Arran Banner 20 years ago – week 32

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Saturday August 1, 1998

Coming of age

Six years after the Isle of Arran Distillery announced its plans to establish in Lochranza, and three years after the opening ceremony, Arran has its own whisky.

Now all whisky blends which are produced at the distillery will contain whisky which has been produced on Arran. The spirit which had been maturing since 1995 can now officially be called whisky.

A special ceremony to mark the coming of age took place at the distillery with film star Ewan McGregor opening the first cask. Born in Crieff, he was visiting Arran for the first time and was genuinely delighted to be at the event. A thoroughly approachable man who was happy to answer any questions, he spent a great deal of time signing autographs and posing for photos with fans.

Troubled waters

Construction of a sewage interception tank in Brodick continues apace in Brodick, but in Lochranza the plans for a water treatment station have given rise to much criticism.

The initial site chosen by West of Scotland Water for the plant did not find favour with everyone. Just before the bridge leading into Lochranza at the south end of the village, this location was considered by many to be too obtrusive, a sentiment shared by landowner Charles Fforde. West of Scotland Water thus withdrew the planning application and came up with a second location, closer to the village near the Lochranza Golf Course, but resident have opposed this idea as it is too close to dwellings within the village.

Now, a third option has entered the equation. This is the same site as the present small treatment plant, in a secluded spot behind the distillery and a fair distance from any dwelling or main road.  Mr Fforde has no objection to the site and the villagers are also in favour of this site. Only time will tell where the treatment station will eventually be located.

Lucky Guppie

One of the luckiest of guinea pigs is currently residing at home again in Brodick. Mary Keir’s guinea pig, Guppie, has just been found after spending over two months in her garden hedge. After searching fruitlessly for weeks, hopes of her survival were all but abandoned. Last weekend Guppie reappeared unexpectedly in her hutch and Mary has no idea how Guppie found her way back unaided.


The six stage Around Arran road relay race, organised by North Ayrshire Council, took place on Sunday. Starting in miserable conditions from Blackwaterfoot, the teams set off in both directions to run around Arran’s coast roads. 01_B32twe01

Andrew Currie and Ewan McGregor drink a toast to the Lochranza whisky that has come of age on the shore at Lochranza Castle. 01_B32twe02

Immediately after opening the first cask Ewan McGregor, Gordon Mitchell and Harold Currie taste the whisky. 01_B32twe03

The Rachmaniov Piano Trio, l to r, Alexander Volpov, Lev Atlas, Philip Silver and Arran’s Mike Lunan who have played a series of five recitals on the island last week. 01_B32twe04

All the trophy winners in the Lamlash Ladies Open which saw 147 ladies playing in the 9th annual event. 01_B32twe05