Love for Oban goes global as web cams notch up 600,000 views

The North Pier webcam at Oban Bay

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More than half a million views have been made of Oban’s seafront webcams since the coronavirus – underlining their huge value to the town.

The Northern Lighthouse camera racked up nearly 315,000 views and its opposite number across the bay at the North Pier notched up more than 308,000.

The cameras  provide real-time high definition panoramas of the bay and its surrounds and are hosted by the Oban and Lorn Tourism Alliance (OLTA) at Oban.org.uk

It launched an appeal during lockdown in April to raise £5,000 to meet their ongoing running and maintenance costs.

OLTA has now said it has reached its target after donations poured in, not just locally, but from fans of the town in America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

Usually, the cameras are sponsored by tourism businesses but during lockdown there was concern about their sponsorship which OLTA relies on to keep the webcams going.

Yet their importance locally and globally has seen nearly 200 people contribute.

Linda Battison, marketing director for OLTA and a founding member of the co-operative, said they had been ‘thrilled’ by the generosity.

Linda said: ‘I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone and I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised but I have been because I hadn’t really expected people to put their hands in their pockets and donate in such numbers. The response has been absolutely amazing.’

She added: ‘It’s been a nice mix of everyone from local businesses to local people actually in Oban themselves, right the way through to those people who have left Oban and have fond memories of it, or have visited it in the past and cannot visit now, and our international visitors who clearly are not going to be able to visit for some time.’

‘I have been inundated with comments from people saying that they use the webcams as their screen saver and have it constantly running on their laptop to those who say they check in on the webcams every day to see what the weather is doing.

‘It seems they like to get their fix of Oban!’

A number of people chipped in from states including Texas, Missouri, California and New Jersey, along with those in Australia, Germany and France, alongside many local people and former Obanites and holidaymakers.

One said:  ‘The Oban webcams are one of my lifelines. I would just hate them to disappear! I first came to Oban when I was only 10 days old – more than 83 years ago.’

Another commented: ‘Away from Oban for a long time but still check the weather every day.’

Contributor Sue Brown made three donations, saying: ‘Desperate to keep the webcams going!’

People based in cities told how the lovely views provided relaxation from their stressful office jobs, and others said the landscapes seen here frequently ‘lifted’ their days.

To view the webcams go to www.oban.org.uk/webcam/ and click the cam you want to see.

The two web cams which provide a window on the world in Oban