Letters to the editor

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Sort out Strone Point
I write concerning last week’s front page article headlined ‘Contract wrangling stalls trunk road safety project’, the subject of which caused me concern.
My wife and I leased the house known as Stronshira, a few hundred yards nearer Inver-
aray than this notorious ‘black’ corner, from 1989 until 2008.
We were only too aware of the frequent serious accidents, many of those fatal,
almost on our doorstep, and it was not a new thing.
How many years in total it must be since this severe corner, though well signposted, has been the scene of loss of life or severe injury, one can only guess.
The word ‘Stron’ – Gaelic for nose or promontory – tells you this is a sharp, indeed severe, bend. But little or nothing has been done over a long time for a real improvement to be made.
Some years ago trees on the immediate hillside were cleared away and this seems to have helped a little.
Perhaps drivers are now more aware of the starkness of this corner and take a little more care.
But it is not enough. Motorcyclists have died; car passengers have been injured; cars have plunged almost into the loch; and now there is wrangling over details in a contract.
Surely something better than this can be done – and soon.
Perhaps the minister in Edinburgh responsible for roads should knock a few heads together or bang a fist on tables to get something done before another disaster takes place at what must be one of the worst accident spots in Scotland.
Niall Iain MacLean,

Minard book launch thanks
I spent my working life in England, and my last visit to Minard was some 17 years ago.
I was really astonished, therefore, at the number of people who attended last week’s launch of my book
Minard – a compen­dium in Minard hall and to be present at such a happy gathering. Thank you all for coming and supporting me.
The refreshments were super, and my grateful thanks go to all those who were involved in any way with them. My thanks also go to those who were involved in the hall booking, setting up of tables and the like.
As far as I am concerned, the event had such a pleasant and happy feel about it that it reminded me of bygone days spent in Minard Village Hall so long ago.
My special thanks also go to school teacher Mrs Goodwin, who kindly opened up the old school and showed my brother, his family and myself the changes since we were last there.
Thanks again for making my visit such a memorable one.
Mac Turner,
author, ‘Minard
– a compendium’.
Men’s shed appeal
We are collecting tools and materials to make good a new shed for community use in Lochgilphead.
This Men’s Shed is part of a worldwide movement to build creative spaces where men can hang out and make things, repair things and spend time in like-minded company. This has been shown to improve health, give purpose to people who are retired and help people back to work.
Blarbuie Woodland Enterprise has helped by building a small shed for community use in its ground on the old bowling green above the Argyll and Bute Hospital, and now the newly formed men’s group would like to make that shed safe, waterproof and functional. To this end, they are looking for donations of woodworking hand tools, Sterling board, padlocks, Kingspan insulation, wood offcuts to make workbenches, PVA glue and other wood fixings and wood preservative or paint.
If you would like to be credited in the Men’s Shed project publicity and information, we would be happy to do so and you can be assured that all donations will be put to good use, will have a long-lasting benefit and create a wonderful, new project that will make a real difference.
Please give generously. If you want to know more, please contact me by email lynda@argylltsi.org.uk or call 01546 606808.
Lynda Syed,
Mid Argyll Third
Sector Interface.
Challenges for police
Statistics obtained by the Scottish Conservatives through Freedom of Information have shown that the number of grievances made by police officers to
Police Scotland bosses
in the past year have doubled.
Shadow justice secretary Liam Kerr said the figures pointed to a decrease in morale among officers as
Police Scotland continues to be hit by negative publicity.
There have also been concerns about police on the front line being stretched, and officers forced to backfill to make up for shortages in other departments.
This doubling of grievances goes to show how morale is suffering at Police Scotland.
It is well known that our police take risks most of us never have to think about.
Our police deserve better than this constant centralisation obsession and indifference to the challenges facing our police by the separatists.
Alastair Redman,
Isle of Islay.
Save postcard stamps
Instant messaging may be the quickest way to keep in touch with family and friends while on your summer holidays, but the tradition of sending a postcard boasting an idyllic image of your location lives on. And Scotland’s leading children’s charity is asking people throughout the country to make this cheer go a little further with a simple stamp collection.
Barnardo’s Scotland has teamed up with Citadel Stamps to raise money for the vulnerable children, young people and families the charity supports.
They are appealing for members of the public to hold on to their used stamps – clipping around the
stamps leaving 10mm-20mm of envelope – and posting them to Barnardo’s Stamp Appeal, PO BOX 6107, Stromness, KW16 9AB.
We often get more post than ever over the summer months, with lovely messages from loved ones enjoying well deserved holidays and adventures. This is a powerful but simple initiative to allow the happiness of a holiday to spread that little bit further to help children throughout the country.
The impending new school year or return to work after a refreshing break is often a time where we set ourselves new goals – collecting and posting used stamps for Barnardo’s Scotland is an easy goal to add to the list. And what a brilliant school project to take on after the summer holiday season has finished. Barnardo’s Scotland receives a financial contribution from partner Citadel Stamps for each load collected. All stamps are accepted, including foreign ones, limited editions and collections.
Deborah Grossman,
fundraising manager,