THE ARRAN BANNER 20 YEARS AGO
Saturday January 9, 1999
Arran’s postbus service might be under threat following the refusal of North Ayrshire to recommend financial support. The council said that it does not merit this support because it is little used. This could be the result of a request from the Post Office for a subsidy of £4,190 per annum towards the service. This is effectively a subsidy of £2.09 per passenger journey for, as North Ayrshire has identified, there are very few passengers. The average is seven passengers a day or fewer than one per postbus journey. Despite the very small usage of the service, it is possibly above average for Scotland.
On Arran, there may only be one passenger per journey, however, in some rural areas it may only be one per week. But that one person lives in a very inaccessible place and they may not get out at all if it were not for that postbus.
To the rescue
During the storms back on Boxing Day, Arran’s relief lifeboat, The Ernest Armstrong, was called out to rescue a stricken fish farm auxiliary vessel in Lamlash Bay which was being propelled by the wind out towards the open sea.
With the help of fish farm manager George Nicholson, the crew planned to go aboard the fish farm vessel to start her motors. Unable to do so, however, the three crewmen were forced to tow the vessel through winds as fierce as force nine to a secure mooring closer to shore. The deteriorating conditions meant that the lifeboat could only be returned to shore by a net recovery, performed on this occasion by helmsman Nigel Marshall, who brought the lifeboat back to dry land little more than an hour after launch.
A man with a gun closed the main road below Brodick Castle today, but there was no need for alarm. Landscape gardener Stewart Lambie had been called upon to remove a broken branch hanging 70 feet above the road, presenting a dangerous hazard to drivers. Maureen Farquharson of High Corrie informed the police, who closed the road, but no-one had any equipment tall enough to remove the branch by hand, so Stewart decided to shoot it down. He did so first time and the road was soon re-opened to allow drivers on their way.
Arran Brass now have a complete set of fine new instruments courtesy of the National Lottery. The shiny new instruments were distributed at the band’s first practice of the new year.
Boulders have been placed onto Brodick beach by North Ayrshire Council in an attempt to stem the erosion which took so much of the beach away last spring.
Stranded on the String Road, this Stagecoach bus slid off the road and remained there all day as the rescue truck which went to its aid also struggled with the icy conditions and slid into it, causing further damage.
CalMac pierhands Sandy Picken, Donald McNiven and Duncan Taylor assist with removing a fallen tree from the Strathwhillan burn to prevent it from becoming a hazard when it makes it out to sea.
Angela McNeish and Puddle Duck, champions of the Chookie Show which attracted a total of 288 entries this year.