Arran Banner Letters – week 06, 2022

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1960s service


As a Caledonian Steam Packet Company fan whose earliest memories are travelling to Whiting Bay on the PS Caledonia, it saddens me the ferries follow the same timetable as those I caught as a teenager in the 1960s.

Arran has a two-vessel service for most of the year but Lochraza to Clonaig/Tarbert is not a patch on the service to Islay or Mull which has two full-sized vessels all year.  It used to be the ferry could be diverted to Gourock, but that no longer happens. Is that because the ramp at Gourock is no longer maintained? Or has it more to do with concerns about the docking at Brodick in poor weather? Or are the ships no longer up to the job, unlike the catamarans operated by Pentland Ferries.

In my opinion, Arran gets a poor deal from CMAL and they are costing us, the taxpayer, an absolute fortune.


Eric Gilmour,



Bustle and vitality

I know I am late in responding to the Ibiza themed letter from Pat Jones, but I have only just stopped chuckling long enough to write.

As a resident of Kildonan, I’d like to disappoint them further by confessing I feel no obligation to maintain a zen like calm all year, in case someone who has chosen to live somewhere busier and noisier happens to be visiting.

Likewise, when I visit the mainland, I do not expect Glaswegians to put on an extra show of bustle and vitality for my benefit. I’m just happy to be there.


Jill Jeffries,


Fundraising thanks


May I take this opportunity to thank everyone who sponsored me for my Maggie’s Centres 50 Miles January Challenge by donating £722 through

As many of you know, Maggie’s Centres offer wonderful support to anyone with cancer and their families.

Thank you again.


Douglas Auld,

Whiting Bay.


Arran Bridge Club 


Since lockdown, we have tried various ways of keeping Arran Bridge Club going and have now found a winning play.

The club meets twice per week on Realbridge. This is an online site which enables people to see their partner and their opponents and chat with them, thus keeping the social side as well as the game going.

It is covid proof and means you can play in the comfort of your home or wherever you happen to be.

The club meets on a Monday afternoon at 2.45pm and a Thursday evening at 7pm.

To join us, go to Arran Bridge Club’s web page and click on the link on the right hand side. Sign in with your name only, check your camera and microphone and log in. It will be open half an hour before the start of play. You will be taken into a virtual room where you can select a seat.

If you are interested in joining us for the first time contact either Gege Kroner 700396 or Tricia Martin 600835.  We would love to hear from you and will do our utmost to fix you up with a partner if you need one. Tricia also does a class on Realbridge on Thursday afternoons at 3pm if you are interested in learning or updating your system.

We may go back to face to face bridge at a later date and hope, meantime, to have a couple of dinners or actual get togethers. Almost all of us are playing bridge online via Realbridge and Bridge Base Online and over the last two years this has enabled us to chat, play, and keep in touch. We have played with Doune, Perth and with Prestwick, among others, all of whom welcomed us from the beginning. The Scottish Bridge Union runs competitions on Bridge Base Online and most clubs are happy, as we are, to welcome visitors.


Gege Kroner,

Arran Bridge Club.


Barcoded stamps


Your readers will have seen that our ‘every day’ stamps are changing. We are adding unique barcodes to stamps to pave the way for innovative services for our customers and to enhance the security of the postal service.

We are encouraging customers to find and use-up any non-barcoded stamps before January 31, 2023. However, if customers are unable to use them up by then, we will exchange them for barcoded stamps completely free of charge.

Our Swap Out scheme will open on March 31, 2022. Customers will be able to print out a form from our website, call our Customer Experience team to ask for one or pick one up from their local delivery office’s customer service point. More details about our Swap Out scheme will be announced soon, but in the meantime please be assured that all existing stamps remain valid for postage in the usual way.

Nick Landon,

Royal Mail.