Arran Banner Letters – week 06, 2021

Dougarie School circa 1892

Want to read more?

At the start of the pandemic in March we took the decision to make online access to our news free of charge by taking down our paywall. At a time where accurate information about Covid-19 was vital to our community, this was the right decision – even though it meant a drop in our income. In order to help safeguard the future of our journalism, the time has now come to reinstate our paywall,

However, rest assured that access to all Covid related news will still remain free. To access all other news will require a subscription, as it did pre-pandemic.

The good news is that for the whole of December we will be running a special discounted offer to get 3 months access for the price of one month. Thank you for supporting us during this incredibly challenging time.

We value our content and our journalists, so to get full access to all your local news updated 7-days-a-week – PLUS an e-edition of the Arran Banner – subscribe today for as little as 48 pence per week.

Already a subscriber?


Subscribe Now

Genealogy challenge


I wonder if any of your readers might be interested to see this old photo of some of the children at Dougarie School about 1892.

My grandfather, Duncan McAllister, is in the photo, partially obscured by a smaller boy who I am told was Archie McKenzie.

I think going to school only became compulsory for all children between five and 13 years in about 1880, and clearly wearing shoes was optional.

Do school roles survive from the 1890s? Can anyone name the other eight children in the picture?

A genealogy challenge for anyone interested during these strange times when schools are shut due to the pandemic.


Eric McAllister,



Be careful what you wish for


I don’t know of any sheep farmer who would like to see the white-tailed eagle make a return to Arran (Bird Notes, January 29.)

Since it’s re-introduction to Scotland these birds have caused carnage among sheep flocks starting with Mull but now quite widespread throughout the west.

Though they feed on fish they have found an easier prey by lifting live lambs in their talons.

Not every bird is guilty but the more they breed (and they are not an endangered species now) the more potential damage and trauma to sheep they create.


Margie Currie,



Grateful thanks


I would be most grateful, if through the Banner, I could thank Arran Medical Group for the prompt and rescheduled Covid vaccination clinic for those of us that had to be turned away last week.

It was great that the mainland delivery problem was resolved and now many more of us have been vaccinated so professionally.


Ian Clinton



Shiskine Hospital Supporters’ thanks


The Hospital Supporters’ League would like to express its thanks to Bernie Jackson of Montrose Terrace, Whiting Bay, for his generous donation of £248 which he raised with his colourful and seasonal display of Christmas lights outside his house.

On behalf of the committee, I also wish to thank all visitors, friends, neighbours and relatives who contributed to the collecting can. The Hospital Supporters’ League is extremely grateful for your donations.


Jim Arnold,

Secretary, Hospital Supporters’ League


EU bureaucracy


I was disappointed that your coverage of the overwhelmingly good news of Covid-19 vaccinations on Arran did not mention the EU.

If the Scottish electorate had had its way and the UK had remained in the EU, we would not have had the vaccine.

The UK, having left the bloc, was able to move quickly to secure supplies of multiple vaccines, while the EU, to quote German newspaper Die Zeit (in an article entitled The Best Advertisement for Brexit), was being ‘slow, bureaucratic and protectionist’.

That is why, at the time of writing, the UK has vaccinated more than 11 per cent of its population (albeit with Scotland lagging behind), while the EU drags its heels at under three per cent. With the inevitability of fate, the EU’s own web site carries a headline ‘Covid-19 vaccines: why so fast?’.

Having missed the bus, the EU is (to mix metaphors) auditioning for scapegoats, and has clearly selected AstraZeneca for the part.

If it is successful in its disgraceful planned bullying and protectionism, we may yet be deprived of our second doses of the Pfizer vaccine. I am profoundly grateful to the rest of the UK that we are no longer tied to that awful bureaucracy.


Richard S Henderson