UPSN 3rd June 2023

UPS INDEX Click Here

UPS News: 4th & 5th June 2023

4th & 5th June 2023:

A Day In The Life of UPS-HQ

After Due Consideration…

UPS News

Is Going To A Fortnightly Publication

To Enable A Major Focus on

Sales of All UPS Buildings

Regular readers may recall that a few weeks ago we were going to go fortnightly due to the increasing volume of enquiries from buyers + viewings and time needed to focus upon that.

But it did not feel right leaving TWO weeks between each UPS News. So we kept the weekly editions going for a while longer. But June and July are such important months for selling property (in Scotland) AND we will also be pressing the Social Media BOOST button imminently and repeatedly. We know from doing this in the past that the phonelines will MELT with a LOT more enquiries. So the next UPS News will be 18th June 2023 and fortnightly thereafter until at least 75% of the UPS ASSET SALES have COMPLETED. If you think about this: a mere £50 rustles up an extra 35,000 views and 6,500 interactions, so just imagine what the current budget of £2,000 for June alone will bring about?


^^ A Mere £50 Advert Did This ^^

Achieved 35,000 Views

& 6,500 Interactions.

Imagine What £2,000

Will Muster For UPS Sales?

This is Why UPS News Must

Go Fortnightly For A While

Though if there is a sales vote an immediate update will be made as per UPS rules to decide whether or not to accept the offer. As for this edition, in order to give a flavour of what does happen, we show the RANDOM nature of matters at UPS-HQ that are involved in getting to the magical “SOLD” board. Now for this first of the fortnightly editions…

A Day In The Life of

The UPS-HQ Crew

Our job? Basically to ask 300,000 people…would you fancy living here…

(then stand by to answer a lot of enquiries and arrange many viewings)

^^ One of A Random Series of Photos ^^

^^ Specifically to Help Sell All UPS Assets ^^

Sannox Hotel from Sannox Beach Sand Dunes

Copyright given free to us

by Russ’ friend: David Brookens

All of this edition’s VARIED and RANDOM workload at Unique Property Syndicates show a spectrum from the relatively MINOR to the crucially MAJOR matters. For example, photographs are particularly important. The internet runs on “website content”. Fortunately, we have thousands of our own photos. We are also given many by friends. But we also deploy at least one of the international newspaper agency photo bureaux “Alamy” …

^^ Sannox Hotel & Sannox Beach ^^

Courtesy Attribution: Mr Allan Wright & Alamy Agency 

It is a great thing for UPS that in the era of social media, added to our own extensive photograph library, around 95% of photos are free. This is one of the reasons the main website, Unique Property Bulletin is run, as a not-for-profit publication (not the UPS element which is, for the majority of projects, statistically profitable).

=> This means the Unique Property Bulletin’s PUBLIC DOMAIN website qualifies to utilise a large number of photographs under the internet Creative Commons Licence.

But is all else fails or a journalist’s time constraint looms, especially when we have one of the national newspapers wanting to have HIGH RESOLUTION URGENT DEADLINE photo stock, we are more than happy to let them know where we source some of our photos (national media pay a lot more than we do). Here is the current June 2023 Alamy rate-card…

For a publication such as Unique Property Bulletin which can reach up to 180,000 readers (proof in the next screenshot), we reckon the occasional prize-winning quality photo from the Alamy news agency is well worth £22.50. Especially if that helps us sell an asset worth £140,000 (Keeper’s Cabin) or even just the £85,000 we were looking to sell PLK Cottage for (one £20 Alamy helped get that increased to £99,000)…

^^ All Photos Above Are Owned ^^

^^ By Unique Property Bulletin Ltd ^^

It is this 186,399 volume we are about to release.

This is the precise reason we are…

Going to a fortnightly frequency.

The upside is a

much boosted rate of


Meanwhile, for a £22.50 Alamy News Agency fee to secure a professional bespoke photo is a bargain. For curiosity value, it cost us £99 per colour photo to PRINT 5,000 copies of our old paper-based version of Unique Property Bulletin (and a lot more hassle).

So in the rare instances we need a high quality, visually appealing photo, Alamy is an excellent resource… 

Example of Our Photo Account Archive

^^ 4 of Many Alamy Photos ^^

Licenced in Perpetuity By…

Unique Property Bulletin Ltd

Source: Here


The FREE photos really appeal to Russ McLean’s padlocked wallet, and this is part of today’s “to do” work list…

^^ Twin Villages of Corrie & Sannox ^^

Photo Courtesy of Dave Brookens

^^ Photos Are Vital To Sell UPS Assets ^^

Reproduced Courtesy of Dave Brookens


^^ Important To Obtain Consent ^^

^^ To Reproduce Photos ^^

This was part of today’s work list.

^^ Twin Villages of Corrie & Sannox ^^

Photo Courtesy of Dave Brookens

There is a logic to these photos as we will be deploying a series of these, plus the following as a “walk to the beach” part of selling the bedrooms at Sannox Hotel.

It is all very well advertising a hotel room with some before, during and after renovation photos…

^^ Bedroom 3, Sannox Hotel Before Renovation ^^

As bought. The mould was a big problem.

Lack of insulation and broken windows

that wouldn’t close were another.

We secured planning permission to increase the number of guest letting bedrooms from 3 to 6. We then overhauled the roof + back-to-brick renovation. Along this process, damp-proofing + insulation + complete rewire + new fire system + new plumbing and new central heating. Add new double glazing throughout and the hotel is economical to heat; well ventilated to avoid mould coming back and 90% towards being re-opened…

^^ Bedroom 3, Sannox Hotel During Renovation ^^

The whole room was rebuilt.

The result…

^^ Bedroom 3, Sannox Hotel. Structurally Complete ^^

The whole room was rebuilt.

The view is none too shabby, and through a brand new, building-control approved double-glazed two-way tilt window…


^^ Example of Our Finished Guest Rooms ^^

One We Prepared Earlier

At Noss Head Lighthouse Station!

It isn’t enough, just to show a renovated hotel and a room you can own (for our buyers).

It is very important that the final details (going onto social media) lets folk know that we have taken into account the well known mantra…

=> Location, Location, Location.

That as well as owning a hotel room where you can stay for up to 26 weeks a year and derive a useful income for the other 26 weeks a year when it is rented out, there is a LOT to do as per our main Arran Adventure page (link will appear here this coming week).

To clarify, the reason we are keen on assembling photos for the social media boost is this is a pictorial narrative of a short walk to the beach from the £49,000 bedroom…


Public Website

Hotel Room Ownership

Addition of Photos & Videos

Below this next line is some final finessing of our main Sannox Hotel-Room-Ownership public domain sales page. This new segment on the Hotel-Room-Ownership website also includes the ANSWER posed by at least TWO of the EIGHT buyers we lost….

=> How many tourists were lost to the island economy during Covid pandemic and will this recover”.

We can give a resounding yes” as to recovery. The statistics prove it. The new ferry gives vital comforts for our new shareholders.

=> These funds will be deployed to provide an exit-route for Sannox shareholders wishing to depart.

=> A virtuous-circle that solves many problems.

In fairness the majority of folk who decided against buying a room did so because of the HORRENDOUS ferry mess. This has now been cured with the Scottish Government putting £9,000,000 into a new class of catamaran ferry on the Arran route as the vital second boat (Arran needs two ships to cope with the passenger demand.).


Parking is often an issue at any hotel or in this case the new village shop. So we have applied for and were given FULL planning permission from the local council (click here) for the hotel and new village shop to install FOUR new car-parking places….

^^ Sannox Hotel ^^

Additional Car Parking.

This is often overlooked, but from our directors and subscribers ownership of several hotels and several dozen shops, it significantly boosts business income if adequate parking is included. This will soon include electric charge points and we are closely studying the viability of that.

^^ Sannox Hotel ^^

Brand New Newbuild Added To The Front

This replaced the old, dilapidated eyesore of a plastics conservatory. Full details to follow as this website is expanded.

=> As an example, here is a drone video of Sannox Beach + Glen Sannox and the river with salmon swimming in it. Then the mountains behind. Fairly central to all of this, in the proverbial location, location, location, is the Sannox Hotel…


^^ Sannox Hotel + Beach + Mountains ^^

Click On The Picture Above To Watch The Video

Sannox Really Is A Beautiful Place To Stay.

It is not just the fully renovated hotel that is the topic of this page. The surroundings tend to be a major set of reasons why the Island of Arran is the busiest on the West Coast…

Carrying Statistics For The Two Arran Routes

Proof Positive That The Post-Covid

Visitor Numbers Are Recovering

^^ 2022 ^^

^^ Passenger Numbers Recovering Well After Covid ^^

^^ 2021 ^^

^^ Staring To Recover As The Pandemic Eases ^^

^^ 2020 ^^

^^ In The Midst of The Covid Pandemic ^^

^^ 2019 ^^

^^ Almost 1,000,000 Visitors Each Year Prior To Covid ^^

^^ 2018 ^^

^^ Pre-Pandemic Visitor Numbers Are Good ^^

^^ Though An Overdue Newbuild Ferry ^^

^^ Will Help Increase These Numbers ^^

^^ 2017 ^^

^^ Healthy Number of Visitors Pre-Pandemic ^^


Source: Click Here

During the hotel renovation process, it has been frustrating to turn away so many folk who have come to the island to go hill-climbing and from whence many emerge, tired and in need of a room and food just a few feet along from the hotel as they emerge from the Glen Sannox road-end.

Climbing from up here, down Glen Sannox…

^^ Descending Through Glen Sannox ^^

Photo Attribution: Ian Tupman

Looking back over your shoulder gives an idea of the monumental walk you may have just completed…

^^ Arriving ^^

At The End of Your Walk Down Glen Sannox

At the foot of the Glen, turn right and a hundred yards or so, you arrive at the Sannox Hotel…

^^ Sannox Hotel ^^

The tea-garden and tables are raised about 8 feet above the roadside giving privacy and + easy access + great views. Looking back from the beach is none too shabby either…

^^ Sannox Hotel As Viewed From The Beach ^^

^^ Sannox Hotel As Viewed From The Beach ^^

Sannox Beach is a great place to spend your holidays…

^^ Sannox Beach ^^

Getting to and from the beach is also fun as you cross the river with salmon and sea trout aplenty…

^^ Crossing The Burn To Sannox Beach ^^

The Sannox Hotel is the first hostelry that thousands of folk reach after an afternoon in the hills and mountains of Arran…

^^ Sannox Hotel ^^

The local authority have been very helpful,

and provided ALL that we asked for:-

3 Additional Guest Rooms: Now 6.

A New Village Shop.

Staff Accommodation.

New Owner’s Accommodation.

Additional Car Parking (4 spaces).

The villages of Corrie and Sannox, indeed the whole island have made many positive comments on social medial and the directors have been bowled-over by the kindness and support in this effort.

=> The Island of Arran has a particularly strong sense of community-spirit.

This is one of the reasons we have turned away TWO offers from folk wishing to turn the hotel into holiday homes/flats.

=> The island has enough under-used and over-priced holiday-homes. Several hotels have been lost to this trend over the last decade.

=> So we are insisting that Sannox Hotel stays as a hotel.

The managing director of Scotslion Ltd (formerly Argyll Group plc) grew up in a hotel in Corrie at the adjacent village and can attest to hotels being very profitable on the island of Arran. So we are going in that direction with the Sannox Hotel.

More than that, we are opening a brand new village shop. This will be the 42nd shop (since 1997) that we have opened, so folk do not need to worry overly as we have a decent amount of experience in making shops work and become viable.



More Appropriate Photos Needed

This edition of UPS news illustrates how we spend part of each day fine-tuning the pages that helps sell the UPS assets so that the current shareholders can secure an earlier EXIT-ROUTE and PAAYDAY than would otherwise be the case.

=> For better or worse, we have been doing this for more than three decades.

Please rest assured we are certain that good quality photographs and videos help a LOT in selling our buildings.

Some photos work well…

^^ Corrie & Sannox Harbour ^^

The pier is long enough to berth our former passenger ship. We are currently in negotiations to buy this back from the Icelandic firm that owns the vessel.

^^ MV Lochmor ^^

^^ We Used To Own This Vessel ^^

Currently on whale watching tours in Iceland.

The intention is to provide tours around Arran

& across to the islands of

Aisla Craig, Bute, Davaar and Cumbrae.

^^ MV Lochmor ^^

^^ The New, Upgraded Interior ^^

^^ MV Lochmor ^^

^^ With A New, Upgraded Interior ^^

Our director’s experience indicates that

a 9% uplift in hotel visitor numbers

occurs when efforts are made

to provide facilities for guests.

When our managing director grew up at Blackrock House Hotel in Corrie (twinned with Sannox), a fishing boat was always kept for guests. This increased the hotel turnover by 9%.

Hence the endeavour to buy the ship back and provide amenities at the re-opened Sannox Hotel to ensure the visitor numbers are good and healthy.


Some other photos are OK, but possibly not quite good enough to cut the grade. This next one is the Sannox Hotel taken from the location and perspective we seek, but in the end, we found that brilliant drone video of Sannox Beach + Glen Sannox an Sannox Hotel as filmed from a flying drone. But it is always good to have a stock of “still” photos as some buyers need random photos. For example when we get asked if the river has sufficient water to catch salmon. It does…

^^ Sannox Hotel From The River ^^

This now forms part of our back-catalogue

of photographs if needed.

^^ Sannox Hotel: Walk To The Beach ^^

See how we are aiming to add perspective by including the local surrounds and therefore emphasising…

=> The appeal of owning a place you can stay for up to 26 weeks a year whilst the other 26 weeks you gain a very useful rental income.

Not only will you own a place to stay on the island of Arran, but the local amenities, including the simplest pleasure of a walk along the beach is yours too…

^^ Sannox Hotel From The Beach ^^

This now forms part of our back-catalogue

of photographs if needed.

^^ Sannox Hotel From The Beach ^^

This now forms part of our back-catalogue

of photographs if needed.

^^ Sannox Hotel From The Drone ^^

We already hold this copyrght.

No complaints: our volunteer crew are very happy with the inbound number of enquiries. We are just not ready to take on employed staff until we are absolutely sure the pandemic is over and things get back to somewhere near to normality.

 We have never been this busy and that is buyer enquiries from all our well-established websites, plus the day-to-day work in keeping the UPS portfolio of assets insured and maintained. let alone the planning permissions + building warrants + work getting the likes of Sannox exit routes sorted in the only viable way at the current economic climate.


Video Is Also Important

We really are very lucky. 30 years ago, there may have been a press release with one blac& white photo in the local newspaper. Fortunately, such is the nature of what we sell ~ unique properties ~ that our UPS buildings catch the attention of precious buyers.

But nowadays we have own several websites and have tens of thousands of regular viewers. The way social meia is structured, if any one of those readers has a friend who is looking to buy a n unusual home, they can send a link to our website at the click of a button.

Into the the mix we can now add the wonderful facility of embedding a video. That gets better, we have drone video. Thirty years ago, Russ McLean and Jim McPhee (UPS Main team) were about to go halves in buying a “cherrypicker” lorry (example: here). Now, instead of putting £8,000 into a lorry purchase, there are very nice folk who place samples of their work ith Creative Commons relase notices onto YouTube. We are able to embed these.

One of the jobs today was to locate a couple of videos for our major Sannox sales. The following is a high quality, almost perfect length of video to illustrate the beach + mountains + prominence of Sannox Hotel. Location, Location, Location.

^^ Perfect Sales Video For Sannox ^^

Even though the content is free to share, it is good form to pop a modest honourarium across. The term Youtube use is: “If you like what you see here, do not forget to subscribe us or buy us a coffee at: click here. The Angels’ Share have that covered. Given the fact that the film maker has given of their time and skills to provide what, for us, is video gold dust in our sales endeavour, it is the least that should be one. Please note, Russ and the team are NOT asking you to send unds to the film maker, we already have that covered. We just want to let our UPS members know what a typical day in the life of UPS-HQ consists of and why we need to go to FORTNIGHTLY UPS NEWS for the time being ~ so that full focus is given to achieving sales. 


Pressing Distractions

Red Mist Descending

We love the video research and finding gems as per the previous segment. One of the most enjoyable aspects is getting each UPS project to a shareholder PAYDAY (well overdue).

But it is fact of life that things jump up that must be dealt with. These cause “mild irritation” to “red mist descending”. One example landed via social media private messages Saturday night (3 June 2023) from Dr Makin.

He Mrs Makin bought Tower House at £249,000 and Principal Keepers House at £99,500. Their problem being raised was a dialogue about the private road up at Noss Head Lighthouse Station. The Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB) want us to pay to get it repaired to their (NLB) satisfaction.

=> These things cannot be ignored. The answer is legally simple: we own the road an we are responsible for WHEN the road is renewed. At this time it is eminently useable. There are 5 tons of “skelpings” at the Old Quarry for keeping the potholes topped up and tamped down.

Some pen-pusher at the NLB says we must install a new road.

Oh contraire. The author of the officious missive is arrogantly ignorant of the fact that the Angels’ Share paid to REPAIR after the Northern Lighthouse Board persisted in damaging OUR road when they were renovating their Lighthouse Tower.

Historically when hit with these sort of things, we tend not to react well because of the ignorance and arrogance aspect. Here is an example of what interrupts the line-of-thought when we are working to secure SALES OF UPS BUILINGS.

This is historic, but it sets a precedent

With respect to the Northern Lighthouse Board moaning about the private road repairs…

=> It was the Northern Lighthouse Board senior management eejits who failed to repair the damage caused to our road after a year of their abuse with hundreds of 4-wheel drive vehicle journeys. Most speeding up and down a road that is not built for abuse.

=> Worse, the Northern Lighthouse Board insisted (against our request) to have their HGV lorries driving too often and too fast. The result? Two HGV accidents on our private road, crashing and causing a lot of damage.


The irony is that it was the NLB that caused the damage and degradation with their HGV’s during the time they renovated their lighthouse tower. We have plenty of evidence and photographs.

The NLB are legally required to pay for 50% of repairs. But their CEO, Mr Mike Bullock behaved so atrociously after being given free use of our UPS24 land for 12 months to enable him to renovate his organisation’s tower, that on Monday 4th June 2023, the NLB author of the miserable missives will be getting a very prickly phone call.

=> All of this is or should be far away from the current UPS-ASSET-SALE radar.

But if we do not nip this in the bud, and if it goes legal, then we would be on the back-foot as a duty-judge would likely assume we are just burying our head in the sand. So bang goes about 1 + 2 + 2 hours of our time settling down the good doctor and preparing (finding) old photographs to corroborate our case, if it goes full legal (please recall that the majority of NL commissioners are lawyers and sheriffs (the name for a judge in Scotland). It is a mystery why the lighthouse authority has so few mater mariners on the board of commissioners and the thing is stuffed to the gills with lawyers and barristers.

=> We have added this minor irritant as an example of what happens on a daily basis. It is the thief of time.

There is also the additional admin that is VITALLY IMPORTANT. A clear example is the SANNOX HOTEL INSURANCE POLICY RENEWAL…

^^ The Forms To Secure This Took A Full Day ^^

No complaints as having UPS assets

fully insured is crucial.


Then There Is Maintenance



of UPS & Non-UPS Assets

This is not a groan. We love what we do

=> All of this RANDOM set of events is written and pictures are included on this page so that UPS members are able to follow the logic that underwrites why UPS-HQ are RELUCTANTLY going from a weekly edition to a FORTNIGHTLY version.

At least until we secure 75% of sales and all the UPS shareholders who would like to depart have had the opportunity so to do.

Here is an example if we take our eye of the ball for just a few days in one department (grass cutting).

One of our local crew at Sannox went on holiday for a week and missed the grass. This happened…

^^ Sannox Hotel ^^

The Grass Grows Fast.

This Looks Awful.

It is Russ McLean’s pet hate.

Maintenance is very important. A few days of good weather and the grass just shoots up…

^^ Sannox Hotel ^^

Needs The Fast Grass Cut Crew

The long grass makes the place look unkempt. Russ McLean drums it into the heads of our onsite crew. Just one member at Sannox (the paid ones to add insult to injury) has a few days off and we have Jumanji Jungle appearing.

It took several hours, but we are now well on top of keeping the place ready for the buyer-viewings…

^^ Sannox Hotel ^^

Grass Cut This Weekend

^^ Sannox Hotel ^^

Grass Cutting Is Very Important. Why?

It Affects First Impression of Buyers

We mention this as one of many examples which are consuming each day.

=> From now on, apart from the statutory documents such as Annual Accounts to Companies House and CT600 forms to HMRC along with buildings insurance and VIP maintenance, we must focus on SELLING.

=> Hence the reluctant necessity to go fortnightly with UPS news.

Even at that, we have an important function to get Sannox Hotel finished. There is still 10% of what has been the longest, most tortuous project we have every attempted. Of course the pandemic + ferry company mess + injury to Russ McLean have all taken a toll.

But inexorably we are determined to get to PAYDAYS and EXIT-ROUTES…


Sannox Hotel

Work Continues Apace

Underlay + Carpets + New Furniture…

^^ Underlay Being Fitted To Sannox hotel Bedrooms ^^

^^ New Carpets At Sannox Hotel ^^

Before Being Professionally Stretched & Fitted

^^ Sannox Hotel

^^ New Furniture Being Assembled ^^

The template being a good, clean and presentable set of guest rooms similar to what we achieved by UPS24 at Noss head lighthouse Station…

^^ Example of Our Finished Guest Rooms ^^

One We Prepared Earlier

At Noss Head Lighthouse Station!

A little known fact, the actual planning permission on Noss Head tower House was…

=> Residential Educational Establishment.

The same class as a hotel!


Inaugural Meeting To Establish

The Arran Ferry Action Group

9th April 2019 At Brodick Town Hall

This narrative is written from our perspective. By that we mean the former Argyll Group plc and in particular the Sannox Hotel renovation project on the island of Arran. In April 2019, one of our company officers, Russ McLean was onsite at Sannox, project managing the renovation of the hotel following it’s closure by the previous owners in 2015.

The purchase of Sannox Hotel by our group was made on 28th February 2018 and the renovation should have been completed by late 2019/early 2020. Both Covid and a nightmare CalMac/CMAL ferry situation put a ton of problems in our path and also prevented at least 40 jobs being brought to Arran (those now exit in Arbroath o the mainland).

Russ McLean was at the inaugural meeting of the Arran Ferry Action Group. However, following an accident aboard the MV Caledonian Isles, Russ eventually had to withdraw from directly helping due to a TBI and stroke that was diagnosed the evening of the accident.

After 4 years of campaigning with many folk rallying to the cause of securing a ferry service fit-for-purpose thanks to the evolution of the Arran Ferry Action Group…



^^ Latest News From Our Ferry Committee ^^

The £9,000,000 Government Grant

To fund the SECOND ferry that was lost from Arrran

Will help stop the LOST SALES at Sannox

of which we have sustained

8 lost sales due to the ruddy ferry mess.

Fortunately, we have managed to get the Scottish Government to say


To the vital return to a TWO ferry service.



Apologies for needing to go FORTNIGHTLY. It is important to TRIAGE the volunteer time we have. The Spring has brought 2 buyers to our conveyancing solicitors.

We now would like at least 75% more of our assets with buyers AND acceptable offers headed towards the UPS conveyancing solicitors during the ideal summer months.

The only way we can do this effectively is by making UPS News a FORTNIGHTLY publication.

=> Hopefully members of Unique Property Syndicates and the Sannox Syndicates in particular can see that as much as is reasonably possible is being done to get us all over the finishing line ~ and with a fair profit!

Very best wishes,

The Unique Property Crew.

P.S. Apologies also at the RANDOM nature of this page. Even in this incomplete state, it has taken 9 hours to put together. It needs rewriting and fine tuning, plus the grammar + spelling + typos corrected.

But that takes 8 to 16 more hours.

=> All at a time when we MUST FOCUS ON SALES of UPS assets.

So this page comes to you in a RAW state. Mangled English and typos galore.

Ideally one of the crew will tidy the spelling and clean up the flow of narrative. But we hope all UPS members will forgive this page being presented “as is”. Why? Because that shows clearly how we are determined to FOCUS on SALES during the BEST and sunniest time of the year to sell our UPS buildings.

Last but not least, please keep your fingers crossed as we are about to TURBO-CHARGE the level of inbound enquires by BOOSTING each asset on social media. In the past, that has helped a great deal in achieving sales. But it does ramp up the volume of enquiries. This is another reason for going fortnightly with UPS News.  



Earlier Update

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