It Happened in the Mearns

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We take a look back at what was making the headlines this week in 1991, 1966 and 1916.

25 YEARS AGO

Friday December 6th, 1991

Parents of Arduthie Primary School pupils have condemned the conversion of part of the school’s play area into Regional Council offices and a carpark as “ill-conceived”, and claim the new school is a hazard, with additional traffic using a new entrance next to the school on an already busy road.

Arduthie parents’ Association said this week that the pupils had lost their safest and most attractive play area; infants no longer have their own playground; and all 500 children aged four to 12 now share the same area of tarmac at the back of the school.

The Association is so incensed that they are preparing a petition to have the situation revised. “Apart from the incompatibility of gentle skipping games with wild games of football in the same area,” said a PA spokesman, “we were particularly concerned when we heard reports of lorries serving the work site reversing through the remaining play area without any supervision. Thankfully, this situation was rectified by head teacher Mr John Duffus as soon as he was made aware of it, and a padlock has now been fitted at the entrance gate, with access being allowed only when the children are safely in their classrooms.”

The car park and offices are being constructed as part of a Grampian Region extension to Carlton House, which project is scheduled to be completed early in 1992.

To compensate for the loss of playground, a new area was paved beside the Ury Players’ drama group huts - which Grampian Region claim matches in size precisely the area taken for their development.

But this new play area was desrcibed as “a dingy piece of tarmac” by PA Chairman Alan Bain, who added: “In the children’s views at least, they have lost the majority of their playground.”

50 YEARS AGO

Friday December 2nd, 1966

When dedicating a stained glass window in St James’s Episcopal Church, Stonehaven, on Sunday, Rev. Canon Ernest Hayes offered a prayer for all fishermen.

The window, three and a half feet highand depicting St Andrew and his cross, is is memory of Mr Andrew Christie, fisherman, who was born on St Andrews Day, 1864, and died on 6 June, 1937.

He was the father of ex-Provost T. Christie, Stonehaven, and the window was gifted by his granddaughter, Mrs Eileen Marjory Masson, 45 Christie Crescent. The window was made and installed by stained glass artist Mr Alexander Kerr, Edinburgh, who has done several other windows in the church.

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Sixty members of the Kincardineshire Red Cross from Stonehaven and Laurencekirk paraded in St John’s Hall, Stonehaven, on Sunday for their annual inspection by the Dowager Viscountess Colville of Culross, branch president.

The parade was commanded by Mr W. Crighton, commandant of the Stonehaven men’s detachment. Lady Colville congratulated those present on their smart appearance, and had a special word of praise for the larfe contingent of Stonehaven Red Cross cadets under their commandant, Mts Alice MacGregor. The detachments demonstrated how to deal with accidents and injuries.

100 YEARS AGO

Thursday December 7th, 1916

The handy little pocket electric flash lamp proving a great boon to people who are out of doors but it is being misused by thoughtless young men and girls, who see in it a source of amusement, and proceed to flash their lamps in the faces of passersby in a way that is extremely irritating to their victims.

According to the Aberdeen police authorities, the use of flash lamps by pedestrians, in order to assist them in finding their way homewards, is quite legal, but the skylarkers who persist in throwing rays skywards, and on to tramcars, and misusing them in other ways, to the annoyance of other people, may find themselves in trouble.

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Information has just been received that Pte. John Wood, Gordon Highlanders, has been killed in action in the recent fighting in France. Private Wood was the oldest son of Mr John Wood, 64 Portlethen Village. He was a farm servant and, being a Territorial, was mobilised at the beginning of the war. He has been at the front since May of this year. Private Wood was only 18 years of age.

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Mr George Craig, 9 Portlethen Village, has received official intimation that his son, Lcs.-Corpl. Alexander Craig, Gordon Highlanders, was killed in action in the recent fighting in France.