Arran Banner letters – week 41, 2021

Want to read more?

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

Demolition of Brodick Pier

An open letter to Mr Iain Thomson, chairman of the Isle of Arran Ferry Committee.


I recently met with Kevin Hobbs the CEO of CMAL along with my colleague Tom Young.

During this meeting I was able to enquire about the neighbouring properties to mine at Brodick Pier.

The discussion centred on the public announcement by CMAL, that following the completion of the ferry terminal works at Brodick, CMAL were required to carry out the demolition of the original pier.

It seems to me that, yet again, an unconsidered demolition of a historical asset is being undertaken.

Before this happens could there be consideration regarding the use of this asset for the benefit of the community.

At present the facilities are complete with the exception of the linkspan.

It is acknowledged by all that the east winds seriously affect the reliability of the new pier giving rise to failure of the service and until such times as an engineering solution is completed the new pier will continue to cause significant disruption.

Could I suggest to yourselves that it considers the old pier to be an emergency berth in an easterly wind to enable a passenger service only to operate as normal to and from Ardrossan.

On a recent occasion an ambulance patient on her transfer from the Arran-based ambulance to one arriving from UH Crosshouse was transferred across the car park at Brodick into the mainland ambulance.

I respectively suggest with relatively minor alterations to the old pier it would be possible for the Arran ambulance to deliver patients to the gangway of the ship where they could transfer to the mainland ambulance.

Some years ago, the Arran Economic Group (AEG) as an interested party, promoted by NAC, a plan was prepared for improvements to Market Road, including the development of a small marina with pontoons at the pier.

I recently entered into correspondence with Tom Tracey, who was unable to tell me what happened to this plan. I am waiting for a reply which is now urgent having been told by Kevin Hobbs demolition is imminent.

I now ask you and your committee to take this forward and to investigate whether or not this is an opportunity to apply for the transfer of assets to the benefit of the island community.

I further add that as the confidante of Brian Keating of the Tower Centre Helensburgh, who I understand is continuing to develop the cinema proposal in the adjacent buildings, which is also highly advantageous for the island.

It is therefore possible that some sort of cooperation with him and CMAL will be of great benefit to all of the islanders.


Bob Haddow,

Arran Transport Ltd, 



A massive thank-you


I would like to say a massive thank-you to everyone who made the BEM event at the Big Co on Saturday September 18 so memorable.

Special thanks goes to the Lord-Lieutenant Iona McDonald and her cadet Luke for kindly coming to Arran to make the presentation; to the emergency services for bringing their vehicles along and to all the musicians from the Arran Music School and the Arran Pipe Band for their wonderful performances.

I would also like to thank James from the Arran Chocolate Factory for the generous donation of the star raffle prize – a giant chocolate bar, and to Colin from the Banner for taking all of those fabulous photographs of the day.

I would also like to thank Carol and the rest of our colleagues who gave up their time to help run the stalls and contribute to the music.

And last, but by no means least, I would like to thank all of our wonderful customers for their continuing kind messages of support.


Liz McLean BEM,

Big Co, Brodick 


Rewarding honesty


My husband and I stayed in Auchrannie for a couple of nights last week. I received a call from reception to let me know that my husband’s wallet had been handed in by a young boy who had been visiting the leisure centre with his dad, who had a young baby in his arms.

I would really like to reward this young lad’s honesty. If his dad would like to contact me at I will arrange to pass the reward to him.


Lesley Adam,

East Kilbride.


Heroic armed forces


Throughout the pandemic the heroic armed forces have had our backs, whether it was helping to set up vaccine centres in the west of Scotland, delivering PPE to frontline NHS workers, driving ambulances, and assisting with petrol and diesel supply chain issues.

Whilst many of these issues where the Army was drafted in could, and should, have been avoided, I thank them for their heroic efforts.

They rose to unexpected challenges and went above and beyond what was expected of them.

I would like to extend my thanks, and those of residents, to all members of the armed forces in our community and their families for your continued service.


Jamie Greene,

West Scotland MSP.