Letters to the editor week 41

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Ceòl Cholasa festival was an outstanding success story

I am writing to let your readership know about this year’s outstanding Ceòl Cholasa festival, which has recently ended.

Debate organiser Keir Johnston, ably assisted by Liam and Caitlin McNeill, managed to attract Tide Lines, a huge name in the Scottish music business. Their vibrant performance was a treat to behold.

Also very popular were The Young ‘Uns and Whyte. The former, a trio of acapella singers, moved many to tears of sadness, swiftly followed by tears of hilarity. Whyte offered ancient Gaelic laments accompanied by an audio visual display that will live long in the memory.

The three-day feast of music attracted visitors by the score to the Isle of Colonsay. I commend Ceòl Cholasa  to your readers and encourage the to come along next September.

Scott Weatherstone,

Goirtean, Isle of Colonsay.

Seeking information about an artist from Mull

On a visit to Mull in 1992, I purchased two paintings, one a landscape and the other a Highland cow. Both still look down from our wall and are much loved.

Recently I was asked about the artist but only remember meeting him briefly when we bought the paintings.

I wondered if your readers had any information about Eric Finney which they could share with me.

Eddie Littler,


Fireworks event will raise funds for brave Harris

It has come to the time of year again when we are starting to plan our Dunbeg community bonfire and fireworks night, to take place on Saturday November 3.

Last year’s was fantastic and the total of £2,500 was raised for Oban Pipe Band. This would not be possible without the generous donations received from local businesses.

This year we are raising money for Harris McGougan. This is only a small sample of what Harris has been through.

On July 12, 2017, at the age of only two, Harris’s family were informed that he had acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). Over the past year he has been virtually living in the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh.

It was full on from bone marrow tests to confirm diagnosis and a central line in his chest, blood transfusions, many chemotherapy sessions, infections and many more.

His mum says the treatment ‘drained the life out of him’. He had an induction phase of five weeks, which didn’t work, and then started on a more intense regime of chemotherapy.

He is now finished this block and is now on his maintenance phase, which lasts a further two years.

Harris goes to Glasgow every Tuesday for blood tests, he has oral chemotherapy every night if his bloods are okay. Every month he has to have chemotherapy intravenously and every three months he has to be put under anaesthetic and have chemotherapy put in his spine.

This is one courageous little boy.

We would like to ask anyone if they would be so kind as to donate something to our event, be it a raffle prize, bottle stall donation or monetary donation. Any donations would be greatly appreciated. To make a donation by cheque, please make payable to Dunbeg Development Committee.

To make donation to our raffle or bottle stall, we can arrange to collect it from you at a time that is convenient for you by contacting Catriona on 07825 186196.

James MacDonald,

Event organiser, Lochnell Road, Dunbeg.

Crossing point in retail park is in the wrong location

I too shared Martin Laing’s delight at the new road crossing at Oban Retail Park (At random, The Oban Times, September 27) – until I came to use it.

Crossing Lochavullin Road from the Tesco side, I could not see traffic coming from the left because of the bend in the road and the hedge. A wheelchair user’s line of sight will be lower than mine and the visibility worse.

Charlie Cross,

Argyll Street, Oban.

A new harbour authority is needed for Fort William

I attended the Fort William 2040 event on the evening of September 12 and wish to amplify some of the ‘Post-it’ stickers that I left.

What struck me at the meeting was that the area under discussion and consideration was from Achintore to the Annat Narrows to the north and east, whereas Treslaig, Camusnagaul, Achaphubuil and Blaich to the south and west were just white lands with no reference made to our community interests. I raised this at the meeting of Ardgour Community Council the following night.

It is imperative that our interests, ambitions and concerns are addressed in the next iteration of the plan.

We welcome the priority given to the marine and waterfront elements. This should include usage of the Camusnagaul ferry for local use, visitors accessing the Crofters Walk and cyclists on the 78 cycle route using the A861 between Corran and Fort William. Also the potential for increased recreational sailing and canoeing.

One important need is to establish a harbour authority to provide the management and wider local benefits, as demonstrated by the publicly accountable Mallaig Harbour Authority Trust over the past 50 years.

I am very concerned about any proposed expansion of Corpach Port in view of long-standing and serious environmental concerns, which are well known to the Environmental Health Department and the Planning Enforcement Department of the council. In particular, any  expansion onto Eilean  nan Craobh, which is of considerable historic and ecological interest, will have major environmental and landscape impacts for our community.

Account needs to be taken of the Corran ferry with the current vessels nearing 20 and 50 years old. The last Lochaber Local Plan, 15 years ago, included a policy for a low level, opening bridge. That is required or a modern ferry with modified jetties to permit other relief vessels being used.

Whenever the A82 between Nether Lochaber and Fort William is blocked by an accident, landslip or trees, vehicles use the Corran ferry to access the north or south. The alternative is a four-hour detour. The A861 between Ardgour and Kinlocheil is single track. To cope with vastly increased use during periods when the A82 is blocked, we require more passing places, extended passing places and signs detailing overtaking procedures to avoid traffic chaos.

Michael Foxley,

by email.