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IT is with great regret that the trustees of the Helensburgh Seafront Development Project (HSDP) announce that they are going to wind-up their charitable organisation and discontinue their attempts to save the pier and use it as a focus for marine activities to benefit the people and business of the town.

The council has continued down its path of allowing the pier to deteriorate to such an extent that it is now unusable by marine traffic and are now fencing it off to allow only its use as a pedestrian walkway.

Waverley will, of course, no longer be able to use the pier. The council appears to have determined that the pier, with its future potential and Waverley’s presence, is of no benefit to the town and the wider public.

If they have some other plan, then it is not apparent. After several years of engagement with Argyll and Bute Council and attempting to engage Scottish Government ministers earlier this year, who determined that it was a local authority matter, we have developed a conviction that the council’s obduracy and resistance would outlast the masonry of the pier itself.

READ MORE: Letters to the Advertiser: October 8, 2020

Sadly, therefore, we have come to the conclusion that we can no longer expend time, effort and people’s money in pursuing what appears to be a hopeless cause.

Certain councillors will, no doubt, treat this announcement with total disinterest and lack of concern in much the same way as they have treated all our attempts to fulfil our stated aims of saving this iconic structure and using it for the benefit of marine users ranging from canoeists and kayakers to vessels such as Waverley and visiting small craft.

We saw it as an iconic structure capable of being re-invented to act as a focus for marine activity in the town. They saw it as a liability but it only became that because of their inaction in not undertaking maintenance and repair over the years unlike other piers in Argyll and Bute.

We thank all those townspeople who have been so generous in their support to our small core of volunteers who have tried hard to save the pier for the town.

The charity’s assets will be disposed of in accordance with our constitution which requires, in accordance with Scottish charitable law, any remaining assets to be distributed to other, local organisations with like-minded aims and aspirations for the benefit of the people of this town.

We will be approaching such charities over the next few weeks as part of the winding-up process.

David Cantello

Chairman, HSDP

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READ MORE: Couple's anger as vandals destroy fairy house tree in Helensburgh woods

SADLY the article in last week’s Helensburgh Advertiser (‘Vandal anger as wood fairy tree damaged’, October 8, 2020) concerning vandalism to the fairy tree in Duchess Wood is only one example of damage done in recent weeks.

In addition fences have been broken and gate posts deliberately pushed over. A large quantity of bottles, some smashed, cans and rubbish has been left all around the wood.

Volunteers from the Friends of Duchess Wood have collected four bags of cans and bottles from the north west corner of the wood over the last few days.

We’re aware that visitors have also removed bottles and cans and we’re grateful to all those visitors who help clear up this wholly unnecessary mess.

The police, at the instigation of the Friends of Duchess Wood, visited the wood at the weekend and dispersed groups of young people. We are grateful for their help with this matter.

If anyone visiting the wood sees a group behaving in an anti-social way, please call Police Scotland on 101 and report it.

Also, if possible, leave a message on the Friends of Duchess Wood website at or on the FODW Facebook page.

We would be grateful if Lila Raeside or Brian Goudie who created the fairy tree would contact FODW through the web page or Facebook to discuss how we might best protect the tree from further damage.

David Lewin

Acting chair, Friends of Duchess Wood

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READ MORE: Ex Provost Billy Petrie leads tributes to Helensburgh councillor Ellen Morton

I WAS saddened to read of the death of Ellen Morton, who has been one of our local councillors for many years, in last week’s Helensburgh Advertiser.

Ellen was always interested in our local village activities and gave valuable advice and support to many village organisations.

Until her recent illness Ellen had always attended the monthly meetings of our community council and helped with our decisions on how to progress various projects to the benefit of the community.

We shall miss Ellen’s friendly smile and helpful suggestions at our meetings and look back on a wonderful person who truly represented the interests of our community and guided us with wise advice on working with Argyll and Bute Council.

Ellen will be much missed and we hope her family will take comfort from the high regard in which she was held by us all.

Patrick M Trust

Convenor, Cardross Community Council

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READ MORE: Advertiser View: Helensburgh and Lomond owes a lot to Ellen Morton

ON walking across the Forth Road Bridge mid-morning recently I observed more than 20 buses travelling in both directions.

I counted five passengers in total in all of these services.

In the present pandemic we are encouraged to work form home and not to travel on public transport if possible. Clearly many passengers are heeding this advice.

It seems very wasteful to run these near-empty coaches every five minutes or so, not to mention unnecessarily harmful to the environment.

It is further noted some of the bus services are duplicated by a near-parallel railway service, similarly lightly loaded at present.

In the current circumstances could the frequency not be reduced?

Who is paying for these under-used facilities?

Could it be the taxpayer via an additional subsidy to the transport companies?

Can I suggest more prudence without significantly compromising these lifeline public transport services.

Robin M Brown


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

HERE at NSPCC Scotland we have continued to be here for children throughout this pandemic.

Through Childline, our counsellors have been supporting children with a wide range of issues, including mental health, family relationships and abuse, and our helpline has been there for adults seeking advice or concerned about the welfare of a child.

Last year, our Speak Out Stay Safe programme visited 833 primary schools in Scotland, speaking to more than 145,000 children about their right to be safe from abuse and neglect. Because of Covid-19, the team are unable to go into schools at the moment but have been working on ways to continue to get these important messages to pupils.

Our fund-raising volunteers in communities across Scotland have rallied together to think up innovative ways of raising funds for us, which is so important as we rely on public donations for 90 per cent of our income.

We’ve had supporters host virtual fund-raising events, run marathons in their back gardens and one fund-raiser even cycled the length of the UK on an exercise bike in her living room.

We’re looking for enthusiastic, creative and organised people across Scotland to help us raise funds. This could be on an individual basis or as part of a local fund-raising group or network. You will play a key part in keeping children safe in your local area, while learning new skills and meeting new people. Our NSPCC Scotland fund-raising team offers all the help our volunteers need to be successful.

NSPCC Scotland is here for children, whenever they need us to be and it’s with your support that we can continue to be so, throughout this public health crisis and beyond.

To find out more contact

Paul Cockram

Head of fund-raising, NSPCC Scotland

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

ON TV, after Scotland scored in an international football match, all the Scottish players were in a heap hugging one another.

Now in normal circumstances this would be quite normal. But, we are not in normal circumstances, we are in the most serious health crisis for many years, and therefore it was no surprise to me when the TV commentator showed a picture of our football fans in pubs, acting the same way as our football players.

For the past few months we have been watching football on TV, along with millions of others around the world, with the players and staff acting as if they are on another planet, with no regard to the Covid-19 rules that the general public are obliged to obey.

I find it astonishing that our politicians have allowed this to happen as the players should be seen to be setting an example with regards to Covid-19 rules the same as the rest of us.

John Connor

via email

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