THE ARRAN BANNER 20 YEARS AGO
Saturday January 2, 1999
The scarred MV Caledonian Isles, which goes for her annual service in a few days time, is well deserving of some rest following an eventful period during the storms that wreaked havoc and caused thousands of pounds worth of damage on Arran on Boxing Day.
At around 10pm, on the night of the storms, the crew gangway broke free. When first mate Calum Bryce went to secure it with some crew members, he was knocked over and injured his head. Piermaster Robbie Brown took him to hospital where he received seven stitches. Getting back was less easy as the roads were blocked by fallen trees.
When they did arrive they found that the ferry had broken all but one of her moorings and she was secured to the pier only by the bow. The injured mate with some pier hands then managed to release this last rope and MV Caledonian Isles involuntarily made to sea.
Too dangerous to try and berth again she sailed round for the rest of the night with the crew gangway hanging down and bashing against her side. In the calm of morning the dangling gangway prevented her from coming alongside at the pier and heavy lifting equipment had to be brought in.
The first mate is recovering well and the ship, although scarred, will herself be going to the ship’s hospital for repairs.
Is Arran becoming a safer place? The answer, according to a set of statistics just released, appears to be ‘yes’.
Arran’s police sergeant Jim Weir has compiled a comprehensive list of local crime and offence statistics, dating back to 1989, which suggests that crime rates have dropped significantly in the past 12 months, in comparison both with 1997 and most previous years.
The total number of crimes committed on Arran during the calendar year was 57, compared to 179 in 1997 and 185 two years ago. And similar trends are evident on a month-to-month basis.
During July, Arran’s busiest month of the year, crimes reported fell from 23 in 1996 to 14 last year and nine this summer while the rate in October, regarded as the police’s quietest month, dropped from 21, 12 months ago to only two this year.
Young John Murchie and Beth Hamilton hang on to the first wriggling lamb of the season as John’s brother Finlay and Beth’s sister Anna wait their turn while mum keeps a watchful eye on them all. Stuart Paton and daughter Ashley were the winners of the Lamlash playgroup raffle when their three lucky numbers coincided with the serial number of a £100 note – earning them a giant cheque for £100. Primary 1, 2 and 3 pupils in North Ayrshire have been given free reflective armbands for walking to and from school on dark winter days. Pirnmill was the first school on Arran to be presented with the armbands by councillor John Sillars who is joined by police sergeant Jim Weir and head teacher Wilma Morton. Arran’s own Jamie Murchie of Lamlash was included in the Ayrshire team at the Under-14 Inter-Area badminton Championship at Linwood recently. Ayrshire finished fifth of the nine participating regions and Jamie is pictured second from right in the back row. Members of Arran Brass perform outside the Co-op in Brodick which raised £250 for Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland.