Arran Banner letters, week 23, 2022

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Feeling the love

On behalf of the Arran Pride Committee, we write to thank everyone who supported us leading up to, on and after the day. What an absolutely amazing day!

Starting with our generous funders: The National Lottery Community Fund, Unison (North, East and South Ayrshire and Out in Unison), Educational Institute for Scotland (EIS) The Big Co and Lamlash Co-op and the CalMac Community Fund.

We also received support in kind from Arran Broadband to raise the flags, SPT/Stagecoach for My Bus making sure ‘we left no one behind’, PPl/PRS for the music licence, North Ayrshire Council for all the support and advice about funding, events,  licencing, roads and lighting, youth participation team  and of course the fantastic libraries team. Thanks too for all the support, help and advice from the Arran Banner team – keeping us right on what to do.

To all the CalMac staff (afloat and ashore) who helped bring colour and noise by flying our flags and sounding the whistle to start our parade. To all the people and services that took part in the parade with particular thanks to the officers from Police Scotland and Emma from the Scottish Ambulance Service.

To all 22 of the local shops and businesses for showing their support in decorating their windows and premises – it made the island quite spectacular for our many locals and visitors. People will not be surprised to know Eleanor’s Flowers will hold the best dressed window trophy until next year!

Ninety-two-year-old Sybil deserves a special mention for her Arran Accountants window – superb effort and an inspiration to us all.

To Kirsty Forsyth and the women from the Scottish Women’s Institute for the green room hospitality for our visiting entertainers, who said they have never been so ‘well looked after’.

Our fantastic entertainers, SheBoom, Isle of Arran Pipe Band, The Boathouse Ceilidh Band, Tim Pomeroy and to Arran High School for use of PA equipment.

To our raffle prize donors including Paterson’s Fine Food, Isle of Arran Coffee Company, The Douglas Hotel, Lochranza Distillery, Lagg Distillery, Auchrannie Resort and Spa, Co-op, Arran Botanicals, Made in Arran and Ann Reid.

The powerful Human Books including Victoria, Fraser, Robyn, John and Henry for telling their stories as part of our unique human library and hope can help these stories be heard more?

To Jane Howe, the star of the bar and her two bar belles Alison Kelly and Shirley MacLachlan. To the Brodick Hall committee and staff for all their help and support to make sure we had such a successful event.

The many volunteers and allies who staffed our shop, made merchandise, marshalled the march and stewarded the ceilidh and for all the other work that goes unseen but all of which makes it happen even more special.

We certainly want to thank to the people of Arran (and beyond) for helping us in the LGBTQIA+ community in showing, sharing and feeling the love.

Last but definitely not least our huge thanks to our young people from the Arran Youth Foundation for being our brilliant standard bearers that kept our banner and flags flying high.

We are delighted that young people are helping us think ahead, plan the next pride on June 3, 2023 and already have a beautiful costume design and a theme… start practising your moves for Mardi Gras!

If we have forgotten someone we apologise as so many kind and wonderful people who have helped us to have the first ever Arran Pride – we thank you and hope you can be as proud as we are? Thank You!


Michael Gettins,
Arran Pride.

Barbecue fundraiser


Many thanks to all the help and support we received for our platinum pubilee fundraising barbecue.

Special thanks to Brodick Co-op, Lagg Distillery, Arran Dairies, Velo Cafe and Blackwaterfoot Bakehouse for donations of goods and raffles.

We had a very successful barbeque with great support from the local community.

Due to the hard work of staff and pupils we raised the magnificent sum of £1,058.

Winner of the £50 note was Donald Stewart. Many thanks to all who came and spent.


Kilmory Primary School parent council


Port comparison


Much has been said and written about how suitable or unsuitable our new pier at Brodick is. All of which I fully agree with; we are going to be stuck with it for at least the next 50 years.

However, one thing that has never been raised, is because of its complex nature and all the moving parts it has, maintenance costs are going to be very high for the passenger access system.

There are just so many moving parts to it that have the potential to fail, leading to its closure for repairs and maintenance. Surely there must be a simpler, cheaper way of getting some people on and off a ship.

So, it was with some surprise to see when I sailed into Lisbon Port a basically similar system but one so much simpler.

The main walkway to the terminal building was raised just as in Brodick but was a solid structure that provided a smooth level passageway, not the up and down one that we have at Brodick. It had no flaps at joints to trip you up.

The actual connection to the ship being made by a three-legged unit that could travel along the quay independently.

The end connecting to the ship had a range of height adjustment, capable of dealing with ships up to the size of cruise liners.

The two walkways on the unit being long enough to restrict the incline to the legal limits.

The actual part connecting to the ship was similar to that at Brodick but perhaps slightly wider.

I ask you to compare the massive amount of steel used in the Brodick passenger access system and that used in Lisbon.

Must be hundreds of tons more – why was that design adopted, what about the carbon footprint?

A company called Adelte made the Lisbon system; surprise – they made the one at Brodick as well.

Seems like the upper layers of CalMac, CMAL or the Scottish government did not do much research into best value for Brodick. Again the big spender has won.

Just as with the latest three large ships which have needed millions spent in adapting the piers for them, the latest being at Ardrossan. The estimated cost is about £49 million, I believe.

So does it matter if a simpler version at Brodick could have saved £100,000 or £1 million? Yes, it does because it only adds to the £3.5 billion black hole in Scotland’s finances.

A business or a country does not get success by big spending, it gets success by doing more with less.


Jim Climie,

Whiting Bay.


The passenger access system in Lisbon is similar to that in Brodick but far simpler in design and function. Photograph: Jim Climie.