Letters to the editor – 6.8.20

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Wild camping

In the early 90s there was roadside camping nuisance in Glencoe, between the Achtriochtan junction and Clachaig Inn.  Downstream residents in the Glen had serious health concerns.

I was Divisional Engineer with the Regional Council Roads Department at the time and we brought forward a clearway order that prohibited parking not only on the road but on the verges too. Intrusive yellow lines are not needed as a clearway order simply requires signs at either end with small repeater symbols if the restriction covers some distance.

Part of the plan involved the National Trust for Scotland as landowner and simple earthworks sensitively closed off the places that vehicles could be driven off the road to park. This proved to be an effective method of stopping the problem and I commend it for investigation by communities where there is nuisance from roadside parking.

While we need to take steps to stop the nuisance with restrictions, we also need to recognise that folk from the cities want to come here and so, depending on the location, it may still be necessary to offer some managed areas, with education and disposal points.

John C Hutchison, Fort William

Who dares cares

My name is Billy Anderson and I am writing to you on behalf of Who Dares Cares and Five Men In to extend our heartfelt gratitude and deepest respect to a number of individuals, and, the Fort William/ Lochaber community as a whole.

Who Dares Cares started in 2016 as a support charity for veterans suffering from PTSD and due to the huge demand within our society has expanded over the last four years to incorporate and support people from all walks of life.

Five Men In are a group of five veterans whose service has left them with life changing physical and/or psychological injuries. They have come together to raise £5,000 for our charity. They have set themselves the challenge of climbing five munros over the course of a year, with the first challenge being the ascent of Ben Nevis.

This was completed on July 18.

Who Dares Cares and Five Men In would like everyone to know that the generosity and hospitality extended to them by Jacqueline Lowry, Masada Country House Hotel, Karen and Uisdean McDonald, Victoria House Hotel, Barbara Findlay, BakeNRoll, Erol Ozen, Ben Nevis Takeaway, Ali Duff, The Hairy Piper, Elizabeth Henderson, Highland Smoked Salmon, and Cassie Gregor from Arisaig who put it all together for us.

We were also offered assistance from the Salvation Army Hall and the Bothy Bar which was not needed yet gratefully received. In short, within a few days of reaching out for help in finding an area to pitch their tents, the local community had them housed, fed and watered. Words cannot describe the deep and abiding impact these actions have had on everyone involved.

Many, many thanks.

Billy Anderson.

Can reader help in mystery?

My bike run yesterday took me through the Strath of Orchy when I spotted a truly magnificent Celtic Cross just up from the road. Such an outstanding feature had to be investigated and though it was difficult to read it appeared to have been erected on the site of a former cottage.

But what really aroused my curiosity was at the base of the cross, on the side facing the road was the name of Duncan McLaren, former Lord Provost of Edinburgh. It appears that this gentleman was a political giant of his time. Born in Renton, Dunbartonshire in 1800 he was largely self taught, having attended school for only two years. By the age of 24 he was running a successful business as a draper before entering local government where he was credited with saving Edinburgh from financial ruin. From there he entered Parliament and represented Edinburgh with great distinction for 16 years. He died in 1886 and is buried in St Cuthbert’s Churchyard, Edinburgh, alongside his three wives and other family members.

All very interesting but nowhere in my limited research is there any mention of Dalmally or Argyll. Perhaps a reader can explain the connection between Renton, Edinburgh and this lovely part of Argyll. Thank you.
Stan Ireland, Kirn, Dunoon.