cARRICK’S TWO BIGGEST secondary schools were badly hit by an early winter flu bug with a year three class at Carrick Academy in Maybole having over 30% of pupils absent on on day. Five teachers were also off at the same time with 23 phone calls having to be made to find a replacement. Girvan Academy said they weren’t in crisis but it was posing a headache as each morning more staff could have been off than expected.

The fishing industry in Girvan was in crisis after suffering a terrible year due to the lack of prawns and fish in the local waters. Fisherman Dougie Caldwell described it as the worst ever year for fishing and Robert McIlwraith added that they could no longer make a wage from it. Rental of fishing boats equipment was a constant expense as were insurances and diesel leading Dougie to say it was very difficult especially with the bad weather months that were set to hit the area. However, he was hopeful that the good times for the industry would come back some time to help fishing in Girvan.