At random with Martin Laing 05.03.20

David McPhee.

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Fond farewell

Friday last week was a significant day at The Oban Times, marking, as it did, the departure from our team of reporter David McPhee.

A Soroba boy (his words, not mine), David had been with the newspaper for around five years and was one one of the most popular members of staff.

Indeed, so highly regarded is he that Oban Community Council at its most recent meeting presented him with a good luck card and, to his enduring embarrassment, he was hugged by chairwoman Marri Malloy.

It’s fair to say that David cuts a kenspeckle figure about the Oban area. Former colleague Sandy Neil tells me: ‘He knows everyone in town (which made walking anywhere take ages) and they all loved him.’

A former defender with Oban Saints, he is a keen bingo player and partner of Oban beautician Natalie Pacitti, who runs the salon Oro Rosa in High Street (see this week’s business pages for a report on her recent success at an awards ceremony).

David is heading off into the world of digital marketing, setting up his own enterprise. He will be much missed here at the OT but all his colleagues wish him every success.

Well and truly hooked

I glanced at our classified adverts last week and had to smile.

The variety of items for sale is quite staggering, from firearms to fish filleters to clothing to electrical items, plants, stuffed birds of prey … all human life, as they say, is here.

But the one that tickled me read: ‘Giant hook thing … cast-iron, 4 foot long hook, rusted, no idea what it is, like a fishing hook for bait, maybe an anchor? Curio.’

Not being of a maritime bent, I was none the wiser but colleague Martin Stewart advises me that it is probably what is known as a plough anchor.

What do you think?

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