Arran Banner 20 years ago – week 47

A familiar face in his traveling shop for over 21 years, Robin Cook, who drove around the Southend and Shiskine in what was known locally as ‘Finlay Cook’s Van,’ will be moving off island with his wife Helen after 31 years in the wholesale and grocery business on Arran.

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Saturday November 27, 1999

Travelling bank

The Royal Bank have upgraded their travelling bank this week which has been in operation since 1963.

In fact travelling banking began even earlier than that. In 1904 the Royal Bank’s Ardrossan branch made regular visits to Arran. In these days, and through the First World War, banking was done in a number of unusual places including a boot merchants back shop and even on occasion at the roadside.

Then in 1924 they opened their first branch in Brodick in the premises that they still occupy. Built for £4,000 the bank had only agreed to move to Arran if 50 people could be found to be its first customers. Soon after the Brodick bank opened the Royal Bank bought Stronbuy in Whiting Bay and opened it as another branch. Later in 1938, a further bank was opened in Lochranza.

Now, only the Brodick branch remains, the Whiting Bay branch having closed in 1991 after a fire. The mobile bank has driven around the island for 36 years now and, with its new vehicle, will continue to take banking to the people.

Brodick reclamation

Brodick green, which was a coup until the 50s, has been sinking. Now an arrangement has been made with Farrans, the contractor putting down the new water pipeline.

They have loads of subsoil to dispose of and have agreed to remove the topsoil, unload their subsoil and then cover it over again. North Ayrshire Council have agreed to reseed it in the spring. The extent of the reclamation will depend on the amount of subsoil to be disposed of.

A beneficial project first mooted by the Brodick Improvements Committee, not everyone is pleased. Jay Ferguson, who looks after the public loos is astonished that it is being done at this time and points out that it is rapidly becoming a quagmire. ‘My toilets are already covered in mud,’ he says.

No waiting

After talks for more than 10 years North Ayrshire Counicl finally has a new proposal for parking restrictions which looks certain to go through. The waiting restrictions are in two places, at the pier and around the Post Office. Consultations are currently underway and will be used to ‘finalise proposals prior to promoting a Traffic Regulation Order’.

Sergeant Jim Weir and constable Colin Bamber are appealing for Arran residents to claim their lost property. A total of 13 bicycles have been handed in over the summer months and are still unclaimed by their owners. 01_B47twe01

A familiar face in his traveling shop for over 21 years, Robin Cook, who drove around Southend and Shiskine in what was known locally as Finlay Cook’s Van, will be moving off-island with his wife Helen after 31 years in the wholesale and grocery business on Arran. 01_B47twe02

Lamlash Bowling and Tennis Club 1999 prizewinners. 01_B47twe03

Whiting Bay Bowling Club prizewinners with a magnificent display of silverware. 01_B47twe04

The new bank van on the shorefront at Brodick. Those who staff her are, l to r, Alice Anderson, Moira MacAlister, Susan Murchie, Moira Chambers and Alison McNicol with driver Alan Winship. 01_B47twe05

Artists and organisers of the contemporary arts and crafts display at Brodick Castle are, Clare Galloway, Vicki Hudson, Jake Irving, Marvin Elliott and Tim Pomeroy. 01_B47twe06