Arran Banner letters – week 37

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Simple sign?


Colin Guthrie, in last week’s Arran Banner letters, suggests a simple sign to direct down those at the top of Goatfell. I couldn’t disagree more.  Why just one sign?  What if you can’t find the top and the sign?  How should you balance the views of those that may have come up from Corrie and want to return the same way with those that want to follow the sign?  Why just Goatfell?

No party should try to walk up this or any other mountain without a reasonably large scale hard copy map and a compass and some idea about how to use them. The former will show you that if you’ve gone up from the castle grounds and you’re somewhere near the top, continuing on, down and west might be a bit too sporting, as he suggests. The latter will show that going broadly (it doesn’t have to be exact) south east will get you down to well-earned refreshments, possibly while others are still fiddling with their smartphone maps and compasses in the rain.


Nigel Armstrong,

Food for thought


I very much enjoyed Russ McLean’s romp through the fruit and veg aisle at Lamlash Co-op. He threw around apples, oranges and bananas in support of his argument. What he forgets is that we would never have seen such fruits without the Herculean efforts of Cal Mac to get them here. So they’re not getting it all wrong are they.

I am also 100 per cent behind their policy of building ships for the Clyde on the Clyde. Why on earth would any of us be pleased that other operators prefer to scour the world for cheaper options? This race to the bottom on price is in fact what killed off our engineering. Of course it is a long road back. But it is a road we must take though we are bound to hit problems on the way.

Do you want to know who agrees with me? None other than Boris Johnson. The Times of London reports that he wants more British vessels built in this country. That’s a great idea. The French and Germans found a way to do it so why can’t we? They never lost their skills while we are having to start again from scratch.

Where Russ is spot on is when he calls for a rethink of RET. It aims to keep prices low and boost the number of cars on Arran. And it has worked. It’s been so successful that the council wants to charge cars for parking in popular spots when they get here. They’ve pulled the plug on it for now but they’re bound to try again. So as quick as the Scottish government is cutting costs to motorists the council wants to pile them back on. You couldn’t make it up.


Alistair McIntosh,


Road danger


We recently spent a couple of wonderful days in Lamlash on holiday. We were quite impressed with the attention for nature conservation and the friendly people.

Presumably tourism is an important source of income for the people of Arran and specifically Lamlash. Lamlash is a beautiful little village but we were disappointed that authorities allow fast moving traffic on the main road through the village. Walking in the village was a nightmare. Surely some speed bumps and/or stop sign will reduce the danger to people and pets?


Piet Liebenberg,

South Africa.

Wonderful memories


Having spent this last week on Arran, I feel compelled to put pen to paper and write to thank you all for a wonderful week. I was going to write a list of who to thank, a long list, but then re thought and instead have decided that readers would be turned off. I’ve written from the heart my feelings and love for this island.

This is my third return to the island, that says it all. On each occasion everyone, and I mean everyone, we met gave a warm and genuine welcome. We come to Arran for its beauty, peacefulness, variety of things to do and much, much more. It’s always wonderful to see close up seals, raptors, the beauty of the island and diversity of trees and wild flowers. And for my first time the white stag. A memory I’ll treasure forever.

I was bragging to my cousin that Arran has so much pride that everywhere you go Arran Aromatic products are within the toilet facilities, not this time. Hey hoe can’t win them all.

I try to get a snippet of what the island means to the locals and us tourists alike. On this occasion I’m saddened to hear of no more diary farming and to see what happens when farming is removed from land. There will be many reasons why these have gone.

I’m heartened to see investment into the island and can only hope this overall will be a good thing. The roads are better than last year but like everywhere could still be improved. We met a lovely young lady who has come for work experience. She’s got a passion for our seas and from where I stand she’ll go far.

So thank you the wonderful island of Arran once again you and your people have given my family wonderful memories. We look forward to returning.


Angela McNay,


Guild quiz


Thank you to the many participants who very kindly entered the Lamlash Church Guild summer quiz this year and the wonderful support given by Arran Active in Brodick and the Glenisle Hotel in Lamlash. Congratulations to this year’s winner N Meek of Hamilton.


Pat Reid,

Lamlash Church Guild.