Arran Banner letters – week 50

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A concert appreciation


Congratulations to the Arran Singers on their exceptional performance at the Winter Concert held on Sunday afternoon. It was delightful and I think I can safely speak for the majority of the audience who packed the Brodick Hall.

The programme had been very well thought out, providing  a variety of music to suit all tastes. Adding to the programme from the sounds of a beautiful well-balanced choir, the lovely sounding groups of Vivace and Ain’t Misbehavin’ gave more variety and humour.  The other items, a solo from John Cruickshank and a surprising guest soloist, added to the programme.

I admired the young guest soloist Ross Dobson who sang so genuinely, Fly me to the Moon,.  How brave he was to face the audience of mainly middle aged and elderly folk. Perhaps, we can hope to see more younger folk participating or listening to such enjoyable music.  Not surprisingly, he received tremendous applause.

The audience were given the opportunity to join in with some traditional carols in between the concert items.

All the organisation for the afternoon was perfect, including the tea/coffee/juice and mince pies served at the interval, after which we hurried back to our seats in anticipation of the second half of the concert.

Well done Diana and Douglas Hamilton for producing such a wonderful concert and a special mention to Diana for her surprising lovely new setting of the words of  Sir Christemas.


Margaret Shaw,


Soldier’s story


Many thanks for your report on my father, Second Lieutenant Robert B Haddow, in last week’s Banner.

The actual documents sent  by the War Office are being delivered to the Arran Heritage Museum shortly to be included in the archives.

I commend anyone who has an interest in these affairs to read the horrible, gory details written by him of his actual moments of capture and yet the German Field Station must have taken great care to prevent his death; perhaps our editor was right in refraining from publishing the actual description of a badly wounded soldier crawling along a grotty trench and facing up to a German soldier about to dispatch him with a rifle.

Robert seems to have taken great care to be accurate in the report he filed with the War Office. He does say in his report that he saw his CO being escorted through the German lines at the same time as his capture.
On behalf of those who are interested, thank you.


Bob Haddow,

Kings Cross.

Brain storm 


During the recent storms when half the beaches were thrown up on the coast roads, together with high speed rocks and stones, many people were keen to get really interesting photographs, presumably to put on social media etc, to let friends know how extreme the weather had been.

Some were keener than others to get good pictures and at one place on the island the following was seen.

The road in question was awash with large waves,  when a relatively small car turned up with a driver clearly keen to get impressive pictures.  The car was being severely buffeted by waves and was being moved at times bodily sideways – no problem.  The car stopped and turned round to give the driver a lee to get out and run to a suitable place to take pictures – which happened.

At this point bystanders noticed there were people, clearly terrified, in the car and who were obviously fearful of the motion of the car.  It was suggested to the driver that it was an unsuitable place to park, that the people left in the car were distressed and wouldn’t it be a good idea to move the car.  The reply was astonishing – there’s no problem, it’s got to be perfectly safe as the police have not closed the road!

Presumably this individual considered that had the car been washed away and the people within lost, then the police would suddenly conjure up replacements as part of their responsibilities. Well, think that one over again.

The nanny state is not in the business of meaning that, anything you can do that you are not told not to do, is safe to do. Or is it?  Come on, grow up – we had better have some sort of responsibility for our own safety or frankly face the consequences.


Rory Cowan,


Save stamps


The festive season is all about generosity and goodwill but, with a shopping list as long as your arm, it can be hard to find the spare cash to support a good cause.

But this Christmas, there’s a way of supporting the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) that won’t cost you a penny.

All you need to do is collect used stamps from your cards and parcels and get your friends and family to do the same. Your old stamps will be recycled and turned into much-needed funds to help the charity continue its great work breaking down the barriers facing people with sight loss across the UK. Isolation, inequality and unemployment are still a fact of life for too many blind and partially-sighted people and it’s just not right.

Simply visit or call 0345 345 0054 to request your pre-paid envelopes, and then send your stamps to RNIB in the post – it really is that easy!

Today, 250 people will begin to lose their sight. I can only imagine how scary that must be, but thankfully RNIB is there, providing a listening ear, as well as practical and emotional support.

Please show your support for RNIB this Christmas and get collecting those stamps!

Thank you.


Jenny Éclair,

Comedian, novelist, actress and RNIB supporter.