Arran Banner letters – week 41 2019

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Not good enough


Yet again, we have a further and entirely predictable failure in the infrastructure and reliability of our lifeline ferry service.

It is difficult to know or indeed comprehend why the broken linkspans at Gourock and the Ardrossan Irish berth remain unrepaired after so very many weeks. We can only hope the same fate will not befall the Arran berth at Ardrossan leaving our service disrupted with no mainland port of refuge. That said, thanks are due to Calmac and their staff for mitigating the effects of the failure, albeit with the timely intervention of a very cooperative and helpful Troon Port Authority.

The people of Arran find themselves once again feeling cut off and let down by those in authority. Do we ever get an apology from those that represent us, or the organisations such as Transport Scotland who purport to coordinate and deliver our service? We might also ask why there is never any accountability. When ships are not delivered, with huge overspends, when terminals are over cost and not fit for purpose with diminished weather reliability, why does no one in the various agencies ever accept responsibility?

We at the Arran Ferry Action Group are wholeheartedly committed to letting those in authority, up to and including government, know the depth of feeling on the island that our service is at an unacceptable level and that the demonstrable absence of proper strategic planning is damaging our island economy. It is simply just not good enough!

We continue to seek your support and very much welcome your input to our website and the Arran Forum. With you, the public on our side, we have a total determination to change things for the better whatever it takes. We hope to have a public meeting later in the autumn to discuss these issues further.


Gavin Fulton,

Chair Arran Ferry Action Group.

CC Paul Wheelhouse MSP , Kenneth Gibson MSP , Jamie Green MSP.

Thankful for Troon


Three linkspans, two at Ardrossan harbour owned by Peel Ports and one at Gourock owned by CMAL are, to be polite, out of order. What happens before this letter gets published is  anybody’s guess but now the ferry is sailing to Troon.

Those of us who supported Troon as a mainland destination will as I hope will other Arran folk be thankful that Troon harbour exists for if it did not Arran businesses and people would have been stranded for several days.


John Cruickshank,

Whiting Bay.

Penny thanks


On behalf of Brodick Primary School I would like to say a sincere thank you to all the visitors and locals who donated to our ‘line of pennies’ on Friday 4th of October.  We raised just over £800 which we will donate to the Glasgow Children’sHospital Charity.

A few people deserve a special mention. Mr Graham Chappell of Arran Graphics who donated our Banner. To Liz and the staff of the Co-Op for allowing the children to shake their buckets inside the warmth of the Big and Little Co.  A big thanks also to Caledonian MacBrayne for welcoming the children in to use their facilities and eat their lunch in the departure lounge.  The gesture was very much appreciated on such a cold day.

All the children were very proud of what they achieved and it wouldn’t have been possible without everyone’s support.


Mrs Shirley MacLachlan,

Head teacher.

Macmillan support


This year our World’s Biggest Coffee morning fundraiser entered its 29th year.

In community centres, schools and workplaces, thousands of coffee mornings were held across Scotland to raise money and help us support people affected by cancer.

I would like to offer a huge and heartfelt thanks to every single one of your readers who held or attended a coffee morning – your energy and generosity never ceases to amaze us.

Whether it’s specialist cancer nurses, support workers or benefit advisors, we can only offer the support that people with cancer need thanks to the tireless fundraising efforts of our supporters.

The number of people who need our help is growing, and we want to offer support to everyone who needs it. We are almost entirely funded by the public, so every coffee morning held – every cup of coffee bought – makes a difference.

And please remember, if you need information, support or a chat with Macmillan you can call us free on 0808 808 0000.

If you’d like to support Macmillan and do something amazing today, you can also visit

Thank you all so very much.


Janice Preston,

Head of Services for Macmillan Cancer Support in Scotland.

Sandra gets a chocolate surprise


For my birthday, which unfortunately fell on the hottest day of the year, I was sent some chocolates courtesy of my mother-in-law, from James of Arran – they are the best.

However, as we live in France and it suffered stupidly hot temperatures, 47° on the day itself, by the time my beautifully crafted chocolates appeared, they were… how to put it … knackered! I had no idea what was what.

I sent a wee photo to James of Arran, regarding my ‘chocolate recognition’ dilemma as all the identifying swirls etc were lost. In no way did I hold him responsible for this, adding that he cannot be blamed for a heatwave in the middle of France.

Today I was stunned by an unexpected gift in the post, with a beautiful wee card from James no less.

In an age when people are utterly vile towards each other and there seems to be very little human decency about, this wonderful gift really lifted my spirits and made me smile. What an absolute gent.

I don’t know if this contravenes any advertising rules etc but thought I’d let you know that in France, Arran has truly been put on the map!


Sandra Agnew,


The chocolates which were left too long in the sun. NO_B41choc01

The replacement box and card sent by James. NO_B41choc02