Letters to the Editor – 21.7.22

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Down memory lane

I was interested to see a picture of a white-washed cottage at Gualachulain, on the shores of Loch Etive in last week’s Oban Times.

Once upon a time it was the village post office, evidenced by the telegraph pole and the plaque by the right-hand window nearest the photographer.

Note a man up a ladder thatching the roof of the adjoining building which was replaced by corrugated iron: two collie dogs are to be seen lying on the road outside. I would be grateful if any reader could tell me when it ceased to be a post office.
Iain Thornber, Morvern, email: iain.thornber@btinternet.com

Windfarm worries

We are truly blessed by the natural beauty around us in Kintyre and Knapdale.
But with the current drive for renewable energy and the destruction and industrialisation of these peninsulas that brings – for little local benefit and no control for those most affected – I feel it is important some considerations should be taken into account when making planning decisions.

From my early years in Angola, where my grandfather built his own 12 volt wind charger which charged a battery to power a light in his home, this set up so impressed me I have been interested in alternatively energy and efficient power storage/transmission, long before CO2 became an argument. That being said I feel very strongly that when coming before planners, the term ‘sustainable’ should include ongoing psychological wellbeing, physical health and financial considerations from the harm to earning power (tourism for example) and the loss of property value. These things cause stress and do not appear to be factored into decision making.

I think the strong community connections which Sròndoire and Allt Dearg windfarms have maintained from planning stage onward has reduced the impact on local people’s stress as they know of people who have benefited directly or indirectly from these windfarms.

For example our firemen were beating a raging hill fire with traditional beaters… along comes an eight-wheel ATV with the latest fire fighting fog generator which worked like magic and needed only a small water tank.
These connections with the local communities have created and maintained good will the value of which cannot be overestimated.

Tarbert is fresh from the losing the fight against SSEN’s transmission line, specifically towers 205, 206 & 207 where the line dog-legs back from the direct line to deposit two 63 metre pylons onto the southern hill (Achnaglach) – which stands 60 metres above sea level – without any explanation for changing the preferred direct route. My wife and I gathered over 200 signatures from local people in 24 hours complaining about this change without success.

People in Tarbert are heartily scunnered by the lack of power the usual controls have had in the face of SSEN’s seeming indifference to those most affected. We need the power locally to make the infrastructure sustainable or disarm the anger by developing long-term good community relationships.

I have found that the information provided by all developers to be confusing and full of charts and tables giving subjective criteria without specific objectively studied proof. Wireline schematics and maps are too small and clunky compared to say Google Maps. Too few view points have been given.

I believe that what has happened in the Barr Glen (shut down of tower 9) may well prove to be what the locals need to have a moratorium called on all wind farm developments until the science catches up with the negative impact massive turbines will have.

I understand that a PhD level study has been funded for this purpose.
Jonathan Arnot, Tarbert.

Fundraising afternoon tea

People with breast cancer need you. And they need you now. Every year, around 55,000 women and 370 men in the UK have their lives turned upside down by a breast cancer diagnosis. In 2007 I experienced this first hand when I was told I had the disease.

Nearly five years after I finished treatment I was diagnosed with secondary (metastatic) breast cancer which had spread to my liver. Secondary breast cancer can be treated but cannot be cured.

I’ve worked with the charity Breast Cancer Now for a long time because they’ve been with me right from the start. That’s why I’m calling on readers to join me this August by hosting an Afternoon Tea.

Afternoon Tea is Breast Cancer Now’s annual fundraising event, that gives you a chance to get together with friends, family or colleagues over a cake in the garden, or a picnic in the park, to raise money for charity.

Money raised will help Breast Cancer Now continue to provide award-winning health information, fund cutting-edge research projects, and give someone much-needed reassurance on their Helpline, which I know from calling the team myself, can make all the difference.

Research into finding new treatments is incredibly important and everyday Breast Cancer Now’s research in the lab brings us closer to a future where everyone with breast cancer lives and is supported to live well. By hosting an Afternoon Tea, you can raise vital funds to help researchers get there faster.

I’ve hosted an Afternoon Tea this year and loved being able to invite friends over to share in my passion with food, whilst raising money for a cause close to my heart.
This year’s Afternoon Tea fundraising kit includes a whole host of exciting decorations and games to make your event special, including beautiful bespoke bunting designed by iconic British brand Cath Kidston.

Join thousands of people across the UK and host an Afternoon Tea at any point throughout August, sign up for your fundraising kit at breastcancernow.org/cuppa
Jane Devonshire, 2016 MasterChef winner and Breast Cancer Now supporter.