Want to read more?
At the start of the pandemic in March we took the decision to make online access to our news free of charge by taking down our paywall. At a time where accurate information about Covid-19 was vital to our community, this was the right decision – even though it meant a drop in our income. In order to help safeguard the future of our journalism, the time has now come to reinstate our paywall, However, rest assured that access to all Covid related news will still remain free.
To access all other news will require a subscription, as it did pre-pandemic. The good news is that for the whole of December we will be running a special discounted offer to get 3 months access for the price of one month. Thank you for supporting us during this incredibly challenging time.
We value our content and access to our full site is only available with a subscription. Your subscription entitles you to 7-day-a-week access to our website, plus a full digital copy of that week’s paper to read on your pc/mac or mobile device. In addition, your subscription includes access to digital archive copies from 2006 onwards.
Just want to read one issue? No problem you can subscribe for just one week (or longer if you wish).
Keeping occupied in the ongoing lockdown may be posing a challenge for some, but Douglas Barr has found plenty to do by setting up a helicopter production line in his Claggan home.
A keen model maker since he was a boy, Douglas’ subject of choice was the Sea King Search and Rescue machine which until recently was a well known sight in the Lochaber skies, buzzing around the Ben to help those in difficulty.
The American designed Sea King also served in air forces across the globe in different guises and colour schemes, many of which have been accurately recreated in miniature on the Claggan ‘line’.
While locals will remember the full sized Sea Kings in Red and Grey as operated by the Navy and in bright yellow RAF colours, the latter is one if his particular favourites due to its historical importance.
As ‘XZ585’, the helicopter flew its last sortie in Fort William on March 31 2015, before being transported to the RAF Museum in Hendon, where it is now on permanent display.
Douglas said: ‘At an early meeting of Lochaber Model Association in the 1980s, an older member complained he was running out of space for his 40 helicopter models.
‘I remember thinking I wish I had 40 helicopters, but now I fully understand what he meant.’
Douglas and his model making activities are featured in greater depth in the March issue of Lochaber Life.