It happened in the Mearns

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We take a look back at what was making the headlines locally on this week in 1992, 1967 and 1917:

25 YEARS AGO

Business has been brisk since The Grassic Gibbon Centre opened in Arbuthnott last Wednesday, attracting local and foreign visitors through its doors, and organisers are hopeful of a long and fruitful Summer ahead.

The £128,000 Centre, which celebrates the life and times of Mearns author Lewis Grassic Gibbon, was stretched to capacity on Sunday afternoon, said manageress Mrs Isabella Williamson.

“We had a lot of visitors from Arbroath and Aberdeen and a few foreigners as well,” she said. “Grassic Gibbon’s brother-in-law, Dod Middleton, also visited the Centre.”

Apart from the exhibition itself, visitors showed great interest in the loose photographs on display: “They particularly like the old Arbuthnott School photos,” said Mrs Williamson, “and they wanted to talk and get into discussion with other folk.”

Another great attraction was the Centre’s 12-minute slideshow with commentary, which features photos and voice over by local resident Richard Siweck, and Grassic Gibbon “quotes” spoken by another man, Arch Middleton, who uses the Arbuthnott dialect.

“We are encouraged by the attendance over the last few days,” added Mrs Williamson, “and we are looking forward to a successful Summer - and we also hope people will give us suggestions for the Exhibition.”

50 YEARS AGO

Friday May 26th, 1967

“The lavatories and dressing-rooms in some village halls in Kincardineshire are really scandalous in this civilised age,” declared Mr J. S. Cardno, the county’s deputy director of education on Wednesday.

He told the education committee that half a dozen halls in the county had been nursing schemes for improvements. The first of these to get the length of the education committee was that at Auchenblae, and this would be followed by the rest in the next year or two.

Mr Cardno said that the committee had a statutory duty under the Education Act to contribute to such schemes, and the county’s policy since 1948 had been to give 10 per cent of the cost of the improvement or £100, which ever was the greater.

The committee was accused of being “out of context” in some of its spending by Mr J. W. Irvine-Fortescue, Maryculter, convenor of the county’s finance committee. He said the committee was “niggly” over spending a few pounds on refrigerators for two schools while happily agreeing to spend money on swimming pools, under-floor heating, and this, that and the next thing. Mr Irvine-Fortescue had offered to pay one-third of the cost of refrigerators for Maryculter East and West schools himself, leaving the balance of about £54 to be met by the committee.

100 YEARS AGO

Thursday May 24th 1917

The Stonehaven Flag Committee deserve to be very heartily congratulated on the great success of the Flag Day held last week on behalf of the Princess Louise Hospital for limbless Sailors and Soldiers.

To raise close on £150 in a small place like Stonehaven is a splendid achievement, which reflects the greatest credit on the Committee and their ardent lady helpers. The latter were no fewer than 59 in number and so enthusiastic were they that there could scarcely have been anyone in the whole town who was not given an opportunity of adding his or her mite to this mosr deserving charity.

Besides the collectors on Saturday valiant work was done by the ladies who sold flags etc., at the mart on Thursday and at the railway station on Friday. The response to the Provost’s appeal for subscription was also most gratifying. It may be mentioned that Provost Greig is keeping his subscription list open till Saturday first, so that anyone who wishes to contribute may still do so.

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Friday last saw the inauguration of the local Food Saving Campaign, a meeting for that purpose being held in Brackmuirhill Public School. There was a good attendance, and the serious question of the food shortage received great attention from those present.