Arran Banner letters – week 36, 2021


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Community support


The Arran High School awards ceremony took place on a beautiful, sunny afternoon, as reported in last week’s Banner.

It was so nice to be able to present the awards in person to the recipients.

It was unfortunate that, as a result of continuing Covid mitigations, family and friends were unable to attend. We have recorded the event and it will available very soon.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank and publicly acknowledge the Arran Society of Glasgow for their continued invaluable contribution to the event; their support for us demonstrates a real recognition of the endeavour of our young people and their keen interest in supporting them to progress onto positive destinations both on and away from the island.

It is another superb example of the support we enjoy from our community.


Susan Foster,

Head teacher,

Arran High School


A bad precedent


The ordeal of the 60 people stranded on the pier on Thursday, August 12, was unnecessary.

Around 4pm, Ardrossan Coastguard responded to reports of a yacht with two people onboard drifting with engine failure.

The Caledonian Isles was diverted and Troon lifeboat was launched to assist.

A Coastguard helicopter was scrambled from Prestwick, and Largs Coastguard, plus two officers from Greenock were also tasked.

As Troon lifeboat arrived the two crew were evacuated. They had dropped anchor, were uninjured and needed no medical attention. The ferry continued its passage about 5pm.

But with winds picking up, its late arrival meant that further sailings were cancelled, leaving people stranded.

This was a dismal failure of command and control. Far too many bodies, and around 50 personnel, were involved.

It was not obvious what the Caledonian Isles could have achieved.

The two people on the yacht were not at risk of serious injury and death. They could have dropped anchor, and did. It was summer and daylight. Dedicated rescue vessels were responding.

In such circumstances, diverting the ferry to what was (under the International Maritime Organisation’s code) the lowest level of marine incident, sets a bad precedent. Ferry operators have obligations to their customers too. Shouldn’t someone get a grip?


Eamonn Butler,



Management problem


Having tried for two days to convince the bots at BT that my phone line and internet connection really were not working, it was a pleasure to find that within a couple of hours of being referred to an OpenReach engineer my service was fixed.

In Whiting Bay, the engineers have to contend with obsolete aluminium wiring which is unreliable and problematic.

The engineers on the ground do a great job but are let down by management which seems incapable of providing acceptable customer service far less the necessary infrastructure for improved reliability.


Jim Peacock,

Whiting Bay.


Scenic memories


A Night of Nonsense…not to mention fun, simple pleasures and meeting a new friend. Thank you to all whose combined efforts made for such a delightful evening at Whiting Bay Hall last week.

We hope that the final performance was played to the fullest house possible.

Sadly, August was our first visit this year, hopefully not our last, but it was good to feel that we had never been away.

The magnificent August weather, the warm welcomes and excellent entertainment, who could ask for more?

Yet again we have returned home full of happy and scenic memories whilst enjoying the top quality purchases from our favourite retail outlets.


Ian and Jenny Price,

Bradford, Yorkshire.


Awareness month


Throughout September, for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, the UK’s leading children’s cancer charity, Young Lives vs Cancer, will be helping children with cancer have their voices heard…they may be little, but they have big voices.

Having cancer when you’re a child is scary, lonely, relentless and painful. Over the past year our children have missed out on so much.

But for many children with cancer they are still swapping classrooms for chemotherapy, still waving at family members through windows and watching friends blow out birthday candles via phone screens.

This Childhood Cancer Awareness Month we want everyone to see children with cancer for who they are and who they want to be.

Because they are more than their cancer. We would love to see the local community come together to help young people with cancer in Arran, and there are lots of ways to get involved.

People can support young people with cancer by purchasing their very own Young Lives vs Cancer gold ribbon pin badge, which are available at Morrisons stores, or you can order one online for a suggested £1 donation.

We’d like to thank the community for their ongoing support. Their efforts mean Young Lives vs Cancer can be there for the children and young people in Arran with cancer, keeping families together by providing Home from Homes near hospitals and financial grants for support.

You can find more information about all of the ways to get involved this Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, make a donation or shop online at #MoreThanMyCancer


Carol Jones,

Fundraising manager at Young Lives vs Cancer,

South and west Scotland.