Arran Banner letters to the editor – week 3

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I have worked as a volunteer at the Arran Citizens Advice bureau for a number of years. Firstly, I would like to thank our both local councillors for their strong support for a local service. Secondly I apologise to our clients for the withdrawal of the local CAB. It is very disappointing.

The long, jargon-filled statements from North Ayrshire and Citizens Advice don’t hide the fact that this is a severe reduction in the service for Arran residents.

Yes, there may be someone in Ardrossan they can travel to see about debt and benefits, but many CAB clients have jobs or mobility problems which rule out a trip to Ardrossan. There will also be internet and phone advice available, but many do not have internet access. Problems are often too complex to solve over the phone. As you say in your editorial, this decision will hurt people when they are at their most vulnerable.

I assume that the reason is to cut costs. However, the service on Arran runs on a shoestring. I am a volunteer, the Ormidale provide a room at a low rent and there is a phone/internet bill. Contrary to the impression in your editorial, I live on the island and there are no ‘visits’ from NACAS, except to provide occasional cover for my holidays. The management input and costs are negligible. Paying travel to the mainland may well exceed the small saving.

In future, whoever wins the new tender for advice must have a clear obligation to provide a regular face to face service on the island.


David Scott


Cemetery disgrace


Further to your excellent article regards the condition of Kilmory Cemetery in the Arran Banner last August, I have to take this opportunity to voice my total dismay regarding the condition of the cemetery as we stand at this time.

My father Phil was buried in 1980 and my dear mother Murdina in 2017 and to look at the grave at this moment you or any family would be shocked and saddened by the condition. I can only believe that this is indeed 2018 where we should show respect to our parent and family members in there resting place and allow them to rest with dignity.

The condition of the cemetery with water not being sufficiently drained – I believe this was pointed out in the early 1990’s – allowing the ground to be sodden and indeed not suitable to walk on has in my opinion being responsible for the condition of the headstone’s which have been taken down or condemned as unsafe. Regarding the top grave yard this has lasted decades and no problems so this is a recent problem (1990’s) and should be rectified with dignity immediately.

I must also point out that this is indeed not a matter of financing as we have paid for all the necessary requirements to reposition the headstone in it proper place when the monumental mason returns to the island. I can only ask that the council will maintain the cemetery in a way that offers dignity to the families of the people buried as this is their RIP.


Graham Currie

Whiting Bay/Derby

Family headstones lie toppled over in Kilmory Cemetery. NO_B03cemetery01

Christmas lights


Could I please say a very big thank-you to all the people who donated to the Christmas lights this year. A total of £122 pounds was raised  for the children’s Christmas party and this has been passed on. Once again thank you and we look forward to this coming year.


Bernie Jackson

Whiting Bay

War memories


I work for a documentary company called Testimony Films and we are currently making a new documentary series on the First World War for the BBC.

I am very keen to contact people local to your area that may have a story to share for our latest documentary series. We are trying to find Britain’s oldest men and women who can share memories and stories of childhood during WW1 and the immediate aftermath.

We are keen to speak to men and women in Britain who have memories of the First World War for a new BBC4 documentary series, ‘Britain’s Great War: The People’s Story’.

The series will feature the childhood stories of centenarians and supercentenarians who still vividly remember family life at the time, alongside archive footage and testimonies from those who fought.

We are especially interested in talking to those who may have lost a loved one at the front or who remember the air raids, the food shortages and the patriotic spirit of the time.

If you -or someone you know- have childhood stories of the Great War, we’d love to hear from you.  Please email, call or write to Emily Sivyer,, 0117 925 8589, Testimony Films, 12 Great George Street, Bristol, BS1 5RH


Emily Sivyer

Testimony Films

Band against cancer


Readers may not be aware but World Cancer Day is fast approaching on the February 4, which is a great time to raise funds and vital awareness in the fight for young lives against cancer.

CLIC Sargent, the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people, are calling on locals to ‘band together’ behind families affected by cancer by donating just £2 to get your own their special Band Against Cancer wristband (available in three different collectable colours).

Cancer can leave a lot of friends, family, colleagues, not knowing what to say, or do, and feeling helpless.  Donating and getting your band is a simple way to show your support for CLIC Sargent and anyone you know who might be going through a really tough time.

Our recent Hidden Costs research showed that 79 per cent of young people felt cancer had a serious impact on their emotional wellbeing, 70 per cent experienced depression during their cancer treatment and 83 per cent of young people experienced loneliness during their cancer treatment.

By helping us to raise vital funds and awareness you will be ‘banding together’ behind children, young people and their families when their lives are turned upside down. With your help, CLIC Sargent can reach those families through our support workers and nurses who provide practical, emotional and financial support, to help minimise the damage cancer causes to young people beyond their health.

To find out more about World Cancer Day and to get your own Band Against Cancer wristband go to: also available in J D Wetherspoon pubs and Morrisons stores.


Rachael McLean

Fundraising engagement manager

West of Scotland