From Our Files, Friday March 18

1972: Farewell to Panther: Cpl Bill McIlwraith, left, hands over the champion RAF police dog, to its new handler, Cpl N Smith at RAF Machrihanish. He hopes to take Panther to Victory in the UK dog trials at RAF Debden.

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TEN YEARS AGO

Friday March 16 2012

Tenth anniversary celebrations on Gigha

Gigha was alive yesterday, Thursday, as people travelled to join in the celebrations for its 10th anniversary of community ownership.

Campbeltown Junior Pipe Band piped the children from the local primary school down the main road to the hotel to emphasise the change in the number of children on the island.

The children donned their new uniforms to mark the occasion, carrying the Gigha flag.

Fundraising has been ongoing over a period of time to raise cash towards the celebrations.

To date more than £3,500 has been raised, and events have included a race night, celebrations at New Year, and a quiz night.

Last night islanders gathered for the ceilidh to bring the celebrations to a close.

 

TWENTY FIVE YEARS AGO

Friday March 21 1997

Kintyre Nursing Home officially opened

Argyll’s newest nursing home was officially opened in Campbeltown.

The £812,000 Kintyre Nursing Home, which is situated in Hall Street overlooking Campbeltown Loch, was formally opened by Councillor George McMillan.

Speaking during the opening of the new home, Mr McMillan said that if the care in the home was as good as the building itself, no one would have anything to worry about.

He went on to explain that getting the home build have not always been an easy task.

‘There were some difficulties about the site because of the ground conditions but there were also other problems with the planners about this site because it’s a very prominent site and it’s next door to some very fine buildings on the left-hand side.

‘It was a problem getting the plan is to agree to the various shapes and types of materials that were to be used, but we overcame all these things and got the go-ahead.’

FIFTY YEARS AGO

Thursday March 16 1972

Big raffle prize won by local businessman

Popular local turf accountant, Mr Hugh McKellar, has won a holiday for two in Majorca in a raffle organised by Tarbert Football Club.

Mr McKellar did not even know he had won the prize. For he threw away the tickets he had bought, thinking that the dance at which the winning ticket was to be drawn had been held.

But, unbeknown to him, the fuel crisis meant that the function was postponed for a week.

When told he had won the prize, Mr McKellar was flabbergasted.

‘It was the biggest surprise of my life. And I’ve had a few,’ he told a Courier man later.

Mr McKellar and his wife, Christine, both bought tickets. They are still arguing over who won the prize!

Mr and Mrs McKellar live with their family at 149 Ralston Road Campbeltown.

 

SEVENTY YEARS AGO

Thursday March 13 1952

Coaster aground in fog off Sanda

Refloated by Campbeltown Lifeboat

After the tow-rope had parted in one attempt, the crew of the Campbeltown lifeboat, City of Glasgow were lucky in the third venture, when, on a two-and-a-half hour ebb tide, they pulled off the 249 tons Glasgow coaster Saint Kentigern, which had run aground, bow on, on a ledge of rock on the notorious Paterson’s reef, off the island of Sanda, Mull of Kintyre, in dense fog, on Monday night.

The lifeboat put to see at 11:40 pm in response to news from Mr John Macintyre, Lady Mary Row, a member of the lifeboat crew, who, listening on the short wave, picked up a radio message from the distressed coaster that she was in difficulties and required lifeboat assistance.

The fog had come down suddenly in the late evening and conditions were very thick when the lifeboat nosed out of Campbeltown Loch and around Davaar.

There was a slight breeze and the sea was almost comparatively calm.

Standing by, just over six cables away from the coaster, was the Ardchattan of 264 tons, also belonging to Mrs J and a Gardner and Company, 228 Clyde Street, Glasgow.

Near at hand was the Burns-Laird cargo steamer, Lairdsdale, which had diverted course while en-route to Londonderry, to stand-by. Also standing by was the steamer Brora, which was bund for Belfast.

The conditions were so bad from the point of view of visibility that the lifeboat had to receive bearings from the Brora and other ships by means of the Aldis signal lamps while ships’ searchlights assisted them in getting into position. For a time the ships could only see each other on the radar screen.

Coxswain Duncan Newlands, who knows this dreaded part of the estuary like the back of his hand, edged his lifeboat in astern of the coaster and proceeded to begin operations, but at 1.35am came this dramatic message over the lifeboat’s radio: ‘Arrived alongside casualty at 01.20hours; got rope aboard and commenced towing at 1.30 hours.

‘Rope now parted. Returning alongside St Kentigern for further instructions.’

There was a lull in the activities while the lifeboat resumed its operations. They tried again- without success.

Then came the news at 02.10 hours – ‘St Kentigern Refloated.’

The lifeboat has succeeded in its third attempt, against odds.

The St Kentigern then proceeded to Campbeltown under her own power, while the lifeboat escorted her, but first it took in tow the coaster’s own lifeboat, which it had earlier lowered over the port side in case of an emergency.

The Ardchattern also accompanied the Saint Kentigern to Campbeltown.

Meantime, the two remaining ships, Lairdsdale and Brora, seeing their attendance was no longer required, sent a parting signal of good-luck to the coaster and continued on their respective passages to towards the Irish Coast.

1952: Electrify your love life or your farm thanks to the advertisements in The Campbeltown Courier.