Letters to the Editor – week 01, 2019

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Appeal to trace old friends

I was 87 years old on June 5 and live, as I always have, in Netley, near Southampton.

In 1948, I was working as an apprentice bricklayer with my father, and uncle, when we were sent to Mull to work on the estate at Lochbuie. We
remained there for six weeks and made many friends, particularly the Telfers, who had a croft in Laggan where we were billeted.

It was an idyllic time as travel in those days was not as it is today.

Back in Netley, work on the building trade had become very scarce. At the age of 17 in 1950, I therefore joined the Royal Navy. I never forgot my time
in Mull and in 1969, while serving as a chief petty officer on HMS Ajax, we made a visit to Oban.

As my captain had an estate at Kilmelford, and learning of my history, he allowed me to visit Lochbuie, where I met some of those I had known then in their 90s. I also met Helen Telford (MacMillan, I think) and welcomed her and her family on board.

We then went to anchor in Loch Melfort near the captain’s house, where the local pub had to resort to jam jars as they run out of glasses.

I left the Royal Navy in 1972 and in 1976 my wife and I took a campervan back to the area, visited Captain Harry Keats and renewed my love of
the area. We did not, however, visit Mull at that time.

Fast forward to May 2007 when, as chairman of the Royal Naval Association in Netley, eight of us motored to Oban once again and to Mull where we had a glorious stay in Tobermory, visiting, of course, Lochbuie and Laggan.

I had a word with the present laird Jim Corbett, who had been about six years old in 1948.

On Saturday May 11, 2019, four of us are coming to stay in the Lagnakiel Highland Lodges for a week. I am very much looking forward to it and would be very pleased if there was anyone left alive from those days. Sadly, Captain Keats is no longer with us. I hope to have a day in Mull during this week.

Brian Sandom,

brian@thesandoms.com

Thank you

I would be very grateful if you could put a little mention in paper to say a huge thank you to everyone that has supported me this year in my fundraising.

My total raised from end off January is £6,670.

Of that £3,500 went to the Belford hospital, £150 to the local Macmillan Nurses, £2,100 to The Highland Hospice, £400 plus bags of food to Lochaber Food Bank, and £520 and bags of new items to Lochaber Women’s Aid.

Liz Macmillan, Fort William