From Our Files, July 29 2022

1972: Retiring Commander James D Bradfield, left, and Lieutenant Commander Hal R Halenza, who assumed command of the US Naval base at Machrihanish.
1971: Retiring Commander James D Bradfield, left, and Lieutenant Commander Hal R Halenza, who assumed command of the US Naval base at Machrihanish.

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TEN YEARS AGO
Friday July 27, 2012

Chapter closes on bookshop

A key link to Campbeltown history has been lost, as four generations of the same family have been forced to close their well-known bookshop.

Martin’s the Bookseller, one of Campbeltown Main Street’s most familiar shops since 1905, is no more.

It was current owner Efric McNeil who took this difficult decision to close several weeks ago, a result, she said, of the changing market in books and the increasing power of the internet.

An emotional Efric explained: ‘It was very sad to have to close. The business was set up by my great grandfather, Captain Duncan Martin, who gave it to two of his daughters, Katherine and Janet, to run.’

Efric recalls Katherine, her grandmother, as a very strong woman, who became the life force of the shop.

In its early days, it sold newspapers, magazines and fancy goods, as well as books and stationery.

During the Second World War, the paper trade passed to Keith’s newsagent.

In 1951, Katherine’s daughter, Efric Wotherspoon, took over and ran the shop for almost 50 years.

‘My mother was a bookseller par excellence,’ said Efric. ‘She loved books and was very widely read.’

She transferred that love to her children and when she died in 2000, Efric and her brother Iain took over.

When Iain died in 2007, Efric kept it on by herself.

Maintaining the tradition, her daughters had already been helping out for many years, making it the fourth generation of the family to be involved in the running of the shop.

2012: Auchinlee Care Home held a party on Saturday to celebrate the opening of its new sensory garden. Overseeing the cutting of the ribbon to allow guests to enter the new garden: manager Jill Slater, Reverend Philip Burroughs, and resident Helen Watson. The home was in the news 60 years apart; The Courier reported its opening in 1952 and the opening of its sensory garden in 2012. Auchinlee closed in 2018.
2012: Auchinlee Care Home held a party on Saturday to celebrate the opening of its new sensory garden. Overseeing the cutting of the ribbon to allow guests to enter the new garden: manager Jill Slater, Reverend Philip Burroughs, and resident Helen Watson. The home was in the news 60 years apart; The Courier reported its opening in 1952 and the opening of its sensory garden in 2012. Auchinlee closed in 2018.

TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO
Friday July 25, 1997

Wind farm plans unveiled

Plans for a proposed 50-turbine wind farm at Beinn an Tuirc, the highest mountain in Kintyre, will be in unveiled at Glenbarr Village Hall.

On show today and tomorrow, the exhibition aims to give residents an opportunity to inspect the plans and question the developers, Scottish Power.

Glasgow-based Scottish Power is one of the UK’s leading wind farm operators with wind farms all over the country including Northern Ireland, Cornwall and Lancashire.

Currently awaiting planning permission, Scottish Power says it expects the new wind farm, if given the go-ahead, to create around 60 jobs during construction.

According to Scottish Power, the proposed Beinn an Tuirc site was chosen as the most favourable out of 200 others – it is commercially viable and will have a low environmental impact.

‘Over the entire length of the West Coast main road, the wind farm would only be seen from a short stretch near Glenbarr, and from the east coast, only one or two turbines would be visible,’ said a spokesperson.

‘Additionally, the noise it would create wouldn’t travel beyond 400 metres – the nearest dwelling is more than two kilometres away.’

Costing around £6 million, the proposed wind farm will be composed of 50 40-metre high turbines, each with a blade diameter of 44 metres.

Generating 30MW of electricity – enough to meet the annual electricity needs of south Kintyre and Arran – power will be fed directly into the National Grid supplying the whole of Scotland.

1997: Top golfer Laura McGeachy has been at it again, this time at the Scottish Girls Under-18 Championships. Taking place over four days at Dunfermline Golf Club, Laura did exceptionally well, progressing to the second round, coming 14th after the first two qualifying rounds in which 30 got to go through. However, although turning in the lowest net score for the qualifying round, she lost the last hole in the stage, 167-24 = 143. Nevertheless, it was an excellent performance from this up-and-coming young player.
1997: Top golfer Laura McGeachy has been at it again, this time at the Scottish Girls Under-18 Championships. Taking place over four days at Dunfermline Golf Club, Laura did exceptionally well, progressing to the second round, coming 14th after the first two qualifying rounds in which 30 got to go through. However, although turning in the lowest net score for the qualifying round, she lost the last hole in the stage, 167-24 = 143. Nevertheless, it was an excellent performance from this up-and-coming young player.

FIFTY YEARS AGO
Thursday July 27, 1972

Lifeboat Week a winner

The ambitious Lifeboat Week programme, organised by the Campbeltown branch of the RNLI, was enjoyed in perfect weather conditions by the town’s many holidaymakers.

The week started with the Monday opening of the Lifeboat Station for the week, where members of the Ladies’ Lifeboat Guilds of Carradale, Campbeltown, Southend and West Kintyre ran the stalls with souvenirs for sale.

Sales figures were good and teas were served in the lifeboat building.

At a special Lifeboat Week dance in the Victoria Hall, Campbeltown’s first Lifeboat Queen was crowned. She was Miss Elizabeth Giffen of Campbeltown who was crowned by Mrs A J MacKelvie, president of Campbeltown Ladies’ Lifeboat Guild.

USN change of command

There was an impressive ceremony at the American Naval Base at Machrihanish on Friday.

The occasion was the traditional Naval Change of Command which took place in a large hangar at the airfield. The Presentation of the Colors was smartly carried out, followed by the US and British national anthems. The invocation was by the Reverend JRH Cormack.

Then came next a personnel inspection by the retiring and incoming commanding officers.

The retiring Commander James D Bradfield then presented his remarks and reading of orders.

A speech on his assumption of command was made by Lieutenant Commander Hal R Halenza. This was followed by remarks from RADM Edwin M Rosenberg, Deputy Commander in Chief, US Naval Forces in Europe.

The Reverend JRH Cormack then pronounced the Benediction. After the Retiring of Colors, the official party retired.

It had been an impressive and moving ceremony attended by, among other local citizens, Provost A McCallum.

At a reception afterwards, members of USN Forces, the RAF and people from Campbeltown had the opportunity of mixing in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

SEVENTY YEARS AGO
Thursday July 31, 1952

Kintyre Eventide Home – dedication of Auchinlee by Moderator of the General Assembly

Protected against the prevailing winds by high clustering trees, the stately two-storey mansion house of Auchinlee, which was opened yesterday afternoon (Wednesday) as a Church of Scotland eventide home – the 11th since the war – by the Moderator of the General Assembly, the right Reverend George Johnsone Jeffrey, DD, has, from its pleasant site amid garden and lawn, a commanding view of Campbeltown Loch.

There, in this lovely home, 25 men and women in the eventide of their lives will live in comfort and happiness.

Preference will be given to those who are natives of Kintyre or who have close associations with the district.

The charge for residence will be £2 per week, per person, for shared accommodation and £2.15 shillings to £4.4 shillings for single rooms according to the applicants’ resources. The actual amount to be charged for single rooms within these limits will be determined by the local committee.

All applications will be considered and decided upon by the local committee which is due to hold its first meeting the day after the opening of the home.

Where an applicant has only an old-age pension, an approach will be made to the local authority in terms of the National Assistance Act 1948 for superannuation.