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Happy writing!

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GETTING through life at the best of times is often far from easy, but the trauma of 2020 has brought with it uncertainties, anxieties and deep questions, almost hitherto unknown.

So it is good that our churches and chapels are gradually re-opening to help us re-find a helping, even healing, peace.

When I recently penned my wee poem, “Cardross-on-the-Hill”, which the Advertiser kindly printed, little did I think that two of my ministerial colleagues, within weeks of each other, would themselves be taken in stillness to linger awhile within its farewell walls before journeying on, but forever remaining in the hearts of so many.

READ MORE: Letters to the Advertiser: May 28, 2020

In early August and early September Rev Malcolm Wright and Rev Jim Brown said ‘goodbye’ to us, and oh how we wish we could have been at Cardross with them.

Covid denied us that presence, but will never deny us our gratitude.

When my family and I came to St Columba’s Church in November 1982, Jim had already been in Park Church for five years.To nearby Rosneath and Craigrownie Malcolm would be inducted in 1984.

And we all got to know each other, and as my knowing of them grew so did my admiration. To their congregations and parishes they gave their everything: they were people persons, prioritising above all else folks’ needs, yet never forgetting they were husbands and dads as well!

Helensburgh and the peninsula will each have their own memories. My own, alongside their loyal friendship, will be their sense of fun as well as faith, and their commitment to the vital spirituality of the young.

I think what would make them happiest of all would be to see the fruition of seeds they’ve sown resulting in more young ministers and youth leaders.

But most of all I know they will just want us to keep being there for each other, just as they were always there for us.

Thank you Jim and Malcolm, and may your loved ones keep knowing God’s comforting.

Rev Fred Booth


READ MORE: Letters to the Advertiser: October 1, 2020

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HAVING gone to put flowers on a grave at Luss church recently, I parked outside the church (where there were no lines, no notices, no warnings) as I have difficulty walking.

I put my blue badge up as well just in case. When I returned I had a parking ticket.

I phoned Argyll and Bute Council’s parking department and was told there was a sign saying ‘no parking’. Upon investigation I found ONE sign at the entrance up at the hotel.

I e-mailed photos to Argyll and Bute Council showing a small notice on the left hand corner which cannot be seen if you are approaching from the left. I suggested they put a notice on both corners. Nevertheless they turned my appeal down.

As a law-abiding citizen, I feel that adequate signage should be erected and of a size that can be seen. I have been back since, and see cars everywhere with tickets, and feel sorry for these people.

I am sure if they had seen the sign they would not have parked there.

Ian Bailey


READ MORE: Letters to the Advertiser: September 24, 2020

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MY husband and I attended Hermitage Academy on Saturday for our flu jabs.

It was very well organised and I would like to thank all involved during these difficult times.

N.J. Morrison

Colquhoun Street, Helensburgh

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COMMUNITY Links SL has been commissioned by Argyll and Bute Council to talk to local communities and businesses in eight towns across the area, including Helensburgh, to generate ‘Shop Local’ artwork and messaging ideas that represent the distinct characteristics and offering of each town.

The towns are Ardrishaig, Bowmore, Campbeltown, Helensburgh, Lochgilphead, Rothesay, Tarbert and Tobermory.

The decline of the high street in Scotland’s towns has been a matter of public concern for many years. A falloff in local shopping has negative economic, social, community and environmental consequences. The impact of Covid-19 could mean that new shopping habits developed during lockdown further reduces footfall and income to local shops.

READ MORE: Letters to the Advertiser: September 17, 2020

Funding from the Scotland’s Towns Partnership will pay for shop local posters tailored to each town. Local community and business input will help to shape the design, look and feel of your town’s poster and a banner for Argyll and Bute.

Over the next few weeks, there will be opportunities for local communities and businesses to contribute their ideas for a bespoke local poster campaign to encourage people to shop local.

Staff from Community Links will be contacting community organisations and businesses to get their views.

Based on the views and ideas gathered, Community Links will produce a brief for a designer, who will then produce a poster for each town, and the banner for Argyll and Bute. We’d love to do this face to face, but because of Covid, it’s going to have be online and on the phone.

A short life website – – will allow local people to keep up to date with opportunities to contribute.

We’re going to ask existing local organisations to help promote it through their networks and social media too.

If anyone reading this wants to contact me, my email is and my mobile number is 07784 357303.

Colin Duff

Consultant, Community Links SL

READ MORE: Letters to the Advertiser: September 10, 2020

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THE coronavirus pandemic and lockdown could see the need for foster carers in Scotland increasing.

Due to Covid-19 pressure on families has increased with many suffering job losses, bereavement and mental health issues which may have a drastic impact on the number of children needing foster care.

We expect referral numbers to climb now schools are open and teachers and other professionals identify vulnerable children and young people as needing support.

So we are urgently asking anyone who thinks they can help to come forward.

It is more important now than ever for people to contact the charity to find out about fostering, to ensure the right foster carers are there when children and young people desperately need stability and a loving family, support when they need it the most.

Please contact us online at to find out more about fostering, becoming a foster carer and the support Barnardo’s can offer, or call 0800 0277 280.

Sue Brunton

Head of fostering and adoption, Barnardo’s Scotland

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I WOULD be interested to know how many of your readers value the inclusion of TV and radio listings for the full week, which account for seven of the 40 pages.

I am inclined to suggest that this may simply be ‘padding’, at virtually zero cost, to justify the high price.

David Russell


READ MORE: Letters to the Advertiser: September 3, 2020

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THE Brexit talks are back in the headlines as the crunch point is being reached on a potential trade deal between the UK and the EU.

Meanwhile, rumbling on in the background, and maybe not getting the attention deserved due to Covid-19, is the major impact Brexit is having on the economy.

According to professional services company EY, financial services firms operating in the UK have shifted about 7,500 employees and more than 1.2 trillion pounds of assets to the European Union ahead of the ending of the transition period this year - with more likely to follow in coming weeks.

About 400 relocations were announced in the past month alone. Since Britain voted to leave the bloc in 2016, the finance industry has added 2,850 positions in the EU, with Dublin, Luxembourg and Frankfurt seeing the biggest gains.

From next year, firms in Europe’s financial capital will lose their passporting rights, which enables them to offer services across the EU. They will have to rely on the bloc granting the UK so-called equivalence for them to do business with customers in the region. With the EU far from certain to grant that access, firms are beefing up their continental presence.

It is inevitable that further moves will follow soon as we stumble towards the Brexit precipice at the end of this year.

Alex Orr

via email