Down Memory Lane photograph jogs many memories

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Down Memory Lane this week has the presentation picture at the Oban Fire station, writes Campbell Cameron.

The ‘retained’ firemen (local volunteers) getting the presentation (centre) are both Lismore men – Archie ‘Skinny’ MacGillivray and Archie MacColl.
This was the Strathclyde Fire Service days and the fireman on the left is Adam MacCracken, the Oban Fire master of the time. The hirsute gent second right is the regional councillor for Lorn and Mull – The Late Councillor Iain Bell.

Archie and Skinny are great Lismore characters – both are sheep farmers and pillars of the community. Skinny was a terrific athlete in his day, running hill races at the Highland Games. Both have been great ploughmen at the local vintage tractor ploughing matches around North Lorn over the years. Beth Campbell of Hope Kitchen and a Liosach by birth will tell you more about those fine Lismore men.

Iain was a great friend and my predecessor on the Strathclyde Regional Council before reorganisation. He came from Glasgow and settled on Mull after a sponsored hike in up through Glen Coe and down through Glen Etive to highlight the folly of a plan to consider burying nuclear waste in the hills by Loch Etive – I kid you not!

Iain got the chance to represent the area along with four others from Argyll and Bute in 1990 from memory, on the 104 strong Strathclyde Regional Council – the largest council in Europe. His term ended with his retirement in 1994 having married Lee, an American teacher, and deciding to settle in the states. Tragically Iain was killed in a wild water rafting accident shortly after settling in the states and his ashes were scattered by Lee in Oban bay on a fine summer evening.

His legacy is that nuclear waste was never deposited underground after he played a leading part in the campaign for it to be kept at source – at Sellafield and Dounray.