Arran Banner letters – week 46


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Help music school


I would like to take this opportunity to give thanks to the many who are supporting us just now. The Isle of Arran Music School has been lucky enough to have been selected as one of the causes for the Co-op Community Fund, this means that if you are a Co-op member and you choose our cause, 2p will be donated for every £1 you spend in the main Brodick store.

These donations will go towards a uniform for our students for community performances, local and national competitions.  Under current restrictions these types of events are prohibited but we are looking forward to wearing the island’s tartan with pride when we can.

This application to the Co-op was made at the start of lockdown when the music school quickly moved it’s tutelage online to ensure that our excellent tutors could still teach the students on the island.

Since returning to tuition in August, we are trying to have a mixture of on-line learning and face-to-face tuition when it is safe to do so.

I would like to thank Arran High School staff for facilitating this within the school for their students and also a thanks to the students and their families for persevering with all the changes that occur in the delivery of the tuition.

This ‘blended learning’ approach was something we had not budgeted for but we feel it is still providing the high quality tuition the students should receive.

As a charity, we have been seeking funding to off-set the extra £5,000 that it will cost to continue this to March.

We are hopeful that all these costs will be met but we have asked the community for donations through Just Giving and we have had over £370 donated so far which we are thankful for and any other donations would be appreciated:

Our pleas for funding have been promoted through Facebook on the IoAMS page (@arranmusicschool) and I would like to take this time to thank the Machrie Ladies card making group, who saw our appeal and wrote a lovely letter of support on their homemade card with a very generous cheque inside.  This individual donation goes a long way to ensure we can continue our work. Thank you.

In June, the tutors and students collaborated on video clips of them performing as an end of year performance and we are hoping to do this for Christmas as a way to show our gratitude for all the individual and community support we have received during this turbulent time.  P

lease follow our Facebook page for updates of the performances.

The link to the Co-op cause profile page is:


Quinton Black,


Isle of Arran Music School.


So much non-science


I would have a lot more respect for Sally Campbell of Lamlash, in last week’s letters page, if she just said that she didn’t want salmon farms around the Isle of Arran rather than enter into some quasi-scientific argument as to why salmon farming is so bad.

She writes that farmed salmon that have been accidentally released into the marine environment are genetically different from wild fish and are compromised by weakness and disease. She also writes that there is clear evidence that they have contributed to the inexorable decline of wild salmon populations.

Yet, despite the numbers she quotes, the Scottish government have recorded that 27 salmon of farmed origin were caught around all of Scotland in 2018 and 20 in 2019. These are hardly numbers that are going to overwhelm wild stocks.

Most of the released salmon swim out to sea, never to be seen again. A few do swim into rivers and I always find it puzzling how these so-called weak and diseased fish also manage to find their way up west coast rivers and aggressively breed with wild fish whilst spreading their inferior genes throughout the wild stock.

The reality is that there is so much nonsense spread about salmon farming to support the various campaigns against its development. Farmed salmon are not genetically different to wild fish. They look different because they are well fed and haven’t just travelled several hundreds of miles to return to rivers to breed.

There is also no evidence at all to support the claim that salmon farming has caused the decline of wild fish stocks.  For example, stocks around Loch Fyne collapsed a decade before the arrival of salmon farming to the loch.

One reason may be over-exploitation. It may be of interest to know that since the Scottish government started to record this data in 1952, anglers have caught and killed 1,208 wild salmon as they attempted to return to rivers on Arran to breed. For sea trout, the number is 3,369.

If Sally Campbell is so concerned about the state of wild salmon, then she might consider campaigning for an end to the killing of wild salmon and sea trout for sport.

However, I suspect that safeguarding wild salmon stocks is not her priority and it is the presence of working salmon farms that attracts her ire.


Dr Martin Jaffa,

Callander McDowell,