RETRO Roamer

The Oban Times - - News -

More mid 1980s Roamer items Vis­it­ing motorist kicked up blazes when he vis­ited a fill­ing sta­tion in the penin­sula and found petrol was £1.79 a gal­lon. ‘I get my petrol for £1.49 in London,’ he raged. Fill­ing sta­tion pro­pri­etor switched off the pump in mid flow and re­sponded ‘ well, I sug­gest you drive back to London, sir’.

You can’t get mov­ing for ‘towrists’ in that well­known es­tab­lish­ment in View­forth – Lad­brokes. They’re in there, day and daily, ask­ing for change for the park­ing ma­chines (when they work), for the phone, for the loo. Of­ten they are over­seas vis­i­tors who think they have to pay at Lad­brokes for the priv­i­lege of park­ing in View­forth. I gather a mis­sive is on the way to head of­fice from lo­cal staff sug­gest­ing that, as Lad­brokes are com­mis­sion agents, the com­pany should charge a weekly fee to Highland Re­gion, Lochaber District Coun­cil and BT.

A lo­cal ‘le­gal ea­gle’ out for a meal in Fort Wil­liam at the week­end opted for a curry. Un­for­tu­nately, when it ar­rived, the wait­ress spilled a siz­able amount of it down the solic­i­tor’s shirt at which, of course, the re­cip­i­ent got very hot un­der the col­lar. He calmed down a bit when, to curry favour, the restau­ra­teur ar­ranged for a taxi to take him home and back. So the lawyer didn’t have to keep his shirt on af­ter all.

There were sev­eral po­lice and moun­tain res­cue team tests at the week­end for one of th­ese new fan­gled ‘go any­where’ tracked ve­hi­cles. Ini­tially it got stuck on the Caol fore­shore and then be­came bogged down on a forestry road out Muir­s­hear­lich way. Iron­i­cally it had to be ex­tracted by the present ve­hi­cle which is, tech­ni­cally, past its use-by date.

Lo­cal ex­tras are flock­ing to see them­selves on screen in High­lander. I gather quite a few of them are plan­ning to charge for mak­ing guest ap­pear­ances in Lochaber pubs and clubs. They’re also think­ing of cir­cu­lat­ing signed pho­tos of them­selves and they’ve been sound­ing out Eq­uity for fur­ther film roles.

Scene – din­ing room of the Ben Mhor Ho­tel, Gran­town. Prin­ci­pal char­ac­ters – Fort Wil­liam FC man­ager Hen­rick Madej and a cou­ple of Amer­i­can ‘towrists’. Ac­tion – Hen­rick, with menu in hand, goes round the ta­bles to take the teatime or­ders for play­ers and of­fi­cials on the re­turn jour­ney from Keith. Male half of the USA duo gets up from his chair and ap­proaches Hen­rick. ‘Can you come over to our ta­ble in the cor­ner when you’re ready, please?’ The Fort con­tin­gent, amid roars of laugh­ter, im­me­di­ately re­name him Manuel and the name sticks all the way home. Hen­rick’s brother Marek, who was in the side that day, breathed a sigh of re­lief when he read the team line-up in the Sun­day pa­pers which con­firmed he is Marek and not Manuel.

First the Sun­day pa­pers credit Gary Dun­lop’s goal against El­gin to John Den­ni­son. Then, last Sun­day, Gary was named as the Fort scorer in the Keith game in­stead of Jim Jor­dan. A case of ‘over­look­ing Jor­dan’.

Our own ref­er­ees and lines­men at Clag­gan Park are in the news. I’m told Ge­ordie was con­trol­ling a nee­dle match last Mon­day night when he dis­cov­ered, with 15 min­utes to go, that he had pulled a mus­cle. Ge­ordie didn’t lose his gift of the gab, how­ever, so he asked lines­man Chick to take over. No doubt Ge­ordie will be back next Satur­day af­ter­noon to give vo­cal sup­port to the Fort in his ca­pac­ity as their lead­ing in­ter­na­tional fan.

Alis­ter Grant was telling me about the for­eign ‘towrists’ who have been mak­ing ‘prac­ti­cal’ use of the lay-by across the road from his house at the 30-mile limit sign down Ach­in­tore. He reck­ons he has had to put up with the sight of more bare bums this sum­mer than he saw in all his years as an am­bu­lance driver and re­cep­tion­ist at the Belford Hos­pi­tal.

Mean­while I can’t wait to see the faces of our lo­cal Bri­tish Tele­com work­force when they re­ceive their reg­u­la­tion is­sue of the new CIC Au­tumn Col­lec­tion. CIC stands for ‘Cor­po­rate Im­age Cloth­ing’ and the lads are set to be re­splen­dent in blue breeks, sweaters and jack­ets. Their faces? They’ll be a bright red.

Kate needed the loo – in Cor­pach. So she called at her cousin’s house and, af­ter at­tend­ing to the ur­gent busi­ness, found her­self be­ing asked to spon­sor the daugh­ter of the house for £1 for this week’s World Wildlife Fund Spon­sored Walk. I sup­pose that’s what you call ‘In for a penny – in for a pound’.

Over­heard in the High Street, one English lady im­part­ing to an­other her knowl­edge of the no­ble sport of shinty. ‘It’s a bit like hockey, only very wild - and they play it on horse­back’, she de­clared. Which, of course, ex­plains why there’s been all that ma­nure ly­ing around lately. In­deed, it was bad enough with the un­der­pass flooded last Thurs­day, but what do you think hap­pened there the day be­fore? It seems our four-legged friends had also ‘dropped in’ to the un­der­pass and left their fer­tiliser be­hind. Yes, that’s right, real horse­play was the or­der of the day.

At last I’ve found out why – apart from the cost – no- one plays on the putting green any more. At­tached to the hut is a no­tice which pro­claims ‘No Ball Games’. Have you ever seen any­one play­ing putting with­out a ball?

Fish­ing com­pe­ti­tion last week and the an­glers from the vil­lage were cast­ing well. Bob reeled a nice three pound trout into the boat. The In­ver­lochyites fished on but with no fur­ther luck. Then the rain came on, and, at the same time, the boat sprang a leak. Noth­ing for it but all hands to the bal­ing cans. And you can guess what landed back in the wa­ter. Yes, the three pound trout. The boat didn’t sink, but the trout did.

Cor­pach gro­ceries - long be­fore the Co- op.

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