Cafe owner hangs up her apron

The Oban Times - - Community News -

IF I WERE asked what has been the most pop­u­lar place in Morvern over the past 25 years, I would bet my last pound the snack bar on the old pier at the en­trance to Loch Aline, would be high on the list.

In­deed, it might be said no visit to Morvern is com­plete with­out sam­pling the culi­nary de­lights of the leg­endary Locha­line snack bar and be­ing warmly wel­comed by its owner Jean Robin­son, or ‘Jean’, as she is af­fec­tion­ately known.

But don’t de­lay as Jean has de­cided to switch off her oven, hang up her apron and re­tire, leav­ing oth­ers to fol­low in the busi­ness.

Like all pro­fes­sional cater­ers, Jean never dis­cusses her cus­tomers but it is no se­cret she has fed and wa­tered most lo­cals and many fa­mous per­son­al­i­ties.

The chair­man of Ogilvy and Mather In­ter­na­tional - a gi­ant Amer­i­can advertising agency - Jock El­liot and his wife Ely, who bought and do­nated the is­land of Staffa to the Na­tional Trust for Scot­land, were reg­u­lar call­ers be­fore their un­timely death a few years ago.

Hugh Fearn­ley-Whit­tingstall, celebrity chef, tele­vi­sion per­son­al­ity and real food cam­paigner, Jon Snow, Chan­nel 4 news pre­sen­ter, Charles Law­son, the Ir­ish ac­tor best known for play­ing Jim Mac­Don­ald in Coro­na­tion Street, have all eaten there.

So too have bin-men, hol­i­day-mak­ers, truck­ers, lairds, artists, ferry staff, po­lice­men, es­tate fac­tors, divers, bik­ers - hairy and oth­er­wise - yachts­men, bus par­ties and min­ers.

Jean’s home-bak­ing and lo­cally-sourced fresh veni­son burgers are a pop­u­lar first- choice fol­lowed by her calorific ‘barge spe­cials’, re­named by a well-known jour­nal­ist a few years ago as ‘heart at­tacks in a bun’.

If that were the sum to­tal of Jean’s daily life there would be lit­tle more to say, but her in­ter­est in the com­mu­nity is such that there is a prob­lem in know­ing how many of them can be men­tioned here.

For al­most a quar­ter of a cen­tury Jean has been the area’s unof­fi­cial and un­paid vol­un­tary tourist in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer, agony-aunt, trip-ad­vi­sor, pier mistress and lit­ter gatherer.

Above all she has been the front counter and a ter­rific am­bas­sador for Morvern. Lang may her lum reek and her gar­den flour­ish in her well- de­served re­tire­ment.

RE­TIR­ING: Jean Robin­son

of Locha­line snack bar

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