District news – October 8, 2021

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Dunoon

Dunoon pier could benefit from substantial improvement work as part of a proposed new regeneration project.

The Western Scotland Marine Gateways plan will form part of a bid being put together by Argyll and Bute Council for a share of the UK Government’s Levelling Up fund, introduced earlier this year.

If successful, a new berthing facility for the A-listed pier would be among a number of  upgrades set to share in funding totalling £20 million.

The regeneration of the pier would work alongside improvements to the town centre and waterfront, including a link to the Dunoon Project principal entrance at West Bay as well as a further phase of restoration and possible demolition of unused features.

In a report presented to a full council meeting on September 30, executive director Kirsty Flanagan said: ‘This investment will add to the current regeneration activities such as the completed development of the Queen’s Hall together with the Dunoon CARS initiative and the Cycle Bothy project.’

Gigha

Members are being sought for a steering group aiming to make the Isle of Gigha a zero-carbon community.

Businesses, residents and community groups are being invited to join together to create an island-wide action plan to offset Gigha’s carbon footprint.

The Isle of Gigha Heritage Trust is spearheading the initiative which is expected to incorporate ideas such as change of land use and major renewables development as well as proposals on how best to make individual behaviours more environmentally sustainable.

With island communities set to be at high risk from sea-level rises associated with a forecasted average temperature rise of 1.5ºC, the trust’s development manager Jane Millar said: ‘At 1.5ºC, there is a strong possibility of a one-metre sea-level rise by 2100, and if there is no concerted action internationally, as well as within the UK, then two metres is now seen as a probability.

‘There are many other changes the island may experience as a result of climate change, including very long dry periods like the one we have experienced this year which will affect agriculture.

‘We would like the community to steer the direction and support those developments which Gigha needs to take to address the climate emergency.’

To be involved in the new group interested parties can contact the trust’s office at jane@gigha.org.uk.

Auchindrain

The latest item to be found hidden in the walls of cottages in the Auchindrain township was discovered last week by conservationists at the museum.

A homemade toy shotgun thought to date from the 19th century was found in the attic of a building known as Stoner’s House.

A spokesperson for the museum said: ‘While removing old electrical cables from within the attic of Stoner’s House our team came across a toy shotgun, wedged between the wall-head and the roof.

‘Made from a crudely shaped length of wood with metal fixings, it’s missing its barrel but is otherwise in good condition.’

To find out more about the find the museum staff consulted experts at the Royal Armouries in Leeds who confirmed that the proportions are wrong for it to have come from a real gun, leading to the conclusion that it was made from wood and metal elements that were to hand, with the lock plate possibly reused from another toy.

The spokesperson added: ‘We initially thought this gun must have belonged to the last two brothers to have lived within the house, Callie and Duncan Munro who were both born around 1900, but our expert believes that the gun could have been made even earlier than that.

‘Looking back through our census data the next likely owners are Donald and Martin Munro, aged  16 and 12, who lived in the house in 1871.’

The hidden gun is one of many items found this year secreted in the walls at Auchindrain, including three odd child’s leather boots, two gin traps, a bottle of alcohol, and a lady’s bodice.