After four decades, the world is their oyster

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The sun shone and the loch sparkled for birthday celebrations at Loch Fyne Oysters.

It is 40 years since local landowner Johnny Noble and marine biologist Andy Lane began farming oysters near Cairndow at the head of Loch Fyne – and selling them from a shed beside the A83.

Today the company sells 2.5 million oysters a year, as well as 400 tonnes of mussels and nearly 1,000 tonnes of smoked salmon. Their seafood is exported all over the world and is on the menus of first-class airline cabins, luxury hotels and Formula One racing events.

A weekend festival was held on May 12/13 to mark this milestone. ‘Fyne at 40’, held at the famous Loch Fyne Oysters restaurant which grew from that first oyster shack, attracted the crowds in beautiful sunshine.

Fireworks on Friday night, a feast of seafood, music, children’s entertainment and a ceilidh meant there was something for everyone.

Scottish band Hue and Cry, famous for hit singles such as Labour of Love, performed an acoustic set on the Saturday evening in front of just 140 people, who also enjoyed a magnificent seafood buffet.

Festival goers had access to areas normally closed to the public, such as the oyster sheds, and there were trips to nearby historic Ardkinglas House.

Speaking during Fyne at 40, Loch Fyne Oysters managing director Cameron Brown said: ‘The festival has been terrific, and thankfully the weather has been kind.

‘We normally do the food fair, but we thought as this was the 40th anniversary we would do something a little bit different, and it’s been a huge success.’