Arran Banner letters – week 30

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In footsteps of ancient saints


Can I use your letters page to invite people to join us in the footsteps of the ancient saints?

Follow the life of St Molaise and rediscover Celtic spirituality by joining us on a short modern-day Ecumenical Pilgrimage Walk across the Ross Road from Sliddery to Lamlash on Friday August 9.

All are welcome to this event, which is open to anyone of a religious faith, or none.

We will meet at the War Monument in Sliddery at 10am beside the junction of the Ross Road and walk towards Lamlash. There is no set timescale for the walk, but as it is over 10 miles and the road is quite hilly, we anticipate a walk of around four to six hours.

On the Sunday August 11 at 11am, we invite those who joined us on the walk, to our service at St Margaret’s Scottish Episcopal Church in Whiting Bay,  and – subject to weather and tide conditions – on the morning of Monday August 12, at 10am, we will take the ferry from Lamlash across to the Holy Isle.

From there, we will walk to St Molaise’s Cave near the shore, which is the final destination of our Pilgrimage. We will hold a short ecumenical service at the entrance to the cave.

The only requirements on each day, excluding the Sunday, is that you bring your own packed lunch and arrange your own transport back to your respective island destinations. There is a good public transport system on the island. The Holy Island ferry fare is £12 return for adults and £6 for children. A parent or guardian should join any younger people undertaking the walks.


Gordon MacLeod, Trainee priest,

Scottish Episcopal Church.

Craigie’s work


I am showing my sculptures in London in September at an exhibition called The Two Gentlemen of Arran. Some of my works will be displayed alongside the works of the late Craigie Aitchison and I am writing to ask any Banner readers if anybody knew him or his brother Raymund Aitchison who lived latterly at Gorton Jockey corner, Lamlash?

Any anecdotes or stories might help my part in the head-to-head discussion in front of an invited audience. Any information about either of them, particularly Craigie’s art practice while he was here. Or indeed Raymund’s, as it has been suggested to me that he was an amateur painter. I’m really looking for any inside information that might help shed light on the huge influence Arran had on Craigie’s paintings.

Please phone on 01770 600287 or drop me a line at Whiterock, Lamlash, KA27 8NL. All information will be useful. Thanks.


Tim Pomeroy,


Ferry funds

Copy of letter sent to Cunninghame North MSP Kenneth Gibson


I, and I think a lot of others on Arran, think that the Scottish Government is, in a number of ways, responsible for the shocking state of ferry services to the west coast islands.

Government forward planning has been woeful. You are spending money on RET but have not taken into account the huge increase in traffic that this has produced. Far too few new ferries have been ordered and those that have are far too big and have not been built yet. Ageing  boats breaking down resulting in transfers of boats and loss of service- I could go on.

The situation, I think you will agree, is untenable and needs a huge amount of capital investment to bring the fleet up to standard. These are nationalised industries and as such are the direct responsibility of the Scottish Government.

Island  people are long suffering and in some ways politicians take advantage of this, but island people are very angry and I think you have reached a point when you need to bite the bullet, borrow a very large amount of money and produce a ferry service that is fit for purpose.


John Cruickshank,

Whiting Bay.

Arran in USA


We spent a delightful week on Arran a couple of weeks ago and enjoyed the delicious ice cream. We were thrilled to find it in our Central Market supermarket. They were giving out samples and making a huge deal of it. Not sure if they will continue to carry it … hope so! or if it was just an ‘event’ but it brought back wonderful memories and allowed us to prolong our holiday a bit.


Leah Larson,

Texas, USA.

Garden fundraiser


We would like to thank all the islanders and visitors who braved the
weather on Sunday to come to our open garden. Through all the donations
we raised an amazing total of £400 for ArCaS.


John and Janet Baraclough,


Futuristic loos


During my recent holiday on the the beautiful island, I read in your esteemed journal that Neil Armstrong had once visited Arran.

I wonder if he visited the public convenience on the beach at Brodick? If so I expect he would have been very impressed by the futuristic stainless steel interior. It’s more like a space station than a Scottish island.


Neil McDonald,


Advisory group


Parkinson’s UK Scotland has an exciting new opportunity for people who want to be at the heart of shaping the charity’s work.

We’re establishing a new Scotland Advisory Group to guide all of our work here. The group will provide a platform through which supporters, people affected by Parkinson’s and professionals in Scotland will advise the Scotland team on how best to deliver better support and services for people with Parkinson’s and their carers, families, and friends. We also want members to be ambassadors for people with Parkinson’s in Scotland and the charity.

It’s vital the group reflects the real world in Scotland. We want members to have diversity of background, thought and experience, and we welcome applications from anyone, anywhere in Scotland who wants to help grow the reach and impact of the charity and improve services and outcomes for the Parkinson’s community here.

To find out more about the group, the role and how to apply to become a member please visit

Applications close on July 31. Come and join us – we need your experience, skills and insight.


David Allan, Scotland Trustee,

Parkinson’s UK in Scotland.