At random with Martin Laing 02.05.19

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Sign of things to come

I wrote last week to say how much improved Oban town centre is looking, with a number of new businesses now occupying what had been abandoned commercial premises.

Now there is further good news with the appearance in the window of the much-missed Nancy Black’s of a sign saying: ‘Under offer.’

There is no information yet as to who might be moving in but the Argyll Square premises are of significant importance to the town and it will be a real boost to have these units back in business.

Watch this space.

I also mentioned the ongoing improvements that need to be undertaken, including at the former Rockport Hotel, now open once more and renamed The Whisky Vaults.

I said that the ‘garden’ entrance to what is still known to many  as ‘The Woody’ required some tidying up and a touch of TLC. The good news is that there are plans in hand to do just that.

I know this because I dropped into the pub just recently – purely in the interests of research, you understand – to have a chat with the new landlord John.

And, I have to say, the refurbished bar has been redesigned in a very stylish way to make it an excellent place to stop by for a drink.

Cup fever strikes

Confession time: in a previous existence, I played football for Bannockburn AFC, and tomorrow night sees Oban Saints travel down to Hamilton to take on my old team in the West of Scotland Cup final.

It is the first major final Saints have reached in more than 50 years of trying but it gives me a dilemma.

These days, being an Oban resident, I have an obvious soft spot for the Saints and many people have asked if I’m going to the match to cheer them on.

The truth is, as most footie fans will understand, my loyalties still lie with Bannockburn. Still, if Saints triumph, I’ll be able to take some solace from that result.

What do you think?

Write to me at or The Oban Times, Crannog Lane, Oban, PA34 4HB, or call 01631 568021.