Oban


Oban

Coordinates: 56°24′44″N 5°28′13″W / 56.412356°N 5.470232°W / 56.412356; -5.470232

Oban
Scottish Gaelic: An t-Òban [1]
Scots: Oban
Oban from Druim Mor.jpg
Oban from Druim Mor
Oban is located in Argyll and Bute
Oban

 Oban shown within Argyll and Bute
Population 8,120 (2001 Census)
OS grid reference NM859298
Council area Argyll and Bute
Lieutenancy area Argyll and Bute
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town OBAN
Postcode district PA34
Dialling code 01631
Police Strathclyde
Fire Strathclyde
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament Argyll and Bute
Scottish Parliament Argyll and Bute
List of places: UK • Scotland •

Oban ((About this sound listen ; An t-Òban in Scottish Gaelic meaning The Little Bay) is a resort town within the Argyll and Bute council area of Scotland. It has a total resident population of 8,120.[2] Despite its small size, it is the largest town between Helensburgh and Fort William and during the tourist season the town can be crowded by up to 25,000 people. Oban occupies a beautiful setting in the Firth of Lorn. Oban Bay is a near perfect horseshoe bay, protected by the island of Kerrera, and beyond Kerrera is Mull. To the north is the long low island of Lismore, and the mountains of Morvern and Ardgour.

In Oban - also known as "The Gateway to the Isles" - some 9.4% of the population speak Gaelic.[3]

Attractions in Oban include the Waterfront Centre, the Cathedral of St Columba, the Oban Distillery, Dunollie Castle, Dunstaffnage Castle and McCaig's Tower, which dominates the town's skyline. Oban is a convenient base from which to explore the sights of Kilmartin Glen.

The Oban Tourist Information Centre, operated under VisitScotland, is located in the centre of the town in Argyll Square. It is housed in an old Church of Scotland building.

Contents

History

Before 1940

In the 18th century, the land where Oban now stands supported very few households, sustaining only minor shipbuilding and quarrying. The modern town of Oban grew up around the distillery that was founded there in 1794. By the late 19th century, Oban was a busy port which shipped wool, whisky, slate and kelp to Liverpool and Glasgow. The arrival of the railways brought new prosperity to Oban, revitalising local industry and giving birth to local tourism. It was at this time that McCaig's Tower, a folly and prominent local landmark, was constructed, as well as the ill-fated Oban Hydro.

1940 to present

Oban Bay, painted by Hans Gude in 1889

During World War II, Oban was a busy port used by Merchant and Royal Navy ships. The Royal Navy had a signal station near Ganavan which is now a private house. Also near Ganavan was an anti-submarine indicator loop station which detected any surface or submarine vessels between Oban, Mull and Lismore. There was a controlled minefield in the Sound of Kerrera which was controlled from a building near the caravan site at Gallanach. There is one surviving air raid shelter in the centre of Oban.

There was also a Royal Air Force flying boat base at Ganavan and on Kerrera. The airfield at North Connel was originally built by the Royal Air Force during World War II. A Sector Operations Room was built near the airfield and after the war this was extended to become the Royal Observer Corps Group HQ.

Oban was also important during the Cold War because the first Transatlantic Telephone Cable (TAT-1) came ashore at Gallanach Bay and this carried the "Hot Line" between the US and USSR presidents. There was protected accommodation for the cable equipment at Gallanach Bay.

Culture

Oban is considered the home of The Royal National Mod (a Gaelic festival) as the Mod was first held in Oban in 1892, with ten competitors on a Saturday afternoon. In 2003, Oban hosted the 100th Mod, and many signs were replaced with bilingual versions. As well as the 100th Mod, Oban also hosted the centenary Mod in 1992 (the year it became Royal). (The 100th Mod was later than the centenary because it was not held in the war years.) The 2009 Mod was again held in Oban.

The town has a two-screen cinema which is not currently operating as it closed in early 2010. Oban has also been used as a backdrop to several films including Ring of Bright Water and Morvern Callar. See [3].

The Oban War and Peace Museum advances the education of present and future generations by collecting, maintaining, conserving and exhibiting items of historical and cultural interest relating to the Oban area in peacetime and during the war years. A museum also operates within Oban Distillery, just behind the main seafront. The distillation of whisky in Oban predates the town: whisky has been produced on the site since 1794.[4]

In the 2010 Pipe Band season, the local Oban High School Pipe Band were successful in winning the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, the Cowal Games competition, and the Champion of Champions for the year in the novice-juvenile grade. The band is led by piping legend Angus MacColl, who has taught all of the pipers.

Sport

The local amateur football team is Oban Saints with a small stadium situated in Mossfield. However, shinty is a more popular game locally, with two major teams, Oban Camanachd and Oban Celtic, in the town. The Oban Times runs a "Spot the Shinty Ball" competition each week. Oban Cricket Club was formed in 2003 and plays in nearby Taynuilt. Oban Lorne Rugby Football Club is one of the more successful teams in the Highlands[citation needed].

The Highlanders were a World Wrestling Entertainment wrestling tag-team originally from (and billed as from) Oban. Scuba Diving is also readily available around Oban. There are many dive operators running services in and around the area. The wreck diving is spectacular, with the Sound of Mull offering some truly world-class dive sites. Although weather and visibility can be variable, the local geography means that a dive somewhere can always be achieved.

A weekend chess congress is held in Oban each year in the Royal Hotel. It usually takes place on the last weekend of November or the first weekend of December and brings 150-200 players to Oban along with their families.

The West Highland Tennis Championships are held annually in July at Atlantis Leisure [5]and attract some of Scotland's best players to the town. Past champions include Colin Fleming and Judy Murray.[6]

Oban also has a thriving Martial Arts training facility, the Dojo offering Kyokushin Karate, Kick Boxing, MMA, Shukokai Karate, and Boxing classes.

View of Oban Harbour with Kerrera (and Mull beyond)

Exchange

Oban High School and Scotland High School (located in sister city of Laurinburg, North Carolina) share an exchange programme which enlightens many students on the different and similar cultures within the two countries. The two schools have hosts families of 20 students (ten from each) which share experiences for two weeks in the summer (Oban) and two weeks in the autumn (Laurinburg). The exchange was expanded in 2007 to include a participating law enforcement officer from each community. The law enforcement officer exchange is during the same time as the schools' exchange.

Churches

Oban is served by Kilmore & Oban Parish Church of the Church of Scotland. [4] There are three church buildings in the united parish, namely at Glencruitten Road and the white church (opened in 1957) at Corran Esplanade in the town, as well as Kilmore Church. The minister (since 2007) is the Rev Dugald Cameron, who formerly served at St. John's Renfield Church, Glasgow.[7]

The mother church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Argyll and the Isles is St Columba's Cathedral at the north end of the Esplanade. During the 19th century, the Rector of the Pro-Cathedral was Father Allan MacDonald (poet), a poet and Gaelic scholar. The present Cathedral was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott and constructed between 1932 and 1959.

The Scottish Episcopal Church is represented in Oban by the Cathedral Church of St John the Divine, situated in George Street. [5] It is one of two cathedrals of the united Diocese of Argyll and The Isles (Episcopal), the other being the Cathedral of the Isles in Millport.

There are several other churches in the town, including the Free Church of Scotland in Rockfield Road, the Baptist Church in Albany Street, Salvation Army in Stevenson Street, Elim Pentecostal Church in Soroba Road, Lorn Christian Fellowship(Independent) who meet at Oban High school and the Associated Presbyterian Church in Campbell Street. [6] The Congregational Church in Tweedale Street was built in 1880. [7]

A Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses is located nearby at 57 Lorn Road.[8]


Climate

As with the rest of the British Isles and Scotland, Oban experiences a maritime climate with cool summers and mild winters. The nearest official Metoffice weather station for which online records are available is Dunstaffnage, about 2.7 miles north-north east of Oban town centre. The lowest temperature to be recorded in recent years is −7.9 °C (17.8 °F) during december 2010.[8]


Climate data for Dunstaffnage 3m asl, 1971-2000 (Weather station 2.7 miles (4 km) NNE of Oban)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 7.0
(44.6)
7.2
(45.0)
8.6
(47.5)
11.0
(51.8)
14.5
(58.1)
16.2
(61.2)
17.7
(63.9)
17.7
(63.9)
15.4
(59.7)
12.6
(54.7)
9.4
(48.9)
7.9
(46.2)
12.1
Average low °C (°F) 2.1
(35.8)
2.2
(36.0)
3.0
(37.4)
4.2
(39.6)
6.6
(43.9)
8.8
(47.8)
10.9
(51.6)
10.9
(51.6)
9.3
(48.7)
7.3
(45.1)
4.3
(39.7)
3.0
(37.4)
6.1
Precipitation mm (inches) 192.2
(7.567)
139.5
(5.492)
153.2
(6.031)
80.1
(3.154)
67.0
(2.638)
82.6
(3.252)
102.4
(4.031)
119.2
(4.693)
163.3
(6.429)
186.9
(7.358)
182.1
(7.169)
192.4
(7.575)
1,660.9
(65.39)
Sunshine hours 33.5 59.6 86.2 145.8 189.7 174.9 142.6 141.7 97.5 75.6 46.2 30.7 1,224.0
Source: Met Office[9]

Transport

Oban sea front with McCaig's Tower above

Oban lies at the western end of the A85 road. It also has a railway station where a number of First ScotRail services operate to and from Glasgow Queen Street daily. The town is also an important ferry port, being Caledonian MacBrayne's busiest terminal. Oban is known as the Gateway to the Isles, with ferries sailing to the islands of Lismore, Colonsay, Islay, Coll, Tiree, to Craignure on Mull, to Castlebay on Barra and to Lochboisdale on South Uist. In 2005 a new ferry terminal was opened. In 2007 a second link span opened, allowing two vessels to load/unload at the same time.

Scottish Citylink operate services from Glasgow's Buchanan bus station several times a day, during the summer a service from Dundee via Perth (Service 973) and another to Edinburgh via Stirling (service 978) is also operated.

West Coast Motors operate many local services and also coach links as far south as Lochgilphead and as far north as Fort William.

Oban is also reachable by plane via Oban Airport at the village of North Connel. The airport is currently being upgraded (costing some £4.2 million), so commercial planes can operate life-line island services, using Oban as a hub.

In 2007 a further airlink was created between Oban and west-central Scotland with a seaplane service making it possible to fly from Glasgow city centre's Seaplane Terminal off the Clyde into the bay in Oban.

Town twinning

See also

References

  1. ^ Ainmean-Àite na h-Alba ~ Gaelic Place-names of Scotland
  2. ^ Analyser UV04
  3. ^ Duwe, Kurt C. (June, 2006). Gàidhlig (Scottish Gaelic) Local Studies: An t-Oban & Latharna a Deas (Oban & South Lorn. 18:. pp. 15. http://www.linguae-celticae.org/dateien/Gaidhlig_Local_Studies_Vol_18_Latharna_a_Deas_Ed_II.pdf. Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
  4. ^ http://www.scotchwhisky.net/distilleries/oban.htm#hist
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ [2] West Highland Tennis Week
  7. ^ http://obanchurch.com/index.html
  8. ^ "2010 temperature". MetOffice. http://metofficenews.wordpress.com/2010/12/24/another-very-cold-night-in-many-areas/. 
  9. ^ "Dunstaffnage 1971-2000 averages". Met Office. http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/averages/19712000/sites/dunstaffnage.html. Retrieved 02 Nov 2011. 

Further reading

  • Hughes, Mike, The Hebrides at War Canongate Books, 1998, ISBN 0-86241-771-6.
  • Batstone, Stephanie, Wren's Eye View, The Adventures of a Visual Signaller, Parapress Ltd, 1994, ISBN 1-898594-12-0. Written by a Wren based in Oban for most of WWII.

External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Oban — ist der Name: einer Münze des alten Japans, siehe Ōban einer Stadt in Schottland, siehe Oban (Schottland) eines Ortes auf der Stewart Insel, Neuseeland, siehe Oban (Neuseeland) einer Whiskybrennerei, siehe Oban (Whiskybrennerei) einer… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Oban — Oban. Oban (en gaélico escocés, An t Òban que significa La pequeña bahía ) es una localidad del Consejo unitario de Argyll and Bute, Escocia, Reino Unido, con una población de 8.120 habitantes[1] según el ce …   Wikipedia Español

  • Oban — Oban,   größte japanische Goldmünze, eingeführt 1588 mit einem Gewicht von 165 g. Die Oban waren von charakteristischer Form (länglich oval) und Oberfläche. Angaben über die Ausgabeepoche und die Gütegarantie wurden eingepunzt. Vor der Ausgabe… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Oban —    OBAN, a burgh of barony, a sea port town, and lately a quoad sacra parish, in the parish of Kilmore and Kilbride, district of Lorn, county of Argyll, 32 miles (W. N. W.) from Inverary, and 136 (W. by N.) from Edinburgh; containing 1554… …   A Topographical dictionary of Scotland

  • Oban [1] — Oban, Dorf in der schottischen Grafschaft Argyle, an der Meerenge von Kerrera; Hafen u. Handelsstation; 1200 Ew …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Oban [2] — Oban (Obang, d.i. große Münze), die größte Goldmünze in Japan, ist nicht im Umlauf, sondern dient nur zu Ehrengeschenken; sie hält gewöhnlich 3 Kopang = 24–25 Thaler preuß. Court …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Oban [1] — Oban (Obang, Ohoban, »große Münze«), in Japan als Ehrengeschenke ausgegebene Münzen von Gold mit Silber: Kioho O., Schin O. zu 10 Rio und Tempogori O. von 165,16, bez. 112,28 und 33,90 g Gewicht bei 329,88, bez. 122,45 und 80,60 Mk. Wert …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Oban [2] — Oban (spr. ōben), Stadt in der schott. Grafschaft Argyll, an einer Bai des Loch Linnhe, ist Sitz des katholischen Bischofs von Argyll und Hauptquartier der Touristen im westlichen Schottland, hat einigen Handel und (1901) 5374 Einw. Dabei die… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Oban — Oban, Obany, japan. Goldmünze = 24 Thlr. = 36 fl. C. M …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • oban — ou obang (o ban) s. m. Lingot d or d un poids déterminé, servant de monnaie au Japon …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré


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