Letters to the editor 26.12.19

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Can readers help us reconnect with old neighbours

I wonder if the Oban Times readers can help us find old friends, whose address I’ve lost and I now desperately want to send them wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

In the late seventies, we lived in Oban on the new Soroba estate. Joyce and Charlie Millar were our neighbours and our strength and help. As a young couple with two children and no work, they accepted us, strangers, and treated us as a family.

We moved from Oban after a couple of years and Joyce and Charlie moved to run Beechgrove Guest House on Croft Road in Oban. We kept in touch and while on a short trip to Norfolk they visited me this year in Hethersett and left their new address, as they had retired from the guest house.

Unfortunately, I lost the address, so please, if you can, help me to get in touch with them again. They are very well known in Oban, somebody will know their address.

Thank you very much and Happy Christmas to you all.

Anna Harris
14 Karen Close, Hethersett, Norwich NR9 3DG

Inaccuracies in opinion piece on Kilmartin

The Trustees of Kilmartin Museum, Dunadd Community Council and Dunadd Community Enterprise write to correct some inaccuracies in Iain Thornber’s article in The Oban Times titled ‘A visit to historic Kilmartin Glen’.

Kilmartin Museum is a local charity focusing on the prehistoric and early historic archaeology rather than on 19th century, ecclesiastical history. It acts as the repository for over 22,000 archaeological artefacts and must raise the funds annually to care for these as well as run an education service that reaches thousands of people. Museum facilities are no longer adequate, hence the need for a major expansion.

The church could not easily be converted for this use. Moreover, the project is already well under way, and every penny of the funding raised is ring-fenced, so changes proposed cannot now be made. It is a great pity that Mr Thornber did not bother to contact the museum to discuss the matter.

Since learning of the decision to sell a number of local churches, the museum has worked closely with church representatives, Dunadd Community Council, and Dunadd Community Enterprise, the group aspiring to find a sustainable use for the building.

Any one of these groups would have told him this, and that a very generous supporter of the museum has, in fact, already purchased the building as a holding measure, allowing the museum to use it – depending on planning consents – while building works are taking place, giving Dunadd Community Enterprise the time needed to develop the business case required to bring the building into community ownership.

Kilmartin Museum Trustees, Dunadd Community Council and
Dunadd Community Enterprise.

Thanks to people who voted in General Election

I would like to thank everybody who voted for me at the General Election and the many people who helped in my campaign. I congratulate Brendan O’Hara on his re-election.

Alan Reid, Liberal Democrat candidate.

Challenge NHSH on failure to provide essential facilities

I have often read in The Oban Times and Lochaber Times press releases from the Joint Community Council Working Group which extol the initiatives by the Working Group and NHS Highland to maximise the use of the Dail Mhor care home for the benefit of the communities of Ardnamurchan.

In addition, every month in our local De tha dol? we are provided with a Dail Mhor Update, including a regular report on the fact that ‘respite beds’ are being utilised almost to capacity.

Now, while all the peripheral facilities are very welcome and appreciated, the community has made clear to the Working Group and to NHSH that the facility, which is by far the most important to the residents of these remote communities, is permanent residential care beds.

It is noticeable, however, that never in any of the reports or updates is the matter of permanent beds mentioned. It’s as though both organisations believe that by not mentioning ‘the elephant in the room’ members of the communities will in time forget about it. It is, after all, a minor inconvenience for families to visit more distant facilities for a small period of respite care compared with the life committing need to travel such distances to visit their loved ones on a permanent basis.

I would urge the Combined Working Group to start seriously challenging NHSH by public campaign on their failure to provide absolutely essential care facilities for the elderly residents of these remote areas, or to explain why they are failing in the single most important reason for their existence.

Alan Thomson, Kilcamb Paddock, Strontian.