RETRO Roamer

The Oban Times - - Districts -

More mus­ings from Roamer LET­TER from Fran Hawkins, a travel agent from In­di­ana, who was one of the 18 vis­i­tors put up for the night in Fort Wil­liam Tourist Of­fice last week­end: ‘Dear tourist of­fi­cer, Your staff mem­bers, Moira and Colin, are two out­stand­ing peo­ple of whom you should be very proud. They worked till 11pm that night, try­ing to find us ho­tel or B&B ac­com­mo­da­tion. Ev­ery­where in and around town was full up. So they spent the night in the of­fice with us all so we could stay on the premises and not be put out on the side­walk. Moira and Colin did ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble for us and I speak for ev­ery­one in send­ing them, and you, a huge thank you.’

MUM AND teenage daugh­ter park their car at the back of Presto’s. En route to the Post Of­fice the lassie shrieks: ‘Mum, you’ve still got your slip­pers on!’ Mum is most em­bar­rassed and makes a bee­line for the car. They went to the Post Of­fice in Caol, af­ter a change of footwear at home.

THEN there was Harry who, these days, is into jog­ging. Last Sun­day he ran up and down the Cow Hill. ‘I de­serve a pint for that,’ Harry mused. So, back down in the High Street, he jumped into this car. ‘Take me to the BA Club, please,’ in­structed our hero. No an­swer. So Harry re­peated the re­quest. To this, a some­what be­mused, al­beit not amused gent re­sponded, ‘Sorry, mate, I’m not a taxi. I’m wait­ing for the wife to come out of the pa­per shop.’ So a not very happy Harry the jog­ger, with red face and sore feet, made his own way out the road as far as the Rail­way Club. At least he wasn’t wear­ing slip­pers.

DID YOU hear about the ‘phan­tom ban­dit’ in the Ma­sonic Club? It ap­pears Cameron the ste­ward was sit­ting alone, read­ing his pa­per, when, sud­denly, there was a loud clat­ter of coins and the fruit ma­chine be­gan pay­ing out. But no- one was play­ing it. On in­ves­ti­ga­tion, Cameron noted a pile of money tak­ing up a lot of floor. No sooner had he started read­ing again when ‘bang’ an­other pay­out. Again, no one about. It couldn’t go on, how­ever, and the ban­dit has now been ‘cured’.

A SYN­DI­CATE of Lochaber High School teach­ers had a shot up in the pools. A to­tal of 16 of them shared the win and they were all con­vinced their life­styles would change. How much did they get? Well, with all the cur­rent ac­tiv­ity with the darts cham­pi­onships on the telly, the win­nings can best be de­scribed as 180. Pence! Not each, either, but in to­tal. So they’ll each re­ceive 11 pence. They’re run­ning a sweep­stake for the other four pence.

LET US not for­get the un­happy pun­ters dur­ing the re­cent power cut. At 13.44 on Mon­day there was much weep­ing and gnash­ing of teeth as the elec­tron­ics were down. Lad­broke’s couldn’t take bets; they couldn’t pay out. No bet­ting shows, no re­sults. Worse still, per­haps, the counter staff couldn’t even mi­crowave their piece/s.

A COU­PLE of our Lochaber foot­ball ex­perts/ex­ports were in the news over the week­end. First it was Duncan Shearer who won the Lit­tle­wood’s Strik­ers Award Scheme’s £ 500 prize. Duncan had notched a hat trick for Hud­der­s­field Town in a Lit­tle­wood’s Cup match. He do­nated all the money to Caol pri­mary – of which he is a for­mer pupil – for the school to buy new strips. Next it was Don­ald Park, now of Mead­ow­bank, who was fea­tured. Don­ald had been red- carded near the end of a nee­dle match and the photo cap­tion read ‘Park benched’.

IT WAS great fun to see our lance cor­po­rals of in­dus­try and lo­cal gov­ern­ment all rigged out in their Ma­rine Har­vest gear on Fri­day. Their Ena Sharples hair­nets were topped by Elvis Pres­ley GI type head­gear, and the vis­i­tors were ‘dressed over­all’ in white but­ton-up coats. The feet got the treat­ment, too. So you had the ed­i­fy­ing sight of around 100 lo­cal ladies and gents pad­ding about the floor of the new plant on the Blar in their Wee Wil­lie Winkie style white ga­loshes. The lo­cal press suc­ceeded in look­ing quite dig­ni­fied in their out­fits, of course. But the main man rep­re­sent­ing the com­pany steered a mid­dle course. He elected to be hat-less and ga­loshes-less. Try say­ing that last bit af­ter a cou­ple of free Ma­rine Har­vest drams.

OVERPROVISION of li­censed premises in Fort Wil­liam High Street? Seventeen out­lets are al­ready sit­u­ated there. But, as was stated at the Li­cens­ing Board meet­ing: ‘There are fewer pubs in the High Street nowa­days than there were 60 years ago – and it was only a wee place then.’

Cer­tainly ev­ery sta­tis­ti­cal ac­count from day one re­ferred to the Fort as hav­ing ‘ale houses and dram houses with­out num­ber – some op­er­at­ing with a li­cence, most with­out’. So now the town is to have 18 bars. Will there be objections when an ap­pli­ca­tion is lodged for ‘one over the 18’?

LOCHABER lassie com­pet­ing in the ladies’ tug of war at the Ben Race. Put her con­tact lenses in their wee box be­fore tak­ing the strain. Af­ter the con­test she re­alised she’d lost the wee box. So she made her way over to the sec­re­tary’s tent to re­port her dif­fi­culty. ‘Give us a call later and we’ll see if any­one has sighted them,’ she was ad­vised. She duly does so. Comes the re­ply. ‘Sorry, the only thing that’s been handed in is a hear­ing aid.’

Lo­cal lady per­sists: ‘Is it in a wee box?’ An­swer in the af­fir­ma­tive. ‘Is the box marked with the word ‘lens’? Yes, again. ‘Well,’ says she, ‘That hear­ing aid’s my con­tact lenses.’ And it was. Or, they were.

Post Of­fice build­ings, Onich.

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