taken in imagination straight to Windsor to watch the Royal coffin being carried out and upon it the Imperial State Crown, the orb and the sceptre and the white wreath of orchids, camellias and lilies of the valley from Her Majesty, the Queen Mother, also movingly clear.