Letters to the editor – week 41 – Thursday October 7

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What benefits if Oban granted city status?

The idea of Oban bidding for city status, The Oban Times September 30, doesn’t thrill me, especially were that status to lead to a change in the town’s character.

The report tells us how the criteria set by government are matched, but we learn nothing about what benefits will be derived.

There might be more support if these benefits included: resurrecting the bypass that would alleviate traffic jams in the town centre; solving the issue of parking, especially during the tourist season; catering for the increased number of camper vans and providing affordable, modest-size accommodation for those employed by the hospitality sector, restaurants and shops.

If, however, the benefits (sic) lead to increasing suburbanisation, traffic congestion and unserviced restaurants, shops and hotels, the townscape will lose its attractiveness for visitors and residents. City status might be won but the future will be bleak.

So let’s hear more detail about the ‘benefits’ from those advocating the idea so that the pros and cons can be weighed up.

Professor Emeritus Ian Reid,  Ardconnel Road, Oban.

Grateful for kindness shown

We were touring your wonderful west coast recently in our small company van.

We bought the van in December last year with 12 months MOT as part of the package – or so we thought.

Our first base was Tarbert, from where we toured some of your fabulous islands for a few nights, one of which was Islay.

The night before, there had been an incident on the island so two young police officers were assigned to go to the island to cover for the one officer that is based there.

The officers allocated were in a police car that had an automatic number plate recognition device fitted that flagged up that we had no MOT.

They politely pulled us over and gave us a ticket but kindly allowed us to get back to the mainland to sort it out. When we got back to Tarbert we rang and arranged for an MOT to be done the following day at our second base, Oban.

We arrived early evening on Monday September 13 and went to the Tartan Tavern. As we were making our way back around at 8.50pm I received a call informing me that my husband’s mum had passed away. I stopped in the street to tell him and he was obviously shattered and shaken.

As I consoled him, a lovely young couple pulled up and asked if we were okay and if they could help or if we needed taking to hospital? We assured them that we were okay and thanked them. Afterwards we were so grateful for their kindness and would love to pass on our thanks.

We now needed to get back to Derby as soon as possible to be with family but still had no MOT.

We waited until the morning, then my husband went to Halfords where he explained the situation. But he discovered there had been some confusion and our MOT booking had been but down for the previous day. Despite this, the kind mechanic took my husband’s number and said he didn’t have any slots until later in the day but he would try to help. He then called at 9.30am to tell us he had done our van.

We left as soon as possible and made the seven-hour trip home. We are so grateful for the kindness we were shown in Oban and would like to say thank you and apologise to anyone inconvenienced by Halfords helping us out.

We can’t wait to return to finish our tour and once again the spectacular scenery.

Nina Myers, by email.

Walk to remember

Walking in the fresh air is something many of us have appreciated more than ever since the pandemic began.

As someone who tries to walk every day, I value the physical and wellbeing benefits it brings, as well as the time to think and reflect.

I am writing to encourage your readers to put their best foot forward and take part in Sue Ryder’s Walk to Remember 2021.

Healthcare charity Sue Ryder is a cause close to my heart. My daughter was cared for in her final days at one of Sue Ryder’s hospices, Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice, in 2010. The compassionate care she received meant a lot to my family and I.

Sue Ryder does fantastic work, being there for families like mine. However, it remains reliant on voluntary income and needs your readers’ support to ensure it can keep offering expert care.

This is why I want to tell you about how you can get involved with Walk to Remember this October. It is an opportunity to get together with family and friends to celebrate the memory of your loved one, raise vital funds and help Sue Ryder fill someone’s last days with love.

Sue Ryder’s research shows more than half – 54 per cent – of the British public think remembrance events help them grieve. You can join hundreds of other supporters and walk 5k or 10k at one of Sue Ryder’s organised events or organise your own Walk to Remember and do 5k or 10k or a distance of your choice on any day during October.

The charity’s research found more than two thirds of people – 71 per cent – have a special place they visit to remember someone who has died. Make it your Walk to Remember by deciding your start and finish line and a route that means something to you.

The funds raised will help Sue Ryder support people through the most difficult times of their lives. Whether that’s a terminal illness or a bereavement, with your support Sue Ryder can be there when it matters.

Sign up now at sueryder.org/walk

Sir Geoff Hurst MBE, former England footballer, World Cup winner and Sue Ryder Ambassador.