Looking for memories – two requests for information

There are two requests for information this month from. Anda Djoehana Wiradikarta is hoping to find out some details about Joan Erskine and Karl Mutch is looking for memories of Agnes Searle, both former Lamlash residents. It was reported in the Banner last week that Joan Schoup (nee Erskine) has died recently. However if anyone can contact Anda with any information about Joan she would be really grateful. Details about Karl’s request follows after.

Featured image shows an old postcard view of Cordon, Lamlash

A note from Anda Djoehana Wiradikarta:

Dorothy “Bunty” and Joan Erskine were friends of my late mother. They met when my mother was studying at the Trinity College of Music of London. The last time I saw Bunty was in 1982 in her flat at 24 Landsdowne Crescent in London. I met Joan only once in the early 1960s.

Bunty and my uncle (my mother’s younger brother) had been engaged when my uncle lived in the Netherlands in the early 1950s. I have never known why they broke off. I would have been delighted to have a Scottish auntie!

Thanks in advance for your help. I like to say I have a sentimental link to Britain: my mother studied at the Trinity College of Music in London in 1948-1951 and my parents got married in London in 1951. I suppose Bunty and Joan were there. The Picture Post (which no longer exists) had covered the event because it was the first ever Indonesian wedding in the UK. They then moved to Paris where my father was studying.

Please get in touch with Anda at anda.djoehana@orange.fr if you can help her out.

A note from Karl Mutch:


My wife’s grandmother Agnes Searle lived at New Lanark Cottage in Lamlash on Arran from the 1960s (we think) until her death in 1990 aged 84.

I am compiling a family history and would be keen to hear from anyone on the island who has any memories of Agnes (who may have been known to her friends as Cissie).

My wife Fiona and I live in Auckland, New Zealand but we were able to visit Agnes on Arran in 1979-80 and have happy memories of that time.

Agnes was the daughter of Robert Bell, a mathematics lecturer at the University of Glasgow from 1911 who took the family to Dunedin in New Zealand to be head of the mathematics department at Otago University in 1920. Agnes married Walter Searle in Dunedin in 1930 and they moved to Scotland not long after that for Walter to take up a position as an obstetric surgeon in Glasgow, then in London.

We understand that Agnes moved to Arran sometime after Walter’s early death in 1953, although the family had been holidaying on Arran for many years before that, along with their young son Trevor (my wife’s father). I do understand that it is a while ago, but I am hoping that someone – a neighbour from Lamlash perhaps – may remember Agnes and get in touch with me. My email address is below.

Thanks to the Voice for Arran newspaper for allowing me to write this message and warm greetings to everyone on the Isle of Arran.

Karl Mutch, Auckland, New Zealand