Save Oban’s seafront webcams

The North Pier webcam at Oban Bay

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An appeal has been launched to help raise money to keep two vital webcams in Oban running.

The high-spec lenses provide a panoramic window on Oban to people all over the world.

But the coronavirus has shut down tourism and there has also been a fall off in vital sponsorship money which kept the cameras maintained and paid the costly streaming and bandwith bill.

The outdoor units, at the Northern Lighthouse Pier and North Pier, provide high-quality real-time footage and shine a light on local landmarks from the stunning sunsets to the esplanade and McCaig’s Tower.

Thousands log on to Oban.org.uk just to feel closer to Oban – from homesick Scots living away – to loyal tourists desperate to return and locals checking out the ferries or the weather.

The Oban and Lorn Tourism Alliance, which runs the website, is appealing for people to help ‘crowdfund the cams’ and prevent the curtain being drawn across across the town’s spectacular outlook.

The alliance has set a target to raise £5,000 and within a few days had hit £1,500.

‘Can’t wait to return to Oban to watch the sun set and eat lovely fish and chips,’ said one donor.

Another chipping in £40, revealed: ‘Many a night I’m sitting in Germany homesick and looking at Scottish webcams. The Oban ones are one of the best.’

An anonymous donor stumped up £100 and called it the ‘best view in the world’.

The positive response has cheered Linda Battison, marketing director and a founding member of the OLTA.

Mrs Battison, owner of Cologin Country Chalets and Lodges, said: ‘We have always known they are the most popular part of the website and attract a huge amount of web traffic, but they are not free to run.

‘The amount of bandwith they need is very expensive because of the high quality images, and being outdoor cameras we do have to replace them.

‘We just want to show that despite everything that has happened, there’s still life here in the little bay.

‘I think it lifts people’s spirits to see the town looking so good with the fabulous weather we have been having,’ she said.

To donate to the fund, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/oban-webcams?utm_term=bA2pqrqbe

Pontoon with a view: The North Pier webcam
Shipping on the dock of the bay: The webcam at the Northern Lighthouse Board pier