Letters – week 07

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Council need to grit pavements

Thursday January 31 was a beautiful day and there were many folk out and about in Oban, enjoying the sunshine in spite of the cold.

As I walked through Station Square at 3pm, I was horrified to see people attempting to walk across what was actually a sheet of ice – from the harbour wall on the one side to the shops on the other. Several elderly people were walking in single file under the eaves of the shops, the only place free of ice. I found that the safest way to walk was pigeon-fashion along the metal grids covering the drains.

How the council can allow this state of affairs to exist, I really can’t imagine. I’m sure that a lack of money will be the excuse, but a simple pedestrian-pushed rotary salt spreader can be bought extremely cheaply. I have used them for most of my working life to treat garden roads and paths and could easily salt Station Square in less than an hour.

Such a simple machine could be used to salt some of the slippery pavements too. If somebody was to fall and injure themselves, the compensation would be vastly more expensive that the solution suggested above.

Visitors and residents should be encouraged to take to the streets on such beautiful days, rather than be afraid to venture out.

Maurice Wilkins,

Laurel Road, Oban.

Precious Gaelic archive is safer now than ever

In noting the article written by Iain Thornber (The Campbells of Canna and their precious legacy, The Oban Times, January 31), there was much of interest but also, unfortunately, sentiments that we must take issue with.

John Lorne Campbell and Margaret Fay Shaw’s precious Gaelic archive is certainly not ‘at risk’. On the contrary, it has never been safer than now and is much more accessible than ever before.

Since 1981, the National Trust for Scotland has been tireless in curating and cataloguing the records as well as making significant amounts of material available to the public through publication.

This has included our vice-president, Professor Hugh Cheape’s editing of and re-issuing of Campbell and Shaw’s books, as well as the Tobar an Dualchais project for which £1.5 million was raised and which has enabled the collection’s sound archives, which span the 1930s to the 1960s, to be digitally formatted and made available online.

Digitisation of the entire archive, including the wonderful photographic collection, is ongoing.  At the same time, we are a third of the way through a three-year project to open-up Canna House and garden in a new and sustainable way for future generations to enjoy.

There are few organisations that can match the National Trust for Scotland’s flexibility to deploy expertise, resources and generous donations and doggedly sustain progress towards an objective over a period of years.

John Lorne Campbell himself wished to ensure that every effort was made to retain his library and collections on Canna, which is exactly what the Trust is endeavouring to do. The point about digitisation, which Campbell could not have foreseen, is that it makes it easier to fulfil his wish.

As for moving the collection to Lochaber, Mr Thornber conflates accessibility with physical location – a confusion now thoroughly overhauled by modern technology and educational practice.

Alan Rankin,

Operations Manager Islands, National Trust for Scotland.

Thank you

I would like to take this opportunity to say a big ‘thank you’ to your readers for their continued support to the charity over the past year.

If they have donated goods or shopped in our store in Inverness they have done their part in supporting our local services, as the profits from our stores goes directly towards supporting the charity’s work with some of Scotland’s most disadvantaged children and young people in the area.

Many of your readers are or have become volunteers for the charity in our services and shops or supported events – without this army of support we simply wouldn’t be able to function.

And finally our thanks to you for supporting us by telling your readers about our events, news and campaigns and helping to raise awareness of the work we do in the local community.

So a big ‘thank you’ to you and your readers for supporting us through 2018 and the Year of Young People and we look forward to their continued support in 2019.

Martin Crewe,

Director, Barnardo’s Scotland.

Keep sending your stamps

Thank you so much for all the support that your readers are giving by sending as many stamps as they can for Bone Cancer Research Trust.

In 2018, we raised £12,775 and in 2019 we are aiming for £25,000.

Every stamp, collection, first day covers and so on sent to us will help raise vital funds. On Facebook? Join our group for regular updates – BCRT stamp appeal volunteers and collectors. My news years resolution is to get a supporter in every country in the world, can you help with that challenge?

Every 10 minutes somewhere a child, teenager or adult is diagnosed with primary bone cancer. Each year since the charity started we have endeavoured to grow our research to save lives. Over the last three years we have encouraged more researchers to explore primary bone cancer and have funded more research projects than ever before in our history – but critically our income has fallen. We need your support now!

Stamps can be sent directly to me or if trimmed up to 1cm of paper around the stamp and sorted into UK, pre-decimal or overseas, the stamps can be sent directly to our buyer at BCRT, PO Box 6198, Leighton Buzzard, LU7 9XT, where we raise 25 per cent more. Please send horizon labels to me.

Thank you for your time and much needed support…until there is a cure.

Volunteer stamp appeal coordinator, Bone Cancer Research Trust.