It is a case of ‘Hello, Goodbye’ as The Beatles used to sing, as some buildings are being given a fresh revamp, while it is farewell to some other long-established businesses.
It is interesting to see that Largs BID have found another venue for hosting Santa’s Grotto - and it is particularly fitting given that it is a building which was set up to provide a leisure facility for the children of this town.

The appeal for the Helter Skelter teenage cafe to get a fresh lick of paint for Father Christmas’s arrival on Yuletide Night on Thursday 3 December has been made in these pages during recent weeks.

I attended Helter Skelter when it was opened by the late Kelburn Primary headteacher Christine McAulay, around 2000, and it was her great concept, providing an important outlet for teenagers, and relied a lot on local volunteers to help and man the facility.

From the opening of a new pool room, to the provision of new console and computer facilities, and even guitar sessions with Dave Sharp from 80s rock band ‘The Alarm’, the ‘News’ has covered it over the years.

Having written a number of stories and articles about Helter Skelter, it is important to keep this amenity very much alive for future generations of kids. And as a former custodian of all things to do with Santa’s Grotto in Largs, through the Round Table (which is sadly no more), I heartily endorse moving the grotto here!

Largs BID put out a request to professional decorators and a scaffolding company to supply goods and services free of charge to prep and paint the building. We are glad to hear that an offer of help has been accepted. Watch this space for more news to follow in the coming weeks!

* Blankety Bank! The closure of the Royal Bank of Scotland in West Kilbride was a sad day for the village.
RBS had a bank in West Kilbride Main Street going away back to 1877, and at the end of last month, they replaced it with a mobile bank, which has apparently been deluged during the limited times it is open throughout the week.
Thanks to the Craft Town, and the efforts made in promoting West Kilbride for a British High Street award, let’s hope that RBS honour their commitment to West Kilbride to have a conference for local shops and businesses in the town, and get their ATM cashline service up and running, and resolve the mobile banking problems, as soon as possible.
* The loss of Hasties store in Largs Main Street is certainly going to be keenly felt locally, and beyond.
It is the one stop shop for almost anything and everything, and  is always handy in times of an emergency purchase!
I remember I was hosting a number of Italian visitors to Largs a few years ago, and they were looking for a kilt, and what a great time we had, going up and getting the boys fitted out.
They were totally in their element, and it makes me laugh to think that my friend David Fumagali was the talk of his home town Trezzano Rosa in Milan for his eye-catching Scottish regalia - purchased at the Largs-est department store!
On our Facebook page, Alistair Holgate of Largs left one particularly significant message: “The knowledge that if you couldn’t get something in all of Scotland, Hasties would probably have it in stock always gave me a kind of smug feeling when I lived in Largs. Thanks Hasties!”

I am sure when its doors finally close on Christmas Eve this year, we will be raising a glass from one of the classic malt whiskies from the historic shop in town, which has been part and parcel of Largs life for generations.