It happened in the Mearns

Fishermoss Primary pupils put on a performance of Sleeping Beauty in 1992.
Fishermoss Primary pupils put on a performance of Sleeping Beauty in 1992.

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

25 YEARS AGO

Friday May 29th, 1992

Trust status for Grampian Healthcare in Stonehaven could mean the possible merging of Woodcot and Arduthie Hospitals into one improved facility, and the building of a new unit to replace The Briars Clinic on Arduthie Street.

These plans were unveilied exclusively to “The Leader” by Grampian Healthcare Management, following a talk with local staff at Arduthie Hospital on Monday, when they announced how they would re-organise their £105 million annual budget under plans to form a Trust. Said General Manager Jeremy Taylor: “The taxpayers pay our wages to make judgements on their behalf, and if we can improve patient care through Trust status,

then we would go ahead with it.”

He added that if G.H. decided to proceed with full Trust application, then they would emphasise a strong local commitment to hospitals in Stonehaven and elsewhere in Kincardine/Deeside. This however, could mean a reduction in long-stay elderly care in the town - provided alternative and suitable provision can be found elsewhere within the community. “If we reduce the number of beds,” explained Mr Taylor, “then we could concentrate on one very high standard hospital site,” He pointed out that a backlog of maintenance work approaching £1 million has still to be undertaken at Woodcot and Arduthie, which are in need of major refurbishment.

50 YEARS AGO

Friday June 2nd, 1967

It will be good news, especially to the prefab dwellers at Brickfield and to those elsewhere waiting to be housed, that the contract with Messrs Wimpey is to be signed this week.

It has been some time in going through, and those who live in the temporary houses have had a “flitting” hanging over them too long for comfort. That is apparently all over now, and Messrs Wimpey are expected to make a start within the next week or two.

There are, of course,a lot of things to be done before building actually begins. Electricity works and sewage must all be in position before the houses, and it is to be hoped that there will be no delay in providing these services.

It will mean certain hardship for those living in the area but we hope that the end will justify the means and that they will be well satisfied with their new houses. One thing is not yet known. The rates impact of the scheme, including the provision of drainage, has yet to be determined, but this may not be so bad as is feared in some quarters. The houses will certainly be more expensive than prefabs but they should prove well worth what will have to be paid for them.

***

Stonehaven was the second sunniest place in Britain during April. With 175 hours it was second to Arbroath and Carnoustie, who both had 189.

100 YEARS AGO

Thursday May 31st 1917

Another of these distressing cliff fatalities which are of almost yearly occurrence on the cliffs near Stonehaven during the gull-nesting season, took place on Sunday morning at Fowlsheugh, at a point about two miles south of the town.

The accident resulted in the death of Benjamin Adams, a slater by trade, who has been employed for some time past with the local branch of Messrs Wordie and Co. as a carter. It appears that in the early hours of Sunday morning Adam, with a companion went along the cliff head to look for gulls’ eggs. Going along the top of the cliffs to Fowlsheugh they had just left the path to look down the face of the cliff when Adams companion was suddenly alarmed at missing him, and immediately afterwards he heard a splash. At this point thie cliff is about 250 feet, and there is a sheer drop into the sea. Looking down, he saw Adams’ body in the water at the foot of the rock. Intimation of the occurrence was brought with all possible speed to the police in Stonehaven, and a motor fishing boat, manned by the brothers Masson, and towing a smaller boat containing Andrew Knowles, fisherman, Inspector Gibson, and Constables Barnett and Brown of the police force, preceded by sea to the scene of the accident. Mr Adams, who had just removed to New Street, is survived by a widow and three children.

***

Stonehaven and District had a mild sensation last week owing to the escapade of a man dressed in the uniform of an army officer, and wearing several decorations, including the ribbon of the V.C.

It transpired that accompanied by a lady from Aberdeen, he came to Stonehaven on Wednesday, and took up his abode at one of the houses in Gurney Street where furnished lodgings are provided. The couple passed themselves off as man and wife, and apparently they were not suspected. Several of the wounded soldiers from St Leonard’s, however, with whom the officer got into conversation, had their suspicions aroused by his peculiar behaviour. The “officer” stated that he had been in the “Tanks”, and some of the soliders were inclined to think that he might be suffering from shellshock, while others were convinced that he was not genuine.

The Stonehaven police had meantime been informed from Dundee that a man was wanted there on suspicion of stealing a watch and a sum of money from a Dundee hotel. It was stated that the man under suspicion was dressed in an officer’s uniform and had left the hotel, at which he had been staying, in the early hours of the morning.

A member of the local police force therefore went up to Gurney Street, to enquire into the credentials of the distinguished military visitor, but the man tried to bluff the matter out, and indignantly protested at this interference on the part of the police. As he could give no satisfactory account of himself, the police proceeded to secure a warrant for his arrest, but in the meantime the “officer” thinking discretion the better part of valour, made off along the railway line for Aberdeen.

The police gave chase, and Constable Mutch, of the local police, came up with his man near Portlethen, about nine miles from Stonehaven. The “officer” then made to take to the fields, but the constable fixed him as he was climbing the dyke into a corn-field, and after a short but sharp struggle, managed to secure him. Some time afterwards a motor car came along, and Constable Mutch secured a lift for himself and his prisoner to Stonehaven.

The accused, who is about 35 years of age, stated that he belonged to Govan. He was ordered to be remitted to Dundee. It was stated that the woman who accompanied him belongs to Aberdeen.