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TEN YEARS AGO
Friday March 2, 2012
Territorial decoration for Duncan
Surrounded by family, friends and colleagues, a 94-year-old retired army major from Campbeltown received a medal years after leaving service.
Such a thing is uncommon as normally soldiers receive an honour like this whilst in service.
Duncan McMillan, who is well known in the town, joined the army during the Second World War as a private in the Argylls.
He was mobilised to France and was at Dunkirk and, after returning to the UK, was later mobilised to North Africa where he was awarded the Military Medal at the Battle of Longstop Hill. He was commissioned in the field in Africa.
Later advancing through Italy, Germany and Austria, he ended his service in an Austrian town called Dolsech, after which his home in Campbeltown is named.
During discussions on his war service with Lt Col Donald Ross OBE and Col Robert Steele, it became apparent that he had not been awarded the Territorial Decoration to which he was entitled.
The army medals office was approached and it was agreed Maj (Ret) McMillan should receive this honour and he was awarded the Territorial Medal in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.
At a ceremony last week, his family joined him, including son James who travelled from Canada to witness the medal presentation at the former RAF airbase at Machrihanish.
Major McMillan said: ‘I am delighted to see some of my oldest friends here and as well as receiving this medal, it has made my day.’
TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO
Friday March 7, 1997
Glenmorangie takes over at Ardbeg
Islay’s Ardbeg Distillery has been bought by Glenmorangie plc for £7 million.
Allied Domecq plc, which owned Ardbeg Distillery, will receive £5 million of the total sum in tranches within the next three years.
The sale includes the Ardbeg brand, the distillery and surrounding land as well as the stock profile which will come on stream as Ardbeg 10-year-old and 20-year-old stocks mature.
It will significantly strengthen Glenmorangie’s current portfolio of malt whiskies which include Glenmorangie and Glen Moray and will provide excellent potential for new brand development, utilising the company’s proven experience in premium brand management.
Commenting on the acquisition, Geoffrey Maddrell, chairman of Glenmorangie plc, said: ‘The company has made significant progress since the introduction of a new strategy in 1995.
‘We are particularly confident that our existing portfolio will continue to deliver above average growth and we wish to exploit our marketing capability to achieve a similar success rate with this Islay malt.
‘An opportunity such as Ardbeg, in a segment of the market which remains under developed, provides us with a rare opportunity.’
Glenmorangie is well positioned in the Scotch whisky market, with a strong presence in the malt sector which grew by 12.3 per cent in the year to October 1966 in export markets and by 16 per cent from January to October 1996.
FIFTY YEARS AGO
Thursday March 2, 1972
The tourist boom is on
Mr Lachlan McKinnon, the Mid Argyll, Kintyre and Islay tourist officer, this week reported bumper bookings for the coming season.
Talking to a Courier man, Mr McKinnon said that there had been a tremendous boom in the self-catering type of holiday.
In fact, the association’s list of cottages, chalets and so on has become exhausted with the result that the months of June, July, August up until the middle of September are fully booked.
A total of 3,000 enquiries were dealt with in the association’s Campbeltown headquarters by the end of February, an increase of 600 on last year.
Mr McKinnon said he hoped the upward trend in self-catering holidays would continue further and preparations would be made to meet with the demand.
It is hoped that the Arran-Kintyre ferry service proposed for this summer will be successful.
Mr McKinnon’s plan is to bombard the landing jetty at Claonaig with advertising literature in an attempt to induce motorists south to Campbeltown.
He feels strongly that the local authority, hoteliers and businessmen should spend more on advertising nationally in an all-out effort to attract tourism to the burgh.
‘Unfortunately the tourist association does not have the money to advertise a specific place. We can only advertise the whole area, which is very large,’ he explained.
‘But a town of this size could do a lot more in the way of advertising.’
The caravan sites around Campbeltown are among the best in the west of Scotland, Mr McKinnon added.
Caravanning, he says, is up and coming in the popularity stakes among holidaymakers.
SEVENTY YEARS AGO
Thursday March 6, 1952
Argyll pit strike – men return to work under same conditions
The 180 miners, who had been on an unofficial strike at the Argyll Colliery, Machrihanish, since Monday afternoon of last week, returned to work on Monday morning.
This followed meetings of the Argyll branch of the National Union of Mineworkers and the men involved the previous night.
It was decided to go back and await the report of the inspector, who, it was stated, was to make an inspection of the colliery on Wednesday.
This inspector is appointed by the National Union of Mineworkers and he acts with full approval of the National Coal Board.
The strike was in sympathy with two backshift men who walked out because they alleged that part of the pit, where they were working, was unsafe.
However, an inspector of the Ministry of Fuel and Power, who made a thorough inspection of the colliery on Thursday, on the recommendation of the manager Mr James W Williamson, reported that the colliery was perfectly safe and that the method of working was highly satisfactory.
Prior to his inspection, the men, at one of their meetings in Campbeltown, claimed that too much coal was being extracted from the section concerned and expressed their fear that it might lead to a major disaster.
Mr William Marshall, president of the Argyll branch of the NUM and one of the men involved, denied that the two men who originally stopped work because of the alleged danger were men of little mining experience.
He stated that one of these men had 23 years’ experience in mining in the Blantyre district, while the other man had 12 years’ experience in another Scottish mining area.
He argued that on several occasions the men had to quit the road because of creaking and tearing in the roof which were, he said, the usual signs of danger.