Looks lovely, doesn’t it? Positively Cornish Riviera. Unfortunately it’s an illusion. What you don’t see over to the right is Campbeltown Harbour, which looks quite picturesque now, but it was a busy working harbour in the late 1930s. Water quality at the Lido can’t have been outstanding, and it wouldn’t have helped that a proper waste water treatment plant was only completed last year.
But let’s not be too picky. At least it’s a nice, sandy beach, completely unlike the other beaches around Campbeltown Loch, which are a mixture of pebbles, rocks, brick fragments and other assorted industrial materials from the town’s history as a centre for distilling whiskey. I feel an Andy Stewart coming on:
That’s better. Now, where was I? Yes, the beach. It’s fake. The sand was transported from the western, Atlantic coast of the Kintyre Peninsula. So what, you might say, and I agree. But the entrepeneur who worked so hard to bring a proper beach to the hard-working people of Campbeltown – he wasn’t a lucky man. You remember the date I mentioned earlier, late 1930s? Right. So in 1939, Campbeltown became a vital port for shipping war supplies. That brave little beach got washed away in the process.
Here it is now, looking very much the worse for wear.
I suppose the idea could be revived, now that the harbour is so much less busy, and probably much less toxic. Somehow, I don’t think it would pass environmental muster.