Letters to the editor

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Cemetery action


I read the article regarding Kilmory Cemetery in last week’s Banner with interest. A bit more than three years ago, I contacted then Councillor Margie Currie and MSP Kenneth Gibson with concerns about the maintenance of the graveyard and in particular the issue of drainage and industrial use of weed killer which was killing all the vegetation in precisely the area of the cemetery highlighted in the article, thus endangering the safety of the headstones in this area.

My mother and late husband are both buried in the same row as the graves discussed. I was assured by both at the time that steps would be taken to address these issues but nothing at all was done. Moreover, it was a disgrace to see water being pumped out of the newly developed area of the cemetery as mourners were leaving when one of my close friends was buried. NAC really do not seem to care at all. Hopefully your focus on the issue will finally lead to some action being taken.


Margaret Maciver


Life saver


On Monday August 7 I was on holiday on Arran and had just set out on a walk to Glenashdale Falls with my wife and her friend, when I felt unwell and decided to return to the car. I never made it; my heart’s natural pacemaker stopped and I fell unconscious by the trackside.

To my great fortune a group of walkers including a competent first aider came to my rescue. She administered CPR until I came round and the ambulance arrived.

I do not know her name but hope that she sees this letter and knows that I want to thank her for saving my life.

I have to add that the Arran paramedics and the three hospitals I attended – Lamlash, Crosshouse and Ayr – were magnificent; their professionalism, care and encouragement were faultless.

I am now safely home with my new pacemaker fitted at Ayr Hospital. I am looking forward to a full recovery, starting running again and returning to Arran someday to continue my interrupted holiday!


Jonathan Hassall



Whale tale


One fine summer’s day, July, circa 1976-1978, my dad was gazing northwards from the Arran shoreline near Fairhaven across Catacol Bay. He saw a clinker-built, wooden row boat with two or three people fishing from it. Suddenly, a massive shape appeared behind the boat. Dad’s first thought was, Moby Dick! He frantically shouted and waived to the guys in the wee fishing boat but they were oblivious to the signals and couldn’t hear the shout over the radio in their boat. All of a sudden, one of the guys turned around and saw the massive, pale, square head of the whale behind them!

Argh! Suddenly, the wee fishing boat was headed to the shore, breaking some rowing speed records on the way! The boat landed but the whale was no longer anywhere to be seen.

The description of the whale fits that of a sperm whale. We are curious if anyone else has seen a sperm whale anywhere close to the north of Arran. Or, does this story sound familiar to anyone? Were you one of the fishermen in that boat?  If you have any information, please email dianeadel@yahoo.com with Arran Whale as the subject.


Diane Hewlett-Lowrie

New Jersey


Parking plea


Having posted this online, we felt that the best way to convey this request to the wider Arran community would be via the Banner.

Please can we respectfully ask that people do not use the Douglas Hotel car park or driveway as a pick up/drop off point for the ferry?

The ground is privately owned with shared access for the cottages on site. The Douglas pays for all maintenance. Stopping in the driveway causes access and sight line issues and we are worried about safety at such a busy junction.

We know how handy it is, and we appreciate that spaces are limited elsewhere – however we do have to keep spaces for our residents and guests who visit for drinks and meals.

Thank you very much for your co-operation with this.


Elaine Campbell. manager

The Douglas Hotel


Upgrade paths


As part of the new geopark project, announced in last week’s Banner, six trails have  been identified as possible options.

If the trails are to be upgraded can I ask they be made more suitable for the less abled to give everyone the chance to visit the sites. Improvements are needed to the paths to Hutton’s Unconformity, the shore line to the waterfall at Kildonan, Lamlash from the quarry road end to Clauchlands Point, which  is a new path requiring fencing. The Corrie and Sannox sites would need short less able paths and Blackwaterfoot and the Northend to have access for less abled along the shore.

At the foot of Imacher Brae there is a need for a path across the burn and a place made for everyone to view the rock formation of the hillside in all weathers.


Alasdair Hendry


Toilet tax


I would like to thank Sharon Shenhav for her support for the proposed toilet tax. This tax could be part of the ferry ticket price. CalMac’s parent company is owned by the Scottish Government. We are not short of politicians for the island. Is anyone listening?


Diana Burns


Cost contribution


Great to read in the Banner of August 12 about the good folk who are prepared to open and run several public toilet facilities on Arran. It will be quite a challenge and commitment for the volunteers. As regular visitors we will make a contribution to the cost and encourage other friends of Arran to do the same. Well done to all involved.


Colin and Denise Bowes


Coming back

Please pass my thanks to all the community groups who have got together to restore the toilets on Arran. I now look forward to my next visit to your beautiful island.

P M Trousdale