At random with Martin Laing 11.07.19

The victorious Oban Camanachd team. Kyles Athletic v Oban Camanachd in the Glasgow Celtic Society Cup Final, played at Taynuilt.

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A proper ear-bashing

I am leaving the office one evening last week when I am collared by the ever genial Nigel Evans and given a right and proper ear-bashing … in his typically good-natured way.

The reason for me being so soundly, if cheerfully, berated?

My failure in this space to give credit to Oban Camanachd for their recent success in defeating Kyles Athletic in the Glasgow Celtic Society Cup final, played at Taynuilt.

‘When,’ demands Nigel, ‘are you going to write in your column about Camanachd?

‘You’re forever writing about Oban Saints and Oban Lorne RFC, urging local people to go along and support the football and rugby players but never a word about the shinty.

‘Saints and Lorne win nothing while we’ve just won the Glasgow Celtic Cup and win other things but you don’t give us a mention.’

Nigel is, it goes without saying, absolutely correct and is quite right to upbraid me for my oversight. The problem is, as those who know me best will confirm, I have precisely zero understanding of shinty though I can appreciate from the wee bit I’ve seen what a fiercely contested sport it is and how it is rooted in Highland culture.

Hopefully, Nigel, this will go some way to making amends, though I have to say I think our shinty coverage is second to none.

Boom times continue

Oban, it seems to me, has been booming in recent weeks, wit the town centre’s streets bustling with people.

Take a look at this week’s business pages and there is ample evidence of the confidence being shown by the hospitality sector. We have stories of Black Sheep Hotels opening a country house at Invergarry and Perle Hotels buying Glencoe House Hotel.

And I’m told by one hotel manager in the town that occupancy rates are sky-high almost year-round.

Long may it continue.

What do you think?

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