The fate of Rothesay’s former West Church features once again in the latest crop of your readers’ letters, as published in our September 25 issue.
If you’d like to comment on any of the topics raised, or any subject of interest to Bute, drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5pm on Monday at the latest - though as always, the sooner we hear from you, the better are your chances of seeing your views in print.
Please keep your letters as brief as you can, and remember to include your name and address for publication. We also need a daytime contact phone number in case we need to check any details at short notice, though this will not be printed.
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Full demolition should not be pursued
On the West Church; one may feel that the council’s recent action has been hasty and over-sensitive. (Was the demolition work put out to tender?) However, substantial removal of the bulk of the building was probably inevitable.
I was never optimistic about the possibility of raising perhaps £2 million for total preservation and rehabilitation of the whole building.
What is important now is that the council and the rest of us should not go ram-stam for complete demolition.
Georgina Denholm rightly identifies the steeple as the item of real architectural importance.
It should be possible to preserve this part of the structure for the community, the rest of the site being perhaps a relatively cheaply-maintained area for community use, decorated with flowers and shrubs.
One thing I would regard as presently urgent; steps should be taken immediately to remove the vegetation - trees in fact - growing in profusion from the steeple. These could easily force the stones apart, creating the greatest hazard of any associated with the building.
Graeme Allan, 1/1, 3 The Terrace, Ardbeg
No viable future for former church
As an immediate neighbour of the former West Church, I have attended several meetings of the ‘Preservation Group’ held in the Pavilion, and listened to their suggestions with regard to the church’s possible uses. I have also followed The Buteman’s coverage of the matter over recent months.
In that time, I have neither heard nor read anything from the group which convinces me that the church would have a long-term viable future.
I therefore commend all at Argyll and Bute Council on their decision to finally demolish the structure.
I do, however, hope that this includes the spire, as retaining it as a free-standing structure so close to nearby buildings may cause further problems.
Christine Finlay, Seabank, 26 Argyle Street, Rothesay
RNLI Bute branch coffee morning
On behalf of the Isle of Bute Branch of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution I have to thank all those in the community who supported our recent coffee morning held in the Isle of Bute Sailing Clubhouse. We would also thank the Sailing Club for their help and co-operation.
As reported in The Buteman the event raised £800 for the Lifeboat Service.
George McKenzie (Hon. Sec/Treasurer, Isle of Bute Branch of RNLI), Rubha nan Gall, 48 Ardbeg Road, Rothesay
Care Plus fully deserves top notch report
I was delighted to learn from your columns that local company CarePlus has received another glowing report from the Care Inspectorate.
On behalf of my family I should like to endorse the comments made by care inspector, Kevin Dale.
I do not know how we would have coped over the last couple of years without the care given by all members of the CarePlus team. I cannot overemphasise the caring professionalism which we have received.
So from my family I should like to say a big thank you!
Mike Blair, 5 Eaglesham Terrace, Rothesay
Scottish Red Ensign petition success
I would like to express my sincere thanks to The Buteman for the support and publicity you have given to me throughout my campaign to try to secure a warrant to legalise the Scottish Red Ensign as a ‘voluntary of informal’ for Scots vessels.
I would also like to thank all your readers who subscribed to the online petition on the subject.
As you reported, the Petitions Committee unanimously accepted my petition when they met in Inveraray on September 7, and have recommended to the Scottish Government that they seek the necessary warrant from the UK Government on the matter.
So hopefully, in the not too distant future, we will see the Scottish Red Ensign being proudly worn by vessels around our coasts, re-establishing our great national maritime identity.
George McKenzie, Rubha nan Gall, 48 Ardbeg Road, Rothesay
Thanks from Bute Advice Centre
On behalf of Bute Advice Centre, I would like to thank everyone who purchased a ticket for the raffle held at our recent open evening to mark our 25th anniversary and the move to our new premises in Bishop Street.
Thanks also to the following businesses for their generous prizes: The Dressing Room, Calico Moon, Port Inn, Kingarth Hotel, Ardbrannan Riding Centre, Macqueen’s Butchers, Jessmay’s, Print Point, McIntyre’s Butchers, the Castle Gallery, the Discovery Centre, Maison Gina, Bute Candle Co., The Card Shop, Victoria/Esplanade Hotel, Pet Shop, Ruth Slater, Nadia’s, Just Menswear, Bute Angling and Mount Stuart.
A huge thanks to Liz’s Cupcake Heaven for donating a beautiful cake to celebrate our 25th anniversary at the open evening, and to Karen Young for her mountain of tablet.
Collectively £460 was raised towards the move to our new premises. Thanks also goes to For Bute for their generous donation of £1,000.
Bute Advice Centre can now be found at 22/26 Bishop Street at ground floor level.
Julie Semple (manager), Bute Advice Centre, 22/26 Bishop Street, Rothesay
Bute Festival of Cycle Racing 2015
Following yet another very successful Festival of Cycle Racing, the Bute Wheelers would like to express their sincere appreciation to all the individuals, businesses and organisations who helped bring it all together.
We would like to again thank our sponsors: The Bike Shed, Bute BackPackers, Visit Bute, Caledonian MacBrayne and Bute Brew Co.
Thanks also for the fabulous help received from the local police over the two days; Iain Thompson and Joe McCabe for being so positive in help with council amenities, and John and Kenny for looking after the races on their motorbikes.
Thanks to the Craigmore Bowling Club for hosting the cyclists and making us welcome; to the the MacFarlanes, Duncan McAlister and Ronnie Robertson and all the other island farmers who helped with cattle and keeping the island’s roads safe and race-worthy for the duration of the weekend’s events; Light Up Bute for adding some bounce to the weekend; Martin Dougan and other guys with lenses for capturing the races on camera; Zavaroni’s Chippy and West End Café, Victoria Hotel, Esplanade, Black Bull Bar, Golfers Bar, Cellar One, the Co-op and Cowal Builders for donations of prizes.
Thanks to the Rotary Club of Rothesay and all the other individuals who marshalled the races all over the island and ensured the roads were safe for the riders, and of course Alison and all those others who provided lots of delicious food!
Murray Doyle (Bute Wheelers), 30 Shore Rd, Port Bannatyne
MS Society collection thanks
The Dunoon and District support group of the MS (Multiple Sclerosis) Society would like to extend our thanks to the residents of Bute and visitors to the island who generously donated to our can collection on August 22 at Bute Highland Games. Our thanks also go to the Co-operative, who kindly allowed us to collect in their store. Due to the generosity of the people on the day we collected £610 for this very worthwhile charity. Any person affected by multiple sclerosis is welcome to join us at our Drop-In Centre which is held at the Red Cross hall, George Street, Dunoon, every Tuesday from 10am to 1pm.
Dawn Morley (MS Society Dunoon and District Support Group), The Old Steading, Glendaruel
Cancer Research donations
On behalf of the fund-raising committee, I’d like to say a sincere thank-you to the following for their recent donations to Cancer Research UK.
In memory of Elizabeth Joy, from all the linedancers and their friends - £150; In loving memory of my daughter, Isobel, from Isa Marr - £20; In loving memory of Agnes Tait, from Heather, Henry and family - £25; In memory of Maggie - £100; Robert McKirdy’s annual quiz - £750.
Fiona Martin (donations secretary of Bute branch CRUK, 4 Caledonia Walk, Rothesay