At Random with Martin Laing – July 29

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Bon voyage

I thought I’d give a nod this week to a (briefly) former colleague, whom many of your delightful readers will have come to know over the past year and a half or so.

Ellis Butcher arrived to work at The Oban Times last March, just as the whole country went into lockdown. He had moved up from the northwest of England and found himself suddenly adrift in a strange place where he knew no one and where not even the pubs, let alone his new office, were open.

Dunkirk spirit and all that, Ellis embraced the job, the town and its people, and got stuck in marvellously, and made a genuine and telling contribution to the community he had become part of.

Now, largely for family reasons, Ellis has departed, and was given a splendid send-off on Sunday, though I was more than sorry not to be able to attend. I have, though, had the pleasure of blowing the froth from a few with him over recent months on a number of occasions.

As I said, many of you will regret his leaving and I’m sure you will want to join me in wishing him well.

Scandalous treatment

A wee footnote regarding Oban golfing sensation Bob MacIntyre. I am absolutely with the outraged brigade over the coverage given – or, rather, not given – to young Bob during his astonishing performance at the Open Championship at Sandwich.

He was the top Scot, the top Brit and the top European in the competition and finished tied for eighth place. However, you’d be forgiven for thinking he wasn’t there at all from watching the Sky coverage.

My chum Davie Buchanan put it very succinctly while ranting about it when he compared the exposure given to Bob and Rory McIlroy (who tied for 46th place). Davie opined: ‘If McIlroy had gone to the toilet, they’d have followed him into the cludge.’

Fear not, though, Bob: everyone in Oban knows what a star you are. Keep it up!

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