THE AR­RAN BAN­NER 20 YEARS AGO

Satur­day Jan­uary 2, 1999

The Arran Banner - - Nostalgia -

Bat­tered ferry

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.

Crime falls

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.

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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.

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