Arran Banner letters – week 26

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Shipshape delay


So the cat is finally out of the bag ! The new vessel for the Arran run is going to be late, hideously late!

We were previously  told that the August 2018 delivery date was no longer viable and that that the vessel would be delivered instead in 2019. No date given other than the year. Therein lay the clue.

Now we do not know when the vessel will arrive, but it can be confidently said that whenever it does (if it does) the bill will be enormous, it always is when things run late, but this really does take the biscuit. Tax payer to the rescue once more.

‘First I’ve heard of it’ states our local MSP. Now there’s a man with his ear to the ground.

Those with experience in such matters were always aware that this was a big ask for the ‘world class’  Port Glasgow shipyard, especially with the very complex design elements attached there to. Completely inappropriate in my view considering we have no gas supplies to service it. Incidentally the problem of the  bulbous bow was not a design fault, unless that is you consider the size of it, which is about three times the convention, No it could not be constructed by the yard to the standard required by Lloyds Register and had to be scrapped and re constructed in Holland and could well cause problems in service due to its aforementioned size.

I will only mention in passing, the passenger access system, with its constant changes in elevation, some subtle and some obvious and causes even me who can walk reasonably well to trip occasionally, suffice to say that it seems that the lunatics have taken over the asylum.

One good thing, when it breaks down at least the passengers, or customers as we are now called (passenger access system notwithstanding) have less distance to walk in this circumstance.

We are also greeted by the news that Ardrossan will continue to be operational during the necessary alterations to the harbour. How do we know since no details of the changes have been published? Space there is tight and the Glen Sannox is a big lump of a ship. Irish berth seems the favourite.


Norman Brown,

Largs and Brodick,

Former director and general manger Ferguson Shipbuilders Ltd.

Thunderguy memories


From my home in West Kilbride I watch the Caledonian Isles sailing serenely over the shimmering sea to the beautiful Isle of  Arran.

Recently my friend and I spent a most enjoyable and magical holiday at the lovely Heathfield Cottage in Brodick. We were truly delighted to meet so many kindly, friendly people so willing to help us in any way. It made the holiday so special.

It was such a treat to attend the Irish, Scottish ceilidh at the Ormidale Hotel. It was a great pleasure to speak to the performers after the show and also to the Rev Angus Adamson.

My late grandmother Flora Kerr was born and brought up at Thunderguy, Pirnmill. I am also related to Flora Currie of Sunnyside, Pirnmill.

I have just completed a book about my idyllic childhood at Thunderguy Farm in the days of Dan and Effie Currie. This book contains interesting stories and amusing anecdotes of past times and events on Arran, which were related to me by my close and loving family.

I am desperately anxious to publish this book, as I do not want these stories and photos lost to posterity. I send all my love and my very best wishes to everyone on Arran, the island so very dear to my heart.


Miss Fiona Kerr Fraser,

West Kilbride.

Public exclusion


Briefly, on the proposed fencing of Glen Rosa, Arran Banner June 9, it seems to me fencing off with all its attendant reasons, a lot of them dubious, is just another way of excluding the wandering public from areas of Scotland large and small. It is just a tad insidious. Once we have lost it, it is gone for ever.


R C McKay,


Immaculate facilities 


I am writing to thank all the village volunteers who run the village toilets around Arran.

They are all kept immaculate, we are so, so grateful they have undertaken this commitment after last year’s disaster when they were all closed around the island.

As holiday makers we really didn’t look forward to returning to the same predicament so a big thank you to you all. Please continue with your dedication.


R Massey,

North Wales.

Sad loss


So sorry that the Riding for the Disables Association on Arran is now no more, as highlighted in last week’s Banner.

As an occasional volunteer over the last seven years, I have watched children who are not mainstream enjoy and progress through the RDA. They learn empathy, balance, and independence as in where to guide their ponies by themselves, such an achievement for some.

My forte was with the ponies, not the children and some volunteers forte was with the children and not the ponies. We each had our assets to give, all very valuable indeed.

For myself, I got to meet a wonderful array of volunteers, each with a common purpose and various talents.  However, the accolades should go to Yolly Campbell and Sue Tozer and others too numerous to mention, that we all tried our best to do the best for the adults and children who benefited from this charity.  Thank you everyone involved.

Such a sad loss to the island.


Sandra Brown,


Outing fun


On Wednesday May 30 the Arran Elderly Forum had a marvelous outing departing from the Ormidale Pavilion in Brodick at 10.30am. Stuart Gough was our narrator and Stewart Black was our driver both of whom excelled in their roles.

Stewart drove perfectly and at a nice slow pace allowing everyone to look and see all the the places Stuart was telling us about as we meandered up round the Northend and down to Machrie Bay Tearoom where we had a wonderful light lunch with no rush required. Back on the bus, down through BWF and over the String, arriving back at the pavilion at 2.30pm and the weather was, simply the best!

Thank you very much to everyone who helped to make it a perfect day, including the Big Co-op for the bottled water and sweets, and finally, to the lady who gave us a cold box for the day!

Fiona Brown,

Arran Elderly Forum.