From Our Files, April 1 2022

In 2012: Campbeltown was buzzing at the weekend with hundreds of people of all ages completing the Sport Relief mile, and raising money for charity. Pictured is event organiser Fiona Irwin from Jog Scotland with Stuart McQuaker, who had swum the mile in the pool at Aqualibrium.
In 2012: Campbeltown was buzzing at the weekend with hundreds of people of all ages completing the Sport Relief mile, and raising money for charity. Pictured is event organiser Fiona Irwin from Jog Scotland with Stuart McQuaker, who had swum the mile in the pool at Aqualibrium.

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TEN YEARS AGO
Friday March 30, 2012

Kintyre Express III officially launched

The Kintyre Express III – the newest member of the three-boat fleet for the service between Campbeltown and Ballycastle in Northern Ireland – was officially launched last Friday.

Built by Redbay Boats, the new vessel was specially adapted to accommodate the equipment of the many cyclists and golfers who use the service.

Staff from Kintyre Express and Redbay were joined by guests on a glorious sunny afternoon for an inaugural trip to Cushendall, where the boat was built.

Colin Craig, managing director of Kintyre Express, said: ‘We are delighted with Kintyre Express III and would like to thank everyone at Redbay for using their vast experience and expertise to create the perfect ferry for our passengers.’

The service will start to run regularly next month, completing the three-hour round trip between Campbeltown and Ballycastle up to three times a day throughout the season until October.

Kintyre farmers asked to help preserve rare species of geese

Scottish Natural Heritage says it is confident in the cooperation of Kintyre farmers to help preserve the population of a rare species of goose.

The Greenland white-fronted geese breed in Greenland in the summer months, then migrate to the UK to overwinter to escape the coldest of the Arctic weather.

Kintyre is one of the major UK wintering sites, with up to 3,000 of the 13,000 geese that winter in Scotland coming here.

The geese use the same wintering sites at Laggan, Tayinloan, Clachan, Glenbarr and Gigha each year.

Farmers, naturally, are concerned to protect their crops but, when it comes to the Greenland geese, most understand the efforts to conserve a rare species.

High driving test pass rates

South Kintyre has one of the highest driving test pass rates in the UK, statistics from the Driving Standards Agency have revealed.

In 2011, almost three in every four people who took a test at the test centre in Campbeltown passed.

And belying certain stereotypes, Campbeltown’s women were more successful than the men, with a five per cent higher pass rate.

The statistics showed Campbeltown’s test centre carried out a total of 96 tests last year, of which 70 resulted in passes – 72.9 per cent.

Campbeltown was ahead of Lochgilphead, which had a 70 per cent pass rate, and Oban, with 59 per cent.

None were able to match Mull, with a pass rate of 92 per cent, the highest in the UK.

TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO
Friday March 28, 1997

Michie in political storm

Argyll and Bute’s sitting MP Ray Michie was at the centre of a political storm of protest last week when she was quoted as attacking the national anthem and Union Jack in the national press.

Speaking to the Campbeltown Courier, Mrs Michie explained that her comments, contained within a 12-page document called ‘Towards a Federal United Kingdom’, launched by herself and Malcolm Bruce MP, referred to the Liberal Democrats’ policy on a Federal UK.

‘I suggested that a strengthened and re-born UK, perhaps reinforced by a new symbolism which more accurately reflected the constituent countries might be considered,’ explained Mrs Michie.

‘For example, Wales and Northern Ireland are not included in the Union Jack,’ she added.

The document stated that, for many, the Union Jack had been ‘devalued’ in modern times by its ‘association with the Tory Party and the National Front’ and the national anthem had been similarly hijacked by the English rugby team.

Commented Mrs Michie: ‘The media did not report that the anthem and flag belonged to the Queen and Country and that I was concerned that they were being taken over by some to represent only part of the United Kingdom, for example in sport and other instances of more sinister use.’

FIFTY YEARS AGO
Thursday March 31, 1977

Budapest to Lochgilphead – for a game of whist

From Budapest, then to Lochgilphead, to play whist and a visit to Mid Argyll was the week for Mr Michael Noble MP.

Mr Noble had been in Budapest last week heading a trade delegation.

He left Hungary on Friday afternoon and arrived home at Strone on Friday night.

He came to the Argyll Hotel on Saturday evening where the local branch of the Unionist Party were holding a whist drive.

During the tea break, Mr Noble gave a short talk on the various problems facing the country both at home and overseas.

At the end of the whist, Mr Noble won the third prize for gents.

In 1977: Sea Monsters skull found: A new monster, or the skull of one, has been found in the nets of a Tarbert fishing boat. Last week the Utopia was fishing in Loch Fyne when she brought up part of a skull of what appears to be a fish. It is about five feet long and three feet wide. The monster is at present in the boat yard awaiting positive identification.
In 1977: Sea monster’s skull found: A new monster, or the skull of one, has been found in the nets of a Tarbert fishing boat. Last week the Utopia was fishing in Loch Fyne when she brought up part of a skull of what appears to be a fish. It is about five feet long and three feet wide. The monster is at present in the boat yard awaiting positive identification.

SEVENTY YEARS AGO
Thursday March 27, 1952

McVicar radio serial first in popularity vote

Angus McVicar’s radio serial ‘Tiger Mountain’ broadcast a few weeks ago, was placed first in the recent voting for the most popular programme on Scottish Children’s Hour during the past year.

His other serial, ‘Stubby sees it through,’ was third.

In London and other regions, ‘Tiger Mountain’ was a close third only a few votes behind ‘Jennings at School’ and ‘The Bell Family’.

As a result of this, Angus has the whole Children’s Hour to himself next Thursday, April 3; one episode is from both ‘Tiger Mountain’ and ‘Stubby’ and will be repeated in request week.

We understand that a second programme in the series, ‘I’m proud of my father’, will be broadcast on Sunday May 4 when the subject will be Captain David Barkley MBE, who is in charge of the BEA ambulance flight at Renfrew.

It will be remembered that this series got off to a fine start last January when May Newlands and her father both made an appearance at the microphone.

Of this broadcast, the New Statesman and Nation said: ‘The Children’s Hour programme on the work of the Scottish lifeboat Coxswain Duncan Newlands, by his young daughter, was admirable.

‘Vivid, unpretentious and charmingly told, it would surely have given pleasure to an adult audience.’