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Lost Landmark – Saturday November 17, 2001
The Kiscadale Hotel has sat above the village square in Whiting Bay since before the war. An imposing building with crowstep gables it towered over the village and was its distinctive landmark. But no longer. On Tuesday it was demolished.
A popular family hotel since before the war, the Kiscadale’s end will not only change the appearance of Whiting Bay, it is a sign of how small hotels are struggling with many going out of business. During the 70s it was in the ownership of Jim and Margaret McKenzie. Mrs McKenzie remembers how busy it was then. All summer it was a bustling place with young people from the mainland and at September weekend it was bursting to the seams. She said that it was all good natured though and they did not have any trouble. Then she added, ‘My husband Jim would soon put a stop to anything that was likely to develop.’ Jim died in 1976 and two years later, finding it difficult to run on her own, she sold it.
Earlier it had been known as the Clifton Hotel and, as well as a favourite watering hole, it was a well respected family hotel when families would book in for a week or a fortnight and spend much of their holiday between the hotel and the beach. Before that people could tell us little, although we believe it became a hotel under the ownership of a former butler from Brodick Castle.
John Thomson Construction demolished the Kiscadale on Tuesday and it is their intention to build a small number of houses on the elevated site. Some of the woodwork in it will live on having been used in the recent refurbishment of the Brodick Bar. But not only has the hotel gone but a whole era in holidaymaking is almost gone.
When people buy the houses that will be built there they have one of the best views on Arran. But for many that means little to the loss of a significant landmark. Said Margaret McKenzie, ‘It is a sad day.’
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