Kin­tyre Christ­mas hit re­sounds 40 years on

Campbeltown Courier - - NEWS - Mark Davey ed­i­tor@camp­bel­town­

THE catchy rock bal­lad Mull of Kin­tyre was re­leased as a sin­gle 40 years ago to­mor­row (Satur­day Novem­ber 11).

The an­niver­sary of the iconic Christ­mas num­ber one, the big­gest-sell­ing non-char­ity sin­gle in the UK, has cre­ated a mini me­dia storm. Last week the Big Is­sue sent a team to make a Christ­mas spe­cial fea­ture and the BBC has pro­duced a ra­dio pro­gramme.

Be­tween Sun­day and Mon­day, STV video jour­nal­ist Clare Mc­Neill filmed and in­ter­viewed sur­viv­ing band mem­bers John Brown and Ian McKer­ral. In ad­di­tion, she in­ter­viewed Alas­tair Cousin of the Linda Mc­Cart­ney Kin­tyre Me­mo­rial Trust and Ar­gyll and the Isles Tourism Co­op­er­a­tive di­rec­tor Niall Ma­cal­is­ter Hall about tourists on the Mc­Cart­ney trail.

Last Thurs­day, Ms Mc­Neill, 26, about to visit Kin­tyre for the first time, con­tacted the Ard­shiel ho­tel for help find­ing some of the mu­si­cians.

Amanda Grant, at the ho­tel, sug­gested con­tact­ing the Courier and Ms Mc­Neill emailed but both re­porters were out. While wait­ing for a re­ply, she spoke to Ex­plore Ar­gyll’s Iain John­ston, who set up a sched­ule start­ing at 1pm on Sun­day af­ter­noon.

In bright au­tum­nal sun­shine, Ms Mc­Neill in­ter­viewed Mr Cousin in front of the bronze statue of Linda Mc­Cart­ney in the Shore Street me­mo­rial gar­den.

Mr Cousin spoke about how Linda worked and do­nated to projects close to her heart in Kin­tyre.

With Mr John­ston lead­ing the way, Ms Mc­Neill left for a 2.30pm ap­point­ment on Sad­dell beach with the two pipers.

Mr John­ston en­sured she gained some ex­er­cise and ap­proached the beach with a walk, as per the rules, from the lodge gates, lug­ging her tri­pod and cam­era.

The two pipers, the head­lin­ers of the af­ter­noon, did not risk a slip on the muddy path and drove to the end of the track be­fore join­ing the party.

Dur­ing a short in­ter­view, Mr Brown and Mr McKer­ral de­scribed how the late Pipe Ma­jor Tony Wil­son had come to a band prac­tice in July 1977 and told mem­bers the plan.

Late af­ter­noon sun, on a per­fectly still day, en­sured Ms Mc­Neill saw Kin­tyre at its Sun­day best as she filmed the pair. They marched to­wards her repris­ing their role from 40 years ago.

Anne Cousin and Alas­tair, with their dog Angus, watched from the path. Mrs Cousin mag­i­cally pro­duced a flask of cof­fee and choco­late bis­cuits from a wicker bas­ket and some­one asked if it was Ir­ish cof­fee. It was not but was warm­ing as the sun dropped be­low the hori­zon.

On the Ex­plore Ar­gyll Face­book page, Mr John­ston, wrote: ‘Spe­cial thanks to Alas­tair and Anne Cousin at the Linda Mc­Cart­ney Me­mo­rial Gar­den and Ian McKer­ral and John Lang Brown for com­ing up to Sad­dell Beach to be in­ter­viewed and for per­form­ing Mull of Kin­tyre.’

The re­port was due to be broad­cast on Wed­nes­day.

At Sad­dell beach are, from the left, Alas­tair Cousin, Ian McKer­ral, John Brown, Clare Mc­Neill, Anne Cousin and Iain John­ston. Above, Clare films the two pipers repris­ing their per­for­mance.

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