From Our Files, July 22 2022

2012: Brothers from Campbeltown have been presented with the Royal British Legion Scotland (RBLS) recruitment medal. Twins Billy and Tommy Morran were presented with the medals at the July meeting of the RBLS Campbeltown branch by chairman George Rahman.

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TEN YEARS AGO
Friday July 20, 2012

Alternative to A83 could be an operation by November

An alternative route to the A83 at the Rest and Be Thankful will hopefully be finished by November.

The old military road at the bottom of Glen Croe Valley at the Rest has been argued as the alternative route if and when a landslide takes place.

Transport Scotland gave its response to questions asked by the petitions committee as part of the Sign for the A83 campaign, which saw councillors giving a presentation earlier this year.

Following a landslip in December last year, it was revealed in January that a detailed study and investigation into mitigation works would look at potential contingency
measures.

The study is programmed to be complete by autumn 2012.

Head of network maintenance at Transport Scotland, Graham Edmond, wrote to the
public petitions committee with the response.

‘A detailed design of a preferred option rather than the A83 at the Rest and Be Thankful is progressing which would allow works to start in August 2012 and be completed by November 2012,’ Mr Edmund explained.

‘Permanent monitoring equipment has also recently been installed at the Rest and Be
Thankful to allow remote monitoring of rainfall, groundwater levels and any movement of the hillside.’

In a 2009 report into a landslide which closed the Rest and Be Thankful for the 12 days between October 28 and November 10, 2007 it was estimated the total economic impact of the disruption was £320,000 with the 38,000 trips affected.

Consultation on the Grammar School site

A consultation on the preferred site for a new grammar school in Campbeltown will be carried out in the new academic year.

An Argyll and Bute Council spokeswoman told The Courier the council is still working towards the replacement of Campbeltown Grammar.

Lead councillor for education and lifelong learning Michael Breslin said at a meeting of the council recently: ‘I am pleased to say that a new school for the town is still on track.’

TWENTY FIVE YEARS AGO
Friday July 18, 1997

Clachan folk buy up their village pumps

Clachan community is about to become the new village filling station and shop owner but as yet no one has any idea when the pumps might start working again.

Up for sale for the past two years, the community originally intended to buy the premises and run the business as a cooperative.

However, after the idea was discovered to be unrealistic, a new plan was adopted and Clachan Community Shop Ltd was set up.

A newly formed company, Clachan Community Shop Ltd, is run by five locally-based community appointed directors who are now in the process of buying Clachan Filling
Station on behalf of the village.

Wanting to let it to a family from the village, the community hoped to fulfil the original aim of providing a service for the local community.

However, since the filling station will now be run essentially as a private business, the
community is no longer eligible for grant assistance; a fact which has caused some unrest.

Quoting the example of recent Argyll and the Islands Enterprise grants to hotels in the area, Tom Pollock, secretary of Clachan Community Shop Ltd said: ‘Why should hotels get grants to help the tourist trade, but the filling station, which is a very great asset, especially with a new ferry on the way, not be eligible?’

The community has raised enough money to purchase the shop and site including the
pumps which are old, but there might be quite a lot of expense involved in getting the
fuel side of the business working.

And since it costs around £20,000 for a full load of fuel for the pumps which must be paid in advance, the garage requires a high level of working capital to survive.

Clachan Community Shop Ltd hopes to finalise the purchase of the site by the end of
this summer and have the new tenants installed by late August.

During the transition phase the shop is not expected to close any more than is necessary.

FIFTY YEARS AGO
Thursday July 20, 1972

The ‘sniffer’ is here

The ‘sniffer’ was put into operation for the first time yesterday on cars waiting on Campbeltown pier to cross by ferry to Red Bay.

This Natural Glycerine Detector, which is the ‘sniffer’s’ proper name, can detect the
vapour given off by explosives.

A police spokesman said: ‘From now on there will be a routine snap checks such as
are carried out on all cargoes to and from Northern Ireland.

The ‘sniffer’ is already in use on the Stranraer – Lorne and Ardrossan – Belfast
crossings.

New boat Carradale

The motor fishing vessel Remembrance, of Scalpay, Harris, has been bought by a Carradale fisherman, Mr Archie and MacMillan of Hawthorne, Carradale.

The vessel is 54 feet long, powered by a 240 HP Rolls-Royce engine and carries all the latest safety gear and navigational aids.

Skipper MacMillan and his crew took the boat from Mallaig to Carradale. She is at
present being fitted out for prawn lifting.

News from Corby

Mrs Neil McLean (nee Farmer) was the recipient of a lovely piece of jewellery from the staff of the Post Office, Corby, Northamptonshire, at a get-together on the occasion of her being transferred to the Post Office of her native town of Campbeltown after 17 years in Corby.

She and her husband, who was employed at the British Steel Corporation (formerly Stewart and Lloyd) plant, left on Friday evening by car for the long journey.

A holiday will precede her taking up work at the new Post Office, a change from the site she originally served in.

The above adds weight to the statement made by Angus MacVicar in his book Salt in My Porridge that the real Campbeltown exile, eventually returns to the Wee Toun.

Mr James Robertson, whose obituary recently appeared in The Courier, was one of the many Campbeltonians, who, through lack of employment, uprooted himself, wife and young family in the 1950s to find work in the Stewart and Lloyd Steelworks of Corby, Northamptonshire.

Coming from an old fishing family, like many others, he was better known by his
nickname.

He worked hard in his new adopted town, brought up his family, and worked on till his recent retirement, despite a long illness.

Our sympathy goes out to his wife and family.

* When work in the traditional heavy industries of Campbeltown and fishing began to
decline in the 1950s many families left; a large number going to the steel works in Corby. The Courier was to be found on sale in newsagents in the Northamptonshire
town. The Courier carried news from Corby regularly to let people in Campbeltown know how their friends were getting on. Others went to work in other UK mines,
many in the Midlands’ coal fields.

SEVENTY YEARS AGO
Thursday July 17, 1952

Rain causes second disappointment

The Argyll Colliery and Community Children’s Gala Day Committee suffered a second setback on Saturday because of the rain.

When they held the gala on June 21 rain cancelled most of the programme, including the children’s sports which they postponed until July.

When these took place on Saturday in Kintyre Park continuous heavy rain for most of the time marred what might have been a happy occasion.

Car radio pirates

The Post Office has reason to believe that many motorists are still operating car radios without first obtaining a broadcast receiving licence. It may be that they regard their
domestic licence as sufficient.

This is not so. A separate licence (fee £1) is necessary for each car radio set, and a campaign against evasion of this fee will be waged by the Post Office during the next
few weeks.

Motorists who operate these receivers are strongly advised to ensure that they are covered by a current licence. Failure to do so may result in court proceedings, when
fines, not exceeding £10, may be imposed.

*You needed to have a radio licence up until 1971 in the UK, with a separate licence
for a car radio.

Bomb disposal

The Naval Bomb Disposal Unit from Inverkeithing visited Kintyre on Tuesday to deal
with a case of explosives washed up on the beach at Bellochantuy which had been under a police guard. They also went to Islay to deal with a case of explosives washed up on the shores of Saligo Bay.

Pipe major plays the winning march

At the Luss Highland Gathering on Loch Lomond side on Saturday, Pipe Major John
MacKenzie, Campbeltown, secretary of the Kintyre Piping Society, won the competition for bagpipe playing (march).

Pipe Major MacKenzie is also tutor to the members of Campbeltown ATC squadron
pipe band.

He served in the 8th Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders during the last war.