At random with Martin Laing week 05

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Oban’s finest

We reported last week on the retirement of a long-serving Oban police officer, Charles ‘Big Chick’ Masterson.

Chick had 30 years before the mast and was given a rousing send-off by his colleagues in Albany Street, as the photograph we published illustrated only too well.

My colleague Stephen Day, who is our head of IT here at The Oban Times, responded splendidly to a request from Sergeant Karen MacLennan, who had asked if it was possible to access a back copy of the newspaper from the week Chick started in 1989.

Sadly, it was not possible, but Stephen, as is often the case, was thinking outside the box and took the trouble to photograph every page of the issue in question from our bound files and create PDFs so that Chick could see a copy of that week’s Oban Times from January 1989.

I was more than pleased to be able to hand it over to Karen’s husband, Stuart, also a police officer in Oban.

What I had not foreseen, however, was to be given a large box of chocolates as a thank you from the troops at the police station. It was most unexpected but welcome.

I am a great admirer of our police service and the work they do to keep us all safe in our communities. The chocs only serve to reinforce that opinion. Cheers, guys.

Variety of life

I am indebted to Joanne Simms from Bridge of Awe for pointing out the astonishing variety of items for sale in the classified pages in The Oban Times.

As Joanne says: ‘I doubt there is anywhere else in the UK that you can buy a marmalade shredder, a rifle, a sit-under hair dryer and a builders’ wheelbarrow that has only been used for three weeks, and also help someone find a Canadian canoe.’

All human life, as they say, is here.

What do you think?

Write to me at mlaing@obantimes.co.uk or The Oban Times, Crannog Lane, Oban, PA34 4HB, or call 01631 568021.