Arran Banner letters – week 20

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Record straight


Getting ‘airbrushed from history’ is not unusual where the known facts appear uninteresting or not nearly as commercially compelling or as attractive as an alternative story, not that I’m saying the founders of Island Porcelain are not all attractive, I’m not that brave, but nevertheless it is only fair to them to set the record straight.

The story about Island Porcelain in the Banner of 5th May coming full circle is a good positive story and it is great to see Tracy resurrecting an old island business. However, the part of the story about the origins and development of Island Porcelain is somewhat misleading and unkind at best to the founders of Island Porcelain.

It gives the strong impression that Alasdair Dunn was the creative mind behind the business and his ‘dedicated team’ were dragged along in his creative wake. Alasdair was a talented artist and potter but even with his talents he would have found it difficult to design for or manage Island Porcelain given that he died two years before the company was established in 1988 by Ile Ash, Ann Rhead, Janette Head and Marie Park. The reality is that none of the 52 designs created and manufactured by Island Porcelain were created by Alasdair Dunn. They were designed from 1988 to 1996 by Ile and Ann and from 1996 onwards by Ann alone until the business was sold in 2005 and, as I understand it, these comprise almost all the Island Porcelain designs still on sale now.

Alasdair Dunn is recognised as an outstanding artist and potter and I’m sure he wouldn’t have been averse to seeing these four local girls getting some praise for the effort, quality of workmanship and creative talent they put into the business over 17 years.


Donald McNicol

Kings Cross

Editor’s note: The original article was written in good faith largely from information contained in the Banner archive and included all those named in this letter.

Collection pride


I was very interested to read the article on the 5th May edition telling of Island Porcelain returning to its original home at Studio 4 in Lamlash. Most of the pieces I have go back to the shop days, and I even have one small vase that I bought from Alasdair Dunn when he had a market stall in Whiting Bay on a summer Saturday.   This must have been in the late 1960s or very early 1970s.  am attaching the photo of my Dunn collection and the vase mentioned is the one on the extreme left on the front row. I am very proud of my collection!


Janet Rodger



Janet Rodgers collection of Alasdair Dunn’s pottery. NO_B20letters01

Common sense


I would like to see the old CalMac booking office in Brodick reopened so it can continue to be used.

This facility could be for bus passengers and foot ferry passengers as it has a ticket office and a seated waiting room, with toilet facilities already all in place.  The new terminal can be used for all vehicles and passengers.

This idea would allow and older/infirm people to travel again for hospital, dental etc, appointments. Most complaints I have heard is the lack of space in the two lifts, plus the long walk for a lot of people with mobility problems. Wheelchairs are available but this involves crew members plus pride issues.

This, it seems to me,  is not only common sense, but could be quickly achieved if Kenneth Gibson MSP, Stagecoach and and CalMac agreed.


Mrs Dorothy Harris

Whiting Bay

Spring Fair


On behalf of the pupils, staff and parents of Pirnmill Primary School and early years class we would like to say a huge thank to everyone who helped, in whatever way, to make this year’s Spring Fair such a success.

Thanks also to those of you who came along on the day to enjoy the soup, sandwiches, entertainment and outside activities.  The sun also put in an appearance, that always helps!

We raised the grand total of £836.38 for the School Fund. Thank you all for your continued support, it is very much appreciated.


Alison Campbell

Pirnmill Primary School

Real grumble

I am reading this weeks Banner with disbelief! Poor CalMac being criticised for the NAC road workers (tar trucks) not bothering to show up for their Friday booking!

Not a single road worker turned up in fact on the Friday of the bank holiday weekend and, as far as we could see, no work was done that day despite the expectation that they would be working on the Brodick to Lamlash road. Friday wasn’t a holiday only the Monday was and this failure to turn up is much more of a story in my humble opinion

The arrival or failure of the arrival of the tar trucks has become a real grumble for us Lamlash residents, the state the untarred road was left in since Thursday is terrible. The ‘angry passenger’ quoted in your article should be turning his anger to NAC.
Caroline McArdle




Singing surprise


May I thank ARCO, Arran’s string ensemble who hail from Lochranza to Whiting Bay, for the surprise they sprung on me recently.

I was totally in the dark when I called at Alice in Wonderland’s lovely home to pick her up for a Brodick practice.

Calling ‘Alice, where art thou?’ I entered her sunny sitting room to find the entire group seated in a circle and playing Happy Birthday.

Thanks to all for the fine presents, a framed music score for the tune, ‘Anne Hodge’s Jazz Razz Rock – the 80th Arran Rag.’

A musical hour or two followed with lovely food made by many, but especially David, the fudge laced with an Arran beverage was fab. Elvis sang song after song and we all joined in. A pirate sailed in from Whiting Bay and tossed a silver ball to me. Daisy and Rosie played fine fiddle tunes.

I’m still in my 70s and this was premature birthday bash, but I hope that being 80 will be as much fun. More to do before I’m done.


Anne Hodge

Whiting Bay

Janet Rodgers collection of Alasdair Dunn’s pottery. NO_B20letters01