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TEN YEARS AGO
Friday April 6, 2012
Wind band takes gold in London
Kintyre continues to impress at a national level and this time a local junior wind band has taken gold in London.
It was the first time in 23 years that an Argyll band qualified for the National Concert Band Festival and the Kintyre Schools Junior Band certainly did the area proud.
This is the first time the junior band has made it to the national finals, with the senior band being the last ones to make it, taking gold in 1989.
The wind band received the gold award at the regional finals in October, and got to work to raise the much-needed funds to allow the band to travel to London to compete.
The young band made up of children from primary six to S2 played in the Dukes Hall at the Royal Academy of Music and impressed the judges.
They were playing in the Junior Band Contest for children under the ages of 14 and excelled themselves; the band also boasts members from Lochgilphead.
Many of the other bands in the national final were from private schools with renowned music departments, so this is yet another accolade they can add to their belt.
Conductor Katy Welch runs the band with help from James McVicar, who is the conductor of Campbeltown Brass and once played in the junior band himself.
‘I am hugely proud of them all; they are all amazing and a credit to their parents and schools,’ said Katy.
Thanks to the efforts of the band, and generosity of the local community and businesses, the band managed to raise £5,000 in just over eight weeks, to enable them to compete and travel to London.
‘It is just amazing, we still can’t believe it. I don’t think the children realised when we were in London of their achievement; it’s fantastic.
‘We would like to thank everyone who helped us to raise the funds to allow us to go, including Bradan Ltd, Campbeltown Rotary, Campbeltown Common Good Fund, Numero Dix, Jenny Black and the Co-Operative.’
Katy told the Courier the band plans to keep practising and entering competitions and work towards the regional qualifiers in October.
‘Most of the kids hadn’t been to London, let alone competed in a national competition. What an achievement for them,’ said Katy.
TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO
Friday April 4, 1997
Islay parents could sue the council
An Islay mother is threatening to seek legal advice to stop Argyll and Bute Council closing Newton Primary School.
The parents of pupils at the school are frustrated that their best efforts to have what they claim are flaws in the consultative document corrected have been rejected by the council.
The mother, who has a five-year-old daughter at the school, said: ‘The astonishing and arrogant attitude of the chief education officials whenever we raise our genuine concerns makes all of us parents very, very angry.
‘We must seriously think of taking legal action against the council and will in any case report the situation to the local government ombudsman.’
Backed by Islay councillor Robin Currie, the parents took their arguments to the Mid Argyll, Kintyre and Islands and the Oban Lorn and Isles area committees.
The issue of transport was one subject the parents planned to raise. Some children will have to leave home at 7.30am to catch the bus.
FIFTY YEARS AGO
Thursday April 6 1972
Monday start for harbour schemes
Work on the £12,000-plus harbour contract awarded to FJC Lilley’s Marine section will start on Monday.
The decision to award the contract to Lilley’s was taken at the Finance Committee meeting of the Town Council earlier this week.
The work will involve the erection of sheet piling of outer and inner berths, reconstruction of the town’s fish market, affording drive in/out facilities, and many other much-needed improvements.
Additional piling will be provided for deep water berths suitable for large Navy vessels.
Harbour Committee Convener Councillor Dan Black expressed the sincere hope that the commencement of the work in the very near future would ease the local unemployment situation.
A spokesman for the company said earlier this week that six locals would be taken on as soon as possible.
SEVENTY YEARS AGO
Thursday April 3, 1952
Flooding of farm land in Kintyre
Major Duncan McCallum, MP for Argyll, asked the Secretary of State for Scotland in the House of Commons last week if he was aware that much good agricultural land in the Campbeltown area was being lost to flooding caused by the Backs and Machrihanish waters; and what steps he proposed to take to ensure that this land was reserved for agricultural production.
He also asked the Secretary of State, in another question, if he was aware of the necessity of redeveloping the land drainage scheme for the Campbeltown-Machrihanish area; that the farming community were unable to finance such a scheme themselves in its entirety; and if he would devise some new plan to carry out this urgent work for which a rate or levy to cover the interest charges on capital expenditure could be raised from the proprietors and farmers whose lands would be restored to regular cultivation.
Mr W McNair Snadden MP, Joint Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, replied: ‘This is one of the major drainage problems which can only be solved by new legislation.
‘In our consideration of legislative proposals, we will carefully examine the method suggested.’
Major McCallum has been corresponding and having consultations with Ministers and Heads of Departments for nearly three years on this flooding at Machrihanish.
Navy’s Easter exodus
The biggest Naval exodus from Campbeltown since the war, when Campbeltown was a Naval base, took place on Monday when between 550 and 600 Navy men left at 1.20pm in a specially chartered British Railways paddle steamer for Gourock to catch train connections for the south and a further 50 went by two extra large British European Airways planes which had been put on to the route for the purpose.
The men were all from the Royal Naval Air Station at Machrihanish, HMS Landrail, and were in good spirits.
They were going on Easter leave.
Now there is only a skeleton crew left at the station for the next 16 days.