Arran Banner letters – week 03

Murray at Cape Reinga at the end of his epic trip

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CMAL does not listen


Following on Mr Maclean’s letter (Banner January 8 2021) and your report of the ferry committee’s response to the ferry report, readers might want to take a look at CMAL’s website for it’s response to the report.

It reads as follows: ‘We will examine the content of the report as a matter of priority and give the recommendations our full consideration.

‘Our position has always been that the problems with the dual fuel ferry project were driven by supplier failure and our evidence to the REC Committee was robust in this respect.

‘We have a successful track record of delivering ferry projects on time and budget and we are committed to continuous improvement of our processes, so steps are already being taken to further develop the planning process for new ferries.

‘The REC Committee’s report may offer some ideas to further assist us in this regard. However, the role and impact of supplier failure in the dual fuel ferry project must not be underestimated.’

In other words, ‘It’s no’ oor fault’. They don’t listen to ferry users and it seems they won’t listen to parliament. As long as the existing structure remains in place things do not look good for the future of our ferries and, by extension, the islands.


David Brookens,

Whiting Bay.


Chrismas light donations


A wee note to say a big thank-you to all the people who came round in all the bad weather to see the Christmas lights and donated to Arran War Memorial Hospital Supporters League.

The sum of £248 was raised which has been passed on; once again thank you and hope to see you all next Christmas.


Bernie Jackson,

Whiting Bay.


Role music can play


As we move into 2021 and parents, teachers and pupils once again find themselves facing additional challenges to deliver and attain a full and rounded education, it is worthwhile remembering the role that music can and should play in improving our lives.

Firstly, music will help to support and sustain our young people through the coming months.

For children and adults alike, the creative arts play a vital role in promoting wellbeing and positive mental health, providing both a means of expression during the isolation of ‘lockdown’ and a practical as well as enjoyable pastime.

Secondly – and just as importantly – playing an instrument is complementary to academic subjects and has been shown emphatically to improve wider educational success.

As we consider the often daunting challenge of the return to home schooling, those parents whose children can mix domestic timetables with musical lessons will understand the release and stimulation playing an instrument can deliver.

Across society music is integral to our identities and is made to be shared. We now have the means to do that successfully and safely with online tools whose use has been well-honed by recent experience.

So whether you’re at the start of a musical journey, or are well advanced in music-making let’s keep singing, keep dancing and keep music lessons flowing, particularly while the restrictions necessitated by the pandemic keep us apart in our own homes.


Dr Kenneth Taylor,


St Mary’s Music School,



Murray completes moped challenge

Murray Picken of Kilmory has completed an epic 2,439 kilometre tour in New Zealand on a 50cc moped.

It took him 13 days over the festival season to travel from Bluff, in the very south of South Island, to Cape Reinga at the north tip of North Island. At the finish he met a family at the lighthouse that had passed him three days before!

Well done to Murray, who has so far raised $3,140 for the Key to Life Charitable Trust, which encourages young people in New Zealand to take ownership of their attitudes and perceptions toward mental health and well-being by building quality relationships through informed youth participation.

See Murray’s fundraising page at: hairy-scoot’s-man