Arran Banner letters – week 51

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Note: First letter has pic

Making Christmas


I am writing on behalf of the parents of Pirnmill primary school. The highlight of the year for me was their Christmas show: Lights, Camel, Action. Clearly a lot of time, effort and enthusiasm had gone in by all the staff and of course the children and we would like them to know how much we appreciate all the blood, sweat and tears that must go in to such a production – a script that was written for 26 parts not just 13!

The school was very well supported by members of the community from Pirnmill, Catacol and Lochranza and even further afield and for that everyone is very grateful, it made for a very full hall. A big thank you must go to all who contributed to the raffle and to the local businesses. The distillery always supports the school when asked for a donation and this year a very generous donation was made by the Co-op towards raffle prizes and refreshments. This helped raise much needed funds for the school.

I would like to conclude by just saying thank you to everyone who turned up on the night to watch and to lend a hand but most of all to the children for making our Christmas!


Kirsty Innes

Pirnmill primary pupils during their performance of Lights, Camel, Action. No_B51letters01


Passenger-only service


It is good to see that the Ferry Committee has come up with the idea of a second ferry to operate year round from Lochranza.

But, in true form, they are missing the key point. What is required is a second ferry which privileges foot over vehicle passengers and which can be relied upon in almost all weather conditions so that important appointments can be kept. The new terminal is not suitable for foot passengers, since it asks too much of the encumbered and handicapped in terms of effort and travel distance.

As I have suggested before in your columns, what is really required is a dedicated passenger-only ferry operating from Brodick. An expanded Lochranza to Tarbert service would require foot passengers to be dependent upon buses for the long journey to Glasgow and even car drivers would be faced with a daunting drive in winter in bad weather.

The means to provide a passenger-friendly service already exists at Brodick: the old pier is still in fair condition and would be entirely suitable for a smaller ship of a size similar to the Hebridean Isles. Such a ship could easily slip into any number of ports along the mainland and be largely immune to the bad weather which defeats the Caledonian Isles and doubtless will similarly affect the new Glen Sannox at Ardrossan.

Existing walking distances are short and on a level and the existing not very old terminal could continue to function as at present.

That would be a true lifeline service.


Ian Ferguson


Historic ship help


As you may know, MV Balmoral is the last seagoing passenger ship of her type and is a regular visitor in summer to the ports and piers around the UK.  As with any older vessel, she takes a great deal of money to maintain and operate and the charity that owns her has been forced to issue an appeal for funds to keep our 68 year old lady in operation.

The ship is maintained in Bristol by volunteers, and owned by a charity but is well known and much loved by her many followers all round the UK – over two million people have sailed on her since 1949 when she was launched, she has been a Royal Yacht and was National Historic Ships ‘flagship’ in 2016. She is called: ‘The small ship with the big heart’ and famous for her friendly crew and happy on board atmosphere.

We have a difficult task ahead with alterations resulting from changes to legislation and general maintenance to do, after a particularly poor summer season with low revenue and atrocious weather.

More information, news and updates and a donation page is available at Any help to preserve this historic ship, that would allow future generations to continue to enjoy its unique heritage, would be greatly appreciated.


Ross Floyd

Trustee – MV Balmoral Fund Ltd

Kidney Care


I wanted to appeal to your readers to ask them to hold on to their used stamps this Christmas and donate them to Kidney Care UK to help us raise much needed funds for kidney patients.

Every Christmas more than 1 billion cards are sent in the UK and for every 1kg of used stamps donated we can raise as much as £20 to help people with chronic kidney disease. There are 64,000 people being treated for kidney failure in the UK right now and 541 people are currently waiting for a transplant in Scotland.

Your support will help us to provide practical, financial and emotional support for kidney patients and their families when they need it most; we believe no-one should face kidney disease alone, and especially not at Christmas.

You can read and download our step by step guide to collecting and donating used stamps at Finally, we hope all of your readers have a wonderful Christmas and a fantastic New Year.


Ewen Maclean

Kidney Care UK