Arran Banner 20 years ago – week 33

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Saturday August 14, 1999

Lucky escape

Four children had lucky escape after a dingy incident which came within a hairsbreadth of tragedy.

On a beautiful sunny afternoon Mrs Jo Earle had gone down to Torrylinn beach with her two children and some friends. The children were playing in the water with an inflatable dingy while Mrs Earle, mindful of potential danger, was keeping a watchful eye on them. But she said: ‘It all happened so quickly. Just before my eyes the wind suddenly came off the shore and within seconds they were out of reach.’

In the dingy were four children all under 10. There was Andrew Earle and Ailsa Barr who live at the Southend and two visiting children Craig and Robyn McDowall. The dingy was swiftly blown out to sea and those on shore watched helplessly as it got smaller and smaller among the waves. Mrs Earle’s elder son, Robert, ran to the Post Office and raised the alarm.

From the beach Mrs Earle saw a helicopter approach although by this time the boat was no longer visible.  While flying overhead the Campbeltown lifeboat appeared and, going directly to the boat marked by the helicopter, it picked up the children and returned them to Mrs Earle, a little shocked but completely unscathed.

Arran institutions

The 112th Brodick Highland Games were held last week at the Ormidale Park with the traditional meeting of the pipe bands from the 10.35am ferry. During the parade along the front it began to rain and continued to rain with the result that the Highland dancing competition had to be relocated to the village hall.

However as the day went on the weather improved and the games proceeded with little disruption – only the high jump events were cancelled. In the field events no new records were set but Scott Clark managed to improve all of the local marks and emerged as a worthy winner of the heavy events competition.

Attracting a record breaking audience the 1999 Arran Farmers’ Society Show saw more than 4,000 people attending. Sadly, the number of beasts looked down, evidence of the changing times, but the quality and variety of the animals was high and the interest in farming still very much evident.

Sinking feeling

There was some rough weather last weekend and two small boats sank in Brodick Bay. One of them was only put in the water that week and was left lying with its nose sticking out. Coastguards visited the site on Sunday afternoon to assess the situation but it was only on Wednesday that a minor salvage operation pulled them out again.


Robert Earle, Ailsa Barr and Andrew Earle were all involved in the dingy drama at Torrylinn  beach. 01_B33twe01

Members of the Arran Hockey Club at Blackwaterfoot just prior to their fundraising round the island relay run. £460 was raised by supporters for the club. 01_B33twe02

Ladies of the Arran Women Writers Group have celebrated the publication of their first book with the clever title of The Biggish Ewe (The Big Issue). 01_B33twe03

It could almost be a century ago as these young children show off their outfits at the Brodick Castle Victorian Day.   01_B33twe04

The main prize-winners at the Brodick Ladies Open at which Olive Keith won the championship trophy.  01_B33twe05