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Around the village

Beach clean 2012

Pictured here, the Carradale beach-clean team having just spent the morning cleaning up what had collected in and around the bay over the last few months. Most of us were there to pick up litter but Rupert the horse was there for a gallop along the beach and then to eat some of the juicy grass growing on the dunes which is very much to his particular taste.

There was excitement in the village this week as various local groups had meetings with an architect engaged by the Harbour Group to come up with a plan to develop the harbour area. Carradale Harbour was once busy with fishing and even as recently as ten years ago it was very much the place for anyone living nearby to go and spend some time on a fine evening. There was always some activity going on, fishermen arriving back in port, tying up and unloading their catch, so it was the place to go for a blether, a natter. It was the place to be, a place to stroll down to for a promenade beside the sea, the harbour being the centre and focus of village life.

Over time all this has changed. The fishing fleet has declined due to over-fishing (and some would say over-regulation) and as the village population has changed (and become older) the strong bond that the village had with its harbour is being put to the test. Usage of the harbour declined to the point where it is now no longer the centre of the village and sadly it has now taken on an appearance which reflects this. Omans yard from the seaNo longer is it an interesting and attractive place to promenade about at the end of the day. More usually now it is quiet and comparatively empty of life. When viewed from the sea this is hardly surprising as part of the private land beside the harbour has become an eyesore, a rubbish dump, due to the untidy lifestyle of just one owner.

Time cannot, of course, be made to run backwards so the harbour can never be re-created exactly as it once was. The world we live in is forever changing and on our travels Kate and I have seen the effects of this in old fishing harbours all around Britain. Some have remained unchanged, stuck in the past, but there are many that have adapted successfully, bringing in people and life once more. Who would have thought, though, that one day we might find ourselves participating in efforts to re-vitalise a small village harbour, to breathe new life into the place? We certainly didn’t. Yet here we are right at the sharp end doing what we can to improve our home. Not everyone in the village is involved, of course, but there are enough here who feel like us and will try to make a difference, who will keep on pushing to make better things happen, to make this a better place for the community and for visitors alike.

Medical update: Once again I find myself under the surgeon’s knife in Oban Hospital with Kate anxiously waiting for me nearby. For the second time an inguinal hernia has popped up and I need patching up. As I lie here writing this entry I am feeling sore and rather sorry for myself but I know this will soon pass and in a few days I will once again be leaping about, maybe gently at first.

To take my mind off the soreness in my groin we are planning for a couple of momentous and life-changing moves, not for us but for two members of our family. Carradale is sucking them in, just as it did for us. First is my mother who will buy the house next door to ours and, some time in the next month or so, move in. Then there is our middle son, Mike. He too is re-locating to Carradale. It makes me wonder whether I have painted too rosy a picture of this place in these pages. No, not possible.

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One Response to Around the village

  1. Richard Edey

    Very sorry to hear about your op.Malcolm,but hoping that you are well on the road to a leapin’and jumpin ‘about.Great to hear of the Trott invasion-hope all moves go well.
    ATB richard

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