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Council's inaction leaves family cold

A MONTROSE family have said that they feel badly let down over Angus Council's failure to repair a gas-fire in their council-owned home for nearly three months. Kate and Mark Cargill, of India Street, say they've been left out of pocket trying to heat their living room since their gas-fire came away from the wall in January. The couple immediately informed the council of the problem, but it took eleven weeks for repairs to be carried out. Mark, who works as a porter at Stracathro Hospital, said: " We were sitting here for three months with a gaping hole in the wall and no gas-fire. A cold wind blew down the flue and it was freezing at times over the winter. "It's cost me extra as well. The council's clerk of works said that we could use our central heating, but there was constantly cold air coming down the flue and it left me an extra £10 a week out of pocket. "My son Paul and his fiancée Sonia are still living here and she's 27 weeks pregnant so I've had to keep the place warm - I've got no option." Their problems started on January 15, after the heater came away from the wall in Kate's hands. She immediately contacted the council and received a letter shortly afterwards saying that the repairs would be completed by February 20. However, repairs weren't completed until Friday, April 6, leaving Mr and Mrs Cargill £110 out of pocket. A spokesperson for Angus Council apologised for the delay and said that they were looking into arranging compensation for the family. She said: "The council can confirm that the feature gas fire at India Street has now been replaced. "There was a fully functioning heating system during this time at this address, however we apologise for the delay in this work being carried out and will look into the possibility of a disturbance allowance." 12 April 2007 Courtesy of The Montrose Review

Plan for boxing show

THE group hoping to establish a boxing club in the town are to arrange a boxing show as an example of what it would bring to the town. The group has also formalised as a committee, with the aim of opening the Basin Amateur Boxing Club in Montrose by September. However, they are still searching for a building to site the club and are continuing their appeal for anyone with free premises. Chair of the committee, Roy Greig, said: "We've now formed a committee and we've got five members. It's an encouraging step forward. "We're now trying to arrange a boxing show in the town to let people see what it's all about. I had a positive discussion with the Arbroath Boxing Club and they suggested it, saying it would be a good way of generating interest. "Hopefully that can be arranged for September time, by which time we're hoping to have the club open in Montrose. "But we're still on the hunt for premises. I've got a list of about 15 or 16 places in the town that might be suitable and I am going around asking people but no luck so far." Roy, who owns Castlegait Upholstery on Castle Street, has been offered the use of a building in Dun, but said that sourcing a central location is the priority. However, with only five months remaining before the club's targeted opening, Roy and the four other trainers have a gruelling schedule ahead of them. Roy said: "We're all pretty out of shape so we're going to have to get fit by then. We have to set an example. If we say to someone to do so many press-ups we've got to be able to do them, so we've got a bit of work to do!" If you'd like more information about the committee, you can email Roy on castroy@ukonline.co.uk. 12 April 2007 Courtesy of The Montrose Review

New exhibition on life of local writer

A NEW exhibition, which will be mounted in Montrose Museum in June, is aiming to chronicle the life of one of Montrose's literary talents as well as a diminishing way of life. Betsy Whyte was born into a traditional Scottish travelling family but settled eventually near Montrose and her autobiographies, The Yellow on the Broom and Red Rowans and Wild Honey, paint vivid pictures of travellers' lives in the 1930s and 1940s. A well-known exponent of traditional music and storytelling, her books depict the lives of travellers as they move around Angus and Perthshire to follow seasonal work such as tattie howking, berry picking and pearl fishing, as well as highlighting traditional crafts such as basket and pot making and the door-to-door selling of items such as stationery and small household goods. The exhibition is being organised by Betsy Whyte's great grandson, David Pullar, who is keen to track down any material such as photographs and hand-made artefacts relating to her and to the travellers' traditions in the local area. These will be put together with an existing collection in time for the exhibition's opening on June 8 which will take the form of a fundraiser for the local branch of Enable. The opening night will celebrate Betsy's diverse traditional talent and will include storytelling with Jess Smith and the vocal talents of Sheila Stewart MBE along with musical accompaniment from local musicians The Ryans. The event will run from 7pm - 9pm and tickets, costing £6 including light refreshments, are available now from Montrose Museum and Hogg's newsagent. The exhibition will run until July 21 and admission is free. Anyone who can help David with exhibits should contact the museum in the first instance on 673232. 11 April 2007 Courtesy of The Montrose Review

New hangers officially opened

MONTROSE Air Station Heritage Centre's two new hangers and new season have been officially opened by the Lord Lieutenant of Angus, Mrs Georgiana Osborne. The new hangers were created with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund and a willing body of volunteers, giving the centre ample room to display a greater range of exhibits, including a replica Sopworth Camel and other military vehicles. The new hangers also gave the centre the opportunity to display the Battle of Britain Lace Panel, manufactured between 1942 and 1946 by a Nottingham lace curtain firm to commemorate the battle and as a tribute to those that had fought to save Britain. One of only 36 panels produced, it is extremely rare and believed to be the only one of its kind in Scotland. The occasion was further enhanced by the donation of £1,850 from Niall McKay on behalf of Hunting Oilfield Services to erect road signage directing visitors to the site. Mrs Osborne has close links to the Montrose Air Station, as she is married to the grandson of Lieutenant Colonel Wilmot Boys Adams of Staffordshire, who was adjutant there in 1916. Wounded whilst fighting in France, Lieutenant Colonel Adams was transferred to the Royal Flying Corps, where he met Enid Carnegy-Arbuthnott who lived at Balnamoon House, near Brechin. Their romance blossomed and, despite being posted to Cairo, the couple stayed in touch, writing to each other daily. The couple were reunited when the war ended and married in July, 1919. Adams left the army to work for Shell and took the name of Carnegy-Arbuthnott when Enid inherited Balnamoon estate in 1921. Their daughter, June Osborne, was born on the same year and attended the centre's opening on Saturday. The opening was also attended by representatives of the 111 Squadron, who were stationed in the town and who are celebrating their 90th anniversary this year. The air station is now open Monday to Saturday 10am-4pm and Sundays 12pm-4pm. For more information, telephone 678222 or visit the website at www.rafmontrose.org.uk. 11 April 2007 Courtesy of The Montrose Review

Uncertainty surrounds post-election relations

THE WORKING relationship between local councillors and community councils following May's local government election is still unclear, according to Ferryden community councillors. Both Ferryden and Hillside community councils have voiced their concern over how the new system will work as well as the need for definite points of contact for points of concern. Currently elected members attend the meetings of community councils within their wards but under the new system the four existing wards will disappear, with four councillors elected for Montrose and district as a whole. Angus Council has said that it will be up to the four councillors to decide for themselves which meetings they will attend, and they are free to attend any or all of the local community councils. Ferryden chairman Graeme Newton said an agreed, co-ordinated way of working had to be established to avoid a "free-for-all" between all four councillors pursuing the same issue. It had also been suggested that individual community councils be involved in choosing one local member as their contact. Mr Salmond said: "It will end up as a free-for-all and I'm not sure how it's going to work. My understanding is that the four members can attend any, all or none of the meetings but we will probably find that through time people will drop away, anyway. "I also think there will be changes to how the community council areas are set up." Mr Salmond also said he disagrees with the new system as he feels it would result in a loss of a personal link between councillors and their constituents. Member George Skinner agreed that community councils should have a say in choosing with which councillor they work although he said the issue was "a mountain out of a molehill". He said: "I think people will still be drawn to areas they're historically connected with. Continuity helps considerably." Member Ingram Bruce said she felt it would be "foolish" for the community council to deny itself the ability to contact and work with more than one member and that the situation would settle down after the first month or two after the election. Mr Newton suggested that all four of the area's councillors be invited to attend the community council's next meeting on May 8. 12 April 2007 Courtesy of The Montrose Review

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