Letters to the editor. Week 04

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Castle redundancies

Sir,

I was shocked to learn about the possibility of people losing their jobs at Brodick Castle.  The Castle is a valuable asset to Arran with its roles as a visitor attraction, an adventure play area and providing environmental education. It is essential that it has a secure financial future and any improvement in the visitor experience is welcome. I would hope that there is a way to keep as many jobs at the castle as possible, and that secure jobs are confirmed quickly. Facing redundancy is a devastating personal experience, but job cuts also cause a loss of specialist skills and knowledge that will affect the Castle, the Castle gardens and the community of Arran as a whole.

Yours,

Timothy Billings

Councillor – Ardrossan and Arran

Christmas fundraising

Sir,

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.

Yours,

Bernie Jackson

Whiting Bay

Terminal clarification

Sir,

In last week’s Arran Banner you state that the new ferry terminal at Brodick will not be open for use until after Easter. Could you clarify which Easter this might be?

Yours,

P W Yates

Catacol

Arran’s ferry

Sir,

Several months ago a distressing photograph appeared in the Banner of the wreck of the old, much loved Glen Sannox,  half buried on a beach in Saudi after a second career as a pilgrim ship, carrying pilgrims to Mecca. It is gratifying to know that the name has been reinstated in the form of the new ferry now launched from Glasgow’s Ferguson yard and due to enter service in 2019. This ferry will be ‘state of the art’ and the most advanced in the Cal-Mac fleet.

The ship’s designer, James Anderson, Director of Vessels at CMAL, under the auspices of Arran Civic Trust, is coming to Arran to describe and illustrate the process of designing and building the ferry to a strict brief. In his talk James will answer questions on the ship’s accommodation, speed, manoeuvrability and sea-going qualities accompanied with photographs of build progress to date.

The talk, open to all, will take place in Brodick Hall on Thursday February 1, at 7pm. All welcome.

Yours,

John Inglis

Chairman, Arran Civic Trust

Miracle Lady

Sir,

Just before Christmas, I received the devastating news that my lovely Clydesdale Lady was diagnosed with a life-threatening bone infection. What followed was a whirlwind of events in a bid to make Lady well again. I’d like to take this opportunity to express my very grateful thanks to all those who’ve helped Lady throughout her ordeal.

The lovely team at Arran Vets were so kind and patient with Lady as they took x-rays outside in the freezing cold!

Tobias Mueller of KMC transport was wonderful, stepping in at the last minute and overcoming problems due to the freezing weather to make sure Lady made it over to Glasgow for her hospital appointment.

CalMac were utterly brilliant and so understanding of our urgent need to get Lady over to the mainland, squeezing us onto a fully booked ferry.

The amazing veterinary team, support staff and students of Weipers Centre Equine Hospital at the University of Glasgow took such great care of Lady and said what a model patient she was, allowing them to go about their work without a single protest (as long as she had a bucket of feed in front of her). Thanks to the knowledge and skill of the Weipers vets, Lady underwent surgery with minimal discomfort or stress and, thanks to their excellent care, is already well on the road to recovery.

Back home, the truly outstanding Gavin Mutch, ably assisted by Jamie Campbell, braved the ice and snow and did wonders by dismantling, moving and rebuilding a stable for Lady in less than a week.

As someone remarked, “It’s a miracle!” A lot has certainly been achieved in a short space of time, but maybe it’s not so much a miracle as the team effort of a great many wonderful people, demonstrating both the special and caring nature of the Arran community and the professionalism, dedication and understanding of a number of experts in their respective fields.

Many thanks also to Gavin Bell, Hamish McNeil, Stewart Lambie, Arran Haulage, Anne, Diane and everyone else who’s offered their support and sent get well messages to my lovely Lady. And a special mention to my family and wonderful husband, Cams, who has been a rock – I don’t know how we would have coped without you!

Lady has now returned home to Arran, where she’s been reunited with her herd mates. We’ve got a long road ahead to full recovery, but thanks to everyone’s help, Lady will hopefully be here for many years to come, bossing us about and keeping us in our place!

Yours,

Lorraine Campbell

Lamlash