From Our Files, July 15 2022

Southend’s 4th Argyll Cub Scouts did exceptionally well in the mini Olympics recently by picking up the top prize in the competition, the John Logan trophy. Competing against teams from all over Argyll and Bute, the six-strong team won the top prize for their overall team performance: Scott MacBrayne, Andrew Martin, Sam Hales, and Andrew Galbraith; front: Kevin MacIntyre and Ian Galbraith.

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TEN YEARS AGO
Friday July 13, 2012

Flying blimps could mark win turbines

Flying blimps could be the best way to make communities understand the impact of
wind turbines.

A Kintyre group set up to organise opposition to wind farms is considering the idea,
which took off near Leicester in February this year.

Robin Nolan, chairman of Kintyre Turbine Watch, said the group wanted to emulate
what had been achieved down south, where the blimp idea gained the support of local
MP Alan Duncan, and the developer eventually agreed to pay for the deployment.

He told The Courier: ‘I would like to see it as part of the standard planning process.

‘It’s very difficult for people to visualise the impact of turbines from the likes of photomontages and computer modelling, which is what developers currently provide.

‘In putting these [the blimps] in place, people going about their ordinary every day
business can see them in the landscape and understand the real impact a wind
turbine at the same height would have.’

Mr Nolan added the group was keen to work on the blimp idea with Fyne Futures, the
company whose application for 43 100-metre high wind turbines at Auchadaduie
Glenbarr is currently being considered by planning officials.

Red Cross marks centenary with exhibition

Red Cross centenary: Back: Fay McKinven, Margaret McKendrick, Isabel Campbell and Jenny Graham. Front: Sheena Graham and Ailsa Stewart.

An exhibition to celebrate the centenary of Kintyre’s branch of the Red Cross is
on display in the town’s library.

Ladies from the current generation of the committee were joined this week by two of
the longest standing members, Sheena Graham and Ailsa Stewart.

The exhibition includes the minutes of the first meeting in 1912, as well as
photographs and documents from events where the service has been called into special
action, notably during wartime and the Chinook helicopter crash on the Mull of
Kintyre in 1994.

TWENTY FIVE YEARS AGO
Friday July 11, 1997

German cruise ship flop for town’s traders

A wave of disappointment swept through Campbeltown businesses last week as ‘the
great cruise ship opportunity’ failed to materialise.

Despite the German cruise ship Europa dominating the harbour skyline most of
Wednesday afternoon, the majority of the 500-plus German tourists kept their money
in their pockets and left town on organised coach tours.

Described by various business owners as ‘an absolute wash out’ and ‘a complete
waste of time’, the expected boom even left several businesses with a financial loss as
mediocre takings failed to cover the cost of extra staff.

‘We had a guy in playing music and we had about four or five extra staff on when it
should’ve been their day off, but the coaches parked across the road then ferried
them all off,’ said Jack Emmott of the Royal Hotel.

‘I cannot understand why the local bodies asked us to take all these steps and then for them to be ferried out of town. It was a complete waste of time.’

Several businesses which are normally shut on Wednesday afternoon stayed
open, while many others took on extra staff to cope with the expected rush – mostly in
vain.

However, not every business missed out.

Victoria Wines and Eaglesome were among the few firms to benefit. Sales at
both were up last Wednesday.

Among the bodies which drew attention to the financial opportunities available during
the Europa’s visit was Mid Argyll, Kintyre and Islay Area Committee.

In April it backed a motion to encourage shopkeepers to stay open during the
Wednesday afternoon visit.

Speaking on behalf of the committee, Councillor Donnie MacMillan said they had
merely advised shopkeepers of the visit and of the possibility of increased income.

‘Remaining open was, of course, at the discretion of the shop owners. Unfortunately
many of the visitors travelled away from Campbeltown but nonetheless it was
no bad thing to be prepared,’ he said.

Although it is common policy for cruise ships to organise onshore
activities for their guests during port visits, tourist board officials remain optimistic
about the possibilities for future visits to Campbeltown.

‘People who stayed in Campbeltown did enjoy it and the ones who toured Kintyre
also enjoyed it,’ said Bruce Urquhart, director of Argyll the Isles, Loch Lomond,
Stirling and Trossachs Tourist Board.

‘They were very taken by the pipe band coming out.

‘What we have to attract, and to look for, for future cruises is to have something
sufficiently attractive and well-advertised in advance to encourage people to
stay in the town.’

FIFTY YEARS AGO
Thursday July 13, 1972

The Flemings’ huge bequest to Wee Toun

One of Campbeltown’s best kept secrets was made public at last Monday’s meeting of
the town council.

It is that the council has accepted the gift by the Fleming trustees of Flemings land
and Barrochan Place.

These are two substantial and well-maintained properties. In all, there are about 40 desirable dwelling houses. The value of this gift is estimated to be around £200,000.

The council, in accepting, thanked the trustees for this generous offer. They also recorded their appreciation of Mr Duncan Colville’s efforts on behalf of the
people of Campbeltown in this connection.

It was Mr Colville who had largely been responsible for handling the necessarily
delicate negotiations with all their legal complications over the last three years.

These negotiations began in the provostship of Dan McKinven. It was he who
proposed that the council record their appreciation of everything Mr Colville has done.

The Fleming family now live in New Zealand.

SEVENTY YEARS AGO
Thursday July 10, 1952

Storm after day of heat

An electrical storm, the worst for many years, which, rather amazingly did no
reportable damage, occurred on Sunday evening and lasted until about 1.30am on
Monday in Campbeltown.

The storm also hit Kintyre and Mid Argyll.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday the temperature rose from 100 degrees (37.7C) in the
sun to well beyond it. The heat was oppressive. The only place to keep cool was in the water and many went there.

Machrihanish, Southend and along the coast of Kintyre found young and old in the
sea, while others in the evenings and on Sunday wore little and did little, as they
sunbathed in open and shaded spaces.

Seldom does Kintyre have such heat and there is no doubt that the majority, while
perhaps rather uncomfortable with the oppressiveness, enjoyed the summer sunshine.

The event of the Greenock holiday brought a big influx of visitors to Campbeltown,
which, with its natural attractions that are the envy of every other resort on the west
coast, offered them escape to the coast and country.

Sunday’s heat became almost unbearable and towards evening the atmosphere was
thundery.

Then came the storm shortly after 10 o’clock, presaged by distant rumblings. People
were awakened by the crashes of thunder and vivid flashes of lightning against the
hills and the night sky; the countryside seemed alive with tongues and streaks of blue
and red.

Towards midnight, the electrical storm grew in intensity. Many people remained up, or dressed, and watched the scene. One resident described it as being like ‘a mammoth of fireworks display’.

Our representative who had occasion to walk home after the storm had abated found the town unusually ablaze with lights for such an early morning hour and several people were at their doors.

Part of Shore Street and other areas of the town became flooded for a short time by
the torrential showers.

Telephone lines are affected and once or twice the electrical power was momentarily
interrupted, no doubt due to high voltage wires or poles being hit, but there was no
serious interference to the town’s supply.

A North of Scotland Hydro-electric Board official at Campbeltown told The Courier
later that the storm caused no incidents in our area, although a number of high tension
11,000 volt fuses were blown: ‘So far we have been unable to trace any poles having
been struck.

‘The fuses blown were in various parts of the area, but there was no real damage.’

Campbeltown Post Office engineers did a really good job of work in tackling interruptions caused by the storm. Few people realised that the lightning isolated the
districts of Carradale and Southend, so quick did the engineers get the breakdown
under control. All available staff were called out at midnight.

Despite conditions, they worked throughout the morning and by daybreak communications were under control, apart from many isolated subscribers whose
instruments had fused. These were so far apart that engineers were busy on Monday and Tuesday attending to individual demands.

Argyll County Police confirmed there was no damage reported in any part of the
county arising from the storm. One officer told The Courier: ‘This was ‘quite amazing’.’

• In 1952, the electricity supply and telecommunications – telephones and
telegrams – were state-owned operations, with the General Post Office running the
telecommunications.

Captions

2012: Red Cross centenary: Back: Fay McKinven, Margaret McKendrick, Isabel Campbell and Jenny Graham. Front: Sheena Graham and Ailsa Stewart. NO_CC28_FromOurFiles01

1997: Southend’s 4th Argyll Cub Scouts did exceptionally well in the mini Olympics
recently by picking up the top prize in the competition, the John Logan trophy.
Competing against teams from all over Argyll and Bute, the six-strong team won the
top prize for their overall team performance: Back: Scott MacBrayne, Andrew Martin, Sam Hales and Andrew Galbraith. Front: Kevin MacIntyre and Ian Galbraith. NO_CC28_FromOurFiles02