Arran Banner Letters Week 13

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Thank you Arran


Recently my husband and I travelled to Glasgow Royal Infirmary and my husband received some heartbreaking news.

At a time when you are in shock, the way people treat you and indeed the little things that people do to help you, make a horrible time a bit more bearable.

Many, many people have indeed made this time more bearable for us in so many ways. From the kind and sensitive consultants at both Crosshouse and The Royal to the many taxi drivers and indeed members of the public who came to our aid when we needed help. To the thoughtfulness and understanding of the crew of the Caledonian Isles and the incredible kindness, generosity of time, and offers of help and gifts from so many friends and neighbours, some taking our dog out for walks and others shopping and yet others keeping my husband company if I need to go out.

The generosity of the ladies of the Coffee Pot in Whiting Bay has been awesome and truly appreciated. Some lovely doctors are really looking after us as are the district nurses and the whole care team.

Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts and a special thanks to the lovely lady who rescued me when my car broke down last Saturday and who drove me all over the place and got me home safely.

Arran is a very special island we always knew this but it is humbling to be the recipients of so much kindness, love, and terrific community spirit.


Michael and Pam Holmes

Whiting Bay


Calmac Survey


How timely that there is an invitation for comment from the public on Calmac services.

The following comments refer to the Ardrossan/Brodick route. Arran is currently experiencing the most unreliable period of service to the island in 50 years. There were fewer daily sailings in 1969 but they  were run more reliably than is the case in recent years.

To conduct any business that entails the movement of goods to and from the mainland is now a cause of acute frustration and materially reduces Arran’s opportunity to attract new people and business to the island. This has an adverse effect on an island’s fragile economy.

Errors began when CalMac, and subsequently CMAL, on behalf of the Scottish Government stopped commissioning replacement vessels on a regular basis as had been the norm in previous years to serve the Western Isles and the Clyde.

Dependence now on an ageing number of ships has resulted in CM/MAL being unable to service all routes to full capacity at any one  time. This is the fundamental flaw which cannot be righted retrospectively.

Other factors which compound the problem for Arran are as follows:

Failure to maintain Gourock as an all weather port for the Clyde.

Failure to seek appropriate ship design to make Ardrossan accessible in adverse weather or to consider that two smaller ferries shuttling would have better served the route and introducing Road Equivalent Tariff before the infrastructure was in place to deal with the increase in traffic.

Spending around £30m on a poorly designed new pier in Brodick which is presenting problems in docking which did not exist at the old linkspan. Was this a failure to consult with real maritime experts?

Designing such a lengthy passenger access system that it deters many elderly Arran residents form travelling at all.

Launching a new ship with a fanfare two years or so ago which has never been seen since.

That CalMac crews and port staff give the travelling public an exemplary service sadly does not compensate for the situation of constantly interrupted sailings and lost sailing days with little prospect of relief from the major misjudgements of the recent past.


Margie Currie



Fish farm dismay


I read about the proposed fish farm near the fallen rocks with dismay. I fully agree with Sally Campbell and cannot add to her statements.

I wish to put on record my additional concerns which are for the safety of the mill stone site, the old harbour, the salt pans and the coal mines.

They are a part of Arran’s heritage and should be looked after and no development should be allowed that would jeopardise there existence.

I have always felt that they do not attract enough attention to preserve them but hopefully this project will focus heritage organisations to take care of them and prevent developments destroying them.


Roderick C McKay



Magic Little Grants


Localgiving is delighted to announce the launch of its latest Magic Little Grants Fund. Through the Magic Little Grants Fund, Localgiving distributes £500 grants to local charities and community groups, with an annual income under £250,000, that support and inspire people to participate in sports or exercise, with the primary aim of improving the physical health of participants.

Magic Little Grants 2019 is funded by the players of People’s Postcode Lottery thanks to an award of £550,000, making this the biggest Magic Little Grants fund to date. The funding comes from Postcode Community Trust, a grant giving charity funded entirely by players of the lottery.

As well as receiving a grant, successful organisations that are new to Localgiving will also receive a free annual membership with Localgiving worth £96 – also funded by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. This will give them access to Localgiving’s online fundraising platform, regular match fund campaigns and competitions, and numerous fundraising resources.

New groups can register with Localgiving and apply for a grant at


Izzi McLaren

People’s Postcode Lottery