THE ARRAN BANNER 20 YEARS AGO
Saturday May 23, 1998 Pladda no more
Six weeks ago the lighthouse keepers in Scotland were replaced by automation. All the lights in Scotland are now controlled by computer and thus lighthouse keeper is now a job that has totally disappeared.
The four men who manned the Pladda lighthouse are among those who have gone and we are sad to see them go. They had a camaraderie; they found ways to usefully pass the time, they were able to entertain themselves and, on that little island, they had made a golf course. Now, nowhere in Scotland will there be makeshift golf courses, no vegetable plots or flower gardens and above all, no human to make sure that there is light for those on the high seas.
You can still visit lighthouses, though not ones on Pladda or Holy Isle, and they are wonderful to see, even if the soul has gone out of them and tourists wander about looking at what people used to do, but which is now automated.
Since the bakery at Blackwaterfoot reopened in the early 1970s it has been one of the best kept secrets on Arran. Down the access lane beside Kinloch Hotel, the entrance was tucked behind the road side cottage. But now there will be no trouble in finding your way to the Kinloch Bakery for they have just reopened the original shop half way up the Bakery Brae.
In the late ’60s the bank in Blackwaterfoot closed and the Kinloch Hotel bought the building. Then, in an agreement with grocer Alan Bannatyne, they swapped, and the Post Office and grocery shop moved up the hill. Most of the old bakery building was converted to living accommodation but the bakery itself was spruced up and reopened with Bert Livingston in charge. There have been many bakers over the years, Neil Hamilton, Graeme Kerr and the present Phil Judge, who took over in 1976, and is still going strong to this day.
The new proposal for a housing development at Kildonan comes before planning next week with a recommendation for approval with conditions. This is despite 24 representations, most objecting to the proposal.
A previous application for 13 houses was refused last November but the present application is for six buildings including four houses. Another application recommended for approval is a micro brewery at Cladach.
In the old days you would see milk churns at all road ends round the southend. Now it is the other way round with cartons of milk being left, not for collection, but for delivery to households. The tradition lives on in a manner, as can be seen by Janet Mulholland and Morag Reid of Torrylin, who still collect their milk from an old box at the roadside. 01_B22twe01
Swedish administrators from north of Upsalla were on Arran as guests of North Ayrshire Council learning about education, social work and health care. Here they are seen with their hosts including council convener George Steven. 01_B22twe04
Marion and Wren Gentleman with the new owner of the Glenartney Hotel in Brodick. Maria Palmer has taken over from the couple who are retiring after 13 years in the hotel industry. 01_B22twe03
Pictured at the pool finals night are Sammy McGeachy, singles champions, Davie Symington and Fred Wood, doubles runners-up; Dougie Macfarlane, doubles champion; Bobby Sloss, singles runner-up; and Arthur Duncan, doubles champion. 01_B22twe05
The future of the Lochranza tennis courts and the village hall which requires structural repairs will be the subject of discussion at next week’s public meeting. Pictured are the tennis courts when they opened in 1988. 01_B22twe02