GORTAN on Loch Longside — home to both highly regarded Glasgow MP James Oswald and leading Gaelic folk tale collector John Dewar — was once an estate, but the name is little known nowadays.

It had a long colourful history, was mentioned in a 1522 charter and possibly was in existence well before that.

HOW was Helensburgh's name  chosen? A letter from Sir James Colquhoun recorded in the Minutes of Helensburgh Town Council of April 18 1857 explains.

THE TWO big mansions at Finnart overlooking Loch Long, with first-class views of the rugged landscape known as Argyll's Bowling Green and beyond, were within shouting distance of each other.

By no means identical twins, they did have a lot in common, and both had interesting residents.

THE SALE and recent modernising renovation and expansion of the Old Milligs Tollhouse at the top of Sinclair Street in Helensburgh as a private residence brought focus to a fascinating class of buildings.

They actually hold a unique place in the story of local roads in this area.

ONCE upon a time there was a vibrant hamlet — now Glenmallan on Loch Longside is the scene of a massive civil engineering project, using giant cranes.

The £63 million scheme is to rebuild Glenmallan Jetty, built in the early 1960s to service the Royal Naval Armament Depot at nearby Glen Douglas, so it is fit for use by the largest ships in the Royal Navy today to load and unload ammunition.

A MANSION called Arddarroch is in use as offices in the middle of the Finnart Ocean Terminal on Loch Longside . . . and one of its early owners was in the centre of a huge row over landscape pollution.

It has a magnificent backdrop of the rugged Argyll's Bowling Green and the Arrochar Alpss, but now has the trappings of modern industry all around.

IT BEGAN as a mystery and ended as a mystery . . . but there were some fascinating discoveries in between.

The starting point was the desire by a group of local people to have a memorial for those who lost their lives in the Battle of Glen Fruin on February 6 1603, and they wanted to confirm a long-held local belief that a burial mound in the glen was where dead Colquhoun clansmen were buried.

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